"Williams was born in Colón, Panama, to parents Akin Jules Williams and Sharon Williams, who were both Panamanian. He graduated in 1972 from Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, New York where he became clerk of the student body, editor of the student paper and was captain of the baseball, cross-country and championship basketball team. He attended Haverford College, from which he graduated with a baccalaureate in philosophy in 1976." wiki
I am curious as to how JW (Foxnews' most prominent token Lefty) got from Colon in the Republic of Panama where he was a son of the generally oppressed and typically impoverished class of West Indian people settled in the Republic of Panama to the Oakwood Friends School and then graduated from Haverford College. Both of these are private Quaker schools and not cheap. I do not know the answer to my question.
I was stationed in the Canal Zone 1965 and 1966 as a member of the "8th Special Forces Group" at Ft. Gulick. I was in the intelligence staff section of the Group Headquarters. Because of that I spent a lot of time with the operatives of Army Intelligence and the CIA, both of whom were engaged among other things in Force Protection activities designed to make safe the Canal Zone and US forces stationed therein.
The Partido del Pueblo was the Cuban and Soviet aligned Communist Party. The national government of Panama treated it as a deadly enemy and a conduit for Cuban subversion. The Panamanian government encouraged the US to keep the Partido del Pueblo as weak as possible. This party led street riots, bank robberies and looting of stores in Colon in 1964 and 1965. Half a dozen US solders were killed by snipers in these fandangos, shot in the Canal Zone from across the border.
To get a grip on this situation the CIA and Army Intelligence and probably the FBI clandestinely recruited as assets most of the senior members of the party and the politburo of the Partido del Pueblo. We had so many that if USI told the politburo to not attend a meeting and stay home, they lacked a quorum. To achieve these recruitments, the standard lures were; US money, assistance for relatives to move to the States and scholarships (full ride) for their children at good US private schools and colleges whose benevolent leaders could be persuaded to help (fully funded) 3rd world kids.
Is there a connection? I have no idea. pl
Partido del Pueblo sounds just like our modern Democrat party
Apparently there is an answer to how Williams gained entry to the Oakwood Friends School, if it can be believed. The following is from footnote 5 of the Wikipedia article on Williams:
Television personality and news journalist Juan Williams was born to Rogelio and Alma Geraldine Williams on April 10, 1954 in Colon, Panama. At the age of four, Williams and his family moved to Brooklyn, New York. In 1969, Williams won a scholarship to attend the Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, New York, a Quaker school. Williams then attended Haverford College, where he graduated with a B.A. degree in philosophy in 1976.
If this is true, then Williams came to the US with his mother at the age of four and entered the Oakwood Friends School at the age of 15 on a scholarship.
The following, in Williams own words, is contained in the article from The Hill (footnote 7) cited in the Wikipedia article:
My mother left Panama in 1958 after it became clear to her and my dad that the rule of dictator Arnulfo Arias had narrowed the doors of education and economic opportunity for my sister, my brother and for me.
My mom was nearly 50 when she left behind everything she knew to give her kids a chance at a better life. She did not want us growing up amid the gut-wrenching poverty, anti-black bigotry and the violence that was festering in our hometown of Colon.
My dad stayed behind as she took the children — then aged 4, 11 and 14 — to America as added cargo on a banana boat bound for New York. Yes, a banana boat.
This would confirm that he was four when he left Colon with his mother and his two siblings. Apparently his father remained in Panama.
I see JW on the FIVE a few days per week where he puts up a brave front & opinion though he is used more like a piñata. His views are highly progressive which would fall in line with the Partido del Pueblos after WW2 through the sixties and seventies when it died out. According to JW he emigrated from Panama in a banana boat at the age of four thus he is not responsible for the views of his parents. Arriving from Central America in the late fifties in a banana boat was a step up in life versus other travel options.
Went on a trip to San Lorenzo a few years back and while passing the old Fort Sherman officers homes on the waterfront showed duty there must of been quite nice. Homes were in ruins on some of the priciest waterfront property in the area once the government lets it loose. Now with the six lane bridge across the canal on the Atlantic side that area is getting heavily developed.
We are very familiar with a family from Chiriqui that went the other way. The father went to Moscow for medical school, residency and fellowship with tours in Cuba and their medical corp. He returned to Panama starting his ENT practice where his children also have become MD’s with one daughter becoming a renowned surgeon in that area. Their political views are as expected but they spend their lives toiling in the public hospitals living their views. Quite admirable. Oh, I’m tolerated in a decent manner.
We lived at Ft. Gulick in housing very similar to that at Ft. Sherman. It was quite nice to live in close proximity to the jungle since Gulick was built on a series of ridge fingers with the selva all around. Yes, JW bears the stigmata of the P del P. They probably eventually died out as a group because we (USI) told them to desist once we fully controlled them with handouts. The banana boat thing is laughable.
I had a friend in grade school from Guatemala. He said his father used to “run the railroads” there and he now taught Spanish at Harvard. I thought that an odd career path when I was 10. He said they left there during a coup but didn’t specify the year, but if it were 1954, he would be two and have no real recollection. On their way to the airport they had to pull the car over because the president was getting out first. This is what he told us.
