IEDSS imagery and leaflets
This section contains images of some of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies‘ (IEDSS) documentation and some notes on the individuals concerned in terms of their contacts with the IEDSS and other Atlanticist, intelligence and counter-subversion and propaganda networks .
The IEDSS published this (1986) celebration of the work of Charles Douglas-Home, the nephew of the former Prime Minister, who went on to become editor of the Times, in 1982, shortly after Rupert Murdoch took it over and Harold Evans resigned — the Times had strong ties to several IEDSS members and acted as an outlet for aspects of its propaganda. The collection was edited by the IEDSS’ Gerald Frost.
Murdoch can be seen with Reagan and Douglas-Home in the image below. According to some contemporary newspaper accounts, such as the New York Times, Evans was forced to resign by Murdoch and ‘betrayed’ by Douglas-Home.
Douglas-Home was the deputy to Chapman Pincher, when Pincher worked at the Express in the 1960s and became the political and diplomatic correspondent of the Express in the 1960s. He then succeeded Alun Gwynne-Jones (Lord Chalfont who was an IEDSS board member and who wrote the introduction to Douglas-Home’s book on Rommel) as the Times Defence Correspondent when Gwynne-Jones was made a Lord. In the troubled times of 1973 he became Home Editor and Foreign editor in 1978.
Robert Fisk speaks highly of Douglas-Home in his (2002) Pity the Nation (p. xii) even although Fisk felt his work “conflicted with the increasingly right-wing editorials that appeared in the Times.” Douglas-Home’s wife, Jessica, who wrote the introduction to the IEDSS book, also worked with Roger Scruton (see the pamphlet on Peace Studies below) on several ventures to encourage dissidents in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Romania and whose activities are set out in her (2000) Once Upon Another Time. She also contributed to the (1987) The reform of British Education, with Baroness Cox, John Marks, Roger Scruton and Laurence Norcross as part of their on-going attempts, with the support of the IEDSS, to depict education in the UK (on several levels) as controlled by Soviet agents and other conspiracy theories.
After his death the Charles Douglas-Home Memorial Trust award was set up (with Prince Charles as president and Sir Edward Cazalet, chairman of the trustees) to give prizes to right-wing journalists such as Anne Applebaum (who is married to Radek Sikorski of the IEDSS’ New Atlantic Initiative) and others pushing pet right-wing ideological projects such as ‘Enterprise Zones’.
Jessica Douglas-Home’s venture as regards foreign dissidents (those at home were reviled) was similar to that of David Hart, aspects of which were outlined in the Guardian, December 17, 1988, in David Rose’s article titled “Thatcher aide starts agency to publish Soviet dissidents: Emigres in Britain fear David Hart’s CIA links in news scheme may lead to Soviet news clampdown“. This also adds that Hart, ‘runs and funds the Committee for a Free Britain‘ and that he:
…is setting up a news agency to publish information from Soviet dissidents with the help of a former top-level executive of the US Central Intelligence Agency [and] holds regular meetings at 10 Downing Street with Mr Charles Powell, the Prime Minister’s private secretary and adviser on foreign affairs, at which he has supplied information from Soviet sources [and] Hart was a friend of the late CIA director, Mr William Casey, whom he introduced to the late Times editor, Mr Charles Douglas-Home. He has met Mr Robert Gates, the present deputy director of the CIA. He is friend and employer to Mr Herb E. Meyer, who was, until 1986, vice-chairman of the CIA National Intelligence Committee, the body which collates intelligence assessments for the US President on the basis of the entire range of inputs from CIA agents in the field [and] Hart’s principal contact for material for the proposed news service […] is Mr Vladimir Bukovsky.
We encounter Bukovsky with several IEDSS figures (see the British Atlantic Committee section) and had associations with the Coalition for Peace Through Security and The Committee for a Free World, both involved in anti-CND plots and stunts. According to a UPI October 28, 2008 report, the Jan Hus Educational Foundation, based in Oxford, initially included Jessica Douglas-Home and Baroness Cox, as well as Roger Scruton (it also included Harold Pinter). This also states that The Prague Society for International Cooperation grew from this network. The Prague Society work with the Global Panel (see the profile on Caroline Cox) which has several CIA and Atlanticist connections.
