WE DELIVER HEADLINES!
"Watching a World Series crowd "erupt" after Bush threw out the first pitch and flashed a thumbs up, Rove thought (in Woodward's paraphrase), 'It's like being at a Nazi rally.'" --Patrick Beach, review of "Bush At War"
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." --George W. Bush, 12.18.00, CNN TRANSCRIPT
from The Indiscreet Charm of the Bush-Nazi Web Conspiranoids
by Phil Leggiere
...Beating Around the Bushes
Samuel Bush (George H.W.'s paternal grandfather) was a successful Midwestern entrepreneur who ran both a small Ohio railroad and the Buckeye Steel Castings Company. A man of vaguely populist leanings, despite his affluence, Bush helped frame Ohio's first worker's compensation laws and has been said to have been a Democrat, and "friendly with organized labor."
His son Prescott Bush, after attending Yale in the 1910s, worked briefly in a small, family owned rubber company in Ohio. In the early '20s, he accepted an invitation from his new father-in-law George Herbert to join the Harriman brothers' investment, a high-flying international banking house. George Herbert Walker, father of Prescott’s wife Dorothy, was the founder of GH Walker and Co. investment bank in St. Louis. While Samuel Bush might be characterized as "petit-bourgeois," GH Walker was a man of great wealth. In addition to being a major power broker in the Midwest, Walker had close connections to the Eastern banking elite as well. By the early '20s, he maintained an estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, a mansion on Long Island, and a ten thousand-acre hunting preserve called Duncannon in South Carolina.
At the urging of his friend, railroad magnate E.H. Harriman, father of Averill and Roland (Bunny) Harriman (classmates of Prescott Bush at Yale), Walker had come to New York to help the younger Harrimans run the Harriman investment bank. By the late 1920s, Walker had groomed his son-in-law to handle large parts of the bank’s investments, including its interests in the fledgling Columbia Broadcasting Network, and several European projects. By the early 1930s, Walker left daily operations of the Harriman bank. Bush stayed on throughout the 30s and 40s as a partner in the firm. By 1931, Harriman Investment had merged with the British-American bank Brown Brothers, becoming Brown Brothers Harriman. During the 1940s Bush, who had shed his father’s Democratic politics for his father-in-law’s Republicanism, became active in Connecticut electoral politics. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1950, before winning a seat in 1952. Bush served 12 years in the Senate, earning a record as a moderately liberal "Rockefeller Republican" and a supporter of civil rights legislation, and a reputation for being President Eisenhower’s golfing buddy.
Trading With Enemies
An eclectic body of revisionist work, most originally available in book form (and most now "out of print"), has been dedicated to investigating the background of this historically excised event. Though largely ignored by established book reviewing media, mainstream print, and broadcast punditry, three books in particular have attempted to explore and document the historical background of the "Bush-Nazi" connection. These attempts to fill in the gaps left by mainstream historians have found new life on the web.
The most frequently cited and circulated source of Bush-Nazi investigations/conspiranoia, George Bush-The Unauthorized Biography (a biography of George Herbert Walker Bush) by Webster Griffin Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, published in 1992, while well-documented, is also the most suspect. The problem is that Tarpley and Chaitkin are colleagues of the political cult leader Lyndon LaRouche. Not surprisingly, they insist on overlaying otherwise solidly researched data with wildly speculative interpretations. The book, originally published by LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review, though "out of print," is ubiquitous on the web, and freely used and quoted by Bush conspiranoia buffs of all persuasions.
Tarpley and Chaitkin fill in important details of the period of Prescott Bush's involvement in international investment banking. They document W.A. Harriman Bank's European operations, and the roles of Herbert Walker, who joined as president and chief executive in November, 1919, and Prescott Bush....
Business As Usual
Though the book has largely languished in semi-obscurity since its publication, public statements by Loftus (now president of the Florida Holocaust Museum) about the Bush family financial ties to Nazi Germany were widely circulated on the web during the 2000 election campaigns. Hopefully this will spur more conspiranoia-ists to actually study the book.
