- "That the mainstream media has again found newsworthy
the long-established connections between the Bush family and the Nazi Party
is also instructive. . . . For sixty years it has been a matter of public
record that Prescott Bush helped finance Hitler's rise to power and world
war. . . . But right-wing Bush fanatics continue to deny those ties existed.
. . . Similar denials have surrounded Arnold Schwarzenegger. , , , Is [Limbaugh]
the Right's real minister of propaganda? Do his "dittoheads"
resemble the unthinking brownshirts that terrorized millions?"
- US Senator Robert Byrd, on the floor of Congress, on
October 17, has explicitly compared the Bush media operation to that run
by Herman Goering, mastermind of the Nazi putsch against the German people.
- On the same day, the Associated Press ran a national
story linking Prescott Bush to Adolf Hitler. The lead read: "President
Bush's grandfather was a director of a bank seized by the federal government
because of its ties to a German industrialist who helped bankroll Adolf
Hitler's rise to power, government documents show."
- That night, CNN ran a "streamer" on the bottom
of its all-news programming confirming that "declassified documents
show Prescott Bush connections to Nazi finance."
- Stories reminding the public that the grandfather of
George W. Bush and his United Trust Bank were cited by the US government
in 1942 for helping Hitler under the Trading With the Enemies Act, have
now spread widely through the major meda.
- What's going on here? Are these stories linking Team
Bush to the Nazis irrelevant? Mere partisan politics? Or do they indicate
a growing public concern with what is actually happening in Washington?
- Coming on the floor of the US Senate, Byrd's searing
critique indicates that the equation of Team Bush with the Nazi elite has
gained a certain mainstream credibility. A conservative Democrat who has
represented West Virginia in the Senate for decades, Byrd is one of America's
leading Constitutional scholars. He is known as the master of Senate procedures.
A passionate student of the English language, his epic orations for peace
and the preservation of historic American freedoms are likely to grace
school texts for decades to come.
- That the cautious, thoughtful Byrd has conjured explicit
comparisons between the infamous mass murderer Hermann Goering and the
administration of George W. Bush is a stunning commentary on how far to
the right the Republicans have really gone. Goering was convicted of crimes
against humanity at the Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal afterWorld War
II. He killed himself just before he was to be executed.
- That the mainstream media has again found newsworthy
the long-established connections between the Bush family and the Nazi Party
is also instructive.
- For sixty years it has been a matter of public record
that Prescott Bush helped finance Hitler's rise to power and world war.
Later a US Senator from Connecticut, Prescott was father to President George
H.W. Bush and grandfather to George W. Bush. Because legal action was taken,
Bush's deeds have been a matter of public record since 1942. They were
widely covered in newspapers and electronic media at the time. The history
is readily accessible.
- But right-wing Bush fanatics continue to deny those ties
existed. In a nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talk host
Michael Medved recently claimed that Prescott Bush's bank's ties to the
Nazis had not been established.
- Similar denials have surrounded Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It is a matter of public record that his father volunteered for the Austrian
Nazi Party and the infamous SA, which engaged in brutal mass murder. Arnold
himself has attempted to distance himself from his family's Nazi past.
He has made large donations to the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, which
has tracked Nazi fugitives. His backers now claim he attended an anti-Nazi
rally at an early age.
- On the other hand, he has been linked to statements admiring
Hitler for his speaking ability and his ability to gain a huge following.
A past indicating a strong authoritarian nature has also been cause for
alarm. In 1975, Schwarzenegger yearned for his own Nazi-style rally, "like
Hitler in the Nuremberg stadium. And have all those people scream at you
and just being [in] total agreement whatever you say."
- Widespread allegations linking Karl Rove to family ties
of explicit Nazi origin have been withdrawn by Al Marten, who originally
publicized them through his web site. But Rove is quoted in Bob Woodward's
best-selling BUSH AT WAR as comparing the reaction of a New York Yankee
crowd to an appearance by Bush as being "like a nazi rally."
- Known as "Bush's Brain," Rove is the GOP's
political mastermind. Widely feared for his harsh, vindictive actions,
Rove is at the center of allegations that the CIA's Valerie Plame was "outed"
in retaliation for a report filed by her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson,
that contradicted the Bush-Rove line on Saddam Hussein's nuclear program.
The disclosure could involve a breach of national security and a ten-year
- The ultimate GOP operative, Rove helped engineer the
recent redistricting of Texas for expanded Republican control of the Congressional
delegation. He may also have helped choreograph the Schwarzenegger campaign,
where control of the California state house could vastly enhance the likelihood
that Bush will hold the White House in 2004. Along with the Executive,
Congress, Judiciary and major media, the GOP now controls governorships
of the four largest states, the largest one-party concentration of power
in US history.
- Bush supporters deny his Nazi family ties have anything
to do with Republican policies. Visiting the "sins of the father"
(or grandfather) on an offspring has not been considered fair game in US
- But after eight years of total assault on Bill Clinton
and his family, one can only imagine the media frenzy had Clinton's grandparents
been linked to the Soviet Union. Would Rush Limbaugh or Karl Rove have
found such ties "irrelevant"?
- Does Rush's apparent narcotic addiction resemble that
of Hermann Goering? Is he the Right's real minister of propaganda? Do his
"dittoheads" resemble the unthinking brownshirts that terrorized
- Such things can be hard to hear. In polite society, they
can strain "credibility." But blood ties and shallow images were
not what Sen. Byrd's comparisons between Bush and Goering were about: they
were about Bush's actual behavior.
- Like Senator Byrd, tens of millions of Americans are
deeply worried that this administration has waged an unprecedented assault
on American civil rights and liberties. It has shredded the Constitution
and the natural environment as none other in US history. Its unprovoked
attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq have prompted thoughtful comparisons to
the unprovoked Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. Its illegal detainment
center at Guantanamo and its cavalier use of the drug war, the prison system
and the powers arrogated through the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security
apparatus have brought the US to the brink of dictatorship.
- Given the horrific reality of what the GOP is now doing
to America and the world, we should be profoundly thankful that the public
is uneasy. If Team Bush objects to being compared with the Nazi elite,
perhaps it should act less like it.
- Too much sad history has been told over the centuries
by those who failed to speak plainly and forcefully when the times demanded
- What the Republicans are doing to America and the world
has been seen before. And, it's been stopped before, but only by facing
- Speaking Truth to illegitimate power makes dictatorships
temporary. That's the only way the SuperPower of Peace can ultimately prevail...which
- Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis are co-authors of GEORGE
W. BUSH VERSUS THE SUPERPOWER OF PEACE, available November 1 from www.freepress.org.
- Copyright (c) 2003 Scoop Media