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The Nazis in Dubya's closet 

When Adolf Hitler needed money, who did he call?

Christiane Amanpour, CNN's fleet-footed foreign correspondent, committed the unthinkable a few weeks ago. She said what any observant person already knows: "Television and perhaps to an extent, my station, was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers at Fox News. And it did, in fact, put a climate of fear and self-censorship, in my view, in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did."

The media -- not only TV but the daily press, too -- did indeed cower and cringe before the Bushies and the Fox stormtroopers.

Fox News adopted a strategy right from the playbook of Hitler aide Hermann Goering, who said during the Nuremberg trials, "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger." A Fox spokesman responded to Amanpour with an adaptation of the Reichsmarshall's thoughts: "It's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."

We'll come back to Nazis in a minute.

News organizations ignored the awful pack of deceptions, beginning with the administration's lies over what was known prior to 9-11 about a likely terrorist attack. Then there's the utter failure of Big Media to question the "reasons" for the Iraq war -- grand deceits that, thanks to foreign and alternative media, Bush is now having to admit were baseless claims. Thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans have died due to Bush's fraud, and while his hands are bloody, there's plenty of gore left over to coat the paws of the press lords who chose to look the other way.

Even as Amanpour began a round of self-flagellation among media pundits over Bush's Iraq war and 9-11 prevarications, there is still a huge gap in the public's knowledge about a basketful of issues critical to democracy. The media is flaccid when it comes to tearing apart the obvious falsehoods involved in Bush's claims about tax cuts, the environment, his destruction of our international relations and the economy.

Every editor and news director in America should be confronted with demands to explain why they have given a pass to Bush on those subjects. And, even more important, they should be held accountable for not scrutinizing the Bush clan and its phalanx of extremists and profiteers.

Here's a tiny sampling of what's known about the Bushies.I was working in Miami in the early 1980s when Jeb Bush popped up on the scene like a malevolent jack-in-the-box. Doors, especially those in Little Havana, swung open wide for the "vice president's son." My interest was drawn to one particular door -- a health maintenance organization owned by Miguel Recarey. It would turn out that Recarey had ties to the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua and to the Mafia family of Tampa's godfather, Santos Trafficante. Bush brushed aside the mob allegations and declared that Recarey was "a good supporter of the Republican Party." And Bush helped arranged for the HMO to treat wounded Contras -- part of the larger clandestine, and very illegal, Reagan Administration scheme to help the terrorist outfit (a group that, as it would later turn out, was padding its coffers by smuggling drugs into American cities).

Bush was soon on the Miami HMO's payroll as a "real estate consultant." He never found a real estate deal for Recarey, but he did open doors in Washington to get a massive infusion -- a billion bucks or so -- of Medicare funding. Recarey stole $230 million of the taxpayer's cash and fled the country in 1987.

I later covered a story about a scummy real estate deal of Jeb's: He tanked more than $4 million in loans on a commercial building -- money you and I ended up paying. Ah, what a capitalist, I thought.

My curiosity about Bush was piqued, and it was amazing to watch his South Florida story unfold. There wasn't a rake or a blackguard he didn't seem to befriend. They only thing that mattered was that Bush's friends had to be sufficiently fanatical (often maniacal) in their right-wing extremism.

Those pals included Leonel Martinez, a major league cocaine smuggler. Even more interesting was that Jeb -- who would later join his brother's "war on terrorism" (aka the war for Halliburton and against American liberties) -- finagled the release from prison of a really bloodthirsty terrorist who rivals any of Osama bin Laden's boys: the ultra-right Orlando Bosch, who had committed 30 acts of terrorism, including the bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. Likewise, Bush was ever-so-tight with Jorge Mas Canosa, the thoroughly low-life (and now thankfully deceased) leader of the Cuban-American National Foundation. Mas boasted of his terrorist exploits, including the machinegun strafing of Havana residential neighborhoods.

Terrorism, it appears, is in the eye of the beholder.

Ever since those days, I've kept an always-growing folder on the Bush family. It ranges from the "Maybe" to the "Wow! This is true!" folders.

Under "Maybe" there are tales -- somewhat substantiated but still short of certain -- of the FBI memo that circulates among JFK assassination buffs. Dated Nov. 29, 1963, it details how the FBI briefed a CIA agent named "George Bush" regarding the right-wing Cubans in Miami and their reaction to the assassination. (It always did seem strange that when Jeb hit the Magic City, he was treated like a son returning home -- a legacy from his dad's work?) The CIA has claimed that Poppy didn't work for the agency until he became Top Spy in 1975, and that it was another "George Bush" who was briefed. Maybe there was another GB in the CIA, but as has been documented, he never held the sort of position where he would have been briefed on such a subject.

There were other reasons to suspect that GHWB was skulking around the CIA halls during the early 1960s. His Zapata Petroleum was regarded as a CIA front, and, as oft-reported, most recently by Maureen Farrell on Buzzflash.com, his name -- "George H.W. (Poppy)" -- address and Zapata were in the address book of one of Lee Harvey Oswald's closest friends. I, for one, never believe in coincidences.

In a way, all that is small potatoes. Remember I said we would return to a little talk about Nazis? Here it comes.

Adolf Hitler wasn't entirely a German phenomenon. The rise of fascism had gleeful fans throughout Europe -- and in America. Henry Ford was one, as were many members of the British aristocracy.

And so were Dubya's grandfather, Prescott Bush, and his great-grandfather, George Herbert Walker. Walker was president of Union Banking Corp., and Prescott Bush was a board member. On Oct. 20, 1942, the federal government seized the assets of Union, declaring that it was "trading with the enemy." The bank was actually doing much more for the Nazis: It was a front for Germany's Thyssen financial conglomerate, the economic engine for Hitler's rise to power. Later, a variety of other Walker-Bush companies -- at least one a front for German espionage -- were also seized by the government.

While Walker and Bush probably deserved a firing squad, they were able to recover many of their assets after the war. The $1.5 million that Prescott pocketed was the foundation of the family's current fortune.

George H.W. Bush's "family fortune was largely a result of the Hitler project," write Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin in George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography. "The powerful Anglo-American family associations, which later boosted him into the Central Intelligence Agency and up to the White House, were his father's partners in the Hitler project."

There's little doubt that the ties -- the bund, if you will -- continued long after the war. Poppy, after being elected vice president in 1980, placed his assets in a trust run by his friend William Farish, whose grandfather, as head of Standard Oil of New Jersey, was collared for conspiring with Nazi Germany. Harry Truman denounced the elder Farish for crimes approaching "treason." Among Standard Oil's "investments" were IG Farben, which ran a gasoline slave-labor factory at Auschwitz.

There's so much more to tell about the Bushies. I haven't even gotten to the Carlyle Group and the bin Laden family ties. But I will in a few weeks. In the meantime, do your homework, go to Google.com and look up "Bush" and "Nazi." You'll then understand much more -- such as the police-state philosophy behind Bush's PATRIOT Act.

But don't expect much from the mainstream press. Despite the wealth of material on the Bush family, you'll only get good spin. One would think, for example, that the Nazi skeletons in the Bush closet would have rated at least a few titillating tidbits in the AJC. Nope, a database search shows not a single mention by journalists at the paper.

However, they do have plenty of gush on Bush. During the 2000 campaign, they ran an article titled "Bush driven by a calling to service" that opined that he "believed it was the solemn obligation of the elite to serve for the greater societal good."

Ja. Das ist korrekt.

Senior Editor John Sugg -- who says, "The Nazis were always so polite as they clicked their heels ... before they clicked the trigger" -- can be reached at john.sugg@creativeloafing.com or 404-614-1241.

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