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CHAPTER 8 Behind the Vale: The NCLC, The Next Step, and The Real Paper

< CHAPTER 7 From John Diebold to Eugen Dühring: Rethinking ''The Third Stage of Imperialism'' | SMILING MAN FROM A DEAD PLANET: THE MYSTERY OF LYNDON LAROUCHE | CHAPTER 9 Enter the Greeks: Epanastasi, the NCLC, and “Pablo” >

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On 3 January 1974, Lyndon LaRouche ("Lyn Marcus") gave an extraordinary speech laying out the details of what he claimed was a plot to brainwash NCLC member Christopher White in order to assassinate LaRouche. In the midst of his speech he launched into a strange tirade against Michael Vale, an American expatriate living in Sweden who had long been associated with GI deserter networks there:

And Mike Vale, the bastard who, as Chris said, got poor slobs like us into this mess. Vale is the guy who ruined a lot of good men, a real crud – who probably is responsible for McGourty.
You know why McGourty is in jail? I know why McGourty is in jail. We put what we know on the [Konstantin] George case together with what we know about McGourty, and we have the scoop on one of the nastiest, most vicious CIA operations – the brainwashing institutes of Sweden. It's a great place to go for a vacation. But don't eat anything, don't drink anything. You may not come back a man, or a woman.
Now, we know why McGourty was victimized when we cracked the George case – to protect Bo Burlingham, Mike Vale, Andrew Kopkind, and other scum – Spender, and that type. Real scum.

LaRouche returned to Vale later in his speech when discussing the plight of William Engdahl, the NCLC member who had lived in Sweden and who had suffered a temporary nervous breakdown during the Chris White affair:

Well, we are going to save them. Engdahl's going to be tough. They did a vicious job on him, and it was done many years ago, the first job. It was done by the CIA with that pig Michael Vale involved. Bo Burlingham, editor of . . . [Ramparts magazine and Central Committee member of the Weathermen] you know who Bo Burlingham is. We told you. And he's involved in this stuff. He was involved in it. Stephen Spender, the "poet" – he's one of the same type. He's involved in it. CIA. Andrew Kopkind of Ramparts. He's involved. Tony Cliff of IS in Great Britain, he's involved in it.
This isn't speculation. No guessing. This is hard fact. We know it. We've got a trail, a firm hard fact trail.1

LaRouche's rant was based on his paranoid need to see connections and plots. Yet behind his fantasy was the very real fact that Boston's The Real Paper was planning to do an expose on him that involved interviews with his parents and would have been the first serious examination of "Lyn Marcus's" background. LaRouche, as we have seen, was so afraid of this that he had his Security Staff threaten The Real Paper to such an extent that the article was actually published in the pages of The Boston Phoenix. The Real Paper's staff included Andrew Kopkind.

As for Robert "Bo" Burlingham, he had indeed been a Central Committee member of the Weatherman in 1969 but who had long broken with it and by 1973, he was working as an editor at Ramparts.. Burlingham had spent 1968 living in Paris where he helped organize the draft resistance and GI deserter movement there. During this period he worked with Michael Vale, who headed the GI deserter movement in Sweden. Vale, in turn, would later organize The Next Step (TNS), a radical network of active-service GIs in bases in Western Europe. In late 1971, TNS would join the NCLC en masse, although sometime in 1972 Vale had a bitter falling out with LaRouche. In the Chris White affair, LaRouche (and his "Security Staff") once again put 2+2 together and once again got 22. He assumed that because Vale despised LaRouche and The Real Paper was writing a critical article on LaRouche that Vale, Kopkind, and Burlingham must have been secretly working together in some master plot that involved the CIA.

With a lot of things Labor Committee-like, it is of course possible that Vale, Kopkind, and Burlingham did keep in touch with each other. It is also possible that they shared an interest in the strange goings on inside the NCLC. After all, not all that long after Vale left the organization, LaRouche began launching attacks on members of the American Communist Party and other leftist groups. Many of Vale's former comrades inside TNS were members of the NCLC during this period and one of them, "Jim McGourty," was arrested in the summer of 1973 and charged with desertion from the Marines. It may be that Vale tried to follow developments in the United States and that he spoke with some of his former radical connections in Europe who were now back in the United States like Burlingham and Kopkind about the NCLC. Perhaps Vale also encouraged his contacts on the Left to investigate LaRouche.

Vale may have had an even more personal reason to be concerned about the McGourty arrest. It seems likely that for TNS deserters to be able both to return to the United States and to live in under an alias, they needed a network that helped smuggle them back into America and provide them with false papers to live here undercover. If Vale's network did provide the "paper" that deserters. and draft resisters needed to survive "underground," the McGourty arrest potentially threatened Vale's broader network as well. Without further detailed information, it is hard to know for sure if this was in fact the case.

To add to the confusion, Mike Vale was himself a highly controversial figure who had come under repeated attack for being a CIA agent! Vale had countess enemies on the Left, in part because as a Trotskyist he made no secret of his opposition of the Soviet ruling elite. Vale, however, seems to have been an 'Isaac Deutscher"-style Trotskyist as were many English New Left intellectuals around organizations like New Left Review and the Bertrand Russell Foundation. Accusations that Vale was a CIA agent could well have come from his rivals inside the Soviet-oriented Left and even from the CIA itself since, as I will show, the U.S. government took a great interest in disrupting the deserters movement. One was to do so would be to falsely accuse Vale of being an "agent." It is also possible, of course, that Vale may himself have been a CIA or KGB agent or, for that matter, simply an expatriate American Trotskyist intellectual. Whatever the reality, in 1974 the NCLC elaborated a typically Machiavellian theory that the CIA was using the deserter movement to launder false information back into the USSR with Vale playing a central figure in the CIA plot.

One possibility is that Vale may have been a member of the "Pablo network" led by a remarkable Greek leftist named Michel Raptis (better known under his pseudonym "Pablo.") I suspect that tensions between Pablo's organization and the Labor Committee led to Vale's quitting the NCLC, a possibility I explore in the next chapter on the Epanastasi/TNS network in Europe and not here. In this chapter, I wish to supply some basic information about Vale and The Next Step and the important (and still somewhat mysterious) role it played in the NCLC and in the Chris White affair. To truly understand the machinations involved, one would have to begin by declassifying numerous government documents both from the CIA and the U.S. military as well as conduct research in Sweden, England, France, and Germany while also placing the history of The Next Step in the larger context of resistance to the Vietnam war.


The NCLC's connection to Mike Vale grew out of the group's ties to The Next Step, a GI-based anti-Vietnam war group that first emerged out of the American Deserters Committee (ADC) network in Sweden and France. The ADC's key organizer in Sweden was Vale. In the early 1970s, Vale attempted to go beyond the deserter scene and to try to politicize GIs on American bases in Europe through a new organization called The Next Step (TNS), which published a widely circulated and openly socialist newspaper out of Heidelberg also called The Next Step. The NCLC's relationship with TNS first surfaced in June 1971 when TNS spokesman Roger Hartog addressed the NCLC's "Strategy for Socialism" in Manhattan. Hartog described TNS

as presenting a unifying working-class perspective to U.S. GIs in Europe. The paper comes out biweekly to over 15,000 soldiers on nearly all European bases. One objective of the paper's cadres was to hamstring the counterrevolutionary and strikebreaking potential of NATO forces, in solidarity with revolutionary workers in Greece, Italy, etc.2

Almost a year later, New Solidarity devoted a special insert to the decision of The Next Step cadre to join the NCLC, reporting that "the entire staff of the GI newspaper The Next Step (TNS) has joined the National Caucus of Labor Committees."3 The article explained that.

