Interview with Harlan B. Cleveland

Interview with Harlan B. Cleveland

(focusing on the Authenticity of the Report from Iron Mountain)
at the Ninth Annual World Future Meeting

by Joan M. Veon
Foreword: In my book Global Straitjacket, I spend one full chapter explaining what the Report From Iron Mountain is, and how it's Orwellian goals and objectives just happen to be the same goals and objectives as the United Nations today. Obviously when this secret report was made public by one of the 15 members who served on its commission, the Kennedy Administration and all other administrations have denied its existence. When I was able to interview Mr. Cleveland at this conference, my whole objective, since he served in a key position during that time, was to get him to either affirm or deny The Report from Iron Mountain. As you read this report, you will see that he never denied the report but affirmed it by the way he answered my questions.
JV: I first started covering you in conferences 5 years ago. I don't remember where I first saw your name. Then I saw a book that you had written. Forgive me, it has a black cover and it had the globe on it. I don't remember the name.
HC: Birth of a New World.
JV: Yes, I read it. I was surprised. I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, and where did you write it? Wingspread. I've been to the Social Summit, a number of places. My question to you is, as I am learning, I'm just a couple years younger than you. You started with the Kennedy administration. Is that where you first came to public service?
HC: No. I got into the government before the Second World War. I was in the Board of Economic Warfare during the War. I went to Italy toward the end of the War and became part of the military government there although I was a civilian. I ran what we now call the foreign aid side of the economic aid. Transferred to UNRRA, UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, in Italy. They eventually sent me to China to head the mission in China. Then I came back and was in the Marshall Plan through the whole Marshall Plan. So I had a long period of public service before. I then left the government and went into the magazine business and became dean of the Maxwell School at Syracuse. Then came back with the Kennedy administration when I was already in my early 40's, just a year younger than Kennedy himself was.
JV: I look at John Kennedy and his era as starting a number of things that have brought us into where we're at now -- part of the New World you wrote about. What do you look upon as being your greatest achievement in the Kennedy and then the Johnson administration?
HC: Well I think there were many different things that we did in those days. The spirit then was so different from now. It was a can-do spirit. We started the World Weather Watch which is the system everybody uses now for forecasting the weather all around the world. We had a whole series of institutional innovations that really set the framework for what's happened since in the international arena. We were involved in the eradication of smallpox and other diseases. We managed to develop a peace-keeping function for the UN which has been very useful in the last 30 years in all sorts of places around the world. So I feel it was a great accomplishment to develop a UN with the capacity to act. It still has only a primitive capacity to act, but it's a beginning. It's gonna have to be very much more developed in the 21st century.
JV: In what way?
HC: In the way of developing a large, I hope, volunteer force that can go immediately in to keep people from fighting with each other and to settle down all these small wars and internal wars which now seem to be what we've got ahead of us. We're not gonna have the big war because we invented a weapon, an explosion that's too big to use. That means we've put a ceiling on the scale of warfare which is a first in world history. But we haven't got hold of the problem of settling down small wars and internal wars which more and more of the wars now are. So that's gonna be the great challenge for the UN, I think. The capacity to act, that we started building during the 60's is, I think, an important piece of that picture.
JV: Do you see NATO as a substitute for the UN, a UN army?
HC: No. I think NATO, as described in the UN Charter, is a regional body. It was explicitly set up within the framework of the UN Charter as a regional body. I believe that it can be useful and it has been useful in the Kosovo situation. When the UN was temporarily paralyzed by the fact that the Chinese and the Russians weren't interested in participating . . . (pause) interestingly, once it was successful they came around; the Russians voted for it; the Chinese abstained and didn't use their veto. So it can work. I think the possibility of developing a world consensus on many important issues has been proven time and time again in the last half century.
JV: When we look at a world without war, I know Kennedy worked on that idea of a world without war, where in your estimation are we? What needs to be done?