About fifteen years later I showed him a magazine article from New Times, a short-lived magazine of the 1970’s. It claimed that the CIA had many officers in the Department of Railroads in Guatemala because the nation was dependent on the railroads and it was a critical infrastructure. I asked him if his father had worked for the CIA. He said, “You know, many of my friends often asked me if my father worked for the American intelligence services but you are the first one who had any proof.” He asked for the magazine and said he was going to show it to his father when he saw him. I suspect he didn’t know himself and was going to try and find out.
It seems that our government has often recruited assets in foreign countries who would ‘turn’ and spy for us. The lure of extra income and potential citizenship in the United States is probably a big draw for the recruitment of them. I have never understood why betraying your native country for a foreign one could in any way make a person a desirable candidate for citizenship here. I am sure that aspect is never even considered by the agency.
There is a whole apparat in the US IC for paying off non-monetary debts and holding money in escrow, sometimes for a long time. There are people in the bidness whose sole job is staying in touch. if you don’t do that, word gets around that you can’t be trusted.
Us spooks are just not as judgmental as you are. But it is true that some people you have to use as assets are strongly encouraged to not live in the US.
Poor multimillionaire Juan. I wonder when he’s going to get around to commenting on the fact America wasn’t “systemically racist” when his parents came here, unlike what his intellectual fellows on the left are saying now.
In 1964-65 the P del P were not yet under complete US intelligence control and they twice incited and inspired Black street mobs to rob banks and loot stores in Colon. In 1963 a number of US infantry (4/10) were killed by snipers while standing by to safeguard Cristobal in the Canal Zone. The two towns were side by side with only a street between them. The US command changed its command and control setup and the 8th Special Forces Group under Colonel Arthur Simons was given responsibility for border defense in any future street situation. In ’65 there was such an incident and the rioters, bank robbers and looters learned to their sorrow that the Greenies were not to be trifled with. They never tried it out again and US intelligence went on with its work of taking over the P del P.
It doesn’t look like Williams’ family was as impoverished as most West Indians in Panama. His father was an accountant and his mother worked as a secretary. I think that would have been enough for the mother and children to move to Brooklyn. That doesn’t rule out his father’s possibly working for the CIA, but it offers a reasonable, alternate explanation.
I don’t know what kind of grammar school student he attended, but judging by his high school activities, he doesn’t appear to be a slacker. A Friends School scholarship on his merits is not too much of a stretch. And i bet being a black immigrant didn’t hurt. Although the tuition is as much as a college now, it was probably only a few hundred back then. My prep school was $450 a year back then. Now it’s on the same level as the Friends School. Far more than I can afford for a high school education.
OK You want to believe his legend. Enjoy.
What legend is that? Does Williams say his parents were impoverished peasants? That would be crap given their occupations. Or is it the banana boat thing that bothers you? Booking passage as a passenger on a cargo ship can be posh. It’s not exactly steerage on a tramp steamer.
He looks like the real lefty deal to me. USI would not run him in the states as a provocateur, but the FBI? Who knows.
There have been numerous explanations of the occupations of his parents, some of them quite humble. I heard him say on “The Five” that his family were very involved with the Communist Party in Panama. Since I was involved heavily in dealing with people like his family who were bought and paid for by USI, I do not believe him. What is a “banana boat”? The phrase is intended to elicit sympathy. As you say, travel in a freighter’s passenger accommodations can be quite pleasant. Air travel to the states was quick and cheap then, probably cheaper than a ship. How would you have reacted to being a CO assigned to suborn the Partido del Pueblo?
Well he admittedly comes from commie stock, so I guess there’s that. They may have very well been on the CIA’s payroll. I doubt Williams’ writings would especially please his Marxist forebearers. I’ve seldom heard him talk so I don’t know if he also claimed to be from “Wretched of the Earth” stock. If he did, he would be misrepresenting himself.
The banana boats were a large fleet of impressively fast reefer ships to move produce from the Caribbean and Latin America to the States and Europe. Many of these ships were also fitted to carry passengers as a side gig. In the 50s, it was probably a cheaper and more comfortable means of transportation than aircraft. Banana boats did not deserve the derogatory connotation that developed around them.
If I was assigned to Panama, I would have suborned the Partido del Pueblo just as I suborned the CPSU and everything that succeeded them in Moscow.
I doubt the bit about the relative cost of kinds of travel. There were a lot of cheapo charter flights flying from Panama City to the US. I listen to him talk just about every night on “The Five” where he is a regular panelist. His impassioned diatribes against anything conservative leave an impression.
In High School in the late 1950s my high school Spanish-I and -II teacher was a former United Fruit Company employee. He called the banana boats ‘the White Fleet’. They were floating reefers painted white. He had left UFC during prohibition because of their dealings with mobbed up dockworkers in New Orleans who used to smuggle in booze and dope.
Back then bananas were still sold hanging from the rafters of corner grocery stores in a huge cluster. So they were a fascinating subject, at least for me at that time. Especially since UFC had originally been a Boston company. I’ve forgotten his name but we could always get him off the curriculum to talk about his old days building rails to transport bananas to the docks in Honduras, and other exotic places.