Is Obama Following the Leninist Line?

December 15, 2008

Is former Weather Underground terrorist Jeff Jones claiming that Barack Obama's "centrist" appointments are a "smokescreen" and that he is pursuing a strategy of governing that would "make Lenin proud?" That shocking information is being reported by many different conservative blogs and Internet sites as proof that the President-elect is pursuing a political strategy designed to confuse people about his revolutionary agenda. 

Obama may be a Marxist attempting to fool people, but the "Jeff Jones" post on the Rag Blog website doesn't necessarily prove it. It turns out that the "Jeff Jones" claiming Obama to be a disciple of Lenin is not the Jeff Jones from the communist Weather Underground. However, to further complicate matters, the Mark Rudd who is defending Obama on the same blog is the former Weather Underground terrorist Mark Rudd. 

On the Rag Blog website, Mark Rudd makes some revealing remarks of his own, defending the "conservative appointments" of the President-elect and saying that they are part of a deliberate strategy to "feint to the right" and "move left." He explains, "Any other strategy invites sure defeat." Rather than immediately propose cutting the military budget, for example, Rudd suggests that Obama will pursue security "through diplomacy and application of nascent international law" and lay the groundwork for eventual defense cuts.

Rudd also declares that left-wingers questioning Obama's cabinet picks should "Look to the second level appointments. There's a whole govt. in waiting that Podesta has at the Center for American Progress. They're mostly progressives, I'm told (except in military and foreign policy). Cheney was extremely effective at controlling policy by putting his people in at second-level positions." Podesta is John Podesta, a co-chair of the Obama-Biden Transition Team, who runs the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress.

Rudd's comments are themselves revealing and newsworthy. But the remarks of "Jeff Jones" about Lenin really provoked interest and controversy. Obama's "centrist appointments are a smokescreen; they co-opt the moderate center, but he's still the commander in chief," wrote Jeff Jones. "Even Lenin would be impressed!"

However, the Jeff Jones of the Weather Underground told me that he was not the Jeff Jones on the Rag Blog praising Obama for following the Leninist line. He thought that individual was a "Jeff Jones" from Austin, Texas. Weather Underground member Jeff Jones, by contrast, now works in New York as a political consultant and environmentalist. Among other things, he promotes windmills as a solution to America's energy crisis. Still, he is an Obama supporter, like Rudd and other members of the Weather Underground. 

The controversy has erupted because of interest in what former terrorists are saying about the new U.S. President, and whether they know something about him or his political strategy that the public doesn't. Some conservatives in the media, including Fred Barnes, Bill Kristol and Mona Charen, have stated that they are impressed by some of Obama's high-level appointments and that he is coming across as mainstream and moderate.

But what are the former terrorists who are backing Obama saying? 

This interest has been growing because of the continuing controversy over Obama's relationship with Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers and other controversial far-left figures, including his childhood mentor, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis. Many people suspect that the full truth has not been told and, needless to say, the major media show no interest in continuing to pursue the question of Obama's past associates and influences.     

Blogger Trevor Loudon, a respected anti-communist researcher and analyst in New Zealand, discovered the "Jeff Jones" and Mark Rudd articles on the Rag Blog website and his article about their comments was picked up far and wide as evidence that Obama was adopting a sophisticated Leninist strategy of making moderate appointments to his cabinet while seeking to implement revolutionary "change."

Loudon acknowledges the error about "Jeff Jones" but says that the Mark Rudd article may be even more important to the point that he was making. He says that Rudd is "at most one degree separate from Obama and as such may well know more of Obama's true agenda than do most voters."

Beyond this controversy, he also points out that former Weather Underground members Rudd, Jones, Ayers and Dohrn are all now working through an organization called Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS), which is operating as "a parent body for Progressives for Obama."

The Jeff Jones of the Weather Underground, who says he voted for Obama, openly advertises his past on his own website, as well as his current activities in the firm "Jeff Jones Strategies." Under the "Protest" section he even includes an FBI mug shot and his fingerprints. It declares, "As a leader of the Weather Underground, Jeff evaded an intense FBI manhunt for more than a decade. In 1981, they finally got him. Twenty special agents battered down the door of the Bronx apartment where he was living with his wife and four-year-old son."

Jones told me that he was arrested in October of 1981 but was only in jail for a couple of weeks. He said he was "not really guilty of all that much" and got community service and probation after pleading guilty to an explosives possession charge.

Larry Grathwohl, the former FBI informant in the Weather Underground, recalls that Jones was a member of the Central Committee of the Weather Underground and that other members were Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Mark Rudd. He thinks Jones got off easy because the FBI had used extra-legal tactics to track him down and that most of the case against him was thrown out.

However, Grathwohl says that Jones' fingerprints were found in a San Francisco apartment around the time of the Park Police station bombing in 1970 that killed police officer Brian V. McDonnell. "It was never clearly stated that Jeff was an active participant in the Park Police station bombing, but he was in the area at the time it took place," Grathwohl says. The bomb included industrial metal staples that ripped through McDonnell and other injured officers.

"I knew Larry," Jones acknowledged. "I knew him before we went underground."

Jones, who says that he has since "rebuilt my life," includes a photo on his website of him and New York First Lady Michelle Paterson at the Healthy Schools Gala in the New York Times building in New York City on May 12, 2008. In addition to the Healthy Schools Network, his clients include the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Despite the confusion over the "Jeff Jones" on the Rag Blog, and the fact that he also supports Obama, Jeff Jones of the Weather Underground said that he didn't want to comment on the article about Obama's moderate appointments being a smokescreen.

He did offer the opinion, when asked, that Obama is "not a Marxist." 

For his part, during the campaign, Obama said that he shared toys in Kindergarten and jokingly wondered if that made him a communist.

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