According to The Secret War, Allen and John Foster Dulles, as young international finance specialists for the Sullivan and Cromwell legal firm in the 1920s, were pivotal advisors and agents for a "who's who" of major US. Corporations eager to get in on the bull market for German re-industrialization. The motivations behind these investors, which included Dupont, Alcoa, Standard Oil, General Motors, Chase Manhattan, GE, Ford and IBM, had less to do with ideology than money.
In The Splendid Blonde Beast: Money, Law, and Genocide by Christopher Simpson, published in 1993, the most thoroughly investigated account yet of the period, these financial relationships are laid out in fairly exhaustive detail.
According to Simpson, U.S.- German investment mania gripped the Roaring 20s financial elite. This mania was rooted in the 1919 Versailles agreements on reparations, which imposed payments of approximately $30 billion (about $600 billion in 2000 dollars) by the German government to other European countries over 30 years. By 1922, attempts to raise the money to pay reparations had driven the German economy into a deep crisis. For U.S. companies, this was a golden opportunity.
John Foster Dulles masterminded a scheme wherein a consortium of banks and brokerage houses (among them the Harriman Bank, Chase Manhattan and Dillon Read) offered to loan U.S. dollars, through leading German banks and industrial firms, for the construction of factories, electrification and industrial plant. In turn, the German companies would issue millions of dollars worth of bonds and sell them to Dulles' clients for a discounted price. The U.S. banks would then turn around and sell the bonds "retail" to individual or small institutional investors at a hefty mark-up.
The bonds helped jump-start German industry and, in fairly short order, provided the underpinning for German re-armament. For much of the 1930s, the German economy, sparked by the Nazi military build-up, stood out as one of the few bright investment opportunities in an internationally depressed economy. Some corporate executives (particularly Henry Ford, and top echelon DuPont executives) were sympathetic to Nazi and Fascist movements, publicly and financially supporting Hitler. Most, however, who engaged with Germany in the Nazi-era were probably motivated by profit, not ideology. They regarded the Nazis, Simpson believes, as a temporarily useful, if not entirely agreeable, "disciplinary" force, capable of maintaining economic stability and a safe investment climate. As a bonus, they were seen as a counter-weight to militant "Soviet inspired" labor and socialist movements.
The probable zeitgeist of these financial high-flyers is perhaps best evoked by (current CNN News Executive Editor) Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas in their 1988 study The Wise Men, a largely hagiographic profile of the post-World War Two foreign policy establishment that includes portraits of Averill Harriman and Robert Lovett, another Harriman bank director. As described by Isaacson and Thomas, the directors of Harriman Bank (Prescott Bush included) were less crypto-Nazi ideologues than characters out of The Great Gatsby, '20s wild kids thumbing their noses at such fuddy-duddy traditions as national borders and political moralism. As they write: "With the end of the war to end all wars, America quenched its yearning for a return to normalcy by retreating into isolation Wall Street, on the other hand, did nothing of the sort. Europe was industrially devastated and mired in debt. America was throbbing with revitalized factories. The situation was ripe for financiers interested in foreign investment and trade, internationalists who understood America’s ties to Europe.
"While the rest of the country slept, a close-knit clique of Wall Street bankers and lawyers, most of whom had traveled through Europe as children met in the clubs of London, Paris and Berlin as friendly competitors putting together suitable investments for their firms. In a private and profit seeking capacity they were rebuilding a war-ravaged Europe in a manner as grandiose as any of these men would employ a world war later with the Marshall Plan."
In Harriman, Isaacson and Thomas, see the prototype of the man without borders, the true pioneer elite globalist, the Elvis of the New World Order. "Harriman," they write, "would always harbor a belief that foes could be bargained with as easily as friends. Thus he had no qualms about entering into a shipping agreement with Germany before an armistice had been signed or a mining concession in the Soviet Union, even though the U.S. had spurned diplomatic relations with that country."
