The Moral Obligation
to the Virginia Prisoners
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
Mr. LaRouche released the following statement on Aug. 26, 1995, in response to news from Richmond, Virginia, that U.S. Federal Judge Richard L. Williams has scheduled a preliminary hearing on the petition of imprisoned LaRouche associate Michael Billington to disquality the Virginia Attorney General from involvement in litigating Billington's federal habeas corpus petition. Michael Billington is currently serving a 77-year sentence for "financial crimes" he did not commit. Four other railroaded LaRouche associates are serving sentences of 39 years (Anita Gallagher), 34 years (Paul Gallagher), 33 years (Laurence Hecht), and 25 years (Donald Phau).
The first hearings in Federal review of the Virginia Billington conviction have occurred. This much-belated ray of hope for justice, in the cases of political martyrs Mike Billington, Don Phau, Anita Gallagher, Paul Gallagher, and Larry Hecht, poses afresh the issue: What is the moral obligation of the victims' associates, and of all U.S. citizens, to acknowledging the honor which these five prisoners have earned?
The most provocative, and therefore most efficient way to identify that obligation, is to expose the immoral character of the argument, by some, that these defendants' personal self-interests dictated that they should have "copped a plea." To expose the personal immorality of those who make that argument, one should begin by reviewing the legal defense policy of the philosophical association to which all of these, and related victims adhered.
The NCLC Legal PolicyAll of the victims were, at all relevant times, associates of a philosophical association known as the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC).(Footnote 1) Since the dissolution of that association's functions as an organization of dues-paying members, during 1976-1977, the association has had no formal organization, excepting the informal rule governing professed and acknowledged association, and the periodic election of spokespersons, analogous to a body of elders, who are accountable for regulating the public identification of the past and current philosophical standpoint of the association.
Beginning January 1983, official agents of the U.S. Government entered into cooperation with private associations which were already enemies of the NCLC, to the purpose of seeking to destroy 1980 U.S. Democratic Party presidential pre-candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., and organizations and endeavors associated with that LaRouche. According to official U.S. government records now in evidence, and sworn testimony of government agents, this U.S. government initiative against LaRouche et al., launched during January 1983, was prompted by repeated efforts of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. In January, Kissinger's cronies within the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) endorsed Kissinger's application for this action. Later that same month, as a result of that PFIAB action, Kissinger crony Judge William Webster, then FBI Director, assigned his flunky, Oliver "Buck" Revell, to conduct a covertly directed, "secret government" intelligence action, implicitly under the authority of then-standing Presidential Executive Order 12333.
The first public surfacing of this Kissinger-prompted secret-government operation occurred during April 1983. The source was a series of cross-corroborated leaks received respecting a meeting convened by New York private banker John Train (of the firm of Smith & Train). These leaks, later confirmed by sworn testimony and documents, showed Train as presiding over, and coordinating the efforts of a number of U.S. intelligence-community and other official and private interests, in designing a consensus to libel LaRouche in concert, to the further purpose of both defaming LaRouche and creating a news-media climate suited to fostering politically motivated criminal prosecutions.
News media participating in these Train-directed meetings included NBC-TV News, the Wall Street Journal, and the Readers Digest. It is notable, that from late January 1984 through December 1988, virtually all mass-media coverage of LaRouche in the U.S.A. and in the leading Soviet and East Bloc press, conformed to the guidelines for libel fabricated within the Train salon. This included every leading daily newspaper in all leading and other cities of the United States, all three national TV networks, most TV stations, and so on. This "black propaganda" campaign was conducted by U.S. leading news media, at several points, in direct collaboration with the Soviet bloc intelligence services, and other foreign interests.
Massive perjury by NBC-TV, aided by fraudulent rulings of a corrupt Federal judge, enabled NBC and its co-defendants to "get off the hook" in a 1984 libel action, which, under fair-trial circumstances, would have halted the Kissinger initiative at that point. This fraudulent rigging of the outcome of the libel case was the launching-pad for the criminal investigations set into operation in Boston, Massachusetts, by NBC-TV, almost the same October 1984 day the false decision in the NBC-TV libel case was concluded in Alexandria, Virginia. It was in that context that the relevant statement on legal policy was developed by the leading body of the NCLC.
Most NCLC members, to their great moral credit, adhered to this policy, through proverbial "thick and thin." The Virginia prisoners typify that. A few others, through fear, deviated: like deserters in warfare, they fled the battlefield, increasing thereby the honor of those who did not turn tail.
The relevant legal doctrine was: If one has committed the act alleged, one must acknowledge it; if not, one must deny the allegation, no matter at what cost.
Mephistopheles, sometimes assuming the disguise of a defense attorney, would whisper the tempting suggestion: "Yes, that is all fine; but, since the prosecution will win this case, no matter how innocent you might be, is it not obviously in your self-interest to suffer a much lesser penalty, than a maximal sentence?" In other words, is it not in your self-interest, to become immoral? No doubt, Mephistopheles, in his disguise as a pimp, said about the same thing to the girl from the poor family he was soliciting to accept his protection. It is the same argument--"your personal self-interest," which persuades the morally decrepit to practise espionage or other crimes against their nation and all of its people.
Indeed, every person who "cops a plea" to a charge of which he or she is not guilty in fact, is a whore, who has betrayed the right of every American citizen to justice. Every prosecutor, who out of zeal for "making a score," induces an accused to cop a false plea, is a rotten, immoral wretch; principles of common justice ought to compel him to place himself in prison.
