If there’s one thing Americans seem to enjoy, it’s killing their politicians: since 1825, at least 30 have been assassinated. Four of these were Presidents. But does this peculiar trait come from a cultural proclivity for psychopaths or a disgruntled, violently predisposed electorate, or is there an overarching conspiracy in place, something which ties these political assassinations to something more tangible than the “lone gunmen” explanations offered by “Official History”?
Here are some interesting correlations to be found when analyzing the economic policies and observations of some of these assassinated politicians – since correlation does not imply causation, consider this a “coincidence theorist’s” guide…
President Jackson is widely remembered (by those who remember him) as a strong opponent of the National Bank. This was an early attempt to bring the US under the wings of the central banks which dominated European finance. Jackson rescinded the national bank’s federal charter on the grounds that it concentrated the nation’s financial strength into a single institution and served to focus wealth into fewer hands while simultaneously weakening the power of government. In discussing the banks, Jackson said, “If the American people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning…”
The first President to oppose these financial institutions was the first to be shot at – and one of the luckiest. Would-be assassin Richard Lawrence’s guns both misfired, and Jackson fended him off with his cane. Lawrence later stated that one of the reasons he had for attempting to kill Jackson was that “money would be more plenty” – a reference to Jackson’s refusal to bow to the central banks.
Lincoln’s obvious contribution to the American economy, which came mainly as a consequence of his need to raise large sums to finance the civil war, was the issuance of debt free notes – Lincoln’s greenbacks – controlled entirely by the government. He explained his economic rationale:
“The government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers … The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprises, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own government. Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.”
Things didn’t go Lincoln’s way – after his assassination the national banks further consolidated their monopoly on the American economy and what may have turned out to be a liberation in government financial regulation became remembered as a short-lived flirtation with a Constitutional monetary system.
Garfield became President in 1881. In the same year, he released the following statement:
“Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce… And when you realise that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”
In the same year, he was assassinated.
President McKinley introduced the Gold Standard Act, a direct challenge to the Fiat currency system being pushed by the central banks. Vice President Garret Hobart was also outspoken on “the money issue” (but wasn’t assassinated). In 1896 he wrote:
“The proposition for free and unlimited silver coinage, carried to its logical conclusion – and but one is possible – means, as before intimated, legislative warrant for the repudiation of all existing indebtedness, public and private, to the extent of nearly 50 per cent of the face of all such indebtedness. It demands an unlimited volume of fiat currency, irredeemable, and therefore without any standard value in the markets of the world. Every consideration of public interest and public honor demands that this proposition should be rejected by the American people.”
The following is from the McKinley Memorial Library and Museum:
“By 1901, McKinley no longer supported the growth of big business. Business trusts and monopolies had hurt competition and kept prices high for the consumers. Also by this time, he had modified his views on tariffs. He no longer supported protective tariffs to help businesses. Instead, he favored free commerce through reciprocal trade agreements.”
On September 5th 1901, Leon Frank Czolgosz shot McKinley.
Woodrow Wilson’s Betrayal
A flashpoint in our narrative of coincidences came in 1913. The Federal Reserve Act is passed by President Woodrow Wilson, handing over the power to print and regulate US currency to privately owned central banks. Wilson later said in regret:
“I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world — no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
Wilson also wrote the following:
“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
Congressman Louis McFadden is a lesser known victim of political assassinations, although his opposition to the private bankers is also a matter of historical record, albeit one tempered with an unsavoury dose of antisemitism. McFadden was a staunch opponent of the central banks and introduced a resolution bringing conspiracy charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in 1932. McFadden recognized the manner in which the Fed was able to manipulate the economy through its control of issuance of currency and interest rates:
“It [the depression] was not accidental. It was a carefully contrived occurrence…. The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so that they might emerge as the rulers of us all.”
In the mid-30s, McFadden was poisoned at a dinner party, and died shortly after.
Kennedy issued Executive Order 1110, giving the US Treasury the ability to create its own money backed by silver (like Lincoln’s currency, these were also known as greenbacks). Many believe that this measure stepped on the toes of the Federal Reserve, alleviating the national debt on which the Fed profited from the interest. Conspiracists ascribe this, along with his plans to withdraw from Vietnam, as prime factors in his assassination, since these measures would have deprived the central bank of vast sources of revenue.
George Bush – An Addendum
Lastly, not quite as related to the wheels of finance but also interesting is the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Would-be Reagan assassin John Hinckley’s brother happened to be friends with George Bush Snr’s son Neil:
“Scott Hinckley, the brother of John Hinckley Jr., who is charged with shooting President Reagan and three others, was to have been a dinner guest Tuesday night at the home of Neil Bush, son of Vice President George Bush, The Houston Post has learned.”
Neil’s wife Sharon was reported saying:
“From what I know and have heard, they [the Hinckleys] are a very nice family…and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. I understand he [John W. Hinckley Jr.] was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful.”
Mere coincidence? Had the assassination proved successful, Vice President George Bush would’ve become President eight years earlier…
Andrew Dilks is the author of Goliath.