When one surveys the present crop of United States Senators, it is obvious that that body no longer provides the melodrama on Capitol Hill. During the 1930s, the Senators, particularly those from the Southern states, outdid themselves in colorful language, plantation owner attire, complete with wide brimmed Panama hats, and a cold-blooded approach to political dominance which has not been seen since they vanished like the dinosaurs of old. Today, we have such creatures as Senator Metzenbaum of Ohio, making $300,000 deals over his office phone, his colleague, Senator-Glenn, still reeling from the after effects of his trips through outer space, and, in the historic State of Virginia, Senator Warner, who parlayed his advantage of being born into a good family by marrying two of the wealthiest women in the United States.
In the 1930s, no one in the United States Senate more successfully wielded political power than Senator Harry Byrd, the senior Senator from Virginia. His career on Capitol Hill remains the howto-do-it Bible for would-be politicians, even though no one today has either the temerity or the ruthlessness to follow in his footsteps.
From the very outset of his career, Harry Byrd knew where the power lay, and he went after it. In reviewing his personal history, one finds few mistakes, despite flaws of personality which effectively prevented him from attaining the supreme prize, one which was often near his grasp, the office of President of the United States.
Although he was born into a distinguished political family, Harry Byrd was not even a Virgin ian. He was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where his closest childhood friend was a little Jewish boy named Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss, of whom more later. Byrd attained supreme political power in the State of Virginia by closely following the outstanding political career of the dominant figure of the twentieth century, Josef Stalin, Master of all the Russias. Byrd realized that Stalin, after the strange death of Lenin, reaped the benefits of efforts made years earlier, when he had carefully stacked the membership of local Soviets across Russia with his personal henchmen, sworn to support him.
As the crow flies, it is but a short distance from Martinsburg, West Virginia to Washington. However, Harry Byrd realized at an early age that the road to Washington lies through the state capitol of Virginia, Richmond. That road, since the end of the Civil War, is known as the Carpetbagger Trail, because of the pervasive influence of alien infiltrators who came in the wake of the Federal troops, bribing their commanders to allow them to set up business in the devastated countryside. Byrd's own career began shortly after one of the most brazen robberies ever to occur on the Carpetbagger Trail, in 1893, when control of the state legislature of Virginia was purchased openly, as at a cattle auction, by the state's political boss, Senator Thomas Martin. Martin's war chest came from his activities as the lawyer for the Wall Street firms of J.P. Morgan and Kuhn, Loeb Co. of New York, both firms being active in the United States as the secret representatives of the House of Rothschild. As the paid lackey of the Morgan, Schiff and Belmont railroad interests, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, and the Norfolk and Western Railway, Martin was advanced funds from these Rothschild firms in 1893 to buy the controlling interest in the state legislature, by bribing nine key members of the Virginia body for the sum of one thousand dollars each. His assistant in this bribery was the chief counsel for the Norfolk and Western, one William A. Glasgow Jr, who later had a town named after him to memorialize his brilliant achievements of bribery and corruption.
Martin's chief enforcer in controlling the votes of the state legislature was Senator Hal Flood, the grandfather of Harry Byrd, whose middle name, Flood, memorializes his mentor. With such advantages of birth, young Harry Byrd left school at the age of fifteen. He already had enough education to achieve what he planned to do with his life. He might later say, as did Commodore Vanderbilt, "I seen my chances, and I took 'em." Senator Martin died in 1919, having successfully consolidated absolute power in Virginia through his Martin machine. It was the up and coming Harry Byrd who was to transform this political cabal into the even more successful Bird machine. Byrd would rule without a single serious challenge in Virginia for more than fifty years. The iron hand of the Byrd machine was oiled by whatever funds he needed to maintain his power. He had continuing access to money for political control from the greatest carpetbaggers of them all, the House of Rothschild. That access came through his childhood friend, Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss. After an unpromising beginning as an itinerant shoe salesman, Strauss suddenly showed up in Washington during the First World War as a key member of the Wilson bureaucracy, also known as the Baruch-House bureaucracy. His tribal connections allowed Strauss, with no previous experience, to take over the recently named U.S. Food Administration, as deputy to the "engineer", Herbert Hoover. After being banned from dealing on the London Stock Exchange because of a notorious swindle, Herbert Hoover had promptly been recruited by the Rothschilds as just the man they had been looking for. Like J.P. Morgan and many others, he became an undercover Rothschild agent, with such success that he was named a director of the family firm, Rio Tinto. After successfully carrying out the Rothschild assignment of keeping the First World War going a full two years after the Germans begged for peace, by providing them with food and fuel through his mis-named "Belgian Relief Administration", Hoover was sent to the United States to become the Food Czar in the Baruch bureaucracy. Strauss was the person you had to see if you wanted to do business with the U.S. Food Administration.
