News & Politics

Dr. Crankley’s Not-So-Great Grandchildren: Diana West Analyzes Why the Anti-Trump Putschists Persist

(A review-essay of the new monograph The Red Thread: A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy by Diana West. A book launch panel discussion from Friday, March 8, 2019, with Diana West and panelists Frank Gaffney, Chris Farrell, and Rich Higgins can be viewed here.)


“Running like a red thread through Communist teachings from the very inception of the movement is the note of total hostility to our form of government.”

from The Communist Party Of The United States Of America: What It Is. How It Works. A Handbook For Americans,” at a hearing by the Subcommittee To Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, December 21, 1955, P. 16.

Strident never-Trumper Max Boot, quoted in a 3/2/2016 NY Times article, infamously encapsulated his unhinged vacuity on the subject of then-leading GOP Presidential contender Donald Trump by belching forth: “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump.” Forgive the gentle, attentive reader of Diana West’s uniquely insightful, painstakingly researched new monograph, The Red Thread: A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy, for pausing to re-consider whether Boot’s sneering utterance was pure hyperbole.

Whittaker Chambers, apostate from the Communist religion of immoralism, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto with a thoughtfully acid February 23, 1948 Time essay on Karl Marx and his legacy entitled “Dr. Crankley’s Children.” The essay’s title derived from a pseudonym, “Dr. Crankley,” Marx adopted in a March 3, 1865 letter to his daughter. Chambers recounted Marx’s triumphal hypocrisy, producing a publication that declared itself an “organ of democracy” while admitting the “reality” that it “was nothing but a plan against democracy.” This behavior segued to “the first Party purges,” conducted by a man who despised “sentimental socialism” and was described by a contemporary thusly: “Baring his teeth, Marx will slaughter anybody who blocks his way.”

The inevitable progression of such dogma, and behaviors, observes Chambers, was Marx’s conclusion that he must “capture” the state with police power and establish his dystopian “dictatorship of the proletariat.” “Written down,” Chambers averred, “it was to become an extension of his own tyrannical political methods, the excuse for the most pitiless tyranny the world has ever seen.” Assessing what Marx bestowed through his ideological progeny, Chambers characterized three classes of Dr. Crankley’s children. Those Chambers dubbed the “children of pity,” epitomized by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, concurred with Marx’s indictment of capitalism, but believed in an inexorable “steady bicycle ride toward socialism.” Benito Mussolini was Chambers’ archetype for the “children of hate,” who “put the machines and classes to work for war.”

The third class of Dr. Crankley’s children “inherited the cold disciplined logic necessary for the serious pursuit of power.” Embodied by Lenin, who, “like Father Marx, knew what was best,” they were (and remain) the “most important and the most terrible of the Marxist brood.” Lenin, Chambers reminds us, “snatched away” democracy, “organized, as Marx had taught, a dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., a disciplined gang of power monopolists,” and his acolytes “smashed men freely.”

With meticulously researched detail, and fearless, extraordinary originality of thought, Diana West’s remarkably compendious The Red Thread introduces us to key (not-so-) great-grandchildren of Dr. Crankley. Their continuing machinations amount to nothing less than an anti-Trump putsch. As an equally important corollary to her analysis, West re-establishes what should already be clear, but often passes without notice, or only scant (and if so, grudging) recognition: Donald Trump is arguably the most anti-Communist POTUS in America’s history. (See, for example, my PJ Media essay with extracts from Trump’s 2017 and 2018 U.N. speeches which decried the abject historical failure of Socialism/Communism, and his 2000 The America We Deserve. It championed “Western style democracy” as his desired replacement for Communist totalitarianism in the collapsed former Soviet Union, denounced the “disgrace” Castro’s Communism had wrought upon Cuba, and was gimlet-eyed about the persistence — and danger — of entrenched Communism in a powerful China.)

Moreover, Trump’s visceral opposition to Communism is rooted in the anti-Communist American Protestant theology of his family’s pastor Norman Vincent Peale, which stands in stark opposition to the philo-Marxism of Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr — the religious and philosophical inspiration, importantly, to James Comey. West compels the reader to re-examine “this theological and political divide in American Protestantism that is an old story,” as a major thrust of her singularly unique achievement in The Red Thread: explicating the Marxist/Socialist ideological motivations which animate four of the most critical anti-Trump conspirators she analyzes.

