The allocation of funds, however, had nothing to do with what the Reagan Administration really believed or with what U.S. officials really thought. In Paris, an embarrassed American Embassy quickly issued a statement that said, in effect, "Don't blame the U.S. government."
The U.S. decision to fight for democracy in France reflected the influence and philosophy of a private American citizen and a private organization that have long used official U.S. funds in what they regard as a continuing battle against communism abroad. The citizen is Irving Brown; the organization is the AFL-CIO.
[Brown] said the funds then came from Marshall Plan aid and from the AFL-CIO, but critics have long insisted that he used U.S. intelligence money as well. Former CIA agent Philip Agee, in his book "Inside the Company," describes Brown as the "principal CIA agent for control of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions." The confederation, once supported heavily by the AFL-CIO, was set up after World War II as a rival to a Communist-controlled international organization of unions.