Independence Day without Independence! The liberty of the seas denied us for the peaceful Commerce of our entire land and granted us only for the murderous trafficking of a few men!
Independence Day has dawned for us in alien yet friendly land. It has brought to us at least the independence of our minds.
Free from the abominations of the most dastardly campaign of falsehood that ever disgraced those who began and those who believe it, we have stripped ourselves of the rags of many perilous illusions. We see America as a whole, and we see it with a fatal and terrible clarity.
We see that once again our liberties of thought, of speech, of intercourse, of trade, are threatened, nay, already seized by the one ancient enemy that can never be our friend.
With humiliation we behold our principles, our sense of justice trodden underfoot. We see the wild straining of the felon arms that would drag our land into the abyss of the giant Conspiracy and Crime.
We see the foul alliance of gold, murderous iron and debauched paper to which we have been sold.
We know that our pretenses and ambitions as heralds of peace are monstrous, so long as we profit through war and human agony.
We see these rivers of blood that have their source in our mills of slaughter.
The Day of Independence has dawned.
It is a solemn and momentous hour for America,
It is a day on which our people must speak with clear and inexorable voice, or sit silent in shame.
It is the great hour in which we dare not celebrate our first Declaration of Independence, because the time has come when we must proclaim a new one over the corpse of that which has perished.
Berlin, July 4th, 1915.
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The League of Truth, however, was but one branch of the intricate propaganda system. While it was financed almost entirely by German-Americans living in Germany who retained their American passports to keep themselves, or their children, out of the army, all publications for this bureau were approved by the Foreign Office censors. Germans, connected with the organisation, were under direction of the General Staff or Navy.
In order to have the propaganda really successful some seeds of discontent had to be sown in the United States, in South America and Mexico as well as in Spain and other European neutral countries. For this outside propaganda, money and an organisation were needed. The Krupp ammunition interests supplied the money and the Foreign Office the organisation.
For nearly two years the American press regularly printed despatches from the Overseas News Agency. Some believed they were “official.” This was only half true. The Krupps had been financing this news association. The government had given its support and the two wireless towers at Sayville, Long Island, and Tuckerton, N. J., were used as “footholds” on American soil. These stations were just as much a part of the Krupp works as the factories at Essen or the shipyards of Kiel. They were to disseminate the Krupp-fed, Krupp-owned, Krupp-controlled news, of the Overseas News Agency.