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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Heroes of the Generational Freedom Movement, Part 3: Smedley Butler

Heroes of the Generational Freedom Movement, Part 3: Major General Smedley D. Butler
One Who Actually Frightened the New World Order
Brandon Dean
Thus Always to Tyrants
March 16, 2008

"I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force--the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was part of a racket all the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service."

-Smedley Butler

"For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out."
-Smedley Butler, from War is a Racket

Meet Smedley Butler, the New Boss, not the same as the Old Boss

United States Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler was a force to be reckoned with. He started his military career at the age of 16 at the outbreak of the Spanish American War. He lied about his age, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. When he retired, he was the most decorated Marine in history up to that point. Among his many commendations were the Marine Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, twice. [note-there is only one other Marine in history to win the Medal of Honor twice, whose name was Dan Daly.]
Butler was born to a Quaker family in West Chester, Pennsylvania, on July 30, 1881. His father's name was Thomas Butler, and he was a lawyer, judge, and 16 term congressman. During the administrations of Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding, Thomas Butler served as Chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee.
Butler was a highly intelligent man who always thought things through. He was known for his steady glare, which itself demanded authority. He had almost bloodshot eyes, through which one could see his suffering and experience, and also his compassion for man. He eventually realized that he had, in all the wars and battles and confrontations he had been involved with, been the dupe of international bankers. He wrote a pamphlet titled "War is a Racket," which was the first well known writings to expose the military industrial complex, or the New World Order. He traveled the country giving the essay as a speech, and became fervently anti-war, attempting to keep the US out of any further foreign wars, and other conflicts. He also exposed an attempted coup of the US government in 1933 to the congress. More about that later...

Butler, the genuine hero
"And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public -- even before a Senate investigatory body."
-from War is a Racket

Butler was twice wounded fighting in the Boxer Rebellion. He earned his Brevet Medal during the battle of Tientsin, when he dragged a severely wounded soldier back into the trench. While he was out of the trench himself, he was shot in the thigh, but continued to help the wounded man to medical attention before being attended to himself. After he was shot, another soldier attempted to help both of them, and was himself shot...
After the Boxer Rebellion, Butler was stationed in Honduras and Nicaragua, guarding US corporate interests.
His first medal of honor was earned when he was sent to Vera Cruz, Mexico, during the US occupation in 1914 (the US has been busy down in South and Central America for a long time, haven't they?). However, the prestige was slightly maligned by the fact that 56 soldiers won the Medal of Honor during the same battle: one Army soldier, nine Marines, and 46 Navy sailors.
In fact, now Major Butler actually tried to RETURN his Medal of Honor, explaining that he felt he did not deserve it! He was told by his superiors that he would keep it and wear it...

Major Smedley Butler, second from right, during the Vera Cruz campaign

In 1915, Butler was sent to Haiti to help fend off the Cacos rebels. This was perhaps the most intense period of Butler's military career. He was a warrior and a master at warfare, and he apparently had no fear. He even led his men into battle once while suffering from a 104 degree fever. The man was pretty much unstoppable.
Butler was on patrol in Haiti with a mounted force of 44 marines, when a Cacos force of about 400 rebels ambushed them. Things were definitely looking grim, but Butler held them together. They held their perimeter from penetration throughout the night. In the morning, the marines managed a full frontal attack from three sides, surprising and scattering the rebels. It was an amazing feat, and Sergeant Major Dan Daly (the only other Marine to ever win two Medals of Honor, remember) won his second Medal of Honor in the process.
Butler won his second Medal of Honor a few months later. The Cacos rebels had been sequestered to Fort Riviere, an old French fort. It sat high on a rocky mountain, surrounded on three sides by cliffs, and only reachable by a dangerous rocky slope. Despite superiors wanting to send a whole regiment backed by artillery to take the fort, Butler convinced the commanding colonel to let him attack with only four companies of 24 men each and a couple machine gun squads. Butler and his men took the fort, and he won his second Medal of Honor. He also won the Haitian Medal of Honor for the same assault.