TNS originally coalesced at the end of the 1960s with the intersection of members of radical GI-support organizations in Sweden and France and a handful of active-duty GIs. We all saw clearly that a new type of organization was necessary not only in the GI movement, where the main groups were apolitical and split along all-black and all-white lines, but in the larger socialist movement itself.

The Next Step was distributed on the U.S. base at Heidelberg. It also produced papers for GIs in Europe including Can You Bear McNair and The Geissen Eagle. The article stated that TNS cadre promoted Lenin's What Is to be Done as well as the writings of Issac Deutscher, the biographer of Trotsky. The group reported a "six month exchange" with the NCLC with one TNS member visiting the U.S. to learn more about the group. At the time TNS announced it was joining the NCLC, LaRouche was in Europe and it is possible that he carried out discussions with Vale when LaRouche was visiting London. LaRouche was in Europe in part to attend a conference in Linz, Austria, sponsored by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, which Vale seems to have been linked to as well.

The Next Step network surfaced a year later in the midst of Operation Mop Up with the arrest of "Jim McGourty," an NCLC member who had been picked up and fingerprinted by the Philadelphia police on 6 May 1973. Although McGourty wasn't convicted of any offense, his fingerprints entered the system and on 26 June he was arrested by 4 FBI agents and charged with desertion from the Marine Corps. The NCLC claimed that.

Since the government has made virtually no effort to apprehend or prosecute thousands of other deserters, it was clear from the beginning that the government's motivation for prosecuting McGourty was strictly political. His "crime" was organizing for the National Caucus of Labor Committees, not his alleged desertion from the Marines.4.

McGourty had spent some time in Sweden after his desertion from the Marines. A New Solidarity article on the case revealed that the NCLC was panicked by the possibility that the FBI would discover its possible covert activities involving The Next Step network:

The government's new frame-up attempt – if it were allowed to proceed – would probably go as follows: McGourty's conviction plus lying testimony from FBI informers would be used in an attempt to prove that officers of the NCLC had knowledge of McGourty's "deserter" status. Other "deserters" might then surface to perjure themselves by testifying that leaders of the NCLC aided and abetted other "deserters" or offered assistance to "deserter" informers.
The government could be expected to exploit to the hilt the relationship between the NCLC and The Next Step, a group of pro-working class GI organizers who affiliated with the NCLC in 1971. Members of TNS group had organized in Sweden and in West Germany before many of its members joined the Labor Committee.
The government would probably try to establish the fallacious charge that the "TNS connection" was used to channel deserters back into the U.S. In point of fact, no NCLC officers were aware of McGourty's alleged deserter status or of any other member on unauthorized absence from the armed forces.5

An internal memo from NEC member Ed Spannaus to all NCLC locals written on 18 August 1973 gives a sense of panic that the McGourty arrest aroused:

There is a strong possibility that the government will attempt to use the McGourty case as a springboard to frame up the NCLC for aiding and abetting deserters. We have to know the following information immediately: 1) if anybody claiming to be a deserter has approached us asking for help or simply establishing contact with members of the NCLC; 2) if any members of the organization are known or thought to be known as deserters. If we can get this information at once, we may be able to expose the government's plans before they can carry them out.

In a discussion in the 4 September 1973 NEC meeting, Spannaus reported that the government had offered McGourty a deal for only one year in jail. He then commented:

Since such a light sentence is absolutely unprecedented, it amounts to proof that they are after a frame-up of the LC not McG. To frame-up the NCLC on "harboring deserters" for example, they require only a conviction of Jim, any conviction! They also, no doubt, would prefer not to have the trial.

"McGourty" was arrested on desertion charges by the FBI on 26 June 1973 while LaRouche was in Germany. (He would eventually serve seven months in a Marine stockade before being released.6) About one month later, on 1 August 1973, the Konstantin George affair began. In his speech on 3 January 1974, LaRouche clearly linked the McGourty case to the George case and both of them to the "brainwashing" of Chris White and Bill Engdahl. Clearly in LaRouche's mind, somehow all these cases were part of a massive conspiracy. But to even begin to try to understand what was really going on, it is necessary to understand some basic background history of TNS and Mike Vale in particular.


In her book Waiting out a War the Exile of Private John Picciano, Lucinda Franks provides an extensive profile of Vale and the GI deserter movement in Sweden:

The first stirrings of an organized exile movement in Europe came in Paris in the winter of 1967-68. A group of resisters who had fled to France, which at that time was granting residence permits to draft dodgers and deserters although not officially accepting them, formed the French Union of American Deserters and Draft Resisters (FUADDR). Another group, committed to urging GIs to resist, formed Resistance Inside the Army (RITA) and published a newspaper called ACT that was distributed in US military bases around Europe. . . . By the spring of 1968, the deserters in Sweden . . . felt a strong need to organize themselves into a supportive union similar to the French Union of Deserters and Resisters.

This Swedish group became the American Deserters Committee (ADC). Its leader was Mike Vale who had been asked by the Swedish radical lawyer Hans Göran Franck to create the ADC even though Vale was neither a deserter nor draft resister. But, reports Franks, he was "more than a leader, or an organizer, or an ideologue. He was the closest thing to a high priest that the deserter community had."

In 1968 Vale

was in his middle thirties. Born into the silent generation which matured in the fifties, he became bored with the United States during his youth and left for Europe. He learned a half dozen languages and was a translator for several years. Then the Vietnam War and the exodus of young Americans from its grip came along and provided him with a more exciting and purposeful career. A committed socialist, he decided there was work to do among the deserters and so he made his way to Sweden.
Vale was a straight-looking character, short, energetic, with a sharp nose and a narrow jaw. . . . He often had a cold, but sick or well, he never stopped. . . . He was generous and unsparing of his time. . . . His home became a kind of seminary and his word was final. There were many who came to hate and fear him, but there was no one who did not regard him with a sense of awe.
He was a compelling, even magical, sort of person. . . . Vale gave them something to believe in - themselves. A Trotskyite, he disliked the United States and the Soviet Union equally, denouncing the capitalists and warmongers in the former and the bureaucrats and Stalinists of the latter. Vale believed in the perfectibility of the working man and that, to him, was the only "correct line" of thinking. . . . Vale assured them that they were men of courage, that history would judge them well. He was eloquent, articulate, and witty. . . . He infused his disciples with confidence; his own self-assurance bubbled over onto them.

Vale's key front man in the Swedish ADC was Bill Jones, who also became a member of the NCLC. Franks remarks about him:

At the core of the ADC was Vale's front man, Bill Jones, a tall, lean boy from St. Louis who had been trained as a combat medic and deserted from Germany when his name came up among the large list of Vietnam-bound GIs that were being levied from the German bases. Jones, a former seminarian who came from a wealthy Roman Catholic family, had considerable intellectual prowess and seemed to exist on a plane slightly removed from the rest. He was an aloof fellow who shied away from close friendships and slipped easily into the role of chief ADC spokesman, a kind of deserter figurehead for an organization run by Vale.

