Renewed Attention To Ties Between Bush’s Grandfather and Nazis

There have been stories about the connections between George Bush’s grandfather, Prescot Bush, and the Nazis for quite a while. The Guardian reviews their business connections, including discussion of newly discovered files:

George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

The debate over Prescott Bush’s behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the “Bush/Nazi” connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis’ plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.

Remarkably, little of Bush’s dealings with Germany has received public scrutiny, partly because of the secret status of the documentation involving him. But now the multibillion dollar legal action for damages by two Holocaust survivors against the Bush family, and the imminent publication of three books on the subject are threatening to make Prescott Bush’s business history an uncomfortable issue for his grandson, George W, as he seeks re-election.

While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen’s US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.

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Obama Picks Up More Elitist Endorsements

Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama picked up “picked up the endorsement today of three former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission, two of whom were appointed by Republican presidents.” Bloomberg reports:

Arthur Levitt, who was appointed by Bill Clinton; William Donaldson, who was appointed by George W. Bush; and David Ruder, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, issued a joint statement saying Obama can provide the best leadership during times of “monumental economic challenges.”

“We believe Senator Obama can provide the positive leadership and judgment needed to take us to a stronger and more secure economic future,” they said. The statement also was signed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who previously endorsed Obama.

The four men said they appreciated Obama’s support for “balanced regulatory reform. We believe that such a constructive approach can be extended broadly in the economic area as well as elsewhere.”

Levitt, in an interview today on Bloomberg Radio, said their backing was prompted in part by Obama’s opposition to a summer gas-tax holiday advanced by Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain. Obama called the idea a “gimmick” because it would save the average driver less than $30.

“Obama alone opposed this as being political and so over the top and we agree with that,” Levitt said. “We felt that Obama’s position on this particular issue was fair and balanced.”

I’m sure that the Clinton supporters will see such endorsements as further evidence that Obama is an elitist, as they prefer to ignore economists (no matter what Bill Clinton said in 1992). Clinton supporters have responded to the strong trend for the educated to support Obama over Clinton by taking on an increasingly anti-intellectual tone, yet another area where they are becoming difficult to distinguish from Bush supporters.

Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Bush’s Great Sacrifice



Above is the video of Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment following George Bush’s claim that he gave up golf to honor the soldiers killed in Iraq. Full transcript is below the fold.


Grand Rapids, Endorsements, and Conspiracy Theories


When I recently found that Barack Obama was going to be having a rally nearby in Grand Rapids I thought it was of some significance that he felt it was not longer necessary to devote his time to the areas with upcoming primaries. I had no idea how big it would be. I already noted how Obama’s doing quite well despite the loss in West Virginia, but Obama managed to really draw attention away from the loss by having John Edwards join him and give his endorsement (video above). I certainly wonder if this endorsement was previously offered and held back until now to help prevent any loss of momentum following the West Virginia primary. We’ve found this year that endorsements do not help very much with regard to votes, but they certainly do help with the media coverage.

Although the race for all practical purposes is over, Hillary Clinton continues to campaign, as she is entitled to do. There is certainly no rule that someone must place the good of their party or country over their personal ego. The Republicans have a similar situation in which someone with no chance to win continues to campaign against their presumptive nominee.

This afternoon I happened to be driving to Grand Rapids (to pick up a car for my daughter who will be turning sixteen in a few weeks, alas not to attend the Obama rally), and listened to an interview with Ron Paul on Talk of the Nation. (Listening to NPR is one of those things us “elitist” Obama supporters do as we like to be informed in choosing candidates as opposed to choosing based upon their gender and their empty promises which rely upon flawed economic thought).

At times Paul sounded great as he attacked McCain on the war and repeated his previous comments expressing a preference for Obama’s foreign policy views. Then someone asked Paul a question which got him going about his imaginary threats to our imaginary sovereignty providing a reminder of the conspiracy theories which dominate his thought. While he sounds like he knows what he is talking about when limited to certain topics such as Iraq, the interview showed once again that he is out of touch with reality.