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Treason in High Places

If things are going wrong, someone must be to blame. Government leaders often deserve some blame, but they also make handy scapegoats. Conspiracist ideas of treason in high places have a long history in US rightist circles. This is often part of an apocalyptic paradigm.195

For conspiracists within the Christian right, battling Clinton is Godly work against the forces of evil, sometimes explicitly tied to Biblical apocalyptic prophesies of betrayal by government leaders as the millennium approaches. Stories of Clinton's sexual encounters buttress this notion because they demonstrate symptoms of his liberal secular humanist outlook, which ties him to what is seen as a conspiracy against God, individual responsibility, and national sovereignty.

For conspiracists with a secular orientation, stopping this betrayal is seen as a patriotic duty. Clinton as President represents a constitutional crisis because he is seen as a traitor betraying the country to secret elites plotting a collectivist totalitarian rule through a global New World Order to be imposed and administered through the United Nations. 196

Coalition building among various anti-Clinton forces on the right, ranging from ideological conspiracists to cynical political opportunists, makes pragmatic sense in the rough-and-tumble world of US electoral politics. A good example is how the theocratic sector of the Christian Right formed a coalition with a wide range of other conservatives and hard rightists in the early days of the Clinton administration, over the issue of gays in the military. The theocratic right's opposition to abortion is still strong, but homophobia has emerged as the most galvanizing and lucrative theme since the mid-1980's. 197

The theocratic right used sophisticated media techniques to attack President Clinton's plan to end the ban on gays in the military. Because of Clinton's support, the fight against open inclusion of gay men, lesbians and bisexuals in the military was used as a major focus of both religious fervor and fundraising opportunity. Former Reagan aide Gary Bauer at the Family Research Council sent out one ad with the headline "Every good soldier knows you don't march through a minefield!" The text warned that: "Bill Clinton's decision to lift the military's homosexual ban will erode civilian authority and weaken the fitness of our forces...unless you act now."198

For the theocratic right, keeping U.S. troops in the field protecting the free market, keeping women at home and out of combat, and keeping gays in the closet and out of the military, are all family values ordained by God. The Free Congress Foundation, Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, and other theocratic right groups have long maintained cordial ties with military and intelligence officials, a relationship which flourished during the Reagan and Bush administrations.199 These and other theocratic groups supported high levels of military spending to keep our country safe from Godless communism, terrorism and secular humanism. Reagan and Bush paid back these groups for their electoral support by appointing group leaders to government policy posts.

In 1992, for instance, President Bush appointed former Concerned Women for America employee Sarah White, a Master Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves, to sit on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces. In that position, she became "a key player in winning the pro-family victory of keeping women out of combat aircraft."200 Earlier, in 1988, White wrote an article for the CWA newsletter on "Soviet Influence: Active in Our Midst," which warned that "the American public must not be caught off guard by the seemingly virtuous intentions of groups or summits promoting peace" since they might be part of a Soviet intelligence "Active Measures" campaign to weaken and ultimately smash America. 201 In the post-Cold War era the issue of Clinton's support for gays in the military is often seen in the hard right as an example of Clinton's secret plan to weaken the armed forces and betray US sovereignty to the UN and other globalists.

Some ultraconservative former military officers and intelligence agents have even forged a working relationship with the conspiracist wing of the theocratic Christian right through groups such as the Maldon Institute, which promotes conspiracist ideology in reports warning of threats against US security from alleged subversive or terrorist groups. The Maldon Institute in 1993 claimed financial support from "public-spirited foundations including the Allegheny Foundation, The Carthage Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith...."202 Both Allegheny and Carthage are controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife, who later funded several anti-Clinton investigations in conservative and hard right media.

In 1993 Maldon Institute board members included three notable conspiracists:

    · Dr. D. James Kennedy, a leading Christian right activist and a co-founder of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority. Kennedy endorsed a book that alleged the Illuminati Freemasons and certain Jewish bankers were behind US liberalism's attack on morality.203

    · Raymond Wannall, past president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and a former assistant director of the FBI. Wannall led a campaign to justify the acts of government agents charged with illegally spying on the left based on the FBI's conspiracist view of countersubversion.204

    · Robert Moss, a journalist who gained fame suggesting that Soviet agents secretly controlled a network of left and liberal groups in the US.205

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