From War is a Racket
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
From Why Assume There Will Be a 2020 election? General Butler and the ‘Wall Street Putsch’ Revisited
The Wall Street Putsch is Launched
These financiers needed someone like Butler to channel the rage of the striking veterans of WWI across America who had been fighting for the bonus pay promised them years earlier but which didn’t exist due to the 1929 collapse. A force of hundreds of thousands of disgruntled seasoned soldiers was exactly what was needed to overthrow Roosevelt, but leadership was sorely lacking, and General Butler was their man for the job. He was a war hero who was seen as honest and loved by the veterans. He was perfect.
Under the guiding hand of JP Morgan’s Grayson Prevost Murphy, two representatives of the American Legion (Commander Bill Doyle and bond salesman Gerald MacGuire) approached Butler in July 1933 for the job of rallying the Legion’s veterans and began dropping hints of a larger coup plot. Butler became suspicious, but continued playing along with the plan to see how far this went up the ladder of power (1).
Over the course of the next several months, Butler discovered that America’s financial elite centered around John Pierpont Morgan Jr., the Harrimans, the Melons, Warburgs, Rockefellers and Duponts were at the heart of the plot. These men used their agents such as Gerald MacGuire a Morgan-affiliated bond salesman, Democratic Party controllers John W. Davis and Thomas Lamont (both occupying directorships in the House of Morgan), Robert Sterling Clark (heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune), Grayson Prevost Murphy and Harriman Family investment banker Prescott Bush. All of these characters had become well known “investors” in European fascism, owned the biggest media platforms including Fortune and Time Magazine (both of which promoted Mussolini extensively for years), and controlled the levers of industry.
Luckily, the 1932-1934 Pecora Commission exposed these forces publicly as the architects of the great depression, making their ability to acquire popular support and sympathy more than a little difficult.
Outlining his Committee’s findings Pecora had written publicly: “Undoubtedly, this small group of highly placed financiers, controlling the very springs of economic activity, holds more real power than any similar group in the U.S.A.”
Butler Blows the Whistle
When the time was right, Butler blew the whistle by approaching the Special Committee on Un-American Activities (the McCormack-Dickstein Committee) which began an investigation on November 20, 1934. Unlike the Committee on Un-American Activities which made its reputation destroying patriotic lives under the communist witch hunt of McCarthyism, this earlier version was aligned to FDR and dedicated solely to identifying Nazi activity in America.
At first sceptical of the general’s claims, the committee soon substantiated everything over the course of a month long investigation and made their findings public to FDR and congress on December 29, 1934. An invaluable part of the hearings were the testimonies of journalist Paul Comly French whom Butler recruited to act as the general’s intermediary with the bankers.
Butler told the committee that MacGuire stated it “wouldn’t take any constitutional change to authorize another cabinet official, somebody to take over the details of the office—to take them off the President’s shoulders” and that “we’d do with him what Mussolini did to the King of Italy”.
When French asked MacGuire how the coup would help solve unemployment, MacGuire responded: “We need a fascist government to save the nation from the Communists… It was the plan that Hitler had used in putting all of the unemployed in labor camps or barracks—enforced labor. That would solve it overnight.”
Although the full transcripts were not made public, Butler did get the message to the population by giving his story to as many journalists as possible and recorded a message to the people in 1935 which should be listened to in full.
From Smedley Butler and the 1930s Plot to Overthrow the President
In 1934, a colossal claim reached the American news media: There had been a plot to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in favor of a fascist government. Supposedly in the works since 1933, the claims of the conspiracy came from a very conspicuous and reliable source: Major General Smedley Butler, one of the most decorated war heroes of his time. Even more unbelievable were his claims of who was involved in the plot – respected names like Robert Sterling Clark, Grayson M.P. Murphy, and Prescott Bush. While news media at the time mocked Butler’s story, recently discovered archives have revealed the truth behind Major General Butler’s claims.
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