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Controversial from its founding
The Liberty Lobby was the subject of much criticism from all quarters of the political spectrum from the first day of its founding. The Liberty Lobby described itself as a conservative political organization, its founder, Willis Carto, was known to hold strongly antisemitic views, and to be a devotee of the writings of Francis Parker Yockey, who was one of a handful of esoteric post-World War II writers who revered Adolf Hitler. Yockey, writing under the pseudonym of Ulick Varange, wrote a book entitled Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics, which Willis Carto adopted as his own guiding ideology.
Many critics, including disgruntled former Carto associates as well as the Anti-Defamation League (a group that fights antisemitism and Holocaust denial), have noted that Willis Carto, more than anybody else, was responsible for keeping organized antisemitism alive as a viable political movement during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, when it was otherwise completely discredited.
Evidence for the antisemitic stance of the Liberty Lobby began to mount when numerous letters by Carto excoriated the Jews (and blaming them for world miseries) began to surface. "How could the West [have] been so blind. It was the Jews and their lies that blinded the West as to what Germany was doing. Hitler's defeat was the defeat of Europe and America." Carto's letters eventually became the subject of a federal civil lawsuit (LIBERTY LOBBY, INC., et al., Appellants, v. Drew PERSON et al., Appellees. No. 20690. United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit provides an accurate account of the case - bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/390/390.F2d.489.20690_1.html.) The Liberty Lobby ultimately lost in the United States Supreme Court with a denial of certiorari.
Other cited evidence of the group's antisemitic views includes the charge that the group's file cabinets contained extensive pro-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan literature. In 1969, True magazine ran a story by Joe Trento entitled "How Nazi Nut Power Has Invaded Capitol Hill".
'Repatriation' of blacks back to Africa
Starting in October 1966 two American journalists, Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson, published a series of stories under "The Washington Merry-go-round" that recounted the findings of a former employee, Jeremy Horne. Horne said he had discovered a box of correspondence between Carto and numerous government officials establishing the Joint Council of Repatriation (JCR), a forerunner organization to the Liberty Lobby. The JCR stated that their fundamental purpose was to "repatriate" blacks "back to Africa". Ex-Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Tom Brady and various members of the White Citizens' Councils who had worked to established the JCL, also contributed to the founding of the Liberty Lobby. Other correspondence referred to U.S. Congressional support for the emerging Liberty Lobby, such as from South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond (Dixiecrat presidential candidate in 1948) and California U.S. Representative James B. Utt.
Public image management, internal strife, and ultimate demise
The Liberty Lobby attempted to promote a public image of being a conservative group with an emphasis on anti-communism, similar to the John Birch Society. However, while the John Birch Society publicly rejected white supremacy and antisemitism, the Liberty Lobby promoted them. Francis Parker Yockey's Imperium was republished by Willis Carto's Noontide Press, which also published a number of other books and pamphlets promoting a racialist and white supremacist world view, and the Liberty Lobby in turn sold and promoted these books.
While the Liberty Lobby was intended to occupy the niche of a conservative anti-Communist group, Willis Carto was meanwhile building other organizations which would take a much more explicit neo-Nazi orientation. Among these were the National Youth Alliance, a Willis Carto-founded organization that eventually became the National Alliance. Eventually, however, Carto lost control of this organization and it fell into the hands of William Pierce. Also founded by Carto was the Institute for Historical Review, a group known for publishing Holocaust denial books and articles. As with the National Youth Alliance and Noontide Press, the Institute for Historical Review fell out of Carto's hands in a hostile internal struggle. The Liberty Lobby, however, remained under the control of Carto until it was disbanded in 2001.
During the 1970s, as the old anti-Communism of the 1950s and 1960s fell out of favor, Carto redefined the public image of the Liberty Lobby, and began to describe it as a politically populist organization, rather than conservative or right-wing. In that time, the Liberty Lobby also tried to create connections to the American political left by redistributing a report critical of President Jimmy Carter authored by frequent third-party presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche and his NCLC.
In 1975, the Liberty Lobby began publishing a weekly newspaper called The Spotlight, which ran news and opinion articles with a very populist and anti-establishment slant on a variety of subjects, but gave little indication of being extreme-right or neo-Nazi. However, critics charged The Spotlight was intended as a subtle recruiting tool for the extreme right, using populist-sounding articles to attract people from all points on the political spectrum including liberals, moderates, and conservatives, and special-interest articles to attract people interested in such subjects as alternative medicine. Critics also charged the newspaper with subtly incorporating antisemitic and white racialist undertones in its articles, and with carrying advertisements in the classified section for openly neo-Nazi groups and books. The Spotlight's circulation peaked around 200,000 in the early 1980s, and although it experienced a steady drop after that, it continued to be published until the Liberty Lobby's demise in 2001.
In 2001, the Liberty Lobby and Willis Carto lost a civil lawsuit brought by a rival far-right group which had earlier gained control of the Institute for Historical Review, and the ensuing judgment for damages bankrupted the organization. Willis Carto and others who had been involved in publishing The Spotlight have since started a new newspaper, the American Free Press, which is very similar in overall tone to The Spotlight. As of 2008[update], the political organization called the Liberty Lobby remains defunct.
- Conspiracy theory
- Curtis B. Dall (a former Chairman of the Liberty Lobby)
- Far left
- Far right
- Horseshoe theory (a political theory about the closeness of the far left and the far right)
- Left-right politics
- Political spectrum
- Right-wing populism
- The Spotlight
- "Why Did the Spotlight and Liberty Lobby Attack Real Conservatives?" by Larry McDonald, from the Congressional Record
- ↑ "Willis Carto". Anti-Defamation League. 2009. http://www.adl.org/Learn/Ext_US/carto.asp. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- ↑ Trento, Joseph and Joseph Spear. "How Nazi Nut Power Has Invaded Capitol Hill". True (November 1969): 39.
- ↑ "The Washington Merry-Go-Round". http://dspace.wrlc.org/doc/bitstream/2041/52940/b19f19-1026zdisplay.pdf. "Liberty Lobby working furiously for right-wing cause; its secret files reveal conspiracy against Jews and Negroes; Willis Carto's correspondents are lurid lot"
- ↑ "When Left reaches Right." The Washington Post. August 16, 1977.
- ↑ "Willis A. Carto: Fabricating History". Anti-Defamation League. http://www.adl.org/holocaust/carto.asp. Retrieved 2008-11-17. "The Spotlight announced in August 1994 that Liberty Lobby was launching a new publication devoted to historical revisionism called The Barnes Review (after the 20th century revisionist historian Harry Elmer Barnes)."
- ↑ Eringer, Robert. "The Force of Willis Carto." Mother Jones 6 (April 1981): 6.
- ↑ U.S. Supreme Court ANDERSON v. LIBERTY LOBBY, INC., 477 U.S. 242 (1986)