However, the overarching logic of West’s thesis is apparent in her pellucid summary review of concrete events which illustrate the yawning gap between the ideas, and objective behaviors of the opposing forces. The “Trump-Russian Collusion”/“Trump is Putin’s Puppet” allegations are shown to be pure calumnies — indeed absurd ones — through West’s truthful prism. Here is her concise demolition of the mendacious narrative incessantly spewed by various arms of the Democratic (now, more openly, “Democratic Socialist”) Party, including the media, obsessed with negating the 2016 presidential election, and ignoring actual, dangerous Kremlin subversion:

As Trump said on April 27, 2016, echoing anti-Communists and Cold Warriors of past eras: ‘Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately…Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestionably by anybody and everybody.” The contrast was stark between Trump and Hillary Clinton, who vowed to kill an important upgrade to the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. “The last thing we need,” she declared at a private fundraiser in February 2016, “are sophisticated cruise missiles that are nuclear-armed.”

Take a moment and imagine the view from the Kremlin. If you are Vladimir Putin, would you really seek to stop Hillary “Last Thing We Need” Clinton from entering the Oval Office to continue the U.S. military decline accelerated by Barack Obama? Would you really determine it best for Russia’s pre-eminence as a nuclear power to “collude” (whatever that means) to help elect Donald “Modernize U.S. Nukes” Trump instead?

There just wasn’t much for Putin to hate about Hillary — not with all the big ticket goodies she and President Obama sent Moscow’s way. These included an “aggressive push” with Democrats in Congress “to grant permanent, normal trade status to Russia,” which paved the way for Russia’s long sought entry into the World Trade Organization; administration approval of the sale of 20 percent of U.S. uranium stocks to Russia’s state nuclear agency; and a massive, reckless and corrupt high-tech-transfer program to Russia known as Skolkovo … Not even the Obama administration’s rush to “Russian reset,” as executed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the press pause. Most Favored Nation trade status for Putin? Canceled missile defense for Europe? Global Zero? None of President Obama’s capitulations to the Kremlin prompted a single utterance of “Russian collusion.”

“I mean, we want very much to have a strong Russia,” Hillary Clinton told longtime Kremlin mouthpiece Vladimir Posner on Russian television on March 19, 2010. I can’t find one contemporaneous news story about this …

Then came the Obama administration’s quick expulsion of the “Russian illegals” in 2010. One of these highly trained SVR [Russian Intel] penetration agents had gotten “too close” to a “sitting cabinet member” (Hillary Clinton). The same media that hammer “Russian influence” today treated the shocking incident as if it were a summer movie blockbuster… That same year, when the Obama administration approved the sale to Russia of Uranium One, the Canadian company that controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium stocks, all we heard from the “watchdog” media was crickets. Ditto on the spectacle of former President Clinton accepting $500,000 from a KGB-linked bank in Moscow, which even had a proprietary interest in the uranium company sale!

Then in 2012, a hot mike picked up a hair-raising exchange between U.S. President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about European missile defense. Obama explained to Medvedev that “it’s important for [Putin] to give me space … after my election I have more flexibility.” Did CNN or the New York Times slam Obama as “Putin’s stooge”? Hah. Meanwhile, we can forget all about the Obama-Clinton-coordinated transfer of Western technology to Russia via Skolkovo, which according to an Army study released in 2013, had, by 2011, “begun its first weapons-related project, the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine.” The media did.

Instead, with political animus (but no evidence) to burn, it was Trump-Russia that burst into a fireball, intensifying after the election, sweating and scorching the White House, threatening the Trump presidency, along with any rational understanding of what Kremlin subversion really is and how it really works. Even as the outlines of the anti-Trump conspiracy began to emerge, even as the mystery-clients of the dossier were unmasked, the decibels and static against Team Trump rose also. The media were protecting the conspiracy.

What West reveals is that the media not only “protected the conspiracy,” its mainstream representatives explicitly ignored the anti-Trump putsch conspirators, and even those media outlets who chronicled their actions remained willfully blind to the putschists motivational ideology. The Red Thread methodically drills down on four main conspirators: Nellie Hauke Ohr, Christopher Steele, John Brennan, and James Comey.

