Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Behind the Insurrections - The Business Plot: When Rich Fascists Almost Took Over America

Behind the Insurrections - The Business Plot: When Rich Fascists Almost Took Over America

Thu, 04 Feb 2021 11:00

Behind the Insurrections - The Business Plot: When Rich Fascists Almost Took Over America

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Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's overthrowing the government? My consortium of shady financial interests? What's up? What's up? Yeah, I don't know. I got nothing. This is behind the insurrections of the bind behind the ******** miniseries about fascist attempts to seize power, and this is our last episode of this beautiful miniseries. We did have a 7th episode planned, but I had some personal news that's that's going to alter our work schedule a little bit, but we will get to that episode at some point, but not next week. My guest with this one as as with always on our miniseries Jason Petty, AKA Parap. What's up? What's up? What's up? Properties in the building now prop. I'm going to cut right to the chase. Have you heard of the business plot? No. Oh, good. Oh well, one of the things that's fun about this is that one of our characters from behind the police is the main character of, of this story. Our old friend Smedley Butler. Yeah, the guy who ran the police in Philadelphia, the marine. Yes. That's that's going to be exciting. Yeah, I know that guy. So the business plot is there's a reason why you haven't heard of it. A lot of people have put in a lot of effort to make sure that. People don't talk about this anymore. Imagine a cadre of plutocratic bankers, financiers and media moguls all conspired to take over US democracy and Institute a fascist state hidden as a fake democracy shouldn't take a whole lot of imagination. Yeah, that's what people say the record industry is. Yeah, the record industry. Or the way a lot of our government works right now. Like the fact that Janet Yellen had financial ties to one of the giant hedge funds that shut down the game. Stock trading and stuff like, yeah, you know, it may sound that sounds familiar to people, but usually we're talking about it. Most people we're talking about, you know, when we talk about like, well, there's a cadre of elites who control, you know, the government. They mean it in sort of a a deep state sense. But there was a time where the wealthiest men in America engaged in a very real conspiracy to have a paramilitary army seized the levers of power, overthrow the president and institute a fascist state. And there's people alive. The day who lived through it, it happened in the 30s. So, yeah, yeah, yeah. This is this is a story people should know. I think you'll find this one interesting prop. So, OK, this is good. This is gonna be one of those ones where I'm like, I'm actually going in. Yeah. Completely blind. This is a fun one. Yes. So our our story starts with one of my favorite historical figures, as I told you, Major General Smedley Butler. We're talking about Old Smedley again, Smedley. So we're going to start by talking about him because he's at the center of all this. So, OK. Smedley Butler was born in 1881. He was the eldest son of a Quaker family from Westchester, Pennsylvania. His father, Thomas, was a congressman, and his maternal grandfather was in Congress as well. So this is a guy who comes from a lot of privilege and power. He attended the Haverford School, which is a secondary school for rich kids from Philadelphia, and he thrived in this upper crust, elite institution. He became captain of the school baseball team and quarterback of the football team, and he seemed to be on the road to a career in politics or business. But then 38 days before his 17th birthday, he left school to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. So he's on, like a path to follow, you know, into business or into politics. And then when he's 16, he leaves home to join the Marines. Now this ****** off his dad, who didn't want his kid joining the Marines. But the reason Smedley had joined is that the Spanish American War had just started, which we chatted about a bit last week, and Smedley wanted to fight. So he lied about his age to the Marines and was commissioned as a second Lieutenant. He landed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, shortly after it was captured, and he didn't see any action there. His unit was sent back to the mainland and he could have been cashiered out, you know, gone back into going, you know, doing a business thing. But he decided to stay in the Marines and take a Commission. The first Lieutenant and go fight in the Philippines. He was not immediately good at war. He was initially tasked with Garrison duty, which bored him so much that he just spent all of his time drunk. He was at one point relieved of command temporarily due to something he did in his bedroom, which is all that we know about the incident he did. He