“A clique of U.S. industrialist is hell bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime.” – William Dodd, U.S. ambassador to Germany, in a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.
By Craig McKee
If you saw it in a movie, you’d think it was far-fetched. But it happened.
Most Americans have no idea how close they came to living under a Nazi-style dictatorship prior to World War II. But a group that can be fairly called the “who’s who” of 1930s corporate establishment tried to violently overthrow the U.S. government and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
And they almost got away with it.
One of the members of the group was reported to be none other than Prescott Bush, the grandfather of George W. Bush and father of George H. W. Bush. Also involved were some of the best known names in the American capitalist establishment: the Dupont family, the Remington family, J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller Associates, Andrew Melon Associates, William Knudsen of General Motors, and wealthy banker Robert Clark were among the conspirators.
And while the attempted coup failed, that didn’t stop Prescott Bush from accumulating a fortune from his investments in businesses that helped finance the Hitler war machine. Bush was a director of one of those, the Union Banking Corporation, which was little more than a front for laundering millions of dollars of Nazi money.
The “bank” actually had its assets seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act (UBC continued to do business with Hitler even after the U.S. entered the war). The assets were released in 1951, and Prescott Bush reportedly emerged with a $1.5 million windfall.
In fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the Bush political dynasty would never have been launched – and would never have produced two presidents and two governors –without the profits from these pro-Nazi businesses.
The failure of the 1934 coup attempt led the elite to seek more and more covert ways of gaining control over the country and over public opinion. The McCarthy period notwithstanding, the assassination of John F. Kennedy was the first clear example that the approach had changed. The elite were just as concerned about getting rid of Kennedy as they were of deposing FDR. But this time they had to be more covert.
This necessitated a carefully crafted back story to support the illusion that a lone crazy gunman had killed the president. The result was that the positions taken by Kennedy on Vietnam and the U.S. government beginning to print money again were discarded under Lyndon B. Johnson. Over time, the public has come to accept that they were lied to, but that didn’t stop the elite from getting what they wanted.
Today, methods of consolidating control have become more sophisticated and more subtle. Through the fake war on terror and the 9/11 false flag operation – and with the help of a complicit media – control over the population is being tightened. This has led to the public being deceived into permitting two wars and the loss of many Constitutional freedoms.
Today, if a presidential hopeful is not approved of by the financial establishment, they aren’t overthrown; they’re never elected in the first place. No one should doubt, for example, that Barack Obama became president with an enthusiastic stamp of approval from Wall Street.
But the world of 1934 was, at least superficially, very different. According to documents found in the Library of Congress and the National Archives by journalist John Buchanan, the corporate coup would have involved the assassination of FDR and the setting up of internment camps for Jews and other “undesirables.”
The mistake the plotters made was that they asked decorated war hero Smedley D. Butler to lead the coup and to become the fascist leader of the country. What they didn’t realize is that Butler actually believed in the Constitution.
On Aug. 22, 1934 in a hotel room in Philadelphia, Gerald McGuire, representing the conspirators met with Butler to propose the plan. He told Butler that $300 million would be made available to get it done. Butler pretended to go along with the plot long enough to learn the identities of the conspirators. Then he blew the whistle.
Butler told Congress about the plot, testifying before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, which confirmed on the record that the coup attempt had taken place. But instead of being tried for treason, the plotters were not even called upon to testify. An event that should have been one of the biggest stories of the century faded quickly from memory.
But this is an excellent time to revisit this terrible event, and to see what lessons it holds for us today.