Document:Institute for the Study of Conflict, extract from The "Terrorism" Industry

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Disclaimer (#3)Document.png book extract  by Edward S. Herman dated 1990
Subjects: Institute for the Study of Conflict
Source: The "Terrorism" Industry

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The London-based Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) provides an especially well documented case study of the use of a purportedly "independent" institute as a front for propaganda operations of hidden intelligence agency and corporate sponsors. In 1968, and again in the mid-1970s, ISC's principal, Brian Crozier, was revealed in the British press to have been an agent of British and U.S. intelligence, to have served secretly as a propaganda conduit for the South African police, and to have colluded with British firms and trade associations in a campaign to smear British trade unions with the tar of subversion. This did not in any way discredit Crozier as a Western expert. He continued to be cited as a reputable authority in Britain and the United States and was a major speaker at the Jonathan Institute conference of 1979.

Crozier was long a regular contributor to Britain's 'Economist' and to the U.S. 'National Review', while taking time off to write an admiring biography of the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco. [1] In 1966 he became the head of the CIA-organized and CIA-supervised Forum World Features (FWF), [2] a purported "news" service that sought to compete with UPI and Reuters. In 1968 Crozier was identified in the British press as an agent of British intelligence, [3] and in 1975 the nature of FWF itself was exposed when the Pentagon admitted, during the Church committee investigations, that it had used FWF as a propaganda agency in Europe. According to a report to CIA Director Richard Helms in 1968, FWF "provided the U.S. with a significant means to counter communist propaganda," and a handwritten note on the document added, "Run with the knowledge and cooperation of British intelligence."[4]

ISC was established with secret CIA funding in 1970, to complement the work of FWF � the latter was a conduit for suitable "news" to the media; ISC would provide anticommunist propaganda under the guise of "independent research" and the analyses of independent experts like Crozier. As Steve Weissman noted, although it produced no substantial research, Crozier's institute gave "academic respectability to old anti-Communist cliches, whether on Vietnam or Angola," and "offered professional and authoritative-sounding analyses, both for the general public and for more specialized audiences of academics, policy makers, police officials, and military commanders."[5]

Besides the CIA, the ISC was funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, who provided more than $1.1 million to the institute between 1973 and 1979, and by the Ford Foundation, Shell Oil, British Petroleum, and other firms. [6] As we noted earlier, the Heritage Foundation sent some $140,000 to Crozier for distribution through a right-wing "clearinghouse" called the International Freedom Fund Establishment, based in England. According to Scaife associate R. Daniel McMichael, ISC "set up solid working relationships with the Heritage Foundation, the National Strategy Information Center, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and a number of other Scaife-supported organizations." [7] ISC also received financial support from the so-called Pinay Circle, established in 1969 and named for a former prime minister of France, Antoine Pinay. The circle's chief fundraiser was Jean Violet, a member of the SDECE, France's intelligence agency. Well connected to U.S., British, West German, and South African intelligence, Violet was also friendly with numerous rightwing millionaires and politicians in Europe and the United States. The circle included William Colby, former director of the CIA, Edwin Feulner of Heritage, retired General Stilwell of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and ASC, and Crozier himself.[8]

In the early 1970s, ISC played a significant role in politicizing industrial conflict in England. In co-operation with the Confederation of British Industries (CBI), it launched a campaign designed to establish that industrial conflict rested on "subversion;' and it helped get important segments of the press to blame "left-wing militants" for labor unrest. Subsequently, it was found from ISC's own correspondence that ISC was being funded by CBI and its member firms; that its study 'Sources of Conflict in British Industry' was written in part by writers from other institutes closely affiliated with industry; and that much of its "evidence" came from the files of well-known and discredited right-wing organizations whose materials only took on respectability when laundered through ISC.[9]

Similarly, it was disclosed in 1975 that the institute had close relations with high police and intelligence officials in Rhodesia and South Africa, with whom they had exchanged visits and information in a highly collegial spirit. Crozier's own commitment to South Africa, common to so many in the right-wing network of institutes and experts, was shown in his writing a propaganda tract for the apartheid government. [10] It was also evident in his 1981 statement on appropriate Western strategy for South Africa in the 'National Review':

"The real priority is to stop SWAPO coming to power in Namibia; for if they do, South Africa will be totally isolated, and the West cannot survive without South Africa's minerals; moreover, if Namibia goes, the South African hold on the strategic harbor of Walvis Bay will become tenuous...; moreover, with SWAPO in power Savimbi will be outflanked and starved of supplies; so the real priority is Angola: give Savimbi and the other Angolan guerrillas operating in the north maximum aid and the whole Cuban effort in Africa can be nullified, and possibly SWAPO can be finished off in the bargain."[11]