D.J. Neary, "The Capture of Fort Riviere" pictured are Butler, Sgt Iams, and Pvt. Gross (USMC art collection)

During World War I, Butler was not detached to the front, but was promoted to Brigadier General, and given command of Camp Pontanezen in France. He vastly improved the unsanitary conditions there, and still managed to get a Distinguished Service Medal, and the French Black Star. He did this by lugging a duckboard, used to line trenches, four miles uphill to lay on the muddy ground under the tents of his men. Butler was well known for this, and his men called him "Old Duckbill." General John Pershing even commissioned a patch of a duckboard for Butler's units...
His superiors knew how courageous Butler was, and they knew he was a great leader, but they also considered him reckless, which is probably why he was not given command at the front during the war.

After World War I, Butler became commander of Fort Quantico until 1924, when he became Director of Public Safety for the city of Philadelphia. In this capacity, he was in charge of running the Police and Fire Departments of the city.
Butler couldn't even be held back in civilian life. Within days of taking office, Butler raided over 900 speakeasies. Soon afterward, he hit the hangouts of the elite of Philadelphia-the Ritz Carlton, and the Union League!!
Within days of raiding these elite speakeasies, Butler was fired! hahaha!! Of the whole affair, Butler was quoted as saying: "cleaning up Philadelphia was worse than any battle I was ever in."

No More War for Gen. Butler
"So much for the dead -- they have paid their part of the war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded -- they are paying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too -- they paid with heartbreaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and their families to don the uniform of Uncle Sam -- on which a profit had been made. They paid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilled while others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities. They paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they were hungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in the rain -- with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby."
-from War is a Racket

Butler at a speaking engagement in the 1930's

Butler had many civilian enemies, but almost no military enemies. He was heavily revered within the Corps, to the ire of his civilian enemies... His father the congressman also held much sway. But Butler was an outspoken man, and he would publicly criticize the powers that be, in a way which severely upset those powers. He spoke publicly of Italian Dictator Mussolini at a politically tense moment, publicizing the fact, among other things, that Mussolini had recently ran over a small child in his car, yet sped off in a hit-and-run.
One of his political enemies was President Hoover, who hated Butler, and brought him up on courts-martial over the blunder. Butler was forced to publicly apologize (remember what happened to Patton during WWII?), and thus the courts-martial was reduced to a reprimand. But the General himself was not amused...
After he was passed up as Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1931, though he was senior, Butler became seriously disenchanted with politics. His father was dead by the then, and Butler no longer had strong political protection from his enemies, which he richly deserved and needed. He retired soon after the insult, and gradually became more and more upset about the situation in this country. Eventually, he became obsessed with stemming the tide of war, and I'm here to tell you--he did stop one in 1933.

The White House Putsch, or the "Business Plot"
"Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.
In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.
Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?
-from War is a Racket

By virtue of being the most decorated Marine in history, and possibly the most beloved and respected high level officer in all the US armed forces at that time [not to mention he had been involved in a number of coups in foreign nations (thus having experience)], a group of international industrialists and bankers approached Butler in 1933 with a proposal to overthrow the US government by leading a force of 500,000 soldiers against Washington, D.C. They obviously had no clue who they were dealing with. Butler replied that he would get his own army of 500,000 of his own and annihilate the insurgents. He was a little more subtle when he appeared before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, exposing the plot:
[BUTLER:] I said, "The idea of this great group of soldiers, then, is to sort of frighten him, is it? Cause if so, well gee golly gosh I wouldn't want to be on that end of the pole. We're not in Kansas anymore!"
"No, no, no; not to frighten him. This is to sustain him when others assault him."
I said, "Well, I do not know about that. How would the President explain it?"
He said: "He will not necessarily have to explain it, because we are going to help him out. Now, did it ever occur to you that the President is overworked? We might have an Assistant President, somebody to take the blame; and if things do not work out, he can drop him."
He went on to say that it did not take any constitutional change to authorize another Cabinet official, somebody to take over the details of the office-take them off the President's shoulders. He mentioned that the position would be a secretary of general affairs-a sort of a super-secretary.
CHAIRMAN: A secretary of general affairs?
BUTLER: That is the term used by him-or a secretary of general welfare-I cannot recall which. I came out of the interview with that name in my head. I got that idea from talking to both of them, you see [MacGuire and Clark]. They had both talked about the same kind of relief that ought to be given the President, and he [MacGuire] said: "You know, the American people will swallow that. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President's health is failing. Everybody can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second." Archer, Jules (1973), p. 155.
General Butler accused not only MacGuire and one Bill Doyle of being his contacts for the plotters, but claimed the financiers of the plot were to be US Steel, Standard Oil (Rockefeller), Chase Manhattan Bank, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. A BBC documentary in 2003 called "The White House Coup" even had evidence pointing to the omnipresent Prescott Bush, progenitor of both Bush presidents later to come, as having been involved in the financing of the plot.