Vale and Jones were also profiled in the book American Deserters in Sweden: The Men and Their Challenges by Thomas Lee Hayes, a liberal minister who worked closely with the deserters movement there. Hayes reports that Vale had alienated a good many deserters in Sweden with his hard-line politics that resulted in fissures in the ADC network:

In the background of this potential split lay both a personal and political force. Michael Vale, an American translator fluent in a number of languages, had taken up residence first on the Continent, and later in Sweden. Vale is a committed socialist, thoroughly grounded in his politics and infused with a passion for hard work. In those months of 1968, man after man found his human and political identity through long raps with Mike Vale. There was no one who did not take him seriously. Many feared him, and some hated him. Some liked him, and still do.
A tough revolutionary . . . Vale never let up in his goal of radicalizing the political consciousness of the men. . . . With his passionate devotion to working-class make-up of most of the deserters, it is understandable that many of those men who had come from more middle class backgrounds were turned off by him. A measure of his personality may be seen by the fact that I was assured by one member of the Swedish Vietnam Committee that he was indeed an agent in the employ of the U.S. government, and by an American that he was nothing more than "a political dilettante." I, personally, came to respect him and to regard his contribution as essential and helpful. . . . Nevertheless, Vale could denounce a man or a group as counter-revolutionary and be believed. Naturally, those who did not see themselves as "the enemy" moved to oppose him. In a struggle for different leadership within the ADC in late October, 1968, the insurgents lost.

As for Jones, Hayes writes:

In those days, from early 1968 through early 1969, the primary spokesman for the ADC was William "Bill" Jones, of St. Louis, Missouri. . . . He deserted to Sweden. Later many others from his unit were to follow him. Bill Jones is lean and tall, rather precisely handsome in appearance, and given to considerable intellectual prowess. Were Bill a convinced capitalist, he might be a spokesman for the Junior Chamber of Commerce. . . . For many months he took the lead in publishing articles for The Second Front (for GIs), in arranging with a delegation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam for "Radio Second Front" broadcasts to US troops in Vietnam and in relations with the press.7 His personal abilities so dominated much of the efforts of the ADC that he later became an issue himself. To his credit, Bill has been able to take more of a back seat by giving over more and more responsibility to others.

Vale, however, had a falling out over the NCLC soon after he joined while Jones remained a loyal member. In a 2 November 1977 NSIPS release entitled "CIA Agent Vale Posing as Member of European LC" and dated from Stockholm, we are told that:

European Labor Committee (ELC) member William C. Jones issued a press release here denouncing recent slanderous attempts by the Stockholm newspaper Dagens Nyheter and the Copenhagen paper [Dagblatet] Information to associate Mr. Jones with a known CIA operative named Michael Vale.
Vale, who has been repeatedly exposed by the ELC and its press for his CIA activities, has recently been traveling from Paris to Copenhagen to the U.S. He has attempted to intimidate various Labor Committee members sometimes posing as an ELC member.
"This effort to associate me with Vale is part of an attempt to discredit both myself and the Labor Committee at a time when our programmatic influence among Communists and left Social Democrats is expanding," Jones said in his release.
"The so-called factual information could only have been obtained from international agencies or from the CIA agent Michael Vale himself," Jones charged.
The European Labor Committees is in possession of documents linking NATO agents [Jorgen] Dragsdahl [longtime writer for the Danish paper Dagblatet Information who, many years later, was falsely accused of working for the KGB] and Vale in various international "dirty tricks" operations, including those directed against the Labor Committees. This information will be released in the immediate future.

Was Vale really a CIA agent? Or did the CIA and/or U.S. military intelligence put out a COINTELPRO-like line in order to discredit and split the GI Deserter movement in Sweden by sowing doubts about Vale?


The NCLC claimed that Michael Vale was especially close to Joachim Israel, one of Europe's leading sociologists who taught at the University of Lund. According to a 6 March 1974 New Solidarity article:

Vale's history as an agent/operative beings in 1966, when he was residing at the Swedish home of an agent, Dr. Joachim Israel, together with groups of GI deserters enjoying hospitality there. According to a report by Vale himself it was at the institution of Miriam Israel, Joachim's wife, that Vale attempted to smuggle letters out of the Soviet Union, and was picked up by the Soviet police and held for several days until released through State Department pressure for this espionage offense. It was during this period that Vale became intensely active in the Swedish and Paris-based GI deserter movement organization, and began his since-sustained interest in brainwashing and magic.

Vale also knew the Swiss lawyer Hans Göran Franck. Israel and Franck helped organize the first International War Crimes Tribunal, which was held in Sweden in May 1967. It was sponsored by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, which was run by a former Trotskyist named Ken Coates. The Bertrand Russell Foundation had a strong "Fourth International" Trotskyist and "dissident Marxist" tinge; it was particularly oriented to dissident "New Left"-style groups inside the East Bloc as well as being highly critical of American actions around the world. For some years it had been dominated by Ralph Schoenman, Bertrand Russell's former private secretary and another expatriate American Trotskyist activist. Another leading Tribunal participant, Noam Chomsky, maintained close ties to anti-war and draft resistance groups like the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based group Resist. A Resist-affiliated statement issued on 20 June 1967 – just a month after the Russell Foundation meeting in Sweden – reported that

Word has it that the French Resistance, that evolved from World War II and the Algerian war, has been re-activated. This is partially in response to the increasing number of American soldiers that are deserting in Europe because of the War in Vietnam, etc. It is also known that these people are very interested in Draft Resistance and the Movement that has been developing here in the U.S.

Resist gave a small grant to encourage the deserters' movement in Paris.8 The movement also was endorsed by a leader of German SDS, Karl Dietrich Wolff, as well as by PCF-allied networks in Paris. Another reported leading figure in anti-war circles in Paris was Robert "Bo" Burlingham. During the Chris White affair, the NCLC Security Staff issued a "Fact Sheet" on Vale which also singled out Burlingham for attack. The NCLC report (which was based in part on inside information from former TNS members) also said:

In 1967 the American deserters' movement was organized in Paris. A clandestine French organization Fraternite, a hold over resistance group from the Algerian war, set up a sub-group, Solidarite, to establish and maintain a deserter exile community in Paris.9 A Frenchman named "Adrian". recruited Robert "Bo" Burlingham to organize American deserters. Burlingham adopted the nom de guerre "Arlo."10 Burlingham had been a student at Princeton University, where he organized a W.E.B. Du Bois chapter; he took graduate courses at Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations. He traveled to Europe on a Fulbright Fellowship.
The actual purpose of the Solidarite operation, known to Burlingham but to few others in the movement, was to gather hard military intelligence from NATO deserters, supposedly to be turned over to African liberation groups for which Fraternite was working. However, independent sources suggest that these groups, composed of CP members and Abraham Lincoln Brigade veterans, were in fact acting as fronts for Soviet intelligence activities against NATO. The cover story given to the deserters movement was that intelligence gathered was to help in the struggle of the North Vietnamese people against U.S. imperialism.

Solidarite was run by Henri Curiel, long accused by right-wing group of being a Soviet operative and who was murdered in Paris on 4 May 1978 by an unknown assassin. In her book The Terror Network, Claire Sterling writes of the Curiel network, and Solidarite in particular, that "American deserters from Vietnam could count on a welcome at Curiel's hostels anytime." Looking at the Curiel network, it is also unclear how much Curiel may or may not have collaborated with the famed Greek leftist "Pablo."

The deserters' movement rapidly made connections to SDS and Bernadine Dohrn held meetings with U.S. deserters in Sweden. Lucinda Franks reports that

In September, 1968, a delegation of young movement groups from the States, including representatives of Students for a Democratic Society, made a fact-finding mission to Sweden to meet the deserters and give them a show of solidarity. The ADC was made an official chapter of the SDS, which pledged to begin a campaign at home to inform the American public about the community. . . . "The American deserter's committee is now recognized as an integral part of the American left," proclaimed an editorial in the December issue. of Second Front Review. "The ADC is now an autonomous chapter of American SDS."

