Skip to comments.The Generals and CDI
Posted on 04/26/2006 3:26:53 PM PDT by Renfield
A critical element of the Generals Revolt that has not received enough attention is the involvement of the Center for Defense Information (CDI).
The CDI is a Washington-based advocacy group that, like the Institute of Policy Studies or the National Resources Defense Council, is usually described with a bland, harmless-sounding tagline that hides more than it reveals. The CDI claims to be an organization
making available continuing, objective information and analyses of our national defense
when in fact for the past three decades it has been the Lefts point organization for attacking military and defense policy.
The CDI was founded in 1972 by Stewart Mott, a General Motors heir who used his unearned largesse to fund Left-wing policy organizations in hopes of keeping alive and if possible expanding the influence of the New Left in the post-Vietnam period.
Motts umbrella organization was the Fund for Peace, and the CDIs sister organizations included the Center for National Security Studies run by Robert Borosage (later advisor to Jesse Jackson) and the Twentieth Century Funds National Security Study, run by Friend-of-Bill Morton Halperin.
(To show how tightly wound these networks can be, a later addition to Motts stable was the Center for International Policy, today run by William Goodfellow, husband of Dana Priest, the Washington Post reporter at the center of the CIA leak scandal.) Others involved included arms-control advocate Paul Warnke, Ramsey Clark, lawyer to dictators, and none other than Paul Newman, who sat on the board.
The CDIs driving force was Gene R. LaRoque, who billed himself as a retired rear admiral. In fact, LaRoque was a destroyer and cruiser captain with a record not quite adequate for promotion. He never actually served as a rear admiral, being raised to that rank in his final days in the Navy to qualify for a higher pension. Some critics claim that La Roques pique at being passed over for acting flag rank was a major reason behind his collaboration with Mott. But speculation on motives is unnecessary in light of LaRoques record: for nearly thirty years, he acted as gray eminence of the Lefts assault on all aspects of American defense.
During the 1970s, according to the Heritage Foundation, the CDI opposed the B-1 bomber, the cruise missile, the MX ICBM, nuclear weapons modernization, and U.S. bases in the Indian Ocean and the Philippines. No Pentagon budget, not even the anemic amounts of the 70s, was low enough for the CDI. Fears of growing Soviet strength were dismissed, particularly involving Soviet naval expansion.
The CDI relentlessly opposed all aspects of the Reagan military buildup, including the 600-ship Navy, emplacement of Pershing and Tomahawk missiles in Europe, and the Strategic Defense Initiative. The organization was a key player in the mid-80s Nuclear Freeze Movement, carrying on that crusade far longer than most ten years later, the CDI was accusing the U.S. of targeting Third-World nations with nuclear weapons after the close of the Cold War. Today, the CDIs concerns include the F-22 Raptor and Ballistic Missile Defense. Theyre agin em.
Despite losing most of its battles, the CDI grew in influence, becoming one of the behind-the-Beltway-scenes organizations that not so much as sets the agenda as creates the context for policy debates. The organizations newsletter Defense Monitor is sent to every ranking military officer and Congressional office. LaRoque, and other retired officers he talked into joining, lecture at military war colleges and at the State Department Foreign Service Institute. Special Studies consisting of occasional papers, monographs, and analyses are published, along with a series of books on defense topics, several of which became required reading for college courses. Other efforts include radio, film, and TV programs for national distribution. The CDI has become the go-to source for military topics. Most reporters never bother to quote any other.
One of the major selling points of the CDI message is that it comes from ex-military men. All the same, its a shock to see a man of Anthony Zinnis stature listed on the organizations website as distinguished military fellow. There were a lot of paths for Zinni to take, a lot of ways for him to get his message across. That he chose an organization with the CDIs history is surprising, not to say disturbing. The reason could be naiveté, ignorance, or even conviction. (Military men who assent to Leftist beliefs are rarities, but are not unknown e.g., David Hackworth.) Whatever the case, it cant be argued that Zinni has not adapted some of the organizations ideas as his own.
Readers of this site will realize that little is new in Zinnis recent charges. In fact, Zinni retailed the entire package at a CDI banquet in 2004, minus only the demand that Donald Rumsfeld resign. The only other novel point is that a half-dozen other officers have joined him.
