Remember how the media just wouldn't let go of the "Russian collusion" connections of Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's top White House adviser between January 20, 2009 and January 20, 2017?
No, I don't either. Jarrett may have been "the power behind the throne," as Robert Gates called her, but after Judicial Watch published the Jarrett family FBI files in 2015, which proved that this senior White House official came from a deeply committed and active communist family, with rampant front activity and even with connections to a Soviet espionage agent, there was scant coverage, and even less interest among those charged with protecting American national security.
If you missed it, read Paul Kengor's analysis at the American Spectator. These Jarrett family "red threads" are nothing short of circuit-blowing -- not merely because these communist connections exist, but, again, because they cause no alarm in our world today, let alone stand as obstacles to White House entree at the highest, most sensitive level.
Who was it that won the ideological Cold War again? Talk about Washington being communist-"occupied."
In the barest rendition, the Red Family Jarrett includes Valerie's father, Dr. James Bowman, who was active in multiple communist fronts and had connections to a known Soviet agent, Alfred Stern, who was part of an espionage ring known as the Soble group. Bowman was also connected to the Abraham Lincoln School in Chicago, where Obama's own Communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, taught.
Valerie's father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, was a Communist Party member and party fund-raiser. FBI documents reveal Valerie's maternal grandfather, Robert Rochon Taylor, was a committed communist, also.
Flash backward to 1960. As related in the stunning 1969 book, The Ordeal of Otto Otepka by William J. Gill, the incoming Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, and the incoming Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, met one night with the official in charge of internal security at the State Department, Otto Otepka. The new administration bosses wanted to discuss the Kennedy team's choice for a top position at the State Department.
Their choice was Walt Whitman Rostow. As Gill recounts, five years earlier, Otepka had pulled together a security file on Rostow, when, during the Eisenhower administration, Rostow had been nominated to an advisory post on a highly sensitive government panel "to reshape America's pyschological strategy in the Cold War." At that time, Otepka recommended against giving Rostow a security clearance, and his assessment was accepted by the State Department. At that time, Otepka was privately commended for his work.
It was Rostow's family background that reminded me of Valerie Jarrett's.
As Otepka learned, Walt's father, Victor Rostow, was a Socialist revolutionary in Russia before emigrating to the USA after the failed 1905 revolt. Victor remained a committed socialist in this country; indeed, he would name his American-born sons, Walt, and his brother, Eugene Debs Rostow, after famous American socialists. As Gill writes, "they were conditioned at a tender age to view the world in its wonderful oneness, as yet unachieved but, according to the Socialist messiah, Marx, ultimately inevitable." Like father, like son: Walt Rostow's voluminous writings were marked by his antipathy to nationhood and support for "convergence." In one of his book, for example, Walt Rostow elaborated on why it was "an American interest to see an end of nationhood as it has been historically defined."
In addition to Walt's socialist father, two of his aunts were also members of the Communist Party. As Gill writes, Walt himself "had a long history of close association with a number of individuals who were known to be members of the Communist Party. Several of these people had been identified as active Soviet agents." Further, the CIA, never averse to "liberals," had seen fit to drop Rostow from a "sensitive contract," while Air Force intelligence, "which had investigated him thoroughly in connection with another contract ... flatly declared the man a security risk -- a term not used lightly anywhere in the Intelligence community."
Otepka went over this information with Dean Rusk and Bobby. Rusk then asked Otepka whether he thought Rostow was a member of the Communist Party.
Otepka's reply was typically cautious. He had seen too many men fall into that trap. He said he had no indisputable proof that the man was a member of the Communist Party, and that he had made no such finding in 1955. He had recommended against granting a clearance because of the obviously serious character of the information in the file, and because of the highly sensitive nature of the position the individual had been nominated for ...
This is an important point. Party membership is not the only red flag (no pun intended) to fly over a security risk. Many, if not most, Soviet esionage agents and agents of influence were not Party members, or had cut their official ties as a matter of camouflage. When it comes to populating the government, of course, espionage is not exactly the only disqualifier. Subversion comes in many packages.
As Otepka explained to Rusk and Bobby, Rostow would have to undergo a full field investigation by the FBI to bring his 1955 security file up to date in 1960.
Rusk did not appoint Rostow to the State Department post he and Bobby were so interested in. No, Walt Whitman Rostow was instead named to John Kennedy's personal staff at the White House as the Deputy Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
Rostow was by no means the only apparent security risk the Kennedy administration sought to employ. There were many of them. One Kennedy State Department official, Harlan Cleveland, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, actually asked Otepka in 1963 what the chances were of bringing Alger Hiss back into the government! As a felon convicted of perjury involving national security, there was no hope for Hiss, Otepka replied -- but even he was shocked.
After endless machinations by the Kennedy administration to disable the internal security system at the State Department, Walt Rostow would later take a top policy planning job at State until the next president, Lyndon Johnson, called him back to the White House. In 1967, Johnson said Rostow had "the most important job in the White House, aside from the President."
Turns out, the mechanism of American betrayal goes back a long, long way, disabling our internal defenses.