To Our Beloved U.S. Military Soldiers and Our Beloved U.S. Military Veterans:


I hope to god that there will come a day when the poor men and women in the U.S. Military will just tell their “commanders” to go F___ themselves.

Indeed, the TIME is NOW.

OUR dear soldiers are used as nothing but cannon fodder by the filthiest and most despicably venal
cabal that has enthroned itself to unchecked power and has indeed perpetuated all American Wars since WWII; That’s continual American Invasions, Occupations, Coups, World WAR, for more than 70 years. LOOK IT UP.

PLEASE!! Wake the fuck up!! NOW is the TIME.

To every single soldier still engaged in this most dangerous combat,
stuck in hell and far from home; and fighting solely on behalf of

[INSANE, SADISTIC LITTLE PRICKS] stingy, rapacious, wealthy assholes…

that do NOT give a FUCK about ANY of YOU;

To You Soldiers who forever fight the same endless, needless, heinous,
atrocious Wars of American Aggression for THEM, THE FILTH;

To the soldiers who are blown to bits, arms and legs blown off, brains splattered or irreparably damaged, paralyzed, dead, or worse;

To those Soldiers who DO make it back home ALIVE,  in a HORRIBLE WAY
Only to find that each of you are then summarily left to DIE anyway
Scraping at the pavement of the hospital parking lot after having been
refused medical treatment at the local VA…AGAIN.

So, To All of OUR Brothers and Sisters, OUR Soldiers with all
your your brains scrambled and most of your limbs blown off;
On behalf of the most sadistic and criminally insane American Dictators who want nothing BUT non-stop Wars of Aggression, Invasion and permanent Occupation SOLELY in order to PROFIT and then still STEAL other sovereign nations resources;
And every time, THEY send YOU.

So, Now?


Our collective “Freedoms” [to be imprisoned in cement blocks or to be locked in Debt Servitude to Criminal Bankers];  Our “Liberties” [to be THE most backward, uncivilized, uneducated;  Indeed the most brainwashed, illiterate and thoroughly unenlightened society on earth];

And our, um, “Democracy?”  HA!!  What a FARCE!!!!





SAY NO!!! FUCK NO!!!!!


Alan Greenspan CRIMINAL


Have you read the book by Edward Bernays titled “Propaganda?” It’s a playbook on how to brainwash society. Goebbels read it and found it instrumental in the task of controlling people in society and even in making them do whatever you want them to do.

Indeed, I think that the most apt term is Brainwashed.

Regarding the American citizens’ cheering on their own demise decade after decade, I think that the most apt term is Brainwashed.

Yes, brainwashing has been used throughout the ages via a myriad of tactics; One is Patriotism, Nationalism; Being taught that America (or which ever country) is Great, Superior;   Also rather important, it builds an endless supply of war-ready troops for the military that won’t even ask questions as they are deluded into thinking that they are Patriots and Heroes.  Works like a charm.

Religion is the other highly effective tool used for mind control. ALL organized [money-based, tax-exempt] Religion is oppressive, repressive mind control; Further, EVERY book used by every religion, was written by…MAN (as opposed to written by God) thus equates to the deliberate suppression of actual knowledge and the curious and forceful denial of…FACTS.

Both Patriotism and Religion have certainly worked precisely as they were intended, along with the constant hum of corporate-controlled Mass media blathering on and on about nonsense, in keeping the people thoroughly ignorant and conflicted while fully engaged in fantastical, superstitious rituals and flights of psychotic delusion, whilst stirring up nonsensical “fervor” (hatred and fear) coupled with insanely self-righteous indignation, all of which takes the mind off of what is REALLY going on: Mass Theft, Brutal Rape, Mindless Pillage, Ruinous Plunder, Ongoing Global Slavery, Mass Bank Fraud, Pedophilia rings, etc., etc., etc.

I must say though, it is religion that serves to reinforce the desired effect of abject ignorance and total arrogance which is, of course, the ABSOLUTE KEY in the game of mind control; Brainwashing (See PROPAGANDA by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, for one); Pacification through Religion and the tireless campaigns of keeping people in ignorant FEAR, HATRED….

Further, the outright LIES, which are a veritable pillar in mind control, are served up with a slick smile to an unwitting public through seemingly innocent fairy tales, also serve as a vehicle for virulent, abject hatred; And a hefty and steady stream of abject fear (of God, of Black people, of Hell, of Satan, Socialism, Fascism, Communism, Terrorism, on and on). The political hacks in this scheme have also found that the employ of so-called buzz words is stunningly EFFECTIVE. IT DISTRACTS PEOPLE; Keeps them really dumb, too; And too numb to react.

And there is a veritable myriad of other totally intentional distractions, deliberately designed to obfuscate the truth with LIES and the FACTS, (Ongoing SLAVERY, THEFT, PLUNDER), Distractions on any and every contrived “side” of the political spectrum; the entire “Left”-“Right” paradigm is also a very useful and effective contrivance; So-called “Issues;” Also totally Contrived to distract the populace away from FACTS, TRUTH. That is, distract the fools Away from what the Robber Barons are actually doing (STEALING, PLUNDERING); Let them bicker and argue about such issues as Abortion, gun rights, animal rights, etc., etc. All and every technique is used; All are forms of intentional trickery.

Religion, though, has worked like a charm since the day it was invented and written down (BY MEN), and Religion is still, bar none, the most highly effective tool for mind control today. Well, there WAS the period in history known as the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment, Well, We all know about that history, don’t we? CRUSHED IMMEDIATELY and THOROUGHLY BY (GUESS WHO); Replaced with RELIGION, NEVER TO SURFACE Widely AGAIN.

The Late 20th Century:
So, skipping straight to the late 20th century, the 1980′s specifically, the emergence of the despicable demon, Ronald Reagan, his total embracing of the R-wing “Christian” Fundamentalist-lunatics; the beginnings of the Total DEREGULATION of ALL industry; the utterly Fantastic LIE of ”trickle-down” economics; And the new “service” economy (SLAVE); All worked hand in hand to set the new and more all-encompassing SLAVERY (Yes, that means ALL OF US) and the Modern slave-based economy.

And every [Puppet] Administration after that old bastard Reagan–Democrat, Republican–they are ALL IN IT TOGETHER–every government tool of the WHITE POWER STRUCTURE Did follow, in lock-step, the ongoing and now thorough DEREGULATION of every single industry and the Privatization of ALL previously public sectors.

Clinton, of course, was among the most destructive of these twisted, perverted white men, as he is the one that repealed the Glass-Steagal Act that had been put into place by FDR after the Great Depression of the 1930s. Clinton did it, fully knowing very well history and the certain ramifications [of giving a gigantic idiot-child a machine gun, i.e. DEREGULATION]; So, doing it anyway for his billionaire buddies in the Banks and on Wall Street; That, along with the passing of the Gramm-Leach Bill, took away any and all restraints, i.e. REGULATIONS, from the banking industry and the financial sector..

So, look around NOW. They tanked the economy deliberately; They want, for lack of a better term, Zombie-Slaves that won’t think or even ask why: (IDIOT-AMERICA). And they’ve sure GOT them and they’ve got them to the rafters.

Both Patriotism and Religion have certainly worked precisely as they were intended, along with the constant hum of corporate-controlled Mass media blathering on and on about nonsense, in keeping the people thoroughly ignorant and conflicted while fully engaged in fantastical, superstitious rituals and flights of psychotic delusion, whilst stirring up nonsensical “fervor” (hatred and fear) coupled with insanely self-righteous indignation, all of which takes the mind off of what is REALLY going on:

Mass Theft, Brutal Rape, Mindless Pillage, Ruinous Plunder, Ongoing Global Slavery, Mass Bank Fraud, Pedophilia rings, etc., etc., etc.

The “immigrants” who are streaming out all over the globe to keep from getting blown to SMITHEREENS, are not actually “immigrants;” Rather they are REFUGEES, all fleeing from endless WARS of AMERICAN AGGRESSION.

These REFUGEES from Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America et al, these PEOPLE who are fleeing WAR and BRUTAL DICTATORSHIPS (installed by the U. S. government) to America are, in actuality and in fact, coming to America because the United States itself has been actively invading and occupying and DESTROYING every country on earth.

Our crooked corporate government “officials” and their CIA counterparts have overthrown and assassinated ALL democratically-elected leaders around the globe for years; And America’s little agency, the CIA, among many other U.S. Taxpayer-funded agencies, has set up the world’s drug trafficking rings in many part of the globe.

So!! Since it is our own U. S. government that has left millions of poor people all around the globe drug-ridden and war-ravaged, controlled by brutal dictatorial and murderous drug cartels by U. S. installation; And since it is IN FACT our own U.S. government that has been intentionally ruining each one of these countries in Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East and even OUR OWN COUNTRY, AMERICA, for PURE PROFIT for the filthy top .001%…FEH.

America INDEED!!! THE drug-trafficking Narcokleptocracy, run by murderous thieves, the Criminal-Thugs and their Lying Propaganda Brainwashing Media, Dictatorship.

So…Don’t blame the wrong people. And don’t say you weren’t TOLD.

And for good measure, here:

What a majority of the electorate, including supporters of corporations/capitalism fails to understand is where we really are: Owned and operated by multinational corporations that hold absolutely no allegiance to any nation, Constitution or system of moral authority. Corporations who pick our leaders, buy our representatives, count our votes without oversight or confirmation, taint our food and foul our water and air, sicken our workers and benefit from their deaths. The corporations’ allegiance is to only money; nothing else. They pay little or no taxes, yet they impose policy and write laws to limit our power and unleash theirs.
The Failure of the American people to Recognize, Realize, to even momentarily Acknowledge this corporate and Banking Cartel TakeOver, IS the American Way. Total Ignorance. Total Hypocrisy. Total Injustice. This IS the American Way.

The Corporate-controlled Media; the outright Propaganda Campaigns, all of which are designed to thoroughly obfuscate any Truth; any knowledge, Any awareness of the so-called Leaders’ actual policies and Laws that have been passed behind the backs of nearly all US citizens. Laws designed to ensure…Profit.

U.S. Government Propaganda is Nothing but Outright Lies and Total Deceit; Treachery and Treason; Bribery and Extortion; Theft and Fraud; Hypocrisy and MORE LIES. And More WAR.

I disagree with the vast network of other U.S. Tools used, such as the IMF and the World Bank; All Tools designed, formed and implemented SOLELY to impudently STEAL the resources of other presumably sovereign nations.

I disagree with any government that so blatantly represents the War Interests, Banking Interests, Corporate Interests and the appalling and ghastly wealth therein;

I disagree with Any Person, Any Group of Persons; Any who Represent Interests Above, Over, and in direct Opposition to the interests of the Common Good, ALL the people; “We the People,” the Tax-paying citizens of the United States; The Un-Represented; The Under-represented. That’s US indeed.

It is simply criminal and totally contemptible how any government “employees” are conducting themselves. And let us remember the fact that these “employees” are there ONLY to represent OUR interests; The interests of the Common Good; The interests of the United States’ Citizenry. The TAXPAYERS.

These government agencies and the elected workers within them are decidedly NOT elected to be mere props who LIE to the citizens. And who represent, de facto, the Corporate interests.

It is MOST egregious, indeed, that ANY government would represent, to the point of collaboration, Wealthy Corporations directly at the Enormous expense {THEFT] of the average U.S. Citizen, not to mention the poor, the needy, the elderly, the working-poor, the disabled and the obliterated Middle-Class-Cum-Slave-Class.
The facts, however, remain.

The sole function, the Raison D’être, for every form of government is to represent the common interest of the electorate. Therefore, it is indeed AMORAL and utterly unconscionable what government “officials” are in FACT doing to…WE THE PEOPLE, the very ones who’ve apparently been naive enough to have entrusted these “people” in OUR Government to “DO THE RIGHT THING.”

America is in no way, shape or form “civilized;” America is One Gigantic, Laughable LIE.

Oh…And A Bit On Brainwashing:

Brainwashing through Propaganda uses fear tactics; Communism, Socialism, Terrorism; We are all force-fed outright LIES from the cradle to the grave.

I think that the most apt term is Brainwashed. Yes, brainwashing has been used throughout the ages via a myriad of tactics; One is Patriotism, Nationalism; Being taught that America (or which ever country) is Great, Superior; Also, it builds a military that won’t ask questions as they are deluded into thinking that they are Patriots and Heroes.

By the way, off topic but still a fact is that, regarding the Boston Bombings and any other act of violence, including shooting sprees in schools or anywhere else, Specifically regarding the Empire of the United States, the questions in my mind are as follows:

What creates such violent acts and hatred toward America and Americans? What turns people anywhere toward Radicalization/Fundamentalism? As I observe, it is U.S. policies, both domestic and foreign. Examples? Countless. E.g.

Imposing Oppression and Dominance through sheer brute force;
Constant Invasions and Constant War in “strategic” countries, i.e. OIL, for one;

Impudent Theft, Plunder, i.e. Stealing, other nation’s resources, using tools such as the World Bank, IMF for extraction; And, by the way, the leaders of these countries who won’t go with the U.S. program are simply overthrown or, um, Assassinated.

So, it is indeed U.S. foreign policies that are both directly and indirectly responsible for attacks on the United States. U.S. Policies incentivize war and the Military Industrial Complex is entrenched and massively profitable.

As for U.S. Domestic policies, all which increasingly say “to hell with the people,” i.e. US, do in fact lead directly to Ignorance, Hopelessness, Poverty, and many other societal ills, all of which in turn, lead to violence, crime, including the epidemic shootings, and many other acts of violent by both American citizens and foreigners.
As a matter of fact, more “Austerity” measures, if the “officials” are serious about these tactics, will, of course lead directly to much more crime, more violence, more horrible acts of desperation; All of which leads me to believe that the Powers that Be are systematically and deliberately engineering mass genocide. As if to say, let them all DIE OFF, whether in the ghettos, on the battlefields, in the prison yards, the message is becoming quite clear indeed.

So, skipping straight to the late 20th century, 1980 specifically, the emergence of Ronald Reagan, his total embracing of R-wing “Christian” Fundamentalists–Fanatics/Lunatics; the beginnings of the Total DEREGULATION of ALL industry; the utterly Fantastic LIE of ”trickle-down” economics and the new “service” economy, i.e. a boatload of low-paying thankless jobs, i.e. the “new” slave.
All these conspired deliberations worked hand in hand to set the new and more all-encompassing SLAVE-based economies (Yes, that means ALL OF US) and the Modern-Day Slavery, at least a veritable form of sharecropping; Working more and more for less and less, all while never being able to climb out of debt…Sound familiar, at least? 80 hour work weeks, climbing, declining standard of living, forever locked in debt…???

