Les Aspin

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Les Aspin


Les Aspin was a United States Representative from Wisconsin, 1971 to 1993, and the United States Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from January 1993 to February 1994.

Nat'l Conference for a drastic cutback in military spending

The Communist Party USA controlled Chicago Peace Council convened a "National conference for a drastic cutback in military spending" in Chicaqo, April 5 & 6, 1975.

The purpose of the National Conference is to mount a national campaign and a vigorous program of action which will speak to the hundreds of thousands who were part of the inspiring resistance to the war in Indo- china. The people of the U.S. can and must turn this country around.

Congressmen Ralph Metcalfe, Bella Abzug and Les Aspin were invited.

Speakers at the Conference included Congressman Abner Mikva, Robert Johnston (regional Director, UAW), Richard Criley (Exec. Dir. Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights), Norman Roth (Fres. Local 6, UAW), Fr. Gerard Grant S.J. (Loyola University); Ed Sadlowski (Regional Director, United Steel Workers Union) and Frank Rosen (Intl. V-P, U.E.)[1].

"Knows about" DSOC"

Nancy Lieber, International Committee chair of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, wrote a June 30, 1981 letter to Danielle Page, a staffer for Canadian Member of Parliament Ian Waddell.

Dear Danielle Page,
I'm sending along a list of Congresspeople and senators who know about us, democratic socialism, and -- perhaps Canada.
Only the first one is an open socialist, but the others are sympathetic in varying degrees.

The list was;

Hope this is of help and you recruit them to the cause!
In Solidarity,
Nancy Lieber
Chair, Intl. Committee

Nuclear Freeze

During the 1979 SALT II debate, Oregon's far left Republican Senator Mark Hatfield introduced an amendment that called for a “strategic weapons freeze,” which helped provide the impetus for the popular Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and would ricochet back into Washington and prompt Hatfield and other members of Congress to act.

As tensions between Washington and Moscow mounted in 1982 and the two countries built up their nuclear arsenals even further, Hatfield and other members of Congress 'heard from their constituents", who sought a way off the escalatory ladder and were calling for a “nuclear freeze” with the Soviet Union on the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

“We heard from people at every stop who knew about the nuclear freeze proposal and wanted us to support it. ‘Why not?’ they asked. We found that question difficult to answer,” Hatfield and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) later explained in their 1982 book Freeze! How You Can Help Prevent Nuclear War. “A new arms control initiative was needed to offer leadership in Congress and respond to the growing public concern,” they wrote.

On March 10, 1982, Hatfield and Kennedy joined House proponents of the freeze, including Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), to introduce a “sense of Congress” resolution based directly on a widely disseminated document, “Call to Halt the Nuclear Arms Race,” developed by Randall Forsberg, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology defense policy expert who would later join the board of directors of the Arms Control Association. With the backing of Hatfield and Kennedy, the effort gained broad-based popular and expert support, national attention, and increasing political momentum.

Following new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s announcement in July 1985 that the Soviet Union would forgo tests and that the Soviet Union would not test until and unless the United States began testing, the Reagan administration declined to reciprocate. In October 1986, a bipartisan group of 63 House and Senate members, led by Hatfield, Senator Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), Representative Les Aspin (D-Wis.), and others, sent a letter to Reagan urging him to reciprocate and call off the next scheduled test in Nevada, code-named Glencoe.

Cranston and Hatfield also introduced legislation seeking to bar the spending of money to carry out U.S. nuclear tests if the Soviet Union was not doing so. Their initiative did not succeed, but it would get another chance.[2]

IPS 20th Anniversary Committee

According to Information Digest[3]the Institute for Policy Studies celebrated its 20th anniversary with an April 5, 1983, reception at the National Building Museum attended by approximately 1,000 IPS staffers and former staff.

The Congressional IPS committee members included Les Aspin {D. WI}, George E Brown, Jr. (D.CA}, Philip Burton (D.CA), George Crockett (D-MI}, Ron Dellums (D.CA}, former Texas Congressman Robert Eckhardt, Don Edwards {D.CA}, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Tom Harkin {D-IA}, Robert Kastenmeier (D. WI}, Chairman of the Subcomittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of Justice, George Miller (D-CA}, Richard Ottinger {D-NY}, Leon Panetta (D-CA}, Henry Reuss (D.WI}, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Patricia Schroeder {D.CO}, John Seiberling (D.OH} and Ted Weiss {D.NY}.

Voted against support for "Contras"

The Congressional Record of February 3, 1988 shows that the following leading Democratic Party Congressmen voted against aid to the Nicaraguan Freedom Fighters - the "Contras"- then fighting against the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government of Nicaragua:

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Les Aspin in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for Wisconsin.[4]

Squillacote connection

Theresa Squillacote traveled regularly through the Soviet Bloc and even named her children Rosa and Karl (after the German Communist "martyrs" Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht). Despite this she was hired after her graduation from Washington, D.C.'s, Catholic University Law School by the National Labor Relations Board. Subsequently, she secured a post as a House Armed Services Committee staff attorney.

Reportedly Squillacote's father -- a Milwaukee-based NLRB official -- was friendly with the late Les Aspin, the committee's chairman.

References

  1. The nationwide drive against law enforcement intelligence operations : hearing before 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, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session ..." page 179
  2. ACA In Memoriam: Mark O. Hatfield (1922–2011), Daryl G. Kimball
  3. Information Digest April l5, 1983 p77-79
  4. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates