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For The Record  

FTR #302 Update on German Corporate Control over the American Media

Listen: Side 1 | Side 2

This program supplements an ongoing series, beginning in December of 1998.

1. The program begins with a recap of an article that was highlighted in FTR #299. Because the implications of the article for American telecommunications (and, consequently, this series) would be difficult to exaggerate, it is reviewed here. In a sweeping ruling, the FCC gave the go ahead to Deutsche Telekom (controlled by the German government) to purchase American mobile telephone companies. (The head of the FCC is Michael Powell, Colin Powell’s son.) More importantly, the ruling gives the go-ahead to the future purchase of American telecommunications companies by companies that are controlled by foreign governments. The governing protocol to determine whether such purchases are acceptable will be the WTO’s standard of being “in the public interest.” “. . . . Although extended regulatory debates can frequently lead to documents full of mealy-mouthed bureaucratese, the 97-page order issued by the FCC is as sweeping and precedent-setting as Mr. Powell had wanted. It goes further than any previous ruling in the agency’s 66-year history to open up the U.S. telecommunications market to foreign competitors. ‘This is the green light. This is the paved road. This is the autobahn,” said Rudy Baca, an analyst of international telecoms regulation with the Precursor Group. ‘It’s more definitive than most people expected.’ At the heart of the debate over the deal was a discreet section of the Communications act that contains seemingly contradictory guidance on how to deal with foreign telecoms owned by their governments. One part of the law states flatly that no U.S. phone licenses can be held ‘by any foreign government or representative thereof.’ But another section allows a company to buy the license if the FCC rules it in the public interest. The interpretation of the language is crucial, since outside the UK, most big overseas companies remain at least partially in the hands of governments. After the VoiceStream deal closes, for instance, Telekom will still be 45 per cent-owned by the German government. The same is the case for important international players such as France Telecom and Japan’s NTT. In its Telekom-VoiceStream ruling, the FCC found the wording calling for an outright ban applies only if a foreign government itself tries to acquire a license – a highly unlikely scenario that, for all intents and purposes, makes the clause moot. Instead, all companies where a government owns a stake will be governed by the public interest waiver. In addition, the FCC went even further, saying that due trade commitments, any purchase by a company from a WTO country will be assumed to be in the public interest, a clear sign that the agency has opened the flood gates. ‘The FCC has confirmed that it will be applying U.S. law to U.S. WTO commitments, said Scott Blake Harris, former head of the FCC’s international bureau who worked for VoiceStream in the deal. Analysts predict that the order could lead to a new save of foreign investment, which could target even the largest U.S. carriers. The FCC’s sweeping ruling, however, has incensed the deal’s opponents, including Senator Ernest Hollings, who came within a hair’s breadth of blocking the merger through legislation last year. He has vowed to reintroduce the bill this session and include a provision that would force the German government to sell most of its stake in Telekom if it wanted to retain VoiceStream. ‘They basically rewrote the law,’ said one critic. “They just changed 65 years of jurisprudence.'” (“US Ruling on Telekom Could Lead to Wave of Investment” by Peter Spiegel in Washington; Financial Times; 5/2/2001; p. 8.)

2. As the story indicates, the FCC ruling establishes WTO membership and “the public interest” as the primary criteria for evaluating purchases of American telecommunications firms by companies controlled by foreign governments. Much of the first half of the program reviews information about Robert Zoellick, one of the principal architects of the WTO. (The articles are excerpted from FTR 273. Zoellick was appointed as U.S. Trade Representative by George Bush.)

As noted elsewhere, WTO midwife Zoellick is a fellow and board member of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. (“Robert Bruce Zoellick” by Joseph Kahn; New York Times; 1/12/2001; p. A15.) This organization, in turn, is inextricably linked with the Bormann organization.

3. The economic and political component of a Third Reich gone underground, the Bormann organization controls corporate Germany and much of the rest of the world. It was created and run by Martin Bormann, the organizational genius who was the “the power behind the throne” in Nazi Germany.

4. Paul Manning describes this organization in some detail in his book Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile. “By the 1970s, the West Germans had concluded that influencing U.S. public opinion is better accomplished with a skilled touch than with a meat cleaver, which had characterized their efforts during the two world wars. An example of such skill was the staged news event of June 5, 1972, when Willy Brandt announced at Harvard University that the Federal Republic of Germany would donate 150 million marks ($47 million) to establish a foundation in honor of the Marshall Plan – a statesmanlike approach to the recovery of former enemies, and to the recovery generally of Western Europe. Brandt stated that the money would arrive in equal installments for the next fifteen years, for the establishment and operation in the United States of an independent American-run educational foundation specializing in solutions to European problems, to be known as the ‘German Marshall Fund of the United States – A Memorial to the Marshall Plan.’

