( – promoted by buhdydharma )
I’ve been trying to get around to posting a follow-up on the May One at Faneuil Hall thing. I’ve got lots of great pix but my battery went semi-dead the last week. Not the camera battery, my posting battery. Maybe it’s my digestion – of life in Bush’s America circa 2008. Turning over the compost piles and planting things has been taking up my mind. So I was thinking earlier that it’s been seven full days since then and rising up from memory comes the book of the title name. Synchronicity sends me wandering down the rabbit hole.
Seven Days in May was both a book and a movie, both of them pretty good. It’s a political thriller about a plot by the Pentagon to pull off a bloodless (more or less) coup to overthrow the president. The problem with the president is he’s not sufficiently anti-Communist for the right-wing plotters. He’s actually about to sign a treaty with the Soviets to mutually nuclearly disarm.
The plot itself, called ECOMCON (for “Emergency Communications Control”), entails the seizure of the nation’s telephone, radio and television network infrastructure by a secret United States Army combat unit created and controlled by Scott’s conspiracy and based near Fort Bliss, Texas. Once this is done, General Scott and his conspirators will control the nation’s communications assets; then, from their headquarters within a vast underground nuclear shelter called “Mount Thunder” (based on the actual continuity of government facility maintained by the U.S. at Mount Weather in Berryville, Virginia), they will use the power of the media and the military to prevent the implementation of the treaty.
The book came out in ’62 and the movie in ’64. The movie was shot in ’63 while Kennedy was still alive. He encouraged the filmmakers by heading home to the Cape when they needed to get shots done around the White House; the Pentagon was none too pleased. If written today the authors would have to add in cell phones, cable and the internet to complete the communications media needed to be controlled. Take a jump to the link above for some solid background and I’ll give you a tour of the rabbit warren. We’re going to visit Granddaddy Bush and Dick Cheney’s Undisclosed Location – Raven Rock. We’ll see an actual coup d’etat plot against FDR, Lee Harvey Oswald will jump up in a plot line you’ve probably never even heard of and you may even get a whiff of a hint of a sense of the presence behind the curtain. Who knows?
Feel free to break out the Reynolds Wrap.
From the Wiki:
Interiors for Seven Days in May were shot at the Paramount studios in Hollywood, and on location in Paris, France, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Arizona and in California’s Imperial Valley. In an example of guerrilla filmmaking, Frankenheimer photographed Martin Balsam being ferried out to the supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk, formerly CVA-63, anchored at Naval Station San Diego without prior Defense Department permission. He also wanted a shot of Kirk Douglas entering the Pentagon, but could not get permission because of security considerations, so he rigged a movie camera in a parked station wagon to photograph Douglas walking up to the Pentagon. Douglas actually received salutes from military personnel because he was wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine Corps colonel.
Getting permission near the White House was easier. Frankenheimer said that Pierre Salinger conveyed to him President Kennedy’s wish that the film be made, “these were the days of General Walker” and, though the Pentagon did not want the film made, the President would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot outside the White House.
Some efforts were made in the film to have the film appear to take place in the near future, for instance the use of the then-futuristic technology of video teleconferencing.
General Walker turns out to be an interesting character. He was a total right-wing whack job. He managed to start a riot at Ole Miss when James Meredith attempted to enroll there. Two dead, six federal marshals shot. Sued the AP for libel and the case went to SCOTUS where he lost, bitterly. The good general was also Lee Harvey’s initial target and his first assassination attempt.
It was around this time that Walker got Lee Harvey Oswald’s attention. Oswald, a self-proclaimed Marxist, considered Walker a “fascist” and the leader of a “fascist organization.” A front page story on Walker in the October 7, 1962, issue of the Worker, a Communist Party newspaper to which Oswald subscribed, warned “the Kennedy administration and the American people of the need for action against [Walker] and his allies.” On October 8, Oswald quit his job and moved to Dallas, with no explanation. Five days after the front page news that Walker’s federal charges had been dropped, Oswald ordered a revolver by mail, using the alias “A.J. Hidell.”
Lee went on to greater infamy. His shot at Walker, most likely from the same rifle he used to shoot Kennedy, hit the window frame of Walker’s study. Walker only got nicked by flying debris.
