By Cliff Kincaid
  2004 January-A January 26, 2004  


  • Loopholes
  • Who is Peter Lewis?
  • First Amendment In Shreds
  • Big Media Exempt
  • Press Freedom At Risk
  • The Long-Term Strategy
  • No Death For Killers
  •  What You Can Do
  • It was big news on December 10 that the Supreme Court had upheld new restrictions on certain “soft-money” contributions to political campaigns. But of the three evening news programs, only CBS noted that there is a big loophole in the law that the court has endorsed. Reporter Wyatt Andrews said, “Anybody who thinks this ruling ends soft money in politics is wrong.” On the left, he said the liberal group is using soft money against President Bush, while on the right the Club for Growth is using soft money against Howard Dean.

    Andrews didn’t mention that, so far at least, the political left has a massive advantage in this area, primarily because some billionaire liberals are putting millions of dollars into, a group created to save President Clinton from impeachment, and Americans Coming Together (ACT). One, George Soros, is a billionaire liberal with global ambitions who has pledged $25 million to defeat Bush, and who has compared the President to the Nazis. Another billionaire leftist, Peter Lewis, has promised another $12 million to this effort. Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot says their goal is to raise over $400 million to defeat the President.

    Not everybody on the left is excited about this. Writing for the Center for Research on Globalization, Walt Contreras Sheasby says that Soros’ monetary influence “is one of those hushed secrets inside the left…” and that he has bankrolled many liberal-left organizations so they don’t bolt the Democratic Party for an independent campaign. Sheasby says Soros is laying the groundwork for a Howard Dean-Wesley Clark ticket, and that Soros “would have a great deal of influence over a Dean-Clark administration, but particularly in the international context.”

    The “international context” can be understood by noting that Soros, Dean, and Clark were among those who opposed the U.S. war against Saddam Hussein, who was an acknowledged threat to international peace and security, and was responsible for the deaths of 300,000 or more people. They favored U.S. intervention on behalf of the Muslims in Kosovo, a province of Yugoslavia, by falsely claiming they were the victims of “genocide.”

    The U.S. Congress authorized the war on Iraq but failed to endorse the Kosovo intervention, which was led by then-General Clark and ordered by President Clinton through NATO.

    The quick NATO victory was followed by the apprehension of then-Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, who is on trial for alleged war crimes before a United Nations tribunal. Clark recently testified against him.

    Many liberals and left-wingers opposed NATO’s Kosovo war because it did not receive U.N. authorization. Conservatives opposed it as interference in a sovereign state that posed no threat to the U.S.

    Soros, however, has a domestic agenda that very much pleases the left, having worked with Peter Lewis and others to bankroll the campaign to legalize marijuana, featuring a slick media effort that falsifies the dangerous nature of the drug and presents it as “medicine.” The result has been the passage of “medical marijuana” initiatives in several states and the proliferation of “marijuana clubs,” mostly in California.

    Ironically, this effort largely took place when the Clinton administration was bashing tobacco and tobacco companies for ruining the health of Americans, especially young people.

    The Soros role has earned him the label of “Daddy Weedbucks” from the drug culture magazine “Heads.”

    The latest evidence about the fraud known as “medical marijuana”—a term used by the media as if it were accurate or legitimate—comes from a study by researchers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England. The study finds that smoking marijuana causes lung damage and possibly cancer.

    A Reuters news story quoted study director Dr. Sarah Nuttall as saying, “Smoking cannabis on a regular basis actually depletes your lung of protective antioxidant substances...and this may have chronic long-term implications for young individuals.” Those antioxidants protect cells against damage that can lead to cancer. The study found that marijuana users showed more signs of damage than those who stuck to cigarettes.

    In 1999, Dr. Zuo-Fend Zhang of the Jonsson Cancer Center at the University of California Los Angeles linked marijuana smoking with head and neck cancers. He said, “Many people may think marijuana is harmless, but it’s not. The carcinogens in marijuana are much stronger than those in tobacco.”

    We didn’t find any stories about the new Nuttall findings in any of our big newspapers. The small Reuters story appeared deep inside the New York Post, and ran on the MSNBC website and a health update section in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Most of the media will undoubtedly return to running sympathetic articles about “medical marijuana” and the dangers of tobacco.


