The World Anti-Communist League was founded in 1966 in Taipei, Taiwan. WACL was conceived as an expansion of the Asian People's Anti-Communist League, a regional alliance against communism formed at the request of Chiang Kai-shek at the end of the Korean War. The Asian People's AntiCommunist League (APACL) had roots in the China Lobby, a group dedicated to stopping official international recognition of the Chinese Communist government. The China Lobby had U.S. government connections, and allegedly Ray Cline of the CIA assisted this group in establishing the Taiwanese Political Warfare Cadres Academy in the late 1950s. The founders of APACL were agents of the governments of Taiwan and Korea, including Park Chung Hee who later became president of Korea; Yoshio Kodama, a member of organized crime in Japan; Ryiochi Sasakawa, a gangster and Japanese billionaire jailed as a war criminal after World War II; and Osami Kuboki and other followers of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, head of the Unification Church. Sasakawa provided major funding for Moon and the Unification Church. When Park became president of South Korea after the 1961 coup, he adopted the Unification Church as his political arm....
United States: The first WACL chapter in the U.S. was the American Council for World Freedom (ACWF) founded in 1970 by Lee Edwards. Edwards was the former director of Young Americans for Freedom, the youth arm of the John Birch Society. John Fisher of the American Security Council served as ACWF's first chairman. The American Security Council is a virulently anticommunist group that originally focused on internal security. It currently heads up the right wing lobby group the Coalition for Peace Through Strength, which includes among its members a number of members of Congress. (61) In 1973, the ACWF, at the urging of board member Stefan Possony, complained to WACL about the fascist members from Latin America. The report was discredited, but in 1975, ACWF left WACL and its members drifted off to other groups in the New Right.
The second U.S. chapter of WACL (1975-1980), the Council on American Affairs, was headed by noted racialist Roger Pearson. During this period Pearson had strong links to the American Security Council.
In 1980 John Singlaub went to Australia to speak to the Asian branch of WACL. Shortly thereafter he was approached to begin a new U.S. chapter of the organization. The U.S. Council for World Freedom (USCWF) was started by the retired General in 1981 with a loan from WACL in Taiwan and local funding from beer magnate, Joseph Coors. USCWF has been the most active chapter of WACL of this decade, with the action picking up tremendously in 1984 with the cessation of official U.S. government funding to the contras. Singlaub was selected by the White House in 1984 to be the chief private fundraiser for the contras. The key private funders were to be wealthy business people, Taiwan, South Korea, and "an anti-communist organization with close ties to those governments." Other major contributions came from Guatemala and Argentina, countries where Singlaub had strong WACL connections. In his position as chief private fundraiser for the contras Singlaub reported directly to Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council. It is highly likely that Singlaub's USCWF/WACL high-profile,"private" contra fundraising may have served as a cover for North's illegal government-sponsored supply network.
In his deposition at the Iran-Contra hearings, Singlaub's claims that he raised $10 million in contra aid were questioned. In 1985, for example, when claims of millions of dollars in aid raised from private sources were reported frequently by the media, the USWCF financial statement reported income of $280,798. In the previous year, reported income was just over $41,000. Singlaub responded that a good deal of the aid was "in-kind" and that the dollar values were somewhat uncertain. He also claimed that his statements had been exaggerated by the press.
What Singlaub has done as a private citizen and what he has done in the name of USCWF and WACL is unclear. However, WACL paid for the services of the public relations firm of Carter Clews Communications to improve Singlaub's public image in order to enhance his fundraising efforts.
The USCWF and Soldier of Fortune established a private training academy for Salvadoran police forces and Nicaraguan contras. Located in Boulder, Colorado, the Institute for Regional and International Studies was headed by Alexander McColl, the military affairs editor of Soldier of Fortune Magazine. Robert Brown of Soldier of Fortune invested $500,000 in Freedom Marine. In December 1985 Freedom Marine sold three "stealth boats" to USCWF for $125,000. The hulls of the boats had been reinforced for machine gun mounts. In Honduras the coastal resupply system for rebels inside Nicaragua utilized three "stealth boats." Bruce Jones, former CIA liaison to the contras in Costa Rica, worked for USCWF in Tucson.
In 1987, USCWF lost its tax-exempt status because of complaints about the group's support of the Nicaraguan contras and is reported to be short of money. USCWF apparently moved its offices from Phoenix to Alexandria, Virginia in 1988. Singlaub was indicted in 1986 and 1988 over USCWF activities in support of the contras. Because of these costly legal problems USCWF has been politically inactive and NARWACL did not hold its annual meeting in 1988-1989.
David Finzer and Rafael Flores founded the World Youth Freedom League (WYFL), the youth branch of WACL in 1985. Flores, worked for contra fundraiser, Carl (Spitz) Channell, also indicted in the Iran-contra case. Finzer and Flores worked together at the International Youth Year Commission, a group linked to Oliver North's contra supply network.