5. “The overriding function of this German George C. Marshall Research Foundation is public relations, to cosmetize the German industrialists and bankers whose corporations whose corporations had worked so successfully for the Third Reich. In October 1978, the Marshall Foundation was utilized as a platform for Dr. Hermann J. Abs, now honorary president of Deutsche Bank A.G., as he addressed a meeting of businessmen and bankers and members of the Foreign Policy Association in New York City on the ‘Problems and Prospects of American-German Economic Cooperation.’ This luncheon meeting was chaired by his old friend, John J. McCloy, Wall Street banker and lawyer, who had worked closely with Dr. Abs when McCloy served as U.S. High Commissioner for Germany during those postwar reconstruction years. At that time, Hermann Abs, as chief executive of Deutsche Bank, was also directing the spending of America’s Marshall Plan money in West Germany as the chairman of the Reconstruction Loan Corporation of the Federal Republic of Germany. With them on the dais were Henry H. Fowler, Wall Street investment banker and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; Henry Cabot Lodge, former U.S. ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany; George C. McGhee, another former American ambassador to West Germany, also a trustee of the Marshall Foundation and a member of various private and government advisory groups. These, along with the others on the dais and in the audience, represent firms and banks that are among the most prestigious in the United States and throughout the world; all benefited from the rebirth and rebounding prosperity of the new Federal Republic of Germany. Knowingly or no, these figures and their corporations are indebted to the man who was not there, the financial and administrative genius who set the foundation for the postwar recovery of West Germany, Martin Bormann.” (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 261-262.)

6. Manning goes on to describe the function of the German Marshall Fund, an interesting factor to contemplate in connection with Zoellick, his pivotal role in the creation of the WTO and, in turn, the WTO’s important role as the yardstick by which purchases of American telecommunications firms will be measured by the FCC. “The Stroking of American public opinion by German interests, as by those of Japan, is calculated to open further the American market. The United States remains the richest and the most profitable market on the face of the earth, and these businessmen and bankers know that they either buy their way in or negotiate their way in. They know that if they are going to succeed as world companies they must have a generous slice of the U.S. market, and today this can be accomplished only through ties, treaties, and agreements, no longer entirely through retained earnings and bank lines of credit.” (Ibid.; p. 262.)

7. Zoellick’s eventual ascent to a position of power in this institution is particularly interesting to note in the context of some of his other actions, professional associations and beliefs. A member of the Bush State Department, Zoellick was a strong, effective advocate within James Baker’s foreign policy establishment for speedy German reunification, and he played a pivotal role in bringing it about. “Mr. Zoellick, the other leading candidate for the trade job, was a foreign policy wunderkind under Mr. Baker. He helped design and carry out United States policy on German reunification a decade ago. He also helped start NAFTA negotiations from his post in the State Department.” (“Bush Seeking to Overhaul Policy Making” by Joseph Kahn and Frank Bruni; New York Times; 1/6/2001; p. B14.)

8. Significantly, Zoellick midwifed a diplomatic compromise to create the World Trade Organization. (“Robert Bruce Zoellick” by Joseph Kahn; New York Times; 1/12/2001; p. A15.)

9. With regard to German reunification, Zoellick convinced the Bush administration to embrace German unity. “A confidant of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, he rallied western allies to back a speedy German reunification and finagled a compromise that led to the creation of the World Trade Organization. . . .But he is most widely remembered in foreign policy circles for being the Unites States’ representative at the multiparty negotiation of the future of divided Germany. He persuaded the Bush administration to embrace German unity despite the qualms of allies and alarm in the former Soviet Union.” (Ibid.; p. A15.)

10. Another credit on Zoellick’s curriculum vitae, is his participation with James Baker, his apparent mentor, in the “Florida Recount,” that gave Bush his “victory.” “Zoellick also served as counselor to the Treasury secretary during the Ronald Reagan administration, in addition to other posts. He is a protégé of James A. Baker III, the longtime Republican official. Both traveled to Florida to help George W. Bush during the recent ballot recount controversy.” (“Bush’s Trade Chief Rated as Smart, Smooth Negotiator” by Jonathan Peterson; Los Angeles Times; 1/12/2001; p. A15.)

11. With the types of connections exemplified above, Zoellick is viewed with favor in Europe. “The appointment will be greeted favorably in Europe, where Mr. Zoellick has strong contacts in both government and business. He was one of a handfull of Bush advisers that a senior EU delegation sought out last month when they visited Washington.” By Edward Alden, Richard Wolffe and Stephen Fidler; Financial Times; 1/12/2001; p. 4.)