Hart stated in The Independent, March 11, 1990, that the Committee for a Free Britain (there are numerous such Committees) consisted of himself, Baroness Cox, Lord Harris of High Cross and Christopher Monckton (then with Conservative Central Office). This also adds that he was a friend of Douglas-Home and that during the miners’ strike, Hart got into miners’ meetings by saying he was a Times journalist; and “more deviously still, he used a Daily Express photographer to serve a writ on Arthur Scargill at a NUM conference.”
According to Brian Crozier’s autobiography, Douglas-Home was a friend who christened Crozier’s right-wing gang as the ‘irregulars’, demonstrating a certain comradely evaluation of their contribution operations in intelligence and quasi-military terms. Robert Fisk, mentioned earlier also recollected in the Independent, February 1, 1990, that in 1975, Douglas-Home contacted him concerning what would become the Colin Wallace affair:
He had just attended a party in London at which he had spoken to Merlyn Rees, then Secreratry of State for Northern Ireland. Mr Rees, he told me, had dismissed a story about government black propaganda upon which I had been working as ”absolute rubbish”. Mr Douglas-Home had also asked Mr Rees why three Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch officers had questioned me at my Belfast home about a government document which — I suspected — involved a campaign of black propaganda against Protestant politicians in Northern Ireland. ”Rees told me: ‘That’s a police matter’,” Mr Douglas-Home said. ”That is all he said”.
In Lobster 11, which outlined the nature and ramifications of the Wallace affair, the matter is related to the rumours of coup attempts, and Lord Chalfont and Charles Douglas-Home in the Times of 5 and 16 August are mentioned as very early reporters of this as the public appearance of the so-called ‘private armies’ emerged. This also adds that Lord Carver confirmed the coup talk at the Cambridge Union on 4 March 1980. He said that ‘fairly senior’ officers at the Army’s headquarters were talking about the possibility of military intervention during the miners’ strike in February 1974. It also adds that Lord Chalfont said of the time:
“There were some people behind the scenes … who were suggesting that the only answer …. was a military government.”
Douglas-Home is commonly associated with the rise of Rupert Murdoch in the UK and its relation to and support of the rise of the right. According to Paul Trowler’s (1996) Investigating Mass Media (p. 73), Thatcher needed Murdoch’s support and so let him dominate the press. Legislation passed during Thatcher’s premiership restricted the power of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to stop Murdoch’s expansion across the British media. Trowler quotes Douglas-Home as saying in 1984 that Murdoch was seen as one of ‘the main powers behind the Thatcher throne’ and that:
Rupert and Mrs Thatcher consult regularly on every important matter of policy, especially as they related to his economic and political interests. Around here he’s jokingly referred to as ‘Mr Prime Minister’, except that it’s no longer much of a joke. In many respects he is the phantom Prime Minister of the country’
A (2007) report by Michael Calderone in FAIR argued that Murdoch’s control “is not so much in donning shirtsleeves and overseeing every editorial… but in appointing the right people” and quotes Richard Davy of the Times who talks of returning from a sabbatical to work under the new editorship of Douglas-Home:
Davy… returned to a very different environment. “We were told that we should have no criticism of Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan,” said Mr. Davy. Mr. Davy said that he “always assumed this was because [Mr. Murdoch] wanted access to Downing Street and the White House,” rather than being motivated by deep political leanings. “With Charlie, he was able to find someone to toe the line,” said Mr. Davy, who characterized Mr. Douglas-Home as having “little experience in foreign affairs [and being] easily moved.”
Harold Evans, the man Douglas-Home replaced, stated in an (1994) Independent article that:
Douglas-Home suffered a tragically early death, but the truth is that he was the fig-leaf behind which Murdoch began the rape of the Times as an independent newspaper of unimpeachable integrity.
