CDI’s military members include former military officers, intelligence officers and academics who share attitudes of harsh antagonism toward the U.S. national defense, the U.S. military, the NATO alliance and American foreign policy.
CDI’s former military officers were frequently quoted by the Soviet propaganda organs to legitimize their attacks on NATO and U.S. defense forces as trigger-happy dangers to peace.
Although CDI states it "supports a strong defense but opposes excessive expenditures or forces," it has opposed every major new U.S. weapons system developed during the past two decades - from the B-1 bomber and Trident submarine to cruise missiles, neutron warheads, and stealth bomber - as upsetting the U.S.-Soviet strategic balance while at the same time minimizing the Soviet military buildup.
In 1979, in cooperation with the Members of Congress for Peace Through Law Education Fund, CDI financed a 27-minute film, "War Without Winners", to promote the then unilateral disarmament lobby’s claim that "there is no defense against nuclear war," on which basis they also oppose civil defense programs, anti-ballistic missile defenses and development of satellite-based beam weapons. The film was produced by Howard Wilens, chairman of the board of the Factory Equipment Corporation, CDI advisor, and a leader of Businessmen Move for New National Priorities(BEM); and its director was Haskell Wexler, the revolutionary film director who in 1975 produced a propaganda film for the terrorist Weather Underground Organization consisting of interviews with five fugitive leaders including Kathy Boudin.
The CDI film project director was its senior staff member Arthur L. Kanegis, CDI’s media director. Late in March 1982, Kanegis, of the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies, was interviewed for National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered" news show dismissing evidence of Soviet use of nerve gas and biological toxins in Afghanistan and Cambodia.
CDI’s newsletter, Defense Monitor, would publish carefully selected data that consistently presented the USSR as a weak opponent. For example, Vol. XI, Number 1, 1982 asserts "there is no evidence to support the notion of growing Soviet ‘geopolitical momentum’" and points to setbacks in Egypt, Somalia, Guinea, Bangladesh and India without noting gains in Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Yemen, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nicaragua, Grenada, Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc. And it ignored the implications of the then unprecedented joint visit to India of Soviet Defense Minister Dimitri Ustinov(who had never before traveled outside the USSR and Warsaw Pact countries) and Admiral Gorsakov, the chief of the Soviet fleet.
According to the Zill report(February 22, 1982), CDI’s plans included "hosting, along with the Washington Interreligious Staff Council, a two-day conference for 100 religious leaders" to be presented with CDI’s view of the military balance by 1990; Soviet military capacity and limitation; and the future of arms control. The speakers included “a representative of Eugene Rostow, Senator Warner and Representatives Les Aspin and Ron Dellums.
Indications that CDI, In its consistent pattern of attacking the U.S. military while offering excuses for the arms buildup in foreign countries, may be serving as a"center for defense DISinformation" include not only Gene LaRoque’s claims of U.S. violations with nuclear weapons off-loading agreements with Japan and his stay at the Institute of the U.S.A. and Canada in Moscow, but his overt collaboration with the World Peace Council. In this light, the Zill report stated:
"On June 15 and 16, 1982, during the UN Special Session on Disarmament, CDI will host a conference of retired military officers from NATO and Warsaw Pact countries to discuss how a nuclear war would be fought/avoided, a first-time ever event. Hyman Rickover will be approached about participating."
So, when CNN trots out their "experts" on defense be reminded those selected from the ranks of the CDI may not share the fondness for our national sovereignty that is so precious to most Americans.