The End of the Bush Dynasty

The Bush family has been characterized in various ways  including the Bush dynasty, crime family or syndicate.  George Bush is just the latest in a line of unsavory characters but clearly the bad or worst seed and, in the eyes of most honest observers, the least worthy of an unworthy lot.  He was supposed to be the latest in the Bush family line chosen to lay another golden egg for the dynasty but turned out instead to be an ugly duckling who’s just been an embarrassment and much worse because of the course he chose and his rigid ideological obstinacy to change even in the face of failure.


The Bush family considers itself among the special chosen ones if based only on its royal heritage. The family is connected by blood to every European monarch on and off the throne including every member of the British House of Windsor.  That relationship is more than familial and extends to the president’s father having close business dealings with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip who themselves are connected to the notorious Carlyle Group that also employs GHW Bush as a “senior consultant” and master-rainmaker/fixer-arranger at a very high price for his services.


George W. Bush, of course, is in the bloodline and is a distant cousin of the Queen and Prince Charles. This American “royal” family traces its heritage back to 15th century Britain at the time of Henry VIII or earlier, but its royal connection is not unique to Washington politicos as both Al Gore and John Kerry also have familial ties to the British crown, and ironically Gore is a distant cousin of his former presidential rival from having been a direct descendant of Charlemagne when he was emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  Truth is indeed stranger or at least more ironic than fiction.


The modern-era Bush family dynasty goes back four generations and was connected to the military-industrial complex of its day during and after WW I much like the most recent two Bush generations are to the present one.  It began with George H. Walker and Samuel Prescott acting as duel founding fathers of what turned out to be a criminal enterprise run under the family name much like it is under a local Godfather except for much bigger stakes and with the government of the United States acting as protector, benefactor and enforcer.


Walker was a St. Louis financier who later went to work for Averell Harriman as president of WA Harriman & Company, a banking business that invested in railroads, shipping, aviation and commodities like oil.  Samuel Prescott Bush, the current president’s other great grandfather, was a major Ohio industrialist and ran the Buckeye Steel Castings Co. that produced armaments. He later went to Washington to run the small arms, ammunition and ordnance section of the War Industries Board and became a close advisor to Herbert Hoover.


The president’s grandfather Prescott Bush, Sam’s son, had a varied career as a US Senator, Wall Street investment banker with Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH and same Harriman) and as a director of various companies involved in war production including Dresser Industries where his son, the president’s father, later worked for a time.  A hundred years ago, the Bush family was also connected to John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil and later with a number of Wall Street firms as well as with the US intelligence community since WWI. 


Above all, this is a family that formed strong ties to the institutions of power that began in industry and Wall Street and was parlayed to become a powerful political dynasty that included a US senator, two governors, a congressman, vice-president, CIA director and two presidents (the current president’s father, of course, having been a congressman, CIA director and vice-president before being elected president in 1988).


Prescott, the president’s grandfather, had a particularly unsavory connection as recently declassified documents show.  He was a director of New York based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that was a holding company for the Nazis and represented the German steel industrialist Fritz Thyssen who was intimately involved with the Nazi regime.  He was also a director and shareholder of various other companies involved with Thyssen.  UBC bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, oil, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany that helped build and support the Nazi war machine.  Prescott was also with Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) when the firm did business with the Nazis during the 1930s that continued during the early years of WW II until the company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act. 


What BBH did and paid a price for, many other US corporations did as well, prospered from and were never held to account for their lawlessness.  Charles Higham documented much of it in his 1983 book called Trading with the Enemy in which he showed evidence of how major companies in America like the Rockefellers’ Chase Bank and Standard Oil, Ford, General Motors and other corporate giants had no political or ideological problem doing business routinely with Nazi Germany during the war.  It was just business with another good customer, no matter what the customer’s business was.


Particularly heinous was the role of IBM Headquarters System Engineering, Design Automation and Management (not covered in the Highman book) when it was run by Thomas Watson.  The company used IBM tabulation equipment to set up a system for the Nazis to locate all the Jews of Europe and then sort, file and categorize them for extermination in the death camps  using the company’s equipment and whose camp personnel IBM employees trained.  All the while this went on, IBM managed to fend off US War Department probes into its illicit activities so it could continue to profit  handsomely from the Nazi genocide the company knew was taking place and was facilitating – all for the big “blood money” profits involved.  Current shareholders of the company’s stock might wish to take note of this and reconsider their investment choice.