(A strange element of the CDIs animus toward Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld lies in the fact that the organization claims to advocate a number of policies the secretary has carried out, such as canceling useless big-ticket programs, e.g., the Crusader artillery system, and the necessity of force transformation the term is actually utilized on the CDIs website based on the principles of the Revolution in Military Affairs. This contradiction is not easy to explain, but there it is.) The CDI hasnt yet so much as commented on the current revolt of the retired generals. But the fact that the organization is involved, even peripherally, makes it impossible to believe the revolt is what its presented as being the spontaneous, unrehearsed action of concerned ex-military officers. Whether they were persuaded by Zinni, as LaRoque persuaded many others before him, or whether theyve been manipulated without even knowing it, is beside the point.
A group of veteran officers are being effectively used as fronts for a powerful and secretive Leftist organization during time of war. The voice may be Jacobs, but the hands are the hands of Esau. Thats where we stand in the fifth year of the Long War.
J.R. Dunn is a frequent contributor
AHA!! It IS Zinni who is head of the soft coup!! HANG EM HIGH!!
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember hearing that retired .mil personnell are still subject to UCMJ. And part of that is to yank their $$ if they pull a dumb stunt like this. Even if true, it would appear that US Laws aren't meant to be enforced, just passed. Oh well.
Tells a lot about the founder of CDI.
...the fact that we're now up to eight retired generals who represents less then one tenth of one percent of retired generals. We're talking pat buchanan for President numbers here.
Holy rattling H! The LaRoque group is still around? And still recruiting useful idiots wearing stars?
Just what do these ba$tards want, anyway? The downfall of the United States!!?
(yes, too many !!s and ??s) ;^)
Thanks for the ping. The Center for Defense Information is an anti-american think-tank that tries to undermine the American military. I hope more and more people will recognize it for what it is.
Interesting((((Ping)))) . Did not know this about the CDI.
The Defense Department waves away the protesting generals as just a handful out of more than 8,000 now serving or retired. That seems to me too dismissive. These generals are no doubt correct in asserting that they have spoken to and speak on behalf of some retired and, even more important, some active-duty members of the military.
But that makes the generals' revolt all the more egregious. The civilian leadership of the Pentagon is decided on Election Day, not by the secret whispering of generals.
We've always had discontented officers in every war and in every period of our history. But they rarely coalesce into factions. That happens in places such as Hussein's Iraq, Pinochet's Chile or your run-of-the-mill banana republic. And when it does, outsiders (including the United States) do their best to exploit it, seeking out the dissident factions to either stage a coup or force the government to change policy.
That kind of dissident party within the military is alien to America. Some other retired generals have found it necessary to rise to the defense of the administration. Will the rest of the generals, retired or serving, now have to declare which camp they belong to?
It is precisely this kind of division that our tradition of military deference to democratically elected civilian superiors was meant to prevent.
Today it suits the antiwar left to applaud the rupture of that tradition. But it is a disturbing and very dangerous precedent that even the left will one day regret.
Thank you for the ping. It is very nice that we think of each other. I hope that you and yours are well.
The CDI story is a classic.
The first generation works hard, is driven by a dream and a spirit 24/7 to accomplish their goals.
The second generation might have a little of the dream, very little spirit, and maybe works some.
The third generation has the trust fund with no instructions from the grandfather.
The Ford Foundation, the NY Times, and many others have lost their original American spirit. They often neither care nor understand.
There are exceptions, but I believe that the above is 80 percent true. Sad.
I got a heads up from a lurker friend about a conservative site which has reviewed these patriotic sounding groups, which hate America and in particuliar GW and our military.
The site is PDF form, and my browser will not let me paste the date here.
This report does a great job of showing how liberal these a$$holes are and how they have been attacking GW before he became president.
Below is the link of the Capital Research Center. By the way George $oreA$$ has contributed money and probably other resources to the anti American Coup Plotters
Do you know of a utility that can convert .pdf files into MS word files?
No I don't. I really don't like PDF files.
Do you know of a utility that can convert .pdf files into MS word files?