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Intel - History
American Liberty League

"In God we trust.
All others we monitor."

 

Economics | History | Intelligence | Military | Regions | Religion | Terrorism

 
    
Key Financiers, Organizers, and Groups Linked to the American Liberty League

FDR Nominated Al Smith for President 1924 
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John W. Davis was a Liberty League Member

Democrat John W. Davis Loses to Presidential Election to Calvin Coolidge 1924
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FDR Nominated Al Smith for President 1928
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FDR's Presidential pick Al Smith joined the Liberty League

Al Smith Loses Presidential Election to Herbert Hoover 1928
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New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt

FDR Elected New York Governor 1928
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Shouse on cover of Time Magazine

Future Liberty Leaguer Jouett Shouse Named DNC Chair May 1929
  • Shouse was very active in the Democratic Party and was appointed chairman of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee in May 1929.
  • His powerful position in Washington politics led to him being on the cover of the November 10, 1930 issue of TIME magazine.
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Stock Market Crash of October 1929
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FDR elected to US Presidency in 1932

FDR Elected President of US 1932
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Pelley's Silver Legion modeled itself on Hitler's Brownshirts and Mussolini's Blackshirts

Silver Legion Fascist Organization Formed by William Pelley in America (January 30, 1933)
  • The Silver Legion of America, commonly known as the Silver Shirts, was an American fascist organization founded by William Dudley Pelley on January 30, 1933.
  • The uniform of the Silver Legion members consisted of a cap identical to those worn by German Stormtroopers, blue corduroy trousers, leggings, tie, and silver shirt with a red "L" over the heart.
  • The Silver Legion had "Silver Shirts" in a like manner to the Italian Fascists having Blackshirts and the German Nazis having Brownshirts.
  • By 1934, the Silver Shirts had about 15,000 members. Most members were middle-class. The movement's strength dwindled after 1934. Four years later, the Silver Legion was down to a membership of about 5000.
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Chicago Mayor Cermak died in 
assassination attempt on FDR's life

FDR Nearly Killed in Miami Assassination Attempt, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak Dies (February 15, 1933)
  • While shaking hands with President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida, on February 15, 1933, Cermak was shot in the lung and seriously wounded when Giuseppe Zangara, who attempted to assassinate Roosevelt, hit Cermak instead.
  • Later, rumors circulated that Cermak, not Roosevelt, had been the intended target, as his promise to clean up Chicago's rampant lawlessness posed a threat to Al Capone and the Chicago organized crime syndicate. According to Roosevelt biographer Jean Edward Smith, there is no proof for this theory.
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FDR First Term (March 4, 1933)
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Jerry MacGuire Sent to Study European Fascist Movements (December 1, 1933)
  • On Dec. 1, 1933, MacGuire left with his family for an extended trip to Europe.
  • He stayed more than seven months, spending time in France, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, London and Scotland, Holland, and, according to one report, Russia.
  • He was later to report to Butler that he was on a ``fact-finding'' mission to study the relationship of soldiers to fascist mass movements.
  • He was looking for something that would work in the United States.
  • MacGuire had gone to Europe, under Morgan instructions, and with the blessings of the cabal of U.S. British assets that included: J.P. Morgan, Jr., Thomas Lamont, John W. Davis, and Grayson Mallet-Prevost Murphy.

FDR First Western Leader to Recognize Soviet Government (November 16, 1933)
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Failed Coup in France: Crois de Feu (February 6, 1934)
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1934: Liberty League Forms
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FDR Lashes Out Against Newspapers That Advocated Fascism
  • "Those newspapers of the nation which most loudly cried dictatorship against me would have been the first to justify the beginnings of dictatorship by somebody else."
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1934: DuPont's Southern Committee to Uphold the Constitution Forms
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Liberty League President Jouett Shouse

Jouett Shouse Named President of Liberty League from 1934-1938 
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Gen Butler was approached by plotters, wanting to launch a coup

Liberty League Approaches General Smedley Butler
  • The conspirators went about the plot as if they were hiring an office manager; all they needed was to send a messenger to the man they had selected.
  •  In this case, as recorded in sworn testimony before the Congressional Committee, the messenger was a bond salesman named Gerald C. ("Jerry") MacGuire, who earned about $150 a week.
  • I record his wage not as proof of his competence or lack of it, but because, as brought out in the testimony, when he was ready for the first overt move to get the conspiracy off the ground, his bank account flowered with cash deposits of over $100,000 for "expenses."
  • MacGuire worked for a leading brokerage house headed by Grayson Mallet-Prevost Murphy, a West Point graduate who had seen action in the Spanish-American War and WWI. Murphy had extensive industrial and financial interests as a director of Anaconda, Goodyear Tire, Bethlehem Steel and a number of Morgan-controlled banks.
  • Dispatches from Philadelphia reported that Butler, former head of the Marine Corps., had told friends that General [Hugh Samuel] Johnson, the former NRA [National Recovery Administration] administrator, had been chosen for the role of dictator if Butler turned it down; also considered was General Douglas MacArthur.


