National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee

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Template:TOCnestleft The National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (NECLC) was founded in 1951 by the Communist Party USA as an alleged alternative civil rights advocate group to the American Civil Liberties Union but in reality, it was designed as a Party legal attack mechanism aimed at America's national security program.[1]. The NECLC did not require an oath denouncing Communism, which the group believed the ACLU required. Edith Tiger was the director of the NECLC from from 1968 until it merged into the Center for Constitutional Rights in 1998.[2]

A significant HCUA report on the NECLC was published on November 8, 1957, entitled "OPERATION ABOLITION", The Campaign Against the House Committee on Un-American Activities, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The Government Security Program by the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee and Its Affiliates", GPO Doc No. 998048 (SubDoc No.).

On Page 2, the report stated the following:

"The Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (KW: once known as Union before changing its name to Committee) was originally established in 1951, and attempted to represent itself as a bonafide non-Communist organization. In a letter of December 14, 1951, soliciting support for the new organization, Clark Foreman, now director of the organization, declared, "The new group, in case you haven't heard of it, is to be limited to a couple hundred non-CP's, with an executive committee of about nine and a director." The truth of the statement can be best gaged by referral to the records of the key individuals in the organization."

A list of the officers and members of the National Council were published in this report with Communist Party USA (CPUSA) memberships and front affiliations listed up to that time (but not necessarily a complete listing).

Among the officers of the ECLC on Page 4 were:

  • Harvey O'Connor - Chairman; a longtime identified member of the CPUSA
  • Corliss Lamont - Vice Chairman; longtime financial angel of the CPUSA/fronts and later gave a loan of $1,000 to the newly formed Vietnam Veterans Against the War In Vietnam (VVAW) to put an ad in Playboy Magazine announcing the creation of their organization. Lamont, who inherited tremendous wealth from his banking industry family, was identified as a member of the CPUSA (CITE NEEDED but might have been Louis Budenz, a former Party leader, in his 1952 sworn testimony before the Committee). Cited in this report as: "has been one of the foremost apologists for the Soviet Union in the United States."
  • Andrew D. Weinberger - Treasurer
  • Elinor Ferry Kirstein - Secretary (need to check on her maiden name of "Ferry" to see if she was related to W. H. "Ping" Ferry, a notorious leftist moneybags for communist and Marxists causes
  • Clark Foreman - Director: Longtime CPUSA front supporter and eventually identified CPUSA member (Need citation)
  • Leonard B. Boudin - General Counsel. Boudin was described as a member of the CPUSA and possible Soviet asset in a hearing on the State Department and its Passport polices. This citation is found in the next section below, i.e. "NECLC Bill of Rights Dinner, Dec. 13, 1963", at his name.

His daughter was Katherine Boudin, the convicted Weathermen/May 19th Communist Organization (M19CO) felony-murder person involved in the deadly Nyack, New York armored car robbery and triple murders of two police officers and the truck's driver.

NECLC Bill Of Rights Dinner, December 13, 1963

The congressional cited CPUSA front, the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (NECLC) announced that they were holding a "Dinner" celebrating the Bill of Rights on December 13, 1963, in New York City, according to a partial brochure that they put out announcing the affair. The most relevant parts of this brochure are reproduced below.

"Dinner" by the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee celebrating The Bill of Rights on the one hundred seventy-second anniversary of its ratification, Six-Thirty O'Clock, Friday, December 13, 1963, Grand Ballroom, Americana Hotel" (quote by Henry David Thoreau at bottom of this front page)

Page about the NECLC:

"The Emergency Civil Liberties Committee exists soley to give uncompromising support for the Bill of Rights and the freedom of conscience and expression it guarantees. The work of the committee is controlled entirely by the National Council. We have no connection with any other organiztion."


"a. Test Cases in the Courts. We retain as our General Council, Leonard B. Boudin, to provide legal services for the cases which are chosen because of the important constitutional matters which they test. Among the victories we have won in the Supreme Court are the passport decisions in the "Kent" and "Briehl" cases, and "honorable discharge for honorable service" in the "Abramowitz" case. Other important cases, including those which test the constitutionality of the McCarren Act Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade vs. Subversive Activites Control Board of the House Un-American Activities Committee House Committee on Un-American Activities (Harvey O'Connor) and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (Herman Liveright) are now pending in the courts."