HC: I think we're probably never gonna have a world where nobody ever fights with each other. But we've already produced a situation where nuclear deterrents produces a standoff that didn't resolve in war over those 50 years. As I say, I think that the next step is to develop the peace-keeping and peace-building machinery that will tackle the next issue on the world horizon which is the proliferation of small wars and internal wars and try to develop situations in which it's possible for people to be different; and yet together and not have to go to war with each other just because they're different.
JV: Do you think we'll have to wait until we come into a time of spirituality versus the information age?
HC: I don't think it's versus the information age because it's a more sophisticated way of thinking about information [to] think about spiritual information. I think it will require a more spiritual quality to decision-making in the future. I think we're already moving toward that. A generation ago you couldn't have mentioned the word spiritual in a luncheon meeting like this without being regarded like a kook or something. Now it's on everybody's tongue.
JV: When you were at the Social Summit, I wasn't able to go to your workshop, but I think you did one on the global tax? Where do you see that now?
HC: I think that there's still a very strong case for developing a taxation system to enable international organizations not to have to wait for a hundred parliaments to do annual appropriations and so on. There are a lot of functions that are provided to human beings by the environment around us. We fly through the air that doesn't belong to anybody. We use satellites in space that don't belong to anybody. We float across oceans that don't belong to anybody. We use the electronic vibrations that enable us to keep in communication with each other. All those functions are naturals for taxing the use of those facilities. Paying to humankind as a whole, some tithe on the value of those environments to the people who use them, the communication companies and others that use them. So I think something like that will develop in the next century.
JV: Most recently I read, having now read about 3,000 pages of UN documents, I'm trying to catch up. I read the report called "Report from Iron Mountain". I myself was surprised at the number of goals and objectives that the Kennedy administration set that are the same as the goals and objectives of the UN. Would you agree with that assessment?
HC: That was what we were trying to do. I was the person in Washington at the State Department responsible for UN Affairs. We were trying to get the UN to say the things that we thought ought to be said, but we were also trying to get the Kennedy administration to say the things that would be compatible with a peaceful world. And he did. The substance for many of his speeches, particularly the ones at the UN, were developed in our office. So I feel very good about that literature. I think it stands up very well 40 years later.
JV: You mean the "Report from Iron Mountain"?
HC: Yeah. In general what Kennedy stood for when he said the purpose of our foreign policy is to make the world safe for diversity, it's a pretty good one-sentence summary of a very enlightened foreign policy.
JV: Was it democracy or diversity?
HC: No. Democracy was back in Woodrow Wilson's time. He changed the phrase to make the world safe for diversity. That, I think, was a very wonderful solvent (?) generalization.
JV: Kennedy also. According to the Report from Iron Mountain, they wanted to disarm, and he really took a big step forward in disarmament. Based on that, where do you think we are at this point in disarmament?
HC: Well, not nearly far enough along and we're still, unfortunately, the world's biggest supplier of arms -- the United States is. I think we got somewhere on tamping down the nuclear, made all of that stalled by the action in the Duma, new parliament of Russia. But I think there are good possibilities for the future. I think that we'll manage to get some: certainly control on weapons of mass destruction. There have been some good developments both on biological and chemical warfare. I think if we keep our eye on that ball, we'll manage to hit it out of the park.
JV: One last question, sir. I have to go back to the "Report from Iron Mountain" for a moment. Report from Iron Mountain, would you say that today's goals and objectives of the UN pretty much are the "Report from Iron Mountain"?
HC: Well, I'd have to look at that particular paper again to make that judgment, which was a long time ago. But I think that in general what we were pushing for in the Kennedy administration is very much the current doctrine. The problem is that too many people who have either forgotten or never learned a lesson that the peoples of the world are gonna have to learn to be different, yet together.
JV: What would you say in your long vast career, what would you say has been your greatest, biggest, . . . what's your shining star?
HC: Whatever I was doing at the time. I've been lucky to have had a whole series of jobs both in government and academia each of which was enthralling at the time. So I think that if I had to make a judgment as to what was most important, I think it was my tendency to keep writing around the edges of whatever else I was doing so that I kept leaving a sort of legacy of philosophy as I went along.