In more direct connection to the IEDSS, and the Atlanticist/intelligence connections, Tom Easton’s (1996) Who were they travelling with? from Lobster 31, states that:
Joseph Godson, in an active retirement, was also organising European initiatives for the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the proselytising think-tank which funded the author of the SDP/Liberals joint policy statement in 1987. He combined that with running US government-funded educational visits for British trade unionists and editing 35 Years of NATO (Dodd, Mead, 1984) a transatlantic symposium on ‘the changing political, economic and military setting’, funded by Rupert Murdoch’s Times and introduced by its then editor Charles Douglas-Home and NATO secretary general Peter Carrington.
This also adds that Godson’s foremost British associate in this CSIS/NATO work was IEDSS member Alan Lee Williams.
The Social Affairs Unit (which has strong ties to the IEDSS network) has a version of events whereby the Times became a focused political tool running much the same lines as the IEDSS, which is reflected in their (2006) review of The History of The Times: The Murdoch Years by Graham Stewart. This states that when Douglas-Home became editor, the Times “came off the fence politically”, adding:
For instance, when it came to the cold war there was no equivocation, no agonising efforts to find accommodation with the Soviets through a return to détente. There was an intellectually rigorous rebuttal to the arguments of CND. Given that in the early 1980s it was generally assumed that the Soviet system was permanent, Douglas-Home was ahead of his time in calling for it to be defeated rather than accommodated.
Some writers see Murdoch as a chameleon-like opportunist, but according to David McKnight’s (2003) ‘A World Hungry for a New Philosophy’: Rupert Murdoch and the rise of neo-liberalism, Andrew Neil stated that Murdoch expected his papers to stand broadly for what he believes, which was defined as:
…a combination of right-wing Republicanism from America mixed with undiluted Thatcherism from Britain…the resulting potage is a radical-right dose of free market economics, the social agenda of the Christian Moral Majority and hardline conservative views on subjects like drugs, abortion, law and order and defence”.
McKnight also sates that Douglas-Home stated that:
“Rupert and Mrs Thatcher consult regularly on every important matter of policy, especially as they relate to his economic and political interests”
It is probably generally accepted that as, McKnight argues, New Corporation and Murdoch benefited from the liberalized markets, deregulation and the decline of trade union strength which was ushered in by the Thatcher and Reagan eras and the neo-liberal revival which they helped create.
This also adds that such ‘interplay between Murdoch and Mrs Thatcher’ was also expressed in the career path of the IEDSS’ John O’Sullivan and notes that he worked for the Heritage Foundation in the early 1980s before being appointed as editorial page editor of Murdoch’s New York Post. He later became a leader writer for the Times and in 1987 he joined the staff of Margaret Thatcher for the election campaign. So the Times seems to have played a key role in supporting the IEDSS line.
This promotional and non-critical role in respect of Reagan and Thatcher can be seen in an ‘interview’ (actually written responses given Reagan’s reluctance to ad lib) with Reagan conducted by Nicholas Ashford and Douglas-Home in 1985, as a prelude to Reagan’s meeting with Gorbachev. When asked if Gorbachev represented a turning point in American and Soviet relations, Reagan’s reply was the gnomic:
But I don’t know that you could see it as a turning point. After all, he has been for 4 years a member of the Politburo, 14 years a member of the party council. So, we know that the government really is a collective — the Politburo has the ultimate authority. So, I can’t see that, as some speculated, there would be a great change of direction.
The remainder of the interview is on the evils of the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, the good of Strategic Defense Initiative and the wonder of the ‘Strength of the U.S. Dollar Abroad’ and similar softly treated themes.
Douglas-Home also contributed to the many attempts to smear Arthur Scargill in the 1980s, when the Queen dropped by the Times office, she was quoted to have blamed the strike on Scargill, the Guardian, March 1, 1985 quoted Douglas-Home as stating:
‘Our discussion at one moment did concern the fact that at present the focus seemed to be on one person — clearly Arthur Scargill.’ be told another interviewer: ‘She did not at any stage say that the dispute was down to one man.’ It was pointed out to Mr Douglas Home, a cousin of Princess Diana, that ITN had corroborated his own reporter’s version of the statement. He replied that It was regrettable that the Queen’s conversation had been the subject of eavesdropping and that she had been ‘quite unjustly embarrassed.’
