JERUSALEM – More than five months after the Obama administration announced the hiring of its “green jobs czar,” Van Jones, the White House has refused to explain whether it knew of Jones admitted black nationalist and radical communist history and just who hired the adviser.
Also questions continue to fester about how Jones, who has an arrest history, passed security clearances for his White House position.
Cliff Kincaid, an editor at Accuracy in Media, attempted to answer some of these questions when he used the Freedom of Information Act in April to request immediate access to all documents relating to the appointment of Jones to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he serves as special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation.
The council, which hired Jones, replied that it “searched its records system and found none responsive” for Kincaid’s request.
The council recommended more information be sought at the White House Press Office, which did not respond to Kincaid’s requests about how Jones was hired.
The White House also did not reply to numerous WND requests for comment.
The Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck program similarly asked the White House whether it was aware of Jones’ radical history.
The White House provided the following response: “Mr. Jones is entirely focused on one policy goal: building clean energy incentives which create 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources.”
The lack of available information concerning Jones is unusual since the Obama transition team previously touted it developed a seven-page questionnaire that included 63 questions about an applicant’s background and qualifications for a federal job. Kincaid pointed out that CNN reported the document was to be for “every candidate for Cabinet and other high-ranking positions in the incoming administration.”
However, there is no indication Jones ever filled out the document.
Also, there are open questions as to how Jones obtained a White House security clearance. He spent time in jail several times, including in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.
Jones was the leader and founder of a radical communist and black nationalist group, the communist revolutionary organization Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM. The organization had its roots in a grouping of black people organizing to protest the first Gulf War. STORM was formally founded in 1994, becoming one of the most influential and active radical groups in the San Francisco Bay area.
STORM worked with known communist leaders. It led the charge in black protests against various issues, including a local attempt to pass Proposition 21, a ballot initiative that sought to increase the penalties for violent crimes and require more juvenile offenders to be tried as adults.
The leftist blog Machete 48 identifies STORM’s influences as “third-worldist Marxism (and an often vulgar Maoism).”
Speaking to the East Bay Express, Jones said he first became radicalized in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots, during which time he was arrested.
“I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,” he said. “By August, I was a communist.
“I met all these young radical people of color – I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’ I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary,” he said.
Trevor Loudon, a researcher and opponent of communism who runs the New Zeal blog, identified several Bay Area communists who worked with STORM, including Elizabeth Martinez, who helped advise Jones’ Ella Baker Human Rights Center, which Jones founded to advocate civil justice. Jones and Martinez also attended a “Challenging White Supremacy” workshop together.
Martinez was a long time Maoist who went on to join the Communist Party USA breakaway organization Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, or CCDS, in the early 1990s, according to Loudon. Martinez still serves on the CCDS council and is also a board member of the Movement for a Democratic Society, where she sits alongside former Weathermen radicals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
One of STORM’s newsletters featured a tribute to Amilcar Cabral, the late Marxist revolutionary leader of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands.
The tribute is noteworthy because Jones reportedly named his son after Cabral and reportedly concludes every e-mail with a quote from the communist leader.
STORM eventually fell apart amid bickering among its leaders.
Jones then moved on to environmentalism. He used his Ella Baker Center to advocate “inclusive” environmentalism and launch a Green-Collar Jobs Campaign, which led to the nation’s first Green Jobs Corps in Oakland, Calif.
At the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, Jones announced the establishment of Green For All, which in 2008 held a national green conference in which most attendees were black. Jones also released a book, “The Green Collar Economy,” which debuted at No.12 on the New York Times’ bestseller list – the first environmental book written by an African American to make the list.
Jones, formerly a self-described “rowdy black nationalist,” boasted in a 2005 interview with the left-leaning East Bay Express that his environmental activism was a means to fight for racial and class “justice.”
Jones was president and founder of Green For All, a nonprofit organization that advocates building a so-called inclusive green economy.
Until recently, Jones was a longtime member of the board of Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor, business, environmental and community leaders that claims on its website to be “working to catalyze a clean energy revolution that will put millions of Americans to work in a new generation of high-quality, green-collar jobs.”