We just received a phone call from a man in California named Peter who wanted to know why Barney Frank was holding up his fellow congressman Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve.
We assured Peter that Barney Frank had a long record of supporting Ron Paul’s efforts to impose greater transparency upon the actions of the Fed.
‘In 2007 Barney Frank had in fact given an affectionate interview on the subject of Ron Paul’s quixotic campaign for the presidency to the New York Times magazine in which he said of his relationship with his colleague from Texas:
“We first bonded because we were both conspicuous non-worshipers at the Temple of the Fed and of the High Priest Greenspan.”
But Peter was not satisfied; he was certain conspiracy must be afoot. He began talking about JP Morgan and the Council on Foreign Relations, Skull & Bones and the various other front organisations in addition to the Fed through which some believe a secretive cabal of elites known as the Illuminati govern world affairs. (The Masons, Peter said, may also be involved.)
The conversation echoed another we’d had back in November, when while writing a story about, of all people, Barney Frank, we looked up an old Reagan-era rival of Frank’s by the name of Bill Dannemeyer.
As an Orange County Republican serving in the eighties Dannemeyer had made a name for himself reading graphic depictions of gay sex from the floor of the House, claiming people with AIDS emitted “spores that cause birth defects” and leading an infuriated crusade to oust Barney Frank over a relationship he’d carried on with a male prostitute.
But by the time we got around to talking to Dannemeyer he had mellowed considerably. He no longer saw Frank as the promulgator of some sort of insidious “gay agenda.”
All he asked of Frank as a public citizen was for him to use his chairmanship of the Financial Services Committee to pass a bill demanding a full congressional audit of the Federal Reserve. (Dannemeyer, too, had referenced the Illuminati and the Council on Foreign Relations, JP Morgan and the Rockefellers.)
It would take too much space to explain even the bit we do grasp about the origin of the Illuminati conspiracy theory — for those interested in further research this book is a start — but the first major Fed conspiracy theorist we know of is the poet Ezra Pound, who was so convinced the central bank was secretly conducting the world’s wars and other foreign interventions on behalf of its moneyed interests that in 1949 he commissioned his Library of Congress researcher Eustace Mullins to write a book Secrets of the Federal Reserve.
Pound’s theories might have been more credible had he not been a self-professed anti-Semite serving out a prison sentence in an insane asylum at the time. Ever since, though, fervent campaigns to audit the Fed have been linked to conspiracy nutjobbery and anti-Semitism — until now.
A few weeks ago Ron Paul’s bill found a Senate sponsor in South Carolina’s Jim DeMint, an ardent opponent of the administration’s economic recovery expenditures and author of a new book called Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America’s Slide Into Socialism.
DeMint certainly courts charges of nutjobbery, but not anti-Semitism; to the contrary he has controversially likened the Obama Administration to Nazi Germany.
But the addition of someone so solid and middle-American as Senator Jim DeMint to such a traditionally fringe cause as an audit of the Fed made us wonder if the time had not finally come for Barney Frank to make it happen already. Apparently we were not alone, as Barney Frank recently wrote this email to supporters of Ron Paul’s bill:
Thank you for expressing your support for H.R. 1207. I have told Ron Paul, with whom I have worked closely on a number of issues, that I agree with the general thrust of his bill and I am planning to see that we take action on this subject in the committee which I chair. There have already been some moves forward in increasing the transparency of the Federal Reserve, and I agree that there are further steps we can take. I cannot at this point tell you exactly how I think we should proceed, but I will be in the next few weeks meeting with the chairs of the subcommittees who have jurisdiction over this matter, as well as with Representative Paul, to plan a course of action that will result in much more openness with regard to the activities of the Federal Reserve. I also intend when this current crisis is over to seek an amendment to the law which was passed in 1932 and signed by Herbert Hoover, which gives the Federal Reserve vast powers to lend money to any entity in America which it deems sufficiently collateralized whenever the Federal Reserve thinks there are exigent circumstances. I do believe that the Federal Reserve is exercising that power with some good effects recently, but it is not a power that should exist in a democratic society in the hands of an entirely unelected entity and I will be working next year to put some restraints on this power as well.
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