The Attempted American Coup detat..
Looking at the American Government today, an overthrowing, or coup d'etat if you will, seems like nothing more than an Impossibility and something
that, quite frankly, can not and will not happen. No matter how much some may wish to think otherwise. This being so, and after recently looking back
through some American history, it seems as though this wasn't always the case as there was at least one very
serious attempt to achieve
Now, I'm sure most are aware, or have heard at least heard something
about this fascinating plot, one aptly named "The Business Plot", but, for
those who have not however, I thought It'd be a nice idea to bring it up for discussion here in this thread in the hope of spurring on some
interesting discussion and debate from some of the great members of ATS.
Originally I only really came across this story while doing some research into the Bush family of all places. Given the nature of the original plot
though, I'm sure most aren't surprised a Bush family member was involved in some way or another. Anyway, my research into the Bush family for another
thread, one I'll post in a few weeks from now, led me into looking at the life of one Prescott Bush (see image below), the grandfather of the most
recent Bush family member to hold the United States Presidency and the founder of the Bush dynasty. He was someone who was seemingly quite heavily
involved in this plot being a wealthy businessman of the time.
You see the "Business plot" is the typical conspiracy theory many continue to discuss today in fact, the original plot however being thought up as far
back as the Summer of 1933 during one of the darkest economic times in all of American history, primarily by the wealthy bankers, business men and
industrialists of the time - some of the most powerful around in other words - and it was a plot to quite literally overthrow the American Government
of the time, the president being Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), and to actually install a fascist dictatorship in his place.
How does this involve the Bush family? Well, as I said, Prescott Bush was a very well known business man of the time and It's claimed that his company
was one of those financing the plot by the eventual whistle blower. It also appears that Prescott Bush, as well as being involved In financing this
plot, was also involved in one way or another in financing other Fascist movements, such as Hitlers Nazi party for example:
Prescott Sheldon Bush was born in Columbus, Ohio, on 15th May, 1895. Like his grandfather, James Smith Bush, he went to Yale University in 1913.
While at university he became a member of the Skull and Bones Secret Society. A fellow member was E. Roland Harriman, the younger brother of W.
His father, Samuel Prescott Bush became General Manager of Buckeye Steel Castings Company, which manufactured railway parts, in 1901. The company was
run by Frank Rockefeller, the brother of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, and among its clients were the railroads controlled by E. H. Harriman. In
1908 Rockefeller retired and Bush became President of Buckeye.
Samuel Prescott Bush was also closely associated with Samuel Pryor, who, along with the Rockefellers, controlled the Remington Arms Company. During
the First World War, Clarence Dillion, a senior figure at the War Industries Board, arranged for Bush, to become chief of the Ordnance Small Arms and
Ammunition Section of the WIB. This involved giving out contracts to supply arms and ammunition to the United States Army. Over half of the small-arms
ammunition and 69% of the rifles used by the United States in the war were supplied by Remington.
In 1919 Bush was introduced by W. Averell
Harriman to his business partner, George Herbert Walker. Later that year, Bush was introduced to Walker's daughter, Dorothy. The couple married in
August, 1921. Bush and his new wife moved to Columbus, Ohio, and went to work for his father's family business.
In 1926, Bush's father-in-law, appointed him vice-president of W. A. Harriman & Company. This company had made considerable investments in Germany. At
the end of the war, the commercial steamships of Hamburg-Amerika were confiscated by the United States government. As the authors of George Bush: The
Unauthorized Biography have pointed out: "These ships had then become the property of the Harriman enterprise, by some arrangements with the U.S.
authorities that were never made public." In doing so, Harriman created the world's largest private shipping line.
Samuel Pryor, the chairman of Remington Arms, and George Herbert Walker, both became directors of the American Ship and Commerce Company, Harriman's
shipping front organization. Walker and Harriman set up their European headquarters in Berlin. With the help of the Warburg Bank, W. A. Harriman began
to invest heavily in German industry.
