Five months before Barack Obama was elected to his first term as president, Herbert Romerstein and I finished a Washington, D.C. briefing on “The Stealth Candidate”—Barack Obama—and his communist connections. I opened it up for questions. “I’m Dana Milbank from The Washington Post,” said the questioner. “So what’s the upshot? Do you think that Barack Obama is a communist?”
Not wanting to fall into an obvious trap, I replied, “We have no way to judge.”
But Herb told Milbank: “No, let’s answer that one a little differently. We’re telling you that you’re not doing your job. We didn’t say Obama was a communist. We said that you have to do due diligence in tracking down what Obama really is because right now he’s a stealth candidate. So, if you don’t do your job, that’s your problem. “
“Herb, you just got us a bad story in The Washington Post, for crying out loud,” I said. To which Herb responded, “I don’t remember ever seeing a good story in The Washington Post.”
Milbank promptly did write a story, labeling Herb “a living relic from the House Committee on Un-American Activities.” It was this committee, of course, that uncovered the treason of State Department official Alger Hiss and his service to the Soviet Union.
Herb’s family, friends and admirers paid tribute to him at a graveside burial service on May 9. This veteran of the Korean War fought for his country not only in wartime but also in peacetime, when the communists continued their onslaught against the West through other means. His wife Pat accepted the American flag in his honor. His daughters talked about their father’s dedication to the cause of freedom and family, as they recounted how he would question and challenge their own beliefs and statements. They cried but also laughed. Herb could be serious but funny, as he showed in that exchange with Milbank.
Herb did the serious research Milbank and his associates did not want to do. He helped unmask one of their icons, I.F. Stone, as a Soviet agent, and exposed Senator Ted Kennedy’s collaboration with the Soviet KGB.
It’s true that Herb worked for the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He also worked for the House Internal Security Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, and headed the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation and Active Measures of the United States Information Agency. He was part of the Reagan Revolution that safeguarded our freedom and turned back the Soviet Union and its proxies in the 1980s. As a result of his research in the archives of the Communist International in Moscow, which were briefly opened for outside inspection after the Soviet collapse, Herb ascertained that Harry Bridges of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union had been a secret member of the Communist Party USA. Bridges had always denied party membership.
As the reaction of Dana Milbank suggests, the media wanted to ridicule our findings on Obama or trick us into saying something that might backfire. Others in the media simply covered these findings up. Even the Drudge Report declined to run our advertising highlighting Obama’s connection to Frank Marshall Davis, Obama’s Communist mentor during his growing up years in Hawaii, and communist networks in Hawaii and Chicago.
Today, slowly but surely, people are waking up to the stench of betrayal in Washington. It seems to have taken four dead Americans in Benghazi, obvious lies and a blatant cover-up, to wake some members of the press up to what this administration is doing in foreign affairs. High-level officials falsely blamed a terrorist attack on a video, and didn’t authorize military action to save American lives.
Who are these people? It’s a question that should have been answered back in 2008 when the media ignored their obligation to “vet” Obama and his associates. Blogger Trevor Loudon and Glenn Beck did have success in exposing Obama’s appointment of extremist Van Jones to one position in the federal government. But Van Jones resigned and went to work for CNN, while Beck was forced out of Fox News after going after George Soros, the moneybags behind Obama’s rise to power.
Herb understood that there are enemies of our freedom and security who operate largely behind the scenes and must be exposed. It remains to be seen if Congress will get to the bottom of any of the mushrooming scandals now getting some major media coverage.
To Milbank’s credit, he did quote me correctly, even while dismissing our charges as “implausible.” I said, “We believe that any public figure with links to foreign and hostile interests should be asked to explain those associations. In the case of Obama, a relatively new figure on the national scene, we submit the facts suggest that he would have serious difficulty getting a security clearance in the United States government. An FBI background check was once used to examine one’s character, loyalty to the United States, and associations.”
We stand by the research and Herb’s challenge to the press.