So it is that every [Puppet] Administration after that old bastard Reagan–Democrat, Republican–every government tool of the REAL POWER STRUCTURE Did follow, in lock-step, the ongoing and now thorough DEREGULATION of every single industry and the Privatization of ALL previously public sectors.
Clinton, of course, was among the most destructive of these twisted, perverted white men, as he is the one that repealed the Glass-Steagal Act that had been put into place by FDR after the Great Depression of the 1930s. Clinton did it, knowing very well the history and the certain ramifications [of giving a gigantic idiot-child a machine gun, i.e. DEREGULATION]; So, doing it anyway for his billionaire buddies in the Banks and on Wall Street; That, along with the passing of the Gramm-Leach Bill, took away any and all restraints, i.e. REGULATIONS, from the banking industry and the financial sector.

So, look around NOW. The “Powers” tanked the economy deliberately; They want, for lack of a better term, Zombie-Slaves that won’t think or even ask why: (IDIOT-AMERICA). And they’ve sure GOT them and they’ve got them by the BOAT LOAD.

Slavery Then and Slavery Now:

The main difference (other than race, i.e. skin color) between slavery then and slavery now, is that NOW, as the world is literally collapsing from overpopulation and centuries of destructive pillaging and ruinous plundering of the entire planet, the main difference is that those few men whom are still in cahoots and “controlling” the people, the governments, etc., are thoroughly capable of committing mass Genocide; Indeed, it has become quite apparent that now we are all headed straight toward the edge of the Abyss at their command; And Engineered genocide is a clever and historic tactic; And that works too. They’ve been doing it all throughout history. Whether by Guns, Drugs, Prisons, Wars; You name it!! The main goal is very clear: Let “them” kill each other and themselves, on the battlefield, in the ghettos, in the many privately-owned, For-Profit Prisons, etc., The message is clear: Let them ALL simply DIE OFF.
C. M.

Who is ultimately responsible?? “We the People” have empowered War Criminals and some of the most wretched filth this world has ever seen.

A note On Immigrant Refugees:
This government has obliterated nearly every single sovereign nation on earth and every economy along with it, including OUR OWN.

Meanwhile, the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Patriot-Citizens of the United States of America, the vicious racists that they are in Reality, turn away, straight back to the war-torn, drug-ravaged ruins of American Empire destruction, these very same Victims [of America] who are fighting for survival…Hmmm.

Don’t worry a bit!! The entire economy will COLLAPSE with or without you.

The Cabal
There is a criminal cabal that is deliberately engineering these ungodly, unspeakable humanitarian crises across Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Central America and North America, including a humanitarian crisis in America itself.

There are 2.5 million people, so many 100% innocent, rotting, starving and being tortured throughout the U.S. prison system.
Many of our precious youth, many of them disadvantaged and desperate, are wantonly sent off to countries around the globe to slaughter innocent people; Others are U.S. Mercenaries paid by Cheney’s Haliburton, BlackWater, KBR, etc., to assassinate human “assignments;” And to build more and more U.S. Military installations…in every SOVEREIGN nation on earth;
And the World Bank and IMF, etc. are U.S. tools built solely for Corporate interests to extract (STEAL) any and all other nations’ resources. Americans, used as mere cannon fodder, are then blown to smithereens, maimed, killed OR WORSE, all in the name of despicable power and venal PROFIT for the most insane, reprehensible and inhuman filth the world has ever known.

Our U.S. government are willing quisling agents controlled by an absolutely CRIMINAL cabal, lead directly by the Nazi-sympathizer Bush Family et al, Netanyahu et al of Israel; WAR CRIMINALS Cheney, Rumsfeld et al of the U.S. Military Industrial Complex; the Corporate Empire Titans such as the Rockefeller’s, the Dupont’s et al; and, of course, the Central Bankers.

America is one gigantic CRIME SCENE.

By the way:

“The death-knell of the republic had rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others.”
~Theodore Roosevelt

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”
~Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Corporation cunning has developed faster than the law of nation or state. Corporations have found ways to steal long before we have found that they were susceptible to punishment for theft. But sooner or later, unless there is a season of readjustment, there will come a riotous, wicked, murderous day of atonement…. These fools on Wall Street think that they can go on forever! They can’t!”
~Theodore Roosevelt

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
~Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered..'”
~ Thomas Jefferson, 1802

“There are plenty of ugly things about wealth and its possessors in the present age, and I suppose there have been in all ages. There are many rich people who so utterly lack patriotism, or show such sordid and selfish traits of character, or lead such mean and vacuous lives, that all right-minded men must look upon them with angry contempt…”
~Theodore Roosevelt

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
~Sinclair Lewis

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

– George Orwell

“When fascism comes to America, it will come in the form of democracy.”

~Huey Long

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
C. M.


The Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.



State OfTheUnion

There is a criminal cabal that is deliberately engineering these ungodly, unspeakable humanitarian crises across the Middle East, Europe, South America, Central America and North America, including a humanitarian crisis in America itself.

There are 2.5 million people, so many 100% innocent, rotting, starving and being tortured throughout the U.S. prison system.

Many of our precious youth, many of them disadvantaged and desperate, are wantonly sent off to countries around the globe to slaughter innocent people; Others are U.S. Mercenaries paid by Cheney’s Haliburton, BlackWater, KBR, etc., to assassinate assignments; And to build more and more U.S. Military installations… in every SOVEREIGN nation on earth; And the World Bank and IMF, etc. are U.S. tools built solely for Corporate interests to extract (STEAL) any and all other nations’ resources. Americans, used as mere cannon fodder, are then blown to smithereens, maimed, killed OR WORSE, all in the name of despicable power and venal PROFIT for the most insane, reprehensible and inhuman filth the world has ever known.

Our U.S. government are willing quisling agents controlled by an absolutely CRIMINAL cabal, lead directly by the Nazi-sympathizer Bush Family et al, Netanyahu et al of Israel; WAR CRIMINALS Cheney, Rumsfeld et al of the U.S. Military Industrial Complex; the Corporate Empire Titans such as the Rockefeller’s, the Dupont’s et al; and, of course, the Central Bankers.

America is one gigantic CRIME SCENE.


VIDEO: Everything is a Rich Man’s TRICK (2015)

War Criminal

AMERICA, READ: U. S. Major General Smedley Butler “WAR IS A RACKET”


Smedley Butler on Interventionism

— Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this 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, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, 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 benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could 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.


War Is A Racket

By Smedley Darlington Butler, Major General – United States Marine Corps [Retired]

Born West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881

Educated Haverford School

Married Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905

Awarded two congressional medals of honor, for capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914, and for capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917

Distinguished service medal, 1919

Retired Oct. 1, 1931

On leave of absence to act as director of Department of Safety, Philadelphia, 1932

Lecturer – 1930’s

Republican Candidate for Senate, 1932

Died at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940

For more information about Major General Smedley Butler, contact the United States Marine Corps.
Table of Contents
Chapter One
War is a Racket
Chapter Two
Who Makes the Profits?
Chapter Three
Who Pays the Bills?
Chapter Four
How to Smash this Racket!
Chapter Five
To Hell With War
~ Chapter One ~

WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.
How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?
Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.
And what is this bill?
This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.
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.
Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep’s eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor.
The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other’s throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people – not those who fight and pay and die – only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.
There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.
Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?
Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in “International Conciliation,” the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said:
“And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace… War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it.”
Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war – anxious for it, apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter’s dispute with Jugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.
Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recently increased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.
Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when Russia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backed Japan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Now the trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the “open door” policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000.
Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war – a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.
Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit – fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.
Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn’t they? It pays high dividends.

But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children?
What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits?
Yes, and what does it profit the nation?
Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn’t own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became “internationally minded.” We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington’s warning about “entangling alliances.” We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars.
It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people – who do not profit.

~ Chapter Two ~

The World War, rather our brief participation in it, has cost the United States some $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man, woman, and child. And we haven’t paid the debt yet. We are paying it, our children will pay it, and our children’s children probably still will be paying the cost of that war.
The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! that is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.
Of course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and “we must all put our shoulders to the wheel,” but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed. Let’s just take a few examples:
Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people – didn’t one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn’t much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let’s look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.
Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump – or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!
Or, let’s take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad.
There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let’s look at something else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.
Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year.
Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.
Let’s group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.
A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.
Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren’t the only ones. There are still others. Let’s take leather.
For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central Leather Company were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916 Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 per cent. That’s all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the three years before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and the profits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of 1,400 per cent.
International Nickel Company – and you can’t have a war without nickel – showed an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.
American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.
Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled their earnings.
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.
But here’s how some of the other patriotic industrialists and speculators chiseled their way into war profits.
Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits. They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like the munitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a dollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they did well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs of hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs, and more, to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some of these shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when the war was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought – and paid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.
There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn’t any American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profit in it – so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet.
Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000 mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches – one hand scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!
Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier would be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting were sold to Uncle Sam.
There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order.
Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 – count them if you live long enough – was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.
Undershirts for soldiers cost 14¢ [cents] to make and uncle Sam paid 30¢ to 40¢ each for them – a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And the stocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturers and the steel helmet manufacturers – all got theirs.
Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment – knapsacks and the things that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them – and they will do it all over again the next time.
There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.
One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh, they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nut ever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holds the turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and the manufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars and shunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. When the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. He was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sell these, too, to your Uncle Sam.
Still another had the brilliant idea that colonels shouldn’t ride in automobiles, nor should they even ride on horseback. One has probably seen a picture of Andy Jackson riding in a buckboard. Well, some 6,000 buckboards were sold to Uncle Sam for the use of colonels! Not one of them was used. But the buckboard manufacturer got his war profit.
The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lot of ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of the ships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood and wouldn’t float! The seams opened up – and they sank. We paid for them, though. And somebody pocketed the profits.
It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few.
The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime profits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface.
Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying “for some time” methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides it has a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee – with the War and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a Wall Street speculator – to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn’t suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of those who turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.
Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses – that is, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able to ascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a soldier to the loss of but one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limit the loss of life.
There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent of a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a division shall be killed.
Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.

~ Chapter Three ~

Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.
But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.
If you don’t believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran’s hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home.
Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to “about face”; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.
Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another “about face” ! This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology, sans officers’ aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn’t need them any more. So we scattered them about without any “three-minute” or “Liberty Loan” speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final “about face” alone.
In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens! Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel bars and wires all around outside the buildings and on the porches. These already have been mentally destroyed. These boys don’t even look like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces! Physically, they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone.
There are thousands and thousands of these cases, and more and more are coming in all the time. The tremendous excitement of the war, the sudden cutting off of that excitement – the young boys couldn’t stand it.
That’s a part of the bill. 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. The 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.
But don’t forget – the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too.
Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had a prize system, and soldiers and sailors fought for money. During the Civil War they were paid bonuses, in many instances, before they went into service. The government, or states, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment. In the Spanish-American War they gave prize money. When we captured any vessels, the soldiers all got their share – at least, they were supposed to. Then it was found that we could reduce the cost of wars by taking all the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting [drafting] the soldier anyway. Then soldiers couldn’t bargain for their labor, Everyone else could bargain, but the soldier couldn’t.
Napoleon once said,
“All men are enamored of decorations…they positively hunger for them.”
So by developing the Napoleonic system – the medal business – the government learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.
In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn’t join the army.
So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side…it is His will that the Germans be killed.
And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies…to please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.
Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the “war to end all wars.” This was the “war to make the world safe for democracy.” No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a “glorious adventure.”
Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make them help pay for the war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month.
All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind, give up their jobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they could get it) and kill and kill and kill…and be killed.
But wait!
Half of that wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a laborer in a munitions factory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from him to support his dependents, so that they would not become a charge upon his community. Then we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance – something the employer pays for in an enlightened state – and that cost him $6 a month. He had less than $9 a month left.
Then, the most crowning insolence of all – he was virtually blackjacked into paying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy Liberty Bonds. Most soldiers got no money at all on pay days.
We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back – when they came back from the war and couldn’t find work – at $84 and $86. And the soldiers bought about $2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!
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.

Back To Top

~ Chapter Four ~

WELL, it’s a racket, all right.
A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.
The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation – it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.
Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers –
yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!
Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in industry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly $30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds.
Why shouldn’t they?
They aren’t running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled or their minds shattered. They aren’t sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren’t hungry. The soldiers are!
Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – that and nothing else.
Maybe I am a little too optimistic. Capital still has some say. So capital won’t permit the taking of the profit out of war until the people – those who do the suffering and still pay the price – make up their minds that those they elect to office shall do their bidding, and not that of the profiteers. Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limited plebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of all the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying. There wouldn’t be very much sense in having a 76-year-old president of a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of an international banking firm or the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant – all of whom see visions of tremendous profits in the event of war – voting on whether the nation should go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms – to sleep in a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risk their lives for their country should have the privilege of voting to determine whether the nation should go to war.
There is ample precedent for restricting the voting to those affected. Many of our states have restrictions on those permitted to vote. In most, it is necessary to be able to read and write before you may vote. In some, you must own property. It would be a simple matter each year for the men coming of military age to register in their communities as they did in the draft during the World War and be examined physically. Those who could pass and who would therefore be called upon to bear arms in the event of war would be eligible to vote in a limited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power to decide – and not a Congress few of whose members are within the age limit and fewer still of whom are in physical condition to bear arms. Only those who must suffer should have the right to vote.
A third step in this business of smashing the war racket is to make certain that our military forces are truly forces for defense only.
At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don’t shout that “We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation.” Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only.
Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.
The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast.
The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the united States fleet so close to Nippon’s shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.
The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can’t go further than 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.
To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket.
We must take the profit out of war.
We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war.
We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.

~ Chapter Five ~

I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war.
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?
An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:
“There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars.
If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money…and Germany won’t.
Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a “war to make the world safe for democracy” and a “war to end all wars.”
Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy.
And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars.
Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences. They don’t mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have been nullified. We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politicians and our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?
The professional soldiers and sailors don’t want to disarm. No admiral wants to be without a ship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean men without jobs. They are not for disarmament. They cannot be for limitations of arms. And at all these conferences, lurking in the background but all-powerful, just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to it that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments.
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.
There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of practicability. That is for all nations to get together and scrap every ship, every gun, every rifle, every tank, every war plane. Even this, if it were possible, would not be enough.
The next war, according to experts, will be fought not with battleships, not by artillery, not with rifles and not with machine guns. It will be fought with deadly chemicals and gases.
Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating its foes wholesale. Yes, ships will continue to be built, for the shipbuilders must make their profits. And guns still will be manufactured and powder and rifles will be made, for the munitions makers must make their huge profits. And the soldiers, of course, must wear uniforms, for the manufacturer must make their war profits too.
But victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists.
If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the constructive job of building greater prosperity for all peoples. By putting them to this useful job, we can all make more money out of peace than we can out of war – even the munitions makers.
So…I say,



Smedley Butler
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Major General
Smedley Butler

Birth name Smedley Darlington Butler
Nickname(s) “Old Gimlet Eye”
“The Fighting Quaker”
“Old Duckboard”
Born July 30, 1881
West Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died June 21, 1940 (aged 58)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Buried at Oaklands Cemetery
West Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1898–1931
Rank Major General
Unit 2nd Marine Regiment
1st Marine Regiment
Commands held 13th Marine Regiment
Marine Expeditionary Force, China
1st Marine Regiment
Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
Battle of Noveleta
Boxer Rebellion
Battle of Tientsin
Battle of San Tan Pating
Banana Wars
Battle of Masaya
Siege of Granada, Nicaragua
Battle of Coyotepe Hill
Infiltration of Mexico City
Battle of Fort Dipitie
Battle of Fort Rivière
Mexican Revolution
Battle of Veracruz
World War I
Western Front
Awards Medal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor (2)
Marine Corps Brevet Medal ribbon.svg Marine Corps Brevet Medal
Ordre de l’Etoile Noire Officier ribbon.svg Order of the Black Star (Officier)
Other work Coal miner, author, public speaker, Philadelphia Director of Public Safety (1924–1925)
Smedley Darlington Butler[1] (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler is well known for having later become an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.
By the end of his career, Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.
In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to other Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot and the media ridiculed the allegations. A final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler’s testimony.
In 1935, Butler wrote a book entitled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those he was a part of, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them. After retiring from service, he became a popular activist, speaking at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists, and church groups in the 1930s.