The NCLC fact sheet then reports that Vale's involvement in the deserter's movement began in late 1967:

Vale had left the U.S. for Europe in 1962, traveled extensively in Western Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East (Beirut, 2 weeks and Iran, 6 weeks), the Soviet Union (where he was arrested under suspicion of being a CIA agent) and Eastern Europe. During the fall of 1967, he was in charge of organizing the deserter community in Sweden, where he founded the American Deserters Committee (ADC) in Stockholm.

In a study of the ADC, Carl-Gustaf Scott writes:

In late January 1968, under the direction of the Social Democratic leadership, the Swedish Vietnam Committee was reconstituted as the Swedish Committee for Vietnam (SCfV), and Gunnar Myrdahl, the Noble prize-winning Swedish economist, was assigned to head the committee. The intent of the committee was to act as a firewall against the more radical Maoist and youth-oriented United NLF-groups – the main organization of the Swedish extra-parliamentary left. More specifically, the committee was meant to serve as a vehicle for the Social Democratic Party and government to harness the youth protest movement into the Social Democratic fold. . . . The SCfV even actively encouraged the exiles to form their own political organization, which yielded the American Deserters Committee (ADC) in February 1968. . . . Bertil Svanström, head of the SCfV in Stockholm, apparently approached Mike Vale, a radical American political activist residing in Sweden, about establishing an independent political forum for the newly arrived deserters. . . . To the consternation of the SCfV, the move backfired, and the ADC adopted a radical posture aligning itself with the United NLF-groups against the SCfV. The ADC and the SCfV quickly became bitter enemies, and the ADC soon joined the United NLF-groups in its strident criticism of the Social Democratic Administration.11

(Lucinda Franks reports that Hans Göran Franck – not Svanström – asked Vale to run the ADC.)

In 1968, the ADC organized a delegation of deserters to attend the International Communist Youth Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria.12 The delegation included Bill Jones, who angered East Bloc officials by accusing the USSR of supporting "revisionism." Not long after the conference, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia and "Prague Spring" came to an end. Around that same time, the ADC fell into factional chaos. As Franks tells it,

Forces were gathering against Vale. The ADC leader had always been secretly sniped at for being intolerant of any "incorrect" form of thinking. But by the fall of 1968 he was accused of everything from character assassination to being an agent provocateur for the CID [U.S. military intelligence].
The problem with Vale was that if one did not agree with him and said so, he would be sharp and sarcastic. He was given to contemptuous burst of anger and he had a way of making his victims look like fools. Once he grabbed a copy of Newsweek out of the hands of one deserter, threw it into the wastebasket, and told him to stop fiddling around with trash and start reading Trotsky.
Many of the deserters began resenting his dictatorial attitudes. "It's like being in kindergarten around here," said one person who had been berated by Vale. 'It's the Army all over again." "He's like Rasputin and he's got a technique. He browbeats new guys for the first few days and then lets up and they end up loving him because it feels good when you stop banging your head against the wall."
"Yeah, you've got to admire him . . . like you admire the work of a butcher."

Vale's personality contributed to a split inside the ADC when a group of more middle-class based deserters grew tired of "the ADC rumor mill, of the paranoia of being called counter-revolutionaries and reactionaries" and briefly created their own far more counterculture friendly group known The Underground Railroad. Vale's major problem, however, was his falling out with the Swedish Vietnam Committee over his "hard-line" politics. Again, from Frank:

The committee, being closely aligned with the government, took issue with the ADC's militant stands. The committee's chairman, Bertil Svanström, a prominent Swedish liberal who later received the Soviet Union's Lenin Peace Prize,13 was particularly vociferous about the embarrassment that the ADC's pro-Vietcong stand was causing to Sweden. He criticized the Second Front Review for encouraging desertion and publicizing Sweden as a haven and argued that if the deserters kept a lower profile, the government would be able to do more for them. Vale launched a strong counterattack. The political dispute between the two degenerated into a personality issue. Suddenly, there were rumors that Svanström had a "pro-Nazi background" as a foreign correspondent in Berlin during World War II.
In the midst of the battle, the good name of Hans Göran Franck, the man who had been responsible for getting deserter after deserter admitted to Sweden, also suffered. Frank, a member of Svanström's committee, refused to side with Vale and suddenly it was rumored that Franck was untrustworthy.
"I would not be surprised," said one disgruntled friend of Svanström's, "if Vale was either working for the Ford Foundation or collecting checks from the U.S. government."

Thomas Lee Hayes interviewed members of the ADC about the split with the Swedish Vietnam Committee and reports that the ADC began to distrust it. Under Vale's leadership, the ADC went after not just Svanstrom but also Franck:

Franck . . . had been instrumental in processing almost all the early applications of asylum. . . . He and his wife, Inger, furthermore, had befriended many of the men, who in turn felt real gratitude. The fact that Franck served as advocate for many other exile groups, notably the Greek community, the Gypsies, and the Czechs, and that he was active in Amnesty International did not serve him well as against his role as a member of the Swedish Vietnam Committee. Membership in that committee was enough to condemn him. The word went out that Franck was not to be trusted.

Carl-Gustof Scott describes the split this way:

The final factor that served to alienate ordinary Social Democrats from the deserters was the strident political posture of the ADC. The ADC's vehement attacks on the Swedish political establishment, including the Swedish Committee for Vietnam, did little to ingratiate the organization with the mainstream left. Probably nothing did more to hurt the ADC in the eyes of the Social Democratic rank and file than its conflict with the SCfV. The conflict first began to simmer in June 1968, and then reached boiling point in May 1969, following the release of the film Deserter USA, a collaboration between the ADC and two young radical Swedish film makers.
Deserter USA attacked the government's failure to provide political asylum and generally maligned the Swedish Committee for Vietnam, dismissing it as a lapdog of big capital. Several bitter exchanges between the ADC and the SCfV followed the film's release. After that point, the break between the ADC and SCfV was irreconcilable, leaving the SCfV openly hostile towards the ADC and ambivalent about the deserters in general.
The ADC's decision to align itself with the United NLF-groups against the Swedish Committee for Vietnam was a fatal mistake, because the NLF-groups had neither the political influence nor connections of the SCfV.

Scott then adds this footnote:

That said, this "mistake" might well have been intentional. Many of those who served as advocates for the deserter cause during the war now suspect that some of the leading members within the ADC were "agent provocateurs" in the service of American intelligence organizations. Given the ADC's strident attacks on both the government and the SCfV, this conclusion is probably correct. This issue was discussed at great length in a recent Swedish TV documentary (TV2, Hell no we won't go! 24 April 1997).14

Yet Scott makes no mention of the fact that the ADC split with the SCfV and its Swedish Communist-allied sponsors happened not long after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1969 which inflamed the extra-parliamentary left and helped cripple the influence of the Swedish CP which was loyal to Moscow. Nor does he mention the Jerum affair.


Vale's ADC hit the jackpot with the Swedish public early on with the Jerum affair. This incident involves the expose of the U.S. government attempt to persuade the deserters to turn themselves into authorities. Hayes describes the Jerum Affair this way:

there was the constant presence of American authorities at the Embassy in Stockholm, and the activity of agents for the Criminal Intelligence Division of the U.S. Army's Provost Marshal's Office for Europe, in enticing and persuading men to return to the military. It had not been an idle matter when members of the ADC had trapped Mr. William Russell, then with the official newspaper, Army Times, in the act of making deals with men, offering short sentences in the stockades to men who would turn themselves in. The incident has become known as "The Jerum Affair," after the name of the student dormitory, at the University of Stockholm, in which Russell was caught, photographed and taped. . . .
A further consequence of the expose was that several officials of the American Embassy, implicated in the affair, were sent home from Sweden. Whether or not this resulted from the publicity surrounding the affair is unknown. Not a few Americans and Swedes believe that the ensuing embarrassment to the American ambassador, William W. Heath, was more a factor in his eventual return to Washington than the (then) impending change in the U.S. administration.

