The Clark M. Clifford Page

Clark Clifford, Mary Lasker and Florence Mahoney

Truman's Sep. 6, 1945 message to Congress, reportedly the first to address health, was a reflection of the influence of Mary Lasker and Florence Mahoney. Truman's 1948 presidential campaign "received direct input from Mahoney and Lasker through their friendship with Clark Clifford..." "The three often dined together, making up what Clifford jokingly called 'our exclusive club.' By then he had replaced Rosenman as the president's special counsel. Mahoney and Lasker continually sent him material from the Nation's Health Committee, facts that he could use in speeches for the president." When Truman won the election, Clifford's chaffeur delivered a celebration basket of champaign and cheese from Florence Mahoney to the White House. (From: Noble Conspirator. Florence S. Mahoney and the Rise of the National Institutes of Health. By Judith Robinson. The Francis Press 2001.)

The Brown Shoe Company

Clark Clifford was brought to Washington through his connections to James K. Vardaman Jr., who had been a banker and owned a shoe company in St. Louis. He was Vardaman's lawyer as well as a social friend. The likely suspect is the Brown Shoe Company, established circa 1888, which owns the Famous Footwear, Buster Brown, Carlos, LifeStride, Dr. Scholl's, and Naturalizer lines. This company has a history of anti-tobacco fanaticism including refusing to employ smokers. On its Board of Directors are members of the family of J. Michael McGinnis, who is co-author of the health fascists' key source for the lie that lifestyle is the leading cause of death in the US (McGinnis & Foege, Journal of the American Medical Association 1993). Principal holders of the company's stock are Dimensional Fund Advisors Inc, 8.78%; FMR Corp. of Boston, 6.46% (controlled by Edward C. Johnson 3d and Abigail P. Johnson, this fund has over $1 trillion in assets and is the largest stockholder in Philip Morris as well); Mellon Financial Corporation and certain of its subsidiaries, 5.59%; and Fleet National Bank of Boston, 5.39%.

2001 Proxy Statement, the Brown Shoe Company / Corporate IR
The J Michael McGinnis Page

James K. Vardaman Jr. of St. Louis was appointed to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Apr. 4, 1946, and resigned Nov. 30, 1958. According to an oral history interview with Eben A. Ayers, a seventeen year veteran of the Associated Press and editor of the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal-Bulletin who was a press officer on the staff of President Truman, Vardaman's father was James K. Vardaman, a US Senator from Mississippi who was notorious for his racism.

Board of Governors, 1913-2002 / Federal Reserve (pdf)
Ayers Oral History Interview / Truman Presidential Library

James K. Vardaman Sr., from: The Ancestors of George & Hazel Mullins, by Philip Mullins. Chapter 14 - The Revolt of the Rednecks, 1903-1931.

Mullins / University of Texas

Brown Group Inc.: W. L. Hadley Griffin, Chm. B. A. Bridgewater Jr, Pres. & CEO-Brown Group J. Carr Gamble Jr., Exec. V. Pres.-Brown Group. Richard W. Shomaker, Pres.-Brown Shoe Co. Ben Peck, Chm.-Wobl Shoe Co. Robert N. Stone, Pres.-Regal Shoe Shops (Large Employers of the St. Louis Region 1984-1985. St. Louis Regional Commerce & Growth Association, p. 34.)

Large Employers of the St. Louis Region 1984-1985 / UCSF (pdf, 75 pp)

The National Security Act of 1947

NSC History / Whitehouse
National Security Act of 1947 memos / US State Department

Israel and Palestine

"Corporate attorney Clark M. Clifford... was the Washington, DC insider who first put his thumb on the scale of U.S. Middle East policy to tilt it decisively toward Israel. Clifford's behind the scenes White House intervention in 1948 on Israel's behalf for domestic political purposes made him at least as responsible as any other American for the half-century of Middle Eastern turmoil and the hundreds of thousands of deaths that followed... One of Truman's decisions was to put the full diplomatic backing of the United States behind the November 1947 United Nations partition of Palestine. The UN plan gave 53 percent of the former British Mandate of Palestine to the one-third of its inhabitants who were Jewish and who owned only 7 percent of the land, and 47 percent of Palestine to the two-thirds who were Muslim and Christian Arabs... As predicted by the US foreign affairs establishment, this grossly unfair award of more than half of Palestine to its Jewish minority population precipitated bloody fighting almost as soon as the plan was announced." (Special Report. Insider Clark Clifford's death recalls two Mideast scandals: Premature recognition of Israel and BCCI. By Richard H. Curtiss, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 1998 Dec. pp 49-50.)