Early life[edit]
Smedley Butler was born July 30, 1881, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the eldest of three sons. His parents, Thomas and Maud (née Darlington) Butler,[2] were descended from local Quaker families. Both of his parents were of entirely English ancestry, all of which had been in what is now the United States since the 1600s.[3] 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. His maternal grandfather was Smedley Darlington, a Republican Congressman from 1887 to 1891.[4]
Butler attended the West Chester Friends Graded High School, followed by The Haverford School, a secondary school popular with sons of upper-class Philadelphia families.[5] A Haverford athlete, he became captain of its baseball team and quarterback of its football team.[2] Against the wishes of his father, he left school 38 days before his seventeenth birthday to enlist in the Marine Corps during the Spanish–American War. Nevertheless, Haverford awarded him his high school diploma on June 6, 1898, before the end of his final year; his transcript stated he completed the Scientific Course “with Credit”.[2]

Military career[edit]

Spanish–American War[edit]
In the anti-Spanish war fervor of 1898, Butler lied about his age to receive a direct commission as a Marine second lieutenant.[2] He trained in Washington D.C. at the Marine Barracks on the corner of 8th and I Streets. In July 1898, he went to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, arriving shortly after its invasion and capture.[6] His company soon returned to the U.S. and after a short break, he was assigned to the armored cruiser USS New York for four months.[7] He came home to be mustered out of service in February 1899,[7] but in 8 April 1899, he accepted a commission as a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps.[7]
Philippine–American War[edit]
The Marine Corps sent him to Manila, Philippines.[8] On garrison duty with little to do, Butler turned to alcohol to relieve the boredom. He once became drunk and was temporarily relieved of command after an unspecified incident in his room.[9]
In October 1899, he saw his first combat action when he led 300 Marines to take the town of Noveleta, from Filipino rebels known as Insurrectos. In the initial moments of the assault, his first sergeant was wounded. Butler briefly panicked, but quickly regained his composure and led his Marines in pursuit of the fleeing enemy.[9] By noon the Marines had dispersed the rebels and taken the town. One Marine had been killed and ten were wounded. Another 50 Marines had been incapacitated by the humid tropical heat.[10]
After the excitement of this combat, garrison duty again became routine. Butler had a very large Eagle, Globe, and Anchor tattoo made which started at his throat and extended to his waist. He also met Littleton Waller, a fellow Marine with whom he maintained a lifelong friendship. When Waller received command of a company in Guam, he was allowed to select five officers to take with him; he chose Butler. Before they had departed, their orders were changed and they were sent to China aboard the USS Solace to help put down the Boxer Rebellion.[10]
Boxer Rebellion[edit]

Butler being carried on the back of another Marine to safety across a river at the Battle of Tientsin.
Once in China, Butler was initially deployed at Tientsin. He took part in the Battle of Tientsin on July 13, 1900 and in the subsequent Gaselee Expedition, during which he saw the mutilated remains of Japanese soldiers. When he saw another Marine officer fall wounded, he climbed out of a trench to rescue him. Butler was then himself shot in the thigh. Another Marine helped him get to safety, but also was shot. Despite his leg wound, Butler assisted the wounded officer to the rear. Four enlisted men would receive the Medal of Honor in the battle. Butler’s commanding officer, Major Littleton W. T. Waller, personally commended him and wrote that “for such reward as you may deem proper the following officers: Lieutenant Smedley D. Butler, for the admirable control of his men in all the fights of the week, for saving a wounded man at the risk of his own life, and under a very severe fire.” Commissioned officers were not then eligible to receive the Medal of Honor, and Butler instead received a promotion to captain by brevet while he recovered in the hospital, two weeks before his nineteenth birthday.
He was eligible for the Marine Corps Brevet Medal when it was created in 1921, and was one of only 20 Marines to receive it.[11] His citation reads:
The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in transmitting to First Lieutenant Smedley Darlington Butler, United States Marine Corps, 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 while serving with the Second Battalion of Marines, near Tientsin, China, on 13 July 1900. On 28 March 1901, First Lieutenant Butler is appointed Captain by brevet, to take rank from 13 July 1900.[12]
The Banana Wars[edit]
Butler participated in a series of occupations, police actions, and interventions by the United States in Central America and the Caribbean, commonly called the Banana Wars because their goal was to protect American commercial interests in the region, particularly those of the United Fruit Company. This company had significant financial stakes in the production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and other products throughout the Caribbean, Central America and the northern portions of South America. The U.S. was also trying to advance its own political interests by maintaining its influence in the region and especially its control of the Panama Canal. These interventions started with the Spanish–American War in 1898 and ended with the withdrawal of troops from Haiti and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy in 1934.[13] After his retirement, Butler became an outspoken critic of the business interests in the Caribbean, criticizing the ways in which U.S. businesses and Wall Street bankers imposed their agenda on United States foreign policy during this period.[14]
In 1903, Butler was stationed in Puerto Rico on Culebra Island. Hearing rumors of a Honduran revolt, the United States government ordered his unit and a supporting naval detachment to sail to Honduras, 1,500 miles (2,414 km) to the west, to defend the U.S. Consulate in Honduras. Using a converted banana boat renamed the Panther, Butler and several hundred Marines landed at the port town of Puerto Cortés. In a letter home, he described the action: they were “prepared to land and shoot everybody and everything that was breaking the peace”,[15] but instead found a quiet town. The Marines re-boarded the Panther and continued up the coast line looking for rebels at several towns, but found none.
When they arrived at Trujillo, however, they heard gunfire, and came upon a battle in progress that had been waged for 55 hours between rebels called Bonillista and Honduran government soldiers at a local fort. At the sight of the Marines, the fighting ceased and Butler led a detachment of Marines to the American consulate, where he found the consul, wrapped in an American flag, hiding among the floor beams. As soon as the Marines left the area with the shaken consul, the battle resumed and the Bonillistas soon controlled the government.[15] During this expedition Butler earned the first of his nicknames, “Old Gimlet Eye”. It was attributed to his feverish, bloodshot eyes—he was suffering from some unnamed tropic fever at the time—which enhanced his penetrating and bellicose stare.[16]
Marriage and business[edit]
After the Honduran campaign, Butler returned to Philadelphia. He married Ethel Conway Peters of Philadelphia in Bay Head, New Jersey, on June 30, 1905.[17] His best man at the wedding was his former commanding officer in China, Lieutenant Colonel Littleton W. T. Waller.[18] The couple eventually had three children: a daughter, Ethel Peters Butler (Mrs. John Wehle), and two sons, Smedley Darlington, Jr. and Thomas Richard.[19]
Butler was next assigned to garrison duty in the Philippines, where he once launched a resupply mission across the stormy waters of Subic Bay after his isolated outpost ran out of rations. In 1908, he was diagnosed as having a nervous breakdown and received nine months sick leave which he spent at home. He successfully managed a coal mine in West Virginia, but returned to active duty in the Marine Corps at the first opportunity.[20]
Central America[edit]
From 1909 to 1912, Butler served in Nicaragua, enforcing U.S. policy, and once again led his battalion to the relief of a rebel-besieged city, this time Granada, and again, with a 104-degree fever. In December 1909, he commanded the 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, on the Isthmus of Panama. On August 11, 1912, he was temporarily detached to command an expeditionary battalion with which he participated in the Battle of Masaya on September 19, 1912 and the bombardment, assault and capture of Coyotepe Hill, Nicaragua in October 1912. He remained in Nicaragua until November 1912, when he rejoined the Marines of 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, at Camp Elliott, Panama.[4]
Veracruz, Mexico, and first Medal of Honor[edit]
Eight people in military uniforms. They are wearing hats and are standing in formation.
Marine Officers at Veracruz. Front row, left to right: Wendell C. Neville; John A. Lejeune; Littleton W. T. Waller, Commanding; Smedley Butler
Butler and his family were living in Panama in January 1914 when he was ordered to report as the Marine officer of a battleship squadron massing off the coast of Mexico, near Veracruz, to monitor a revolutionary movement. He did not like leaving his family and the home they had established in Panama and he intended to request orders home as soon as he determined he was not needed.[21]
On March 1, 1914, Butler and Navy Lieutenant (later Admiral) Frank Fletcher went ashore in Veracruz and made their way to Jalapa, Mexico and back. A purpose of the trip was to allow Butler and Fletcher to discuss the details of a future expedition into Mexico. Fletcher’s plan required Butler to make his way into the country and develop a more detailed invasion plan while inside its borders. It was a spy mission and Butler was enthusiastic to get started. When Admiral Fletcher explained the plan to the commanders in Washington, D.C., they agreed to it. Butler was given the go-ahead. He entered Mexico and made his way to the U.S. Consulate in Mexico City, posing as a railroad official named “Mr. Johnson”. He and the chief railroad inspector scoured the city, saying they were searching for a lost railroad employee; there was no lost employee, and in fact the employee they said was lost never existed. The ruse gave Butler access to various areas of the city. In the process of the so-called search, they located weapons in use by the Mexican army, and determined the sizes of units and states of readiness. They updated maps and verified the railroad lines for use in an impending US invasion.[22] On March 7, 1914, he returned to Veracruz with the information he had gathered and presented it to his commanders. The invasion plan was eventually scrapped when authorities loyal to Victoriano Huerta detained a small American naval landing party in Tampico, Mexico, which became known as the Tampico Affair.[23]
When President Woodrow Wilson discovered that an arms shipment was about to arrive in Mexico, he sent a contingent of Marines and sailors to Veracruz to intercept it on April 21, 1914. Over the next few days, street fighting and sniper fire posed a threat to Butler’s force, but a door-to-door search rooted out most of the resistance. By April 26, the landing force of 5,800 Marines and sailors secured the city, which they held for the next six months. By the end of the conflict, the Americans reported 17 dead and 63 wounded and the Mexican forces had 126 dead and 195 wounded. After the actions at Veracruz, the United States decided to minimize the bloodshed and changed their plans from a full invasion of Mexico to simply maintaining the city of Veracruz.[24] For his actions on April 22, Butler was awarded his first Medal of Honor.[4][12] The citation reads:
For distinguished conduct in battle, engagement of Vera Cruz, 22 April 1914. Major Butler was eminent and conspicuous in command of his battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22d and in the final occupation of the city.[12]
After the occupation of Veracruz, many military personnel received the Medal of Honor, an unusually high number that diminished somewhat the prestige of the award. The Army presented one, nine went to Marines and 46 were bestowed upon Navy personnel. During World War I, Butler, then a major, attempted to return his Medal, explaining he had done nothing to deserve it. The medal was returned with orders to keep it and to wear it as well.[25]
Haiti and second Medal of Honor[edit]
In 1915, members of the populace killed the Haitian president Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. In response, the United States ordered the USS Connecticut to Haiti with Major Butler and a group of Marines on board. On October 24, 1915, an estimated 400 Cacos ambushed Butler’s patrol of 44 mounted Marines when they approached Fort Dipitie. Surrounded by Cacos the Marines maintained their perimeter throughout the night. The next morning, they charged the much larger enemy force by breaking out in three directions. The startled Haitians fled.[26] In early November Butler and a force of 700 Marines and sailors returned to the mountains to clear the area. At their temporary headquarters base at Le Trou they fought off an attack by about 100 Cacos. After the Americans took several other forts and ramparts during the following days, only Fort Rivière, an old French-built stronghold atop Montagne Noire, was left.[26]
For the operation, Butler was given three companies of Marines and some sailors from the USS Connecticut, about 100 men. They encircled the fort, and gradually closed in on it. Butler reached the fort from the southern side with the 15th Company and found a small opening in the wall. The Marines entered through the opening and engaged the Cacos in hand-to-hand combat. Butler and the Marines took the rebel stronghold on November 17, 1915, an action for which he received his second Medal of Honor, as well as the Haitian Medal of Honor.[12] The entire battle lasted less than twenty minutes. Only one Marine was injured in the assault when he was struck by a rock and lost two teeth.[27] All 51 Haitians in the Fort were killed.[26] Butler’s exploits impressed then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, who recommended the award based upon Butler’s performance during the engagement.[28] Once the medal was approved and presented in 1917, Butler achieved the distinction, shared with Dan Daly, of being the only Marines to receive the Medal of Honor twice for separate actions.[4] The citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in action as Commanding Officer of detachments from the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and the Marine and sailor detachment from the U.S.S. Connecticut, Major Butler led the attack on Fort Rivière, Haiti, 17 November 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of Marines gradually closed in on the old French bastion fort in an effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Caco bandits. Reaching the fort on the southern side where there was a small opening in the wall, Major Butler gave the signal to attack and Marines from the 15th Company poured through the breach, engaged the Cacos in hand-to-hand combat, took the bastion and crushed the Caco resistance. Throughout this perilous action, Major Butler was conspicuous for his bravery and forceful leadership.[12]
Subsequently, as the initial organizer and commanding officer of the Gendarmerie d’Haïti, the native police force, Butler established a record as a capable administrator. Under his supervision, social order, administered by the dictatorship, was largely restored and many vital public works projects were successfully completed.[29] He recalled later that, during his time in Haiti, he and his troops “hunted the Cacos like pigs.”[27]
World War I[edit]
Four men in military uniforms wearing hats. Three are seated on a bench and one is standing behind the others.
Butler (far right) with three other legendary Marines. From left to right: Sergeant Major John Henry Quick, Major General Wendell Cushing Neville, Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune
During World War I, to his disappointment, Butler was not assigned to a combat command on the Western Front. He made several requests for a posting in France, writing letters to his personal friend, Wendell Cushing Neville. While Butler’s superiors considered him brave and brilliant, they described him as “unreliable.”[6]
In October 1918, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general at the age of 37 and placed in command of Camp Pontanezen at Brest, France, a debarkation depot that funneled troops of the American Expeditionary Force to the battlefields. The camp had been unsanitary, overcrowded and disorganized. U.S. Secretary of War Newton Baker sent novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart to report on the camp. She later described how Butler tackled the sanitation problems. Butler began by solving the problem of mud: “[T]he ground under the tents was nothing but mud, [so] he had raided the wharf at Brest of the duckboards no longer needed for the trenches, carted the first one himself up that four-mile hill to the camp, and thus provided something in the way of protection for the men to sleep on.”[6] General John J. Pershing authorized a duckboard shoulder patch for the units. This earned Butler another nickname, “Old Duckboard.” For his exemplary service he was awarded both the Army Distinguished Service Medal and Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the French Order of the Black Star.[4] The citation for the Army Distinguished Service Medal states:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Smedley Darlington Butler, United States Marine Corps, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I. Brigadier General Butler commanded with ability and energy Pontanezen Camp at Brest during the time in which it has developed into the largest embarkation camp in the world. Confronted with problems of extraordinary magnitude in supervising the reception, entertainment and departure of the large numbers of officers and soldiers passing through this camp, he has solved all with conspicuous success, performing services of the highest character for the American Expeditionary Forces.[12]
The citation for the Navy Distinguished Service Medal states:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Smedley Darlington Butler, United States Marine Corps, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services in France, during World War I. Brigadier General Butler organized, trained and commanded the 13th Regiment Marines; also the 5th Brigade of Marines. He commanded with ability and energy Camp Pontanezen at Brest during the time in which it has developed into the largest embarkation camp in the world. Confronted with problems of extraordinary magnitude in supervising the reception, entertainment and departure of large numbers of officers and soldiers passing through the camp, he has solved all with conspicuous success, performing services of the highest character for the American Expeditionary Forces.[12]