In 1926 Prescott Bush became vice president of W. A. Harriman & Company. Soon afterwards the company expanded into the Soviet Union. After
negotiations with Leon Trotsky and Felix Dzerzhinsky, Harriman obtained a contract to mine manganese. In 1927 the company was criticized for its
support of totalitarian governments in Italy and the Soviet Union. George Herbert Walker wrote to W. Averell Harriman pointing out that "the
suggestion... that we withdraw from Russia smacks somewhat of the impertinent.. I think that we have drawn our line and should hew to it" (11th
W. Averell Harriman also formed a partnership with the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen. In 1926 Harriman and Clarence Dillon of Dillon Read
Company helped Thyssen and Friedrich Flick to establish the German Steel Trust. According to Anton Chaitkin: "The Flick-Harriman partnership was
directly supervised by Prescott Bush". Dillon Read provided two representatives to the board of the German Steel Trust and took responsibility for its
In 1928 Thyssen formed United Steelworks, a company that controlled more that 75 per cent of Germany's ore reserves and employed 200,000 people.
Thyssen started a joint-venture with Harriman called the Union Banking Corporation. This was used to transfer funds between the United States and
Germany. In 1931 W.A. Harriman & Company merged with the British-American banking house Brown Brothers. Prescott Bush, along with W. Averell Harriman,
E. Roland Harriman and George Herbert Walker, became managing partners in the new company, Brown Brothers Harriman. This was to develop into the most
important private banking house in America.
Prescott Bush was appointed as a director of the Harriman Fifteen Corporation. This in turn controlled the Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation,
that owned one-third of a complex of steel-making, coal-mining and zinc-mining activities in Germany and Poland. Friedrich Flick owned the other
two-thirds of the operation. Flick was a leading financial supporter of the Nazi Party and in the 1930s donated over seven million marks to the party.
A close friend of Heinrich Himmler, Flick also gave the Schutz Staffeinel (SS) 10,000 marks a year.
Fritz Thyssen was also one of the leading backers of the Nazi Party. In 1931 he recruited Hjalmar Schacht to the cause and in November, 1932, the two
men joined with other industrialists in signing the letter that urged Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Adolf Hitler as chancellor. This was successful
and on 20th February, 1933, they arranged a meeting of the Association of German Industrialists that raised 3 million marks for the Nazi Party in the
Isn't it amazing? In this democratic world we are said to live in, and in the "land of the free
" of all places, the son and grandson of the man
who seemingly helped in organizing a coup d’état against the then President of the United States, as well as being well known to have helped in
funding the Nazi regime, both became presidents themselves.. Perhaps this is also quite a cause for concern.
Anyway, during this time in American History, veterans of World War 1 were also suffering greatly. The great depression was in full force and many
veterans, ones who have been out of work for a great deal of time, were demanding there WW1 bonuses then and there, ones which were promised to them
under the World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 but not accessible until 1945.
Due to many literally needing the money to survive and becoming increasingly frustrated at having to wait, marches on Washington were organized to
change the law and force the bonuses to become available as soon as possible, this leading to the famous "Bonus Army."
Thousands of war veterans turned up to the marches on Washington, many of them, as seen below, setting up camp sites to fully ensure the cause they
were there for in the first place was continually being supported.
One of the most popular army figures of the time, Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, also pledged his support for the bonuses to be
paid as soon as possible. Smedley Butler was a decorated war veteran himself and was, quite possibly, the most influential figure around. His mere
presence here helping the cause for the fighting veterans.
Despite this though, and on the 28th of July, 1932, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the complete removal of all veterans from
government property. Many of the veterans were wounded, some even killed in the removal primarily enforced by Washington police, something that
massively changed the public opinion of Herbert Hoover, the president at the time, this proving disastrous for his re-election hopes.
This paved the way for Franklin D. Roosevelt who went onto succeed Hoover as president that same year, even despite the fact Roosevelt wasn't fully in
favor for the bonuses being paid then, like Hoover.
Roosevelt later issued an executive order allowing the enrolment of 25,000 veterans in the CCC, exempting them from the normal requirement that
applicants be unmarried and under the age of 25. Congress passed the Adjusted Compensation Payment Act in 1936 authorizing the immediate payment of
the $2 billion in WWI bonuses over the President's veto.