What Isaacson and Thomas suggest here, and Aaron-Loftus and Simpson substantiate with more detail and in a far wider historical context, is that the relationships between Harriman Bank and other corporations and Nazi-era Germany need to be understood as part of a larger pattern. There is little evidence that the free-form meta-diplomatic modes of international financial deal making developed by Harriman, Bush and company in the 1920s and '30s signaled pro-Nazi or pro-fascist political ideology. However, it did help form a template for U.S. international finance and politics in which support for dictatorships, (financially in the '30s, financially and politically-militarily during the cold war) would become business as usual in U.S. foreign policy. One of the most interesting aspects of both the Simpson and the Aaron and Loftus books is their examination of how the private sector style of international affairs pioneered by Dulles, Harriman, Lovett and Bush in the '30s gradually metaphorphosed, during and after World War 2, into the official realpolitick of the U.S. government, often under the guidance of these same men. The ruling precepts of anti-communism and free trade that guided the international banking elite in the '30s in their dealings with Hitler would become the official policy through which the U.S. would support a wide variety of corporate-friendly dictators throughout the world, from the '50s to the present.
A persuasive case can be made that investments by Brown Brothers Harriman and numerous other major U.S. corporations in Germany made the rise of Nazism possible. It's clear Harriman, Bush, Dulles and legions of the financial elite share a degree of (largely unacknowledged) responsibility for providing Hitler and the Nazis the wherewithal to launch World War Two and the Holocaust. However, it's an untenable leap to conclude that this banking elite exerted some sort of secret nefarious control over events of the 1930s, or that the rise of Nazism was not an unintended consequence of their own far shorter-sighted intentions. Those intentions involved using both German companies and unwary individual investors in their lucrative German bond investment scheme. Micro-conspiracies clearly planned to make money by pumping up German industry, including German armaments. For those micro-conspiracies, support for a compliant, pliable, big business friendly government capable of strong-arming labor and other anti-capitalist troublemakers was a matter of short-term expedience. "Blowback" (the title of another Simpson book) is the term Simpson uses to describe the unintended consequences.
The Validity of Cranks Filling Cracks in the Historical Narrative
The vast majority of the Bush-Nazi conspiracy discourse is eccentric and clearly over-the-top. However, it is these web-based amateurs, and not our allegedly working professional journalists, who have kept alive a significant, largely ignored, body of evidence. This evidence is only partly about the Bushes. More significantly, it traces the origins of the cavalier, amoral relationship between American and global financial elites and genocidal dictatorships that has characterized U.S. policy for decades.
At this stage, the radical media democracy thriving on the web, at least as evidenced by the Bush conspiranoia sites, is short on logic, investigative discipline and common sense, but long on guts and moxie. Unfortunately, Art Bell seems to be closer to the role model of DIY web muckrackers than I.F. Stone or Howard Zinn. Even so, at least partly because of the tireless circulation of facts, rumors, and speculations about "Bush Family Ties," dirty little secrets about the complicity of major American institutions in the rise of Nazism, buried for decades, have finally started emerging into mass consciousness. Despite generally supine treatment of the Bush family by mainstream media, there are signs that Prescott Bush's investment banking adventures of the '30s are coming under new scrutiny. A major two-part series on "The Rise of the Bush Family Dynasty" published in April 2001 by Michael Kranish in the Boston Globe, explores the Harriman Bank- German connection in some detail. The movement for reparations for Holocaust survivors has widened its focus. Previously focused on European banks laundering money stolen by the Nazis from German Jews, investigators have started looking also at US institutions. This process has exposed dealings by several major banks, including Chase Manhattan and JP Morgan. Chase Manhattan, in fact, publicly acknowledged culpability of its Paris branch in active collaboration with the Nazis in liquidating accounts of German Jews. In early 2001 Edwin Black published a widely publicized study of "IBM and the Holocaust" detailing how IBM's German division was instrumental in developing the Hollerith tabulators Nazis used to process concentration camp prisoners.
This new wave of muckracking undoubtedly has sources besides the wild and wooly web. Still, it's quite likely that, without a touch of conspiranoia, mainstream media-maintained amnesia on these matters would have remained undisturbed.
AN AFTER 9/11 ADDENDUM
...How involved has the U.S. been in training and supporting the growth of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, not just (as is already well known) during the Soviet-Afghani conflict of the 80s, but long after in places like Bosnia via U.S. “allies” like the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army? To what extent has that semi-secret support undermined US domestic security?
