The Lusitania: A
classic example of war profiteering
What are the top
reasons for war? At first thought, imperial governments or self-defense may come
to mind. The truth is war is not possible without people profiting financially. To prevent and end
war, peacemakers need to understand the money system that war-profiteers use to make a “killing.”
The same "banksters" or money trust that designed the Federal
Reserve have for over two centuries profited from war. Senator Louis McFadden
documented direct involvement in wars in the 19th century. The
list of 20th century involvement in promoting wars is long and
Lusitania operation in World War I, funding both
Germany and England during WW II, helping
to create the conditions for the Korean War in
1953 (Korea was intentionally divided in 1945), and beating the drums for
war in Vietnam just to name a few. For dozens of
current examples on
how war debt is driven up by corporations such as Halliburton, see
Iraq for Sale.
Should it be a surprise to anyone that international bankers scheme to profit from wars?
cycle of debt often starts with selling weapons. Governments go in debt to
buy weapons. The weapons manufacturers make money on the sale and the
bankers profit from interest on the weapons-generated debt. The weapon sales accelerate if the weapons buyer, usually a
government, is faced with a perceived or real threat. The country that buys the most weapons is the U.S. (total weapons purchases exceed
the combined sum of all other nations). Not surprisingly,
government officials, paid experts (often former government officials), and
corporate owned media promote calls for war as agents of this agenda
to drive up U.S. debt.
Washington and other founders of our country had first-hand experience with how
banking families in
Europe bankrolled military actions for their personal
gain. In his farewell address on
September 17, 1796
George Washington warned Americans to be on guard against alliances with Europe.
The history of how bankers have started and continued wars is
painfully long. We need only look at past wars, to see a trail of blood money.
In the Middle Ages the Knights Templars, most known as a military arm for
expanding Christianity, performed the role as a private central bank for the
Crusades. Relatively few Knights Templars were soldiers and most members worked
in their banking business.
Knights Templars and other financiers of war are not representative of
Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. The financiers of war are
international and value money more than human life.
banking dynasty is highlighted in
this article because they became the leading banking force as a result of
Wellington's war with Napolean, have profited from numerous conflicts, and led
the creation of the Federal Reserve.1 Their involvement in World War
I is a classic example of war profiteering.
How World War I
As with most wars, World
War I started many years before the first shot was fired. In 1870, the Franco-Prussian War resulted in
France's defeat by
Germany. After the war, the triple alliance was formed consisting of Germany,
Austro-Hungary and Italy. Another factor was the policy of Weltpolitic or the
global imperial policy of Kaiser Wilhelm the Second. The Moroccan crisis of 1905
to 1911 also was a factor leading to World War I. There were additional wars
that involved Serbia and led to increased tension with
On June 28, 1914,
the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was
assassinated in Sarajevo. The Black Hand Serbian secret society, with
connections to powerful English and French intelligence, took credit. World War
I had begun. France, England and Austria took on the
war debt. While many paid the price with at least 20 million killed, war profiteers made a
still debate the causes of World War I. This is to be expected, as the
perspective of the victor is different than that of the vanquished. Furthermore, bankers seek to have their roles downplayed or
outright dismissed. To distort the truth, governments and wealthy private
interests have a vested interest in funding historians to promote a favorable
version of history.
Wilson claimed the main cause of World War I was the wealthy
had too much control over Germany, Russia and Austria. Lenin went on
record that the banking merchants orchestrated the war.2 We now know
that at least at this high level, both Wilson and Lenin were correct. Financial
interests, cloaked in good intentions and nationalism, fueled World War I.
How did the
United States get
pulled into World War I? Citizens of the U.S. were successfully fooled to enter the war in
1917 by a series of cleverly orchestrated efforts. President Woodrow Wilson was
directly involved in the deceptions and formally sanctioned the U.S.
participation in the war in a secret agreement with England on March 9, 1916. We
know about this agreement today
because the agreement was leaked and confirmed by Sir
Edward Grey, Ambassador Walter Hines Page, C. Hartley Grattan, and Colonel
Edward Mandell House.
The focus of this article is
on the centerpiece of the pro-war propaganda which preceded the 1916 secret
agreement and involved sinking a passenger
ship named the Lusitania.
and Woodrow Wilson, in an operation financed by the major banking houses,
arranged for the shipment of weapons on the Lusitania in May of 1915. The
Lusitania luxury ocean liner was owned by the Cunard Steamship Line Shipping
Company and officially part of the British auxiliary navy. The ship's
owners were paid
£218,000 a year (£150,000 for reserve military
£68,000 to carry Royal mail). As an auxiliary naval ship, the
Lusitania was under orders from the British Admiralty to ram any German ship
seeking to inspect her cargo.