    The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Soros-Lewis campaign is part of the Democratic Party’s strategy to direct money to groups that will coordinate their attacks on Bush. What makes the story even more interesting is that liberal groups behind so-called campaign finance reform have been noticeably silent about this loophole in the law. For this reason, Republican chairman Ed Gillespie has written to these groups asking how much money they have received from Soros.

    For his part, Soros wrote a column for the Washington Post claiming that he doesn’t seek any political influence for himself. In fact, Soros has always been very close to the Democratic Party. His top aide is former Clinton State Department and ACLU official Morton Halperin, who gained notoriety for testifying on behalf of Philip Agee, a defector from the CIA during the Cold War who now lives in Cuba.

    Who is Peter Lewis?

    Lewis, the less well-known of the two money men, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Progressive Corporation, the fourth-largest U.S. personal auto insurer, which insures high-risk motorists who can’t get insurance anywhere else.

    Stories in the media depict Lewis as a philanthropist who has given $50 million to the Guggenheim Museum in New York and $55 million to his alma mater, Princeton University. But what are they leaving out? A leading U. S. business reference manual, Hoover’s Handbook of American Business l999, actually described Lewis in print as “a functioning pot-head.”

    Lewis, who proudly describes himself as “half screwball, half businessman,” showed up at a meeting with a Cleveland City Council president wearing a Lone Ranger outfit. His house features an elaborate series of paintings of Chinese communist Mao Tse-tung by Andy Warhol. But most significant is the fact that this self-described “screwball” has tried to change America to suit his own tastes. The anti-drug group, National Families in Action, says that Lewis has “contributed heavily to the destruction of thousands of America’s children” by promoting the medical marijuana hoax and leading kids to believe that “pot is OK.”

    Not one of the recent news reports on Lewis mentioned that on a trip to New Zealand three years ago, he was arrested and admitted to three charges of importing drugs after customs officers found two ounces of hashish and 1.7 ounces of marijuana in his luggage. The charges, however, were dropped and his identity suppressed by a court in New Zealand.

    Lewis has been heavily involved in U.S. Democratic Party politics for years. He started by working as the Ohio finance chairman for George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign. “I did it essentially because I hated Richard Nixon,” Lewis said. He is a close friend of Senator Ted Kennedy, who uses Lewis’ residence in Cleveland to “relax” when traveling.

    First Amendment In Shreds

    The Soros-Lewis efforts are not affected by the recent Supreme Court ruling on a campaign-finance bill. And the Big Media, which promoted passage of the bill, are not affected, either.

    Justice Antonin Scalia called the decision “a sad day for free speech” because of the restrictions the bill places on citizen groups. He said the ruling “cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government.” Justice Clarence Thomas called it “the most significant abridgment of the freedoms of speech and association since the civil war.” But the New York Times called it “a stunning victory for political reform,” while the Washington Post said it was “cause for celebration.”

    Big Media Exempt

    The bill prohibits certain groups and corporations from broadcasting advertising against federal candidates one or two months before an election. But media corporations like the Times and Post are exempt. As Justice Anthony Kennedy put it, the bill provides a “safe harbor” to “the mainstream press.” He said the legislation “is the codification of an assumption that the mainstream media alone can protect freedom of speech.”

    But Justice Thomas warned that the reasoning of the court could in the future be extended to the media. He noted that, “Media companies can run pro-candidate editorials as easily as nonmedia corporations can pay for advertisements.” So if Congress can restrict or ban the ads, why not the editorials?

    Thomas noted, “Media corporations are influential. There is little doubt that media companies often wish to influence elections. One would think that the New York Times fervently hopes that its endorsement of presidential candidates will actually influence people. What is to stop Congress from determining that the press is ‘too influential,’ and that the ‘appearance of corruption’ is significant when media organizations endorse candidates or run ‘slanted’ or ‘biased’ news stories in favor of candidates or parties?”

    He said there was nothing in the court decision “that would prevent Congress from imposing the Fairness Doctrine, not just on radio and television broadcasters, but on the entire media.”

    Press freedom, Thomas said, “could be next on the chopping block.” He added, “Although today’s opinion does not expressly strip the press of First Amendment protection, there is no principle of law or logic that would prevent the application of the Court’s reasoning in that setting. The press now operates at the whim of Congress.”