did something with alcohol in his bedroom that made his superiors be like this guy can't be in charge of people for a while. Leave that man. Yeah, yeah, Phil. Fill in the blanks, you know? Yeah, let that man live. So in October of 1899 he saw his 1st combat action when he led 300 Marines to conquer a town from the people who you know lived there. Right. Like this is a colonial brutal colonial war where still colonial got it like he's he's a he's the bad guy, right that we're we're the bad guys in that war. Yeah and Butler fell in love with battle and with the Marine Corps. He just was very and was very good at fighting like he this is a a really difficult desperate situation and he he comports. Himself, well, he's good at it, at leading men in combat, and he becomes, after fighting, so enthralled with the Marine Corps that he hires a tattoo artist to give him a full from his neck to his belly tattoo of the Marine Corps emblem. Like this is very into the Marines, OK? Loves him some. Vienna marine. You getting a full day? That's that's some, that's some, that's some Ben Affleck. You know, I'm saying, yeah, there's I know people, including some marine vets, who will argue that the the Marine Corps is kind of the cultist of the of the military branches. Yeah, and some might argue that's because they're the best at what they do, but Butler is definitely drinking the ******* kool-aid, right? Drunk it, boy. So he gets sent to China next as part of the US detachment sent over during the Boxer Rebellion. Uh. He's wounded in combat and despite having a boat like one of his men, gets hurt and he runs out to get him and gets shot in the leg. And despite having a bullet in his leg, he drags multiple men to safety while actively under fire and bleeding. And again, the Boxer Rebellion, another brutal colonial action, but he's he comports himself very well now. At that time, commissioned officers were unable to receive the Medal of Honor otherwise. Probably would have earned one, but he received some decorations for his gallantry under fire. Smedley Butler would spend the next like, couple of decades as he would grow into what was probably the best soldier in the American Empire. Like he is an exceptional imperial soldier. He fights in the Banana wars, which were a series of police actions and intervention in the Caribbean and in Central America, made on behalf of U.S. business interests. Killing people for he's he's he's killing people. For banana companies, he's killing people. The United States. You know, he fights in Honduras where he was constantly near death with fever and received the nickname old Gimlet Eye because the his eye, his every like he was. He looked terrifying. He was this gaunt, scar filled monster with bloodshot eyes and like, just feverish. Yeah, that's his old gimlet eye is like he looks like a ******* a Raith. You know? I love this guy before he's set for his. Except for his colonial, colonial stuff, yeah, yeah, he's fighting on the wrong side, but he's objectively a ******. So Butler racks up promotion after promotion. He enforces US foreign policy. Nicaragua. He sent us a spy during the Mexican American War. He sent us a spy to Mexico City or one of the wars that we followed Mexico. He sent us a spy to Mexico City to help the United States gather information for the siege of Veracruz, which a lot of people don't know we were doing in the early 1900s. We, like, bombed Veracruz. Yeah, yeah. There's a good Warren Zevon song about it. Butler was one of nearly 60 American servicemen who received medals of honor for their service in Mexico because he fights in in Veracruz as well. And virtually all of those medals were complete ********. Like, they hand out 60 medals of honor for the siege of Veracruz, and they're doing it because Woodrow Wilson, the president, knows that, like, this is an ugly colonial war, and he wants to dress it up by making it look like, by putting out a bunch of stories of heroism and stuff. So he hands out the military's highest. They're like candy. And there's actually a bunch of. It's a big controversy at the time because a lot of veterans are like, you're devaluing the Medal of Honor by using it this way. And Smedley Butler receives one of these show medals of honor and he tries to return it, arguing that he'd done nothing to deserve it and he shouldn't get it, but he's ordered by his superiors to keep the metal and wear it on his uniform. So you're saying he's start. He's starting to, like, realize, like, that's kind of messed up. Why? Why? Like, I I don't deserve this. Don't give this to me. I like that. Yeah. Keeps me he keeps me like imbalanced. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You're gonna he he's he's he's a growth story, Smedley Smedley's always changing, especially knowing because of the behind the police stuff. Like, I know where this guy lands, where I'm just like, actually, why am I feeling any sympathy about you? Yeah, it's it's that's that's not even quite. Yeah. We'll we'll talk about it. So in Haiti, in Haiti, Butler wins his second Medal of Honor, and this was one for actual fighting. His unit was sent into the country when the president was murdered by a mob Butler, and his troops were repeatedly outnumbered by insurgents and over a long campaign. Succeeded in breaking the insurgency and establishing order for the US backed dictatorship. Butler himself helped organize the Haitian police and in his own recollection he and his men hunted enemy rebels quote like pigs. So again this he is a brutal soldier of empire, like building the police force for a dictator. Yeah, you you have to kind of look at what? Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's not great. It's not great. Now, Smedley was promoted to Brigadier General at age 37. He was, and remains one of the most highly decorated soldiers in the entire history of the United States military. He's got two medals of honor, and he's he's like, you know, as a general rule, generals don't get medals of honor. Certainly not two of them. They don't tend to be fighting guys. But Smedley is a fighting guy. He's not a stand back and give orders. He's a get stuck in kind of dude. He desperately wanted to fight in France during World War One, but he was not assigned combat duty. This is probably because by the later stage of his career, he was seen as politically unreliable due to the tendency he developed over the years to say exactly what he felt. Butler retired in late 1931. He ran for Senate in 1932 supporting prohibition, but he was defeated and in the late stage of his career, while he's still in the Marines, is when he's running the police in Philadelphia during that brief tenure. So this is, you know, our story starts after he's he, you know, he he took what he learned in Haiti and tried to apply it to the Philadelphia police. It didn't work out great, but he's kind of the father in a lot of ways, one of the fathers of militarizing the US police. And now he's he's retired, he tries to get into politics, he's not good at it. And by the early 1930s, Smedley Butler, who is probably the greatest soldier in any empire ever had, had started to change his mind on some things. A lot of this had to do with the Great Depression. And a social movement that it spawned called the bonus Army. The gist of it is that when the economy crashed, a bunch of World War One veterans found themselves unemployed. In a lot of cases, homeless and starving. These guys had been given what were called service certificates in 1924, which was the government saying, we will pay you a bunch of money for what you did in the war, but not yet. Because these were bonds, so they couldn't redeem them until 1945. Right. And the idea was like imaginary money. Yeah, imaginary money that, like, in 30 years this will be enough money to maybe. Tire on. But, like, not now. But there's we're starving now. You know, like, I can't wait. Another starving now. Cool. So obviously, yeah, in 1924, this it seemed like a good deal. But after two years of economic collapse, a lot of people just couldn't wait anymore. Uh, and in June of 1932, more than 40,000 veterans protested in Washington DC they called themselves the bonus Expeditionary Force or the Bonus Army, and they advocated for Congress to pass an immediate soldiers bonus for serving in World War One. Now, again, we're all living through. Own version of of something similar. So you know what comes next. Congress adjourned without actually doing anything. Here we go. This ****** the bonus army off, and they started getting loud and unruly. So the cop shot two of them, which eventually provoked a riot. The whole mass of men set up this enormous camp in order to hold up and wait for Congress to do something right. They they, like, build a camp, and they're like, we're not leaving until you give us some ******* money. The bill makes its way into Congress, but it gets defeated. Congress, based on some powerful financial interests, decides it's too expensive to pay these veterans. So they lose. They don't get their bonus, but the camp doesn't disperse. And when the camp doesn't disperse, the Hoover administration announces that it's sending in the army to evict the soldiers. Now, it was at this point that General Smedley Butler visited the camp. He told the soldiers that he thought they were well within their rights to lobby Congress. Corporations can. Why can't? Why can't people like us? You know? He spent the night there with the men. He had breakfast with them. He told them they were good soldiers, and he was proud of them. And a week or so later, he leaves. And a week or so later, America's most overrated general, Douglas MacArthur, disperses the crowd. The mix of men on horseback and poison gas and this radicalizes Butler. Initially he just becomes very anti Herbert Hoover and and you know, advocates for Hoover to get his *** kicked in the election that year. And Hoover does lose reelection that year. It turned out to maybe be a bad idea. Can't turn