Freedom Betrayed, by Herbert Hoover
It has been rightly said that truth is the first fatality of war. But truth in modern war had its first fatality in propaganda.
So starts Hoover in his descriptions of the propaganda and lies told to the American people in order to create the fear and hatred necessary to bend them toward war.
A major effort in brainwashing was the portrayal of horrors that would happen to the American people when Hitler invaded our shores…. Administration speakers joined in with horrifying tales of Hitler’s arrival in the United States.
[For example] Ambassador Bullitt, on August 18, 1940, said “Do we want to see Hitler in Hall making fun of the Liberty Bell?”
[Roosevelt] said “Never before since Jamestown and Plymouth Rock has our American civilization been in such danger as now….” Nazi forces “openly seek the destruction of all elective systems of government on every continent – including our own…”
Many such assertions were being made even after it was clear that Hitler was bogged down with the Russians, at a time when it was clear that the Germans had little capability to greatly expand the fight.
In my previous post on this book, it seemed quite clear that even Churchill recognized that Britain was not at grave risk of being invaded and overrun. The Germans had minimal capability to invade Britain, and none that place the United States at risk. This did not stop Churchill and the British from (understandably) adding fuel to the brainwashing fire:
I am very glad to find that these dangers are regarded as serious, and you should in no way try to minimise them. We have no intention of relieving United States from any well grounded anxieties on this point….
Hoover consulted with Retired Admiral William V. Pratt, regarding the possibility of even a German land operation against Britain. Pratt’s conclusion was that such talk was “nonsense.”
After the war, it was demonstrated that Germany had no plans, desires, or capability to attack the United States. This was obvious even before the war to those who looked at the situation with a critical eye. Just as Churchill’s actions cannot be explained as reasonable when looked at from the viewpoint of the average Brit, Roosevelt’s actions cannot stand better to scrutiny. He, too, seemed to be working for a different master – not the American people. Again, your guess is as good as mine as to who.