ISC's Peter Janke, now with Control Risks Ltd., was a good friend and close ally of Michael Morris of the South African security police and, eventually, head of the South African Terrorism Research Centre. ISC's Conflict Study no. 52, 'South Africa � The End of Empire', written by Janke, was based in part on information on "terrorism" in Mozambique supplied him by P. J. De Wit, the head of South African intelligence, a source unacknowledged in the report. ISC also passed along to South African officials their report 'Sources of Conflict in British Industry', which would be useful for indicating how South African unions might be attacked as recalcitrant and strikeprone, not on account of any real grievances but only because of "left-wing militants" and outside agitators.[12]

ISC also established close working relationships with the British police and military. John Alderson, the director of the Bramshill Police College in 1972, asked Janke to help the college develop a course on terrorism and counter-subversion. The ISC's "Manual on Counter-Insurgency" was developed and used at the Police College and elsewhere. The stress of ISC's instruction was on the need for more extensive surveillance and preemptive action. [13] This training, sponsored ultimately by the CIA and British intelligence, is strongly reminiscent of the U.S. training of Latin American police in the 1960s and 1970s on subversion and the need for preemptive counterinsurgency, which [...] played a significant role in the rise of torture, disappearances, and large-scale state terrorism in that area.

In an article entitled "Victory for Strauss," published in Germany's 'Der Spiegel' in 1982, secret intelligence reports by Hans Langemann to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior were quoted at length on the broader efforts of Crozier and the Pinay Circle. [14] The gist of the intelligence reports is that Crozier, along with operatives from the CIA and British, French, and Swiss intelligence, was organizing "a transnational security organization" designed to use the media to shift European politics and ideology to the right. The objectives stated in the late 1970s as summarized by Langemann were: (1) to bring a conservative government to Great Britain; (2) to promote the candidacy of Strauss in West Germany; and (3) to influence the situation in Rhodesia and South Africa in accord with a conservative agenda. One of the memos states that "as far as can be judged by outsiders Crozier has initiated with his group the project 'Victory for Strauss' using the tactics applied in Great Britain, of major themes such as the communist, extremist subversion of government parties and trade unions, KGB manipulation of terrorism and damage to internal security." Within a month of the Pinay Circle's discussion of ways of promoting Strauss (January 1980), Crozier had an article in Sir James Goldsmith's magazine 'NOW!' in defense of Strauss, and other pro-Strauss articles by Crozier followed. Goldsmith himself soon made allegations that Der Spiegel's criticisms of Strauss were "orchestrated by the KGB." [15] This led to a lawsuit by Der Spiegel, eventually settled out of court. The Crozier-Pinay Circle's pro-Strauss campaign eventually failed, but there were successes, and the effort itself is worthy of note. Crozier has important connections and serves powerful Western interests.

Crozier's preoccupation with "national security" and "subversion" and his sympathetic understanding of right-wing state terrorists were spelled out in some detail in his writings of the late 1970s and early 1980s on the democratic state and Chile. For the former, Crozier has the greatest contempt, using words like "absurdity," "fraud," and "fallacies" to describe the theory and practice of Western democracy and the party system. [16] For Pinochet and his new Chile, on the other hand, Crozier has only "purr" words � a man of "political vision," a "statesman," one who "brought peace and prosperity where disorder and poverty had reigned," who has engaged in "one of the most interesting. . . constitutional [sic] experiments in the world today," and who has been badly maligned in claims of systematic torture that, barring a few "early excesses," are "palpably false." [17]The fatal flaw of Western democracy and party systems is their inability to provide for national security and to protect the state against subversion, which is the first order of business in a properly run state. A well-run state also does not let unions and welfare systems get out of hand, as happens regularly in democracies and with party systems. Authoritarian regimes, despite their excesses, at least give proper value to security and property rights, and in Crozier's accounting, Franco Spain rates just a mite below England under the labor government. [18]

The class bias in Crozier's analysis is blatant. National security for him is, by implication, the security of property interests; subversion is anything that threatens those interests. This is why he affiliates with and apologizes for right-wing dictatorships like those of Pinochet and Franco, and the apartheid system of South Africa, which create mass insecurity but protect established property interests. From a non-owners' and democratic perspective, however, Pinochet and the generals of Latin America have been a premier force for subversion of democracy and a threat to the livelihood and personal freedom of the majority. Crozier never discusses these alternative conceptions of subversion and insecurity; he simply premises that these threats are from the left. As in standard right-wing treatises, he postulates that the Soviet Union is trying to conquer the world, that its agents are everywhere penetrating unions and other organizations of the left, and thus it is the left that poses the fearsome threat of "totalism." The organized right, security forces, and Pinochet strive to counter this threat only for the good of society; the military leaders in Latin America "intervened out of a sense of duty and as ultimate repositories of the well-being of their nations. . . it was their job to clear up the mess created by party politicians."[19] Thus mass killings and torture are pushed under the rug or rationalized by Crozier and never constitute "terrorism." In Crozier's manichean world, any group that calls itself anti-communist and fights leftist or even nonaligned regimes is defended, no matter how violent. Crozier even rallies to the support of RENAMO against the "highly tendentious" State Department report of 1988,[20] putting himself in the class that we may call the "RENAMO right" of the West � a significant set in the Western terrorism industry.[21]

It may be observed that Crozier's views are extremely close to those of the Latin American generals and spokesmen of the National Security State, as expounded, for example, at the November 1987 Council of Armies. Crozier has always found any serious reformist or left tendency in England to be a frightening manifestation of international communist influence � Thatcher barely saved "freedom" � and both he and the generals find that their pro bono interventions are always just in the nick of time. The Langemann papers, of course, indicate that Crozier and his friends in the Pinay Circle are not above a little opportunistic use of frightening threats to freedom to achieve the kind of nondemocratic but "secure" political order to which they aspire.

