Liberty Lobby

Liberty Lobby
Liberty Lobby
Established in 1957 by Willis Carto, Liberty Lobby was initially described as a pressure group for patriotism. It published a detailed record of how members of Congress voted on key issues, testified before congressional committees, and, in the 1960s, supported the presidential candidacy first of the conservative Republican Barry Goldwater, then the segregationist former governor of Alabama, George Wallace. In 1971, however, the country’s leading conservative magazine, National Review, published an article accusing Carto of creating the Lobby as a front behind which he concealed his real views.

As early as the mid-1950s, it observed, he had been involved in a scheme to repatriate black Americans to Africa, while in 1960 he had visited the U.S. neo-Nazi, Francis Parker Yockey, who was being held in the San Francisco County Jail for passport offenses. Following Yockey’s suicide, Carto had published and written the introduction to a new edition of a book Yockey had written in the late 1940s, Imperium, in which he had praised “the German revolution of 1933.”

Carto’s organization nonetheless continued to attract support and in 1975 was in a position to launch a weekly tabloid, the National Spotlight, later the Spotlight. The popularity of publications such as the National Enquirer, it declared in its first edition, was because of the American people’s thirst for information suppressed by the establishment media, and in the years that followed the paper’s antipathy to what it described as a Zionist plot mingled with and was sometimes masked by its propensity to publish a veritable smorgasbord of sensational allegations.

Amidst claims of plans for UN occupation and “internationalist” weather manipulation, a central theme was the machinations of such bodies as the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. In the mid-1970s the Lobby published a collection of documents that sought to demonstrate that the Bilderbergers’ annual gathering of leading figures in politics, business, and the media served as a front for the Rockefellers’ and Rothschilds’ drive for a one-world government. This pamphlet, it declared, presented irrefutable proof of the truth of conspiracy theory.

While the Spotlight and a weekly radio program, Radio Free America, were central to the Lobby’s activities, it also sold recommended publications through its Liberty Library, ranging from the early-twentieth-century British far-rightist Nesta Webster’s conspiratorial interpretation of the French Revolution to a pamphlet on the Oklahoma bombing, Timothy McVeigh: Mastermind or Patsy? Amidst the different publications promoted by the Lobby, one of the most important was Carto’s own study, Profiles in Populism, in which he defined the organization’s beliefs.

Where conservatives, he argued, defended free trade and involved the nation in foreign entanglements, populists recognized the need to protect the national economy and to pursue a noninterventionist foreign policy.

As National Review had complained, Carto’s organization blended well with the conservative milieu, and it was not always easy to locate it with certainty. It had drawn attention to Carto’s private correspondence, in which he had lamented the Nazis’ defeat by “the International Jews.”

In the early 1990s, the Spotlight was to publish a defense of the Waffen SS, which, it declared, had fought for Europe and the defeat of communism. The most important indication of the underlying logic of Carto’s argument, however, was his central role in the creation in the late 1970s of the leading Holocaust revisionist organization, the Institute for Historical Review.

In 1993, however, a bitter argument over a bequest left by the heir to the Edison fortune led to Carto being locked out of the Institute’s offices and a series of court cases that ultimately, in 2001, resulted in the closing down of both Liberty Lobby and the Spotlight. While both sides in the dispute continued to adhere to Holocaust revisionism, Carto declared that his erstwhile colleagues were working with the Israeli Mossad, the CIA, and the Church of Scientology in order to destroy his work.