According to a new BBC report, Prescott Bush (father of George H.W. and grandfather of George W.) was involved in a plot to overthrow the U.S. government and replace it with a fascist dictatorship in 1933.
It is known (if not well known) that Wall Street tycoons were so outraged by the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his proposed New Deal that they started organizing a coup. The idea was to enlist the revered Major General Smedley Butler to recruit 500,000 WWI veterans into a private army that would demand FDR’s resignation -- and execute him on the spot if he refused to give up power. The new government would be a capitalist dictatorship modeled after Nazi Germany.
See the Wikipedia entry on the plot here.
General Butler was popular enough to pull the off, but he was loyal to the U.S. He collected evidence against the conspirators and took it to Congress.
The McCormack/Dickstein Committee investigated and confirmed the plot. However, the names of the top conspirators were removed from the record and none of them were ever held to account. The theory is that FDR allowed the tycoons to walk away in exchange for ending their opposition to the New Deal.
That’s all old news. The “new” news is that Prescott Bush, through his Hamburg-America shipping company (a company known to provide free passage to Germany for journalists willing to give favorable coverage to Hitler and free passage to America for pro-fascist activists from Germany), was part of the plot.
Listen to the full report here.
Note: It was largely the fear that the New Deal would give new power to minorities and immigrants that motivated the coup.
Also note: The tycoons told General Butler the American people would accept the new government because they controlled all the newspapers.
The more things change...