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In the early 1930s, some of America's wealthiest industrialists and bankers plotted to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) and replace it with a fascist dictatorship. Thanks to one of the greatest whistleblowers of all time, we know the names of the prominent Wall Street financiers and politicians (both Democrat and Republican) who organized and backed this plot. The whistleblower who exposed the fascist plot was a U.S. military hero named Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler.
For 33 years, Butler -- a two-time recipient of the prestigious U.S. Medal of Honor -- had fought with the Marines. He helped invade numerous countries, subdued native revolts, oversaw fraudulant elections and forced regime changes on nations to bring them in line with U.S. economic interests. (Sound familiar?) All this, Butler later said, was done in order to protect America's foreign investments. In 1935, describing himself as a "racketeer for capitalism," Butler said, "I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents" (Common Sense magazine, Nov. 1935).
In 1933, the year Hitler took control of Germany, some of Wall Street's top financiers sent representatives to recruit the recently-retired General Butler into a fascist coup d'etat to overthrow FDR. Butler played along in order to find out who was behind the scheme and then, in 1934, he testified under oath before the MacCormack-Dickstein House Committee that was examining Nazi propaganda in the United States. Butler named names and exposed the key fascist plotters. He also identified a high-powered, business organization, the American Liberty League, as the "super-organization" behind the plan for an American coup.
Thanks to General Butler, this Wall Street plan to subvert U.S. democracy was thwarted. However, none of the multi-millionaire behind the plot were ever questioned by legal authorities, let alone charged or put on trial for treason. In fact, they continued to work behind the scenes, through the American Liberty League, to sabotage FDR's "New Deal" administration.
The April issue of Press for Conversion! contains a detailed account of this fascist plot. It also highlights the Wall Street CEOs who were behind the plan. COAT's magazine traces their corporate legacies to the present and exposes how some of these top U.S. fascists helped finance and equip the rise of Hitler and Mussolini before WWII. Some of these U.S. corporations even sold military hardware and strategic materials to the enemy during that war. Perhaps even more shocking than this history of American complicity with European fascism is the fact that these corporations still wield tremendous influence over U.S. politics today. In fact, many megacorporations whose roots are firmly planted in the fascism of the 1930s, now dominate the globalized marketplace. This issue of Press for Conversion! outlines the corporate genealogy of the wealthiest leaders among America's fascist elite and traces their financial empires right up to the present day.
Other corporate fascists, like President George Walker Bush's grandfather (Prescott Bush) and his great-grandfather (George Herbert Walker -- after whom George W. Bush and his father G.H.W. Bush are both named), not only financed Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s, they also made a great fortune from the slave labour that was used in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz during the war. The proceeds of the Walker-Bush family's complicity in the Holocaust were confiscated by the U.S. government in 1942 -- under the Trading with the Enemy Act. However, when it was later returned to them, they used to it to launch the Bush family into political fame and the oil business. After WWII, Walker and Bush were instrumental in laundering the Nazi loot of Fritz Thyssen, Hitler's wealthiest industrialist backer. (Subscribe now: A future issue of Press for Conversion! will focus entirely on this history of the Bush family's legacy of support for fascism from the rise of German fascism in the 1920s to the present.)
The current 54-page issue of the COAT's quarterly magazine, Press for Conversion!, on "Facing the Corporate Roots of American Fascism," is available for $5. The magazine is divided into three sections:
(1) Setting the Stage: A few articles on the historical context of American fascism in the 1930s. (Pages 3-7)
(2) The Plot and Main Players: This section contains a narrative description of the coup plan called "The Fascist Plot to Seize Washington," using excerpts from John Spivak's book, A Man in His Time (1967). Also included in this section are numerous sidebars highlighting the key fascists, corporations and groups mentioned by Spivak. Sixteen of these sidebars, prepared specifically for this issue of Press for Conversion!, were written by Richard Sanders, the magazine's editor (Pages 8-30).
(3) Behind the Scenes: This section contains an article by Richard Sanders, that exposes the backgrounds of 27 leading organizers and financiers of the American Liberty League, the big-business "super-organization" that General Butler identified as the main backers behind the fascist coup plot. In researching these biographical sketches (and the sidebars in section 2), more than 300 articles, books and websites were used. (Also included are additional pages dealing with the Bush family's connection to Nazism and a dedication to four previous writers/activists who helped expose the fascist plot against FDR (Pages 31-54).
Here is the Table of Contents (with links to a few pages):"Facing the Corporate Roots of American Fascism"Press for Conversion! (Issue #53) April 2004(1) Setting the Stage:Exposing the Legacy of American CorporatismThe "Bonus Army" and the Torching of HoovervilleConflicting Versions of the Battle of AnacostiaGeneral Douglas MacArthur and President Herbert HooverFranklin Delano Roosevelt's (First Inaugural speech)America's Homegrown Fascism
(2) The Plot and the Main Players:The Fascist Plot to Seize Washington
For a copy, send $5 to "COAT":COAT541 McLeod St.Ottawa ON K1R 5R2 Canada
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