12. Zoellick’s partisan role on behalf of Germany during the closing phase of the Cold War, his pivotal role in the creation of the WTO, and his significance in the Bush/Baker milieu would seem to augur well for conditions in America for German corporations. Given FCC Chairman Michael Powell’s recent actions on acquisitions of American telecommunications companies, Zoellick’s actions have helped to open up the American telecommunications landscape to German corporate predators. (“US Ruling on Telekom Could Lead to Wave of Investment” by Peter Spiegel; Financial Times; 5/2/2001.)

13. This, in turn, is to be evaluated in terms of the scenario presented in the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk. Mr. Emory believes that, like The Turner Diaries (also published by National Vanguard Books), the book is actually a blueprint for what is going to take place. It is a novel about a Nazi takeover of the United States in the middle of the 21st century. The book describes the Third Reich going underground, buying into the American media, and taking over the country. “It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.'” (From the back cover of Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X.)

14. This process is described in more detail in a passage of text, consisting of a discussion between Wrench (a member of this Underground Reich) and a mercenary named Lessing. “The SS . . . what was left of it . . . had business objectives before and during World War II. When the war was lost they just kept on, but from other places: Bogota, Asuncion, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Colombo, Damascus, Dacca . . . you name it. They realized that the world is heading towards a ‘corporacracy;’ five or ten international super-companies that will run everything worth running by the year 2100. Those super-corporations exist now, and they’re already dividing up the production and marketing of food, transport, steel and heavy industry, oil, the media, and other commodities. They’re mostly conglomerates, with fingers in more than one pie . . . . We, the SS, have the say in four or five. We’ve been competing for the past sixty years or so, and we’re slowly gaining . . . . About ten years ago, we swung a merger, a takeover, and got voting control of a supercorp that runs a small but significant chunk of the American media. Not openly, not with bands and trumpets or swastikas flying, but quietly: one huge corporation cuddling up to another one and gently munching it up, like a great, gubbing amoeba. Since then we’ve been replacing executives, pushing somebody out here, bringing somebody else in there. We’ve swing program content around, too. Not much, but a little, so it won’t show. We’ve cut down on ‘nasty-Nazi’ movies . . . good guys in white hats and bad guys in black SS hats . . . lovable Jews versus fiendish Germans . . . and we have media psychologists, ad agencies, and behavior modification specialists working on image changes.” (Ibid.; pp. 42-43.)

15. Before turning directly to the subject of music, the broadcast addresses the gradual remaking of the image of the Third Reich that is represented in Serpent’s Walk. In the discussion excerpted above, this process is further described. “Hell, if you can con granny into buying Sugar Turds instead of Bran Farts, then why can’t you swing public opinion over to a cause as vital and important as ours?’ . . . In any case, we’re slowly replacing those negative images with others: the ‘Good Bad Guy’ routine’ . . . ‘What do you think of Jesse James? John Dillinger? Julius Caesar? Genghis Khan?’ . . . The reality may have been rough, but there’s a sort of glitter about most of those dudes: mean honchos but respectable. It’s all how you package it. Opinion is a godamned commodity!’ . . . It works with anybody . . . Give it time. Aside from the media, we’ve been buying up private schools . . . and helping some public ones through philanthropic foundations . . . and working on the churches and the Born Agains.” (Ibid.; pp. 42-44.)

16. Next, the program considers an odd lawsuit, which embraces evidentiary tributaries running in the direction of the remarkable and deadly Bormann organization, as well as the issue of culture and historical revisionism. The heirs to Hitler’s personal photographer are suing to obtain paintings done by Hitler. (“Court Considers Ownership of Seized Hitler Paintings” by William H. Honan; New York Times; 5/8/2001; pp. B1-B6.)

17. Some experts view the return of the paintings by the United States government to be conducive to a restoration of Hitler’s image and a rehabilitation of his politics. (Idem.)

18. The rights to photographer Heinrich Hoffman’s pictures of Hitler were held exclusively by Martin Bormann, suggesting at least the possibility that the considerable sum from the lawsuit would be destined for the Bormann organization. (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; by Paul Manning; Lyle Stuart Inc.; 1991; p. 44.)

19. Just as the Hitler watercolors were seen by some as presenting the threat of marketing “a kinder, gentler Hitler,” so too were a series of forged sketches attributed to Hitler while he was serving in the German army during World War I. Those drawings received the enthusiastic endorsement of Dirk Bavendamm, the official house historian for the Bertelsmann firm. (“Bertelsmann’s Revisionist” The Nation; 11/8/99.) This “cultural revisionism” would fit in well with the scenario presented in Serpent’s Walk.

20. The broadcast concludes with supplemental discussion of personalities in the Hitler watercolors case whose Nazi careers overlapped Bormann’s sphere of influence. (Quest by Frank Brandenburg and Ib Melchior; Copyright 1990 [SC]; Presidio Press; p. 109.)

Discussion

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