In 1915, it was
law to put weapons on a passenger ship traveling to England or Germany.
Three German spies
attempted to confirm that the 90 tons of unrefrigerated butter destined for a
British naval base were weapons and ammunition.3
The spies were detained on the
ship. The weapons loaded on the Lusitania were seen by the German dock workers
and reported to the German embassy. To warn Americans about the weapons
shipment, the Imperial German Embassy attempted to place an advertisement in 50
East Coast newspapers. The ads were printed with a date of April 22, 1915, but
the US State Department blocked all the ads except one. George Viereck, the man
who placed the ads for the embassy, protested to the State Department on April
26 that the ads were blocked. Viereck met with Secretary of State William
Jennings Bryan and produced copies of the Lusitania's supplementary manifests.
Bryan, impressed by the evidence that the Lusitania had carried weapons, cleared publication of the warning. Someone higher
than the Secretary of State, likely Colonel House and President Wilson,
overruled Bryan. Nonetheless one ad slipped past the State Department censorship. The
single that slipped past the government censors appeared in the Des Moines Register
(and is shown on the left).
The warning read: "NOTICE! Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded
that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and
her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British
Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German
Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are
liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war
zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk. IMPERIAL
APRIL 22, 1915."
Captain Dow, the Lusitania captain immediately before Captain Turner, resigned
on March 8, 1915 because he was no longer willing "to carry the responsibility
of mixing passengers with munitions or contraband."4
Captain Dow had a close call just two days earlier and was aware the rules of
naval warfare changed in October 1914 when Churchill issued orders that British
merchant ships with munitions or contraband must ram U-boats. Prior to this
change by Churchill, both England and Germany adhered to Cruiser Rules. Cruiser
Rules enabled crews and passengers to escape in lifeboats before being fired on.
With the new Churchill ram rules, the German U-boats could no longer surface to
issue a warning and fired while submerged. Churchill explained his ruthlessness
"The first British countermove, made on my responsibility...was to deter the
Germans from surface attack. The submerged U-boat had to rely increasingly on
underwater attack and thus ran the greater risk of mistaking neutral for British
ships and of drowning neutral crews and thus embroiling Germany with other Great
The above combined with the next Churchill quote speaks volumes about what
really happened and why.
"There are many kinds of maneuvers in war...There are maneuvers in time, in
diplomacy, in mechanics, in psychology; all of which are removed from the
but react often decisively upon it...The maneuver which brings an ally into the
field is as serviceable as that which wins a great battle."6
May 7, 1915, the
Lusitania slowed to 75% speed hoping the English escort vessel the Juno would
Unknown to Captain Turner of the Lusitania, Winston Churchill had ordered the
Juno to return to port. Churchill’s order left the Lusitania alone and
unprotected in a known area with U boats. To put this in perspective, England
had deciphered the German communications code on
December 14, 1914.
The level of detail known by the British Admiralty was so precise that U boat
names and general locations were known. For example, the British Admiralty knew U-30
left the area for
on May 4th and the U-27 left the area
because of jammed blow planes.7
In a 1981 book,
Seven Days to Disaster: The Sinking of the Lusitania by Des Hickey and Gus
Smith, they reported that one of the crewmen on the U-20 responsible for passing the
order to fire to the torpedo room was Charles Voegele. Voegele refused to kill
civilians of a neutral country, and upon returning to Germany was
court-martialed and imprisoned for three years. One torpedo was fired on May 7 and the
warhead's 300 pounds of explosives detonated upon contact with the Lusitania.
The Lusitania’s Captain Turner reported the first explosion sounded "like a
heavy door being slammed shut" and was followed by a much larger explosion that rocked the ship. Turner wrote in the log "an unusually
heavy detonation."8 The Lusitania sunk 15-18 minutes later.
May 28, 1915,
Germany's official response to the U.S. government's protest states the German
government has no intention to attack U.S. vessels which are not
guilty of hostile acts.9 The Imperial German
government wrote the Lusitania "was one of the largest and
fastest English commerce steamers, constructed with government funds as
auxiliary cruisers, and is expressly included in the navy list published by the
British Admiralty. It is, moreover, known to the Imperial government from
reliable information furnished by its officials and neutral passengers that for
some time practically all the more valuable English merchant vessels have been
provided with guns, ammunition and other weapons, and reinforced with a crew
specially practiced in manning guns. According to reports at hand here, the
when she left New York undoubtedly had guns on board which were mounted under
decks and masked." The official letter from the German government also spells
out that the Lusitania had 5,400 cases of ammunition that would be used to kill
German soldiers. An exceptionally noteworthy section of the letter states the
British merchant marine ships received secret instruction in February by the
British Admiralty to seek protection behind neutral flags and when so disguised
attack German submarines by ramming them.