Because he performed his job well for his masters, Strauss was rewarded at the end of the war by being appointed a director of the powerful Rothschild banking house, Kuhn, Loeb Co. Thus his longtime friend, Harry Byrd, now had a personal pipeline into the richest mother lode in modern history, the gold of the House of Rothschild. With the Byrd machine in control of the state; the partners of Kuhn, Loeb Co. lost no time in becoming Virginia squires. Freddie Warburg bought a huge estate at Middleburg, where he became famous for his lavish parties during the 1920s, while Lewis Strauss bought a vast property at Brandy Station, Virginia, a historical monument famed as the sight of the last cavalry charge in the United States.
After seizing the reins of power in Virginia from the fallen Senator Martin in 1919, Byrd's personal fortune mushroomed, while the state itself began to suffer from what was to be known during the next fifty years as "the Byrd blight". His financial sacrifices while serving the nation brought Harry Byrd an immense empire of orchards, warehouses, banks, newspapers and stock holdings, while the personal income of most Virginians continued to steadily decline. All of Byrd's holdings have been gained since he entered the Virginia Senate in 1915. The Byrd millions historically were sweated from cheap labor, which explains why he deliberately converted vast areas of Virginia into regions of hopeless poverty, the famed Appalachian pockets of depression which remain essentially unchanged today. At the same time, neighboring states, such as North Carolina, enjoyed unparalleled prosperity. He and his minions in the Byrd machine fought off all efforts of the national government to intervene with relief programs. Byrd refused to allow federal funds to be spent in Virginia because he was fearful of losing control. The government poured billions of dollars into slums in Chicago and New York, while Byrd's victims continued to exist in hopeless poverty.
The Byrd machine was able to retain power for a half century because of the twin evils of poverty and ignorance. He kept the people in poverty, while the Byrd-controlled press kept the people in ignorance of what was being done to them. The party line was laid down by the newspapers personally owned by Byrd in Winchester and Harrisonburg. A 1950 survey among professors of journalism ranked the Virginia press forty-ninth in the nation in its record of public service. Other Virginia newspaper publishers aspired to the Byrd image, hoping to be accepted by the local squirearchy, while they cynically continued to print editorials denying that there was a "Byrd machine" in Virginia. The machine's "Fifty Years of Shame" continued without any political opposition.
Following the example of Josef Stalin, Byrd put into place the most successful Soviet type of bureaucracy ever seen in the United States. In each of the one hundred Virginia counties, every office was held by a succession of Byrd look alikes, elderly, whitehaired, hard-drinking men who carefully cultivated the voice modulations of a cotton headed keeper of the men's room at an exclusive Southern country club. It was well known in the state that even the janitor in the county courthouse must be a reliable Byrd supporter, and willing to kick in with a suitable contribution to the Democratic Party when election time approached.
A key department in this state control was Byrd's invention of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. In the ancient Byzantine Empire, the Emperor maintained a personal monopoly on the sale of all alcoholic beverages, using the profits to pay his enormous palace expenses. Emperor Byrd used the liquor monopoly to finance the enormous costs of maintaining his political machine. He had rammed the ABC law through the state legislature while he was Governor in 1933, in a typical Byrd plebiscite. The statute was later found to have been copied word for word from the Soviet statute setting up the Soviet State Liquor Trust in Russia ! Today, the ABC Board still maintains a statewide network of Gestapo agents whose activities are vital to the health of the Byrd machine. Despite Byrd's huge Socialist bureaucracy in Virginia, his Soviet-style liquor monopoly, and other Soviet style state trusts, he always claimed to be a political conservative and an avowed anti-Communist. In the neighboring environs of the District of Columbia, free enterprise liquor stores offered longer hours, greater variety, and an average of twenty per cent less prices than Byrd's Soviet type state liquor stores. Visitors returning from the District of Columbia frequently had their cars stopped and searched, as Byrd's deputies sought to seize "contraband", that is, bottles of liquor purchased in the District of Columbia which had not been charged Byrd's state tax. A liquor distributor complained that it was very expensive to get on Byrd's purchase list, but worth it because of access to the Byrd monopoly stores. ABC agents still maintain iron control over restaurants, convenience stores and other outlets which handle any type of alcohol.
For eight years, Byrd kept Senator Carter Glass in the Senate of the United States, although it was known that he was totally senile. Socialist bureaucracies often maintain senile and disabled persons in government offices, because they are more easily controlled. Most Virginians refused to speak out against the Byrd dictatorship, because retaliation was swift. A Richmond physician who criticized the brutal murder of a patient in a state institution, was summoned on the following day for a compete examination of his tax returns. "Deficiencies" were found, and he was compelled to pay a large sum in additional state taxes.
After cynically running Carter Glass for re-election to the Senate, Byrd lost no power when the old man finally died. He chose the most subservient member of his entourage to take Glass' place. Newsman at the National Press Club joked that Senator Robertson could not go to the men's room unless he asked Byrd for the key. Robertson attained some status in the Millionaire's Club, as the Senate was known, when he was quickly appointed to the powerful Senate Banking Committee. Now he was answerable to the international bankers, as Byrd had been throughout his political career. Robertson's son, Pat, later became a national figure by operating his own television network.