At the time, authorities had no idea who attempted to kill Walker. A police detective, D.E. McElroy, commented that “Whoever shot at the general was playing for keeps. The sniper wasn’t trying to scare him. He was shooting to kill.” Kirk Newman, a 14 year old boy who lived near Walker’s residence in the Turtle Creek neighborhood said that he “saw several men jump in an automobile and speed off” after the shooting.
Must have been the Grassy Knoll Gang. By sheer coincidence, Walker ran against John Connally in the Dem primary for Texas governor in ’62. He came in sixth. If he’d won, ole Lee could have just gotten him on Nov 22 in ’63 in the front seat. But again, it was just a flesh wound.
After Gen. Walker got done inciting riots at the side of MS governor Ross Barnett he got himself some religion.
In February 1963, Walker was making news by joining forces with evangelist Billy James Hargis in an anti-communist tour called “Operation Midnight Ride.” In a speech Walker made on March 5, reported in the Dallas Times Herald, he called on the United States military to “liquidate the scourge that has descended upon the island of Cuba.” Seven days later, Oswald ordered by mail a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, using the alias “A. Hidell.”[emphasis added just for lulz]
And we can’t leave Walker without fully qualifying him as a complete right-wing whack job:
Walker, then 66, was arrested on June 23, 1976 for public lewdness in a restroom at a Dallas park and accused of fondling an undercover policeman. He was arrested again in Dallas for public lewdness on March 16, 1977. He pled no contest to one of the two misdemeanor charges, was given a suspended, 30-day jail sentence, and was fined $1,000
And here’s where the threads start morphing and twisting over time. The Reverend Billy James Hargis is considered one of the founders of the Christian right movement. He started up his own fundamentalist college and all and just to prove his right-wing whack job bona fides we have the following:
Hargis was unintentionally also partly responsible for the existence of the Fairness Doctrine. In 1964, Hargis, who was a staunch supporter of Barry Goldwater in that year’s presidential race, made false statements about a journalist who was critical of Goldwater. The journalist asked for air time in order to give his rebuttal to Hargis’ statements, and the broadcaster refused. The journalist took his case to court, and eventually the case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The high court upheld the equal-time allowance in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC (1969), codifying what became known as the Fairness Doctrine in American broadcasting.
Hargis formed American Christian College in 1971 in order to teach fundamentalist Christian principles. However, a sex scandal involving claims by two of his students who, on their honeymoon, confessed to each other that they were not virgins, and then found they had lost their virginity to Rev. Hargis. Hargis was forced out of American Christian College’s presidency as a result. Further scandals erupted when members of Hargis’ youth choir, the “All American Kids”, accused Hargis of sexual misconduct as well. The college eventually closed down in the mid-1970s. Hargis always denied the allegations.[emphasis added]
A right-wing, whack-job, fundamentalist, Christian preacher backing a crazy old Arizona Republican senator for president. Where have I heard that one before? Hargis? Sounds like Hagee?
In Hargis’ day such ideas were considered to lie on the political fringe alongside KKK, neo-nazi, and John Birch ideology. Now, over 40 years later, the mainstreaming of beliefs very similar to those of Hargis has advanced so far that a Christian leader – who alleges a vast satanic “secular humanist” conspiracy against Christian America, blames Jews for the Holocaust, says Hitler’s Nazis were doing God’s work, places gays, the ACLU, and Islamic terrorists together on the side of absolute evil, calls liberal Jews “poisoned” and “spiritually blind” and states that he hopes for a catastrophic conflict that will kill most Jews in Israel and maybe most Jews on Earth – will be addressing, this Sunday evening, at this year’s AIPAC Washington convention, perhaps 1/2 of the US Senate and 1/3 of the US House Of Representatives ; this will amount to an historic advance towards the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism.
Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United For Israel, a new and nominally “pro-Israel” American national political lobbying group, has built a career on aggressive support for hard right to fringe right Israeli politics and is now making inroads towards convincing the mainstream American Jewish community that he and CUFI are the best tactical allies Jews and Israel can expect to find.
This is the guy McCain went to, hat in hand, to beg for his backing of McCain’s presidential candidacy. Wright? So that’s one thread. Back to Granddad Bush and FDR and the coup d’etat. Remember, Seven Days in May, that’s where we started. Just a work of fiction and a movie. We’ll catch up to Cheney at the Raven Rock Corral after the coup.