The German official
response that war contraband was on board explains the second explosion.10
denials, weapon are recovered
families involved and Britain's leaders, even a century later, still fear the
negative repercussions from Americans when they learn they were tricked into
World War I.
For decades, the
British and American governments have denied that there were weapons on the
Lusitania. The site was declared a protective site, denying divers access. To further
frustrate the ability to determine what the
carried, since 1946 the Royal Navy repeatedly dropped depth charges on top of
the Lusitania as a site for target practice.
In 1968, to keep
the truth secret, the British Secret Service unsuccessfully attempted to buy the
salvage rights to the
Lusitania. In 1993 PBS Online visited the wreck
and found previous visitors had tampered with the evidence.11 While
the British government aggressively worked to distort the truth, weapons were
confirmed in July 2006 when Victor Quirke of the Cork Sub Aqua Club found 15,000
rounds of .303 bullets in the bow section of the ship.
April 2, 2007,
Cyber Diver News Network reported the American owner of the Lusitania,
F. Gregg Bemis, Jr., won the
case to conduct salvage operations almost a century after the sinking. The Arts
and Heritage Ministry did not protest the use of the Lusitania as a target for
British depth charges but did "help" respect the sanctity of of the site by
The first casualty
of war is the truth
Authors have written for many years that
1,201 people were sacrificed on the
Lusitania to create
a reason for the
to enter World War I. Historian Howard Zinn wrote in A People's History of
the United States, that the Lusitania carried 1,248 cases of 3-inch shells,
4,927 boxes of cartridges (1,000 rounds in each box), and 2,000 more cases of
small-arms ammunition. Colin Simpson claims Churchill conspired to put the Lusitania
in danger with the hope of sparking an incident to bring America into World War
I. Historian Patrick Beesely supports Simpson's assessment.12
Hitchens' book, Blood Class and Nostalgia, further proves the
responsibility of First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill in a deliberate
action to pull America into World War I. History professor Ralph Raico and senior scholar of the
Ludwig von Mises Institute notes13 Churchill wrote the week prior to
the Lusitania sinking that it was "most important to attract neutral shipping to
our shores, in the hopes especially of embroiling the United States with
The two sides of
the Goetz medal
Winston Churchill did say and do many
things to pull
into World War I. He attempted to mislead both the British and American public
was premeditated. Churchill did this for several reasons including to
distract people from reports that the Juno destroyer protection was removed. He
attributed the lack of destroyer protection as being confused with internal
disputes within the Admiralty about a bumbled Gallipoli campaign in the Ottoman
Empire. His Lusitania war propaganda included misinforming the public that
multiple torpedoes were fired to explain how the ship sunk in 18 minutes and
further fuel hatred for the German people. Churchill also had over 250,000 reproductions
Karl Goetz medal made. Most
descriptions of the medal show only the reverse side of the Goetz medal with the
Lusitania sinking and the inscription, "The liner Lusitania sunk by a German
May 5, 1915." Goetz corrected the date to
May 7, 1915 in a
second edition, but the incorrect date was the version reproduced by Churchill
as proof of a premeditated attack on a civilian ship.
A closer look at the above medal reveals the
inscription "No Contraband Goods!" and shows weapons falling off the deck into
The truth of the Goetz medal's meaning was
never to celebrate the killing of civilians or reward the sailors involved for
murdering civilians but to condemn the greed of the financiers who orchestrated
tragedy.14 This accurate interpretation of the medal requires
knowledge of the front side of the medal. The front shows a skeleton representing
death behind a Cunard customer service window. The tickets sold in
the transaction symbolizes the money not only made by Cunard, but by all
financiers who tricked passengers to go onboard. On the medal the German
Ambassador to the U.S., Count Johann-Heinrich von Bernstorff, wears a hat and
raises a finger to warn passengers that weapons are on the ship. A person next
to him reads a newspaper with the headline "U Boat Danger" representing the warning written by the German government. Above the ambassador's image are the
words "Geschaft Uber Alles" which means "Business Above All."
Karl Goetz "satirical medal" series, numbered by author G.W. Kienast
sequentially from K-131 through K-306 is a subset of over 800 medals. The K in
the number means Kienast. The medals were produced as World War I progressed but
the K number, while close, is not the exact sequence of events.
