The World Anti-Communist League: "Inside The League"


by Scott Anderson, and Jon Lee Anderson
Reviewed by Chip Berlet

"Inside The League: The Shocking Expose Of How Terrorists, Nazis, And
Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated The World Anti-Communist
League." Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson. Dodd Mead, New York, 1986.
352 pages. $19.95 hardcover. ISBN 0- 396-08517-2. Publication date May 28,
1986.

For over ten years progressive researchers in this country and in
Europe have been uncovering evidence linking certain American conservatives
and rightists to racist and fascist movements around the globe through a
shadowy organization called the World Anti-Communist League. Now the book
"Inside the League" exposes the hidden nature of the League and documents
in devastating detail a parade of League-affiliated authoritarian
ideologues marching from the death camps of Nazi Germany into the parlors
of Reagan's White House. The idea for the book came when Jon Lee Anderson
was researching a series of columns on Latin American death squads for Jack
Anderson, (Jon Lee's employer but not his relative). Enlisting the aid of
his brother Scott, the two first began tracing the connections between the
death squads but soon were unravelling networks and alliances that involved
terrorists, Nazi collaborators, racists, assassins, anti-Jewish bigots, and
right- wing anti-communist American politicians. The one factor all had in
common was their involvement with the World Anti-Communist League.

The Latin American death squads, for instance, were found to be linked
through an umbrella group of Central and South American rightists called
the Latin American Anti-Communist Confederation (CAL). CAL in turn was
affiliated with the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), lead by a retired
U.S. Major General, John Singlaub. Singlaub boasts WACL is the
coordinating body for raising private aid for the Contras, a task support
ed explicitly by the Reagan White House which has sent government officials
and glowing letters of support to WACL meetings in recent years.

WACL also serves as an umbrella for several Eastern European emigre
groups founded and lead by Nazi collaborators, and there is far more. As
the Anderson brothers write:

"We have examined the World Anti-Communist League...because it is the
one organization in which representatives of virtually every right-wing
extremist movement that has practiced unconventional warfare are to be
found. The League is the one constant in this netherworld; whether looking
at Croation terrorists, Norwegian neo-Nazis, Japanese war criminals, or
American ultra-rightists...." (p. x, Author's Note).

WACL is more than a club for aging facists and their modern- day
hero-worshipers, it serves as the primary coordinating body through which
anti-communist groups meet and debate and implement strategies to prop up
anti-Communist authoritarian regimes and defe at popular movements for
social and political liberation around the world. The current strategy is
to avoid when possible the use of military troops - and use instead a
process called "unconventional warfare". This practice is employed by the
Reagan administration but couched in popular terminology with calls for
supporting heroic "freedom fighters" such as the Contras. The Scott
brothers explain:

"As defined by a League member who advocates its use, unconventional
warfare includes 'in addition to terrorism, subversion and guerilla
warfare, such covert and non-military activities as sabotage, economic
warfare, support to resistance groups, black and gray psychological
operations, disinformation activities, and political warfare.'

"Certainly the Nazi forces of World War Two and the rightist death
squads of El Salvador and Guatemala today are among this century's most
accomplished practitioners of this unconventional warfare," write the
Andersons. They note that many historia ns have made the comparison before
them, but point out "What has not been as well publicized is that the
Salvadoran rightist killing peasants today learned his methods from the
Nazis and their collaborators in Europe, and that he didn't receive this
knowledge through the reading of books but through careful tutoring"
through the network established by the World Anti- Communist League.

It is this group that President Reagan has praised for playing "a
leadership role in drawing attention to the gallant struggle now being
waged by the true freedom fighters of our day." A list of persons involved
over the years with WACL is printed on the back cover of "Inside the
League." Among the more notable:

Yaroslav Stetsko, a Nazi collaborator who in July 1941 presided over
the extermination of 7,000 Jews; Stefano delle Chiaie, a fugitive Italian
terrorist wanted for robbery, kidnapping and murder; Mario Sandoval
Alarcon, architect of the Guatemalan death squads; Chirila Ciuntu, a Romani
an fascist who participated in a 1941 massacre of Jews; Ray Cline, former
deputy director of the CIA; Jess Helms, Republican Senator from North
Carolina; Fred Schlafly, Phyllis' husband; General Jorge Rafael Videla,
former Argentine dictator now