Byrd himself had followed a devious road to the Senate, attaining his seat by appointment rather than by election. The Federal Reserve bankers needed to ramrod some changes in the Federal Reserve Act through Congress. The original Act had bore Carter Glass' name, and had been signed into law by another Virginian, Woodrow Wilson. Now Byrd's mentors, the Rothchilds, decreed that Byrd be given a seat in the United States Senate in order to update the Federal Reserve Act without opposition. However, this posed a problem, as the incumbent Senator from Virginia, Claude Swanson, refused to vacate. The dilemma was solved by having Franklin D. Roosevelt appoint Swanson to his Cabinet. Byrd then took his Senate seat, and the changes to the Federal Reserve Act were passed without discussion.
Indeed none of the Senators had any idea how the Federal Reserve System worked what the changes portended. To avoid any Senate discussion, Byrd quickly obtained pro forma approval, and the Federal Reserve Act was amended.
Meanwhile, Byrd's childhood friend, Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss, had used his position as partner in Kuhn, Loeb Co. to have himself appointed to a number of key government posts, including head of the Atomic Energy Commission. Although lacking any military experience, he somehow became an Admiral along the way. As the financier of the huge Industrial Rayon Corporation, an Ohio firm which produced most of the fibre for the entire U.S. tire industry, Strauss named the son of his old friend, Harry Byrd Jr., as director of this firm. When Harry Byrd's failing health forced him to retire, it was Strauss who forced the reluctant son to take his place in the Senate. It was at this point that a petulant voice was heard in a hotel lobby in Richmond, "You know I don't want to run ! Daddy's making me do it !" To ensure that young Byrd would not lose heart and withdraw, Strauss appointed himself as his campaign chairman. In the face of the Rothschild billions, all political opponents silently folded their tents, and young Byrd took his father's Senate seat, as though it were an hereditary post, to be handed down from father to son. In his declining years, old Harry's personal fortune was declared to be $28,791,618.42, yet he had never had any employment in private business.
Despite his reputed anti-Communism, Byrd had received a personal telephone call from Bernard Baruch during the tense hearings on the appointment of Anna Rosenberg as Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Korean War. She had been identified in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee as a Communist, which was not remarkable, because she had long been the Rockefeller empire's specialist in labor relations, and it was the Rockefellers who had dispatched Leon Trotsky from New York to bring about the successful Communist Revolution in Russia in 1917. As the senior figure on the Armed Services Committee, Byrd informed his colleagues that they must vote for the confirmation of Anna Rosenberg as Assistant Secretary of Defense. So much for his anti-Communism.
Byrd's political machine remained invulnerable because of the allegiance of the statewide Masonic lodges, which had been in place in the state of Virginia for some two hundred years. They controlled every business and every state and local office in each of the Virginia counties and hamlets. No one could expect any advancement or preferment, or a bank loan, without approval of the local lodge. The academic historian, Allen Moger, writes that "Byrd's power amazed observers .... it was explained by friends as an association of like-minded men." However, Moger prudently refrains from telling us the common denominator of these likeminded men, namely, that they were "the determined men of Masonry" to whom Disraeli referred in his writings. Mager's supposedly definitive history, "Virginia: Bourbon to Byrd", Univ. of Va. Press 1958, does not even mention Masonry in the Index. Despite Byrd's importance to the Federal Reserve bankers, the Federal Reserve System is mentioned by Moger only twice.
After Byrd's passing, one might suppose that the State of Virginia would move into a new era of political freedom, as is customary once a dictator vanishes. However, this failed to happen, because the Byrd state bureaucracy continued to function solely in its own interest. The people remained effectively shut out of their own government. Byrd's son left the Democratic Party, supposedly because of its extreme leftwing composition, and was elected as an independent, but this had no effect on the Byrd legacy, the Soviet style bureaucracy in Virginia. It has continued to operate with business as usual, with Jewish and black governors cynically elected by the insiders to protect their power.
The victory of Governor Wilder, hailed as the first black governor elected anywhere in the United States since the Reconstruction era, conveniently ignores the fact that for the Southern states, the Reconstruction Era has never ended. Although the Federal troops were withdrawn in 1877, the state governments were left firmly in the hands of the carpetbaggers. No others need apply for office. Wilder's election was a sop to the growing discontent of blacks in Virginia, who realized they, like everyone else in the state, continued to be robbed by the rapacious Soviet bureaucracy. It was not a revolution, despite the manipulated press acclaim to that effect. On the contrary, it was more of the same -- business as usual -- and that business will continue, without relief for the hard-pressed citizens who survived fifty years of shame under Harry Byrd, only to find that the yoke is still firmly riveted around their necks.