The scenario of the film may have been inspired by the clash between General Curtis LeMay and President John F. Kennedy. It is suspected that LeMay, furious after the Cuban missile crisis for not being allowed to use his atomic bombs, talked to some of his staff about removing the President from power. Other observers cite as the inspiration for the story a historically-ambiguous conspiracy among major industrial leaders to enlist retired Marine Gen. Smedley Butler in a plot to infiltrate Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s inner circle, as reported by Butler in his testimony to the McCormack-Dickstein Congressional Committee in 1934. (See Business Plot of 1933.)
Ahhh, the New Deal. It’s been around for seventy-six years and they’re still trying to undo it. These bastards are nothing if not persistent. Three generations of Bushes have all taken their run at dismantling it. It looks like the latest iteration is coming close but will he make it? No. But his hand-servant John can finish the job. If only…
Smedley Darlington Butler has been in the news a bit lately. You’ve probably seen his name bouncing around the blogosphere. He’s the guy who invaded all of Central America, and some of South, for the financial benefit of various American enterprises. This is his most famous quote:
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
Smedley also was one of the first to “out” the military-industrial complex. If he was around today he would understand the entire Iraq-Iran situation in a nano-second. It is so damn obvious. Smedley is one of my all-time favorite American characters. They asked him to be the Philadelphia Director of Public Safety, on loan from the Marines, by influence of Cal Coolidge himself. Big mistake. I can’t leave Smedley without giving him his due:
Within days, Butler ordered raids on more than 900 speakeasies. Butler also went after bootleggers, prostitutes, gamblers and corrupt police officers. Butler was more zealous than politic in his duties; in addition to going after gangsters and the working-class joints, Butler raided the social elites’ favorite speakeasies, the Ritz-Carlton and the Union League. A week later, Kendrick [the Philadelphia mayor] fired Butler. Butler later said “cleaning up Philadelphia was worse than any battle I was ever in.
It was OK to go after the working class but the elites? Uh-uh. One of Smedley’s biggest deeds was to go to Washington and cough up the Business Plot. This is where Granddad Bush comes in.
In 1934, Butler came forward and reported to the U.S. Congress that a group of wealthy pro-Fascist industrialists had been plotting to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a military coup. Even though the House Un-American Activities Committee corroborated most of the specifics of his testimony, no further action was taken.
This was a Daily Show moment before Jon was even born. Say what? No further action was taken? A plot to overthrow the government of the United States? Am I hearing this right?
Major General Butler claimed that the American Liberty League was the plot’s primary source of funding. The main backers were the Du Pont family, as well as leaders of U.S. Steel, General Motors, Standard Oil, Chase National Bank, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.The 2007 BBC radio documentary The White House Coup alleged that Prescott Bush, father and grandfather to the 41st and 43rd US Presidents respectively, was also connected with the plot.[emphasis added]
During the McCormack-Dickstein Committee hearings, Butler testified that through MacGuire and Bill Doyle, who was then the department commander of the American Legion in Massachusetts, the conspirators attempted to recruit him to lead a coup, promising him an army of 500,000 men for a march on Washington, D.C., $30 million in financial backing, and generous media spin control.
[BUTLER:] I said, “The idea of this great group of soldiers, then, is to sort of frighten him, is it?”
“No, no, no; not to frighten him. This is to sustain him when others assault him.”
I said, “Well, I do not know about that. How would the President explain it?”
He said: “He will not necessarily have to explain it, because we are going to help him out. Now, did it ever occur to you that the President is overworked? We might have an Assistant President, somebody to take the blame; and if things do not work out, he can drop him.”
He went on to say that it did not take any constitutional change to authorize another Cabinet official, somebody to take over the details of the office-take them off the President’s shoulders. He mentioned that the position would be a secretary of general affairs-a sort of a supersecretary.
CHAIRMAN: A secretary of general affairs?
BUTLER: That is the term used by him-or a secretary of general welfare-I cannot recall which. I came out of the interview with that name in my head. I got that idea from talking to both of them, you see [MacGuire and Clark]. They had both talked about the same kind of relief that ought to be given the President, and he [MacGuire] said: “You know, the American people will swallow that. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President’s health is failing. Everybody can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second.”
Given a successful coup, Butler said that the plan was for him to have held near-absolute power in the newly created position of “Secretary of General Affairs,” while Roosevelt would have assumed a figurehead role.
Reaction to Butler’s testimony by the media and business elite was dismissive or hostile. The majority of media outlets, including The New York Times, Philadelphia Post, and Time Magazine ridiculed or downplayed his claims, saying they lacked evidence. After the committee concluded, The New York Times and Time Magazine downplayed the conclusions of the committee.
