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The below article is reprinted from People’s Weekly World, Long View Publishing Company, 235 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 1001L
by Tim Wheeler
David Duke, it is said, idolized his father, an engineer for Shell Oil Company, who, like his son, was a white supremacist. The father, David Hedger Duke, volunteered for service in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. He was sent to Laos as an agent of the U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development (USAID.)
Young David, meanwhile, completed high school and enrolled at Louisiana State University, where he became notorious on “Free Speech Alley” for his racist and anti-Semitic harangues. Just before he dropped out of LSU, on March 4,1971, Duke was ordered to report for active duty. Selective Service records show that he was classified 1-A. But in a “highly unusual move,” reports Tyler Bridges of the Times-Picayune of New Orleans, “Duke was given a student deferment, March 18, even though he soon left school and didn’t return for eighteen months…None of the members of his draft board contacted said they knew why the injunction notice was rescinded.” When Bridges asked Duke why he hadn’t been drafted, Duke responded, “Well,I was in Laos during the war.” And indeed he was. He boasted that he spent nine months in Laos beginning in May 1971 flying twenty missions “behind enemy lines aboard CIA Air America transport planes, dropping supplies to CIA mercenary troops in the mountains. In attempting to debunk details of Duke’s story, critics only confirm the main point. Charles Green, for example, head of the Agency for International Development (AID) language school in Laos, said Duke served only six weeks as an English language instructor of Laotian army officers. Green claims he fired Duke when he walked into his classroom and saw that Duke had drawn a Molotov cocktail on the blackboard.
It is well known that the CIA used USAID as a cover for covert warfare in Southeast Asia. It is entirely plausible that David Duke was recruited as a covert agent of the CIA. That would explain why his induction into the military was mysteriously rescinded.
It would also explain Duke’s strange immunity in other criminal and terrorist activities. In September 1976 Duke was the sponsor of a conference of neo- Nazis and Klansmen at a hotel near his home in Métairies, an all-white suburb of New Orleans. When police arrived, Duke and his followers surrounded the squad car. Duke led the mob in chanting, “White Power.” Duke screamed at the officers, “You are a Jew. You work for the FBI. They are commie traitors and you are too.” The police radioed for help and Duke was among those arrested. He was tried but received a suspended sentence. Why?
On December 31,1980, Duke sat on a French quarter balcony in New Orleans with a convicted felon named Michael Perdue. According to Gwen Udell,a close friend of Duke’s who was there, the two men “hashed over Perdue’s plan to invade the Caribbean island of Dominica’ “ A small band of mercenaries would sail to the tiny black populated country, overthrow the government and set up a white supremacist junta,” reports the Times-Picayune, Perdue “dreamed of making millions by running a casino and exporting lumber.” Others say the real “export” was to be cocaine and other narcotics.
Duke reportedly helped Perdue find a charter boat to transport his mercenary commandos and put Perdue in touch with people who would finance the bizarre expedition, codenamed Operation Red Dog.
On April 27,1981, officers of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms arrested them just before they boarded the yacht in Lake Ponchartrain. Despite his ringleader role, Duke was not arrested. He was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, where he pleaded the Fifth Amendment, refusing to testify. Nine of the ten other conspirators, including Duke’s co-hort Klanman Don Black, were found guilty and served time in prison. Why was Duke let off?