    Press Freedom At Risk

    The Times, Post and other media obviously believe they can prevent Congress from restricting their own activities. Meanwhile, they have succeeded in reducing the ability of citizen organizations to influence the outcome of elections through independent advertising campaigns.

    These powerful media organizations could manipulate coverage of the campaign while Soros maneuvers to be in a position to implement his international and domestic agendas.


    When Howard Dean was asked about concealing his records as Vermont governor, he said bluntly, “Well, there are future political considerations. We didn’t want anything embarrassing appearing in the papers at a critical time in any future endeavor.” Dean now says he was joking, but John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio was there, and he says that Dean “wasn’t giving the punch line of a joke.” Judicial Watch has sued to get access to the records.

    The records may shed light on Dean’s lobbying for the homosexual agenda in Vermont and his flip-flop on the death penalty.

    Oreste Valsangiacomo Sr., a Democrat who served 30 years in the Vermont legislature, has written that Dean was a key member of a sophisticated campaign that implemented the homosexual agenda in the state over a period of many years.

    Equally significant, Dean strongly supported Outright Vermont, a group luring young people into homosexuality. Dean met with its leaders and sponsored state funding of the group. What’s more, Dean appointed homosexual Bill Lippert, Outright’s founder, as a state representative in July 1994 to fill a vacancy in the legislature.

    As detailed in a letter to the Rutland (Vermont) Herald, Valsangiacomo said that the strategy continued to unfold when Lippert was appointed as vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and helped produce the legislation recognizing homosexual “civil unions” and granting marriage benefits to these “couples.” Dean went behind closed doors to sign it, keeping the date and time of the signing a secret from legislators and the press. Dean and Lippert would embrace in victory. It was the first such bill in the nation.

    Meanwhile, Outright, which received state money under Dean to conduct “diversity workshops” in schools, came under fire for homosexual advocacy. State Rep. Carl Haas said that voters in Vermont regarded this matter as even more troubling than homosexual unions. He was quoted in the Rutland Herald as saying, “What people were really concerned about was that we had people going into the schools sanctioning homosexuality.”

    In a column almost two years ago, Stanley Kurtz of the Hudson Institute said he also found “growing alarm” about Outright Vermont during a visit to Dean’s state. He found notices on bulletin boards in a high school for the school’s gay-straight alliance advising students to go to a website that directed them to “homosexual pornography.”

    Going beyond homosexuality, the March 2003 issue of Outright Vermont’s newsletter features an article about a Vermont youth who enjoyed attending a “True Spirit Conference” held in Washington in February and meeting people known as FTMs. These have undergone “female-to-male” physical experiences that involve surgery to remove breasts and the taking of hormones and testosterone. The conference featured “chest reconstruction surgery” and “chest surgery show and tell” workshops.

    Under Dean’s tenure, Outright Vermont received state funding from the Vermont Department of Health and additional funds from the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation and the Samara Foundation of Vermont. Lippert serves as the executive director of the Samara Foundation, in addition to continuing to serve in the legislature.

    The Long-Term Strategy

    Valsangiacomo told AIM that he won’t talk in detail about Dean’s pro-homosexual agenda and the secret meetings he held to make it a reality in Vermont until the former governor wraps up the Democratic nomination. He did say that he is strongly supporting President Bush’s re-election.

    But in that letter in the Rutland Herald, he traced the pro-homosexual campaign to a private Nov. 7, 1993 meeting of 12 Democrats and several homosexuals at the home of the chair of the state Democratic Party committee. He maintains it actually went back further, noting that Playboy ran a 1972 article, “Taking Over Vermont,” about a “blueprint” by two Yale University activists for homosexuals and other radicals and leftists to move into the state and transform it politically.

    Some of this may sound fantastic, but the fact is that Dean’s Vermont has become more liberal than Massachusetts. Vermont, which boasts the only openly socialist member of Congress, Rep. Bernard Sanders, beat liberal Massachusetts to the punch on “gay” marriage.

    Now with the support of Al Gore, Dean is in the process of “taking over America.” With the help of the media, who support his radical agenda, he could succeed. But his success will depend on concealing the facts about Dean’s homosexual experiment—and how he has used young people as sexual guinea pigs.

