By Jose de la Isla
June 18, 2009
Excerpt: Early Influences on James Von Brunn
... James Von Brunn, born in 1920, is said to have been associated with rightwing white supremacists. It's known that in 1964, former Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Pedro Del Valle gave Von Brunn a copy of ``The Iron Curtain over America," by John Beaty, of which Von Brunn said, ``For the first time, I learned how Jews had destroyed Europe and were now destroying America."
``The Iron Curtain over America," (1951) was called by the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'Rith one of the most anti-Semitic books ever written in the United States.
In it, Beaty claimed Eastern European Jews, such as Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter and Samuel Rosenman, President Franklin Roosevelt's speechwriter, were part of that conspiracy. The book also gave intellectual currency to some of the anti-communist outrages that Sen. Joseph McCarthy was associated with.
Del Valle recommended Von Brunn to a position with rightwing book publisher Noontide Press, whose founder Willis Carto was a Holocaust denier, and who formed Liberty Lobby that aspired to have public policy influence.
Del Valle had a distinguished military career in both world wars and was the first Hispanic to reach the rank of lieutenant general. In 1946 he was considered by President Truman as a possible governor of Puerto Rico, when the post was an appointive one.
Del Valle retired from the military in 1948. In 1953, he and four other high-level former military officers formed the Defenders of the American Constitution, intent on purging the United States of supposed communist influences and they organized citizen-vigilantes to guard against sabotage and treason.
Del Valle ran for governor of Maryland in 1953 but was badly defeated in the Republican primary because of his controversial views.
At a local bar in Cambridge, Md., in 1968, Von Brunn was celebrating having landed an advertising account. After a few beers, he watched a newscaster announce Lyndon Johnson's nomination of Abe Fortas, a Jew, to chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Von Brunn's crude remark drew a response from a prominent Jewish businessman, and in an altercation Von Brunn knocked the businessman to the floor. Von Brunn was arrested. Then a fight broke out with the police.
At the trial, Del Valle testified in Von Brunn's behalf but infuriated the jury. The judge convicted and sentenced Von Brunn to two years in jail.
There followed another situation in Idaho, then another in Redding, Calif., then a conviction for an incident at the Federal Reserve in Washington. Later, screeds came like howling at the moon on the Internet about Von Brunn's intense righteousness and the inferiority and conspiracy of others. ...