Herb’s passing has left the anti-communist cause without a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about the conflict between communism and freedom. His archives have been acquired by the Hoover Institution. Milbank and other reporters would rather see them burned.
Some may not know that this fierce anti-communist was once a communist himself. Herb was in the tradition of Whittaker Chambers, the ex-communist who exposed Alger Hiss. His books included The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage, co-authored with Eric Breindel, and Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government, co-authored with veteran journalist M. Stanton Evans. It documents how hundreds of Soviet agents infiltrated the U.S. government during and after the World War II period.
It won’t take decades to discover the truth about what’s happening in the Obama Administration, because Herb was part of the process that investigated Obama before he was elected in 2008. We know much already.
Herb was the one I turned to in 2008, after Trevor Loudon began the process of uncovering the shocking truth about Barack Obama and his connections to Frank Marshall Davis and other communists. His first report was, “Communism in Hawaii and the Obama Connection.” When we obtained the 600-page FBI file on Frank Marshall Davis, I knew that Herb was the one who should analyze its significance. The result was, “Who Was Frank Marshall Davis?” He also wrote, “What was the Weather Underground?,” exposing the roots of the terrorist group whose members, Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, would launch Barack Obama’s political career in Chicago.
Herb’s masterful report, “From Henry Wallace to William Ayers - the Communist and ‘Progressive’ Movements,” analyzes how Henry Wallace’s Third Party Movement in 1948—the Progressive Party—was under total Communist Party control, and he explains how the “New Left” of the 1960s and 70s included Communists involved in such groups as Students for a Democratic Society and its terrorist offspring, the Weather Underground. Some of them would later become members of “Progressives for Obama.”
The problems in Congress did not escape Herb’s attention and will be the subject of a forthcoming book from Trevor Loudon. In addition to exposing Ted Kennedy’s collaboration with the KGB against the Reagan Administration, Herb filled in some of the most important details about the communist background of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).
Herb’s interest in the Barbara Lee story actually began in 1984, when Herb was selected, along with Michael Ledeen, to analyze documents captured on Grenada after the U.S. liberation of that island from communists. The result was Grenada documents: an overview and selection, an extraordinary compilation of documents on how a communist regime operates.
Some of the documents demonstrated that Barbara Lee and other aides to then-Rep. Ron Dellums (D-CA) were working with the regime in Grenada to keep the communists in power. Herb would also document that Lee became a top officer of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), a spin-off from the Communist Party after the Soviet collapse. She succeeded Dellums, himself a perceived security risk, in Congress.
Lee, who is today a member of the Democratic House Leadership through her work as a Senior Democratic Whip, holds the dubious distinction of casting the lone vote in the House against U.S. military action to remove the Taliban regime in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. She is a close associate of Obama who openly supports the Castro regime in Cuba.
So the questions that apply to Obama, in terms of escaping a background check for federal office, also apply to Barbara Lee and other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, consisting of 75 members of the United States House of Representatives, the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus.
One can examine documents that Herb uncovered for my report on Lee and see that another member of the CCDS was Maurice Jackson, a former high-ranking member of the Communist Party who is now an Associate Professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches such courses as “Black Power in America” and “Black Thinkers and Black Movements.”
Researcher Max Friedman has brought to my attention a July 6, 1989, issue of the Communist Party People’s Daily World noting a Maurice Jackson appearance on Howard University television, where he talked about a trip to Cuba and Soviet support for “liberation struggles.”
Additional research turned up the fact that he was the 2011 “Annual Peace Day Speaker” at the Sidwell Friends Quaker School in Washington, D.C., which Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, attend.
These developments demonstrate that communism is not a thing of the past but has taken on a new form and is still a problem that America has not fully exposed and corrected. The infiltration of our society goes through academia to politics, all the way to the White House.
To carry on Herb’s important work, Congress must re-establish committees and subcommittees dealing with internal security problems. Liberals such as Ted Kennedy abolished the last of them in the 1970s.
Herb contributed greatly to securing our freedom. His work must and will continue.