Douglas-Home also defended Bernard Levin’s direct smear that some workers for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) ‘saw in it the best hope of turning this country into part of the Soviet empire.’ These were allegations he refused to substantiate when challenged (see the Guardian, July 3, 1985). These came as part of an organised campaign against CND partly funded by the Heritage Foundation. Levin, in the Times, October 15, 1992, ‘Encountering ghosts in Berlin’, remembers Douglas-Home when attending a conference titled ”A Last Encounter with the Cold War”, which was one of the last gasps of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, presided over by the IEDSS’ Melvin Lasky, Levin adds:
Our ranks, alas, had been thinned by death; men like Sidney Hook, Tibor Szamuely, Arthur Koestler, Charles Douglas-Home, Raymond Aron are no more. But as I looked around the conference chamber, I saw a host of those who fought the good fight. The heavy artillery came from Robert Conquest; his massively authoritative book The Great Terror documented Stalin’s maniac slaughter. The infinitely staunch Leo Labedz, with his meticulously accurate magazine Survey, poured more fire on the enemy. From the Antipodes (the Australians were particularly staunch) came Peter Coleman with the splendid magazine, Quadrant, a rallying-place for the truth. From the United States, where more than anywhere else cowardice, mendacity and dishonesty joined hands to do down the truth, came Irving Kristol, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Richard Pipes, Edward Shils; from Hell came Vladimir Bukovsky; and it was particularly moving to see the frail form of Francois Bondy, helped on to the platform, his fire still burning bright. And we must never forget the men and women of Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe.
In 1988 Apr 28, Margaret Thatcher gave a speech to Centre for Policy Studies (AGM) in which she thanked Hugh Thomas. He had been active in speech-writing and Thomas had chaired a Conservative policy-making group on the EEC, according to Thatcherism and British politics By Dennis Kavanagh.The Papers of the IEDSS’ George Urban show his influence on Thatcher’s speeches, via, at times Thomas. This includes:
*A letter to Urban from Thatcher thanking him for sending her a copy of his book “Détente”, 28 June 1978; and copy of a note from Urban or MT, “A note on information policy”.
*Correspondence with Alfred Sherman (also a Director, Centre for Policy Studies) and Hugh Thomas, and a list of Thatcher’s guests for lunch at Chequers, 24 January 1981 (including Urban).
*Urban’s correspondence with Thatcher, her office and other advisers and related papers, in 1982. Includes a discussion paper by Urban, “Case for a western information policy”, January 1982.
*Urban’s notes for discussion with Thatcher at Chequers, 17 September 1983, with Chequers including a copy of Thatchers speech at a Churchill Award dinner, 29 September 1983; with drafts of the Churchill speech by Urban and Thomas; and copy of thank you letter to Urban from Thatcher.
*Urban’s paper on themes for Thatcher’s 1983 Conservative Party conference speech.
*Drafts of Urban’ speech at the AGM of the Centre for Policy Studies, 30 January 1984, and related material; a draft speech for MT’s visit to Hungary, 1984; and the annotated top copy of Thatcher’s speech delivered at Keston College, 25 April 1984, which was presented to Urban by Thatcher. Also includes correspondence with Thomas.
*Urban’s correspondence with Thatcher,with themes suggested by Urban for Thatcher’s speech before both Houses of the US Congress, February 1985; with copy of a thank you letter from Thatcher, 22 February 1985.
*An original thank you letter to Urban from Thatcher for sending her a copy of his paper on the Gorbachev phenomenon, 6 May 1988; and correspondence between MT and Thomas following Thomas’s paper “Britain’s long term relations with the European Community”.
*A copy of Thatcher’s letter of 12 January 1990 to Thomas on German reunification; and a paper by Urban, “A note on Hungary and the Centre for Policy Studies”, 5 July 1989.