Appendix I

"Governments, in order to perpetuate themselves, will sacrifice 400-500 people without a second thought". - 14-year DEA veteran Basil Abbott
To understand the motive behind the Oklahoma City bombing, one must understand the political situation in the country at the time.
In 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War was officially over. The intelligence community was in danger of losing its appropriations; it needed a new mission. (Tim Weiner, Aging Shop of Horrors: The C.I.A. Limps to 50,' New York Times, July 20, 1997. As Milt Bearden, the Agency's last chief of Soviet operations, said, "The collapse of our enemy ensured our own demise".
"We're a confused group, dying for stability," the Agency's Inspector General, Fred Hitz, said in a May speech.
* It is interesting to examine this from the perspective of the German BND, the intelligence organization founded by Reinhard Gehlen at the behest of the CIA after WWII. Gehlen had been Hitler's senior intelligence officer on the Eastern Front, commanding the Fremde Heere Ost or 'Foreign Armies East.' The US Government absorbed the Gehlen Organization into its emerging intelligence apparatus (the CIA) in its entirety, in the belief that Gehlen's still largely intact network of spies would prove invaluable in America's fight against the Soviets. Walter Schellenberg, ex-head of Nazi foreign intelligence, claimed to author William Stevenson that Gehlen's organization was primarily a front for escaping Nazi war criminals. It was ultimately proved that approximately 90 percent of the 'intelligence' coming out of the Gehlen Organization regarding the Soviet threat, which led to the rise of the Cold War, was false, but was used by Gehlen and his Nazi comrades to perpetuate his organization).
In 1963, the Kennedy administration was said to have commissioned a select group of analysts and scholars to evaluate the problems inherent in a post-Cold War society. Entitled Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace, its conclusions and validity have been hotly debated since its 'unauthorized' publication in 1967.
Although featured on the front page of the New York Times and subsequently translated into 15 different languages, many establishment icons and media pundits would only acknowledge the work as a 'clever satire.'
The Times, which received a 'no comment' response from the LBJ White House while attempting to verify its authenticity, wrote that the possible hoax was a possibly suppressed report. (* Iron Mountain is supposedly a nuclear corporate hideout in Hudson, NY, similar to Mt. Weather in Virginia. It is also a reference to the town of Hudson, NY where, at the Hudson Institute, war games and studies on future life were developed under the direction of Herman Kahn for governmental and private agencies. Kahn did not claim authorship however. As for Leonard Lewin, who finally claimed authorship of the report in 1972, 'as a hoax,' said that his intent was 'to caricature the bankruptcy of the think-tank mentality by pursuing its style of scientistic thinking to its logical ends.' Interestingly, the New York Times wrote 'Many analysts believe that the report reflects a grasp of the Washington scene as well as an understanding of social psychology, ecology, economics and sociology that is beyond the ability of most satirists.' Arthur I. Waskow of the Institute for Policy Studies told the Times he was surprised to see one of his privately circulated reports mentioned in the book. Waskow added that only about 60 people in Washington saw the report, '[so] if it's a hoax, it must involve somebody high up,' he said. (New York Times, November 1, 1967).
Others, such as Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty (Ret.), former Chief of the Special Operations Division for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, quoted from the document in his book,The Secret Team. And renowned economist, author, and professor John Kenneth Galbraith wrote 'As I would put my personal repute behind the authenticity of this document, so I would testify to the validity of its conclusions. My reservations relate only to the wisdom of releasing it to an obviously unconditioned public'.