Any adequate history of the entanglements between U. S. foreign policy makers and the new breed of Islamo-Fascism the U.S. has helped spawn will likely find the same sort of reckless opportunism -- partly inspired by business and partly by geo-political considerations that have already been examined in the article. Only now, the "blowback" has reaches our shores and threatened the safety of U.S. civilians.
As earlier, I see this as less a question of conscious design or plan than as the consequence of a chaotic set of short-term tactics motivated primarily by profit. But if it develops that the US is undergoing something akin to a real live fascist takeover under George W., I don't think that invalidates this analyses, except possibly for its failure to emphasize the fact that fascism can be the last refuge for capitalist opportunism, when it’s in crisis. It's still more about profit than ideology.
excerpted from The Thresher
Is The BushAdmin The Fourth Reich?
One of the main differences between Bush and Hitler as leaders is that the later built a nation out of rubble. Germany post WWI was left virtually castrated after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The people of Germany were ostracized on an international level and needed a scapegoat. Hitler initially selected Jews and Communists to fill that slot. Hitler helped to create and then triumphed over the political unrest that plagued post war Germany. During the early years under his leadership, Germany experienced a period of rebirth and pride in the Fatherland. The economy improved greatly and, as witnessed during the 1936 Olympics, the world was introduced to a new Deutschland. The world saw a proud and thriving country rise out of a once devastated enemy.
George W. Bush, on the other hand, has taken a country that enjoyed peace and prosperity for almost a decade and trashed it completely. But when we look at the similarities, however, between post September 11th, 2001 and post February 27th, 1933 (The Reichstag Fire) is where the rise of the Third Reich and today's Bush II administration look remarkably alike. The attacks of September are Bush's "Reichstag Fire."
On February 28th, 1933 President Hindenburg and Chancellor Hitler invoked Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which allowed the suspension of civil liberties in time of national emergency. This Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State abrogated the following constitutional protections:
1. Free expression of opinion
A supplemental decree was also added to create the SA and SS federal police agencies. Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn't it?
Although Bush has not yet proposed the elimination of these rights formally, in the wake of "Election 2000" and especially after 9/11, they have all been placed on the "endangered species" list to the point where many people are finally starting to wake up and ask questions. Just last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft placed #3 and #4 in the crosshairs with his proclamation of new powers to be given the FBI. The rest of these rights have been tested and tainted ever since Bush slipped through the back door of the White House. Like Hitler, Bush has surrounded himself with experienced thugs or just plain thugs with a perverted sense of what it right for the country. Yet both leaders were blessed by a common mindset of the people they lead. A mindset that allowed both leaders to inflict their tunnel view of the world and its people on their own countrymen in order to achieve their personal goals. The mindset of apathy.
21st century America and 1930's Germany share a form of apathy even though its root is of different sources. Germany's apathy stemmed from the population so content with its new found prosperity that it trusted its leaders overall in their endeavors. Today's American apathy is based upon their being manipulated by their leaders and the media in a time of national grief and xenophobia. Both populations were and are being played like marionettes and their apathy and paranoia allowed and allows them to be blind to the blatant evil of their leaders. Two weeks ago in the wake of the "What did they know" reports, Cheney, Mueller and Rumsfeld took a chapter from Hermann Goering book of mass manipulation. They use this rule of Hitler's Third Reich every time things get a little too warm for them.
"Why, of course the people don't want war ... But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
This is the rule now. In less than a century, things have come full circle. The only difference is that it's not happening "over there." It's happening right here. In America. What used to be the Land of the Free.
No, Bush is not Hitler. The current administration is not the Third Reich. It's subtler and yet, it's just as dangerous. It's just as threatening. And worse yet….
.....it's here...…right now.
first published in America Held Hostile
Is The BushAdmin The Fourth Reich?