Nellie Hauke Ohr in West’s fitting parlance (see pp. 7-8), “Daughter of the Academic Left,” received her B.A. in Russian history and literature from Harvard in 1983. In an interesting excursus (especially to me as a Rhode Island academic) on Nellie’s father, Richard Hauke, a botany professor at the University of Rhode Island (URI), West mentions having perused the online guide to his papers and reference to “nuclear winter”, circa 1983-1985. A dubious, highly politicized, and eventually fully disproven theory about the purported “cataclysmic effects” on climate of a thermonuclear weapons exchange (see the late Michael Crichton’s 2003 exposé on the sham “science”), West reviews how, worse still, it was another example of Kremlin “active measures,” a full-fledged “KGB disinformation scheme to undermine public support for new U.S. and NATO weaponry.” She confesses, “I have not read Richard L. Hauke’s writings on ‘nuclear winter,’” before adding this reasoned speculation:

… but I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to suppose he was not among the earliest scientists to debunk this theory. If I am correct, this would make Prof. Hauke both a victim of active KGB measures and a dupe who himself may have popularized them.

I went through Prof. Hauke’s archival materials (two folders) on “nuclear winter” at URI. It was larded with journal reprints and lay articles written by others uniformly supporting the theory. And then I came across the following typewritten lecture by Prof. Hauke: “The effect of Nuclear Winter on plants and people,” March 20, 1984, East Hall Auditorium, 7:30 PM. Here is the critical verbatim text confirming exactly what West surmised:

Suppose bomb dropped today [i.e., 3/20/1984]. One year from now, still below freezing. Couldn’t put crop in. Winter Wheat not until fall [19]85, for harvest [19]86. Probably would eat seed by then, nothing left to plant.

Nellie Ohr eventually completed her Stanford PhD in 1990 before teaching Russian history at Vassar. Ohr emerged “officially” as the Fusion GPS “expert in Russian matters, to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump,” according to a statement filed by Glenn Simpson, the company’s owner, 12/12/2017.

Intrigued by Diana West’s original investigations of Nellie Ohr (begun here), which she has expanded upon masterfully in The Red Thread, I sent her Ohr’s 1990 Stanford University PhD thesis: “Collective Farms and Russian Peasant Society, 1933-1937: the Stabilization of the Kolkhoz [Collective Farm] Order.” Ohr’s seeming agreement with the Soviet “revisionist” historians’ morally bankrupt bowdlerization of the Stalin era Soviet terrorfamine was apparent (even to me, a novice on Ohr and the “revisionists”) from a thesis extract I highlighted when forwarding the thesis, which West now features in The Red Thread. First Ohr’s own observation, from p. 9 of her 1990 PhD:

Recently, Western historians have been using materials from the Smolensk Archive to tack up their arguments that power flowed not only from the top down but also from the bottom up to some degree; that excesses sometimes represented desperate measures taken by a government that had little real control over the country; that policies such as de-kulakization [i.e., deportation and execution of prosperous peasant farmers], and the purges of the later 1930s had some social constituency among aggrieved groups of poorer peasants; and that the purges represented to some degree a center to periphery conflict, in which the “state building” central government tried to bring headstrong local satraps under control.

With her trademark searing, unapologetic insight, West elucidates Ohr’s remarks, appositely placing them in their true historical — and moral — context, concluding with the anti-Trump putsch, directed at America’s muscularly anti-Communist, “America First” president:

She [Ohr] sets forth the “revisionist” (read: Marxist, New Leftist, Communist, and KGB) themes, which, as Ohr claims in her introductory pages, her thesis will “corroborate.” These include (1) attacking the “totalitarian model” (2) minimizing Stalin’s guilt (3) dekulakization and purges as practically populist movements, and (4) purges as a response to “center-periphery conflict,” if not also part of “state-building.” … The mind that dispenses with murdered millions as “excesses” or “desperate measures” is not unfamiliar to us. We’ve seen it before, in the context of rationalizing purges, massacres, concentration camps, Gulags, gas chambers, labor camps, summary executions, and killing fields. It is a red thread that runs long and deep. How can we overlook it running through the anti-Trump coup?