As late as 1995, The Nation was still denigrating the report as a "hoax," while the Wall Street Journal was seriously debating its merits. As Robert Tomsho wrote in the May 9, 1995 edition of the Journal:
Given the tumultuous times when the document surfaced and the air of respectability surrounding those involved with it, few readers were willing to dismiss the mysterious headline-grabbing book as a hoax. (Leonard C. Lewin, Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster/Free Press, 1996); Victor Navasky, 'Anatomy of a Hoax,' The Nation, June 12, 1995; Robert Tomsho, "A Cause for Fear; Though Called a Hoax, 'Iron Mountain' Report Guides Some Militias," Wall Street Journal, May 9, 1995, quoted in "Report from Iron Mountain: A Fraud?" Conspiracy Nation, Vol. 5 No. 8).
Whether or not Report from Iron Mountain was in fact a hoax, the report's conclusions, even its detractors will admit, lend a somewhat prescient and frightening measure of truth to contemporary 20th century reality. (* In much the same way as George Orwell's 1984 seems to be coming to pass today [and The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion]).
Written in cold, empirical think-tank language, the report postulates that war is the fundamental basis for all political, social, and economic unity.
The report also suggests, in somewhat Machiavellian fashion, initiating 'ritual blood games,' renewing 'slavery,' and creating an "omnipotent" international police force as mitigating substitutes for the alleged socio-economic void created by a post-Cold War society. The report defined the sociological implications thusly:
War, through the medium of military institutions, has uniquely served societies, throughout the course of known history, as an indispensable controller of dangerous social dissidence and destructive antisocial tendencies. No modern political ruling group has successfully controlled its constituency after failing to sustain the continuing credibility of an external threat of war.
The war system makes the stable government of societies possible. It does this essentially by providing an external necessity for a society to accept political rule. An effective substitute for war would require "alternate enemies".
A paranoid and fascistic national security establishment, no longer primarily focused on the "external necessity" of an outward military threat (e.g: the Soviet Union), must inevitably turn its attention towards the ever-present specter of an internal threat -- the "alternate enemy." As the report states:
'motivational function of war requires the existence of a genuinely menacing social enemy.' The "alternate enemy" must imply a more immediate, tangible, and directly felt threat of destruction. (Lewin, Op Cit., pp.94-96.).
The Oklahoma City bombing, [and more recently the Port Arthur Massacre, 9/11 and SARS] occurring as it did in the "heartland" of America, served as no other "terrorist" act has in the history of the United States by channeling the attention of the American people towards the "immediate, tangible, and directly felt threat of destruction."
More significantly, it did so by directing the attention of the public towards an "alternate enemy" --in this case -- an "internal" one.
Such mass-psychological manipulation by the ruling elite is simply the war spirit refocused. This ubiquitously American quality, so effectively used against the Germans in the 1940s, the Communists in the 1950s, and the Iraqis in the 1990s, would now be directed inward -- against the Patriot/Militia movement.
. . . the utilization of barbaric acts of mass-terror-murder by governments in order to manipulate political objectives is hardly new. Deliberately manipulated outrage-incidents such as the sinking of the Lusitania, the burning of the Reischtag, and the attack on Pearl Harbor, as precursors to elite-planned military campaigns has historically held several functions: it triggers the built-in nationalistic war spirit, channels the resulting righteous wrath toward the nominated enemy, and concentrates power in the executive branch, where elite control is unhampered by popular influence.
As President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who allowed 2,403 servicemen to be slaughtered at Pearl Harbor to initiate America's entry into WWII, said: "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way". (Jon Roland).