Part Two: The Propaganda Machine
In the early days of Bush II's appointed reign, both members of his administration and their media supporters used the word "elected" every chance they had when in front of the TV cameras. There's an old rule that if you tell the same lie over and over that people will eventually believe it. Bush was heard to say repeatedly, "I was elected because…" or I'm doing this because that's what the American people "elected me to do." Ari Fleischer continues to remark about the will of the American people in reference to Bush II's latest attack on us without pausing to think that the majority of the American people wish Ari was nothing more than an occasional right wing blow-hard guest on MSNBC and his boss was still governor of Texas trying to figure out why his Daddy's plan didn't work. Their claim to speak for the American people is a clear example of the abuse of propaganda. But it doesn't stop there. There is also this little problem with the mainstream media. Like pigs at the trough, they line up to feed on whatever garbage Bush II throws their way with an enthusiasm that would make Goebbels envious.
Democracy is not simply a matter of being able to vote, it is a matter of being sufficiently informed about crucial issues to participate in decision-making processes. Why are mainline news sources denying the American public such information? In regards to Nazi Germany the entire world agrees that the German people were misled by an organized propaganda campaign. Is this currently happening in the United States? Why is there such a disparity between what is reported in the European and American press? Why, with each new revelation from the coup d'etat in Venezuela to the new information on what the Bush administration knew about a potential al Qaeda strike prior to 9/11, do American citizens trust the word of the American media? What seems to be the need to hide what's actually happening? What is so wrong with the truth other than the fact that it threatens the only court appointed president in history?
We are not referring to the press revealing state secrets, military intelligence or sensitive negotiations with foreign powers. We are talking about information that is basic to understanding what goes on in the current administration and our government. In other words, information that is crucial for American citizens to be informed voters and part of the democratic process. How has the esteemed American press fallen to such depths that we can no longer trust its journalists as bearers of truth? Even a cursory glance at major newspapers and the way that they covered the recent coup d'etat in Venezuela by misnaming it a "transition" as the White House released their spin to a welcoming and uncritical press. For days almost all newspapers originating in the United States used almost identical words to describe Chavez, Venezuela's legally elected president: "Socialist," "dictatorial," "unpopular" and "resignation". The Washington Post's editorial stated "the violation of democracy that led to the ouster of President Hugo Chavez Thursday night was initiated not by the army by Mr. Chavez himself." The Washington Post accepted Condoleeza Rice's version and words without question.
What sort of nonsense is this? The United States of America's media, as representatives of a free and unfettered press, supporting a coup d'etat without a single question asked about the official White House version? Had this been Germany 1934 with the threats of armed SS and SA thugs beating down doors and crashing windows of newspapers, it might be comprehensible. But in the United States, 2002 with no evidence of armed thugs beating publishers and closing them down, one has to wonder who is calling the shots? Could it be the same financial sources that put Mr. Bush into the office of president? Who put Adolf Hitler's playbook into action? And there is ample evidence that the playbook of the Third Reich is now in effect.
A propagandized media has to have a director and sub-directors. In 1930 Germany it was Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Is this the role that Karl Rove holds? Are there others now that Karen Hughes is slated to leave the White House? Is Michael Powell's role as Chair of the Federal Communications Commission to facilitate mergers so that a single-voiced media is fully operational by 2004? It is hard to come by accurate news in this administration, but certain facts are indisputable. Secrecy is the tool of the day. "Secrecy is a tool the leadership uses to maintain power and control over issues of controversy" (Sr. Nancy Sylvester, 5/2/02). The good sister was not speaking about either Nazi Germany's leadership in 1933 or Mr. Bush's administration in 2002. She refers to the way the Catholic Church is handling it's current controversy of pedophilia amongst its priests. The quote is striking though because it reflects the way that both Hitler and Bush II seized and used power.
The cast of characters in place for Mr. Bush's Propaganda machine:
The most likely key players in the Bush propaganda machine include Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, but who else is involved? What official roles do former Iran-Contra operatives, Otto Reich and John Poindexter play? How does the U.S. Army's 4th PSYOPS fit? This was the military unit assigned to carry out policies of the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI) that planted stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration's Central American policies in the 1980s. This is also the group that staffed the National Security Council's Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD) of the Reagan-Bush (the elected) administration. And while both the OSI and the OPD are officially disbanded, two players are back in the current Bush administration, Otto Reich (Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs) and John M. Poindexter as head of a new agency, Information Awareness Office. These are interesting appointments if an administration is choosing to set up a propaganda network, and both bring considerable propaganda skills to their new jobs.