Truth is a precious thing. There is very little of it in the U.S. justice system today: in prosecutors, judges, prejured witnesses, corrupt defense attornies, and plea-copping defendants themselves. They have all participated in making the U.S. justice system the abomination to which it has degenerated during the past score years. Truth is, therefore, all the more precious for reason of its rarity within such precincts.
The Immorality of 'Self-Interest'When someone, an automobile salesman, or a prosecutor, or a slick defense attorney, is about to speak to you of your "self- interest," make certain your wallet is empty beforehand. "Personal self-interest" is an idea dreamed up by none other than Satan himself; the terms "personal and family self-interest" are the first principles of the catechism in everyone's neighborhood Church of Satan. The contrary, applicable moral principle of the Virgina's victims' cases, is summarized as follows.
The mortal life of each of us, is but a speck of an instant in the span of existence of mankind as a whole. We are each, biologically, but a speck, in the span of contemporary humanity. Where, then, lies our immediate, personal self-interest?
As Verses 26-30 of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis emphasize, man and woman are unlike any other creature in existence, of a vastly higher importance and quality. They are made in the image of God the Creator. In short, they are given, from birth, the divine spark of potential to generate, to receive, and to impart to others, creative productions of the individual human mind, creations which partake of the nature of God as Creator of the universe: to create valid states of the universe which have never existed in the universe before.
This distinction of mankind is manifest beyond doubt, in the fact that man, were he a higher ape, would have never exceeded a population of several millions individuals, under conditions existing on this planet during any part of the recent two millions years or so. The increase of mankind's potential relative population-density, and concomitant improvements in demographic characteristics of households, and physical productivity per capita, suffice to demonstrate that point conclusively.
It is through those ideas, which are not merely images of sense-perception, by means of which mankind increases its potential relative population-density, in this way, that the reality of man and woman as in the image of God is expressed. That process of development, the generation, receiving and imparting of those qualities of ideas, is the meaning of all human existence, is the only meaningful relationship of man to man, and mankind to nature. All else is morally bestial, and therefore morally false.
What, then, is true "self-interest." Ask the foolish man to consider the brevity of his speck-like contemporary mortal existence, and ask the fool to state the meaning of his tiny, brief mortal existence. The fool will prate self-righteously of "personal and family interest," with a porngraphic eye on the sensual delights, of table and elsewhere, which he may associate with "personal." Ask the fool: "What is your self-interest after you are dead and buried? Where is your pleasure in personal and family life then? Did not Christ speak of 'let the dead bury their dead'?"
The fool, confronted by the brevity and tininess of his mortal existence, is concerned with the mortal gratifications he might crave from that confining brevity. The wise man, thinks not so much of what he might get out of that more speck of space- time, but, rather, what of lasting importance he might put into it.
Such, latter, were the commitments of the associates of the National Caucus of Labor Committees. As an association, we were committed to defending the good against the kind of rampant evil typified by, among others, Henry A. Kissinger and his wicked accomplices. Shall we then give the lie to everything precious to which we have devoted our lives, to assisting in defaming ourselves for the benefit of those, like Kissinger, so degraded that they make even Satan blush? We were and are committed to justice for the people of the developing nations, the poor in the U.S.A., for the farmers who are being looted so injustly, and so on. Shall we betray them?
We were assaulted by corrupt, sometimes even Nazi-like elements within the U.S. government, and others, who sought to eliminate the political threat we represented to the evil cause which they represented. Since we had committed no crime, in fact, but were persecuted by evil persons for the sake of their own evil, we must simply tell the truth. Had we done anything for which we were accused, we must, by the same logic, admit that to be true, because we can not betray that principle of truth which is ultimately our true defense.
That was, and is the legal defense policy. Those who are imprisoned because they served that principle at all risk, are morally and intellectually among the noblest specimens of humanity today. Not to honor those victims, and to seek to bring about their freedom and exoneration, would be a quality of negligence most mean and debased.
Footnote1. The abandonment of dues-payment membership was a process which unfolded during the years 1976-1978. The NCLC had been formed in January 1969, as a coalition of sundry organizations which had come together at some time during the 1966-1969 interval. From that time, until 1976, the NCLC existed as a due- paying membership organization, with sundry income- yielding and expense-incurring activities included. In 1976, most U.S. citizens members of the NCLC became members of the U.S. Labor Party (USLP), a registered political party which included a large ration of persons not associated with the NCLC.
Continuing Cointelpro operations targetting the NCLC, and also the Labor Party, by the FBI and its sundry public and private associates, prompted the NCLC to abandon its quasi-corporate organization, in order to limit itself to the status of a purely philosophical-legal association. During the course of the 1980 Democratic Primary campaigns, most members of the USLP participated in various Democratic Party campaigns; most of these, together with numerous others, participated in a new political-action committee, the National Democratic Policy Committee, which was formed within the setting of the August 1980 New York Democratic convention. During the same interval, 1976-1980, the publishing and scientific organizations whose corporate life had begun with partial sponsorship by the NCLC, evolved in ways which reflected the changes in the NCLC.
Apart from its functions as a philosophical association, the principal other activity of the NCLC, from 1978 to the present date, has been in connection with legal cases against the Cointelpro and related offenses of the FBI and associated agencies. (back to text)