New background information began to emerge yesterday on Warren Richardson, a former Liberty Lobby official whose appointment as assistant secretary of legislation of the Department of Health and Human Services has been put in jeopardy by allegations of anti-Semitism.
The information is contained in a 1970 joint interview with Richardson, then general counsel of Liberty Lobby, and Curtis Dall, then head of the organization, published in the November 1970 True magazine.
During the interview, Richardson sat by while Dall repeatedly declared that Zionism is dedicated to "political and financial world domination," that the Rothschild banking family (a Jewish family) is the head of a "one-world large-monied group" that finances both communism and socialism, and that Jacob Schiff, a wealthy American, "gave $17 million or more to start communism."
Richardson himself didn't voice any such specific charges, but at one point he did, in a fleeting, somewhat unclear reference, use the phrase "the international money order," an expression sometimes employed as a code-word for the concept of an international Jewish or bankers' plan to control the world.
In other parts of the interview Richardson said that there were probably more than 750 security risks working for the State Department, that "much of the sex education in the public schools . . . is designed openly and unashamedly to destroy all of our classic mores and moral values" and that the "excesses of a permissive America" parallel "the degenerate fall of Rome."
Richardson, who worked for Liberty Lobby from 1960 to 1973, could not be reached for comment yesterday on the True interview, and HHS officials declined to comment.
The appointment of Richardson, who has also worked for the National Right to Work Committee, National Lumber Manufacturers Association, General Accounting Office, Justice Department and Associated General Contractors, was challenged last week by Rep. Samuel Gejdenson (D-Conn.) and by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.
They charged that Liberty Lobby was an anti-Semitic organization. Gejdenson at that time cited an article under Richardson's byline in the May 18, 1971, New York Times, opposing U.S. intervention in the Mideast, which said, "Liberty Lobby will not tag along with the cowards who would rather countenance another national disaster than brave the screams of the pro-Zionist 'free press' in America."
Gjedenson said in an interview yesterday that the True Magazine interview broadens "the picture of where these people and Mr. Richardson are coming from" and shows that Richardson's New York Times article "wasn't an idiosyncratic" isolated case but typical of "what the organization stands for."
Richardson and Liberty Lobby have denied the allegations of anti-Semitism, and he says the sentence cited was added to the article by someone else without his knowledge. But both HHS Secretary Richard S. Schweiker and the White House have ordered an investigation.
In the True magazine article, Dall, a former son-in-law of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, had just finished a recitation of his view that Rothschild and Schiff money and Zionism were behind the "one-world plans of the international bankers" to destroy the United States, when the interviewer asked if the Liberty Lobby supported the House Internal Security subcommittee. Dall began a new recitation of the alleged international banker plot.
But Richardson interjected, "Whether communism is part of the international money order or not isn't too material to your specific question. The point is we must protect ourselves against what is obviously the source of attack" -- meaning communism.
Dall then said that the "financial one-world plan to destroy us" includes "penetration of the financial enemy's agents into the various colleges." Richardson, seemingly agreeing, said, "It's a technique. The communists feed input into the colleges about ecology and future horrors."
Other materials from the period when Richardson was with the Liberty Lobby have also been obtained by The Washington Post. In one 1972 letter to subscribers to Liberty Letter, Dall appealed for a big increase in subscriptions to help counteract "the well-heeled and extremely vocal 'minority' machine, the labor bosses, and the super-rich international banking and CFR [Council on Foreign Relations, a favorite Liberty Lobby target] interests."
Liberty Lobby, in statements to the press and a letter to President Reagan Friday, said it is anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic.
In 1968, in a decision in a case involving documents published by Drew Pearson, then-Circuit Judge Warren E. Burger noted that Liberty Lobby's "record reveals extensive money raising campaigns to support various programs of political education, some of which contain overtones of anti-Semitism and racism, which, however reprehensible, are within the areas covered by the First Amendment."
For several years Richardson has been meeting every Friday with about 40 top conservative spokesmen who are called the Kingston Group and meet in the office of Paul Weyrich, head of the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress.
"I dislike Liberty Lobby and have thrown them out of my office . . . But I am outraged at these charges," that Richardson is anti-Semitic, Weyrich said yesterday. "That's the worst kind of McCarthyism."