"b. Public Meetings such as this annual celebration of the Bill of Rights, the dramatic presentation of the contribution of the work of Dr. W.E.B. Dubois (June 1960), the celebration of Albert Einstein's 75th birthday in Princeton (March 1954) and a meeting protesting the persecution of Cuban-Americans in New York (October 1962). We initiated a national campaign to abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957. In 1962 we called for a national campaign to repeal the McCarren Act and followed this up with forums and added to our staff a special assistant for campus activities with emphasis on the McCarran Act."

"c. Communications and Appearances Before Congressional Committees supporting bills for the protection of our rights, such as those to revise the rules of the Senate and the House, and opposing such bills as those which further infringe our rights such as government surveillance of the mails."

"d. By Publications, Advertisements, Television, Radio and other means we continuously try to arouse the American public to an understanding that their liberties are under attack and that our great heritage of freedom can only be preserved if the people demand it."

Printing Union bug 33 at bottom of this page.


Page describing the speakers:

"The right to speak one's mind without fear of punishment by the government is the essence of civil liberties. All our struggles for a better life and a better world depend upon our ability to maintain that right."

"The Emergency Civil Liberties Committee is dedicated to tht task of maintaining the guarantees of free speech and expression in this country. In addition to the tests which we are making in the courts we carry on an educational campaign, the high point of which is our annual celebration of Bill of Rights Day."

"On Friday evening, December 13th, we will have our annual dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Americana Hotel. We feel particularly fortunate in having as our speakers people whose own lives have shown the importance of civil liberties in the basic struggles of the day."

"John Henry Faulk, the noted star of radio and television, will be the Toastmaster. Mr. Faulk was temporarily blacklisted by a conspiracy which included some of the most sinister elements in the country. His victory over the forces of repression is an ocassion for rejoicing by all who love liberty."

"Mrs. Cyrus S. Eaton has carried on a most effective fight for world peace. In her brilliant speeches and in militant demonstration, she has broken all barriers to make her word heard. She is the spirit of freedom personified."

"James Baldwin, author of "The Fire Next Time" and other works, has become our most eloquent speaker, as well as writer, on behalf of democracy and justice. He has demonstrated that there can be no civil rights without civil liberty."

END of the available pages of the brochure: not known if there were any more

[KW: Of the individuals mentioned in the brochure, it is worthy to note that Corliss Lamont was identified as a member of the CPUSA and had one of the longest records around of supporting cited CPUSA fronts and causes; Harvey O'Connor was an identified member of the CPUSA; John Henry Faulk had a record of supporting CPUSA fronts and lied about his role in trying to stop anti-communists from keeping CP members from taking control of a labor union; James Baldwin was a black separationist who often backed radical causes and fronts; Mrs. Cyrus Eaton parrotted her husband's pro-Soviet "peace" lines without fail. The "Kent" in the Supreme Court case was Rockwell Kent, a longtime identified member of the CPUSA; and the NECLC counsel Leonard Boudin, a most brilliant attorney, was identified as a secret member of the CPUSA who might have had ties to Soviet block intelligence agencies (see: Passport Reorganization Act of 1959, Hearings, Government Operations Committee, US Senate, Special Subcommittee, on S. 2095 (Passport Reorganization Act of 1959), Aug. 26, 27 & Sept. 1, 1959. Information on the Kent and Briehl cases are also in this hearing].

NECLC 1989 Annual Bill of Rights Dinner

According to an article in the November 28, 1989 issue of the CPUSA newspaper "Peoples Daily World", "Civil Rights Defenders to be Honored Dec. 1", the following people were to receive awards from the NECLC:

Previous Recipients of the Tom Paine Award include:

People Barred From Entering the Country under the McCarren-Walter Act mentioned in the article:

Key Paragraph About Barney Frank and his work to destroy the McCarran-Walter Act of the Immigration and Naturalization Act:

"Edith Tiger, NECLC director, longtime communist sympathizer with the CPUSA and the Socialist Workers Party and their fronts, said Frank was chosen to receive the Tom Paine Award in recognition of his role in the successful effort to end "the shameful and unconstitutional" practice of barring people from the United States because of their political beliefs. Frank was in the forefront of the 1987 legislative battle to emasculate the McCarran-Walter Act, which had been used since the McCarthy era to stifle free speech by denying entry visas to individuals whose views are deemed unacceptable by the U.S. Government".

