I had a nightmare the other night. My nightmares usually make little sense. They are fueled by too much coffee and other stimulants that put one's autonomous system and subconscious on steroids. Nightmares are vivid, fleeting grab-bags of disparate worries and concerns that migrate to another corner of one's mind and suddenly, from out of nowhere and triggered by some anxiety, collide and merge into bizarre montages of German Expressionist film images and sounds. My own nightmares take the form of newspaper columns, dispassionately narrated by a voice that is a blend of Orson Welles's foreboding cynicism, Jean Shepherd's spritely naturalism, and the funereal voice of Garrison Keillor.
Last month a group of five House representatives, headlined by Michele "gangster government" Bachmann of Minnesota, called for a multi-agency investigation into the backgrounds of numerous Muslims now employed in various capacities in federal agencies and departments. Andrew McCarthy estimates there are thousands. One of those letters went to deputy inspector general of the State Department, and one of the persons named in the letter was Huma Abedin, Secretary Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff.
That Hillary Clinton is a welfare statist to the core is not entirely irrelevant to the issue. But her own ambition and hope to change America, thwarted on the domestic scene – President Bill stole all the headlines, and HillaryCare was not to be – conform perfectly with President Barack Obama's ambition and hope to reduce America to being just another bankrupt member of the global village, instead of it being the last best hope of Western civilization.
The latest nightmare entertained me with the idea that Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, who held that office from 1933 to 1944, was being influenced by a deputy chief of staff by the name of Karl Fynn Abercrombie. The nightmare wasn't that specific. It came and went in a flash, too quickly to contemplate in any detail. But some of the faces were familiar, as well as the style of dress of the 1940's, and I recall peering into a dimly lit House of Representatives. In the dream, investigations were indeed initiated, and Congress and America learned to their collective dismay that Karl Flynn Abercrombie was none other than Karl Kluge, a Nazi spy, and that Hull knew it. As did FDR.
I do not know where the names Karl Flynn Abercrombie and Kluge came from. I cannot account for them, but I distinctly remember them. I knew Hillary's history, and Cordell Hull's, and so that knowledge, together with a lurking, unformed parallel of events in my subconscious, contributed to the nightmare. The last thing I can recall from the nightmare was a New York Times headline: "Kluge Unmasked as German Agent," and the narrator beginning to read the story. But that is when I woke up.
So I have decided to flesh out the nightmare.
The investigation into Karl Kluge, alias Karl Flynn Abercrombie, revealed that he had been Cordell Hull's chief foreign policy advisor since late 1935, when he was suddenly pushed forward by State Department underlings as a candidate to be Hull's advisor when Hull's original aide died in a car accident. His background was checked by the FBI, and a file on him was sent to Hull and to the White House. The FBI had found some highly incriminating information on Kluge – none of which was made public until the scandal broke – but both Hull and FDR considered the man properly and thoroughly vetted to hold such a sensitive office as Hull's primary advisor.
Kluge was indeed an American citizen, having been born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1910, of parents of German-Swedish origin, who had arrived in the country in the last century. In 1920 they moved to Munich, Germany, after the turmoil there had abated. Both parents were teachers. After a while, the father, Albert Kluge, started a newspaper, Die Trompete von Leutenor, or, The People's Trumpet, while his wife, Silke, acted as editor. The paper promoted the ideas and politics of the National Socialist German Workers Party. It was firebombed twice by Communists, and Albert Kluge was frequently beaten up by them. But the paper survived, thanks to a subsidy from a German pharmaceutical company whose owner was a fervent Nazi.
In 1929 the paper was merged with the official newspaper of the Nazi Party in Berlin, Der Angriff ("The Attack"), founded by Berlin Gauleiter Joseph Goebbels. Albert and Silke were retained to write pro-Nazi articles under a variety of pseudonyms. Young Karl Kluge, freshly graduated from the University of Munich, also worked for the paper as a manager and then as a writer. He was quite brilliant and became a favorite of Goebbels, who taught him how to write stirring speeches. Occasionally he edited some of Goebbels's editorials. He added this paragraph to his employer's report on the Nazi victory in the Reichstag election of September 1930.
Those in the center know our goals: the National Socialist movement has no desire to join the bourgeois party bosses. We have no intention of ducking responsibility. We are not purveyors of pathos, as the newspapers like to say about us. We will accept responsibility only when we can justify it to the people and the nation. We do not think holy what the Republic thinks untouchable. The National Socialist movement wants a transformation of things as they are. We have not come to prop up that which is collapsing, but rather to topple it.