As well as Veterans becoming frustrated, the wealthy businessmen of the time also began to feel the same way. Roosevelt's new policies weren't
helping, particularly when he tried to take the nation off the gold standard
that angered a great deal of people. Due to this, they felt that action literally had to be taken against him in the form of outing him as president.
It was here than the plot was born.
Smedley Butler (See Below), one of those who really rallied for support for the veterans as I previously mentioned, is a man who is rarely discussed
today unfortunately. He was at one point hailed by General Douglas Macarthur as one of the really great generals in American History. He was a born
leader, to the veterans, the Bonus Army, who he fully supported, he was seen as something of an unofficial leader to their cause, despite being
retired at this point.
Most probably due to his severe influence over these veterans, that around July of 1933 he was seemingly "contacted" by the "Wall Street Elite" -
those at the time wishing to start a Coup D'Etat against FDR. He was contacted by a man called Gerald C. MacGuire in particular, a past WW1 veteran in
fact. He was then continually met by him over a period of time as well as a man called William Doyle before the plot was being revealed to Butler,
piece by piece... and It was becoming clearer to him that he was the selected individual who would lead the Coup primarily due to his ability to rally
others, particularly the discouraged veterans.
Their tactics to start the plot appeared to be familiar ones. In fact, I believe, Benito Mussolini rose to fascist power in Italy due to his own
corporate interests helping him along the way as well as, for the most part, help from WW1 veterans as well as some others, originally known as "The
The Blackshirts (Italian: camicie nere, CCNN, or squadristi) were Fascist paramilitary groups in Italy during the period immediately following
World War I and until the end of World War II. Blackshirts were officially known as the Voluntary Militia for National Security (Milizia Volontaria
per la Sicurezza Nazionale, or MVSN).
The term was later applied to a similar group serving the British Union of Fascists before World War II, to the SS in Nazi Germany, and to members of
a quasi-political organization in India.
Inspired by the military prowess and black uniforms of the Arditi, Italy's elite storm troops of World War I, the Fascist Blackshirts were organized
by Benito Mussolini as the military tool of his political movement. The founders of the paramilitary groups were nationalist intellectuals, former
army officers and young landowners opposing peasants' and country labourers' unions. Their methods became harsher as Mussolini's power grew, and they
used violence and intimidation against Mussolini's opponents.
By September of that year, Butler was once again contacted about the plot, this time at his home by millionaire Robert Sterling Clark. Clark informed
him that he himself was prepared to spend half his fortune, 15 million dollars, in order to protect the other half from de-evaluation. He informs
Butler that he is the only one capable of helping form and run an organisation of veterans specifically to march on Washington and oppose Roosevelt on
his gold issue policies, Butler recalls this meeting as being the first time the actual plot involving him leading the army against FDR being
By the summer of next year, Butler was once again contacted by Macguire. He claims that the plan was to recruit around 500,000 men (the war veterans
who saw Butler as there leader) and the "financial backers" wanted Butler to officially lead it. It was here that he also informs Butler that "in the
next few weeks" a "High profile" organisation will be announced in the press which will include wealthy business men, presumably those involved in the
plot. And it would be this organisation that would oppose Roosevelt.
Well, it was a few weeks later that such an organisation did occur, It was called The
"American Liberty League
". Oddly enough, it was also funded by the very rich, power
and wealthy and it did oppose Roosevelt and his Gold issue plans as Macguire said it would do just a few weeks before. The members of this league did
indeed include some of the names of the elite, the most powerful and the best in business at the time also. Wealthy businesses benefactors include
maxwell house coffee, birds eye, Colgate, General Motors, Heinz etc. The treasurer of this group was broker grayson murphy who was the boss of Gerald
Macguire, the man whom tried to recruit Butler. Due to the appearance of this new league, as well as Macguire being correct about such an
organisation. Butler became convinced the entire plot was now undoubtedly real.