June 1992 NECLC Letterhead/Letter

In June, 1992, the NECLC sent out a letter, signed by its Director Edith Tiger asking for donations and the renewal of memberships to fight so-called attacks on privacy, the closing of the "line between church and state", increasing censorship, etc. This packet included a history of some of the cases that they fought in the early 1990's, as well as lists of key officers, staff, counsels, their Executive Committee, and National Council members.

These lists were a veritable "who's who" of the marxist legal network, leftist sympathizes including some closely allied with the Communist Party USA and other communist causes (Cuba, Nicaragua and El Salvador, etc.). While the NECLC's CPUSA members had been dwindling due to deaths, there was still a very dominant CPUSA member/supporter faction in it. These people also were leaders of other CPUSA-influenced if not dominated organizations including the Fund for New Priorities in America, the National Lawyers Guild off-shoot, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Institute for Policy Studies, funded by Communist Party member and possible Soviet agent of influence, Samuel Rubin of the Samuel Rubin Foundation.

The NECLC was one of the older CPUSA legal fronts, the National Lawyers Guild being founded in the 1930's, while the NGL creation, CCR was a child of the 1960's and had a more diverse membership of communists, marxists, socialists and left-liberals. However, over time, its parent body, the NLG, had also changed from a purely CPUSA-dominated organization to one with a broader representation of marxists, leftists and liberals. In some cases, the memberships of the NLG and CCR were identical, much like that of the NECLC and the older NLG was at one time.

One problem with providing CPUSA identities and affiliations after 1975 was that the House Internal Security Committee had been abolished and its files illegally sealed for 50-75 years, thus depriving the public of one of the two congressional internal security groups that held hearings and published reports on the CPUSA, the SWP, WWP, etc. The task of providing information on the CPUSA, its members, supporters, activities and fronts, fell largely to individual members of the House of Representatives (McDonald, Ashbrook, Ichord, etc.) to put reports into the Congressional Record which gave current and historical information on who these people actually were. Many of the listed members of the NECLC will show up in greater detail in Congressional Record items about the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Constitutional Rights and even on the NECLC. Other insider information will be found in issues of [Information Digest]] and in the newsletters COMBAT, TOCSIN, Pink Sheet on the Left and The American Sentinel, and the national conservative weekly Human Events.




Office of the General Counsel

Of Counsel to the Firm

Legal Counsel, Miami:

  • Ira Kurzban - a leading immigration attorney, esp. for Haitian refugees

Legal Counsel, Philadelphia:

  • David Kairys - self-described communist, very smart, who handled the racial discrimination case of FBI agent Donald Rochon and nearly obtained through government stupidity, a complete list of all FBI agents, with names, addresses, background information and Social Security Numbers, which would have been one of the KGB's greatest intelligence coups. This was stopped by former FBI agents who sued to stop the disclosure of this list on national security grounds[6].
  • David Rudovsky - partner of Kairys and just as radical

Executive Committee

National Council

The list on page 15 of this mailing is missing a few news of the National Council found on the actual letterhead of June 1992. For purposes of completeness, these two lists have been merged. All organizational identifications have been listed in order to further identify who these people are and where they work/organizations, etc.

Additional names from the June 1992 letterhead of members of the National Council not contained in the list above:

As an example of the interlocking memberships of far-left and communists organizations by key individuals, we find that as of July 2005, the following NECLC leaders/members were also leaders/members of another hard-left organization, the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Inc., as found on their website:

Many of these people, plus others in the LCNP, will show up in other Communist Party fronts including the National Lawyers Guild and its creation, the Center for Constitutional Rights, originally known as the Law Center for Constitutional Rights, the latter cited in a 1975 SISS hearing[15].

Many of the NECLC, NLG and CCR leaders/members will also show up in the Hanoi Lobby CPUSA-influenced, if not dominated Lawyers Committee on American Policy Towards Vietnam[16].

