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El Norte

Skull and Bones in Bush's Foreign Policy Closet
New California Media, Paolo Pontoniere, Sep 30, 2002

Amidst the debate over the impending US-led war against Iraq, some European media, mostly in Italy and Germany, took note of the publication of Secrets of The Tomb: Skull and Bones, The Ivy League and The Hidden Paths of Power.

In the Little Brown book, author Alexandra Robbins discusses the connections between America's wealthiest families, secret fraternities and the role of Ivy League institutions in the genesis of United States foreign policy. For some European analysts, Skull and Bones explains much of the mystery surrounding how power is apportioned in the US by describing a well-established system of nepotism and co-optation among members of this fraternity. They fear that the unwieldy influence that secret lobbies--such as those described in Skull and Bones--have on the American administration may interfere with President Bush's ability to decide freely what action to take. They also believe that Bush's belonging to such a secret fraternity may explain the nihilistic overtones of his foreign policy and his strong drive toward waging war against Iraq because of the gothic character of the fraternity.

Europeans have noted that not only the current US president is a Bonesman, but that also his former-president father and his grandfather, senator Prescott Bush, are members. In the Bush family, connection to the Tomb--the name of the Yale building where the fraternity meets--also involves three uncles of the current president and two of his cousins. A couple of Bonesmen came up with the money to launch President Bush's career in business when he founded the oil company Arbusto; another Bonesman provided the capital for Bush to acquire a stake in the Texas Rangers; and another member of the fraternity that bolstered Bush's 2000 presidential campaign by paying for advertising billboards at a million dollars a piece. One of President Bush's first actions when he entered the White House was to organize a dinner with the members of his fraternity.

What worries Europeans most about the Bonesmen is the suspicion that the organization may have a neo-Nazi tendency or that it may be animated by anti-Semitic sentiments. According to various reports about the activities of the Bonesmen throughout the years, it appears that many prominent members, in particular those linked to the Union Bank in New York and its sister bank in Holland at the beginning of WWII, were financing Hitler throughout the war and as late as 1945. Italians and Germans alike have a long history of secret associations meddling in the internal affairs of their countries.

This fact makes European analysts tend to distrust both politicians that can be linked to such groups and secretive associations that have links to political parties or single politicians. In the case of the Skull and Bones, Italian and German media have reported that such ties between the secret organization and politicians could be understood as a multigenerational secret society with a global reach and a finger in many different pies. They describe the Skull and Bones' influence as resulting in a sort of oligarchic government that includes some of the most influential American families such as the Bushes, the Harrimans, the Tafts, the Whitneys, and the Rockefellers.

Skull and Bones was founded in 1832 by William Russell, the heir to Russell and Company, at that time one of the world's most prominent opium traders. According to author Robbins, Russell befriended the leader of a secret society during a year of study in Germany. Returning to the US, Russell sought to re-create in the US the spirit of exclusivity that he had encountered with the German secret society, whose main goal was the establishment of a strong government of the kind that would mold every individual to the obedience of the state.

In the rarefied atmosphere of Yale University, Russell found a receptive environment for his dream, enrolling the help of Alphonso Taft, future US secretary of war and father of President William Howard Taft. The society they founded was called the Brotherhood of Death, or more informally, the Order of Skull and Bones. Later the order would include among its ranks Prescott Bush, who would take the helm of the Union Bank, Roland and Arvell Harriman, several Rockerfellers, Henry Luce, and others who read like a who's who in American public life.

European reporters were astonished to learn that the cult has been extremely successful in its pursuit of establishing a "New World Order"-the Bonesmen's lingo was used by then-President Bush Senior to describe the philosophy behind his foreign policy. The Bonesmen's New World Order consists of fewer individual freedoms for the majority and of a few elected people sitting in the collective driver's seat. They noted that besides pushing three of its men-the two Bushes and Taft-to the presidency of the United States, the society has produced nine supreme court justices, several senators and congressmen, and that the idea of launching both Time and Newsweek magazines was first conjured up in the Bones' Tomb. Skull and Bones members founded the American Historical Association, the American Economic Association and the American Psychological Association. More than a dozen Bonesmen have worked at the Federal Reserve. Bonesmen are believed to control the Rockerfeller, Carnegie and Ford families' wealth.

European reporters don't appear to buy Alexandra Robbin's suggestions that Bonesmen may have developed and dropped the first nuclear bomb; may have organized the Bay of Pigs invasion; were tied to the Kennedy assassination and to the Watergate break-in; or that they may control the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Nevertheless, Europeans are intrigued by the notion that Bonesmen may be tied to many of history's recent conflicts, compelling them to wonder if the fraternity mentality may not explain a tendency toward destruction rather than building. They also wonder how a 2004 presidential race between Senator John Kerry on the democratic side running against President Bush-both Bonesmen--might unfold.

Sources: A Call To Awaken -, Panorama,

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