    No Death For Killers

    Dean’s reported “centrist” or even “conservative” views are said to include support for the death penalty. But Vermont has no death penalty statute. Asked about this, Joseph Gainza, the Vermont Program Coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee, told us that Dean “did nothing to get it [the death penalty] in Vermont. He began to say that he was ‘rethinking’ his stand on the death penalty, just when, it seemed to me, he was giving serious thought to running for president…” Gainza said that legislators introduced a bill to reinstate the death penalty after a triple murder in Vermont. He said, “We organized against it and Dean did nothing to support it and it died in committee, much to my relief.”

    So there we have it—Dean’s so-called “support” for the death penalty is just rhetoric to make him look like he’s tough on crime while he’s running for president.

    That triple murder case involved Donald Fell and Robert Lee, high on crack cocaine, who stabbed two people to death and beat 53-year-old Teresca King to death after a kidnapping and carjacking. King had pleaded for her life. Families of the victims called for Vermont to reinstate the death penalty but Dean refused to push for it.

    Authorities moved on the federal level and sought the death penalty for Fell. Lee hanged himself in prison, and Fell awaits trial and possible execution today. The Washington Post noted that, “Members of King’s family…wanted Fell executed. In addition to unsuccessfully calling for capital punishment in Vermont, the family appealed to [Attorney General John] Ashcroft.”

    Ashcroft ordered the death penalty when it appeared that federal prosecutors were going to settle for a deal that would let Fell remain in prison for the rest of his life. Opponents of the death penalty said there were “mitigating factors” in the case, such as Fell’s history of drug problems. Ashcroft didn’t buy it.

    What You Can Do

    Send the enclosed cards or cards and letters of your own choosing to Bill O’Reilly, Howard Dean, and Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

    CLIFF'S NOTES By Cliff Kincaid


    THE CAPTURE OF SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS A MORALE BOOSTER FOR THE U.S. “I’m willing to negotiate,” Saddam said, crawling out of his hole. Our soldiers found roach spray and Mars bars in a nearby hut. Howard Dean was widely criticized for saying the capture won’t make America safer. This AIM Report examines coverage of some of Dean’s other controversial positions on “gay rights” and the death penalty. We suggest writing to ask him to immediately unseal his records as governor. The subject of our other story, George Soros, has been pushing for a Dean-Clark ticket, but is now reportedly having doubts about Dean.

    A NEW FORMAT HAS BEEN DEVELOPED FOR THE AIM REPORT. DROP ME A NOTE OR EMAIL me with your comments to We will continue to cover the news you can’t get anywhere else. And we count on you to send postcards or letters so that we can maximize our influence. Send copies of any responses you receive.

    WE HAVE HAD SOME INTERESTING REACTION TO OUR RECENT STORY ON LOSING THE cultural war at home. Mary Beth Bonacci of Real Love Productions thanked us for mentioning her efforts. “I’ve been familiar with AIM for years and years,” she said. “It’s really nice to read about myself from the perspective of an organization I respect so much.” Another wrote, “Thank you for the excellent article. Unless we win the culture war within our own country, the war on terror is completely irrelevant. The forces of moral corruption within this country are the far more serious threat...” To further illustrate one of our points about the cultural problem affecting our military strength, Oprah Winfrey aired a dramatic December 8 program on sexual assaults and rapes at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Oprah’s purpose may have been to embarrass the military, but it is a legitimate scandal. Six former cadets were on the show describing their horrific experiences and the failure by authorities to take action against the perpetrators. Interestingly, Senator Hillary Clinton is among those asking for a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in January featuring the victims. Her husband was accused of raping Juanita Broaddrick but Hillary, of course, said nothing on her behalf. In a related scandal, Cadet 1st Class Sterling Barnes was sentenced to nine months confinement, a dishonorable discharge, and the forfeiting of pay and benefits from his four years at the academy. Barnes was not only operating a pornographic website, he was arranging sex orgies away from the academy.