Butler sitting in car at Gettysburg during a Pickett’s Charge reenactment by Marines in 1922
Following the war, he became Commanding General of the Marine Barracks at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. At Quantico, he transformed the wartime training camp into a permanent Marine post. During a training exercise in western Virginia in 1921, he was told by a local farmer that Stonewall Jackson’s arm was buried nearby, to which he replied, “Bosh! I will take a squad of Marines and dig up that spot to prove you wrong!”[30] Butler found the arm in a box. He later replaced the wooden box with a metal one, and reburied the arm. He left a plaque on the granite monument marking the burial place of Jackson’s arm; the plaque is no longer on the marker but can be viewed at the Chancellorsville Battlefield visitor’s center.[30][31]
China and stateside service[edit]
From 1927 to 1929, Butler was commander of the Marine Expeditionary Force in China and, while there, cleverly parlayed his influence among various generals and warlords to the protection of U.S. interests, ultimately winning the public acclaim of contending Chinese leaders. When Butler returned to the United States in 1929 he was promoted to major general, becoming, at age 48, the youngest major general of the Marine Corps. He directed the Quantico camp’s growth until it became the “showplace” of the Corps.[32] Butler won national attention by taking thousands of his men on long field marches, many of which he led from the front, to Gettysburg and other Civil War battle sites, where they conducted large-scale re-enactments before crowds of distinguished spectators.[32]
In 1931, Butler violated diplomatic norms by publicly recounting gossip[33][34] about Benito Mussolini in which the dictator allegedly struck and killed a child with his speeding automobile in a hit-and-run accident. The Italian government protested and President Hoover, who strongly disliked Butler,[35] forced Secretary of the Navy Charles Francis Adams III to court-martial him. Butler became the first general officer to be placed under arrest since the Civil War. He apologized to Secretary Adams and the court-martial was canceled with only a reprimand.[36]
Director of Public Safety[edit]
At the urging of Butler’s father, in 1924, the newly elected mayor of Philadelphia W. Freeland Kendrick asked him to leave the Marines to become the Director of Public Safety, the official in charge of running the city’s police and fire departments. Philadelphia’s municipal government was notoriously corrupt and Butler initially refused. Kendrick asked President Calvin Coolidge to intervene. Coolidge contacted Butler and authorized him to take the necessary leave from the Corps. At the request of the President, Butler served in the post from January 1924 until December 1925.[4] He began his new job by assembling all 4,000 of the city police into the Metropolitan Opera House in shifts to introduce himself and inform them that things would change while he was in charge. He replaced corrupt police officers and, in some cases, switched entire units from one part of the city to another, undermining local protection rackets and profiteering.[37][38]
Within 48 hours of taking over, Butler organized raids on more than 900 speakeasies, ordering them padlocked and, in many cases, destroyed. In addition to raiding the speakeasies, he also attempted to eliminate other illegal activities: bootlegging, prostitution, gambling and police corruption. More zealous than he was political, he ordered crackdowns on the social elite’s favorite hangouts, such as the Ritz-Carlton and the Union League, as well as on drinking establishments that served the working class.[39] Although he was effective in reducing crime and police corruption, he was a controversial leader. In one instance he made a statement that he would promote the first officer to kill a bandit and stated, “I don’t believe there is a single bandit notch on a policeman’s guns [sic] in this city, go out and get some.”[37] Although many of the local citizens and police felt that the raids were just a show, the raids continued for several weeks.[38]
He implemented programs to improve city safety and security. He established policies and guidelines of administration, and developed a Philadelphia police uniform that resembled that of the Marine Corps.[40] Other changes included military-style checkpoints into the city, bandit chasing squads armed with sawed-off shotguns, and armored police cars.[40] The press began reporting on the good and the bad aspects of Butler’s personal war on crime. The reports praised the new uniforms, the new programs and the reductions in crime but they also reflected the public’s negative opinion of their new Public Safety director. Many felt that he was being too aggressive in his tactics and resented the reductions in their civil rights, such as the stopping of citizens at the city checkpoints. Butler frequently swore in his radio addresses, causing many citizens to suggest his behavior, particularly his language, was inappropriate for someone of his rank and stature.[41] Some even suggested Butler acted like a military dictator, even charging that he wrongfully used active-duty Marines in some of his raids.[41] Major R. A. Haynes, the federal Prohibition commissioner, visited the city in 1924, six months after Butler was appointed. He announced that “great progress”[42] had been made in the city and attributed that success to Butler.[42]
Eventually Butler’s leadership style and the directness of actions undermined his support within the community. His departure seemed imminent. Mayor Kendrick reported to the press, “I had the guts to bring General Butler to Philadelphia and I have the guts to fire him.”[43] Feeling that his duties in Philadelphia were coming to an end, Butler contacted General Lejeune to prepare for his return to the Marine Corps. Not all of the city felt he was doing a bad job, though, and when the news started to break that he would be leaving, people began to gather at the Academy of Music. A group of 4,000 supporters assembled and negotiated a truce between him and the mayor to keep him in Philadelphia for a while longer, and the President authorized a one-year extension for him.[44]
Butler devoted much of his second year to executing arrest warrants, cracking down on crooked police and enforcing prohibition. On January 1, 1926, his leave from the Marine Corps ended and the President declined a request for a second extension. Butler received orders to report to San Diego and he prepared his family and his belongings for the new assignment.[45] In light of his pending departure, Butler began to defy the Mayor and other key city officials. On the eve of his departure, he had an article printed in the paper stating his intention to stay and “finish the job”.[46] The mayor was surprised and furious when he read the press release the next morning and demanded his resignation.[46] After almost two years in office, Butler resigned under pressure, stating later that “cleaning up Philadelphia was worse than any battle I was ever in.”[39]
Military retirement[edit]
Five men, two in the foreground and three in the background, one mostly obscured. Two men are in suits and three are in their military dress uniforms. All of the men in the picture are wearing hats. The two men in the foreground are shaking hands.
Major General Butler at his retirement ceremony
When Commandant of the Marine Corps Major General Wendell C. Neville died July 8, 1930, Butler, at that time the senior major general in the Corps, was a candidate for the position.[32] Although he had significant support from many inside and outside the Corps, including John Lejeune and Josephus Daniels, two other Marine Corps generals were seriously considered, Ben H. Fuller and John H. Russell. Lejeune and others petitioned President Hoover, garnered support in the Senate and flooded Secretary of the Navy Charles Adams’s desk with more than 2,500 letters of support.[47] With the recent death of his influential father, however, Butler had lost much of his protection from his civilian superiors. The outspokenness that characterized his run-ins with the Mayor of Philadelphia, the “unreliability” mentioned by his superiors when opposing a posting to the Western Front, and his comments about Benito Mussolini resurfaced. In the end, the position of Commandant went to Fuller, who had more years of commissioned service than Butler and was considered less controversial. Butler requested retirement and left active duty on October 1, 1931.[6][32]
Later years[edit]
Even before retiring from the Corps, 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.[48] He began lecturing at events and conferences and after his retirement from the Marines in 1931, he took this up full-time. He 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.[49]
A man in a suit standing on a stage next to a large pole. There is a Marine in the background in his dress uniform and behind him a crowd of people are watching the man on the stage.
Smedley Butler at one of his many speaking engagements after his retirement in the 1930s.
Senate campaign[edit]
Butler announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in the Republican primary in Pennsylvania in March 1932 as a proponent of Prohibition, known as a “dry”.[49] He allied with Gifford Pinchot, but they were defeated by Senator James J. Davis.[50] According to biographer Mark Strecker, Butler then moved politically to the far left, voting for Norman Thomas of the Socialist Party for president in 1936.[51]
Bonus Army[edit]
Main article: Bonus Army
During his Senate campaign, Butler spoke out forcefully about the veterans bonus. Veterans of World War I, many of whom had been out of work since the beginning of the Great Depression, sought immediate cash payment of Service Certificates granted to them eight years earlier via the World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924. Each Service Certificate, issued to a qualified veteran soldier, bore a face value equal to the soldier’s promised payment, plus compound interest. The problem was that the certificates (like bonds), matured 20 years from the date of original issuance, thus, under extant law, the Service Certificates could not be redeemed until 1945. In June 1932, approximately 43,000 marchers—17,000 of whom were World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—protested in Washington, D.C.[52] The Bonus Expeditionary Force, also known as the “Bonus Army”, marched on Washington to advocate the passage of the “soldier’s bonus” for service during World War I. After Congress adjourned, bonus marchers remained in the city and became unruly. On July 28, 1932, two bonus marchers were shot by police, causing the entire mob to become hostile and riotous. The FBI, then known as the United States Bureau of Investigation, checked its fingerprint records to obtain the police records of individuals who had been arrested during the riots or who had participated in the bonus march.[52][53]
The veterans made camp in the Anacostia flats while they awaited the congressional decision on whether or not to pay the bonus. The motion, known as the Patman bill, was decisively defeated, but the veterans stayed in their camp. Butler arrived with his young son Thomas, in mid-July the day before the official eviction by the Hoover administration. He walked through the camp and spoke to the veterans; he told them that they were fine soldiers and they had a right to lobby Congress just as much as any corporation. He and his son spent the night and ate with the men, and in the morning Butler gave a speech to the camping veterans. He instructed them to keep their sense of humor and cautioned them not to do anything that would cost public sympathy.[54] On July 28, army cavalry units led by General Douglas MacArthur dispersed the Bonus Army by riding through it and using gas. During the conflict several veterans were killed or injured and Butler declared himself a “Hoover-for-Ex-President-Republican”.[55]
He became widely known for his outspoken lectures against war profiteering, U.S. military adventurism, and what he viewed as nascent fascism in the United States.
In December 1933, Butler toured the country with James E. Van Zandt to recruit members for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He described their effort as “trying to educate the soldiers out of the sucker class.” In his speeches he denounced the Economy Act of 1933, called on veterans to organize politically to win their benefits, and condemned the FDR administration for its ties to big business. The VFW reprinted one of his speeches with the title “You Got to Get Mad” in its magazine Foreign Service. He said: “I believe in…taking Wall St. by the throat and shaking it up.”[56] He believed the rival veterans’ group the American Legion was controlled by banking interests. On December 8, 1933, he said: “I have never known one leader of the American Legion who had never sold them out—and I mean it.”[57]
In addition to his speeches to pacifist groups, he served from 1935 to 1937 as a spokesman for the American League Against War and Fascism.[58][59] In 1935, he wrote the exposé War Is a Racket, a trenchant condemnation of the profit motive behind warfare. His views on the subject are summarized in the following passage from the November 1935 issue of the socialist magazine Common Sense:[14]
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.
Business Plot[edit]
File:Universal Newsreel – Gen. Butler bares “plot” by fascists.ogv
Smedley Butler describes a political conspiracy to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933
In November 1934, Butler claimed the existence of a political conspiracy by business leaders to overthrow President Roosevelt, a series of allegations that came to be known in the media as the Business Plot.[60][61] A special committee of the House of Representatives headed by Representatives John W. McCormack of Massachusetts and Samuel Dickstein of New York, who was later alleged to have been a paid agent of the NKVD,[62] heard his testimony in secret.[63] The McCormack-Dickstein committee was a precursor to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
In November 1934, Butler told the committee that one Gerald P. MacGuire told him that a group of businessmen, supposedly 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 MacGuire, who was a bond salesman with Grayson M–P Murphy & Co. The New York Times reported that Butler had told friends that General Hugh S. Johnson, former head of the National Recovery Administration, was to be installed as dictator, and that the J.P. Morgan banking firm was behind the plot. Butler told Congress that 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 publicly said there was no truth in the story, calling it a joke and a fantasy.[63]
In its report, the committee stated that it was unable to confirm Butler’s statements other than the conversations with MacGuire.[64] No prosecutions or further investigations followed, and historians have questioned whether or not a coup was actually contemplated. Historians have not reported any independent evidence apart from Butler’s report on what MacGuire told him. Schmidt says Maguire was an “inconsequential trickster.”[65][66][67][68] The news media dismissed the plot, with a New York Times editorial characterizing it as a “gigantic hoax”.[69] 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 “… 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”.[70] The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot, despite evidence to the contrary. The media ridiculed the allegations, although a final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler’s accusations [71][n 1][n 2]
The McCormack-Dickstein Committee confirmed some of Butler’s testimony in its final report. “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…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 expedient.”[71][n 1][n 2]
Upon his retirement, Butler bought a home in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, where he lived with his wife.[72] In June 1940, he checked himself into the hospital after becoming sick a few weeks earlier. His doctor described his illness as an incurable condition of the upper gastro-intestinal tract that was probably cancer. His family remained by his side, even bringing his new car so he could see it from the window. He never had a chance to drive it. On June 21, 1940, Smedley Butler died in the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia.[71]
The funeral was held at his home, attended by friends and family as well as several politicians, members of the Philadelphia police force and officers of the Marine Corps.[73] He was buried at Oaklands Cemetery near West Chester, Pennsylvania.[74] Since his death in 1940, his family has maintained his home as it was when he died, including a large quantity of memorabilia he had collected throughout his varied career.[73]
Honors and awards[edit]
Military awards[edit]
In addition to the Medal of Honor and his other American military decorations, Butler received several awards from other countries including the Haitian Order of Honour and Merit and the French Order of the Black Star.[75]
2nd award always stands as separate ribbon
Red ribbon with seven white stars: a row of three stars across the center, and rows of two stars above and below Navy blue ribbon with central gold stripe Width-44 white ribbon with width-10 scarlet stripes at edges, separated from the white by width-2 ultramarine blue stripes.
Bronze starBronze starBronze starRed ribbon with two broad dark yellow stripes Width-44 yellow ribbon with two width-12 ultramarine blue stripes each distance 4 from the edge Width-44 golden yellow ribbon with width-2 ultramarine blue stripes at the edges Width-44 ultramarine blue ribbon with width-10 Old Glory red stripes 2 units away from the edges
