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This article appears in the April 23, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

III. Ramsey Clark: A Man of Courage

In Memoriam

William Ramsey Clark 1927-2021

A Representative of the American Ideal

My late husband Lyndon LaRouche and Ramsey Clark both had an unbounded respect for each other, recognizing in each other that specific quality of character, incapable of committing falseness or making any kind of compromise with the truth for personal benefit. Both of them had the character of the World War II generation, the better part of which shared the moral outlook of Franklin D. Roosevelt: that it was the moral obligation of the United States to help developing countries overcome the relicts of colonial underdevelopment. The better people of that generation had a truly republican set of values, in the sense of the American revolution and were not tainted by any of the several paradigm changes of the post-war generations.

Ramsey Clark, on his own initiative, became a lawyer for my husband in the appeals after his 1989 conviction. He was appalled by the legal atrocities of the conviction in the Alexandria, Virginia “rocket docket” court. The short time allowed, only three weeks, for the preparation for a very complex trial, and the haste of the jury selection, guaranteed that there would be no way to investigate possible prejudice in prospective jurors, meant justice could not occur.

Clark presented testimony to Independent Hearings convened August 31-September 1, 1995 to investigate allegations of gross misconduct by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), saying:

But in what was a complex and pervasive utilization of law enforcement, prosecution, media, and non-governmental organizations focussed on destroying an enemy, this case must be number one. There are some, where the government itself may have done more and more wrongfully over a period of time; but the very networking and combination of federal, state, and local agencies, of Executive and even some Legislative and Judicial branches, of major media and minor local media, and of influential lobbyist types, the ADL [Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith] preeminently, this case takes the prize.

The purpose can only be seen as destroying—It’s more than a political movement, it’s more than a political figure. It is those two; but it’s a fertile engine of ideas, a common purpose of thinking and studying and analyzing to solve problems, regardless of the impact on the status quo, or on vested interests. It was a deliberate purpose to destroy that at any cost.

In the years that Lyn, an innocent man, was sitting in jail, I was in touch with Ramsey Clark. He gave me invaluable advice, which contributed to our ability as an organization to survive this very difficult period. Later, after Lyn was freed thanks to, among other things, the intervention of hundreds of parliamentarians from all over the world, cardinals, bishops, decorated military men, members of governments and artists, Ramsey participated in many Schiller Institute events. He visited us periodically, both in Europe and in the United States.

Over these years he became close to both of us. While we came from different political backgrounds, our discussions would focus on subjects of universal significance, constitutional principles, the relation of individual freedom to the well-being of the state, the fight against repression in specific historical periods, or the importance of personal integrity for the creative ability of the individual. As is the nature of such discussions, they tend to transcend the limits of particular political affiliations and establish what is common to humanity. In this sense, Ramsey became a very important friend.

Especially in these extremely challenging times, we have to uphold the memory of this towering personality. There are unfortunately too few people like him, who embody the hope that the world will not give up on the U.S. and that the people of the U.S. are reminded of the better angels of their history.

—Helga Zepp-LaRouche

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