Central Intelligence Agency. "International Connections of U.S.
Peace Groups." February 28, 1968.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President This is the third report in our
series on the foreign connections of United states peace groups.
There have been no startling developments since December, but we
note some interesting new twists.
Central Intelligence Agency
28 February 1968
SUBJECT: International Connections of US Peace Groups -- III
1. We have continued to keep a close watch on the international
connections of individuals and groups active in the US peace movement.
During the two months since our last review of this activity,* there
have been no major developments on the peace front nor any new
information come to light that would lead us to alter the conclusions
reached in our original study.**
2. Contacts and communications on the international peace network
appear to have dropped off sharply from the peak levels reached
around the time of the world-wide protest demonstration in October
and the second session of the "International War Crimes Tribunal"
in December. The only noteworthy events so far this year involving
American activists on the international level were the release of
three more prisoners of war and the large demonstrations against the
Vietnam war held in West Berlin. [SANITIZED] The following paragraphs
discuss aspects of these recent developments.
3. Continuing coordination between US peace activists and the North
Vietnamese, a development reviewed at length in our original study,
was evident [SANITIZED]. The leading US activist, David Dellinger,
was the principal contact for Hanoi in arranging the return of the
three American prisoners earlier this month. Dellinger claimed
publicly that the North Vietnamese had asked him to nominate two
peace leaders to receive the prisoners in Hanoi and accompany them
on their return to the US. [SANITIZED] escorted the prisoners as far
as Vientiane, where the officers elected to transfer to US military
aircraft.) The "Defense Committee" organized by Dellinger and Tom
Hayden in November (see our report of 21 December 1967) to "encourage
the release" of POWs and "defend" their rights presumably was
instrumental in the negotiations with Hanoi, but no evidence of
this has come to hand.
5. Hanoi also kept in touch with peace ac- tivists involved in other
enterprises. For ex- ample, its women's front sent messages to women's
peace organization in Western Europe and the US (Women Strike for Peace)
urging all-out support for former Representative Jeanette Rankin's
peace march in Washington.
7. The much ballyhooed "Vietnam Congress" held in West Berlin in
mid-February was largely an all-German show. Despite speculation that
a number of leading lights among US peace workers-- including Dellinger
and Stokely Carmichael--would attend, no major US leader turned up.
American participation was limited to SNCC activist Dale Allen Smith
and four little-noted members of Students for a Democratic Society.
8. Ralph Schoenman's activities seem to have taken a significant new
turn. [SANITIZED] The special target of Schoenman's efforts since his
arrival here reportedly has been the Black Power movement, and the
Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in particular. His
objective apparently is to involve militant negro elements actively
in the anti-Vietnam war agitation and to force organizational links
between the two movements. He hopes to achieve this by convincing the
racist organizations that their struggle for "liberation" and the
struggle against the war have the same adversary and are fundamentally
the same struggle.
9. This is not an entirely new tack for Schoenman. His marked
Trotskyite tendencies have predisposed him as much toward revolutionary
struggle as toward peace. He has been an exponent of the "war of
liberation" and a particular admirer of Che Guevara and the doctrines
of Castro. Stokely Carmichael's vision of a "Third World" liberating
itself from white oppression is one which is not congenial to
Schoenman's way of thinking but one which can be readily adapted
to the Vietnam cause.
10. Schoenman claims to have carried his appeal to all the major
Black Power strongholds in the US and to have been accepted by at
least some militant groups. Much of this can be put down to
Schoenman's tendency to exaggerate and to inflate his own
importance. It would be surprising if more than a few Black
Power advocates found either Schoenman himself or his ideas very
appealing. Aside from a few internationally oriented leaders, the
militant Negro movement has shown little interest in peace issues.
Their concern over Vietnam generally is limited to such areas as the
draft and racial discrimination in the services. Many Negro activists
would, of course, be quite willing to use Schoenman, his funds, and
his extensive contacts to serve their own ends.
11. Schoenman's missionary work among the Negro militants reported
has produced several results. [SANITIZED]
12. In addition, Schoenman and John Wilson of SNCC have been
involved in the establishment of a "commission" whose purpose
will be to draw the various black communities into the war
resistance movement. The composition and tactics of the commission,
which will be staffed largely by SNCC personnel, are to be worked out
at a "conference" to be held at some time in the future, possibly the
national conference on "Blacks Against the Draft and In Resistance to
the War" which Schoenman and SNCC leaders reportedly have been
planning for April.