It must be emphasized that none other than great Sovietologist Robert Conquest shared West’s assessment of the revisionists “methodology,” and enumerated the full extent of the carnage they sought to conceal or minimize. Conquest’s 1987 essay “Revisionizing Stalin’s Russia” summarized the revisionists ahistorical approach:

One finds, for example, revisionists flatly dismissing everything whose provenance can be defined as anti-Stalinist. (Sometimes this dismissal is compounded by ritual cries of ‘McCarthyism’) … Evidence from defectors, especially if they have actually suffered under Stalinism, is similarly rejected because their sufferings make them ‘prejudiced’ witnesses, so that first-hand testimony to  terror is denied credence. In fact, of course, the mutually confirmatory evidence from defectors, from Soviet official sources, from a wide variety of witnesses, is vast, cumulative and decisive. Only by rejecting it can the revisionist case be sustained.

Notwithstanding the apologetics and often frank denial of the “revisionists” Nellie Ohr championed (and joined), Conquest provided a final estimate that the 1930s Ukrainian Terror-Famine killed 14.5 million, from his “The Harvest of Sorrow”, (p. 301):

Taking it as 11 million odd we must add those peasants already sentenced, but dying in labor camp after January 1937 — that is, those arrested as a result of the assault on the peasantry of 1930-33 and not surviving their sentences (but not including the many peasants arrested in the more general terror of 1937-8). This gives (as we shall estimate later), not less than another 3.5 million, which would make the total peasant dead as a result of the dekulakization and famine about 14.5 million.

Retired British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, a GPS Fusion “teammate” of Nellie Ohr, remains, as West writes, the “public face” of the so-called “Steele dossier.” He also appears to share Nellie Ohr’s ideological inclinations. Per a 1/12/17 Daily Mail story, during his senior year at Cambridge University, circa 1986, Steele was President of the debating society, “avowedly Left wing,” with “credentials” from the Marxist-affiliated Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament [CND], and a “confirmed Socialist.” Steele was alleged by a New Yorker hagiography to have been a “middle-of-the-road Labor Party supporter.” But West’s dogged research brings to light an item (“Geula speaks”) published in the Jewish Post of Indianapolis, March 12, 1986 about Steele’s invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization — then a U.S. and Israel designated [Marxist-jihadist] terrorist organization to, “debate on the motion, ‘The state of Israel should be partitioned between Arab and Jew’.” Geula Cohen, the Israeli Knesset member invited, replied:

To the Union President Christopher Steele: The sole dialogue to which I would be a partner with an official representative of the PLO, an organization I consider neo-Nazi in character in that it slaughters Jews merely for being Jews, would be one in which he stood in the dock of an Israeli courtroom.

West also cites the assessment of the prevailing Labor attitudes in that era by journalist Peter Hitchens. A self-designated ex-Trotskyist, Hitchens abandoned the Labor Party in 1983 due to the fact that his “support for Britain’s nuclear weapons and my condemnations of IRA [Irish Republican Army] terrorism had got me into a great deal of trouble.” West posits Steele remained “so far Left as to be at home in a Labor Party that rejected British nukes and condoned IRA and PLO terrorism,” which in turn accounts for his “desperation” (as detailed by Nellie Ohr’s husband, and Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, to the FBI) to thwart Donald Trump’s election:

If we return to the reported biographical fact that Steele was a proponent of the 1980s nuclear freeze movement, a movement subscribed to by CND Marxists and deeply influenced by Brezhnev-Andropov-era Moscow (where Steele would soon go to work), it is worth considering the possible effect on Steel of Candidate Trump’s hawkish plan to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal [see extracts of Trump’s 4/27/2016 speech, above].

Additional evidence is provided by West that Steele did not undergo “an unheralded political transformation since his twenties,” and indeed remained another hard Left, Marxist-Socialist “ideologically-driven conspirator inside the anti-Trump, anti-American web”: the oddly politicized rhetoric in a eulogy Steele delivered for his first wife in 2009, and the transparent “Putinesque spin” evident in Steele’s more than 100 reports on Russia and the Ukraine he transmitted “gratis” to the U.S. Department of State in the recent past:

As recently as 2009, following the death of his first wife, the Daily Mail recapped Steele’s eulogy in political terms only: Steele “described his late wife as ‘a liberal in every sense of the word and always on the progressive side of the argument.’” Barring new evidence, that’s exactly where we can expect to find Steele today. This is why it becomes so interesting to learn from Eric Felten of the Weekly Standard that the 100-plus reports on Russia and Ukraine Steel bestowed upon the U.S. State Department gratis in recent years (client unknown) had what Felten characterizes as “Putinesque spin.” A senior State Department official told Felten: “We were not aware of [Steele’s] specific sources but assumed that many were close to Putin and were peddling information that was useful to the Kremlin.” Felten writes: “The official says the Putinesque spin of the memos led them to take Steele’s analysis with more than a grain of salt: ‘There was a huge discount factor for that reason.’”

