Congressman Larry McDonald:
Prisoner Of War

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By Alan Stang

Imagine you have a struggling crusade that needs someone to run it and that the Lord Himself tells you, "Write down the qualities you want in your next leader and give me the list." Imagine that you joyfully jot down everything you want andómirabile dictuóGod gives it to you.
Something akin to this must have been what happened when Larry McDonald was finally named chairman of the John Birch Society, because Larry had all the necessary qualities to lead the battle for America. He was literally movie star handsome; had he flown into Burbank and been willing, the studios would have fought to sign him to lucrative contracts before he left the airport.
Some very handsome people have no charm. Larry was (and, by the way, I'm using the verb form "was" rather than "is," because I'm remembering him as he was, not because I think he is gone) not just drop-dead handsome; he had enough charm to make Cary Grant look like Buster Keaton.
Larry did one thing that made me nervous. Many times, he would be standing in a hotel lobby, for instance, after a public meeting, typically surrounded by admirers, patiently answering their questions, deflecting their effusive praise. I would jab at my watch and tell him: "Larry, I donít want to get rid of you, but your plane leaves in 45 minutes and it takes half an hour to get to the airport."
Immensely patient, Larry would smile the patrician smile and humor me. "Plenty of time, Alan." Which of course would make me even more nervous. Forty minutes later, he would be running down the concourse, and would leap aboard his flight as the door closed.
Larry was a physician, like his father, grandfather and brother, a specialist in urology. One of his patients was his predecessor as John Birch Society chairman, Robert Welch, who told dinner audiences that Larry inspected the Welch plumbing so often, he had installed a zipper to save time. Of course, Bob Welch didn't show us the zipper, so he may have been joking.
Often, Larry and I would be seated at the long head table near each other at formal banquets where everyone was served a slab of roast beef. I would eat the veggies, but not the meat, which would have been far too heavy on my stomach. Larry was a dedicated carnivore and knew this, so after he had finished his own roast beef, he would show up behind me, reach over my shoulder and fork my roast beef onto his plate.
This was my cue. In mock-complaint, I would tell other guests at the head table, "Dr. McDonald stole my roast beef. Lifted it right off my plate before I could get to it." Larry would tell them, "A Congressman has a license to steal," and they would nod. Sometimes, I would alter the scenario a bit. Before Larry could come and steal my roast beef, I would go to him and ceremoniously throw it on top of his own slab of meat. When whoever was beside him would look up at me, puzzledóI was wearing a tuxedo but wasn't a waiteróI would explain that, as a Member of Congress, Dr. McDonald was a specialist in "taking the food from a manís mouth."
We are looking at Larry McDonald's many qualities; so far we have seen that he was immensely handsome, inordinately charming, and had a delightful sense of humor. Many men in Washington have those qualities. Larry also could make a good speech. So could many others. He was brilliant and had a prodigious memory. His knowledge of the conspiracy for world government was truly encyclopedic. His energy and endurance were titanic. He was prodigiously tenacious and would not be deflected.
Larry also had a talent I envied for organization. His friends and even his enemies in Congress agreed that he was far and away the leader of the patriotic members who opposed the conspiracy for world government. He founded an outfit called Western Goals for the purpose. Again, he became the chairman of the John Birch Society. He served on the boards of the Conservative Caucus and the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he organized an intelligence network to unearth communist infiltration.
Larry and Congressman Ron Paul spent considerable time together. Ron of course is also a physician; when he isn't serving in Congress, Ron is a gynecologist in Lake Jackson, Texas. Larry is a Democrat, Ron a Republican. The big difference between them is that Larry is a student of the conspiracy; Ron is a libertarian, and libertarians tend to debunk conspiratology. As you can imagine, it was fascinating to be part of their conversations.
Ron at first didn't cotton to the possibility that a conspiracy was behind so many of our problems. I have heard him marvel many times about the insanity of Washington. "Alan, it's a loony bin. It's literally crazy." I believe I am correct in thinking that in his recent writings and speeches, our good friend Ron has more and more adopted Larry's belief that our trouble isn't mere insanity; it's deliberate, it's the work of a conspiracy. Ron told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Larry was "the most principled man" he knew in Congress.
Larry was aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 007 on that fatal flight because he was on his way to Seoul to participate in the 30th anniversary celebration of the U.S.-Korea Mutual Defense Pact. He was organizing a new worldwide alliance of anti-Communist nations, advising them wisely to avoid the United States, which will alwaysóalwaysóstab a friend in the back and betray anyone and everyone who opposes the conspiracy for world government. Were it not for the United States government, Communism would never have been anything more than a footnote. It is no surprise that many observers described him as "the most dangerous enemy the Communists had."