After the ADC's expose, Stockholm's three leading papers ran editorials in support of the deserters and the issue was also raised in the Swedish parliament. The NCLC Fact Sheet on Vale discusses this incident this way:

In early 1968 Vale in Stockholm, and Burlingham in Paris, opened salvos against alleged CIA activities. Vale exposed a U.S. Embassy official and a world-wide traveling CIA agent (whom Vale claimed was involved in the assassination of Ben Bella15) trying to entice a deserter to return to the U.S. The "Jerum" affair was given wide press coverage for several days in the Swedish press playing up the angle of CIA subterfuge in Sweden. Vale and the Social Democrats split during this affair. Simultaneously, in Paris Burlingham began a factional attack against an alleged "CIA agent," variously referred to as "Max" ["Max Watts"] and "Tommy Schweitzer."16

The NCLC Fact Sheet also states that "During 1968, the intelligence gathering, purportedly carried out for the North Vietnamese, was carried on, principally by Burlingham. The "Schwarze Kapelle" ["Black Orchestra"] dramatis personae met several times in Paris and other parts of Europe."

In early 1968, Burlingham began conducting intensive "interviews" with incoming deserters to gather intelligence. In February, the initial liaison between American deserter communities in Stockholm (Vale's operation) and Paris (Burlingham's operation) was established. Vale's right hand man was sent to Paris to meet Burlingham and "Adrian." When he arrived in Paris, he spread the story to watch out for "this CIA agent in Sweden named Mike Vale."17 Nonetheless Burlingham went ahead and split the deserter/resister movement along lines similar to Vale's activities in Sweden, and organized an American Deserter's Committee by late March.18 In April, 1968, Vale had joined him in Paris. They then made a trip to Prague to meet the North Vietnamese and NLF. When they returned, Vale and Burlingham formed the "Second Front International."

If the NCLC is correct, this would most likely have been the same meeting attended by Bernadine Dohrn and other National Office members of SDS.

The NCLC also said that while he was in Europe, Burlingham worked with Takahashi Takemoto, a leader of the Beheiren anti-war movement in Japan. Takahashi later surfaced as the European coordinator for the Japanese Red Army following the September 1974 JRA seizure of the French Embassy in The Hague. Takahashi may have first come into contact with Burlingham through Beheiren's aid in arranging the defection of four U.S. sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. In 1967 the "Intrepid Four" were smuggled by Beheiren first to the USSR and then later to Sweden where the found asylum. One of the people involved in the network that safe-housed the Intrepid Four in Tokyo was a Japanese woman professor who had taught at Princeton.19 This was almost certainly Kazuko Tsurumi. If Burlingham had met her while she was teaching at Princeton, he would have been a logical contact man for Takahashi in Paris, given that Takahashi taught French literature at a woman's college in Japan. After Burlingham returned to the United States he continued to work on "anti-war" and draft resistance activities until he joined the RYM I/Weatherman faction of SDS. For many in SDS, the Weatherman initially were seen not as future terrorists but as "National Office" leaders open to the more counter-cultural currents of the New Left and who stood in the way of the complete takeover of SDS by the pro-Stalin "Old Left" Progressive Labor Party (PLP).

In July 1969 Burlingham went on an SDS delegation to Cuba largely dominated by the Weatherman SDS faction and was then arrested for smashing windows in the October 1969 Days of Rage Weatherman demonstration in Chicago. He also became a founding member of the Weatherman central committee at whose founding conference in Flint, Michigan, Bernadine Dohrn called for terrorist violence and praised the Manson Family. However, as we shall see, Burlingham soon abandoned Weatherman not long after the Flint conference.


While SDS fell apart, the Deserter movement also was in the process of shattering for reasons both internal and external. In yet another press release at the time of the Chris White affair, this one dated 17 January 1974, the NCLC wrote that:

In early December 1973 the Swedish magazine Folket i Bild exposed an international espionage ring of approximately 15 agents in Sweden, involving CIA coordination of the Swedish Security Police [SAPO], the West German Federated Information Service [BND], and Israeli intelligence [Shin Bet]. This CIA-controlled counter-intelligence operation involved planting agent provocateurs in Swedish radical-left, Maoist, and refugee groups.
One of the exposed CIA agents was a Mr. Sven Kempe, a close associate of Mike Vale during his work with the Swedish deserter community in 1969. Kempe donated thousands of dollars to the deserters' movement and purchased a farm where groups of deserters stayed in Torksaker, about 100 miles north of Stockholm.
A wealthy "radical theologian," Kempe also housed several deserters in his house in Uppsala, where at least one deserter . . . committed suicide by setting himself on fire.20
The NCLC Security Staff has independently confirmed that Hans Göran Franck, a Social Democratic lawyer who supposedly was Vale's factional enemy in Sweden, in fact organized Vale into the deserters' movement and gave him instructions and cover. Vale, using the name "John Armfield" while in Sweden, made extended visits to Kempe's farm to deal with "psychological conflicts" among deserters and to take charge of their "political education."

The July-August 1979 issue of Covert Action Information Bulletin ran a curious one page article about the CIA's role with the deserter movement by George Lennox, who had carried out his own investigation of the NCLC. Lennox pops up in a 2 April 1976 New Solidarity article attacking Counterspy (the journal from which Covert Action emerged) by Paul Goldstein of the NCLC Security Staff. Goldstein claimed that Michael Vale was behind an attack on the NCLC in Folket i Bild ["Images of the People"], which had ties to Jan Myrdahl – one of the initial sponsors of the Swedish Vietnam Committee (ScfV), which, in turn, had first sponsored the ADC and Vale. Goldstein reported that Lennox had visited the ELC office in Stockholm and had hung around the ELC for three days. The day after he left, on 25 March 1975, there was an attack on the ELC in the Swedish Social-Democratic allied newspaper Arbetet.21 Goldstein reported that Lennox had been given "left cover" due to an article about him in the Myrdahl-aligned Folket i Bild that said that Lennox had been a deserter from the British Army in Cyprus and had been tortured by the SAS after his arrest. Goldstein further claimed that Lennox had visited New York to meet with members of the Daily World (namely Mike Zagarell, the Daily World's "Larouche expert") who, in turn, had interviewed former NCLC security staff member Greg Rose.

As for Lennox, his 1979 Covert Action article reported that the Swedes were enraged at the United States.

after the discovery of confidential documents and letters from the US Embassy found in the flat of a senior policeman from the aliens department of Stockholm's Police Headquarters. Police Commissioner Hans Melin was arrested on the 4th February by the Swedish Security Police (SAPO). Melin's arrest came after months of close scrutiny by SAPO who had suspected him of "freelancing" for Iraqi intelligence. . . . Melin was caught red-handed exchanging secret files on Iraqi and Palestinian refugees for three thousand dollars with an Iraqi "Foreign Official" who had flown in from Baghdad the same day.

Lennox continued:

It is not clear whether Melin had the same monetary agreement with the CIA but what is clear is the fact that he was routinely passing classified personal files on American deserters who had come to Sweden to escape from fighting in Vietnam. The information from these personal files was certainly valuable to the CIA. When a deserter came to Sweden and asked for political asylum he was first interrogated in depth by the police from Melin's department. Specific details of his escape route to Sweden were recorded. And of course this was immediately passed on to the CIA. It is therefore not surprising that in the early seventies deserters had problems coming to Europe.22
Details of the deserters were not the only thing to interest the CIA during this time. From information contained in the material found in Melin's flat, the CIA were asking for details of Swedes who were ever active within the Vietnam movement. Apparently it is this which has really upset the Swedish authorities the most.