One of the striking similarities between the Third Reich and the Bush Reich is the list of euphemistic names given to agencies responsible for propaganda. Mr. Bush created a new agency called the Information Awareness Office in 2002 and named John M. Poindexter as its head. Hitler created the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and named Joseph Goebbels as director. It is more likely that Karl Rove is the power behind the Bush propaganda machine, but he holds the official title of Director, Office of Political Affairs. Mr. Rove's increasing circle of influence may be a factor in pushing Karen Hughes from the White House Inner Circle.
Karen Hughes, Bush's former official spinmaster held the title, Counselor to the President and though she is in the process of "resigning," she is currently traveling in Europe with Mrs. Bush as her adviser. According to press reports, Hughes will continue to travel to the White House to consult with Mr. Bush.
Another player is Charlotte Beers, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs chief. She has recently (May 1, 2002) asked Congress for $600M for the Propaganda budget. Ms. Beers comes from an advertising background and sees her role as public persuasion. She is careful to use the term "persuasion" rather than "propaganda", but the net effect is the same. The Bush administration is managing perception, and up until the foreknowledge about a potential attack with too many details provided in presidential briefings came to light, the mainline media bought into perception management. Lewis Lapham, Harper's editor, views it as "the media is hand in hand with the government." (Fost, Dan 4/24/02, SF Chronicle). It remains to be seen if this latest wrinkle in Mr. Bush's façade continues to be noticed by the somnambulant American public.
John Rendon and his public relations firm, The Rendon Group, specialize in making images, manipulating scenes and managing news. He is currently under a $100,000 per month contract to track foreign news reports and offer advice on media strategy. Rendon consulted with the Pentagon when it created the Office of Strategic Influence. Supposedly this office was snuffed after publicity leaked that the Pentagon planned to use it to spread disinformation. But, whether it is gone or just gone underground is a legitimate question.
"Persuasion works best when it's invisible. The most effective marketing worms its way into our consciousness, leaving intact the perception that we have reached our opinion and made our choices independently" (George Monbiot, The Guardian, UK 5/14/02). This is what Beers and Rendon do best and it is why Mr. Bush's administration hired them.
Whether it was the Reichstag fire in February 1933 or the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, perceptions of the events were orchestrated and managed for political gain. Hitler used the Reichstag fire to mobilize the German population for Hitler's National Socialist German Worker's Party (Nazi Party). Mr. Bush's propaganda machine is using 9/11 for political advantage. Any call for a Congressional investigation of 9/11 has been met with sneering propaganda tactics. Fear, intimidation, loss of one's livelihood, public ridicule are the Bush tactics. Hitler's SS and SA troops beat publishers to a bloody pulp. To date, Bush has not resorted to public beatings; people just lose their jobs as TV's Bill Maher learned for being Politically Incorrect.
The Republican National Party is currently selling photographs of Mr. Bush depicting the "resolute leader" on 9/11 and it's aftermath (even after he told a German reporter he was trying "to stay out of harm's way" that day). This is one example of perception management that may come back to haunt him and his administration. Goebbels used exactly the same strategy to sell the image of Hitler even though his weaknesses were known to those close to him. "Give me ten years and you will not recognize Germany" (Adolf Hitler, 1933). Between his Gestapo troops and propaganda machine, he transformed Germany in four years. The United States has changed dramatically from January 2001 to May 2002. What role has a propagandized press played in this?
John Stanton and Wayne Madsen state that "A crisis without precedent is underway in the United States. And its consequences will be far graver than those wrought by the U.S. presidential election of 2000 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The collapse of the Jeffersonian 'free and uncensored press' in America endangers the liberties of all Americans. --The only remaining barrier to monstrous U.S. totalitarianism is a sickly and crippled U.S. media, an aggressive foreign media and the hope that the heretofore somnambulant American public will awaken from its stupor." (Stanton, J & Madsen, W. (4/25/02) U.S. Media Profit, Propaganda and Puffery, Counterpunch.org).