    SADDAM’S CAPTURE WAS FOLLOWED BY THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT LIBYAN DICTATOR Moammar Gadhafi had agreed to dismantle weapons-of-mass-destruction programs that he shouldn’t have had in the first place! This took place after months of secret negotiations with the terrorist ruler that have been hailed by the New York Times and others as “diplomacy.” Gadhafi ordered the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 270 people, including 189 Americans, and the announcement of the deal occurred just two days before a memorial service in honor of the victims was held at Arlington National Cemetery. I attended the service and found the families extremely concerned that the President had not emphasized the need for justice in the case. Susan Cohen, who lost her daughter in the blast, told me that if Gadhafi can be rehabilitated after mass murder such as this, then bin Laden could come back and join the international community. There is a feeling that Gadhafi made the deal so he could get American oil companies back in Libya and generate needed funds for the regime that he could later use for the same weapons that he is supposedly going to give away. Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily suggests Gadhafi has his best weapons hidden away. Libya was recently caught providing $340,000 in cash to American Muslim leader Abdurahman Alamoudi. Some U.S. officials believe the money was destined for terrorist groups, while others believe it was to be used to lobby for the lifting of the U.S. sanctions against Libya that prevent U.S. oil companies from going back there. Middle East expert Amir Taheri notes that Gadhafi has promised to change twice before and actually stepped up his attacks on Americans. Gadhafi’s son gave an October issue to a Swiss magazine noting the presence of Libyan “volunteers” fighting the U.S. in Iraq. Gadhafi himself has hailed the Iraqis killing Americans there. At the Pan Am 103 service, I met members of the Libyan American Freedom Alliance. One, Mohamed Eljahmi, told me that his brother in Libya has been jailed for five years for simply criticizing Gadhafi and urging democracy. The true end to Libya’s WMD program will only come through “regime change” and democracy in Libya. Gadhafi should be captured dead or alive. If captured alive, he should be put on trial like Saddam.

    BILL O’REILLY SAYS SADDAM SHOULD BE GIVEN LIFE IN PRISON IN EXCHANGE FOR “FULL disclosure” about WMD, terrorism, etc. “I would make that deal,” says O’Reilly, who opposes the death penalty for anyone for any crime. If you want an idea of what “life in prison” means for a killer in the international context, consider Abdel Baset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence officer turned over by Gadhafi and convicted in the Pan Am 103 bombing. He was assigned to a prison in Scotland said to be “tough,” but secret film footage provided to the British News of the World shows that he is living in a special wing of the prison with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, shower, sitting room, an office with a computer and bookshelves, and entertainment center with television. Al Megrahi could be out of prison in as little as 20 years. Visitors to his suite have included U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who brokered the deal that resulted in Al Megrahi and another Libyan being turned over for trial as long as the prosecutors did not pursue the responsibility of Gadhafi and his regime for the terrorist crime. The death penalty was also ruled out. We suggest writing to Bill O’Reilly about what “life in prison” means in the Pan Am 103 case. The coddling of Al Megrahi, which must have been known to U.S. officials, is another reason to be suspicious of any deal with Gadhafi.

    JANE CHASTAIN OF THE JUDICIAL WATCH RADIO SHOW HAD ME ON TO EXPLAIN O’REILLY’S confusion. O’Reilly suggested sending Saddam “to the World Court in the Hague.” The “World Court” is shorthand for the International Court of Justice, a U.N. body that makes rulings on disputes. He may be referring to the U.N. tribunal in the Hague on Yugoslavia. But it wouldn’t cover Iraq. If he is referring to the International Criminal Court, also in the Hague, President Bush withdrew from it because it could target U.S. citizens with political charges. Creating another tribunal through the U.N. to handle Saddam would mean no death penalty and a deal that might leave him in a country-club prison like Al Megrahi. Saddam is going to be tried, probably in Iraq, which has a death penalty option.

    IN ANOTHER MATTER OF JUSTICE, ATTORNEY ALLAN FAVISH ARGUED BEFORE THE SUPREME Court for access to photos of Clinton White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster’s dead body, which was discovered in Ft. Marcy Park outside of Washington, D.C. in 1993. Flawed government investigations declared it a suicide, but the photos could help prove that it was murder. Unfortunately, the Bush administration took the side of Foster’s family against disclosure, and conservative Justice Antonin Scalia actually said, “Who cares?,” when faced with questions about this death of a high federal official and the legal right to the photos. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press supported Favish with legal briefs. We suggest writing the committee, thanking them for their stand, and urging them to join Judicial Watch in the suit for Howard Dean’s records.

    For Accuracy in Media,
    Cliff Kincaid

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