Elena Kagan’s love affair with socialism is not new, nor is it unique, in academia. Her credentials, like those of President Obama, are tethered to a common progressive worldview. Harvard, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Yale, all show up in the pedigrees of progressive “change” agents and community organizers. Bill Ayers, Kagan, Obama and other progressives all advocate a radical restructuring of American culture and society. The shocking truth is that the progressive, anti-American worldview did not arise by itself in these liberal enclaves.
Research has documented extensively the USSR’s intelligence operations in the United States. From the birth of the Soviet communist state until the McCarthy era, the KGB and its predecessors actively carried out phenomenally successful covert operations throughout the U.S.
Publication of the Venona Files and Mitrokhin’s cache of KGB documents confirmed that the KGB had successfully penetrated both the U.S. government and private organizations. KGB tradecraft, recruiting techniques and communications plans are familiar to an intelligence professional of today. Their intelligence collection operations have been analyzed extensively.
What has not been analyzed previously is the extent of the KGB’s covert influence operations. My recent counter-intelligence analysis of selected targets revealed the KGB’s successes. In fact, the Communist covert influence operations had a greater and longer-lasting impact on America than did their better-known intelligence gathering operations. Covert influence is a much finer and more insidious instrument of covert action than its cousin, propaganda. Covert influence operations slip messages into classrooms, articles and movies.
The KGB focused their covert influence operations on the institutions that were the traditional keepers of American culture – the media (newspapers), education and academia, and entertainment (Hollywood). They enjoyed great success in all three domains.
The message, first articulated and implanted by the Communist International’s covert influence master, Willi Munzenberg, was simple: “America is a racist, sexist, xenophobic nation of haters, built on the backs of slaves. Communism is a noble experiment.” Notice the similarities to today’s political correctness (PC). The messages are exactly the same and are like strands of DNA, revealing the genetic roots of today’s PC.
For now, let’s focus on Elena Kagan’s domain: academia. Communist intelligence operatives, very soon after their stunning success in Russia, targeted American academia. Let’s compare the response of an Ivy League college to an unpopular American war (World War I) to Kagan’s response to a wildly popular American war (the War on Terror).
Prior to the Russian revolution, American academia was a champion of fundamental American values – freedom, liberty, capitalism, patriotism. In the run-up to America’s entry into World War I, Yale students and faculty formed a military training club. They drilled and prepared themselves for war. In March 1917, academia and media joined in calling for patriotism and service to America. A New York Times journalist and the president of Yale spoke at Yale’s student newspaper anniversary dinner. The president lauded the campus newspaper’s call for student military training. The Times reporter told the Yale students that they all owed a duty to the government. He advocated compulsory military duty in return for their “enjoying government protection.” He went on to say that when the call came to serve in the military, “We will all be Americans. … You will respond to the call of the government in … the great Yale traditions.”
Fast forward to 2003, Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School, in the middle of a global war in which Americans were fighting and dying, was in “deep distress” because the American military was allowed to meet with prospective recruits on campus. Then, before the Supreme Court reversed, by a 9-0 decision, an appellate court’s ruling that supported her stand, Kagan banned American military recruiters from using Harvard Law’s placement office.
The stark difference between the pre-communist-covert-influence response in 1917 and Kagan’s oh-so-PC response in 2003 is stunning. Recent research has revealed the extent to which American media and American academia were penetrated by Soviet covert influence operations, beginning soon after World War I. A side-by-side comparison of the attitudes towards America’s involvement in military actions, 1917 with 2003, stuns any objective observer.
Kagan is helpless to be anything but an anti-American, socialist stooge. She is a product of an academic system that is permeated by the anti-American message, for nearly 100 years. To move up in American academia, one must be a PC true believer. The covert influence message planted by Communists carries on like an advertising campaign that never quits. After the anti-American messages were planted by agents of influence in American media, academia and Hollywood, the KGB’s officers were mostly annihilated in purges. But the messages, like an advertising jingle stuck in your head, echo through the ivy halls, up till today.
So, when Kagan’s stands on various issues, including her banning American military recruiters from her socialist campus redoubt, are considered as she is vetted for the Supreme Court, remember where her attitudes and beliefs come from. By understanding the origin of her PC worldview, we can, and must, be clear that we reject her anti-American beliefs and the roots of those beliefs.
Kent Clizbe served as a staff CIA case officer in the 1990s and as a contractor after 9/11. He worked in counterterrorism against Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Commenting on intelligence and terrorism issues, Kent has appeared on VOA TV, PJTV, national and regional talk radio, and has written columns in FrontPageMag.com, Newsmax.com and Parcbench.com.