Width-44 red ribbon with width-10 blue stripes 2 units away from the edges Dark blue ribbon with two red stripes close to the center Red ribbon with two dark blue stripes close to the center Width-44 golden yellow ribbon with width-4 emerald green stripes at the edges and a central width-12 ultramarine blue stripe
Rainbow ribbon with violet at the outer edges and going down the spectrum to red in the center Dark blue ribbon with medium-width dark blue, yellow, and orange stripes at each border
1st row Medal of Honor[4][12][76] Medal of Honor[4][12][76]
2nd row Marine Corps Brevet Medal[12][76] Navy Distinguished Service Medal[4][76] Army Distinguished Service Medal[4][12][76]
3rd row Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, w/ 3 service stars[76][n 3] Spanish Campaign Medal[76] China Relief Expedition Medal[76] Philippine Campaign Medal[76]
4th row Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1912)[76] Haitian Campaign Medal (1917)[76] Dominican Campaign Medal[76] Mexican Service Medal[76]
5th row World War I Victory Medal w/ Maltese cross[76] Yangtze Service Medal[76] National Order of Honour and Merit (Haiti)[4][77] Order of the Black Star, Officer grade[75]
Other honors and recognition[edit]
The USS Butler (DD-636), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was named in his honor in 1942.[4] This vessel participated in the European and Pacific theaters of operations during the Second World War. She was later converted to a high speed minesweeper.[4][78]
The Boston, Massachusetts, chapter of Veterans for Peace is called the Smedley D. Butler Brigade in his honor.[79]
Butler was featured in the 2003 Canadian documentary film The Corporation.[80]
In his book My First Days in the White House, Senator Huey Long of Louisiana stated that, if elected to the presidency, he would name Butler as his Secretary of War.[32]
His childhood home at West Chester, The Butler House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[81]
Published works[edit]
Butler, Smedley; Burks, Arthur J. (1927). Walter Garvin in Mexico. Philadelphia: Dorrance. OCLC 3595275.
——; de Ronde, Philip (1935). Paraguay: A Gallant Little Nation: The Story of Paraguay’s War with Bolivia. OCLC 480786605.
—— (1934). Speech. Smedley Butler Talks on Black Shirts in America, Philadelphia. Hearst Vault Material, HVMc71r2, 1447.
——; Venzon, Anne Cipriano. The Papers of General Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC, 1915–1918. OCLC 10958085.
——; Murphy, William R. Letter to William R. Murphy, 1925 April 25. OCLC 53437731.
——; Venzon, Anne Cipriano (1992). General Smedley Darlington Butler: The Letters of a Leatherneck, 1898–1931. Praeger. ISBN 0-275-94141-8. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
—— (July 1929). “The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science”. American Marines in China. OCLC 479642987.
—— (1933). Old Gimlet Eye. New York: Farrar & Rinehart. ISBN 0-940328-01-1. OCLC 219896546.
——; Lejeune, John Archer; Miller, J. Michael (2002). My Dear Smedley: Personal Correspondence of John A. LeJeune and Smedley D. Butler, 1927–1928. Marine Corps Research Center.
—— (2003) [1935]. War Is a Racket. Los Angeles: Feral House. ISBN 0-922915-86-5.
See also[edit]
List of Medal of Honor recipients
List of Medal of Honor recipients (Veracruz)
List of historically notable United States Marines
P vip.svgBiography portal Fokker Dr. I (117710246).jpgWorld War I portal USMC logo.svgUnited States Marine Corps portal
^ Jump up to: a b Investigation of Nazi Propaganda Activities and Investigation of Certain Other Propaganda Activities: Public Hearings Before the Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-third Congress, Second Session, at Washington, D.C. p.8-114 D.C. 6 II
^ Jump up to: a b “HUAC’s final report to Congress: “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 expedient.” The committee had verified “all the pertinent statements made by General Butler, with the exception of the direct statement suggesting the creation of the organization.”
Jump up ^ The Expeditionary Medal, as was worn for part of his career, would have used award numerals; in Butler’s case, a “4” would have been worn to denote 4 deployments. The wearing of numerals was discontinued in 1921 in favor of service stars.
Jump up ^ nicknamed “The Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye”
^ Jump up to: a b c d Hans Schmidt, Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998) p. 7
Jump up ^ Smedley D. Butler, USMC: A Biography By Mark Strecker page 3
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m “Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC (Deceased)”. Who’s Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
Jump up ^ Archer, 1973, p. 38
^ Jump up to: a b c d Butler, Smedley Darlington and Venzon, Anne Cipria, 1992, p. 10
^ Jump up to: a b c Schmidt, 1998, p. 9
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 10
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 11
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 12
Jump up ^ “Report of the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, Marines in China: The Relief Expedition”. United States Marine Corps. September 29, 1900. Retrieved August 17, 2006.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k “Smedley Butler”. Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
Jump up ^ Langley, 1983
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 231
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, pp. 28–32
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 50
Jump up ^ “Butler−Peters”. New York Times. 1 July 1905. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 39
Jump up ^ “Mrs. Smedley Butler”. New York Times. 16 June 1962. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
Jump up ^ Boot, 2003, p. 144
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 60–61
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 64–65
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 67–68
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 68–70
Jump up ^ Editors of the Boston Publishing Company (1985). Above and Beyond, A History of the Medal of Honor from the Civil War to Vietnam. p. 113. ISBN 0-8094-5628-1.
^ Jump up to: a b c Schmidt, 1998, p. 80
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1995, p. 85
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1995, p. 81
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 92
^ Jump up to: a b Farwell, 1993, p. 513
Jump up ^ Horwitz, 1999, p. 232
^ Jump up to: a b c d e Ward
Jump up ^ Talbot, David (2010). Devil dog : the amazing true story of the man who saved America (hardcover). Spain Rodriguez, illustrator (1st ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 114. ISBN 978-1-4391-0902-1. as more evidence of Mussolini’s road mayhem began to surface…Il Duce’s American passenger came forward to corroborate the story. He turned out to be globe-trotting newspaperman and son of fortune Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr…
Jump up ^ “Vanderbilt Tells Mussolini Story: Hit-Run Incident Happened But Butler Garbled It, He Says”. Lawrence Daily Journal-World (38). February 13, 1931. (p.1) …Vanderbilt’s story of the Mussolini incident was as follows: I was riding with Mussolini, who drove. A small child ran in front of the machine at a sharp turn in the run and was hit. I looked back to see if the child was hurt. Mussolini put his hand on my knee and said ‘Never look back, Vanderbilt, always look ahead in life.’
Jump up ^ David Talbot, Devil Dog: The Amazing True Story Of The Man Who Saved America (hardcover), Spain Rodriguez, illustrator (1st ed.), p. 114, ISBN 978-1-4391-0902-1, Butler…told the young officer that President Hoover had an ulterior motive for punishing him so harshly…During the Boxer Rebellion [and the] siege of Tientsin [Butler’s marines were] disgusted to find an American engineer hiding in the basement with the women and children… ‘Do you know who that man was?’ Butler asked his visitor. ‘Herbert Hoover.’
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 212
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 146
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 147
^ Jump up to: a b “Leatherneck legends; Swapping some sea stories at the birthday ball? Here are 8 of the Corps’ best”. Marine Corps Times: 22. November 15, 2004.
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 148
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 149
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 150
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 153
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 153–4
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 154–5
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, pp. 156–7
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 205–6
Jump up ^ “Oregon State Police History”. Oregon State Police, Official Oregon State website. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, pp. 215–16
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 220
Jump up ^ Mark Strecker (2011). Smedley D. Butler, USMC: A Biography. McFarland. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-7864-8477-5.
^ Jump up to: a b “Bonus March”. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 216–226
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 218
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, pp. 218–219
Jump up ^ Stephen R. Ortiz, “The ‘New Deal’ for Veterans: The Economy Act, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Origins of the New Deal,” Journal of Military History, vol. 70 (2006), 434–5
Jump up ^ New York Times: “Butler for Bonus out of Wall Street”, December 10, 1933, accessed January 10, 2011
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 234
Jump up ^ Klehr, 1984, pp. 110–12, 372–73
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 224
Jump up ^ George Wolfskill, The Revolt of the Conservatives: A History of the American Liberty League, 1934–1940 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962), 85–91, 94–5
Jump up ^ Weinstein, Allen; Vassiliev, Alexander (2000-03-14). The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America – The Stalin Era. New York: Modern Library. pp. 140–150. ISBN 0-375-75536-5.
^ Jump up to: a b “Gen. Butler Bares a ‘Fascist Plot'”. The New York Times: 1. November 21, 1934.
Jump up ^ Schlesinger, 2003, p. 85
Jump up ^ Burk, 1990
Jump up ^ Sargent, 1974, Vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 151–2
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 226–7
Jump up ^ Schlesinger, 2003, p. 83
Jump up ^ “Credulity Unlimited”. The New York Times. November 22, 1934.
Jump up ^ “Plot Without Plotters”. Time magazine. December 3, 1934.
^ Jump up to: a b c Schmidt, 1998, p. 245
Jump up ^ Smedley Butler House, Newtown Square Historical Preservation Society. Accessed September 15, 2011.
^ Jump up to: a b Schmidt, 1998, p. 246
Jump up ^ “Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC”. Oaklands Cemetery. 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
^ Jump up to: a b Lelle, 1988, p. 149
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Lelle, 1988, p. 150
Jump up ^ Schmidt, 1998, p. 119
Jump up ^ “Butler”. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History & Heritage Command, Department of the Navy. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
Jump up ^ “Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter 9 Veterans for Peace”. Veterans For Peace. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
Jump up ^ “Synopsis”. Big Picture Media Corporation. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
Jump up ^ “National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
Archer, Jules (1973). The Plot to Seize the White House. Hawthorne Books. ISBN 1-60239-036-3.
Boot, Max (2003). The Savage Wars of Peace (First Paperback ed.). Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00721-X. LCCN 2004695066.
Burk, Robert F. (1990). The Corporate State and the Broker State: The Du Ponts and American National Politics, 1925–1940. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-17272-8.
“Butler – Peters”. The New York Times. July 1, 1905. p. 9.
“Butler”. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History & Heritage Command, Department of the Navy. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
Butler, Smedley Darlington and Venzon, Anne Cipriano (1992). General Smedley Darlington Butler: The Letters of a Leatherneck, 1898–1931. Praeger. ISBN 0-275-94141-8. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
“Credulity Unlimited”. The New York Times. November 22, 1934.
Editors of the Boston Publishing Company (1985). Above and Beyond, A History of the Medal of Honor from the Civil War to Vietnam. p. 113. ISBN 0-8094-5628-1.
Farwell, Byron (1993). Stonewall: A Biography of General Thomas J. Jackson. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-31086-8.
“Gen. Butler Bares a ‘Fascist Plot'”. New York Times. November 21, 1934. p. 1.
“Smedley Butler”. Military Times. Hall of Valor. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
Horwitz, Tony (February 22, 1999). Confederates in the attic. Vintage. ISBN 0-679-75833-X.
Klehr, Harvey (1984). The Heyday of American Communism. Basic Books. pp. 110–12, 372–73. ISBN 0-465-02946-9.
Langley, Lester D. (1985). The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898–1934. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8420-5047-7.
“Leatherneck legends; Swapping some sea stories at the birthday ball? Here are 8 of the Corps’ best”. Marine Corps Times: 22. November 15, 2004.
Lelle, John E. SgtMaj. USMC (Ret) (1988). The Brevet Medal. Quest Publishing Co. ISBN 0-915779-02-1.
“Major General Smedley D. Butler”. Marine Corps Legacy Museum. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
“Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC”. Who’s Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
“Oregon State Police History”. Oregon State Police, Official Oregon State website. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
“Plot Without Plotters”. Time magazine. December 3, 1934. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
“Report of the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, Marines in China: The Relief Expedition”. United States Marine Corps. September 29, 1900. Retrieved August 17, 2006.
Sargent, James E.; Archer, Jules (November 1974). “Review of: The Plot to Seize the White House, by Jules Archer”. The History Teacher (Society for History Education) 8 (1): 151–2. doi:10.2307/491493. JSTOR 491493.
Schlesinger Jr., Arthur M. (2003). The Politics of Upheaval: 1935–1936, The Age of Roosevelt, Volume III (The Age of Roosevelt). Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-34087-4.
Schmidt, Hans (1998). Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History (reprint ed.). University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-0957-4.
Schmidt, Hans (1995). The United States occupation of Haiti, 1915–1934 (reprint, illustrated ed.). Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-2203-6.
“Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter 9 Veterans for Peace”. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
“Synopsis”. Big Picture Media Corporation. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
Ward, Geoffrey C. “Ollie and Old Gimlet Eye”. American Heritage Magazine. Archived from the original on September 13, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
Further reading[edit]
“Camp Smedley Butler website”. United States Marine Corps. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
“Butler, Smedley D”. Dictionary of American Biography, Supplements 1–2: to 1940.
Hoffman, Jon T., Colonel (USMCR, Ret) (December 6, 2007) [2002]. Muschett, James O. (Project Editor), ed. USMC: A Complete History. Crumley, Beth L. (Illustration Editor), Charles J. Ziga (Design) (Beaux Arts ed.). Printed in China: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc. pp. 135, 146–9, 151, 154–5, 165–6, 216–7. ISBN 0-88363-617-4.
McFall, J. Arthur (February 2003). “After 33 years of Marine service, Smedley Butler became an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy”. Military History 19 (6): 16.
Sweetman, Jack (1968). The Landing at Veracruz: 1914. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD.
External links[edit]
Media related to Smedley D. Butler at Wikimedia Commons
Quotations related to Smedley Butler at Wikiquote
“The Marine Corps General Who Called War a Racket: A Radio Documentary”
“War Is A Racket”
Works by or about Smedley Butler at Internet Archive
Works by Smedley Butler at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks) Speaker Icon.svg
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WorldCat VIAF: 8185073 LCCN: n86066093 ISNI: 0000 0000 8087 8323 GND: 118858068 BNF: cb15949505h (data)
Categories: 1881 births1940 deathsAmerican anti-war activistsAmerican Marine Corps personnel of World War IAmerican military personnel of the Boxer RebellionAmerican military personnel of the Spanish–American WarAmerican military writersAmerican people of English descentAmerican QuakersAmerican whistleblowersConspiracy theoristsDisease-related deaths in PennsylvaniaOfficers of the Order of the Black StarOfficiers of the Ordre national du MéritePeople of the Banana WarsPeople from West Chester, PennsylvaniaPennsylvania political activistsPennsylvania RepublicansRecipients of the Distinguished Service Medal (US Army)Recipients of the Navy Distinguished Service MedalTwo-time Medal of Honor recipientsUnited States Marine Corps generalsUnited States Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipientsWriters from PennsylvaniaHaverford School alumni(SOURCE:  WIKIPEDIA)