Curtiss / Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 1998

Paul Hoffman and The Marshall Plan

"[Dean] Acheson persuaded Navy secretary James Forrestal and domestic fixer Clark Clifford to show Truman how he could elevate a political scam like foreign aid into a mighty ideological struggle on the global stage."

The Paul G. Hoffman Page

RJ Reynolds Tobacco and Clifford, Warnke, Glass, McIlwain, and Finnay

"Clark Clifford: Advisor to Senator Muskie, advisor to Truman, handled transition from Eisenhower to Kennedy, Secretary of Defense under Johnson -- November 1967 to January 1969 -- originated White House Historical Association for Kennedy. Paul Warnke was a Covington and Burling partner from 1957 to 1966, when he went to the Pentagon, first as general counsel, then Assistant Secretary for Intenational Security Affairs. He came into Clifford's firm in 1969. Samuel D. McIlwain was in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the Justice Department under Truman, and then counsel for the Senate Finance Committee in 1957-58. Larry L. Williams was an anti-trust trial lawyer for Justice Department 1958-1965. Carson M. Glass also spent a decade in the Justice Department. It has been said that Clifford hires only from the government. He says, 'We have to because we are specialists in dealing with the government.'" John F. Kevin, Harold D. Murry Jr., and Paul C. Warnke were attorneys for RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. (Report prepared "Upon request of the Director of the National Commission on Smoking and Public Policy (created by the American Cancer Society)" for its forum in Atlanta, June 14, 1977; by Louis U. Fink, Mar. 14, 1977, p. 8.) Clifford, Warnke, et al represented RJR in the FTC cigarette labeling litigation between 1975 and 1982 (in which another suspicious firm, Arnold and Porter represented Philip Morris), and in billboard litigation by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Report to the NCSPP, 1977 / UCSF (pdf, 19 pp)

Paul C. Warnke, Esq., of Clifford & Warnke was a member of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University during 1987-88.

Membership List, 1987-1988 / UCSF (pdf, 6 pp)

Food for Peace Council

Clark Clifford, Mary Lasker, and Florence Mahoney were members of the Food for Peace Council, circa 1961; George S. McGovern was its Director before he ran for the Senate in 1962. (Information from: Noble Conspirator, Florence S. Mahoney and the Rise of the National Institutes of Health. By Judith Robinson. The Francis Press 2001.)

The "Bank of Crooks and Criminals International"

(The BCCI Affair. A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, by Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Hank Brown, Dec. 1992.) The name of John Vardaman, a partner at Williams and Conolly, appears in Part 17, "BCCI's Lawyers and Lobbyists." [John W. Vardaman Jr. also filed a brief of amicus curiae urging affirmance on behalf of the American Tort Reform Association.]

The BCCI Affair / Federation of American Scientists
John W. Vardaman bio / Williams & Connolly LLP

"Clifford was the Chairman of First American Corporation from 1981 to August 1991 and was the Chairman of First American Bankshares from 1982 through August 1991... Clifford was also the Managing Director of CCAI and CCAH. Robert Altman was a Director and President of First American Corporation from 1981 to August 1991, and an officer of CCAI and CCAH. Both Clifford and Altman were legal counsel to BCCI and the record shareholders of FGB/CCAH." (Memorandum order, First American Corp. v. Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Naryan, March 26, 1996.)