The “satirical medal”
series are unique in that they communicate the history of World War I both from
the German perspective and the international banking elite. The series is broken
out into sub-groups:
K-131 to K-213 World War I
K-214 to K-260 Revolution
K-261 to K-301 French Occupation
K-302 to K-306 Hitler Putsch and Rebuilding
Authentic Karl Goetz
productions often have a third side with K.GOETZ on the the edge of the medal.
The popular Goetz’s medals were popular
instilled national pride in Germany. The Churchhill reproduction of the
Lusitania medal was accompanied by war
propaganda cartoons, posters, post cards and postage stamps.
Many are willing to be "fronts" and
"bagmen" for a price
The "Business Above All" condemns JP Morgan and his
work as a frontman for
Lessons like the French Revolution taught global banking
families that a
lasting presence requires an ongoing disinformation campaign to
conceal their wealth and true nature of their operations. JP
Morgan (1837 -1913) partnered with George Peabody who worked
with city of London banks including Barings and Rothschilds.
In 1845 George Peabody was personally involved in previously secret
conspiracies including bribing the famous orator, Daniel
Webster, to make speeches supporting debt repayment because
Maryland, Pennsylvania and other states terminated interest
payments to European banks.15
The expensive terminated interest payments resulted in the
creation of American "fronts" for the great banking families of Europe.
Morgan led what became the largest American
banking dynasty. He profited greatly during the Civil War and
one scandal involved selling government rifles that he bought
from the government for $3.50 back at $22 per rifle. Another
profitable trade was selling his personal yacht, the Corsair
(shown in the picture to the left), to the U.S.
during the Spanish-American War. JP Morgan did not need the
Corsair as his interest grew to acquiring larger ships including
the White Star Line. In 1934 the White Star Line
merged with Cunard and was renamed Cunard White Star Line. In
1950, the company was renamed Cunard Line.
JP Morgan's son, JP Morgan, Jr.
(1867 - 1943) was a key owner of both the White Star Line and
the Cunard White Star Line.
Morgan, Jr. was a Rothschild frontman when he helped create the
Federal Reserve and bring the U.S. into World War I. For example
in 1914 he loaned $12,000,000 to Russia and in 1915 he loaned
$50,000,000 to France. A key reason beyond preventing terminated
interest payments that banking families want
"fronts" and "bagmen" is war profiteering sometimes leads to
revenge. In 1915, JP Morgan, Jr.
was almost murdered by Frank Holt. Holt claimed he wanted to
stop the war profiteering that fueled World War I. Holt's
condemnation of JP Morgan war profiteering was correct as almost all weapons
purchased by the U.S. and Britain were acquired through a JP
Morgan company. JP Morgan loans to the Allies in World War I are
estimated at $500,000,000.16
In 1857 the Peabody and Morgan American banking partnership
was directly influenced by the Bank of England. The
Bank of England
provided an £800,000
bailout package in return for concessions to curtail competition.17
Over time the Rothschilds acquired stock and gained control. A similar
strategy enabled the Rothschilds to take the helm of the Rockefeller flagship,
Chase Manhattan. The Rothschilds signaled the Rockefellers were subordinate when
in 2000 JP Morgan executives assumed the key management positions of JPMorgan
Chase. Today, the lead Rothschild American front man is JPMorgan Chase's chief
executive Jamie Dimon. Dimon is ultimately subordinate to
N M Rothschild & Sons Limited chairman David de Rothschild.
Winston Churchill and Nathan Mayer
when in charge of the Admiralty, worked closely with his benefactor Sir Nathan
Mayer Rothschild. There are a few notable Nathan Mayer Rothschilds in history,
so the following is provided to prevent confusion. Nathan Mayer Rothschild
(1840-1915) was the nephew of Anthony Nathan de Rothschild (1810-1876) who had no
sons but was the son of Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836). Nathan Mayer
Rothschild was the fourth child of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812) who
founded the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Rothschild died before the
sunk and was part of a syndicate with J.P. Morgan working to buy up the North
Atlantic shipping lines. His intelligence agents in the U.S. warned that
Germany's émigrés to America, absent a Lusitania-like disaster, would be
effective at keeping the U.S. out of World War.18 Before his death,
"Lord" Nathan Mayer Rothschild had access to the admiralty reports on German
British Commander Joseph Kenworthy was present in the high-command map room as
the Lusitania headed toward a known U-boat position. He had been previously
asked by Churchill to write a paper on the political fallout of an ocean liner
being sunk and killing American passengers. In 1927 he wrote, The Freedom of the
Seas revealing "The Lusitania was sent at considerably reduced speed into an
area where a U-boat was known to be waiting and with her escorts withdrawn."