While at ISC, Crozier and his associates produced several essays dealing with international terrorism in their monthly, 'Conflict Studies', and their 'Annual of Power and Conflict', and they issued five studies dealing with the IRA. Crozier was an important figure in helping shape Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's anti-terrorism policies, particularly in regard to Northern Ireland. [22] The thrust of the policy recommendations was predictably the need for an uncompromising use of force.

Crozier has long expounded the right-wing version of the Western line on terrorism. As a featured speaker at the Jonathan Institute conference of 1979, he implied repeatedly that the Soviet Union was behind most, if not all, of the world's political unrest, including the troubles in Northern Ireland.


  • ^  1. Brian Crozier, Franco (Boston: Little, Brown, 1967).
  • ^  2. We say supervised, as a CIA operative was regularly assigned duties within FWF.
  • ^  3. Gordon Winter, Inside BOSS (New York: Penguin Books, 1981), p. 170.
  • ^  4. "Wilson, M15 and the Rise of Thatcher;' Lobster, no. 11 (April 1986), p. 35.
  • ^  5. Steve Weissman, "The CIA Makes the News;' in Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, eds., Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe (Secaucus, N.].: Lyle Stuart, 1978), p.208.
  • ^  6. Kermit Roosevelt, on behalf of the CIA, tapped the Mellon family for the monies needed to establish FWF's "parent" company, Kern House Enterprises, Ltd. For a brief history of the relationships among the CIA, the Mellons, and various U.K.-based publishing ventures, see Freemantle, CIA, pp. 311-15.
  • ^  7. Quoted in Saloma, Ominous Politics, p. 32.
  • ^  8. "Wilson, MI5 and the Rise of Thatcher;' p. 39.
  • ^  9. "Subversion, Inc.;" Time Out [London], Sept. 5-11, 1975. A great deal of information, some cited in the article "Subversion, Inc.;" came from a cache of over 1,500 ISC letters and internal memos deposited, apparently unsolicited, at the offices of the British muckraking paper Time Out in 1975.
  • ^  10. Winter, Inside BOSS, pp. 443-44.
  • ^  11. Brian Crozier, "Allied Divergences;' National Review, April 17, 1981, p. 410.
  • ^  12. See "Subversion, Inc."
  • ^  13. Ibid.
  • ^  14. This sensational document, well reported in Europe, was virtually ignored in the United States. We use the translations given in "Brian Crozier, the Pinay Circle and James Goldsmith," in the British dissident publication Lobster, no. 17 (Nov. 1988); and "Victory for Strauss;' in the U.S. magazine Counterspy, Dec. 1982Feb. 1983.
  • ^  15. "Brian Crozier, the Pinay Circle. . . ;' p. 15.
  • ^  16. Brian Crozier, The Minimum State-Beyond Party Politics (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1979), pp. 11-23.
  • ^  17. Ibid., p. 100; foreword to Suzanne Labin, Chile: The Crime of Resistance (Richmond, England: Foreign Affairs Publishing Co., 1982), pp. vii-viii; article on Chile in Free Nation (a newspaper published by the British right-wing organization Freedom Association), Oct. 1983, quoted in Jennings, Enemy Within, p. 24.
  • ^  18. Crozier, Minimum State, p. 50.
  • ^  19. Ibid., p. 100.
  • ^  20. Brian Crozier, "Riddles of Mozambique;' National Review, Oct. 28, 1988. Crozier says, "On the Resistance [sic] side, it is worth pointing out that the State Department ignored Renamo's invitation to visit the zones it has liberated, or even to meet its representatives on neutral territory. Nor are Renamo's successes attributable to South African aid. For some years, Pretoria did support Renamo. In 1984, it ceased to do so, and indeed now has a good relationship with Maputo." The claim of a cessation of aid in 1984 is an outright lie. See note 5 of Preface.
  • ^  21. This is in contrast with the "Pol Pot left;' a frequent epithet of Jeane Kirkpatrick and others, but as far as we know, a nonexistent set among Western activists and intellectuals.
  • ^  22. Mc Michael noted that ISC's "research into political and psychological warfare, revolutionary activities, insurgency operations and terrorism is consistently used by the Thatcher government." "The Heritage Foundation Goes Abroad;' Nation, June 6,1987, p. 763.