Follow the MONEY…The 9/11 Heist (SOURCE: The Corbett Report, 2015)


Forget for one moment everything you’ve been told about September 11, 2001. Instead let’s ask ourselves one question: What was 9/11? A terrorist atrocity? An attack on America? The first salvo in a new war? “A day that changed everything”?

The question may seem simple, but how we answer it is of vital importance. It determines how we proceed with our investigation of that day. And once you strip away the emotional rhetoric and the fear-inducing imagery, we’re left with a simple truth: 9/11 was a crime. And as with any crime, there is one overriding imperative that detectives must follow to identify the perpetrators: follow the money.

This is an investigation of the 9/11 money trail.

The 9/11 Heist

In 1998, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to privatize the World Trade Center, the complex of office towers in Lower Manhattan that they had owned and operated since their construction in 1973. In April 2001 an agreement was reached with a consortium of investors led by Silverstein Properties and on July 24th, 2001 Larry Silverstein, who already owned World Trade Center Building 7, signed a 99 year lease for the Twin Towers and Buildings 4 and 5.

The lease was for $3.2 billion, and was financed by a bridge loan from GMAC, the commercial mortgage arm of General Motors, as well as $111 million from Lloyd Goldman and Joseph Cayre, individual real estate investors. Silverstein Properties only put down $14 million of its own money.

The deal was unusual in a variety of ways. Although the Port Authority carried only $1.5 billion of insurance coverage on the WTC complex, which earlier that year had been valued at $1.2 billion, Silverstein had insisted on doubling that amount, insuring the buildings for $3.55 billion. Silverstein’s insurance broker struggled to put that much coverage in place and ultimately had tosplit it among 25 dealers. The negotiations were so involved that only temporary contracts were in place for the insurance at the time the lease was signed and by September the contracts were still being finalized.

Silverstein’s group was also explicitly given the right to rebuild the structures if they were destroyed, and even to expand the amount of retail space on the site if rebuilding did take place.

Within hours of the destruction of the Twin Towers on September 11th, Silverstein was on the phone to his lawyers, trying to determine if his insurance policies could “construe the attacks as two separate, insurable incidents rather than one.” Silverstein spent years in the courts attempting to win $7.1 billion from his $3.55 billion insurance policy and in 2007 walked away with $4.55 billion, the largest single insurance settlement ever. As soon as the deal was announced Silverstein sued United and American Airlines for a further $3.5 billion for their “negligence” in the 9/11 attacks, a claim that was struck down by the courts but is still on appeal.

Perhaps even more outrageously, in a secret deal in 2003, the Port Authority agreed to pay back 80% of their initial equity in the lease, but allowed the Silverstein group to maintain control of the site. The deal gave Silverstein, Goldman and Cayre $98 million of the $125 million they put down on the lease, and a further $130 million in insurance proceeds that were earmarked for the site’s rebuilding.

In the end, Silverstein profited from the 9/11 attacks to the tune of $4.55 billion and counting.

But that’s the 9/11 insurance heist you saw. There was a much deeper, more complex, and well-hidden heist that was taking place behind closed doors on September 11, 2001, deep in the heart of the World Trade Center itself.

Marsh & McLennan is a diversified risk, insurance and professional services firm with over $13 billion in annual revenue and 57,000 employees. In September of 2001, 2000 of those employees worked in Marsh’s offices in the World Trade Center. Marsh occupied floors 93 to 100 of the North Tower, the exact area of the impact and explosion.

In the year prior to 9/11, Marsh had contracted with SilverStream software to create an electronic connection between Marsh and its clients for the purpose of creating “paperless transactions.” SilverStream had already built internet-based transactional and trading platforms for Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Banker’s Trust, Alex Brown, Morgan Stanley and other financial services firms that were later involved in 9/11, but this new project was unlike anything that had been attempted before.

Richard Andrew Grove, the salesperson who handled the Marsh & McLennan project for SilverStream, explains.

RICHARD GROVE: In 2000 SilverStream was contracted by Marsh to provide a technological solution beyond what we had done for any of the above-named companies; insofar as it would be used to electronically connect Marsh to its major business partners via internet portals, for the purpose of creating “paperless transactions” and expediting revenue and renewal cycles, and built from the ground up at the client’s site.

SilverStream provided a specific type of connectivity that was used to link AIG and Marsh & McLennan–the first two commercial companies on the planet to employ this type of transaction–and in fact Marsh was presented with something called the ACORD Award in the summer of 2001 for being the first commercial corporation to do so… and what you should take away from that is this: it means that no other companies were doing this type of transaction,so the question in your mind should be- what then were Marsh and AIG doing, and why did they need to leverage technologies that no other commercial entity on the face of the earth needed to conduct business?

Once securing the contract, SilverStream then stationed approximately 30-40 developers at Marsh, andthis team was led by 2-3 managers, with whom I liaised to ensure delivery of the “solution” that was promised.The development team regularly worked late into the night if not all night, and sometimes worked 7 days a week in order to adhere to Marsh’s indicated pre-September 11th deadline.

(SOURCE: Project Constellation)

But it was not long before severe irregularities in the billing of the account for this project led Richard Grove into the heart of a deeper mystery about the software, and about the work he was engaged in.

RICHARD GROVE: I first noticed fiscal anomalies with respect to the project, when I was in a meeting on the98th floor in October of 2000 with a gentleman named Gary Lasko. Gary was Marsh’s North American Chief Information Officer, and that particular afternoon a colleague and I helped him identify about $10,000,000 in suspicious purchase orders-after I recognized that certain vendors were deceiving Marsh, and specifically appeared to be selling Marsh large quantities of hardware that were not necessary-as this was later confirmed by Gary.

I brought my concerns up to executives inside of SilverStream, and I was urged to keep quiet and mind my own business. I went to an executive at Marsh, and he advised me to do likewise… but THEN I mentioned it to a few executives at Marsh who I could trust–like Gary Lasko…and Kathryn Lee, Ken Rice, Richard Breuhardt, John Ueltzhoeffer–people who became likewise concerned that something untoward
was going on.

The concerned colleagues I just mentioned, were murdered on September 11th, and the executives who expressed dismay at my concerns, are alive and free today because of it.

I feel that it’s no coincidence, as the Marsh Executive who urged me to drop my line of inquiry made sure that his personnel, who I just mentioned, were in the office bright and early for a global conference call before the staff meeting upon which I was to intrude… a conference call which I was informed this executive in question conducted but attended from the safety of his Upper West Side apartment.

(SOURCE: Project Constellation)

The global conference call with Marsh’s IT staff on the morning of 9/11, a meeting that included the staff who were investigating the suspicious billing on the SilverStream deal, was confirmed in a 2006 interview with Marsh’s then-Chief Information Officer, Ellen Clarke.

Richard Grove had been asked to attend the meeting but was stuck in traffic on the way to the Towers when the attack began. His friends at Marsh were not so lucky. 294 Marsh employees, including all of the participants in the conference call in the North Tower, died that morning. Meanwhile the Marsh executive who had scheduled the meeting, the same one who had asked Grove to drop the issue of the billing anomalies, was safe in his apartment, attending the meeting via telephone.

So what was the project really about? Why was it so important for it to be finished before September 11th, and what kind of transactions did it enable? More importantly, what information was lost when the data center on the 95th floor of the North Tower suffered a direct hit on 9/11 and the buildings were demolished?

A partial answer comes from reports that emerged in late 2001 that a German firm, Convar, had been hired to reconstruct financial data from the hard disks recovered at Ground Zero. The firm talks about this work in its promotional videos.

September the 11th, 2001. The whole world is in shock following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Convar has some solutions to offer.

Data stored on countless hard drives retrieved from the collapsed towers was believed to have been lost, but Convar’s specialists can render irreplaceable information readable again at Europe’s only high-security data recovery center. Burnt, crushed or dirty storage media are ready to relinquish their secrets by the time we finish.

(SOURCE: CONVAR – Repair & Service Center)

More details on the work come from an IDG News Service story posted to in December 2001. Under the headline “Computer disk drives from WTC could yield clues,” the article notes: “An unexplained surge in transactions was recorded prior to the attacks, leading to speculation that someone might have profited from previous knowledge of the terrorist plot by moving sums of money. But because the facilities of many financial companies processing the transactions were housed in New York’s World Trade Center, destroyed in the blasts, it has until now been impossible to verify that suspicion.”

A Reuters article from the same time, later posted to Convar’s website, offers revealing glimpses into the investigation’s early results. It quotes Peter Herschel, Convar’s director at the time.

“The suspicion is that inside information about the attack was used to send financial transaction commands and authorizations in the belief that amid all the chaos the criminals would have, at the very least, a good head start. Of course it is also possible that there were perfectly legitimate reasons for the unusual rise in business volume. It could turn out that Americans went on an absolute shopping binge on that Tuesday morning. But at this point there are many transactions that cannot be accounted for. Not only the volume but the size of the transactions was far higher than usual for a day like that. There is a suspicion that these were possibly planned to take advantage of the chaos.”

It also quotes Richard Wagner, one of the companies data retrieval experts. “There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million. They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames were destroyed.”

Was the revolutionary electronic trading link between AIG and Marsh being used to funnel money through the World Trade Center at the time of the attack? Were the attack perpetrators hoping that the destruction of Marsh’s data center, on the 95th floor at the dead center of the North Tower explosion, would conceal their economic crime?

One piece of corroborating evidence for this idea comes from author and researcher Michael Ruppert, who reported in 2004 that immediately before the attacks began, computer systems in Deutsche Bank, one of SilverStream’s other e-link clients, had been taken over from an external location that no one in the office could identify.

MICHAEL RUPPERT: Within, I would guess — I’d have to go back and look at the book, but it was no more than a week of the attacks — I was being contacted by a lot of people, from inside official sources who were raising a lot of questions. This one particular person was extremely credible. They absolutely convinced me they had been an employee of Deutsche Bank in the Twin Towers, and they told me very clearly that in the moments right before the attacks and during the attack — there was a 40 minute window between the time the first plane struck the World Trade Center and the second plane — that Deutsche Bank’s computers in New York City had been “taken over.” Absolutely co-opted and run. There was a massive data purge, a massive data download, and all kinds of stuff was moving.

And what this person said very clearly was that no one in the Deutsche Bank offices in the towers at the time had the ability to prevent what was going on from any of their terminals.

(SOURCE: Terror Trading 9/11)

Sadly, no answer to the questions raised by these accounts is forthcoming from Convar. After the initial reporting on the investigation, which noted that the company was working with the FBI to recover and analyze the data, Convar now refuses to talk about the information they discovered.

DUTCH REPORTER: Is it true that large amounts of money were transferred illegally out of the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11, just before the attacks?

If you would look on the website, I would say “Yes.”


CONVAR SPOKESMAN: Because that was the information from a previous release.


CONVAR SPOKESMAN: If you were to ask me today I would need to tell you I could not give you any additional information about that. I’m really sorry about–

DUTCH REPORTER: What if I were to ask you one year ago? What would you have–

CONVAR SPOKESMAN: I would have said that what we have there is what we said before. Yes, exactly.

(SOURCE: Dutch tv show Zembla investigates 911 theories)

At the time of 9/11, Marsh’s chief of risk management was Paul Bremer, the former managing director of Kissinger and Associates who went on to oversee the US occupation of Iraq. On the morning of 9/11 he was not in his office at Marsh & MacLennan, but at NBC’s TV studio, where he was delivering the official story of the attack.

NBC4 ANCHOR: Can you talk to us a little bit about…about…who could…I mean, there are a limited number of groups who could be responsible for something of this magnitude, correct?

PAUL BREMER: Yes, this is a very well-planned, very well-coordinated attack, which suggests it is very well-organized centrally, and there are only three or four candidates in the world really who could have conducted this attack.

NBC4 ANCHOR: Bin Laden comes to mind right away, Mr. Bremer.

PAUL BREMER: Indeed, he certainly does. Bin Laden was involved in the first attack on the World Trade Center which had as its intention doing exactly what happened here, which was to collapse both towers. He certainly has to be a prime suspect. But there are others in the Middle East, and there are at least two states, Iran and Iraq, which should at least remain on the list of potential suspects.

NBC4 ANCHOR: I don’t recall anything like this. Pearl Harbor happened a month before I was born and I hear my parents talk about that as a seminal event in their lives all the time. I’m not aware of anything like this in the United States before. Americans are now — I think it’s fair to say — really scared. Should we be?

NBC4 ANCHOR: This is a day that will change our lives, isn’t it?

PAUL BREMER: It is a day that will change our lives, and it’s a day when the war that the terrorists declared on the United States — and after all, they did declare a war on us — has been brought home to the United States in a much more dramatic way than we’ve seen before, so it will change our lives.

(SOURCE: Paul Bremer interview, NBC)

9/11 Insider Trading

On September 12, 2001, before the dust had even settled on Ground Zero, the Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into a chilling proposition: that an unknown group of traders with advance knowledge of the 9/11 plot had made millions betting against the companies involved in the attacks.

ANTONIO MORA: “What many Wall Street analysts believe is that the terrorists made bets that a number of stocks would see their prices fall. They did so by buying what they call ‘puts.’ If you bet right the rewards can be huge. The risks are also huge unless you know something bad is going to happen to the company you’re betting against.

DYLAN RATIGAN: This could very well be insider trading at the worst, most horrific, most evil use you’ve ever seen in your entire life.

ANTONIO MORA: One example, United Airlines. The Thursday before the attack more than two thousand contracts betting that the stock would go down were purchased. Ninety times more in one day than in three weeks. When the markets reopened, United’s stock dropped, the price of the contracts soared and someone may have made a lot of money, fast.

DYLAN RATIGAN: $180,000 turns into $2.4 million when that plane hits the World Trade Center.

ANTONIO MORA: It’s almost the same story with American Airlines.

DYLAN RATIGAN: That’s a five-fold increase in the value of what was a $337,000 trade on Monday (September 10, 2001).

ANTONIO MORA: All of a sudden becomes what?

DYLAN RATIGAN: $1.8 million.

ANTONIO MORA: And there’s much more, including an extraordinarily high number of bets against Morgan Stanley and Marsh & McLennan, two of the World Trade Center’s biggest tenants. Could this be a coincidence?

DYLAN RATIGAN: This would be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind if it was a coincidence.”

(SOURCE: 9/11 Wall Street Blames Put Option Inside Trading On Terrorists)

Although the put options on American and United Airlines are usually cited in reference to the 9/11 insider trading, these trades only represent a fraction of the suspicious trades leading up to the attack. Between August 20th and September 10th, abnormally large spikes in put option activity appeared in trades involving dozens of different companies whose stocks plunged after the attack including Boeing, Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Munich Re and the AXA Group.

Traders weren’t just betting against the companies whose stocks dove after 9/11, however. There was also a six-fold increase in call options on the stock of defence contractor Raytheon on the day before 9/11. The options allowed the traders to buy Raytheon stock at $25. Within a week of the attack, as the American military began deploying the Raytheon-supplied Tomohawk missiles they would eventually use in the invasion of Afghanistan, the company’s share price had shot up 37% to over $34.

