VAN JONES MYSTERY SOLVED?
By Cliff Kincaid
September 5, 2009
The Obama Administration refuses to say how communist Van Jones was hired as the “Green Jobs Czar” and who recommended him. The administration refuses to say who knew what about his communist background. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), where Jones is employed, told me, in response to a series of Freedom of Information Act requests, that it had no documents about his hiring or communist background. But some possible explanations for the mysterious appointment are now coming into focus.
On the Thursday edition of his Fox News Channel television program, Glenn Beck noted that Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, seemed to claim credit for the appointment during an appearance at a left-wing bloggers conference last month. Beck made the disclosure while noting evidence that Jones was a member of the 9/11 truth movement, which blames the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on U.S. Government officials. A video had previously surfaced of Jones calling Republicans “assholes.”
While Fox News correspondent James Rosen provided a report on the controversy on “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Thursday night, only Accuracy in Media has noted the embarrassing fact that the parent company of Fox News published Jones’ book, The Green Collar Economy, last year. The book was hailed by Harper Collins, a subsidiary of News Corporation, as “provocative, personal, and inspirational.”
Harper Collins described Jones as “a man who counsels President Barack Obama on environmental policy” but its official biography of the author, like the one distributed by the White House, said nothing about his communist background. The release of the book, which was largely the work of a professional writer and editor by the name of Ariane Conrad, was clearly a significant factor in propelling Jones to national prominence and getting him his White House job.
But the Valerie Jarrett comments highlighted by Beck may be important in understanding the process by which Jones actually got his job. Jarrett is well-connected in Chicago circles.
Blogger Trevor Loudon, who broke the story of Jones’ Marxism, reports that Valerie Jarrett’s late father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, was an associate of Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis and that they worked together in Chicago. Davis, the subject of a 600-page FBI file, is the mysterious “Frank” from Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father, and served as a mentor to a young Barack Obama in Hawaii.
But other evidence supports the idea that Rep. Barbara Lee, one of the most extreme members of Congress and an apologist for Fidel Castro, played a key role in the Jones appointment. Lee, perhaps best known for casting the lone vote in the House against U.S. military action to remove the Taliban regime in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, is a close friend of both Jones and President Obama.
But behind Lee and Jones is an influential network of communists known as the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). Lee was a secret member of the group, a spin-off of the Communist Party USA, while Jones was the keynote speaker at a 2006 CCDS fundraiser.
Blogger Trevor Loudon reports that the title of the CCDS fundraiser featuring Jones was “Towards Building a Progressive Majority.” He notes that many members of the Jones communist group STORM (Standing Together To Organize a Revolutionary Movement) worked closely with the CCDS.
According to a history of STORM, several members of the group traveled to Cuba in 1999 as part of the notorious Venceremos Brigade. “As STORM seldom exceeded 20 members, it is very likely that Van Jones, as a leader of the organization, was on that, or another, Cuba trip,” Loudon writes.
It is significant that Lee issued the following statement after Jones’ appointment was announced:
“I am so very pleased that Van Jones, a constituent, friend and strong advocate for green jobs has been chosen to be a special advisor to the White House Council on Economic Quality.
“Van has been at the forefront of the green jobs movement and has shown us all the way to utilize green collar jobs as a pathway out of poverty. Were it not for Van, we would not have been able to establish the Green Job Corps in Oakland which provides local Oakland residents with job training, support, and work experience so that they can independently pursue careers in the new energy economy.”
“His expertise and vision in the area of green jobs will be a wonderful addition to the White House CEQ.”
An article on the website of the Life Science Foundation discloses that “Working with his colleagues and California Congress woman Barbara Lee, [Van] Jones was able to get the City of Oakland to adopt the Ella Baker Center’s Green Jobs Corps.”
This makes perfect sense, of course. Jones worked in Oakland, founded the Ella Baker Center in Oakland, and Lee represents Oakland. On November 11, 2008, after Obama’s election, Jones and Lee appeared together at an event in Oakland, along with actor Danny Glover. Stephen Mufson of the Washington Post attended the event and wrote a puff-piece about it.
“We want the federal government to buy into what is taking place here in Oakland,” Lee was quoted by one columnist as saying. “Once the federal government buys in, I believe our nation can see what can be done. We must go green.” These sounds like the words of someone who wanted to see Jones implement on the national level what he had done, with Lee’s support, in Oakland.
Nicole Y. Williams, communications director for Rep. Lee, did not return a telephone call seeking comment on Lee’s possible role in arranging the Jones appointment.
However, in her book, Renegade for Peace & Justice, Lee reveals that she served as an Obama presidential campaign adviser because “I liked his message of fundamental change, which was as close to a revolutionary message as we have had in decades.” Through her position as Obama’s Western Regional co-chair during the campaign, “I participated in rallies, phone banking, and behind-the-scenes advising on issues and politics.”
In her book, she declares her support for Communist Cuba, saying, “On many occasions I have taken people to Cuba to educate them about the realities of Cuban society so that they can make judgments for themselves whether the negative propaganda about Cuba that we consume in the United States is justified.” She attacks the Bush Administration for deposing Jean Bertrand Aristide, the Marxist proponent of “Liberation Theology” who once ruled Haiti.
Lee freely admits involvement in the “progressive” Black Panther Party, a group that regularly denounced police officers as “pigs,” and names one of the other members of the group as Angela Davis, “the noted African American member of the Communist Party.” Lee quotes a Panther official as denying that the Panther program was based on the Communist Manifesto but admits that she was called “Comrade Barbara.”
The CCDS connection is something that Lee and Van Jones have in common.
Herbert Romerstein, a former professional staff member of the House Intelligence Committee, explains, “In 1992, while a member of the California State Assembly, Barbara Lee was elected to the National Coordinating Committee of the Committees of Correspondence. Most, but not all, of the members of this group had been active in the Communist Party USA.” However, exposure of Lee’s role in the controversial pro-communist group led one of the members to propose a “non-public” status for those wishing to be active behind-the-scenes.
While Lee was apparently embarrassed by the public exposure of her involvement with the Communist Party spin-off group, Jones spoke to the CCDS openly in 2006, prompting blogger Trevor Loudon to comment, “Maybe Jones didn’t realize he was addressing a Marxist-Leninist function? Maybe he thought it was a Rotary or PTA group?”
After getting to the bottom of how Jones got his White House job, Glenn Beck should turn his attention to how Jones got his book published by Harper Collins, a subsidiary of the same company, News Corporation, which owns the Fox News Channel and employs Beck.
Harper Collins also published the book, Underground: My Life With SDS and the Weathermen, by former communist terrorist Mark Rudd, who said he was paid $50,000 as an advance.
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As we noted in our previous column, the Van Jones book includes endorsements from Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, TV host Tavis Smiley, former Senator Tom Daschle, Arianna Huffington, and Larry Brilliant of Google.
Huffington’s far-left website, the Huffington Post, has been defending the Van Jones appointment and attacking Glenn Beck for exposing his communist background.
© 2009 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights Reserved
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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues. One of Cliff's books, "Global Bondage: The UN Plan to Rule the World" is still awailable.
Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.