Lennox later writes about the ADC:

It was this committee which was the main target of the CIA. And it was here that Hans Melin helped the CIA to infiltrate two of their own agents under cover as deserters. The Swedish press in the late sixties and early seventies wrote many stories of "alleged" CIA activity within the ADC. One such story featured two Americans who suddenly appeared in 1971 with their pockets full of hash and dollars. Shortly after their arrival many of the deserters were appearing at press conferences with huge joints in their hands. This did not go. down too well with the politically-minded Swedes. Nor surprisingly the image of the deserter soon turned sour.
The two "deserters" were eventually neutralized by the more active members of the ADC in a press expose. Michael Vale and Bill Jones are their names and whether or not they were in fact officially CIA is still not clear. However, after the press expose, they left Sweden for Wiesbaden in West Germany where they became active in the European Labour Committee.

Lennox's claims were absurd.23 Vale and Jones hardly "showed up" in Sweden in 1971 and both hated the counterculture. As far as I can tell, Lennox got his facts completely backward. It was Vale and Jones who exposed the alleged CIA agents. Lennox may have been confused since he seems to have assumed that the NCLC itself must have been a CIA operation and that the 1971 incident was further proof of just this fact. And given Lennox's rather colorful life in the European counter-culture in the early 1970s, his "anti-drug" complaint is more than a little comical.

At the time the article appeared in 1979, Vale had become a member of the Trotskyist journal Critique, which specialized on the economies of Eastern Europe. Critique was very much involved in promoting dissident left networks inside the East Bloc as well. Other Trotskyist circles were active in aiding the left-wing of what would become Polish Solidarity. Lennox's article, then, may have been used to tar Vale with Jones, who remained active inside the NCLC. It also seems clear that the CIA and U.S. military intelligence (from G-2 to the DIA) would have truly despised both Vale and Jones since they were behind the "Second Front" broadcasts to American GIs in Vietnam encouraging them to desert.


Along with the rise of groups like the ADC, there was another anti-war network developing in both Europe and Japan around active resistance inside the Army itself. The network became known as RITA – Resisters Inside the Army. By late 1969, the ADC began developing contact with several key RITA contacts, particularly around Frankfurt.24 Hayes reports that

A first contingent of three persons was sent down from Stockholm to explore what could be done. Later, two returned and some others went south to Germany more or less permanently. In this second group was a bright young American woman married to one of the deserters. The couple had been a solid rock of superb organizing ability in Stockholm. (Her husband stayed in Stockholm.)

As for Vale, in the spring or summer of 1969 he announced he was burnt out and left Sweden and the ADC for England. Lucinda Franks (who, it should be noted, lived at the time with a prominent "war resister" named Roger Neville Williams, who authored the 1971 book The New Exiles: American War Resisters in Canada,) reports that

during the first half of 1970 . . . Michael Vale had appeared once again, descending like a thunderbolt on what was left of the ADC to convince its members to disband. The deserters were dead as a movement, he said, and political emphasis had shifted to on-base GI organizing, where all available funds were needed. Vale stayed in Stockholm long enough to dissolve the ADC formally and then he was off to bases in Germany.25

The group that Vale helped organized became known as The Next Step. Within a year, TNS had made contact with the NCLC and by the end of 1971 the entire group had joined the NCLC. Of course, given all of Vale's activities in the ADC, it is hard to believe that a variety of intelligence agencies would not have had some interest in Vale's developing networks among GIs serving in bases throughout Europe.


Two other members of the Vale-TNS network who would later play prominent roles inside the NCLC were Bill Engdahl and Warren Hammerman. A Texas-born Princeton graduate who had polio, Engdahl was living in Sweden in 1969 where he was doing graduate work at the University of Stockholm. During the Chris White affair, Engdahl famously had a breakdown and reportedly began screaming "Cancel Me." LaRouche, in turn, would use the Engdahl incident to claim that Engdahl had been brainwashed by Mike Vale in Sweden in 1969. In his February-March 1974 Campaigner editorial, LaRouche wrote:"In the case of William Engdahl, we have located only five weeks (during July and August [1973]) during which he was programmed in Chicago, a less ambitious program, but one on a victim who had been previously programmed by the CIA in Sweden in late 1969."

Since LaRouche claimed that Chris White had been subjected to torture involving sex with sheep, he needed to come up with something equally riveting when it came to Engdahl. As part of LaRouche's "proof" that Engdahl had been brainwashed, LaRouche included in his 3 January speech the claim that Engdahl "was sitting on a couch sucking a pig one morning recently. . . .Why was he actuating a pig? Because his control was in the Russian language, and "pig" in Russian is penis. He was receiving a reward – what's called "freedom" – "svoboda" – for having completed part of his assignment for the CIA."

Exactly why Engdahl had his breakdown is unknown but during the 1974 crisis, some people did have mini-breakdowns. Others became so delusional that even LaRouche claimed that certain members were actually volunteering claims that they too had been brainwashed when they were not as a way of getting his approval! But did LaRouche and his Security Staff, already deep in a witch-hunt mindset, use some form of psychological attack go after Engdahl in particular and, in so doing, hasten his temporary breakdown?

One possibility is that after the NCLC's Security Staff got wind of a possible The Real Paper story on LaRouche that included contacting his family and linked it with Vale (for whatever reason), they began intensively interrogating anyone inside the organization who had any connection to him. Engdahl may have come under intensive interrogation to determine if he himself was part of the plot. Since the Security Staff advanced the notion that Chris White had been brainwashed to want to have sex with sheep, in classic witch-finder fashion they may have fed a similar fantasy to an already paranoid Engdahl.

The NCLC's Security Staff seems to have conducted a special investigation of anyone even remotely connected to TNS and Vale. In early January 1974, for example, a former member of the group's National Executive Committee named Leif Johnson and his wife Sue were forbidden to leave their apartment until Security "cleared" them because they had visited Sweden on a vacation a few years earlier. The theory was that they could have been brainwashed in Sweden. The fact that they had no memory of being brainwashed only made it clear that they might have well have been brainwashed as brainwashed people were brainwashed not to remember their being brainwashed. For someone like Engdahl, it would not be surprising that he had a paranoid temporary breakdown after the NCLC began interrogating him and accusing him and the TNS group of being filled with "agents." His ravings were then presented by LaRouche as further objective proof that there was indeed a vast plot against him.

Another important figure inside the ADC who would play a prominent role inside the NCLC named Warren Hammerman managed to avoid Engdahl's fate. Hammerman first came to Sweden as a draft resister and not as a military deserter. Because he was not a deserter, the Swedish government at first refused to grant him asylum, a decision that would lead to extensive protests. Hayes discusses Hammerman's case this way:

In two important cases, those of Warren Hammerman of Baltimore, a draft refuser, and Michael Day of Saint Louis, a 28 year old deserter and linguist, orders for deportation had been issued on technicalities of the law. . . . With the threat of deportation, no one was safe. What happened between prominent members of the ruling Social Democratic party, and the deserters, to create this enormous misunderstanding is still not clear to me.

