American Security Council

The American Security Council (ASC) was established by Robert Wood, chairman and president of Sears, Roebuck & Company, and Robert R. McCormick, of the Chicago Tribune, in 1955. Wood and McCormick started the ASC because they believed that the United States had lost the Korean War because of communist infiltrators. John Fisher, a former FBI agent and chief of security at Sears. Early members included Douglas MacArthur, Sam Rayburn, Ray S. Cline, Thomas J. Dodd, W. Averell Harriman, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Eugene V. Rostow, John G. Tower, Lyman Lemnitzer, John K. Singlaub, Lawrence P. McDonald and Patrick J. Frawley.

The ASC was behind the establishment of the Mid-America Research Library (MARL). The objective of this organization was to compile files on suspected communists who might apply for jobs in the private sector. This blacklist, that included 6 million names, was provided to 3,500 companies. ASC/MARL worked very closely with the FBI and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

The ASC target those individuals who advocate disarmament and lower defence spending as it believes these people are victims of left-wing disinformation or are in the pay of communist states. In the 1950s the Soviet Union posed the main threat to capitalism. Therefore ASC members argued that it was important for the United States to achieve military superiority so that the Soviet Union would not dare launch a military attack.

The American Security Council was extremely powerful during the McCarthyism period in the United States. However, in the 1960s there was a decline in interest in the ASC as ideas about detente and disarmament became popular.

In 1978 the American Security Council organized the Coalition for Peace Through Strength (CPTS). According to one source "group members of the CPTS include conservative military organizations, right-wing organizations and a number of emigre groups with a history of association with the Nazis and current membership in the World Anti-Communist League."

General John K. Singlaub, a member of the ASC, joined forces with Ted Shackley, Ray S. Cline and Richard Helms to get Jimmy Carter removed from the White House. In December, 1979, Singlaub headed a delegation from the ASC on a trip to Guatemala. Singlaub pointed out that Ronald Reagan "recognizes that a good deal of dirty work has to be done" in order to destroy communism in Guatemala. Death squad activity in Guatemala increased dramatically following the trip." Upon his return to the United States Singlaub called for "sympathetic understanding of the death squads" (The Iran Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era).

The ASC campaigned against Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and other arms control agreements and argued aggressively for ever-increasing Pentagon budgets to pay for weapons systems, such as the B-1 Lancer bomber, the MX missile and Strategic Defense Initiative. Between 1983 and 1985 ASC ran 13 full-page ads in the New York Times and the Washington Post advocating the MX missile system.

The policy of the ASC was extremely popular with companies involved in the defence industry and critics claimed that the ASC was a military-industrial complex front organization. Important funders of the ASC included General Dynamics, General Electric, Lockheed, Boeing, Motorola, and McDonnell-Douglas. Patrick J. Frawley is believed to have been the most generous individual donors. By 1984 the ASC had an income of $2. 7 million.

Namebase: American Security Council