First American v. Al-Naryan, 1996 / UCSF (pdf, 4 pp)

Clark Clifford biographies

Clark McAdams Clifford was named for his mother's brother, Clark McAdams, "a crusading editor of the St. Louis Post Dispatch." He attended college and law school at Washington University at St. Louis. "Clifford was also one of the principal architects of the National Security Act of 1947, which unified the armed services and established the CIA... After leaving the government, Clifford overcame his economic problems so quickly that within four months he was able to move his family from a rented house in Chevy Chase, Md., to the historic house on three acres outside of Bethesda that was his home for the rest of his life. Clients lined up outside his door. One of the first was [Howard] Hughes, who asked Clifford to be the Washington counsel for Trans World Airlines. There followed a clientel that represented blue-chip America and included General Electric, AT&T, ITT, RCA Corp., ABC, DuPont, Hughes Tool, Time Inc., Standard Oil, Phillips Petroleum and El Paso Natural Gas." His career was built upon the belief that "he could fix things for his clients as a result of his political connections," which Clifford denied. Like his Lasker Syndicate connections, he had a pass from the media, and "no one paid much attention when Ramparts called Clifford 'a curious hybrid of Rasputin, Perry Como and Mr. Fix,' in an article that depicted him as an architect of U.S. economic imperialism and linked that role to his legal work representing major multinational companies." He was President John F. Kennedy's personal lawyer and headed his presidential transition team; and Secretary of the Defense Department for nine months at the end of the Johnson administration. Clifford structured the deal by which the Bank of Credit and Commerce International took over First American Bank. Depositors in third world countries lost billions when BCCI collapsed, while US deposits were insured by the FDIC. (Clark Clifford, Key Advisor to Four Presidents, Dies," by Marilyn Berger. New York Times 1998 Oct 11.)

Berger NY Times 1998 / Mt. Holyoke College

"[H]e played a leading if often behind the scenes role in an estimated 11 presidential campaigns. In addition to his work for Truman and Johnson, he served Presidents John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter in a variety of sensitive and important special assignments... Clifford was known as a lawyer who was supremely urbane, intelligent and extraordinarily well connected at the highest levels of government. He was all but universally described as among the most effective and richest of Washington lawyers in the decades that followed World War II." (Washington Insider Clark Clifford Dies. By Bart Barnes, Washington Post 1998 Oct. 11, p A1.)

Barnes / Washington Post 1998

His biography at the Arlington National Cemetary website notes that "Clifford was director emeritus of Knight-Ridder Newspapers." His wife Margaret ("Marny"), who was a corporal in the US Army, is buried there also. Florence Mahoney's papers include correspondence with her from 1959, 1970, and 1973.

The Cliffords / Arlington National Cemetery

Clark M. Clifford Oral History, Interview 1, by Joe B. Frantz, Mar. 13, 1969 (although the date spoken is March 17, 1969).

Clifford Oral History / LBJ Library (pdf)

Clark Clifford's partner Robert Altman

"While Clifford concentrated on cultivating Democrats, Altman developed friendships with members of both parties. His social success owed much to his wife, the actress Lynda Carter. She was known for her starring role in the 1970s television show Wonder Woman, based on the comic book character... In Washington, a city full of drab bureaucrats, she represented style and glamour, and the Altmans became prominent socialites. Their mansion in suburban Potomac, Maryland - purchased for $2.6 million 1987 - was the site of many opulent parties attended by the cream of official Washington. Lynda Carter has been nothing less than a magnet for several senior Republicans. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah displays a picture of himself with the actress in his office and frequently refers to her husband as 'my good friend.' The Altman's social circle also includes a large number of people close to George Bush.

"...Altman has also been a generous donor. In 1991, it was reported that he had made about $23,872 in federal contributions since 1987. He gave $500 to two Democratic candidates during the 1988 presidential race, Governor Dukakis of Massachusetts and Congressman Gephardt. Altman's wife contributed $4,000 to candidates for federal office in 1987-88, including $1,000 to the presidential campaign of the Republican Senator Bob Dole of Kansas. She also gave to Congressman John Dingell of Michigan." (From: False Profits. By Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin. Houghton Mifflin 1992.)

Truell & Gurwin / The Ultimate Wonder Woman Site

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cast 08-25-07