BBH had no problem cashing in either, and by the late 1930s claimed to be the world’s largest investment banking firm in business like all others to make money, and like most others, as willing to do it with regimes like the Nazis as with any other customer.  George Herbert Walker and Averell Harriman, who later became a prominent politician and diplomat serving under four US presidents, have been characterized by some as two evil geniuses who saw no difference in dealing with the Bolsheviks in Russia as with Hitler and the Nazis.  For them, business was business just the way it is today and in the 1980s when GHW Bush as vice-president and president was willing and eager to be part of the scheme to arm Saddam Hussein who then became public enemy number one to be demonized for using the weapons supplied him by US and other western corporations when he was an ally.


Before his son succeeded him in the Oval Office (8 years removed), GHW Bush was involved in a long laundry list of criminal activities he never could have gotten away with under a system of law and order with  those violating it held to account.  He never was.  As CIA chief in 1976 under Gerald Ford, the elder Bush was in charge of covering up the Agency’s involvement in coup d’etats and assassinations of foreign leaders including its connection to an earlier September 11 – the one in 1973 ousting and murdering democratically elected President Salvador Allende in Chile that established the 17 year fascist dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet who, despite his despotism, became a close US ally.


The president’s father was also deeply involved in the secret, illegal negotiations with Iran in the 1980s, when he was vice-president, that led to the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal that broke in 1986.  With the help of friends in the Congress, including Dick Cheney who served then in the House and the corporate media that always looks the other way, he was able to escape investigation and scrutiny.  They helped him get away with a strategy of lies and aggressive cover-ups to stay untarnished.  It freed him to pursue and secure the Republican presidential nomination in 1988 and the highest office in the land he always wanted to hold, maybe because he felt his royal blood entitled him to it. 


In 1992, Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh (who took his job seriously unlike his successors) uncovered evidence linking the president to the illegal operation and lying to the public about it, but “trickier-than-Nixon” Bush pardoned six indicted Iran-Contra figures shortly before he left office to bury the evidence against himself and slither away unscathed again.  He’s now seen as an esteemed elder statesman, his past buried, forgotten and above rebuke.  No matter the truth is quite another matter that went down “the memory hole” and is no longer part of the “official” historical record.  That judgmental error paved the way for a member of the next Bush generation to ascend to the nation’s highest office, a move not turning out as planned.


A Dynastic Success Story Now on Shaky Footing


A Bush family tradition of lying with impunity, operating freely outside the law and getting away with it was no obstacle for the next family member in line, George W. Bush, to be chosen by his party to enter the presidential race in 2000.  He got the nomination after serving six years as Texas governor distinguished only by a record of indifference to the public and a total dedication to the business interests in the state.  It meant giant corporations were salivating at the thought of having a man like this in the White House serving them in that capacity the same way he did it for the business community in Texas. Thanks to a fraud-laden election, he got the job the old-fashioned way – his influential friends and family stole it for him as arranged by family consigliere and master-fixer Jim Baker securing the necessary 25 Florida electoral votes helped along by the complicity of five friendly Supreme Court justices who had to be in on the scheme.


The corporate interests got their main man in Washington, and for a short time seemed to be in “good hands” with him.  But lying and getting away with it only works when the schemes lied about go according to plan.  Bumps aside, the rise of the Bush dynasty to prominence and power, went well through the ascendency and tenure of George Herbert Walker Bush, the president’s father, which included the election and reelection George W. Bush’s younger brother Jeb as governor of Florida after an initial failed bid for the office in 1994 and George W’s time as Texas governor. 


Nothing lasts forever though, and as best laid as the plans were, they went awry with the misguided selection of the younger George to carry the family banner as the rightful successor to assume the position of supreme leader of the free world and lord and master of the universe.  He wasn’t the family’s first choice and only got bumped up to that spot in line after brother Jeb’s initial gubernatorial defeat – one the family must now look back on as a major turning point in the family’s political fortunes that going forward may be irreversible.


It should have

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