Appendix II

Leonard Lewin
Author of 'Satire' on Dangers of Peace, Dead

The Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1999.
Leonard C. Lewin, who penned a brilliant satire purporting to be a government study on the dangers of peace titled "Report From Iron Mountain," has died. He was 82.
The book, published in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War, was commissioned by the editor of the humor magazine Monocle after a fall in the stock market was blamed on a 'peace scare.' Lewin, an editor and writer of considerable talent, wrote what appeared to be a suppressed secret government study by a prominent Midwestern professor identified only as 'John Doe.' According to the introduction, written by and credited to Lewin, Doe and more than a dozen other scholars had been part of a top-secret 'study group' that had gathered in a mammoth under-ground bomb shelter in upstate New York in 1963. Lewin wrote that the group worked for more than two years 'to determine, accurately and realistically, the nature of the problems that would confront the United States if and when a condition of 'permanent peace' should arrive, and to draft a program for dealing with this contingency.
The 109-page report concluded that if peace 'could be achieved, it would almost certainly not be in the best interests of society to achieve it.
'War fills certain functions essential to the stability of our society,' such as full employment, the report said.
Written in bureaucratic jargon, the report suggested that in a search for new crises, the government might introduce massive environmental pollution. In a move to control population, birth control drugs could be added to the food and water supply. 'Aggressive impulses' from those used in combat might be controlled through blood sports.
The book became a bestseller. Esquire magazine published a condensation in its December 1967 issue that ran more than 25,000 words. The book's publisher, Dial Press, tongue firmly in cheek, continued to cite the book's authenticity.
Sales were brisk and the book was translated into more than a dozen languages. But by 1972, Lewin had had enough of the hoax. He confessed to being the author in an essay in The New York Times Book Review.
In the essay, Lewin said he had decided to end the mystery over the authorship after reading the 'Pentagon Papers,' and other documents about the Vietnam War and deciding that some of the information being leaked 'read like parodies of Iron Mountain, rather than the reverse.'
He said his original intent has been to discuss 'the issues of war and peace,' in an interesting way and 'extend the scope of public discussion of 'peace planning' beyond its usual stodgy limits.'
The furor eventually faded, and the book went out of print in the late 1970s. But in the mid-1980s, Lewin received a request from a group of white supremacists asking whether he had any copies to sell. He said no.
By the early 1990s, the book had become something of a right-wing manifesto, and ads for it began showing up in journals popular with rightist militias. According to the Wall Street Journal, Lewin found a copy of the new edition of Iron Mountain in which his acknowledgment of authorship appeared in a blurb on the back accompanied by: 'Does editor Leonard Lewin's claim of authorship represent the truth? Or was it just another move in the deception game?'
Lewin sued Liberty Lobby, the publisher of this edition. When the case was settled, Lewin ended up with 1,000 copies of Iron Mountain in storage.
Over the last few years, copies of other unauthorized editions continued to be available on the Internet, and many militia members still believe that it's a suppressed government report.
Victor Navasky, editor of The Nation and the former Monocle editor who had commissioned Iron Mountain, wrote years ago that 'the report was a success in that it achieved its mission, which . . . was to provoke thinking about the unthinkable - the conversion to a peacetime economy and the absurdity of the arms race. But it was a failure, given that even with the end of the cold war we still have a cold war economy.'
Lewin, a liberal who campaigned for Eugene McCarthy in 1968, was born in New York City in 1916. In the early '40s, after his graduation from Harvard University with a degree in psychology, he became a union organizer in Hartford, Conn., with the United Electrical Workers. He later worked with his father at a sugar refinery in Indiana before moving back to New York in 1960 to pursue his writing career.
He edited A Treasury of American Political Humor, published by Delacorte in 1964, and he contributed to various publications.

The author of the Report, Leonard Lewin, later claimed it was a hoax, but in "News of War and Peace You’re Not Ready For" (Washington Post Book World, November 26, 1967), Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith, writing under the pen name of Herschell McLandress, said the Iron Mountain meeting did take place because he was invited to it and told to keep the invitation "“strictly confidential" (
Dennis Cuddy).
Harlan Cleveland, political scientist and public executive:
- currently, President, World Academy of Art and Science and President emeritus, Univ. of Hawaii
- founding dean, University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Inst. of Public Affairs and became professor emeritus in 1988
- economic analyst, Board of Economic Warfare, during WWII
- Executive Director, economic section of Allied Control Commission in Italy
- Dep. Chief of mission for UNRRA (UN Relief and Rehabilitation Admin.) following WWII
- 1947, last director of UNRRA China Office, Shanghai
- 1948-1953, official of the Marshall Plan, building crescent of foreign aid programs in Far East, then asst. dir. of U.S. Mutual Security Agency for Europe, 1952-53
- 1953, Exec. Editor, then publisher, Reporter magazine
- 1956, appointed dean of Maxwell Graduate School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse Univ.
- Asst. Sec. of State for International Organization Affairs, Kennedy administration
- U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Johnson administration
- 1965, chair of Cabinet Committee on International Cooperation Year
- 1969-74, President, University of Hawaii
- 1974-80, developed and directed Program in International Affairs, Aspen Institute
- 1979, appointed distinguished visiting Tom Slick Professor of World Peace, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas
- 1980's, served two 3-year terms as trustee at large, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Co.,
- Princeton University graduate
Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in 1930's - also served on numerous boards and is the recipient of 20 honorary degrees, U.S. Medal of Freedom, and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson Award
- 1981, received Prix de Talloires, a Switzerland-based international award for "accomplished generalists"
(Taken from his book, Birth of a New World). veon.htm

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