"Secrecy is a tool the leadership uses to maintain power and control over controversy" (Sr. Sylvester, 5/2/02). Mr. Bush has learned that lesson well. And when secrecy doesn't work, then resort to propaganda and perception management. If things get to close to the truth then they offer up another "terrorist alert" so everybody stays too scared to ask any questions. Or Ashcroft can bust another former gang member and call him a terrorist and wave the flag some more. And when perception management doesn't work, what then should Mr. Bush do? Does he go home to Crawford or does he continue to raise funds for Far Reich/Right causes by telling that God awful sick Trifecta joke?
What it boils down to is that we are being subjected to a form of propaganda that even the Europeans recognize. The American people are being ruled and controlled through fear tactics. The media shows us images of America standing tall and then, in the same breath, does its best to work with Bush II to send us cowering into our basements for fear of another attack. America waves the flag while it covers its eyes and ears to the real threat to this country.
History repeats itself.
first published in America Held Hostile
Hitler's Playbook: Bush and the Abuse of Power
by W. David Jenkins and Sara DeHart July 4, 2002
"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." (Benito Mussolini, Encyclopedia Italiana)
According to David Gergen (1999), the 2000 election was about raw political power. He termed it a hinge point in history. The last time the GOP controlled the White House and the Congress was when "Ike" was in charge and he didn't want to rock the boat. "Conservatives have very different ideas in mind if they can grab the helm now." What Gergen and other members of the media didn't mention to the American people is that if the Far Right could control the White House and Congress, they could also control the judiciary and the fate and face of America for generations to come.
And grab the helm they did, not by winning the White House by a majority, but by Supreme Court fiat ( with at least two judges violating several statutes of Title 28 Sec. 455 of the Judicial and Judiciary Procedure). Even with the legitimacy of the Bush presidency in question, the Conservatives -- those with the Far Right agenda -- grabbed the raw political power that Gergen predicted would be the outcome of that election. The abuse of power in the guise of pushing an agenda which the majority of the electorate voted against would now become a perverted rule of law. The Far Right transformed into the Far Reich. We need only to look at Bush's nominations and appointments to fully appreciate this tactic. Corporate America's cronies were placed in every powerful position within the Bush administration. From Alcoa's O'Neil as Secretary of Treasury to Enron's White as the Secretary of Army, this administration represents Totalitarian Corporatism. And what precisely does Totalitarian Corporatism look like and how does this play out in the United States? Will the outcomes be any different for America than they were for Germany?
When most people hear the word "fascism" they think of racism and anti-Semitism, the hallmarks of the totalitarian regimes of Mussolini and Hitler. But do not forget there is an economic policy component of fascism known as "corporatism," an essential ingredient of economic totalitarianism (DiLorenzo 1994). This is why corporate leaders played key roles in financing Hitler as Chancellor and George W. Bush's run for the White House. Corporate heads from the United States, England and Germany financed Hitler's rise to power. These same powerful worldwide forces from the Military-Industrial Complex, Oil, Energy, and Media spent millions of dollars to influence the American 2000 election. And when the election could not be bought, they used five members of the United States Supreme Court to stop the Florida vote, thereby giving election "victory" to the eldest son of George Herbert Walker Bush. Now why was this election so important to the Far Right forces? And having gained the White House, what -- besides greed and power -- motivates them to change the face of America? Why would a political party supposedly dedicated to "states' rights" use the Supreme Court to usurp those rights? Why would a political party with slogans such as "get the government off our backs" move to take over the government and all its vast financial resources? There is only one explanation. Totalitarian corporate industrial policy. From the Department of Energy to the Departments of Justice and Defense, the Bush administration has worked to establish policies that do not serve the interests of the people, but serve the interests of rich and powerful corporations.
"Totalitarianism is a form of government in which all societal resources are monopolized by the state in an effort to penetrate and control all aspects of public and private life, through the state's use of propaganda, terror, and technology. Totalitarian ideologies reject the existing society as corrupt, immoral, and beyond reform. They project an alternative society in which these wrongs are to be redressed, and provide plans and programs for realizing the alternative order." http://www.remember.org/guide/Facts.root.nazi.html
These ideologies are supported by propaganda campaigns and demand total conformity on the part of the people. Can we honestly say that the Bush Far Reich agenda is any different from that of Hitler's Third Reich when it comes to this form of ideology?