This being so, Butler was seemingly the best man for such a job, and there's really no doubt that he could rally troops for the Coup and execute the
original plan if he wanted to. Unfortunately for the plotters though, Butler was a diehard supporter of democracy and set about finding as much
information about the plot, I.e., going along with it for as long as he could before finding the perfect opportunity to blow the whistle on the whole
thing, something he planned to do right from the beginning.
"A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the
fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families
are to the Nazi regime.... A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite
action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies. Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do
with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping
to keep it there. Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare. We should be aware of the symptoms. When industrialists ignore
laws designed for social and economic progress they will seek recourse to a fascist state when the institutions of our government compel them to
comply with the provisions."
By the fall of 1934 though, rumors about such a plot against FDR began circulating around Washington. Samuel Dickstein, a congressman, upon hearing of
this and already fearing such things at the time anyway, set about organising an official investigation with congressional support. Butler hearing of
this saw it as a perfect opportunity and it was this investigation that he voluntarily decided to give over what information he knew.
In fact, here's a very short video, one of the only videos of this nature that I can find, of Butler outlining the plot and what he was assigned to
Confession: Smedley Butler
Co-chairing the investigation alongside Dickstein was Massachusetts congressman John McCormack and together they both started the Dickstein-McCormack
committee. During the committee, one which began examining evidence on November 20, 1934, Butler revealed all he knew about the plot, particularly
that he was told to lead a Coup of around 500,000 veterans against the white house and that MacGuire personally attempted to recruit him for such a
thing, as well as others. Captain Samuel Glazier, another person who was contacted, later testified under oath that a plan to install a fascist
dictatorship was being acted upon.
Butler testified that since the president’s health was seemingly failing, It was going to be used against him, the new organisation would receive
favourable light in newspapers and they would also, obviously, receive subsequent financial backing, primarily from the Du Pont family, as well as
others involved in well known companies and businesses. Butler was seen as someone whose reputation and popularity would put him in a suitable
position for attracting/recruiting others also he claimed and it was this which was why he was recruited.
According to Butler, those who were involved, or those who he claimed were involved, and the official plan was as follows:
The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to
involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott)
believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great
Oddly though, none of those claimed were ever called to the committee. In fact, only one man was eventually called and that was Macguire himself, the
man Butler claims tried to originally recruit him. Despite the very fact that the committee went onto conclude that a conspiracy was taking place thus
confirming what Butler had claimed, which was that there was a plot in action to overthrow FDR and it was in its "advanced stages", and even possibly
about to be executed, he was still angry and accused them of deliberately editing names out of the final report, as well as editing some of his own
testimony, doing so merely to protect the powerful and wealthy men he claimed was involved in the plot in the first place.
Butler going as far as appearing on Radio WCAU in 1935 to express his distaste at the actions of the committee as well as the whole plot itself. Not
forgetting the fact that Newspapers ceased discussing anything relating to the plot apart from when it personally involved Butler, such as when his
mental state was questioned by those Butler accused for example. Time magazine was one of the main players who immediately dismissed the claims made
by Butler and set about ridiculing him. Oddly, this was the same source who later admitted that Veterans of Foreign Wars commander James Van Zandt had
also been approached to lead a march on Washington.
One might wonder why such a thing might not be mentioned? Well, It's been claimed over the years that FDR actually ended up cutting a deal with the
plotters, ones he were more than aware of at the time. It's claimed, particularly by BBC's documentary, The White House Coup, that FDR struck a deal
making Wall Street, and the rest of the powerful plotters, back off from opposing him and his new deals which they were originally opposed to so much.
Failing to do so, and since the cover was seemingly blown, the only option they had was to back off as they ran the very real risk of literally losing
everything they had. The plot was foiled..
It's amazing though isn't it? Only in America could conspirators trying to overthrow the government and install a fascist dictatorship walk free and
start right off from before the plot was even formed. Truly it is.
Anyway, thank you to those who took the time to read this thread. I hope to hear what others think about this plot in any future posts..
edit on 3-8-2011 by Rising Against because: (no reason given)