Then it was discovered, during casual conversation, that young Karl was an American citizen. Goebbels conferred with Hitler and other high ranking Nazis. Plans were made for young Karl. He was to be tapped for a very special mission, that of keeping the United States out of a war that was sure to come, and to persuade America to keep its nose out of German affairs.
Karl's last task before he left for America was the preliminary editing of a collection of Goebbels's editorials for a book, Der Angriff-Aufsaetze Aus Der Kampfzeit, or The Attack - Essays for the Struggle Period. The book was subsequently published in 1935 by the Angriff Press, a wholly owned Nazi publishing house. Karl Kluge's name was mentioned on the copyright page. He was quite proud of that. About the same time, Karl's father, Albert, died of a stroke. His mother, Silke, continued on at Der Angriff, and formed Die Deutsche Frauenfront, or the German Women's Front, which campaigned to convince women to become homebodies and baby factories.
In mid-1934 Karl Flynn Abercrombie turned up in America as a German translator for the State Department. During a period of loneliness combined with an excess of schnapps, he met and married an American hootchy kootchy saloon dancer named Alice Winer in 1935, about the time his name was put forward as a candidate to become Cordell Hull's chief of staff.
The incriminating evidence in Karl's FBI file included his and parents' work for Der Angriff. On his application for employment with the State Department, Karl had explained his departure from Nazi Germany by claiming that he had become disenchanted with the Party and feared for his own life because of his jokes about Hitler being Austrian and not a real German, and also about his ridiculous moustache, which he had heard other Party members scoffing was not much of a disguise. He also claimed that violent disagreements with his parents over Nazi ideology had made his life miserable. While the FBI agent in charge of checking on Karl's background commended Karl for his honesty and forthrightness, he nevertheless viewed Karl as a security risk and did not recommend him for promotion to Hull's office, citing the possibility of extortionate pressure being put on him to spy on the Secretary or otherwise act against the interests of the United States.
Kluge also explained that he had adopted the name "Karl Flynn Abercrombie" to avoid any anti-German bias or prejudice in government and outside the venue of the State Department.
In Kluge's file was also the note that on two separate occasions, in late 1934, some months after his arrival in the U.S., he had met in secret, in Buffalo, New York, Fritz Julius Kuhn, a German immigrant member of the pro-Nazi Friends of The New Germany and future Bundesführer of the German American Bund. Creation of Friends of The New Germany had been assisted by the German Consulate in New York. The Nazi Party in Germany later withdrew its endorsement of this organization (its antisemitism and violence against Jewish businesses were considered an embarrassment and counter-productive by the German Nazis), and later sanctioned the formation of the Bund, officially approving Kuhn as its head. The FBI could not say what had transpired between Kuhn and Kluge; Kuhn, a vocal and acerbic member of the Friends, had been under FBI scrutiny for some time.
Neither the Secretary of State nor the White House voiced any reservations about Kluge's record. Hull insisted that Kluge retain the alias of "Karl Flynn Abercrombie."
In 1934, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia of New York claimed that the German Nazis intended to exterminate the Jews. In March 1937, he warned of the perils posed by the Nazi regime. The Nazi government organ, Der Angriff, claimed that he had been bribed by Jewish and Communist agents and was a criminal dupe of the Jews. Secretary of State Hull apologized to the Nazi government for the Mayor having offended it, but said nothing critical about the German Nazis' libelous statements about LaGuardia.
It came to light that Alice Kluge, while her husband was away with the Secretary of State on official business, had been secretly appearing as a striptease artist in disreputable clubs in Washington, Baltimore, and northern Virginia, and forming liaisons with various criminal characters. The discovery caused a small scandal and Kluge's name for the first time was prominently featured in news articles. Kluge and his wife apologized for the indiscretions and promised that their marriage would weather the scandal. Alice Kluge eventually became a shut-in alcoholic.
Members of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), established in 1938, had, among its other concerns, compiled a record of the doings of the Friends of The New Germany and later of the German American Bund. Members of the Committee were not happy with Cordell Hull's conduct of American policy, especially that connected with Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan.
Early in 1941, HUAC sent a report to Congress that hypothesized Kluge's influence on Hull's policies.