The SEC weren’t the only ones interested in this particular 9/11 money trail, either. Investigations into potential insider trading before the attacks were opened by authorities around the globe, from Belgium to France to Germany to Switzerland to Japan. It wasn’t long before this global financial manhunt started yielding clues on the trail of the terror traders.

On September 17th Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Martino, addressing Italian Consob’s own investigation into potential 9/11 trading, said: “I think that there are terrorist states and organizations behind speculation on the international markets.”

By September 24th the Belgian Finance Minister, Didier Reynders, was confident enough topublicly announce Belgium’s “strong suspicions that British markets may have been used for transactions.”

The president of Germany’s central bank, Ernst Welteke, was the most adamant: “What we found makes us sure that people connected to the terrorists must have been trying to profit from this tragedy.”

These foreign leaders were not alone in their conviction that insider trading had taken place. University of Chicago finance professor George Constantinides, Columbia University law professor John Coffee, Duke University law professor James Cox and other academics as well as well-known options traders like Jon Najarian all expressed their belief that investors had traded on advance knowledge of the attacks.

The scale of the SEC investigation was unprecedented, examining over 9.5 million securities transactions, including stocks and options in 103 different companies trading in 7 markets, 32 exchange traded funds, and stock indices. The probe drew on the assistance of the legal and compliance staff of the 20 largest trading firms and the regulatory authorities in ten foreign governments. The Commission coordinated its investigation with the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Treasury.

The result of this investigation?

“We have not developed any evidence suggesting that those who had advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks traded on the basis of that information.”

Although this sounds like the investigation did not find evidence of insider trading, a second look reveals the trick; they are not saying that there was no insider trading, only that there is no evidence that “those who had advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks” participated in such trading. But this begs the question: who had that advance knowledge, and how did the SEC determine this?

The 9/11 Commission Report begs the question even more blatantly in their treatment of the anomalous put option activity on United Airlines stock on September 6: 95% of the puts were placed by “a single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda.” Again, it is taken as a foregone conclusion that a lack of ties to “al Qaeda” means there could not have been advance knowledge of the attack, even if the evidence shows insider trading took place.

To be sure, insider trading almost certainly did take place in the weeks before 9/11. Although some have used the commission report to conclude that the story was debunked, the intervening years have seen the release of not one, not two, but three separate scientific papers concluding with high probability that the anomalous trading was the result of advance knowledge.

In “Unusual Option Market Activity and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” University of Chicago professor Allen Poteshman concluded: “Examination of the option trading leading up to September 11 reveals that there was an unusually high level of put buying. This finding is consistent with informed investors having traded options in advance of the attacks.”

In “Detecting Abnormal Trading Activities in Option Markets” researchers at the University of Zurich used econometric methods to confirm unusual put option activity on the stocks of key airlines, banks and re-insurers in the weeks prior to 9/11.

And in “Was There Abnormal Trading in the S&P 500 Index Options Prior to the September 11 Attacks?” a team of researchers concluded that abnormal activity in the S&P index options market around the time of the attack “is consistent with insiders anticipating the 9-11 attacks.”

The only question, then, is who was profiting from these trades and why was no one ever indicted for their participation in them?

One lead is pursued by researcher and author Kevin Ryan. In “Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11” he examines an FBI briefing document from 2003 that was declassified in 2009. It describes the results of FBI investigations into two of the pre-9/11 trades that the Bureau had identified as suspicious, including the purchase of 56,000 shares of Stratesec in the days prior to 9/11. Stratesec provided security systems to airports (including, ironically, Dulles Airport, as well as the World Trade Center and United Airlines), and saw its share price almost double when the markets re-opened on September 17th, 2001.

The trades traced back to a couple whose names are redacted from the memo, but are easily identifiable from the unredacted information: Mr. and Mrs. Wirt D. Walker III, a distant relative of the Bush family and business partner of Marvin Bush, the president’s brother. The document notes that the pair were never even interviewed as part of the investigation because it had “revealed no ties to terrorism or other negative information.”

In addition to begging the question, this characterization is provably false. As Ryan noted in a conversation with financial journalist Lars Schall:

KEVIN RYAN: “Wirt Dexter Walker at Stratesec hired several people from a company called The Carlyle Group and The Carlyle Group had Bin-Laden family members as investors. Also Wirt Walkers fellow (inaudible) director James Abrahamson was a close business associate of a man named Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani businessman and Mansoor Ijaz claimed to be able to contact Osama Bin-Laden on mulitple occasions.

So there does seem to be some circumstantial evidence indicated that these people were connected to Al-Qaeda, at least to the point where we should investigate.

LARS SCHALL: And isn’t it also true that some members of the Bin-Laden family were actually in Washington at the gathering of The Carlyle Group on 9/11?

KEVIN RYAN: That’s true. The Carlyle Group had a meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington on September 11th and present there were former President George H. W. Bush, James Baker and the brother of Osama Bin-Laden. I believe his name was Salem, I can’t recall his exact name. But they were there, investors from the Bin-Laden family meeting with Carlyle Group representatives in Washington on September 11th.”

(SOURCE: Terror Trading 9/11)

Was this why the FBI thought better of questioning him over his highly profitable purchase of Stratesec shares right before 9/11?

The CIA figures prominently in another line of investigation. One suspicious United Airlines put option purchase that was investigated by the FBI involved a 2,500 contract order for puts in the days before 9/11. Instead of processing the purchase through United Airlines’ home exchange, the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, the order was split into five 500 contract chunks and run through five different options exhchanges simultaneously. The unusual order was brokered by Deutsch Bank Alex. Brown, a firm that until 1998 was chaired by A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, a former consultant to CIA director James Woolsey who at the time of 9/11 was himself the Executive Director of the CIA.

MICHAEL C. RUPPERT: “So right after the attacks of 9/11 the name Buzzy Krongard surfaced, it was instant research that revealed that Buzzy Krongard had been allegedly recruited by CIA Director George Tennant to be become the Executive Director at (the) CIA, which is the number 3 position, right before the attacks.

And Alex Brown was one of the many subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank (which was) one of the primary vehicles or instruments that handled all of these criminal trades by people who obviously knew that the attacks were going to take place where, how and involving specific airlines.”

(SOURCE: Terror Trading 9/11)

Perhaps the most frank admission of insider trading is notable for three things: it was recorded on video, it has never been investigated by any agency or law enforcement official, and it was made by former CIA agent and frequent foreign policy commentator Robert Baer, the real-life inspiration for the character portrayed by George Clooney in “Syriana.” Talking to citizen journalists after a speaking event in Los Angeles in 2008, Baer was recorded on video making a startling assertion about 9/11 insider trading:

JEREMY ROTHE-KUSHEL: “…the last thing I want to leave you with is the National Reconnaissance Office was running a drill of a plane crashing into their building and you know they’re staffed by DoD and CIA…”

ROBERT BAER: “I know the guy that went into his broker in San Diego and said ‘cash me out, it’s going down tomorrow.’



STEWART HOWE: That tells us something.


STEWART HOWE: That tells us something.

ROBERT BAER: Well his brother worked at the White House.”

(SOURCE: WeAreChangeLA debriefs CIA Case Officer Robert Baer about apparent Mossad and White House 9/11 foreknowledge)

This truly remarkable statement bears further scrutiny. If Baer is to be believed, a former CIA agent has first-hand knowledge that a White House insider had foreknowledge of the attacks, and to this day not only has Baer never revealed the identity of this person, but no one has questioned him about his statement or even attempted to pursue this lead.

So how is it possible that the SEC overlooked, ignored, or simply chose not to pursue such leads in their investigation? The only possible answer, of course, is that the investigation was deliberately steered away from such persons of interest and any connections that would lead back to foreknowledge by government agencies, federal agents, or their associates in the business world.

Unfortunately we will likely never see documentary evidence of that from the Commission itself. One researcher requesting access under the Freedom of Information Act to the documentary evidence that the 9/11 Commission used to conclude there had been no insider trading receiveda response that stated “that the potentially responsive records have been destroyed.”

Instead, we are left with sources that refuse to be identified saying that CBOE records of pre-9/11 options trading have been destroyed and second-hand accounts of traders who had heard talk of an event in advance of 9/11.

In a round-about way, perhaps the 9/11 Commission reveals more than it lets on when it tries to dismiss key insider trades with the pithy observation that the traders had no conceivable ties to Al Qaeda. If those with foreknowledge of the attacks weren’t connected to Al Qaeda, what does that say about the identity of the real 9/11 perpetrators?

ANTONIO MORA: “ABC News has now learned that the Chicago Board of Options Exchange launched their investigation into the unusual trading last week. That may have given them enough time to stop anyone from profiting from death here in the U.S. It may also give investigators, Peter, a ‘hot trail’ that might lead them to the terrorists.

PETER JENNINGS: Thanks very much. As a reminder of the complications here, the Secretary of the Treasury said here today of this investigation” ‘You’ve got to go through ten veils before you can get to the real source.’


PETER JENNINGS: Thanks Antonio.”

(SOURCE: 9/11 Wall Street Blames Put Option Inside Trading On Terrorists)

PTech and Vulgar Betrayal

PTech was a Quincy, Mass. based company specializing in “enterprise architecture software,” a type of powerful computer modeling program that allows large-scale organizations to map their systems and employees and to monitor them in real time. The person running this software has a “God’s-eye” view of processes, personnel and transactions, and even the ability to use this data to foresee problems before they happen and to intervene to stop them from happening.

As a senior consultant working on risk management for JPMorgan at the time of 9/11, Indira Singh was looking for exactly this type of software to implement the bank’s next-generation risk-blueprint. In her search for the ultimate risk management software, PTech’s name was floated as the best candidate for the task.

INDIRA SINGH: “I had a good life. I did ‘risk’ at JP Morgan Chase, just to take a break from all the heavy stuff. What I’d do was to devise a way to monitor everything going on in a very large company to stop big problems from happening. There is that little cloud there and my very bizarre picture of how I think about this problem. I am a person who was merging two disciplines: Risk Management and something called ‘Enterprise Architecture’ which is fairly esoteric but at the end of the day, we seek to prevent large problems from happening anywhere in a large global enterprise.

At JP Morgan I was working on the next generation ‘risk blueprint’ which is all about how to prevent these things from happening. Bad business practice such as money laundering, rogue trading and massive computer failures, anything you could imagine (that) could go wrong.

I had a lot of leeway consulting as a ‘Senior Risk Architect’ to think out of the box and actually get my ideas implemented. I was funded out of a strategic fund, I reported to the directors and I was pretty happy. JP Morgan thought very highly of me and they were thinking of funding, in conjunction with my project in D.C., the next-generation risk software.

What I need to do (and) what I did was (find) a really smart piece of software. Really, really smart. It’s job would be to think about all of the information and this is where you may connect a dot. The job of this software would be to think about all of the information that represented what was going on in the enterprise at any given time as bank business was being transacted world-wide. For example, it would (act) as a surveillance software that looked for trading patterns that indicated that someone was up too no good and then do something about it: send a message somewhere, send transaction information somewhere, perhaps shut their system down, perhaps shut another system down, perhaps start something else up elsewhere. This type of capability is very, very essential in today’s world.

However this kind of software is not found in Microsoft or not even in IBM. A small group of very esoteric software companies make this kind of enterprise software and it is very pricey. So you can’t afford to pick wrong and I asked all my colleagues who were industry gurus; what would they recommend for this?

My buddies recommended PTech.”

(SOURCE: 9/11 Omission Hearings – Indira Singh Reads Sibel Edmonds’ Letter – 9/9/2004)

Indeed, it’s not difficult to see why PTech came so highly recommended. Given the nature of this sensitive risk-management work, only a company with experience delivering software to large-scale organizations with secrets to protect would fit the bill, and in this regard PTech did not disappoint. Their client roster included a veritable who’s who of top-level corporate andgovernmental clients: the FBI, the IRS, NATO, the Air Force, the Naval Air Command, the Departments of Energy and Education, the Postal Service, the US House of Representatives, the Department of Defense, the Secret Service, even the White House.

From the inner sanctum of the White House to the headquarters of the FBI, from the basement of the FAA to the boardroom of IBM, some of the best-secured organizations in the world running on some of the most protected servers housing the most sensitive data welcomed PTech into their midst. PTech was given the keys to the cyber kingdom to build detailed pictures of these organizations, their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and to show how these problems could be exploited by those of ill intent. But like all such systems, it could be exploited by those of ill intent for their own purposes, too.

Given the nature of the information and secrets being kept by its clients, it should come as no surprise that many of PTech’s top investors and employees were men with backgrounds that should have been raising red flags at all levels of the government. And as it turns out, at least one of these men did raise red flags with a pair of diligent FBI field agents.

In the late 1990s, Robert Wright and John Vincent—FBI special agents in the Chicago field office—were running an investigation into terrorist financing called Vulgar Betrayal. From the very start, the investigation was hampered by higher-ups; they were not even given access to the computer equipment needed to carry out their work. Through Wright and Vincent’s foresight and perseverance, however, the investigation managed to score some victories, including seizing $1.4 million in terrorist funds. According to Wright, “these funds were linked directly to Saudi businessman Yasin al-Qadi.”

Yasin al-Qadi is a multi-millionaire businessman and philanthropist who, according to business associates, liked to boast of his relationship with former Vice President Dick Cheney. But in the late 1990s he was sanctioned by the UN Security Council for his suspected links to Al Qaeda, and after 9/11 he was put on a terrorist watch list by the US Treasury for his suspected ties to terrorist financing.

During the 1990s, as Vulgar Betrayal was being thwarted from opening a criminal investigation into his activities, the Qadi-backed investment firm Sarmany Ltd. became an “angel investor” to a software startup called PTech, providing $5 million of the initial $20 million of capital that got PTech off the ground.

At the time, PTech’s CEO denied that al-Qadi had any involvement with the company other than his initial investment, but the FBI now maintains he was lying and that in fact al-Qadi continued investing millions of dollars in the company through various fronts and investment vehicles. Company insiders told FBI officials that they were flown to Saudi Arabia to meet PTech’s investors in 1999 and that al-Qadi was introduced as one of the owners. It has also been reported that Hussein Ibrahim, PTech’s chief scientist, was al-Qadi’s representative at PTechand al-Qadi’s lawyers have admitted that al-Qadi’s representative may have continued to sit on PTech’s board even after 9/11.

Ibrahim himself was a former president of BMI, a New Jersey-based real estate investment firm that was also one of the initial investors in PTech and provided financing for PTech’s founding loan. PTech leased office space and computer equipment from BMI and BMI shared office space in New Jersey with Kadi International, owned and operated by none other than Yassin al-Qadi. In 2003, counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke said: “BMI held itself out publicly as a financial services provider for Muslims in the United States, its investor list suggests the possibility this facade was just a cover to conceal terrorist support.”