FDR: "I Welcome Their Hatred"

FDR Defends Self: "I Welcome Their Hatred"
  • "To put it in a Biblical way, it has been said that there are two great commandments—one is to love God, and the other is to love your neighbor," he told the assembled reporters at one of the informal press conferences he used to convene in the Oval Office. "A gentleman with a rather ribald sense of humor suggested that the two particular tenets of this new organization say you shall love God and then forget your neighbor, and he also raised the question as to whether the other name for their God was not 'property.'
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Future Truman Sec State Dean Acheson was a prominent Liberty League member

Liberty League Attacks FDR's Agriculture Reforms As "Fascism"
  • The League labeled Roosevelt's Agricultural Adjustment Administration "a trend toward Fascist control of agriculture."
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Liberty League Focuses on Attacking FDR's Labor Policies
  • Lawyers for the American Liberty League challenged the validity of the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act), but in 1937, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the statute.
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Liberty League: Social Security Shall "Mark the End of Democracy"
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General Smedley Butler Summoned to Testify Before Congress
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Butler: 500,000 Veterans Were To Participate in the Coup
  • According to Butler's testimony, the League was founded intentionally as a para-military coup vehicle, an 'American version' of the 1930s French Croix de Feu.
  • Butler said that he was approached to lead a group of 500,000 veterans to take over the functions of government.
  • The final McCormack-Dickstein Committee report agreed with Butler's allegations on the existence of the plot, but no prosecutions or further investigations followed.
  • Butler: They took out a bank book and showed me deposits of $42,000 on one occasion and $64,000 on another. I said ... There is something in this, Jerry MacGuire, besides what you have told me.... He said, "Well, I am a business man ... [and] if you want to take my advice, you would be a business man, too."


Samuel Dickstein

General Smedley Butler Criticizes McCormack-Dickstein Committee for Not Investigating Coup Plotters Themselves
  • It did not do well in dealing with homegrown U.S. fascists, nor did it consider how Americans helped spread fascism abroad.
  • It did investigate the fascist plot to seize the White House, but was criticized by John Spivak, Smedley Butler and others, for not revealing – let alone questioning – the powerful men behind the plot.
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John W. McCormack

McCormack-Dickstein Committee Issues a Very Weak Final Report February 15, 1935
  • Although it spent more time tracking communist activities than it did fascist ones, its final report on Feb. 15, 1935, did substantiate the truth of the fascist plot.
  • Despite its shortcomings, it was the only “un-American” committee to investigate fascism.
  • It was quickly disbanded and replaced with another such committee that focused entirely on pursuing communists.
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Al Smith: Only One Capital, 
Washington or Moscow

Former FDR Ally Al Smith Accuses FDR of Communism (January 1936)
  • In 1936, Smith was the keynote speaker at the ALL’s gala banquet. Democratic Senator Schwellenbach tried to stop him from giving in to “the temptation of following the advice of J.P. Morgan, John Raskob and Pierre du Pont and all the rest of these rascals and crooks” that controlled the ALL. He compared du Pont and Raskob to the “racketeers...who were finally put in the penitentiary because... they evaded their income taxes” (Gerard Colby, Du Pont Dynasty, 1984).
  • Colby describes the dinner as the “most famous political gathering of American industrialists and financiers in the twentieth century.” Smith warned the 2,000 attendees that FDR was moving towards communism: "It's all right with me if they want to disguise themselves as Norman Thomas or Karl Marx or Lenin, but let me give one solemn warning: There can be only one capital, Washington or Moscow…. There can be only the clear, pure, fresh air of a free America, or the foul breath of communistic Russia. There can be only one flag, the Stars and Stripes, or the flag of the godless union of Soviets. There can be only one national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, or the International."


FDR Associate Farley: "Liberty League Major Tactical Blunder of Modern Politics"
  • FDR's popularity surged. His right-hand man James Farley called the Liberty League offensive "one of the major tactical blunders of modern politics."
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FDR Speaks Out Against "Economic Royalists" in 1936 DNC Convention Speech
  • For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital-all undreamed of by the fathers-the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
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US Diplomat Writes FDR, Warning About Vichy Government Takeover in France (1942)
  • U.S. diplomat, Ambassador Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., wrote to President Roosevelt from London on Jan. 7, 1942, describing a clique which controlled the fascist Vichy government of France, the government which (more or less) ruled that country everywhere south of the German zone of direct occupation.
  • "This group should be regarded not as Frenchmen, any more than their corresponding numbers in Germany should be regarded as Germans, for the interests of both groups are so intermingled as to be indistinguishable; their whole interest is focused upon furtherance of their industrial and financial stakes."


FDR's Vice President re Fascism (April 1944)
  • 1. On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request from The New York Times to write a piece answering the following questions:
    A. What is a fascist?
    B. How many fascists have we?
    C. How dangerous are they?
  • 2. A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.