External links



  1. Guide To Subversive Organizations and Publications and Appendixes, HCUA, December 1, 1962, House Document No. 398, pp. 69-70, citing HCUA,Annual Report for 1958, HCUA, House Report No. 187, March 9, 1959, pp. 34 & 36; and SISS, "Handbook for Americans, S. Doc. 117, April 23, 1956, p. 91
  2. Edith Tiger's obituary
  3. House Committee on Un-American Activities: Annual Report for the Year 1961, HCUA, House Report No. 2559, pp. 62-23
  4. Loyalties: A Son's Memoirs, Simon & Schuster, 1989, 262 pp., $18.95. A very friendly review of this book was written by veteran marxist Martin Baumi Duberman in the Washington Post, March 2, 1989, Book World, "Bernstein's Left-Wing Legacy", which downplayed the threat of the Communist Party USA as an arm of the Soviet Union/CPSU
  5. The Venona Secrets, p. 381, chapter footnote 77: See Victor Rabinowitz, "Unrepentant leftist: A Lawyer's Memoir", where he admits Party membership while doing his best to conceal the dates or its significance."
  6. Washington Inquirer article, "Disastrous Security Leak Possible in Rochon vs FBI Case", by Max Friedman, pp. 1 & 7, August 12, 1988
  7. The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors, Romerstein and Breindel, Regnery, 2000
  8. The Venona Secrets, p. 381, chapter footnote 77: See Victor Rabinowitz, "Unrepentant leftist: A Lawyer's Memoir", where he admits Party membership while doing his best to conceal the dates or its significance."
  9. Trial By Treason: The National Committee to Secure Justice for the Rosenbergs and Morton Sobell, HCUA, House Doc. No. 206, Aug. 25, 1956, p. 131
  10. The Theory and Practice of Communism, Part 3, ExpoCuba, House Internal Security Committee, HISC, Hearings, Oct. 17 & 18, 1973, pp. 2234, 2237 & 2247; 2234 & 2237 being letterheads of the Committee for the 20/26 and 2247 being: Sandra Levinson, Center for Cuban Studies, (1) listed as a member of the Executive Committee of the NECLC, letterhead dates 1/15/73 (NECLC "has been previously cited"), and (2) Director of the Center for Cuban Studies, was the only one present at the time of the bombing of the center in New York City on March 29, 1973, "Guardian", 4/11/73, p. 8, (The Center for Cuban Studies has been previously characterize), p, 2247.
  11. Subversive Influence in the Educational Process, Part 6, pp. 693-698, Hearing, March 27, 1953, SISS; HCUA, Investigation of Communist Activities In the Albany N. Y. Area, Part 3, Hearings, April 7, 1954, pp. 4341, 4344 & 4345, and Part 4, April 8, 1954, p. 4365; and Hearings, Investigations of Communist Activities in the New England Area, Part 3, March 21, 1958, p. 2399, resp.
  12. Subversive Influences in Riots, Looting and Burning, Part 2, Hearings, Oct. 31 & Nov. 1, 1967, HCUA, pp. 939-940, 1001 and 1095 wherein on p. 940 Lynn was identified as "the counsel for the Progressive Labor Movement PLM at that time"; speaker at the 7/28/64 rally (p. 1001) sponsored by the Harlem Solidarity Committee, identified as a front of the Progressive Labor Movement but claimed to have been "initiated" by The Spartacists, a Trotskyite splinter faction (p. 1094). The PLM later became the Progressive Labor Party PLP, the oldest existing Maoist party as of 2010.
  13. National Peace Action Coalition NPAC and Peoples Coalition for Peace & Justice PCPJ, Part 1, Hearings, HISC, May 18-21, 1973, P. 1804.
  14. Communist Legal Subversion: The Role of the Communist Lawyer, Report, House Report No. 41, HCUA, Feb. 16, 1959, pp. 61-63.
  15. The Nationwide Drive Against Law Enforcement Intelligence Operations, hearings, Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, Sept. 18, 1975, Testimony of Frank J. McNamara, pp. 36-37
  16. Subversive Involvement in the Origin, Leadership and Activities of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and Its Predecessor Organizations, Staff Study, House Internal Security Committee, 1970, p. 22 and referred footnote 303