The World Anti-Communist League:
The World Anti-Communist League:
"Inside The League"
by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson
Reviewed by Chip Berlet
"Inside The League: The Shocking Expose Of How Terrorists, Nazis, And Latin
American Death Squads Have Infiltrated The World Anti-Communist League."
Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson. Dodd Mead, New York, 1986. 352 pages.
$19.95 hardcover. ISBN 0-396-08517-2. Publication date May 28, 1986.
For over ten years progressive researchers in this country and in Europe
have been uncovering evidence linking certain American conservatives and
rightists to racist and fascist movements around the globe through a shadowy
organization called the World Anti-Communist League. Now the book "Inside the
League" exposes the hidden nature of the League and documents in devastating
detail a parade of League-affiliated authoritarian ideologues marching from
the death camps of Nazi Germany into the parlors of Reagan's White House.
The idea for the book came when Jon Lee Anderson was researching a series
of columns on Latin American death squads for Jack Anderson, (Jon Lee's
employer but not his relative). Enlisting the aid of his brother Scott, the
two first began tracing the connections between the death squads but soon were
unravelling networks and alliances that involved terrorists, Nazi
collaborators, racists, assassins, anti-Jewish bigots, and right-wing anti-
communist American politicians. The one factor all had in common was their
involvement with the World Anti-Communist League.
The Latin American death squads, for instance, were found to be linked
through an umbrella group of Central and South American rightists called the
Latin American Anti-Communist Confederation (CAL). CAL in turn was affiliated
with the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), lead by a retired U.S. Major
General, John Singlaub. Singlaub boasts WACL is the coordinating body for
raising private aid for the Contras, a task supported explicitly by the Reagan
White House which has sent government officials and glowing letters of support
to WACL meetings in recent years.
WACL also serves as an umbrella for several Eastern European emigre groups
founded and lead by Nazi collaborators, and there is far more. As the Anderson
"We have examined the World Anti-Communist League...because it is the one
organization in which representatives of virtually every right-wing extremist
movement that has practiced unconventional warfare are to be found. The League
is the one constant in this netherworld; whether looking at Croation
terrorists, Norwegian neo-Nazis, Japanese war criminals, or American ultra-
rightists...." (p. x, Author's Note).
WACL is more than a club for aging facists and their modern-day hero-
worshipers, it serves as the primary coordinating body through which anti-
communist groups meet and debate and implement strategies to prop up anti-
Communist authoritarian regimes and defeat popular movements for social and
political liberation around the world. The current strategy is to avoid when
possible the use of military troops - and use instead a process called
"unconventional warfare". This practice is employed by the Reagan
administration but couched in popular terminology with calls for supporting
heroic "freedom fighters" such as the Contras. The Scott brothers explain:
"As defined by a League member who advocates its use, unconventional
warfare includes 'in addition to terrorism, subversion and guerilla warfare,
such covert and non-military activities as sabotage, economic warfare, support
to resistance groups, black and gray psychological operations, disinformation
activities, and political warfare.'
"Certainly the Nazi forces of World War Two and the rightist death squads
of El Salvador and Guatemala today are among this century's most accomplished
practitioners of this unconventional warfare," write the Andersons. They note
that many historians have made the comparison before them, but point out "What
has not been as well publicized is that the Salvadoran rightist killing
peasants today learned his methods from the Nazis and their collaborators in
Europe, and that he didn't receive this knowledge through the reading of books
but through careful tutoring" through the network established by the World
It is this group that President Reagan has praised for playing "a
leadership role in drawing attention to the gallant struggle now being waged
by the true freedom fighters of our day." A list of persons involved over the
years with WACL is printed on the back cover of "Inside the League." Among the
Yaroslav Stetsko, a Nazi collaborator who in July 1941 presided over the
extermination of 7,000 Jews; Stefano delle Chiaie, a fugitive Italian
terrorist wanted for robbery, kidnapping and murder; Mario Sandoval Alarcon,
architect of the Guatemalan death squads; Chirila Ciuntu, a Romanian fascist
who participated in a 1941 massacre of Jews; Ray Cline, former deputy director
of the CIA; Jess Helms, Republican Senator from North Carolina; Fred Schlafly,
Phyllis' husband; General Jorge Rafael Videla, former Argentine dictator now
imprisoned for mass-murder; and Roger Pearson, a scientific racist whose books
on racial superiority are still sold today by American neo-Nazi groups.
The authors devote considerable attention to showing that Reagan
administration officials and U.S. supporters of the World Anti-Communist
League cannot claim lack of knowledge or evidence to support the charges
thtKU((Sis riddled with fascists. Almost apologetically they reach the
conclusion that in, essence, certain anti-communist forces in this country
have decided that working with fascists is an acceptable alternative to
dealing with communism.
The book sets out to show how Nazis have infiltrated a worldwide anti-
communist organization. It achieves this goal admirably, using a popular style
and approach that should have attracted far more media attention than it has
so far received. It is almost as if reporters cannot e#\Y8t the evidence
because the conclusions conflict with our basic notior^of decency and morality
- how hard it must be for most Americans to believe that among the hands that
have crafted our current foriegn policy are those bloodied through
participation in the Nazi Holocaust and latter-day bloodbaths. But then
history does reveal that the Nazi movement was, among other things, ardently
anti-Communist. Why are these lessons so hard to recall, and why do so many
voices that still cry out against Nazi ideology remain silent when the Nazis
themselves receive letters of praise from our President?
There was some good stuff on the World Anti-Communist League and the Knights of
Malta in a recent issue of the Covert Action Information Bulletin. Sorry I
don't have the exact reference on me at the moment, but it was about 2 issues
ago. It will really get your paranoid juices flowing... Knights of Malta is
something: includes chief spook Bill Casey as member. K of M and WACL channel
rich folks money & CIA money too to contras and similar bloody fascists. (The
WACL/K of M crowd are really fascist--I'm not using the word carelessly.)
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