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

[Print version of this article]

In Memoriam

Ramsey Clark, 1927-2021

April 11—On Saturday morning, the Schiller Institute spoke with the family of former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark. We expressed condolences on behalf of Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche upon hearing news of Clark’s passing, at the age of 93, on Friday, April 9. His family expressed thanks for our wishes and remarked that they were very aware of the regard in which Mr. Clark held Lyndon LaRouche.

Clark, who never missed an occasion in the last years of his life to appear at Schiller Institute events when called upon to do so, was, like LaRouche, an independent man of principle, a true citizen of the Republic of the Mind. So long as he was alive, the justice that citizens should expect to enjoy from the American Constitutional and legal system was personified. Clark understood the true depth of injustice that LaRouche and his associates had suffered, and he also appreciated that the “book people” as he referred to the International Caucus of Labor Committees (ICLC), possessed an unshakeable commitment to truth.

One source recalled in recent days that Clark caused those who were severely critical of LaRouche, particularly on the left, to investigate who LaRouche really was. His assessment was said to be that the ICLC and affiliate organizations were the best organized groups against the establishment, and that, if the ICLC were to disintegrate or be destroyed, the United States would turn to fascism.

It was to prevent precisely such an occurrence that Clark sent a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno on April 26, 1995, which began as follows:

April 26, 1995

Re: U.S. v. Lyndon LaRouche, Jr. et al.

Dear Attorney General Reno,

I have been an attorney in this case since shortly after the defendants were sentenced in January 1990 and appeared as co-counsel on appeal and on the subsequent motions and appeals in proceedings under 28 U.S.C. sec. 2255 and F.R.Cr.P. Rule 33. I bring this matter to you directly, because I believe it involves a broader range of deliberate and systematic misconduct and abuse of power over a longer period of time in an effort to destroy a political movement and leader, than any other federal prosecution in my time or to my knowledge. Three courts have now condemned the Department’s conduct in this prosecutorial campaign. The result has been a tragic miscarriage of justice which at this time can only be corrected by an objective review and courageous action by the Department of Justice.

Clark’s depth of character, and deeper understanding of the problem of the post-war American outlook, was referenced by him in this statement, recorded in a documentary about him called Citizen Clark:

There are sayings around the Kennedy Center, carved above the marble, above the colonnades when you walk in. And on the backside toward the Potomac, there’s one; it’s a quote from President Kennedy that says: ‘I look forward to the day when America is no longer afraid of grace and beauty.’ And I thought immediately when he was shot, that that’s why he was shot. We are afraid of grace and beauty.

Clark approached his brief attempts at seeking public office in much the same way as Lyndon LaRouche approached his eight Presidential campaigns. Douglas Martin of The New York Times reported: “Mr. Clark became an office seeker in 1974, when, as a Democrat, he tried to unseat Senator Jacob K. Javits of New York, a Republican. Holding to his principled positions, Mr. Clark often told voters what they did not want to hear. He advocated gun control legislation in speeches to hunters and told defense industry workers that their plants should be closed. He lost convincingly.”

No. The voters of 1974 New York lost, not Ramsey Clark. Clark was that rarest of candidates in politics: a truth-teller. In a time darkened by multiple assassinations and the shrinking of the national character, Clark, like President John Quincy Adams, embodied a stubborn disdain for retreating to the comfort of a convenient deceit, wrapped in the guise of a law. Legislation, such as the civil rights legislation which he worked to enforce in the 1960s, had to be dynamic, an expression of the living spirit of the American Constitution, perfecting itself by breaking through the artificial boundaries of outworn convention. He preferred to speak the truth, boldly and without artifice. We believe that he would be particularly gratified by the newly initiated work of the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites, against the use of sanctions as a form of population warfare.

We include a link to a speech delivered by Clark in January of 2015 at Riverside Church in New York City, directly following remarks delivered by Helga Zepp-LaRouche. This speech, which recounts his deployment to Selma, Alabama to ensure safe passage for Martin Luther King and 50 marchers on the road from Selma to Montgomery, is unique in expressing the inner life of that moment in American history, as unique as was the man Ramsey Clark himself.

—Dennis Speed


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