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Monday, September 22, 2014

Old news is new news: Alinsky, Hillary, Donna Rice, Gary Hart -- and the CIA

The blood-chilling RETURN of the murderous menace of...SAUL ALINSKY! Once again, the right-wingers are mountain-izing a molehill, trying to make Saul Alinsky into the secret mentor of Hillary Clinton.

(A couple of years ago, we were told that Alinsky was the secret mentor of Barack Obama. Good ol' Saul sure did a lot of secret mentoring...)

Who the hell was Saul Alinsky? He was an anti-racist liberal organizer of yesteryear, now largely forgotten by everyone on the left. His legacy, or a very twisted version of it, lives on within Blogosphere Right. Conservative whackadoodles have retconned him as sort of Marxist bogeyman who wrote a set of "Rules for Radicals" which all lefties everywhere have supposedly committed to memory.

I really do have to get around reading that thing one of these days.

According to one right-wing website I consulted, one of Saul's rules was this: Use ridicule as a weapon against your opponents. Thus, every time some Sarah Palin admirer encounters ridicule, said admirer can blame Satanic Saul. Of course, no-one connected with (say) the Breitbart sites would ever use ridicule against anyone. No sir. That would be too unfair, too Alinsky-esque.

Anyways, it seems that someone has dug up some correspondence between the young Hillary and Alinsky, from ages and ages ago. It's all totally innocuous. Nevertheless, the reactionary numbskulls have been going crazy, as is their wont:
Ohh, the early training of Hillary!
As I wrote on an earlier occasion:
Moreover, it seems that by the standards of the early 1970s, Alinski wasn't considered particularly radical -- in fact, I get the impression that the actual hard-core revolutionaries of that time considered the guy a squishy softie. George Romney, father to Mitt, seemed to admire Alinsky.

Yet if you wander into RightWingerLand, you'll soon see that the folks there believe that guys like me have spent the past forty years eating, drinking and breathing Alinksy. The right thinks that Alinkyism controls our every action and every utterance.

Cue blast of off-key brass: "Nobody expects Saul Alinsky! His chief weapon is surprise! Surprise and fear! His two chief weapons are surprise and fear and a fanatical devotion to Karl Marx! Three. His three chief weapons are..."

Oddly enough, if you type the name "Saul Alinsky" into Google, you'll see that only right-wing political sites make the front page. Very few people on the left care about Alinsky -- even though the reactionaries love to hallucinate otherwise.
Donna Rice and Gary Hart. We now know the name of the woman who is said to have blabbed about Gary Hart's 1987 tryst with Donna Rice. (Actually, we've known that name for a while: See below.)

What the new round of articles won't talk about is the Adnan Kashoggi connection to Donna Rice, which was mentioned very briefly in the newspapers at the time. Back then, most members of the general public (and even most reporters) knew nothing about Kashoggi's entourage of gorgeous young ladies, whom he would introduce to various VIPs and movers-and-shakers.

A later Los Angeles Times story, which made no mention of the Rice/Hart connection, quoted a Kashoggi associate who spoke about these girls. He said: "On this level, it's not prostitution." (I'm going on memory here, having lost the clip ages ago, but I think the quote is exact, or nearly so.)

In the late '90s I spoke to a former "Adnan" girl. Still very lovely, lithe and elegant, she was traveling with a more downscale crowd. Around the same time, a friend of mine (the wife of a retired judge, who lived in the California desert) told me of her encounters with another girl in Adnan's stable. (She happened to be the daughter of a friend of my friend). The girl died mysteriously. I had planned to follow up on that story but never did.

Based on what they told me, I can confirm this: These women did not think of themselves as prostitutes during their time with Kashoggi -- in fact, they would be greatly affronted if you used that word in their presence. They simply fell into his orbit, fell into bed with important men, and somehow ended up with all sorts of baubles and expensive dresses and nice things.

Whatever you want to call what they did, do not call it prostitution. It was on another level. (Remember Gigi? You weren't supposed to call her a prostitute, either.)

Nowadays, you can find various webpages which link Donna Rice to Adnan Kashoggi: Here, for example.
Miriam Rice said that, after the yacht party, Nabila Khashoggi [Adnan's daughter] invited Donna and Semones, during a tour of Europe, to "'go buy whatever you want. If you need some new clothes, I have an account. It was like a dream."

