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1 Smedley Butler 2 Giving a speech 3 With Friends 4 Retirement

Smedley Butler was born July 30, 1881, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the eldest of three sons. His
parents Thomas Stalker Butler and Maud (Darlington) Butler had been descended from
Quaker families. His father was a lawyer, a judge, and for 31 years, a Congressman and chair of the
House Naval Affairs Committee, during the Harding and Coolidge administrations.

Smedley Butler was one of the most highly decorated soldiers to ever serve in the military. He is still,
to this day, one of only a handful of men to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, Twice.
Butler was decorated for his leadership and bravery in such conflicts as, Philippine–American War,
where he served in Manila. In October, 1899 he saw his first combat action when leading 300
Marines to take the town of Noveleta, against Philippino rebels known as “Insurrectos”. In the initial
moments of the engagement, the top sergeant in Butler's unit was wounded. Butler panicked, but
regained his composure and led the Marines in pursuit of the enemy forces. By noon, the Marines
had dispersed the rebels and taken the town. In the fighting, one Marine was killed and ten were
wounded. Another 50 Marines were incapacitated by the tropical Philippine heat.
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Butler also served in the Boxer Rebellion. These were more commonly referred to by historians as
The Boxer Uprising, or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement. Taking place in China as a
response to imperialist expansion in the years 1899-1901.

It was the Boxer Rebellion that Butler was shot in the thigh yet still managed to end up saving a
mans life (who was actually trying to save his, first) then under “sever fire” got the wounded man to
safety. For this and other notorious demonstrations of bravery, Butler was awarded the Brevet
Medal which is awarded in accordance with Marine Corps Order No. 26 (1921), for distinguished
conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy. All of this and he wasn’t even nineteen yet.

Butler then served in the The Banana Wars, which were a series of occupations in the Central
Americas and the Caribbean. The goal being to protect American Corporate interests in that region.

In 1903, Butler was ordered to defend the US consulate in Honduras. Since he was in the Caribbean
at the time, he used a converted banana boat re-named the panther, and sailed 1500 miles to the

Smedley then took some time between campaigns, to get married on June 30, 1905 to Ethel
Conway Peters of Philadelphia in Bay Head, New Jersey. The couple even had time to become
parents of three children: a daughter, Ethel Peters Butler, and two sons, Smedley Darlington, Jr. and
Thomas Richard.

From then on it seems Butler was having trouble with processing all the death and destruction he
had witnessed. In 1908 he suffered a nervous breakdown and took nine (9) months off and worked
as a coal miner. Although this may have been the case, he still served in other conflicts. From 1909
to 1912, he served in Nicaragua. In January 1914 he served off the coast and his of Mexico,
near Veracruz.

In the Haitian Battle with the Cacos he was a brilliant strategist and ended up surrounding the
opposition. The battle (often hand to hand combat) is the reason that President Roosevelt conferred
the second Medal of Honor he received.

Through out all his meritorious service Smedley Butler began to realize the way his world worked. He
began to pay attention to the fashion in which certain men, and institutions, behaved as well as

During World War I, to his disappointment, Butler was not assigned to a combat command on
the Western Front. Even though he wrote and requested it.

In October 1918, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general at the age of 37 and placed in
command of Camp Ponanezen at Brest, France, a debarkation depot that funneled troops of
the American Expeditionary Force to the battlefields.

The Navy Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to Smedley for service in World War 1 for
exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in France.
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However his Military career was winding down, and another equally (maybe more) noble calling was
on the horizon. By 1933 Butler was denouncing capitalism and bankers, confessing that as a Marine
general "I was a racketeer for capitalism."

Butler began developing his post-Corps career. In May 1931, he took part in a commission
established by Oregon Governor Julius L. Meier. The commission laid the foundations for the Oregon
State Police. He began lecturing at events and conferences and after his retirement from the
Marines in 1931, he took this up full-time. His donated much of his earnings from his lucrative
lecture circuits to the Philadelphia unemployment relief. He toured the western United States,
making 60 speeches before returning for his daughter's marriage to Marine aviator Lieutenant John
Wehle. Her wedding was the only time that he wore his dress blue uniform after he left the Marines.

In perhaps Smedley Butler’s bravest act of all, in early 1934, Butler alleged the existence of
a political conspiracy of Wall Street interests to overthrow President Roosevelt, a series of allegations
that came to be known in the media as the Business Plot. In March 1934, the House of
Representatives authorized investigations into his allegations by a special committee headed
by John W. McCormack of Massachusetts and Samuel Dickstein of New York. The McCormack-
Dickstein committee was a precursor to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