Lucinda Franks supplies more details:

The case of Warren Hammerman, a draft refuser from Baltimore who was threatened with deportation, pointed up to the exile community the need for political asylum. . . . The Swedish government had refused Hammerman's application on the grounds that he was a draft resister, not a deserter from the U.S. armed forces. Since he was in no immediate danger of being sent to Vietnam, the government said, he had no need for asylum. . . . Politically, the government's move to deport Hammerman was an attempt to ward off a feared onslaught of draft resisters.

In the wake of the Jerum affair, the ADC launched a major campaign for Hammerman. Franks writes: "Warren Hammerman was allowed to stay and Sweden was officially open to draft resisters as well as deserters" in a huge victory of the ADC. After Hammerman returned to the United States, he become a member of the group's National Executive Committee. He even was the lead negotiator in the 1977 deal with the FBI that resulted in the NCLC's no longer being listed as a group with connections to violence or terrorism. (It remains unclear to me what Hammerman's legal status was or how he had managed to operate openly inside the United States using his real name.)

In a 1 December 1975 New Solidarity article entitled "Why the Labor Committee Can't be Taken Over by Agents," Hammerman noted about TNS:

The same failure of a group deployment into the Labor Committee resulted from the 1971-72 utilization of NATO's Schwarze Kapelle [Black Orchestra] West and East European-Japanese–North American network. A series of hit and run "probing" operations by the European deserter network commanded by Tavistock's Joachim Israel and the Boston Andrew Kopkind-Noam Chomsky operation were ordered against the newly founded Greek and European sectors of the ICLC.
Then The Next Step (TNS) American franchise of the network maintained by gutter operative Michael Vale was ordered to return to the U.S. for planting inside the Labor Committee.
The group disintegrated under the pressure of the late 1973 investigations of a contiguous part of the NATO network which had been utilized in the late summer and early winter NATO "hit" setups for the assassination of Lyndon LaRouche. Two leading ICLC members, rapidly and successfully deprogrammed from the most sophisticated types of Tavistockian brainwashing procedures, led the efforts to expose and destroy the NATO operations. The Konstantin George and Christopher White brainwashings were each part of a broader worldwide Rockefeller deployment detailed in the 1974 "Tavistock" Campaigners.

Of course, Hammerman had himself been a member of this very same "gutter network." He was even part of a group that met future JRA leader Takemoto Takahashi, when Takahashi tried to contact TNS network in the hope of obtaining weapons that would be stolen from NATO bases, an offer TNS immediately declined.


By late 1973, the NCLC was convinced that Michael Vale had something to do with the planned expose on LaRouche by Boston's The Real Paper. The NCLC argued that the Vale connection to The Real Paper could be traced back to 1968 when Bo Burlingham met with New Left organizer Danny Schechter, the British poet Stephen Spender, and Andrew Kopkind. Schechter was a 1964 Cornell graduate who had specialized in labor history. In 1968 he was pursuing an MA at the London School of Economics (LSE) while serving as the London correspondent for Ramparts magazine. After Danny Schechter returned to Boston from London, he became the president of a group called the Cambridge Iron and Steel Corporation (CIS) in 1969.26 In August 1969, during the time PLP was heavily involved in the Harvard Student Strike, PLP's theoretical magazine Challenge published an attack on CIS entitled "Right-wing SDS'ers Get Loot." The article reported that CIS had gotten $100,000 from a rich New England businessman named Ralph Hoagland. The money was used, among other things, to finance an "underground" paper called Old Mole, which was dominated by CIS staffers and which Kopkind also wrote for.27

According to Challenge:

Hoagland is no fuzzy-headed, guilty liberal. He is a very smart and very effective political operative who uses his money to erode militant movements from within by channeling them into programs of "community control" and counter-institution building which are harmless (and often highly profitable) to the interests of the ruling class. During the 1968 rebellions, Hoagland and two business associates organized FUND, "an investment in pace and progress in Roxbury." The purpose of the organization was to raise large amounts of money for the Roxbury-based Black United Front to invest in Black Nationalist counter-institutions and Black capitalist business ventures. So far, over $430,000 has been raised (in minimum. contributions of $1000!) and handed over to a special foundation established by the Front.

The NCLC knew about this story since some of its leading members had initially been cadre in PL at the time the article appeared.

As for Andrew Kopkind, he was a well-known left-liberal journalist and Cornell grad. He also spent two years (1959-61) as a graduate student at LSE. He then became a Time magazine correspondent but he lost his job in mid-1964 after being arrested for homosexual solicitation. Kopkind wrote regularly for The New Statesman and other more radical publications in both England and the United States. In 1969, Kopkind was arrested ("disorderly conduct") during the Weatherman Days of Rage demonstration in Chicago. For a very brief period, Kopkind had been a supporter of the SDS National Office faction – the core of Weatherman – against the Progressive Labor Party (PLP). In a 1969 article after the SDS split, Kopkind wrote of PLP:

PL peoples a Tolkien middle-earth of Marxist-Leninist hobbits and ores, and speaks in a runic tongue intelligible only to such creatures. It is all completely consistent and utterly logical within its own confines. But that land at last is fantasy. The real world begins where PL ends.28

Like Bo Burlingham, Kopkind quickly grew dissatisfied with the Weatherman which he now felt had completely lost its bearings with its turn to terrorist violence post Flint. By the early 1970s, both Kopkind and Schechter were living in Boston. According to the NCLC Fact Sheet:

Burlingham followed Kopkind, Schechter, and Spender back to Boston in June 1968. Schechter was news director at [underground rock radio station] WBCN. Kopkind was public affairs director at WBCN. Burlingham became a member of the Weatherman Central Committee in 1969, and while under indictment for conspiracy, became news director of WBCN.

WBCN was the major rock station in Boston. A 29 December 2004 New York Times profile on Schechter states that "after spending time in South Africa and Europe" -- and although the Times failed to mention it -- in CIS and Old Mole circles in Cambridge -- Schechter in 1970

got a job at a radio station, WBCN, in Boston. On this third day the news director saw a story on the AP wire: he was wanted by the FBI for his alleged involvement in the Weather Underground. "He disappeared and this created an immediate vacancy," Mr. Schechter said. "I got my job thanks to J. Edgar Hoover."

That news director was Bo Burlingham. In December 1970, the government indicted 15 Weathermen, including Burlingham, on charges of plotting a bombing and terrorism campaign at Weatherman's founding conference in Flint, Michigan, in December 1969 following the failed "Days of Rage" that autumn. Instead of going underground, Burlingham turned himself in at the time of the indictment. In October 1973 – when the indictment was dismissed because the government refused to undergo a court hearing on how it had obtained its evidence – Burlingham was working in California as an editor for Ramparts.29 Burlingham may have been pulled into Weatherman in part via the SDS National Office clique around people like Bernadine Dohrn. Recall that Dohrn had contacts with both ADC committees in Paris and Stockholm in the pre-split SDS period.

By late 1973, as the New Left decompressed from the dreams of 1968, people like Kopkind and Schechter were more radical liberals than anything else. The Real Paper, for example, was largely a rock weekly with some cultural coverage. It read like the Boston poor cousin of The Village Voice. The Real Paper was created after an August 1972 writers' strike that protested the takeover of the previous radical paper, the Cambridge Phoenix. The Phoenix had been sold to its rival, the Boston Phoenix, which then aspired to be something like New York Magazine, and which maintained an extensive arts and entertainment section called "Boston After Dark." So in a sense The Real Paper was the tabloid version of Boston's Village Voice in competition with the Boston Phoenix,which was a Boston version of New York Magazine.