Both young women apparently cultivated their relationship with the Khashoggi family. A former executive of Khashoggi's U.S. business interests said he saw Semones in Khashoggi's New York apartment last year, and Miriam Rice said her daughter has met Khashoggi, an avid gambler, in Nevada.
It suddenly occurs to me that some of you may not even know who Adnan Kashoggi is. Whoo boy. What can I say?

If you do some digging, you will find substantial links between Kashoggi and American intelligence -- indeed, the CIA seems to have greatly aided him in his quest to become one of the richest men in the history of the world. His ultra-luxurious yacht, The Nabila, was featured in a James Bond movie (Never Say Never Again).

His name keeps turning up in all sorts of parapolitical investigations -- the Lockheed bribery scandal, the BCCI scandal, the Iran-contra scandal, various issues involving Imelda Marcos, and all sorts of other matters. Larry Kolb's book Overworld offers much inside information about Kashoggi's world. Basically, the guy is flypaper for spookwatchers and conspiracy buffs.

The spooks had reason to go after Gary Hart. For one thing, he was -- and still is -- a strong skeptic of the Warren Commission's conclusions about the JFK assassination.

On a completely unrelated note: Sorry to rely so much on memory in this post, but I do seem to recall a little-noted passage in Bob Woodward's Veil which describes a very enigmatic, near-fatal airplane crash involving Gary Hart in Central America. This occurred in the mid 1980s. Does anyone else remember reading that? (I don't want to dig up my copy of the book, since the mass-market edition uses a font so tiny I doubt that even a citizen of Kandor could read it without glasses.)

Perhaps we should also mention Adnan Koshoggi's alleged links to none other than Alex Jones. Let's not make too much of this, since these allegations trace back to AJ's enemies, who somehow manage to be even weirder than he is. I don't think that Jones has bad intentions. He is, however, a blowhard who is far more gullible than he would prefer to think. At some later time, we'll have to look into this morass and sort out what's what.

Oh yeah. The name of the woman who blabbed about Gary Hart? Dana Weems. Didn't her name come up in some previous story about the Hart thing?

Update: Yes it did. I thought her name seemed familiar.
*Cough* I knew Donna Rice in high school (I was a couple of years ahead of her - she was pals with my girlfriend's little sister).
That's it? Tell us more, Prop!
Alinsky's Rules for Radicals are pretty damn good. They should be compulsory reading for everyone on the left!
We sure need a present-day version of Alinsky. I included this from a Playboy interview with him in one of my own posts about him a couple of years ago:

From paras towards the end of an interview with Alinsky conducted by Playboy magazine in 1972-

PLAYBOY: You seem optimistic. But most radicals and some liberals have expressed fear that we're heading into a new era of repression and privacy invasion. Are their fears exaggerated, or is there a real danger of America becoming a police state?

ALINSKY: Of course there's that danger, as this whole national fetish for law and order indicates. But the thing to do isn't to succumb to despair and just sit in a corner wailing, but to go out and fight those fascist trends and build a mass constituency that will support progressive causes. Otherwise all your moaning about a police state will just be a self-fulfilling prophecy. That's one of the reasons I'm directing all my efforts today to organizing the middle class, because that's the arena where the future of this country will be decided. And I'm convinced that once the middle class recognizes its real enemy -- the megacorporations that control the country and pull the strings on puppets like Nixon and Connally -- it will mobilize as one of the most effective instruments for social change this country has ever known. And once mobilized, it will be natural for it to seek out allies among the other disenfranchised -- blacks, chicanos, poor whites.

It's to that cause I plan to devote the remaining years of my life. It won't be easy, but we can win. No matter how bad things may look at a given time, you can't ever give up. We're living in one of the most exciting periods of human history, when new hopes and dreams are crystallizing even as the old certainties and values are dissolving. It's a time of great danger, but also of tremendous potential. My own hopes and dreams still burn as brightly in 1972 as they did in 1942.

Theresa LePore apparently worked for Kashoggi before she became the election supervisor in Palm Beach County FL for the 2000 election. Her illegal 'butterfly' ballot design was one of maybe five things that each may have cost Gore the Florida vote and the presidency. I'd heard her family and she had been life-long Republicans. After the 2000 election, LePore switched her registration from (D) to no party.

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