Colonel House, meeting with King George V just hours before the Lusitania was
sunk, discussed the likely American reaction to the King's question "Suppose
they should sink the Lusitania with American passengers on board...."19
leads to war being declared in 1917
Berlin announced on
January 31, 1917 that its submarines would sink all ships aiding Britain. The
Berlin announcement, combined with the previous
sinking, was still not enough for
to enter the war. The British Intelligence service manufactured another
bombshell in the form of a telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur
Zimmerman to the German Minister to
The telegram, presented to Woodrow Wilson on
February 24, 1917,
offered Mexico money to attack the U.S. The numerous British propaganda
campaigns ultimately proved successful and on April 6, 1917 the U.S. did declare
war on Germany. This technique was used as recently as 2002, when a
British intelligence report20 helped fool Americans that
had weapons of Mass Destruction.
How does this
relate to current wars?
the 1930s when the identities of the Federal Reserve designers began to surface. On May 23,
McFadden brought formal charges against the Board of the
Federal Reserve Bank system, where he accused them of war profiteering.
He said: "Some people who think that
the Federal Reserve Banks
are United States
Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people
of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign
customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and
predatory money lender. In that dark crew of financial pirates there are those
who would cut a man's throat to get a dollar out of his pocket; there are those
who send money into states to buy votes to control our legislatures; there are
those who maintain International propaganda for the purpose of deceiving us into
granting of new concessions which will permit them to cover up their past
misdeeds and set again in motion their gigantic train of crime.
private credit monopolies were deceitfully and disloyally foisted upon this
Country by the bankers who came here from Europe and repaid our hospitality
by undermining our American institutions. Those bankers took money out of this
Country to finance Japan in a war against Russia…Mr. Chairman, there should be
no partisanship in matters concerning banking and currency affairs in this
Country, and I do not speak with any.”21
November 21, 1933,
Franklin Delano Roosevelt who had been President Woodrow Wilson’s assistant secretary of the
Navy, wrote to Colonel House:
truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the
larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson,
and I am not wholly excepting the administration of W.W. (Woodrow Wilson). The
country is going through a repetition of
with the Bank of the United States -- only on a far bigger broader basis."22
Colonel House knew the truth of the matter because he and his father, Thomas
William House, were confidential American agents of banking interests in London
believed to be the Rothschilds. Colonel House is famous in history for being the
person that selected Woodrow Wilson to be the 1913 Democratic party candidate
The Federal Reserve private
banking cartel enforced by public law was replicated on a global scale with the
creation of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).24
BIS was established by the Hague agreements of 1930 and is headquartered in
Basel, Switzerland. The privately owned BIS coordinates with 55 member central
banks include the Fed. The BIS owners facilitate global monetary control by
helping manage Gresham’s Law that bad money drives out good.25
Bad money refers to fiat money that is not backed by assets with value such as
money backed by gold or silver.
In summary, the
people who profit from war make a "killing"
The Federal Reserve, evolved as a "front"
for European banking families following failed past attempts to seize control of
the Bank of the United States and the refusal in 1845 when several states
elected to discontinue repaying debt to foreign banks. The European banking
families needed their private banking cartel to be enforced by U.S. law and
achieved this with their design of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.26
The cycle of
debt often starts with selling weapons. Governments go in debt to buy weapons.
The weapons manufacturers make money on the sale and the bankers make a
financial "killing" on the interest from the weapons-generated debt. The weapon
sales accelerate if a government is faced with a perceived or real threat. False
reports are produced, often by the hidden hand of war profiteers, to trick the
citizens of a country to support the call for war. The
country in the world that buys the most weapons is the U.S. To understand how debt is driven up by war today, see the
Iraq for Sale.27
surprisingly, we are heading toward a cliff due to a privately owned central
bank with owners that benefit from military spending. When people understand
that without economic justice peace is not possible, a brighter future is
Peace be with you!
here for the notes for this article.
a former senior officer at Metlife and led personal financial planning for Prudential and Direct Advice.
He is the
author of Perfect Money
Planning. His education in finance includes a BA, MBA, ChFC, and CLU. His
earlier experience as an Army intelligence officer has helped him accurately
explain U.S. foreign policies well in
advance of the corporate media. In his book,
American Hiroshima, he explained the Bush administration may manufacture a
catalyst to justify attacking Iran and the solutions needed to protect our
democracy. He does not
support nationalizing banks or the $700 billion wealth transfer scheme but
does support fiscal responsibility including the issuance of money by the U.S.
Images in this
part of the article have purchased rights or are Fair Use Title 17 Section 107
non-profit educational use. For notes and source information,
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