Most Americans have never heard of Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat -- the only member of the House of Representatives to vote against supporting President Bush's plan to use military force in response to the terrorist attack.
Some have compared her to the eccentric Jeanette Rankin, the congresswomen who voted against both World Wars I and II. But, Ms. Lee is no Rankin. The pacifist Rankin hated war, but did not love either the kaiser or Adolf Hitler. Ms. Lee is a long-practicing supporter of America's enemies -- from Fidel Castro on down.
Ms. Lee told The Progressive magazine that her life was influenced by the late Carlton Goodlet. That explains a lot. Goodlet was a dedicated Stalinist and served in the leadership of the international Soviet front, the World Peace Council. He used a newspaper he owned to spread Soviet disinformation and to promote KGB forgeries. In 1981, Ms. Lee wrote to the World Peace Council asking that the Soviet front pay for air tickets for California Rep. Ron Dellums and two staffers to attend one of their conferences.
In 1982, together with her colleague Carlottia Scott, she accompanied her boss, leftist Mr. Dellums, to communist-ruled Grenada. They wrote a report to the House Armed Services Committee in support of the airport being built on the island, which the U.S. government believed could be used by Soviet bombers aimed at us. Mr. Dellums, Ms. Lee and Miss Scott provided their draft report to Maurice Bishop, the communist dictator on the island to vet before they sent the final copy to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ms. Lee was Mr. Dellums' administrative assistant. When she left the job to run for the California legislature in 1987, Miss Scott took over the job. When Mr. Dellums left Congress in April 1998, Ms. Lee won the seat and Miss Scott became her administrative assistant.
Miss. Scott was enamored both with Maurice Bishop and communist Grenada. In a handwritten letter to Mr. Bishop addressed to "My Comrade Leader" Miss Scott wrote: "Grenada is my home and where my deepest love will always remain. I am sincerely committed and dedicated to Grenada. I feel that now, I will be able to convey in a more comprehensive manner, the thoughts and directions of the PRG [People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada] which, based on a solid foundation, will, in eccence [sic] help to keep the REVO [revolution] up in North America."
The Lee-Scott duo warned Mr. Bishop that some of the Americans involved in the Grenada support movement were "Trotskyites." Hunting Trotskyites was an old Stalinist pastime. Mr. Bishop, whose secret police were always on the lookout for dissidents, understood the warning.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the American Communist Party split into two factions. One group, calling itself the Committees of Correspondence, held a founding conference in July 1992. The C of C (sometimes called communists with a human mask) invited other extreme leftists to join them.
Barbara Lee was elected to their National Coordinating Council (NCC), its ruling body. Ms. Lee's name was published in their literature, which said she was in attendance when elected to the NCC. When I wrote an article for Human Events exposing the C of C and identifying Ms. Lee, she first denied the whole story, but then admitted it. C of C decided to no longer list some of their leaders.
In Congress, Ms. Lee spoke up in support of Fidel Castro. She also voted against a resolution concerning U.S. troops in Kosovo. The resolution said that "the House of Representatives supports the members of the United States armed forces who are engaged [in Kosovo] and recognizes their professionalism, dedication, patriotism and courage." She was the only member of the House of Representatives to vote "No."
Her friend and colleague, Carlottia Scott, is also developing her career. In the last election she served in the Al Gore campaign as "chief of politics" for the Democratic National Committee.
Ms. Lee represents the 9th District in Oakland, California. While she stands out as an extremist in Congress, Ms. Lee fits in well with the Oakland-San Francisco leftist fever swamps that have produced so many bizarre political ideas. The public radio and Pacifica radio station in the area has carried one commentator after another blaming the United States for causing the terrorist act. Sometimes it's our support for Israel, but often enough it's just being America that is used to justify the attack on our country.
Some of the liberal Democrats have complained of the intelligence failure, because the terrorist attack was not prevented. They conveniently forgot that it was the Democrats who weakened not only our military but our intelligence community's ability to do its job. Most of the restrictions on FBI investigations and CIA operations are the fault of the Democrats. Bill Clinton can take responsibility in addition for the severe decline in morale.
While most of the left-wing Democrats spent the week praising President Bush and trying to sound as moderate as possible, Barbara Lee continued to sail under her true colors.