Suheil Laheir was PTech’s chief architect. When he wasn’t writing the software that would provide PTech with detailed operational blueprints of the most sensitive agencies in the U.S. government, he was writing articles in praise of Islamic holy war. He was also fond of quoting Abdullah Azzam, Osama Bin Laden’s mentor and the head of Maktab al-Khidamat, which was the precursor to Al-Qaeda.

That such an unlikely cast of characters were given access to some of the most sensitive agencies in the U.S. federal government is startling enough. That they were operating software that allowed them to map, analyze and access every process and operation within these agencies for the purpose of finding systemic weak points is equally startling. Most disturbing of all, though, is the connection between PTech and the very agencies that so remarkably “failed” in their duty to protect the American public on September 11, 2001.

BONNIE FAULKNER: “Could you describe the relationship of PTech with the FAA? PTech worked with the FAA for several years, didn’t they?

INDIRA SINGH: Yes. It was a joint project between PTech and MITRE. It is interesting. They were looking at, basically, holes in the FAA’s interoperability with responding with other agencies – law enforcement – in the case of an emergency such as a hijacking.

They were looking for the escalation process – what people would do, how they would respond in case of an emergency – and find the holes and make recommendations to fix it. Now if anyone was in a position to understand where the holes were, PTech was, and that is exactly the point: if anybody was in a position to write software to take advantage of those holes, it would have been PTech.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Was there a reference to PTech having operated in the basement out of the FAA?

INDIRA SINGH: Yes. Typically, because the scope of such projects are so over-arching and wide-ranging, when you are doing an enterprise architecture project, you have access to how anything in the organization is being done, where it is being done, on what systems, what the information is. You have carte blanche.

If it is a major project that spends several years, the team that comes in has, literally, access to almost anything that they want because you are operating on a blueprint level, on a massive scale. So, yes, they were everywhere, and I was told that they were in places that required clearances. I was told that they had log-on access to FAA flight control computers. I was told that they had passwords to many computers that you may not, on the surface, think has anything to do with finding out holes in the system, but let’s say you isolated part of a notification process that was mediated by computer and you wanted to investigate it further, then you would typically get log-on access to that computer. From that, back upstream or downstream. So, who knows?

From my own experience I could have access to almost anything I wanted to in J.P. Morgan-Chase. And, did not, for the reason that if anything went wrong, I did not want to have the access. But if you were up to no good as an enterprise architect with such a mandate, you typically could have access to anything.”

(SOURCE: Guns n Butter Indira Singh , PTech and the 911 software)

So who was really behind PTech? Did Ziade, Ibrahim and the others somehow evade the due diligence of all of the government agencies and multinational corporations that PTech contracted with? Did PTech just happen to end up working on the interoperability of the FAA and the Pentagon systems on the morning of 9/11? Did al-Qadi’s friend Dick Cheney really know nothing of Qadi’s connections or activities? Was this all some devious Al Qaeda plot to infiltrate key systems and agencies of the US government?

Not according to the people who were really investigating the company.

INDIRA SINGH: “Who’s really behind PTech is the question. Correct. I asked that of many intelligence people who came to my aid as I was being blacklisted and I was told: ‘Indira, it is a CIA clandestine operation on the level of Iran-Contra. And I have reason to believe this because CARE International is a renamed version of Al Kifah which was the finding arm for WTC 93, prior to Al Kifah it was called Maktab al-Khidamat which was the funding arms for the Afghani mujahidin. It was how the moneys got to Osama Bin-Laden throught the Pakistani ISI.

I asked the FBI in Boston: ‘How come Mak was being run out of Ptech and 9/11?’ and that jived with a lot of what intel was telling me that ‘it’s a CIA front, shut up and go away.’ At that level I said ‘Well why doesn’t the FBI take advantage of their celebrated difference with the CIA’ and I was told ‘because at that level they work together’.”

(SOURCE: 9/11 Omission Hearings – Michael Ruppert & Indira Singh Q&A – 9/9/2004)

So what did the 9/11 Commission have to say about PTech? Absolutely nothing. The co-chair of the commission, Thomas Kean, had been involved in a $24 million real estate transaction with BMI, one of the PTech investors, but no mention was made of that at the time and the commission never looked into PTech or its activities on 9/11.

Meanwhile, Cheney’s friend al-Qadi has since been removed from the Swiss, European, UN Security Council and US Treasury terrorist sanctions lists.

And Robert Wright? After Vulgar Betrayal was shut down, the FBI did eventually raid PTech’s offices in December 2002…but not before the company was given advance warning of the “raid.” The very next day then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge declared that PTech “in no way jeopardizes the security of the country.”

Oussama Ziade is still wanted by the FBI for lying about al-Qadi’s involvement with the company, but the case is now cold.

ROBERT WRIGHT: “To the families and victims….of September 11th…on behalf of John Vincent, Barry Carnaby and myself…we’re sorry.”

(SOURCE: 9-11 FBI Whistleblower Robert Wright Testimony)

The Pentagon’s Missing Trillions

DONALD RUMSFELD: The topic today is an adversary that poses a threat, a serious threat, to the security of the United States of America. This adversary is one of the world’s last bastions of central planning. It governs by dictating five-year plans. From a single capital, it attempts to impose its demands across time zones, continents, oceans and beyond. With brutal consistency, it stifles free thought and crushes new ideas. It disrupts the defense of the United States and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk.

(SOURCE: Defense Business Practices)

On September 10, 2001, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared a new war. Not a war on a shadowy terrorist organization in Afghanistan, or even a war on terror, but a war on the Pentagon itself.

DONALD RUMSFELD: The adversary is closer to home. It’s the Pentagon bureaucracy.

(SOURCE: Defense Business Practices)

Perhaps it is no surprise that Rumsfeld felt compelled to declare a war on the Pentagon’s bureaucracy. The issue of the Pentagon’s $2.3 trillion accounting nightmare had been dogging him since his confirmation hearings in January of 2001. Although Rumsfeld was interested in pushing forward a modernization of the military that was projected to cost an additional $50 billion in funding, that agenda was politically impossible in the face of the Department of Defense’s monumental budget problem.

SEN. BYRD: How can we seriously consider a $50 billion increase in the Defense Department budget when DoD’s own auditors — when DoD’s own auditors say the department cannot account for $2.3 trillion in transactions in one year alone

Now, my question to you is, Mr. Secretary, what do you plan to do about this?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Decline the nomination! (Laughs.) (Laughter.) Ah! Senator, I have heard —

SEN. BYRD: I don’t want to see you do that! (Laughter.)

SEN. LEVIN: (Sounds gavel.) We’ll stand adjourned, in that case! (Laughter.)

DONALD RUMSFELD: Senator, I have heard some of that and read some of that, that the department is not capable of auditing its books. It is — I was going to say “terrifying.”

(SOURCE: Defense Secretary Nomination Hearing Jan 11 2001)

“Terrifying” only begins to describe the problem.

The Department of Defense’s own Inspector General report for Fiscal Year 1999 noted that the the Defense Finance and Accounting Service had processed $7.6 trillion of department-level accounting entries in that year. Of that amount, only $3.5 trillion could be properly accounted for. $2.3 trillion in transactions were fudged to make entries balance, run through without proper documentation, or made up entirely. The Inspector General’s office did not even examine the other $1.8 trillion in transactions because they “did not have adequate time or staff to review” them.

In 2002 one DFAS accountant blew the whistle on the problem, and the cover up that was underway to stop investigators from finding out where the money went.

VINCE GONZALES: $2.3 trillion with a “T.” That’s 8000 dollars for every man, woman and child in America. To understand how the Pentagon can lose track of trillions, consider the case of one military accountant who tried to find out what happened to a mere $300 million.

JIM MINNERY: We know it’s gone, but we don’t know what they spent it on.

VINCE GONZALES: Jim Minnery, a former Marine turned whistleblower, is risking his job by speaking out for the first time about the millions he noticed were missing from one defense agency’s balance sheets. Minnery tried to follow the money trail, even criss-crossing the country looking for records.

JIM MINNERY: The director looked at me and said “Why do you care about this stuff?” That took me aback, you know. My supervisor asked me why I care about doing a good job.

VINCE GONZALES: He was reassigned, and says officials then covered up the problem by just writing it off.

JIM MINNERY: They’ve got to cover it up.

(SOURCE: 9-11 Pentagon missing $2.3 trillion)

As Comptroller of the Pentagon from 2001 to 2004, Dov Zakheim was the man tasked with solving this problem.

DONALD RUMSFELD: There are all kinds of long- standing rules and regulations about what you can do and what you can’t do. I know Dr. Zakheim’s been trying to hire CPAs because the financial systems of the department are so snarled up that we can’t account for some $2.6 trillion in transactions that exist, if that’s believable. And yet we’re told that we can’t hire CPAs to help untangle it in many respects

REP. LEWIS: Mr. Secretary, the first time and the last time that Dov Zackheim and I broke bread together, he told me he would have a handle on that 2.6 trillion by now. (Laughter.) But we’ll discuss that a little —

DONALD RUMSFELD: He’s got a handle; it’s just a little hot. (Laughter.)

(SOURCE: Testimony before the House Appropriations Committee: FY2002 Budget Request)

From 1987 to 2001 Zakheim headed SPC International, a subsidiary of System Planning Corporation, a defense contractor providing airwarfare, cybersecurity and advanced military electronics to the Department of Defense and DARPA. SPC’s “Radar Physics Laboratory” developed a remote control system for airborne vehicles that they were marketing to the Pentagon prior to 9/11.

Zakheim was also a participant in drafting “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” a document that called for a sweeping transformation of the US military, including the implementation of the $50 billion missile defense program and increased use of specialized military technologies. The paper even noted how “advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”

“Rebuilding America’s Defenses” was a white paper produced by the Project for the New American Century, a group founded in 1997 with the goal of projecting American global dominance into the 21st century. Joining Zakheim in the group were a host of other neocons who ended up populating the Bush administration, including Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Jeb Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld. In their September 2000 document, the group lamented that their plan for transforming the military was not likely unless a defining event took place, one that would galvanize public opinion: “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”

DONALD RUMSFELD: We know that the thing that tends to register on people is fear, and we know that that tends to happen after there’s a Pearl Harbor, tends to happen after there’s a crisis. And that’s too late for us. We’ve got to be smarter than that. We’ve got to be wiser than that. We have to be more forward-looking

There’s a wonderful book on Pearl Harbor by Roberta Wohlstetter, and a forward by Dr. Schelling, that talks about this problem of seeing things happen and not integrating them in your mind and saying, “Yes, we need to be doing something about that now,” that I reread periodically because it’s so important.

(SOURCE: Defense Secretary Nomination Hearing Jan 11 2001)

And on 9/11/2001, America received its new Pearl Harbor.

The attack on the Pentagon struck Wedge One on the west side of the building. An office of the U.S. Army called Resource Services Washington had just moved back into Wedge One after renovations had taken place there. The office was staffed with 45 accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts. 34 of them were killed in the attack.

A 2002 follow-up report from the DoD Inspector General on the missing trillions noted that a further $1.1 trillion in made up accounting entries were processed by the Pentagon in fiscal year 2000, but they did not even attempt to quantify the missing funds for 2001. The Secretary of the Army, Thomas White, later explained they were unable to produce a financial report for 2001 at all due to “”the loss of financial-management personnel sustained during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.”

Before becoming Secretary of the Army, Thomas White was a senior executive at Enron. Enron was one of the largest energy companies in the world, posting a $111 billion profit in 2000 before being exposed as an elaborate corporate accounting fraud in 2001. The SEC, which investigated the Enron scandal, occupied the 11th to 13th floors in World Trade Center Building 7, and their offices were destroyed on 9/11, destroying 3000 to 4000 documents on active investigations in the process.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rumsfeld’s War on the Pentagon’s Bureacracy did not yield the results he promised. By 2013, the unaccountable money in the Pentagon’s coffers had reach $8.5 trillion.

REPORTER: The latest scandal to hit Washington comes from a report revealing the Pentagon “misplaced” $8.5 trillion. Military leaders have also been found ordering subordinates to doctor books to hide the missing money. This is the conclusion of a special report by Reuters.

One former Pentagon employee, Linda Woodford, said she spent 15 years there falsifying financial records. Woodford had a job checking Navy accounting records against figures supplied by the Treasury Department. She said money was missing from the report every month.

(SOURCE: $8.5 Trillion Missing From Pentagon Budget)

GAYANE CHICHAKYAN: National security expert Steve Miles is here with me to help us crunch these numbers. $8.5 trillion unaccounted for?

STEPHEN MILES: That’s a lot of money. This is the kind of thing that you would think would bring Capitol Hill to a screeching halt. There’d be hearings almost every day. You’d have various committees looking into it. None of that. It just leads to massive waste and there can be all sorts of fraud that you don’t know about.

Just one example, when the Inspector General looked at Iraq — which was a lot of money, but in the grand scheme just a portion of the money the U.S. spent — what they found was about $50 billion of the money the U.S. spent there was wasted and about $6 billion was completely lost. They had no idea where it went, it was completely unaccounted for. Put that in perspective. That’s about the amount of money that other countries would spend on their defense, total. And that’s just the loose pocket change that we lost in the couch.

GAYANE CHICHAKYAN: One thing I found very interesting in this report is that the Pentagon apparently uses standard operating procedure to enter false numbers, or so-called “plugs” to cover lost or missing information in their accounting in order to submit a balanced budget to the Treasury. So they can write in everything.

STEPHEN MILES: This is probably the most shocking part of this. They get to the end of the day and they say, “Oh, there’s money missing, what do we do?” “Well we’ll just put a number in there that says it’s there and we’ll sort it out later.” Again this is the type of operating practice that if you did it in your own business — if you try to do it with your own taxes for the government, they’d haul you off to jail.

(SOURCE: Black Budget: US govt clueless about missing Pentagon $trillions)

But then, given that the trillions have never been accounted for, and given that American defense spending soared to record levels after the attack, perhaps Rumsfeld’s war on the Pentagon, the one he announced on September 10th, was successful after all. And perhaps September 11th was the key battle in that war.

DONALD RUMSFELD: Some might ask, how in the world could the Secretary of Defense attack the Pentagon in front of its people? To them I reply, I have no desire to attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it.

(SOURCE: Defense Business Practices)

No Conclusion

Insurance scams and insider trading, electronic fraud and vulgar betrayal, missing money and evidence destroyed. There are at least 8.5 trillion reasons to investigate the money trail of 9/11.

Curious, then, that the US government’s final word on the attacks, the 9/11 Commission Report, concluded that the money trail was not worthy of investigation at all. In Chapter Five of the report, the commission noted: “To date, the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance.”

9/11 was a crime. And as every detective knows, the first rule of criminal investigation is to follow the money. So why did the 9/11 Commission specifically reject this rule?

The answers to 9/11 are not going to come from the suspects of the crime. Instead, it’s up to investigators to continue to unearth the true evidence on the 9/11 money trail.

Follow the money…

Copyright © James Corbett, The Corbett Report, 2015