The committee deleted extensive excerpts from the report relating to Wall Street financiers including J.P. Morgan & Co., the Du Pont interests, Remington Arms, and others allegedly involved in the plot attempt. As of 1975, a full transcript of the hearings had yet to be traced.
Those accused of the plotting by Butler all denied any involvement. MacGuire was the only figure identified by Butler who testified before the committee. Others involved were actually called to appear to testify, though never were forced to testify.
This old stuff is so interesting when you get into it. But I’m sure you all remember this from your American History classes. They did teach you this, didn’t they? Do you think stuff like this will be on the NCLB tests? Will your grandchildren know what’s going down today? And all from Seven Days in May. You might just want to peruse the links to get the complete story. Jump around. 1934. 1962. 2001. 2008. It’s all the same. Just different technologies and players. And now it’s time for Dickie and his undisclosed location. The ribbons and the bow.
We go back to the movie and the plot, ENCOMCON (“Emergency Communications Control”):
…entails the seizure of the nation’s telephone, radio and television network infrastructure by a secret United States Army combat unit … will control the nation’s communications assets; then, from their headquarters within a vast underground nuclear shelter … they will use the power of the media and the military to prevent the implementation of the treaty.
Wasn’t there a guy back in the 40s who lived in a shelter? I think they used to call it a bunker back then. What’s his name? Copied Charlie Chaplin’s mustache so he’d stand out in a crowd. Anyway, no comparison with our clean-shaven Dickie. Dickie only has a million or so Iraqis under his belt. He’s got another five million to go to match up with the big guy. Maybe with Iran and some nukes in the mix he can catch up. Could be Numero Uno, who knows? In the movie it was Mount Thunder which was a ref to the for real Mount Weather. If you visit the Mount Weather entry in Wiki you’ll find a reference to a
Site R is a United States government facility on Raven Rock, a mountain in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is located about 14 km (8.7 miles) east of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania and 10 km (6.2 miles) north-northeast of Camp David, Maryland. The R in “Site R” is an allusion to Raven Rock. The name “Raven Rock” is used to refer to both the mountain itself and the Site R facility.
At Site R, the DISA computer operations staff provides computer services to the National Command Authority, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and other United States Department of Defense agencies through memoranda of agreement. The facility functions as the disaster recovery site for the JSSC’s GMC and DISA GCC. The various service (Army, Navy and Air Force) emergency operations centers are also located at Site R. The facility provides continuous planning, installation, operation, and maintenance of over 38 communications systems (switching, transmission, data distribution, visual information, and power generation) that support its customers.
According to the Boston Globe, Site R is believed to be the “undisclosed location” to which vice president Dick Cheney retires in times of crisis.
On May 25, 2007, the Federal Register published a Defense Department policy declaring that it is unlawful “to make any photograph, sketch, picture, drawing, map or graphical representation of the Raven Rock Mountain Complex without first obtaining the necessary permission.
Raven Rock, Cheney’s home away from home. The Undisclosed Location. The backup, emergency Continuity of Operations Command Center for the entire U.S. enterprise. Wake up. Punch the alarm clock. Oops, just nuked Iran! Get up. Get out of bed. Just another day in paradise.
“In October 1988, USAISC-Site R was redesignated as the 1111th U.S. Army Signal Battalion…”
As a software guy I learned to do math and think in hexadecimal notation. The hexadecimal (16) number system runs from ‘0..F’, with ‘A’ being the equivalent of a decimal ’10’ and ‘F’ being the decimal ’15’. Hex, as we call it, comes in handy when dealing with the 1s and 0s that make up all that we do in the digital world. Hexadecimal numbers represent four-bit binary strings. E.g., ‘0000’=0; ‘1001’=9; ‘1010’=A. And last but not least, ‘1111’=F. Raven Rock is being run by “F Troop”. Coincidence? If you don’t know what that implies, ask one of your parents. Oh, and try to GoogleEarth Raven Rock. What a perfect name for a secret lair for the evil villain. Darth would be proud of him. Raven Rock. Nevermore.
We are soooooo fucked!!!!!!
The sun is rising on May 9 and I still owe the May One follow-up diary with pictures and arrows and paragraphs on the back. Later today. If you read this far, give yourself a pat on the back. Armageddon outtahere. Later.