As Chancellor, Hitler manipulated President Hindenberg into dissolving the Reichstag to permit new elections. He sought a Nazi majority in the Reichstag to rubber-stamp whatever laws the big corporations that financed him wanted. Hitler abused democracy to establish his dictatorship. Is this any different from the methods Mr. Bush used to secure the presidency -- by Supreme Court fiat rather than an election by the people? And then he used a slim Congressional majority to push through legislation favorable to corporations.
Following his inauguration Vice President Dick Cheney was all over the Congress and Senate imposing the Far Reich agenda. This is the "raw power" that Gergen meant in his "Hinge Point in History" editorial. Deals from energy to defense were made in secret in the Vice President's office. Enron wrote Cheney's Energy Policy that cost Californians and North Western citizens billions. Texas and international oil interests had the entire country by the tail and a Republican majority in Congress rubber-stamped everything from the tax cut for the wealthiest 2% to the rape of the environment. And with few notable exceptions, the media were silent. How very much like Hitler's Third Reich and his propaganda machine.
Bush's cabinet was installed to serve the interests of corporations, not the people. His actual disdain for regular American citizens is typified by his quote about those citizens who objected to his administrative choices. "My picks obviously activated the voices of a few, the fringe people, the special-interest groups whose job is to make a lotta noise in Washington, DC." If you are not with Bush, you are fringe. If you want to stop global warming, you are fringe. If you object to any of his policies, you are fringe. How very much like Hitler's marginalization of the people, group by group.
And then came September 11, 2001, with the direct attack on America followed by the counter-attack on Afghanistan. This unleashed a whole new level of Far Reich control over the American people and the agenda. To keep a population in line, both Hitler and Bush declared perpetual war. Or in Hitler's words: "Another weapon I discovered early was the power of the printed word to sway souls to me. The newspaper was soon my gun, my flag-a thing with a soul that could mirror my own." But in this case technology has moved light years ahead of Hitler's time and Bush's Far Reich uses the power of television, controlled by a few corporate heads, to control and sway. Following 911 the patriotism of the American people was twisted to suit the purposes of the Far Reich Agenda just as patriotism of the German people was twisted following the Reichstag fire to suit the purposes of the Third Reich.
There has been no attention paid to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where uncounted numbers of American citizens are being held without charge while Ashcroft petitions the courts to allow their deportation. The defense counsels of John Lindh, Zacarias Moussaoui, Richard Reid and Jose Padilla have had their hands tied by the DOJ in the name of "national security." If George and his gang decide to call you a "hostile combatant" then you can just kiss your rights goodbye. Some still argue that these people and others like them are proven enemies of the country or just "very bad people," but how long will it take before the precedent being set with these accused "terrorists" trickles down to folks like you and me?
There is an ugly secret being kept from all of us. Some of us recognize this -- especially those who see it from afar -- and then there are those who continue to refuse to believe it could happen here. And there lies the danger. Arthur Livingstone (2001) asked the question, "Does history repeat itself?" and the answer, unfortunately, is yes. (http://www.goodwriters.net/dhri1.html) We, in America, are seeing a reincarnation of the Third Reich, and its name is Corporatism. If left unchecked, the worst case scenario will be that Americans will be left without liberty, justice or freedom. Thomas Jefferson saw the threat in 1816: "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance of the laws of our country."
The only thing standing in the way of the Far Reich's goal of corporatism is the American public. One stumbling block that Bush faces that Hitler didn't have to contend with, is the vast amount of information available with today's technology. The Internet has brought a world together in ways never dreamed of in the days of WWII. It is both a source of comfort that we are not alone and a source of frustration as it causes us to wonder when will the rest of the country catch up?
We all know that our European neighbors notice the similarities discussed in this series. They wonder when we are going to finally wake up. So many Americans have given their lives to defend that which makes this country a unique and special place. Will we let the noble experiment in democracy die in the 21st Century? Will we let it die at the hands of George W. Bush's version of the Third Reich?
first published in America Held Hostile
The views expressed are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bush Watch.