As impressive as all this is, however, it would be little more than routine without Larry's most outstanding, most obvious quality, the quality that bound all the others together. Many good men go to Congress to do what needs to be done. At the airport, on their way to Washington, they tell us they will turn the country around, restore our Christian system and Constitution, kick the Communists out, etc.
A year or so later, they disappear; we don't hear from them. Eventually, they resurface, but they are different men. They have "seen reason." They have decided to "cooperate," because, after all, politics is "the art of compromise." Some of them even still talk a good game, but their hearts are not in it. They have succumbed to the blandishments of higher office, more and bigger payoffs, network coverage and international prestige, interviews with Republican media frauds O'Reilly and Hannity, flashier women on fancier yachts. Maybe they have succumbed to blackmail or threats.
Not Larry. His last day in office, he was the same as the first. One can only imagine what it must have been like to stand alone on the floor of the House, surrounded by world government troglodytes festooned with human gore. I do not know what Larry faced and feared; I do know he never wavered, always voted for the Constitution and the country, against the conspiracy and totalitarianism. I do know his incomparable courage never failed, that he was always true to the Christian civilization whose champion he was.
What would the Soviets do to take out such a man? What would they do to take out the "most dangerous man" they faced? Would they shoot down a commercial airliner for the purpose? Did they? I donít know. Some theorists speculate they did exactly that, and, because I donít know, I donít dispute them.
I do know that if they didn't shoot the plane down for the purpose, when the Soviets found out who was aboard, when they found out whom they had, they decided in a Moscow minute to keep himóand because they kept Larry, they had to keep everyone else. They couldn't very well announce that they were releasing the others but had decided to keep Congressman McDonald because he was such a Free Enterprising pain in the tush.
What happened? What do we know? More and more has oozed out over the years. It will be twenty years ago when you read this, the night of August 31/September 1, 1983. Like some of you, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard that Jack Kennedy had been dusted and that the World Trade Center had been destroyed. On that fateful night in 1983, I was working alone in my office at home, when my wife called with the news.
For hours, I followed the story. Finally, assured by the media that KAL 007 had "landed on Sakhalin," that the passengers were "safe," that Congressman McDonald was "all right," and that Korean Air Lines had sent another aircraft to the island to take them off, I went happily to bed, already relishing Larry's hair-raising rendition of the event, confident he would be back to steal still more of my roast beef.
When I awoke, of course, everything had changed. Now, KAL 007 had been "blown to bits," bits small enough to pass through a cheesecloth. All the passengers and crew were dead, especially Dr. McDonald. There weren't enough body parts to bury in a thimble. There were enough shoes to have shod three-quarters of the passengers, but no feet to put in them. There couldn't be any luggage because there wasn't any plane.
One rule to remember in journalism is that the first reports of something are generally the most accurate, for the obvious reason that the first reporters don't yet know the party line. They don't yet know what they are supposed to say, so they tell the truth; they report what really happened. For instance, in Oklahoma City, many television reports from the crippled Murrah federal building initially mentioned the four bombs they had found. But four bombs would mean a conspiracy, wouldn't it? The one man who was executed for the crime could not have done four bombs alone.
Never fear. Within hours, the humanoids with the electronics in their ears arrived from Washington, D.C. The zombies from the Communist News Network, from the Communist Broadcasting System, from the Bazonga Broadcasting Commune in London and so on, showed up, took over and told the local media "what really happened." Now we learned that there were not four bombs. There were no bombs. There was just the usual mixed up kid with a truck and a bag of fertilizer.
Soon after the Soviets shot down Flight 007, a man named Orville Brockman, FAA Duty Officer in Washington, D.C., called Tommy Toles, Larry McDonald's media representative in the Seventh District of Georgia. Duty Officer Brockman told Tommy that he had just heard from a Mr. Tanaka, his counterpart in Japanese aviation, who told him that Japanese military radar had tracked KAL 007 to "a landing on Sakhalinska." The brief conversation was recorded and I have a copy of the tape. Indeed, it's no secret; many people have heard it.
There was also a report in the New York Times on September 1, 1983. Of course we now know that the New York Times doesnít deserve to wrap fish, but, for what it's worth, the first piece on the shootdown by the Times said that 007 was forced down, that it landed on Sakhalin and that all aboard were safe. The first UPI wire story from Seoul on the same date, said much the same thing. According to these reports, the information originated at CIA. The President of KAL started out for Sakhalin to greet the passengers and crew, and got as far as Tokyo, where he was told they would not be coming.
We also know from the transcripts of what was said that, long after 007 was "blown to bits," the Soviet pilot who attacked it reported it had not been shot down, and the general in charge told him to go ahead and destroy it. We know from the transcripts that long after 007 was attacked, the flight deck was still talking to Air Traffic Control in Tokyo, which is hard to do if you have been blown to bits. Flight Seven Captain Chun told Tokyo he was descending to a new altitude. Even the black boxes the Soviets had all along and were eventually forced to turn over prove that almost two minutes after the attack, when the tape mysteriously stopped (because of Soviet tampering?), the crew was still in control and Flight Seven was flying.
