Donald Douglas links to a piece by Aaron Klein, which states:
CIA Director Leon Panetta, President Obama's nominee to serve as secretary of defense, keynoted the conference of a pro-Soviet, anti-war group during the height of the Cold War.Trevor Loudoun at New Zeal also has found more about Panetta:
Panetta also honored the founding member of the group, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, or WILPF, which was once named by the State Department as a "Soviet front."
On April 11, 1984, Panetta, then a California congressman, entered into the congressional record a tribute in honor of WILPF's founding member, Lucy Haessler.
In the record, Panetta praised Haessler as "one of the most dedicated peace activists I have ever known."
Panetta recognized that Haessler traveled to the Soviet Union as a member of the WILPF:
"She has also participated in peace conferences conducted by WILPF and the Woman's International Democracy Foundation in France, the Soviet Union, Poland and East Germany," read Panetta's congressional praise.
Panetta hailed Haessler for her activism against the pending deployment of U.S. missiles to counter the Soviet build up:
"She joined thousands of dedicated peace activists where she expressed her concern about the impending deployment of Cruise missiles and Pershing II missiles in Europe," he noted.
It is less well known that while a California Congressman, Obama’s Secretary of Defense nominee Leon Panetta also worked closely with Santa Cruz based members of the US’s largest Marxist organization.
A key point of contact was Hugh DeLacy, Panetta’s friend and correspondent from at least 1976, until his death in 1986. DeLacy was a long time Communist Party USA member who worked closely with members of the California Communist Party splinter group, who then went on to form the pro-Chinese New American Movement, which in turn joined with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee in 1982 to form Democratic Socialists of America.
Santa Cruz New American Movement, and later Democratic Socialists of America, effectively took over the Santa Cruz City Council after NAMers Mike Rotkin and Bruce Van Allen joined with DSOCers Mardi Wormhoudt and John Laird to form a majority on the Council in 1981.
Another local DSAer, former Trotskyite Gordon Haskell, served on the Santa Cruz Democratic Party Central Committee for many years, while several other comrades held senior posts in the local party.
Panetta also addressed DeLacy's 1986 memorial service in Santa Cruz.
So why should someone who has sided with the ideological enemies of America, and affiliated themselves with domestic groups hostile to the US military, now become Secretary of Defense?