on the people, bro. No, no. And he's a **** president in general, yeah. So obviously, FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt wins, wins the election that year. He becomes the president. He promises Americans a new deal, which wealthy capitalists saw as a clear sign that Roosevelt was about to open the door to Soviet communism and take all of their money. And just why I also scared all the time, man. We're going to talk about that. There's an interesting story there. Umm. So one of the men who get scared by the New Deal is a guy named Robert Sterling Clark, and he's the heir to the singer sewing Machine for Fortune. Everybody's seen a singer sewing machine. That's the kind of money this guy has, you know? That's interesting. Yeah. Yeah. And we're talking singer sewing machines in the 30s when everybody uses them all the time. We actually, every house had it. It's. Yeah. It's not a hobby. It's the only way you have pants. Another guy who got scared was a Wall Street financier named Grayson MP Murphy. And another was Prescott Bush, the father of President George HW Bush. And who was at the yeah, yeah, he he really doesn't like the New deal. And it Prescott Bush is an investment banker on Wall Street at the time. OK, yeah. So these three are the best known members of what came to be called the business plot, and we'll talk about them all a bit more, but before we get into their plan. To overthrow the United States government and institute a fascist state. I should probably make it clear that a lot of rich Americans in the 1930s wanted to at least see FDR thrown out on his *** for suggesting that rich people be taxed to stop poor people from dying in the street. Again, not surprising to anyone living through 2021, it's not that. Yeah, it wasn't new then. Yeah. I'm going to read a I found a very good summary of of kind of this situation and the American culture at the time from a college thesis by Bradley Galka of the University of Albany that I really recommend reading. He does a great job of of putting this all together. Quote. William Manchester, in his book The Glory and the Dream, describes the fear which upper class Americans had of a lower class revolt in the months before Roosevelt's inauguration. Among the propertied classes, he writes, the distinction between the poor wanting bread and a full on communist revolutionary was often nonexistent. The rich would have to take their security into their own hands if the government could not keep order. Each man must look to his own businessman. In a number of cities formed committees to cope with nameless terrors should railroad and telephone lines be cut and surrounding highways. Blocked candles and canned goods were stockpiled. A Hollywood director carried with him a wardrobe of old clothes so that he could disappear into the crowd on a moment's notice. In New York, hotels discovered that wealthy guests who usually least suites for the winter were holding up in their country homes. Some had mounted machine guns on their roofs. Manchester goes on to say that the paranoid elites were not really so paranoid. The evidence strongly suggests, he writes, that had Roosevelt in fact been another Hoover, the United States would have followed 7 Latin American countries whose governments had been overthrown by depression. Victims. So there is revolution in the air and it scares the **** out of these people. They're voting machine guns to their country houses, you know? So the fears of this particular group of rich white dudes were further confirmed by the fact that left wing writers and intellectuals were louder than ever in their anticipation of a coming communist revolution. Things were, from the outside at least, looking pretty good in Soviet Russia compared to at least the reality that a lot of Americans knew in 1932, the Socialist presidential candidate we used to have socialist presidential candidates. Tripled his share of the vote from the 1928 election. And yeah, so socialism is actually doing starting to do pretty well in American politics. Socialism was mainstream in a way that seems impossible now. One example of how mainstream it was Governor Floyd Olson of Minnesota announced that he would not take any recruit for the National Guard, who quote doesn't carry a red card because he said Minnesota is a left wing state like I'm only putting communists. In the army. I'm the governor of Minnesota. What world is this? OK, yeah. So yeah, obviously, if you've got a left wing governor of an entire state saying Minnesota is socialist and we're raising an army, a lot of capitalists are going to get freaked out. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. But right wing Governor of Kansas Alf Landon declared that quote, the Iron Hand of a national dictator is in preference to a paralytic stroke. So the right is saying we need a dictator and the left is saying we need an army. You might recognize this as kind of identical in rhetoric to both what you were hearing in Portugal and Spain before those countries had coups. Right? Portugal was saying, like an iron chancellor. Yeah, he's saying we need the iron hand of a dictator, you know? Yeah, same rhetoric. Republicans were surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, willing to endorse outright fascism over socialism. Senator David Reed of Pennsylvania, a Republican, stated if this country ever needed a Mussolini, it needs one now. Wait, wait, wait. You let that come out your mouth. Yeah. He let that come out his mouth. OK, OK, you are not, you are not thinking, you not thinking long game, big homie. OK, no long game. Things turn out kind of upside down for Mussolini, but that's a story for another day. So in saying this, senator Reid was tapping into what was at that point more or less an American meme, a surprising love of Mussolini. Benito Mussolini was huge in America in this. This is like the 20s and 30s. He the people love that, know that. So I did not know because I spent so you know, obviously during this time I'm. I'm in Harlem. Yeah. My whole history is what's happening with black people right now. You know? I'm saying so I never even thought about. My Lord, like there was Mussolini stand. Yeah, OK yeah, that's what's happening with white people at the time. They're being getting real in the Mussolini. Jazz go here have been jazz. You talk about Mussolini kind of fly, like, Dang, man, look at that guy. Look at the way he wears boots. So historian John P Diggins argues that a large number of American journalists in the 20s and 30s supported Italy's fascist regime, from the March on Rome out to up to the outbreak of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. That's kind of what, like, stops the Mussolini. OK, honeymoon period when he gasses a bunch of people to death? Yeah, but up until that point, he's really big. Diggins writes that a large number of American journalists, quote, succumbed to fascist propaganda, and a few actually prostituted themselves in the pay of the Italian government. So Mussolini spends a lot of money trying to push articles and think pieces that would give fascism a positive reputation in the United States. He's bribing reporters and editors to write articles that make fascism. Seemed good. Now historian Jeanne Mignone uh notes that he Mussolini spent particular effort influencing, quote, the financiers who needed to be able to count unfavorable future conditions for their European investments. Mussolini's favorite target and his best friends in the United States were JP Morgan and his family. There they are. There you go, dropping these names. Yeah, he's out of nowhere names. We're like, wait, that guy? Like, the story just turned so weird. That's JP Morgan. That's so weird that JP Morgan loved fascism. Turns out wild. This is when I wish I had one of those buttons so I could do that. Yeah, yeah. Now, another big Mussolini fan and his primary propaganda distributor was the Press syndicate run by William Randolph Hearst, also big fan of Fascism, Willie Hurst. So we'll talk a little bit more about Hurst in a bit, but I want to know that there are also some very good reporters at the time who saw what was happening, what Mussolini was doing, and who spoke out against it lucidly and properly. The Chicago Tribune. George Seldes was probably one of the best journalists for this, he wrote. Quote. Far away fascism has been attacked, exposed and denounced by the same publications which for years ran articles lauding Mussolini and his notable backers in all lands, and the Hearst newspapers, which published from 1934 to Pearl Harbor dozens of signed propaganda articles by Doctor Gerbils. Gehring and other Nazis now call them names, but no publication which takes money from certain big business elements will dare name the native or nearby fascists. In many instances, the publications themselves are part of our own fascism, and that sells is kind of recognizing. In and was one of the few guys to be like, really try to drum home, drive home openly. And this he wrote this obviously after World War Two started that. Like, Oh yeah, as soon as we're at war, y'all are against Mussolini and Hitler, but you let them publish ******* articles before you, before this **** happened. Like, come on, bro, and you ignore. Yeah. Seltz argued that Fascism, American fascism, was not just limited to lunatic fringes of society, but was influential in major economic, social and political circles. He asserted that there were. Communists in the United States, who quote organized big business in a movement against Labor, signed a pact with Nazi agents for political and economic penetration of the US, founded $1,000,000 a year propaganda outfit to corrupt the press, radio, schools and churches and delayed the winning of the war through the Acts of Dollar a year men looking out for present profits and future monopoly rather than for the quick defeat of fascism. And there's a lot of these guys. And like in terms, when you're looking at American