In the spring of 1973, a reporter for The Real Paper named Chuck Fager wrote the first article on the NCLC and Operation Mop Up. Fager's 2 May 1973 story made it clear his contempt for both the NCLC and the CPUSA, both of whom he considered sectarian Marxists. He portrayed the Mop Up attacks as a "slug fest" between two disagreeable sects. As for the CP's getting support from the SWP, Fager recalled that a similar alliance had taken place between the two groups in the wake of attacks by PLP in Boston in 1970. Clearly The Real Paper saw the NCLC as a continuation of the same sectarian political fanaticism that they believed had wrecked SDS. Following Fager's story, the NCLC only received a mention or two in the pages of The Real Paper until sometime in the late fall or winter of 1973 when (with Kopkind as news editor), it decided for whatever reason to launch an investigative piece on LaRouche. The lead writer was to be Joe Klein, who later achieved fame as a journalist. Chuck Fager was also critically involved in the research.

It's not hard to see why The Real Paper might be interested in such a piece. In the summer of 1973, the NCLC began openly defending Richard Nixon. The group even disrupted the Ervin Hearings in August 1973 with the claim that the CIA was trying to set Nixon up for impeachment. The NCLC, then, would seem to many outside observers either as the text-book definition of a group of agent provocateurs or as some strange ultra-sectarian sect. LaRouche's promotion of his Beyond Psychoanalysis series in the fall of 1973 would also suggest that the group may have gone off the deep end as well.

Chuck Fager's personal interest in LaRouche's past also can be explained by the fact that Fager (then enrolled in Harvard Divinity School) was a devout Quaker with a deep interest in Quaker history. Fager's research into LaRouche's fundamentalist Quaker background and the news that The Real Paper was planning a story on LaRouche that involved contacting his parents led the NCLC's Security Staff to launch such violent threats against Fager and The Real Paper that the story was eventually published in the 29 January Boston Phoenix by Vin McLellan, The Real Paper's friendly rival. McLellan used Fager's research, because The Real Paper simply was too afraid of threats by the NCLC.30

Strangely then, the attack on Michael Vale may ultimately turn out to have been the accidental result of Chuck Fager's conversation with LaRouche's parents a few weeks earlier once the "Security Staff" began examining The Real Paper's connections to Andrew Kopkind, Danny Schechter, and Bo Burlingham.


1 For the speech, see

2 New Solidarity, 6/14-18/71.

3 New Solidarity, 7/31 -8/4/72.

4 New Solidarity, 9/7/73.

5 New Solidarity, 8/31/73.

6 New Solidarity, 6/4/74.

7 Representatives from the PRO, who had an office in Stockholm, sent the tapes to Vietnam where they were broadcast by Radio Hanoi and by PRO field stations in the South. Vale had set up the radio broadcasts in 1968 to encourage GI desertion.

8 The grant was to the Rev. William Bloom, an American Presbyterian minister working with the Reformed Church in France.

9 For a sympathetic book on Curiel, see Gilles Perrault, A Man Apart: The Life of Henri Curiel (London: Zed Books, 1987).

10 The NCLC later gave Burlington's full pseudonym as "Arlo Jacobs.".

11 Carl-Gustaf Scott, "Swedish Sanctuary of American Deserters During the Vietnam War: A Facet of Social Democratic Domestic Policies," in Scandinavian Journal of History, V. 26, n. 2, June 2001.

12 This was the same festival that Konstantin George was allegedly photographed attending in East Berlin in the summer of 1973.

13 Svanström was given the Lenin Peace Prize in 1970.

14 It is easy to see, for example, how Jones continuing involvement with the NCLC in Sweden, for example, could give rise to suspicions inside the left that he was a government agent.

15 Presumably a typo for "Ben Barka," a Moroccan leftist assassinated in 1966 after he vanished from Paris. Ben Barka was the overseas organizing secretary for the first Tricontinental Conference being planned for Havana.

16 The story of "Tommy Schweitzer" is puzzling. Hayes writes: "Alleged activity on behalf of the deserters eventually led (October, 1969) to the deportation to Vienna, after a Gestapo-like seizure by French police on the street, of Thomas Schweitzer, an Austrian-born American citizen." Another source, a former Daily News reporter, met a "Mr. Cook" in Paris who served as a connection to the deserter movement. "Cook" it turned out "to be Tomi Schwaetzer, born in Austria, partly raised in Algeria, a linguist with a long record of agitation. France ordered him deported to Austria, but Air Austria refused to accept him on board, so the French police shipped him to Corsica. I believe he was later picked up in Heidelberg." Why Burlingham (and presumably Curiel) attacked him – assuming the NCLC report is correct – remains a mystery. "Tommy Schweitzer" later became known as "Max Watts." A long time leftist activist, in 2010 he died in Australia, where he had lived for some time. On Watts, see

17 Presumably Vale's right hand man was Jones. Why Jones in 1968 would tell Burlingham that his sponsor, Vale, was a CIA agent makes no sense.

18 The Swedish ADC was launched at a press conference on 15 March 1968.

19 See Terry Whitmore, Memphis Nam Sweden (New York: Doubleday, 1971), 140. Whitmore was a member of the Intrepid Four.

20 Franks discusses the farm this way:

One wealthy man, son of a lumber magnate, donated a 20-acre farm complete with stream in the town of Gävle, 150 miles north of Stockholm. Fifteen to twenty deserters went up, repaired the house, planted vegetables, and started a commune. They established a warm relationship with the villagers, who helped them raise a barn. In turn, the deserters were called on to participate in other barn raisings in the area.

21 On 20 February 1976, New Solidarity reported that the Swedish SPD had issued an anti-ELC pamphlet Mollvadari Socialistisk Forkladnad: En Rappport om ELC I Sverige (Moles in Socialist Clothing – The Inside Report on the European Labour Committee).

22 The Swedes like Myrdahl had speculated as much. The paper Expressen in the early 70s had interviewed a colonel in the Pentagon who clearly had inside information. Hayes writes: "If such material was available to the Americans at all, it had to have become available by way of the police interviews the men must give when they first seek political asylum . . . ." For Swedish cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies, see reports on the infamous "IB affair" involving Sweden's "Intelligence Bureau" whose operations were exposed in May 1973 by journalists from Folket i Bild.

23 The actual "drug/counter culture" wing of the GI deserter movement in Sweden was The Underground Railroad (TUR) that had been created in the late 1960s; it issued a paper called The Paper Grenade. TUR shut down after a few months. It was explicitly anti-Vale.

24 The Next Step paper was published out of Heidelberg, the center of a US Army base not far from Frankfurt.

25 Vale's network in Sweden from the old ADC became part of The Next Step.

26 Other members of CIS included Mike Ansara (whom the NCLC said was to become a future associate editor of Ramparts), Vernon Grizzard, Nick Egleson, Jon Weiner, David Landau, and Russ Neufeld (whom the NCLC said was to become a future Weatherman central committee member). PL argued they represented the right-wing of SDS. For more on CIS, see How It All Began on LaRouche Planet, especially the appendix "SDS: Three Puzzles" at

27 CIS also gave $2000 to a draft resistance group in Boston as well.

28 Kopkind's essay is reprinted in Ron Jacobs (ed.), Weatherman (Berkeley, CA: Ramparts Press, 1970).

29 See "U.S. Forgoes Trial of Weathermen," 10/16/1973 New York Times.

30 For Fager's account, see his article in the 14 July 1989 Washington City Paper, available on the Internet.

< CHAPTER 7 From John Diebold to Eugen Dühring: Rethinking ''The Third Stage of Imperialism'' | NEW STUDY | CHAPTER 9 Enter the Greeks: Epanastasi, the NCLC, and “Pablo” >

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