In November 1934, Butler told the committee that a group of businessmen, claiming to be backed by
a private army of 500,000 ex-soldiers and others, intended to establish a fascist dictatorship. Butler
had been asked to lead it, he said, by Gerald P. MacGuire, a bond salesman with Grayson M.P
Murphy & Co. The New York Times reported that Butler had told friends that General Hugh S.
Johnson, a former official with the National Recovery Administration, was to be installed as dictator.
Butler said MacGuire had told him the attempted coup was backed by three million dollars, and that
the 500,000 men were probably to be assembled in Washington, D.C. the following year. All the
parties alleged to be involved, including Johnson, said there was no truth in the story, calling it a
“joke and a fantasy”. On August 22, Butler met MacGuire at a hotel, According to Butler's account, it
was on this occasion that MacGuire asked Butler to run a new veterans organization (The American
Legion) and lead a coup attempt against the President. On September 13, Paul Comly French,
a reporter, who had once been Butler's personal secretary, met MacGuire in his office. In late
September, Butler told Van Zandt that co-conspirators would be meeting him at an
upcoming Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. On November 20, the Committee began examining
evidence. Journalist, Paul Comly French broke the story in the Philadelphia Record and New York
Post on November 21. On November 22, The New York Times wrote its first article on the story and
described it as a "gigantic hoax." When the committee's final report was released, the Times said the
committee "purported to report that a two-month investigation had convinced it that General Butler's
story of a Fascist march on Washington was “alarmingly true" and "It also alleged that definite proof
had been found that the much publicized Fascist march on Washington, which was to have been led
by Major. Gen. Smedley D. Butler, retired, according to testimony at a hearing, was actually
contemplated". Even at that point Butler was being portrayed in public by those he had accused, as
a foolish, conspiracy theorist. Although The New York Times had essentially substantiated Smedley
Butler’s claims, He was labeled an angry, “nut-job” by his contractors. Those he accused
included Irénée du Pont, and J.P. Morgan, and various industrialists and political wanta-be’s.
Butler’s testimony was heard before congress on December 29, 1934. Regarding the conversations
that he had with Jerry MacGuire, Butler relayed in his testimony: “They presented to me rather a
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confused picture, and I could not make up my mind exactly what they wanted me to do or what their
objective was, but it had something to do with weakening the influence of the administration with the
soldiers.” They had tried in vain to make him angry with the President and his staff. Telling him, he
had been invited as a distinguished guest of the Chicago Convention. But his name had been taken
off the list by Louis Howe, (Secretary to the President.) This was just a ruse, to get him to capitulate
to the plan. In Smedley Butler’s testimony he certainly gave enough detail to warrant a
congressional investigation, especially since it concerned the very Presidency of the United States.
However, that was not the outcome. It is important to note this statement by Macguire for its
revealing nature regarding the financing of The United States. (How we get our money, at this point is
by the banking industry (Federal Reserve) lending it to us at instant interest, meaning instant and
forever, DEPT!) The statement goes like this: “He has got to do something about it. He has either got
to get more money out of us or he has got to change the method of financing the Government, and
we are going to see to it that he does not change that method. He will not change it!”

After Smedley Butler’s testimony (and the testimony of others) what should have happened did not.

The Congressional committee preliminary report said:

“This committee has had no evidence before it that would in the slightest degree warrant calling
before it such men as John W. Davis, Gen.Hugh Johnson, General Harbord, Thomas W. Lamont,
Admiral Sims, or Hanford MacNider. (All involved in the plot)

The committee will not take cognizance of names brought into the testimony which constitute mere

This committee is not concerned with premature newspaper accounts especially when given and
published prior to the taking of the testimony.

As the result of information which has been in possession of this committee for some time, it was
decided to hear the story of Maj. Gen. Smedley D. Butler and such others as might have knowledge
germane to the issue.” ...

The Congressional committee final report said:

“In the last few weeks of the committee's official life it received evidence showing that certain
persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country. No evidence was
presented, and this committee had none to show, a connection between this effort and any fascist
activity of any European country. There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were
planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it

This committee received evidence from Maj. Gen Smedley D. Butler (retired), twice decorated by the
Congress of the United States. He testified before the committee as to conversations with one Gerald
C. MacGuire in which the latter is alleged to have suggested the formation of a fascist army under
the leadership of General Butler.

MacGuire denied these allegations under oath, but your committee was able to verify all the
pertinent statements made by General Butler, with the exception of the direct statement suggesting
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the creation of the organization. This, however, was corroborated in the correspondence of MacGuire
with his principal, Robert Sterling Clark, of New York City, while MacGuire was abroad studying the
various forms of veteran’s organizations of Fascist character.”

With all this distinguished American Hero’s service to this country, sacrifice for it’s founding
principles, and honor in the field of battle, he was dismissed. In the end of day, money and power
trumped honor and truth.

Today this tale of willful corruption and willful destruction of our countries principles along with the
total absence of justice, honor, and compassion for the American people or their belief in their
country, rings more true than ever. We are a nation on the verge of our entire government being
usurped and or founding principles being disregarded. Our constitution, as it was meant to be, is a
relic of the past. Our civil liberties are rights that should be ours because we breathe, not because
they were bestowed by any other person or thing. They belong to us because we exist. Yet, in our
society today they are nothing but privileges to be manipulated and restricted as those in power see

America is circling the drain on the ever quickening ride to Fascism. And no matter how the corporate
news spins it, this not a good thing, it is, the death of America.

By Joey Spencer

Article taken from Volume# 1 Issue# 4 of “The Weekly Stash"