Five years before the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution would begin to impose Communist totalitarianism on Russia, Henry C. Vedder observed in his 1912 study of Socialism that the Marxist Social Labor Federation of Britain had adopted Karl Marx’s Das Kapital [Capital] as their infallible authority, “an article of faith from which they will permit no dissent, on pain of excommunication.” Vedder, a Professor of Church History at the Upland, Pennsylvania Crozer Theological Seminary, added that this British Marxist organization rejected the orthodoxy of its own votaries unless they professed as their creed, “There is no God, and Karl Marx is his prophet” — mirroring the Islamic declaration of faith, or “shahada.” Ex-CIA Director and Anti-Trump putschist John Brennan may well represent the apotheosis of this totalitarian ideological convergence between Communism and Islam.

John Brennan has admitted casting his 1976 presidential vote for Communist Party (CP) of the USA leader Gus Hall. An ardent, unrepentant Stalin acolyte, who maintained the CPUSA as “a bastion of Stalinist orthodoxy for four decades,” Gus Hall, circa 1976, was virulently anti-American, and an overt champion of the “liberating” hegemonic Soviet Communist terror state under Communist dictator (and Hall’s “Comrade”) Brezhnev. Hall articulated these views in a 1975 “Report to the 21st Convention of the Communist Party”:

Détente is not an agreement to accept, or to turn one’s head from oppression by [US] imperialism anywhere. Comrade Leonid Brezhnev made this clear in a public statement here when he stated: “The Soviet Union’s support for all national liberation struggles and movements is non-negotiable.”

Consistent with this 1976 vote for American Stalinist Gus Hall as president, John Brennan, in his 1980 University of Texas Masters’ thesis, adopted the moral relativism one associates with the Communist movement. Brennan declared “absolute human rights do not exist,” rendering “[human rights] analysis subject to innumerable conditional criticisms,” rejecting free speech and Western liberty as universal values, and rationalizing both Soviet Communist and Egyptian Muslim authoritarian-theocratic totalitarianism. He proffered this unsettling apologetic for the appalling human rights record of the Brezhnev era Soviet Union (although Brennan refrained from labeling the Soviet dictator “Comrade Leonid Brezhnev”):

Can human rights violations in the Soviet Union be as easily justified in terms of the preservation of the communist ideology? Unfortunately (looking at events from a democratic perspective), yes. Since the absolute status of human rights has been denied, the justification for the violation of any of those rights has to be pursued from a particular ideological perspective. Leonid Brezhnev could justify human rights violations in the Soviet Union as a necessary part of the preservation of the communist ideological system.

Regarding Egypt, during the Anwar Sadat era, Brennan asked rhetorically:

[W]ould the ability to demonstrate effectively increase human rights and democracy in Egypt?

He responded to his own query:

In the light of the political environment, probably not. At the present stage of political development in Egypt widespread open opposition to the administration would be beyond the capacity of the system to handle.

Brennan then provided what was tantamount to a mealy mouthed apologetic for Egyptian human rights abuses:

Can the human rights violations in Egypt be justified from a democratic perspective? There can be no objective answer to this question because it depends on what one considers to be a threat to democracy in Egypt. Whether or not public demonstrations in Egypt actually threaten the existence of democracy in Egypt is uncertain.

Ignoring Islam’s antithetical concept of freedom as hurriyya — perfect slavery to Allah’s Sharia — Brennan’s thesis also argued that freedom “cannot be labeled as a Western idea,” and “is very much a part of Islamic culture.” Hurriyya, “freedom,” is — as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240), the lionized “Greatest Sufi Master,” expressed it — “perfect slavery.” This conception, moreover, is not merely confined to the Sufis’ perhaps metaphorical understanding of the relationship between Allah the “master” and his human “slaves.” Following Islamic law (Sharia) slavishly throughout one’s life was paramount to hurriyya, “freedom.”

Diana West found particularly “eerie resonance” in another line from “Gus Hall-voter”-“Sharia apologist” (and possible Muslim convert) Brennan’s 1980 thesis, namely this suggestion:

But if democracy is a process, rather than a state, the democratic process may involve, at some point, the violation of personal liberties and procedural justice.