Since then, many investigators have put the pieces together. Airline Captain Joe Ferguson and journalist Bob Lee did a study that applied Joe's long experience to the facts and found that when the aircraft was hit, it first descended rapidly to a lower altitude where the depressurized passengers could breathe, and then descended slower than it would have in a normal landing, while the captain circled, looked for a place to land. The 747 was aloft for twelve minutes after it was "blown to bits."
Enter Avraham Shifrin, a Russian who was a Red Army major. As prosecutor for the Krasnodar Region, northeast of the Crimea, he sent many victims to the gulag. Then another prosecutor sent Shifrin there. He spent ten years in various facilities in the gulag, where he lost a leg. Later, he emigrated to Israel, where he established the Research Centre for Soviet Prisons, Psych-prisons and Forced-Labor Concentration Camps.
Avraham became the world's foremost authority on the subject outside the system itself and wrote a book about it, which he sarcastically called a "travel guide" for use by tourists in the Soviet Union. He had a network of spies there who kept him informed. They helped him investigate the fate of Flight Seven. Avraham and his wife Elena, an English teacher, were guests on my nightly radio talk show in Los Angeles. They were the only guests I kept coming back for most of a week.
Avraham is gone now, but a man named Bert Schlossberg has taken up the cudgels. His site is Please go there and take a look. His book is Rescue 007: The Untold Story of KAL 007 and Its Survivors. According to people who apparently were there, the crippled aircraft landed successfully in the water off Sakhalin, near a tiny island called Moneron. The Soviets took the surviving passengers off, towed the aircraft to a shallow site near Moneron and sank it.
Bert Schlossberg reports that the Soviets separated Larry McDonald from the rest of the passengers and flew him to Moscow about a week after the shootdown with a special KGB guard unit brought from Khabarovsk for the purpose. According to Bert Schlossberg: "The KGB had a fleet of special aircraft, the 910xx series, that was used exclusively for transporting high profile prisoners, VIPs, and others requiring the strictest security. These were used for even very short trips rather than using overland transportation."
What happened to Larry in Moscow? Bert Schlossberg reports that the KGB stashed him in the infamous Lefortovo prison and interrogated him for months. The temperature in the Lefortovo cells is deliberately kept near freezing. The cells are a shade under five feet long, the trouble with which is that Larry McDonald is more than six feet tall. It gets worse. Bert Schlossberg writes: "The dirt floors were submerged in water so that the prisoners either stood or lay down in mud. There might be a slanted bench against which the prisoner could lean with his feet against the opposite wall."
In middle of 1987, the Soviets moved Larry to a small prison near a town called Temir-Tau, in Kazakhstan. Bert Schlossberg says guards at the prison identified him from a photograph that had been computer-aged to show what he would have looked like at the time. The photograph also showed a scar running from his left nostril to the left end of his lip. In the summer of 1990, he was taken to the transportation prison in Karaganda, where he was known to remain as late as 1995. He may still be in Karaganda; he may have been moved again.
Notice that 1995 is long after the Soviet Union was alleged to "collapse." Had it really collapsed, the gulag would have been thrown open and destroyed, like the concentration camp system first used by the British in the Boer War and perfected by the Nazis. The criminals running that system would have been tried and hung. Larry would have been liberated along with all the others. None of that has happened, of course, which is still another proof that the "collapse of Communism" is an utter fraud.
Along these lines, new Soviet disinformation was recently extruding from a source in Ukraine and circulating the Internet, to the effect that Flight 007 was indeed "blown to bits" and so were the passengers. Why would the Soviets be saying this now? My speculation is that they anticipate many pieces to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the event, like the brief memoir you are reading now, and that they are trying to neutralize the possible effect of such coverage.
Is our dear friend Larry alive? Could Larry McDonald have survived all this? I am confident that I could not. But if any man could, that man would be U.S. Navy Commander Lawrence Patton McDonald, a relative of General George S. Patton, Jr. Larry today would be 68. Other Prisoners of War older than he is have survived. So the answer to my question is that, based on the evidence, I believe he is.
I believe he is waiting for us to bring him home, but that will not happen while communist world government traitor George W. Bush is commander-in-chief. It would be immensely satisfying to have to tell you how wrong I was, but I now believe Larry will come home only when Shifrin's spies find out where he is, and a deep cover team of honorably discharged SEALS mean as razorbacks goes in and gets him. When "President" Putrid complains he may do likewise with spetsnaz, Bush can tell him to "bring them on."
Copyright © 2003 by Alan Stang
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