It suggested that Hull, and, by implication, the President, was more concerned about establishing friendly trade relations with Japan than he was about Japan's barbaric behavior in Manchuria.
It alleged that Hull had, in 1939, refused entry as tourists into the U.S. and Cuba of some nine hundred European Jewish refugees aboard the SS St. Louis because they did not have return addresses, and that, anyway, it was Cuba's problem, not his Department's. Many of the refugees were welcomed into Britain, but others were forced to return to Europe, where they likely perished in the Holocaust.
It alleged that in 1940 Hull had repeatedly instructed the State Department to delay sending money overseas to help Romanian Jews escape the Nazis.
It alleged that Kruge persuaded Hull to look favorably on the Vichy government of Nazi-occupied France, and to denigrate the forces of the Free French.
It alleged that Kluge had the ear of Hull and that of the White House when, in November 1938, two weeks after Kristallnacht, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes proposed using the territory of Alaska as a sanctuary for Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and other areas in Europe where the Jews were being subjected to persecution and murder. The president insisted that Jews consist of no more than ten percent of such a resettlement. The proposal died.
The report based its allegations of antisemitism on the part of Kluge by citing portions of The Attack - Essays for the Struggle Period, which Kluge had edited. One editorial, one of several entered into the report, was from a September 1930 issue of Der Angriff:
Who are the Jews? They are an alien race spawned by Satan to corrupt the German people, to lead them astray with their cheap goods and cheap prices. Jews are not the brothers of Germans. Jewish hirelings and Jewish gangs prey on German women and children to sully them with their hands and lusts. Jewish shop owners and Jewish capitalists swindle our people over their filthy counters and in their larcenous banks. But the day is coming when German manhood with take up the scythe and with great sweeping arcs decapitate the heads of the Jews. The German people will not be denied the right of retribution for the suffering they have endured by Jewish hands. The Reichstag election results guarantee us that justice.
The HUAC report recommended that all immigrant Germans now employed in various federal agencies be re-investigated to better determine their loyalty to the United States. It stated that many of these individuals still had family and relatives in countries already conquered by the Nazis, and that these persons could be pressured to act against the country's interests to preserve the well-being of their captive family and relatives. Such an action, read the report, was not intended to impugn the character or question the loyalty of said persons, however, it was wiser to conduct such an investigation and remove said persons from access to sensitive information than it would be to avoid offending their sensibilities.
Kluge's antisemitism and Nazi background were demonstrable. The report recommended that he be relieved of his post forthwith in the State Department.
The HUAC report not quite accused Hull and Roosevelt of antisemitism. A copy of the report was purloined and sent to the White House. Excerpts of it appeared in The New York Times and other pro-Roosevelt newspapers. Prominent senators immediately came to Kluge's defense, calling him a "fine patriot" and a "loyal American of the best kind." Hull and Roosevelt said nothing, but let their allies in Congress and in the press carry on the dispute. The Speaker of the House called Karl Kluge a man of "sterling character" and warned that the report's "accusations bordered on libel and defamation."
The authors replied that it did not accuse anyone of anything, but was intended to call for investigations that would better ensure the country's security.
The representatives were pressured to repudiate the HUAC report. Three of the authors disassociated themselves from it. The issue "went away."
That is my fleshed-out dream. Or nightmare. I could have gone on and related how in 1944 Kluge managed to photograph copies of the plans for D-Day – which Cordell Hull would have been privy to – and give them to a German courier who boarded a Nazi submarine that briefly surfaced off the Outer Banks in North Carolina, plans which allowed the Germans to accelerate the completion of their defenses at Normandy, thus ensuring a disastrous failure on June 6th. But that would have been stretching the story.
There is no stretching this real-life story, no need to dwell on the parallels. I hope the point is made that anyone remotely connected with the Muslim Brotherhood – and that would include any Muslims – through a familial connection or otherwise, should not be employed in any federal agency or department. But, then, most of the people now employed in those agencies and who are not Muslims should also be deemed security risks, beginning with the current Secretary of State.
The issue of Huma Abedin, Clinton's deputy chief of staff and "body woman," likewise "went away." When one scans the State Department's list of high ranking employees, her name is nowhere to be found. Which is a very curious thing, indeed.
Islam is at war with us. It means to conquer us or destroy us. Our leadership is apparently on the side of the enemy. That has been proven over the last four nightmarish years.