PANETTAGATE: A REAL SCANDAL INVOLVING NATIONAL SECURITY
By Cliff Kincaid
June 15, 2011
Last Saturday and Sunday The Washington Post published two articles, with a total count of 2,192 words, about Sarah Palin’s emails. The Post had said in advance it wanted the help of the public in getting to the bottom of what was in them. I told The Daily Caller this was an example of a paper desperate for a Republican scandal and willing to exploit cheap or free labor. But if you get what you pay for, the Post got what it deserved. Palingate fizzled out.
But in the spirit of public service, which the Post is apparently encouraging, my friend and associate Trevor Loudon and I have dug into the background of CIA director and Secretary of Defense nominee Leon Panetta. It’s too bad that we didn’t have this material assembled before now, but better late than never. The evidence shows that Panetta had a close and personal relationship with a member of the Communist Party by the name of Hugh DeLacy, whose record included meeting with communist espionage agents. By any objective standard of journalism, this should be big news. But the question now is whether the media, liberal and conservative, will take time off from Weinergate to pay attention and examine the evidence.
Rather than have boxes of material dumped on us, as happened in the case of Palin, we have researched hard-to-find Congressional hearings, conducted interviews and examined clippings from decades ago, university archives and the Congressional Record. It’s the kind of reporting that Bob Woodward of the Post was known for during Watergate. Of course, the target then was a Republican President and former Congressman who had made history by helping to smoke out a Soviet agent in the State Department by the name of Alger Hiss. When the targets are prominent liberal Democrats, the media lose their passion for investigative reporting. As far as communists go, to even consider them a threat is “McCarthyism” to many in the media and not worthy of any attention at all.
This is why, however, we are supposed to have congressional panels from the Senate and House—and security agencies like the FBI—to conduct such background probes. Yet, we find no evidence that the Panetta-DeLacy relationship was ever examined by the FBI or the Senate when Panetta was being considered and confirmed for the post of CIA Director. The major media have been even more derelict, content to cover the Panetta hearings for Secretary of Defense in a cursory manner and then turn their attention back to something that is easier and more fun to cover and which is sure to attract interest—Weiner. You can bet that the Democrats would rather talk about Weiner than one of their own, a former Democratic Congressman turned CIA director, who is neck-deep in a scandal involving his relationship with a communist agent and an espionage ring.
It is an open question whether the Senate will take a look at this evidence now that Panetta is up for another sensitive post and senators have to act on his confirmation.
A column of this length does not permit me to go into all aspects of what we have discovered about Panetta. But suffice it to say that the relationship with DeLacy is something that stands out. In a sense, Panetta did not hide it. Back in 1983 he inserted a tribute into the Congressional Record, recognizing DeLacy and his wife Dorothy, another communist, for their commitment to “social justice” and resisting “the dark forces of McCarthyism.” The latter strongly indicates that Panetta was aware of their involvement in the communist cause and that not only did it not matter to him, it was evidence of their courage and bravery. We knew about the tribute from press reports, but I found a copy of this tribute in the Congressional Record at a local library.
Trevor Loudon writes, “The couple, Hugh DeLacy and his wife Dorothy Baskin DeLacy, both had long histories with the Communist Party USA and were very active in the Santa Cruz ‘progressive’ movement that had helped nurture Congressman Panetta’s career. Phrases like ‘social justice’ and ‘dark forces of McCarthyism’ rolled from Rep. Panetta’s pen, in a piece that would not have been out of place in the Communist Party’s Peoples Daily World.”
He adds, “The DeLacys were not merely Panetta’s constituents—they were close personal friends. Hugh DeLacy was also a longtime correspondent, with whom Panetta regularly discussed defense and foreign policy issues.”
Loudon knows this because he took the time to examine the Hugh DeLacy papers at the University of Washington. They include a series of “Dear Hugh” and “Dear Leon” exchanges in which then-Rep. Panetta promised DeLacy several apparently sensitive documents. Not only did Panetta insert a tribute into the Congressional Record, he spoke at DeLacy’s memorial service after his death in 1986. One wonders if the FBI was ever made aware of this.
In addition to this evidence, we have congressional hearings, information about a communist cell active in Santa Cruz, and Panetta’s own record as a member of Congress, where he fought during the 1980s to protect communist advances in such countries as Nicaragua and Grenada and worked feverishly to undermine President Reagan’s anti-communist foreign policy and military defense build-up. Incidentally, back then Panetta was a foe of CIA covert action to protect America’s vital interests, which makes Obama’s selection of him as CIA director even more interesting. We know that Panetta’s CIA director of public affairs, George Little, was listed as a dinner guest of Al-Jazeera at a Radio and TV Congressional Dinner, and that Panetta has issued no public warnings about a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the Middle East. The evidence indicates the CIA may be on the side of radical forces in the region. His only apparent success as CIA director has been the killing of Osama bin Laden, an impressive operation that has nevertheless backfired in the sense of sending a nuclear-armed Pakistan into the arms of Communist China.
Veteran journalist Wes Vernon has seen our evidence, as it has been released over the last several days, and has marveled at the cover-up so far. In a column titled, “Media blackout: CIA director accused of links to Communist spy contact—scandal ignored,” he notes that “…DeLacy was not only a prominent member of the Communist Party USA, but also a personal contact of identified Soviet spies Solomon Adler and Frank Coe and accused spy John Stewart Service, and one has to wonder: What was there about DeLacy’s background and record that attracted the friendship of the man who is now CIA Director and has been nominated to assume an even higher national security post—Secretary of Defense?”
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He concludes, “If Panetta’s nomination for Secretary of Defense makes it through the Senate Armed Services Committee—and barring indications to the contrary, it would appear “the skids are greased”—then what? Is there not one conservative senator prepared to raise this issue on the floor when the confirmation is up for debate? Not one? Why?”
In terms of media, Jerry Kenney of Kenney Broadcasting thinks it’s a big story and has interviewed Loudon and me about the growing Panetta scandal. He has put this TV program on the Internet in the form of a YouTube video. We will just have to wait to see if the alternative media make this into the big story it deserves to be.
© 2011 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.