Hugh Thomas’ IEDSS publication argued that “many prevalent perceptions” of the situation in Nicaragua were of a “superficial” quality. He accuses “thousands of Western visitors” of having been taken in by “Potemkin tours” and returning home “full of anti-American venom.” This is a reference to Grigori Potemkin (1739-91) who constructed elaborate fake villages for Catherine of Russia’s Crimean inspection tour. The peasants were given new clothes and ordered to look happy. The “Potemkin tour” was also thought to be a feature of Soviet ‘public diplomacy’ whereby factories’ were similarly tarted up to impress visitors or government inspection — much in the manner of the fresh paint that precedes a visit by the Queen — in what would now be termed ‘perfomativity’.
Thomas, in an attempt to relate the situation to European interests, also argues that “a hostile base in Nicaragua would tie American hands, disrupting the lines of communication and forcing the diversion of American resources away from Europe.” The publication states bluntly:
Nicaragua is not “another Vietnam” and never could be. Nor, as some have claimed, are the sandinistas merely reluctant communists, driven to renounce their democratic convictions by the incompetence and belligerence of the United states. The cynical nature of their policies, well attested, reveals their ideological colours.
Thomas calls for a “Marshall Plan in reverse,” some sort of Central American Union brokered by Europe, which uses the threat of an extension of the “Contra war” forcing Nicaragua to comply.
Thomas had been briefly in the UK’s Colonial Office in Ghana with the Foreign Office in the 1950s, then a lecturer at Sandhurst, joining the Centre for Policy Studies in 1979-90 and given a peerage as Lord Thomas of Swynnerton in 1981.
The author of the IEDSS pamphlet on the SDI, above, Werner Kaltefleiter , also wrote the (1985) The Peace movements in Europe & the United States, with Robert L. Pfaltzgraff at the same time the IEDSS pamphlet was produced. This was based on a conference which was co-sponsored by the Hanns Martin Schleyer Foundation (named after the Nazi SS officer, abducted and murdered by the Red Army Faction). From page 1 this asserts that: “The Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries accompanied and supported the activities of the peace movements with various kinds of propaganda and disinformation campaigns.” Pfaltzgraff is president of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, (IFPA) Inc., chairman of National Security Planning Associates, Inc., who have strong trans-Atlantic interests, and Professor of International Security Studies at the Fletcher School, Tufts University — which is dominated by the CIA. Pfaltzgraff is joined on the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis by Frank Carlucci, Vice Chairman of The Carlyle Group, Jacquelyn K. Davis of the International Institute for Studies and other advisers to the military industrial complex. The IFPA run conferences with elite National Security planners.
Kaltefleiter took part in ‘Towards a grand strategy for global freedom’, a conference held at Leeds Castle in Kent, by the Foreign Affairs Research Institute (FARI), in 1981. This included (and I have added their institutional connections):
*’Reclaiming the initiative from the Soviet heartland’ by Frank R. Barnett (National Strategy Information Centre)
*’Meeting the crisis of the eighties’ by S.W.B. Menaul (RUSI)
*’A strategy for the coming resource war’ by J. William Middendorf (Heritage Foundation)
*’Alliances, intelligence and seapower’ by Ray S. Cline (Center for Strategic and International Studies)
*’Will the United States formulate and implement a grand strategy for global freedom?’ by Jacquelyn K. Davis (IFPA)
*’The one open highway’ by Louis Le Bailly (Institute for the Study of Conflict)
In Menaul’s archive this is termed the ‘First Annual World Balance of Power’ conference (this also states it included a paper by Midge Dector). Menaul’s archive also documents a similar National Strategy Information Centre Inc, conference, ‘NATO and the Global threat — what must be done’, 1-4 Jun 1978, in Brighton. This was sponsored by:
*Aims for Freedom and Enterprise (AIMS)
*Foreign Affairs Research Institute (FARI)
*Institute for Study of Conflict
*Centre for Strategic and International Studies
*Comitato Atlantico Italiano, Italy
*Foreign Policy Institute, Turkey
*Thyssen Foundation, Germany
The keynote speech and ‘Brighton Declaration’ was by Sir Louis Le Bailly and Menaul acted as co-ordinator.