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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Drug Syndicate

Jonathan Schwartz at A Tiny Revolution asks: "Which U.S. president's family fortune came from opium?"

Another reader said it was Calvin Coolidge, to which Jonathan replied that he had another president in mind.

After a little googling, I begin to wonder if the question should be "Which US president's family fortune DIDN'T come from opium?" But if I can believe the blather here, the correct answer would be FDR, through his grandfather Warren Delano Jr. There also seem to be ties to the Bushies through HW's China and CIA connections, but Jonathan did say "president's" and not "presidents'."

The lead comment on that site suggests that John Kerry's great-great-grandfather James Murray Forbes made a fortune in the opium trade. Another comment mentions that FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Kerry and the Bushes are ALL related to each other.

And then there's this from a history of Skull and Bones:
In 1823, Samuel Russell established Russell and Company for the purpose of acquiring opium in Turkey and smuggling it to China. Russell and Company merged with the Perkins (Boston) syndicate in 1830 and became the primary American opium smuggler. Many of the great American and European fortunes were built on the "China" (opium) trade.

One of Russell and Company's Chief of Operations in Canton was Warren Delano, Jr., grandfather of Franklin Roosevelt. Other Russell partners included John Cleve Green (who financed Princeton), Abiel Low (who financed construction of Columbia), Joseph Coolidge and the Perkins, Sturgis and Forbes families. (Coolidge's son organized the United Fruit company, and his grandson, Archibald C. Coolidge, was a co-founder of the Council on Foreign Relations.)
It would appear that many or most of our presidents and other leading politicians are part of the same crime family which made fortunes in opium, wars, and opium wars.

Those opium wars include the ongoing quagmire in Afghanistan, where the removal of the Taliban has made poppy growing profitable again.