“This,” West avers, “is the chilling apologia for the anti-Trump conspiracy.” She concludes:

In order to keep the regime moving forward, “the violation of personal liberties and procedural justice” is justified, whether it is an unpaid campaign adviser being violated (Carter Page) or the National Security Adviser (Gen. Mike Flynn); whether it entails launching a disinformation campaign (Trump-Russia), or reversing an election (the Mueller probe). The ends — their ends — justify the means.

As West documents, fired ex-FBI director James Comey, interviewed by the New Yorker in 2003 (when he was a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of N.Y.) explained his curious political evolution — in her apt words, “a road-scorching one-eighty” — which began when he attended William and Mary, graduating the college in 1982:

In college I was left of center,” Comey said, “and through a gradual process I found myself more comfortable with a lot of the ideas and approaches Republicans were using.” According to the story, Comey voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980, his sophomore year in Williamsburgh. Then, in 1984, as a law student at the University of Chicago, he said he voted for Ronald Reagan. If that sounds like a road-scorching one-eighty it’s nothing compared to what Comey described next. I voted for “Reagan,” Comey said. “I’d moved from Communist to whatever I am now. I’m not even sure how to characterize myself politically. Maybe at some point, I’ll have to figure it out.”

Despite these marked contradictions, West observes that affirmed Socialist, Soviet apologist, and dedicated anti-anti-Communist Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), whom Comey riveted upon in a 1982 William and Mary honors thesis (entitled, “Reinhold Neibuhr and Jerry Falwell: The Christian in Politics”, available here), was “the constant in his [Comey’s] intellectual life.” Comey, West notes, named Niebuhr’s 1932 Moral Man and Immoral Society, and 1941 The Nature and Destiny of Man, as the books which “influenced his thinking over the years,” when recently queried by the New York Times in April, 2018. She adds, “If Comey ‘moved from’ Communism, shouldn’t he have ‘moved from’ Reinhold Neibuhr?” West’s question is relevant because, as she summarizes elegantly (expanding upon the terse conclusion in a 1942 report by Congressman Martin Dies’ House Un-American Activities Committee that Niebuhr was a prolific exponent of the Marxist philosophy”):

[I]n the years that Niebuhr wrote Comey’s two favorite tomes, Niebuhr was a prominent, militant member of the Socialist Party (1930-1940), publicly well-known for his Marxist “ideas and approaches” (as Comey might say), including “social ownership” of property, the use of violence to bring about political change [see this 1933 news item about Niebuhr’s lecture, entitled “Urges Use of Force For New Social Order,” apparently delivered without irony to the “Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,” and “The Fellowship of Reconciliation,” which he chaired at Swarthmore College, PA!; Neibuhr, as chairman of “The Fellowship of Reconciliation,” also pushed for recognition of the Soviet Union in 1933, while the Communist state actively waged its Ukrainian terror-famine, and global espionage campaigns], and his membership in over one dozen Communist front organizations, including in leadership positions, which advanced the Kremlin line.

For example, in Moral Man and Immoral Society, and in language any [Communist Party organ newspaper] Daily Worker reader could understand, Neibuhr wrote: “Difficult as the method of revolution is for any Western industrial civilization, it must not be regarded as impossible … If a revolution can destroy social injustice and preserve equal justice, much might be forgiven it in the method it employs.” … [in 1948, 16 years later, Neibuhr, as reported here] would declare to the (Communist-penetrated) World Council of Churches that Communism would abandon force when its aims were achieved [he also still claimed, falsely, denying both its amorality, and contempt for the truth, that “Communism is morally utopian — it believes in universal justice and truth”].

Dripping with hypocrisy, Niebuhr, champion of anti-Christian, materialistic Marxism, and its liberty-crushing “morality,” in August 1955 condemned pastor Norman Vincent Peale, an articulate and impassioned foe of Communism and Socialism, accusing Peale of “corrupting the Gospel.”

