Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Plot to Seize the White House


The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR (Paperback)
By Jules Archer


A BuzzFlash reader alerted us to this book:

"Might I suggest "The Plot to Seize the White House" by Jules Archer as a perfect BuzzFlash premium.

It's an incredible 1974 book, re-released earlier this year (2007, about the conspiracy of US financial barons to stage a military coup to overthrow FDR in 1934. The connections to current corporate ambitions make it very pertinent to US politics today. And it's a very good read, very detailed and well researched by historian Archer.

Hope to see it on the BuzzFlash list soon.

Tristram Lozaw
Boston MA

BuzzFlash has covered this plot through a recent long BBC piece that detailed it, through the book "War is a Racket" by the military hero who disclosed the coup plans, Smedley Butler, and through other articles posted on BuzzFlash. This is not some conspiracy theory; it is a true story. (And Prescott Bush was, apparently, a co-conspirator. Figures.)

From the publisher:

"Most people will be shocked to learn that in 1933 a cabal of wealthy industrialists—in league with groups like the K.K.K. and the American Liberty League—planned to overthrow the U.S. government in a fascist coup. Their plan was to turn discontented veterans into American “brown shirts,” depose F.D.R., and stop the New Deal. They clandestinely asked Medal of Honor recipient and Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler to become the first American Caesar. He, though, was a true patriot and revealed the plot to journalists and to Congress. In a time when a sitting President has invoked national security to circumvent constitutional checks and balances, this episode puts the spotlight on attacks upon our democracy and the individual courage needed to repel them."

From the original book jacket:

The fact that the plot was a failure and our present government is still a democracy, is directly attributable to Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, one of the most remarkable generals in American history. A veteran of 35 years in the Marine Corps and twice a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Butler finally decided that "war is a racket!" His reputation for patriotism, integrity, and dedication to democracy, coupled with his proclivity to speak the truth as he saw it irrespective of official policy, made him a seemingly perfect front for the men who hated Roosevelt. They were people with a determination, if it were impossible to replace the president, to manipulate him through the person of an American Mussolini. Their short-sightedness prevented their realizing that Butler was obviously the wrong choice for the job.

Jules Archer quotes testimony from the McCormack-Dickstein House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings (including testimony that was subsequently censored from public record) that details how Butler was approached by representatives of the arch-conservative American Liberty League; how they tried to persuade him to lead an army of veterans in demonstration against Roosevelt's silver standard; how Butler quickly concluded that the silver standard controversy was being used as a subterfuge to lead American veterans against Washington for truly sinister purposes; and how this hero, patriot, and Republican democrat, upon uncovering the full dimensions of the conspiracy, determined to go to Washington and blow it wide open.

John L. Spivak, a reporter assigned to cover the committee hearings, calls the story "one of the most fantastic plots in American history. . . . What was behind the plot was shrouded in a silence which has not been broken to this day. Even a generation later, those who are still alive and know all the facts have kept their silence so well that the conspiracy is not even a footnote in American histories. It would be regrettable if historians neglected this episode and future generations of Americans never learned of it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was a nice review of Archer's book. Alex Constantine also covers Smedley Butler on his blog, which I recommend because fascism is alive and well right now.
As a progressive in Los Angeles, I run up against agents of fascism working as infiltrators in all social activist organizations in Los Angeles now. Hard to believe that they ask me out for romantic dates! This is the newest fascist method to scam liberal dissidents. Wealthy industrialists recruit those who want to prove their patriotism and to serve corporate multinational ambitions. Private Investigator David Lawson wrote about some of this in "Terrorist Stalking in America." Although Lawson is not political, he infiltrated these stalking groups for 12 years, and proves this occurs, but is super-secret and hidden at all costs.