Four legendary Marines and Medal of Honor winners. Sergeant Major John Henry Quick, Major General Wendell Cushing Neville, Lieutenant General John Archer Lejune, Major General Smedley Darlington Butler. (Marine Corps Archives.)

Butler was told that the half million troops would march to D.C. and publicly declare that President Roosevelt's life was in danger, and they were there to protect him. Butler was to be declared the "supersecretary" (as stated above), to be controlled, of course, by the "powers-that-be." The bankers had 30 million dollars with which to finance the affair, and when all was said and done Butler's would be the highest power. Butler was not stupid, of course, and he was a patriot, so he didn't fall for it. He marched right to congress. He put his life on the line, and apparently didn't even think twice about it.
Of course, all those implicated by Butler denied any sort of involvement. Congress treated it seriously enough (at least at first), but the press dismissed it, as you might have guessed. The only real media coverage he got was scathing.

War is a Racket
" The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achieve disarmament to prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and less for any potential foe."
--from War is a Racket

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC

Needless to say, this set of events affected him greatly. He wrote a book/pamphlet entitled War is a Racket--for which he is now well known in the alternative political spectrum--in 1933-35, to inform the American public of their peril. He traveled around the country giving various versions as a lecture. He was affilliated with various anti-war organizations, including one I'm not sure I approve of, called The American League Against War and Fascism. Many people considered it a communist front, playing the left card off the right, which is possible (and Butler was more of a liberal than a conservative politically, possibly due to his father's influence), yet Butler served only as a spokesperson, and was definitely not one of the organizers.


The fact of the matter is that the White House Putsch was nothing more than a ploy. The New World Order controllers never planned to carry it out. They were obviously going to have it fail, using Butler as the scapegoat, to bolster Roosevelt's image as the man who crushed a rebellion. An ancillary benefit for the New World Order would be to instill paranoia in the American public, in an attempt to drive America into Communism, not Fascism.
So in that sense I believe Butler to have been naive politically. He was very vocally anti-fascist, having somewhat socialist and liberal views.
But his political beliefs matter not at all when you consider the love of humanity this man obviously had. Please read War is a Racket (linked below) to understand how much nerve this man actually had. He had many dangerous enemies, and he knew it. He just failed to see the global game being played. And despite these powerful and dangerous enemies, Butler would not shut up, and many people believe that he was murdered on June 21st, 1940. The cause of death was vague--possible cancer in the gastro-intestinal tract, but no tumors were found. Many believe he was poisoned, much like General George Patton five years later.
In any case, the man showed unbelievable courage which few others have shown in this nation's history. He was one of the true heroes of the generational freedom movement which battles on today, and I revere his memory for that.

"Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At nights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they lay home in their beds and tossed sleeplessly -- his father, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.
When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they suffered too -- as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too, contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers and shipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought Liberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armistice in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices.
And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying."
--from War is a Racket

Smedley Butler at his retirement ceremony

{note--part four of the Heroes of the Generational Freedom Movement series will be about Hunter S. Thompson}

copyright Brandon Dean 2008


amazing audio documentary about Smedley Butler at

War is a Racket, by Smedley Butler

the Smedley Butler Society

short biography of Smedley Butler

books by Smedley Butler

learn more about Butler's post-retirement activites

Excerpts from The Plot to Seize the White House, 1973, by Jules Archer

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"I, like the arch-fiend, bore a hell within me, and finding myself unsympathized with, wished to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and enjoyed the ruin." --Mary Shelley, from Frankenstein