Analyzing Comey’s 1982 honors thesis produced under the guidance of another Niebuhrian at William and Mary, Professor James C. Livingston, West argues that then self-avowed “young Communist Comey” imbibed Niebuhr’s amoral “notion of justice,” which excluded “right and wrong,” and insisted there were no “moral absolutes.” West shows how Comey characterized this Niebuhrian “justice” in the following thesis extracts:

In short, the organs of justice combat the persistence of self-regard in man … [L]ove is approximated by justice. The equality of each human life must always be regulative principle of justice, says Niebuhr. Neibuhr believes that “equality is a higher social goal than peace,” because equality stands for “the elimination of power and privilege which are frozen into every contemporary peaceful situation.” We now have some idea of what justice entails for Niebuhr. Justice is the balance of the claims and interests of men, enforced by power, in which the balance is regulated by the principle of equality.

Apologies to Cole Porter, but what this thing Niebuhr, and his adept Comey call “love,” is in reality coercive Marxist redistribution. With that understanding in mind, West concludes:

Could Marx, Stalin, Castro, Mao … Ohr, Steele, Brennan … have defined “justice” with more finesse? I don’t think so. Young Comey might as well be describing the underpinnings of a working Soviet republic — a veritable “stabilized Kholkhoz order” — but not those of the constitutional government restrained by “checks and balances” he would rise to the highest echelon of.

Comey’s police state-enamored, ends-justify-the-means Marxist credo — again under the guise of “love,” and “justice,” Comey-Niebuhr-Marx style — is fully unmasked, as West makes clear, when he states:

The Christian in politics must be willing to transgress any purely Christian ethic. He must be willing to sin in the name of justice.

Not surprisingly, James Comey’s amoral Marxist worldview, “drawing from Niebuhr,” writes West, even “guarantees absolution” in its own perverse terms: “A certain political action may be evil but not necessarily immoral given the circumstances.”

Comey’s egregious ideology — and behaviors — would later mesh neatly with those of his co-conspirator John Brennan, as West describes:

America meet your future Deputy Attorney General/FBI Director, willing, we may presume “to sin in the name of justice.” What a fine, anti-Trump team he will someday draft alongside the future CIA Director Brennan, for whom “the democratic process may involve, at some point, the violation of personal liberties and procedural justice.”

It was the final year of Comrade Brezhnev’s position at the helm of international Marxism that Comey developed his amoral philosophy of Niebuhrian “justice”; throughout his subsequent career in justice, he has consistently invoked Niebuhr as his intellectual guide … Having endorsed Niebuhr’s code of coercion untrammeled by the elemental laws of right and wrong derived from the Bible; having embraced this same code of war with the Constitution that he (like Brennan) has throughout his career sworn to defend, James Comey presents a profile in public deception that is deeply etched. His ends (Special Counsel) justified his means (leaking classified memos); his determination of “good” (exonerating Hillary Clinton; framing Donald Trump) guided his actions (usurping powers outside his office; subverting the FISA court system). “Willing to sin in the name of justice”? Check. Ready to “use power and force” outside the law? You bet. James Comey believes he is a law unto himself.

The concordant ideologies and actions of Comey, and all his co-putschists John Brennan, Nellie Ohr, and Christopher Steele are multiple red threads brilliantly woven together by West, in a collective indictment:

Thus, at the beginning of what would turn out to be the final decade of the USSR, the future Deputy Attorney General and FBI Director was a young Red at Thomas Jefferson’s alma mater. Up the road in Langley, Virginia, the Gus-Hall-loving, land-expropriation-approving future CIA Director was training as an analyst. In Cambridge, Mass., Nellie Hauke, nascent Stalin apologist, later with the the CIA and Fusion GPS, was studying Russian and meeting future husband Bruce Ohr, later with the Justice Department. Across the pond, Christopher Steele was matriculating at Cambridge, soon to start burnishing those “CND credentials” and become known as a “confirmed socialist.”

Whittaker Chambers concluded his 1948 essay, “Dr. Crankley’s Children”, warning about the battle — still ongoing — between Dr. Crankley’s “children of power,” i.e., the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinists, and capitalist democracy. He argued that despite capitalist democracy’s imperfections, it, crucially, “has left man essentially free,” and urged its champions not to “cringe silently beneath the Marxist indictment,” a totalitarian system which begot Communist Party enslavement “throughout the world.” Diana West’s incisive, courageous monograph The Red Thread reminds us that struggle, and many of its same dynamics persist in the confrontation between staunch capitalist and anti-Communist, Donald Trump, and the cabal of Marxist-Socialist anti-Trump putschists, Dr. Crankley’s not-so-great grandchildren.