corporations who directly with their money supported fascism and funded fascist propaganda, you're talking General Motors, you're talking the DuPont Corporation, and you're talking Readers Digest who were way Indian fascism God. Dog man, it's like, yeah, there's no ending, bro. There's just no wow. We don't talk about the time Readers Digest was whole hog for Mussolini. Yeah. Like again. Yeah. That's #3 the name you never thought you'd get when the last time you said the well you because you when the last time any of y'all said the word readers digest. I've been published in them and I don't think about them. Robert what? That's funny. Yeah, but you know who won't fund a fascist propaganda campaign to convince financiers that Benito Mussolini has the right idea? Oh, pick me, pick me, pick me. I know the answer. Know the answer. I know the answer. Who? Who? Who is it? Who won't do that? Sophie, the fine products and services that sponsor this podcast nailed it. Nailed it. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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You maybe even heard the rumors from your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions, sometimes their answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research with you. For the first time ever in a book format, you can preorder stuff they don't want you to know. Now it's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. We're back and God Almighty, I know that JP Morgan bet the bank does advert, throw in random ads sometimes and I I kind of hope one came in and but as we're talking about credible. It's very funny. Very funny. So this is all all of this stuff that we're talking about, what's cooking off in the background when a ******** of rich guys and we don't know all of the folks involved or who they were, we'll talk about why near the end of this. But obviously some of them are JP Morgan, like William Randolph Hearst is, is almost certainly a part of it. There's a good chance Henry Ford was, but we don't know exactly who was involved. We know some of the people, though, including George HW Bush's dad. So at any rate, this cabal of financiers and rich guys. Take a couple of patsies to do the grunt work because they decide, OK, you know, the very wealthiest men are like, OK, we need to find a way to take power and we need to do it stealthily because Americans won't stand for an open fascist coup. So we're going to need they, they pick a couple of guys to kind of do the grunt work of actually organizing this fascist coup. And the dudes they pick are are Gerald C Macguire and Bob Doyle, and they're these guys are bond salesman, right? They're stock traders, essentially. All right. And they're both veterans. Imaginary money again. Yeah, they're imaginary money guys, and they're both members of the American Legion, which had been established to support veterans rights and activities. And they're both vets, you know, which is not a, you know, a lot of people are vets. World War ones just ended. So these guys, like these rich dudes, some of whom were had also been veterans, had watched what had happened with the bonus army in DC they'd seen 10s of thousands of veterans March on Washington. And obviously they hadn't supported those guys getting any money because it would have been taxing rich people, but they thought there was. Essential in having 10s of thousands of combat hardened men March on the Capitol and they basically started saying to themselves, what if we could harness that kind of force and put it under the control of a guy that we control and they trust maybe we could overthrow the government. Oh, and Americans wouldn't be it cause they'd say, oh, these are our vets, you know, they're they're coming in to fix things, you know? Yeah. Well, they're, you know, we support our troops. Yeah, exactly. It's a good idea, you know? Yeah, you get overthrow. So obviously they're looking at who can we, who can we put in control of 10s of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of veterans who will be easy for us to control, but also who everyone respects and loves and who no one's going to accuse of any ulterior motives. Oh my God. Who is it? Well, it's the perfect soldier of empire, the greatest imperial warrior. Whoever existed, retired General Smedley Butler. They're like, this is the guy who can do it. And he and yeah they look look at all of these all of these wars that we profited from that we got America into to make money. He fought it and ran things like he we he's already done this for us. He's perfect, you know? Damn. Yeah. So I'm going to quote a write up by Arcadia Publishing for what happens next. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. Like he's he's the obviously he's who you go with. Quote during their first meeting with Butler, McGuire and Doyle asked the Major General to speak at a legion convention in Chicago, claiming they wanted to point out the various problems with the legions leadership. But there was at first open to this idea knowing that the Legion had several administrative issues that ultimately compromised veteran benefits. So they're like, hey the legions having a voting convention to like vote on its its leaders. You know we are also vets and like we you know obviously you're you're the guy we respect the most. Would you give a speech about some of the problems our organization is having and he's like. You know, it seems like a reasonable thing to do. He's always going to try to help out soldiers when he can. But then he as he kind of looks through the speech that they've written, he realizes that it says almost nothing about the American Legion leadership, and is instead entirely about the gold standard and about how the the government needs to go back to the gold standard OHS. Yo, I had to clap for that because I'm like, that is a Juke. That is a really good Juke. Yeah, that's that. That's the zag and Smedley Smedley's like, wait a second. Wait. I thought you wanted me to help get the American Legion working better. Why the **** do I care about the gold standard? The hell I care about that. Yeah, yeah. So they were like basically the what was that? The actual case here is that all of these bankers were scared that they had gold backed loans from the government that weren't going to be paid back in full by the president. And, you know, they they also kind of wanted to get Butler used to working for them as their agent and see if they could, like, use them further. It's a couple of things going on here. Yo, that is textbook rich guy, man. Very textbook rich guy, just right on the nose. And what they don't realize about Butler is that he's not the perfect Imperial soldier anymore. By this point, he's he's become a socialist and he doesn't bite. He actually thought McGuire might be mentally ill because what the guy was suggesting seemed so strange to him. And Butler's impression of McGuire didn't change over the next few months because the stock broker keeps approaching the old general with new requests to address the American Legion for really incoherent, reads what seems to Butler in coherent reasons. And so in August of 1933, Butler and McGuire meet again, and by this point, Butler had started to realize that Maguire was working for someone. He starts to piece together there's a through line for all these weird things he's asking me to do. There's gotta be someone pulling the strings behind this now, because Maguire was the kind of guy who only valued money. He saw Butler's reticence and decided that, like, oh, he's not suspicious because I'm asking him to do weird things. He wants to know that I have backing. So he basically flashes a huge pile of cash in Butler's face. It's a rich guy only thinks, yeah, that everybody thinks like, rich guys. Yeah, but Butler's like, it's really weird that you keep asking me to make all of these bizarre political addresses to the American Legion. And Mcguire's like, hey, I got 100 grand. Great. Yeah, it's awesome. Yeah. But what are you talking about, though? Yeah. And this actually makes Butler more suspicious because in his mind, no honest man has access to $100,000. Keep it real, but like. I'm not supposed to like you, bro, but, like, Dang, that's a great answer. It's like, why? What? Well, he's changed at this point. Butler's? Yeah, he goes through a very satisfying evolution. OK, McGuire admits that he has a backer. He he says like, yeah, I work as a bond salesman for Grayson Murphy, who's a wealthy Wall Street financier who'd also been a Colonel during World War One, but not like a real like he. His job had been coordinating with the Red Cross. He got a rich guy job in the army for the war, you know? Yeah. So McGuire had paid 125. $1000 to underwrite the start of the American Legion because it starts after World War One and he thought of it as it is as an investment, right? Like Murphy's putting the American Legion together because he has a really rich guy is like, it's probably a good idea to have an organization of combat veterans who I can kind of direct, right? Yeah, yeah, there's a plot going on here, of course. So Butler and McGuire start talking about Maguires backers, and Maguire admits to Butler that his boss, Grayson, is one of nine rich men who were trying to pay for a National Convention. Of the American Legion in DC now. By this point, Smedley Butler knew something very crooked it was going on and Bradley Galka writes quote Butler did not commit to anything, but rather waited and listened to what McGuire had to say. The two met at the beginning of September. When asked if he had begun recruiting men to go to the National Convention, Butler said no. He told McGuire that he would not even consider cooperating unless he was allowed to meet with one of the principal backers of the plot. McGuire promised to set up a meeting as soon as was possible, treated his word. McGuire arranged for Butler to meet with one of the principles the following week. The man was actually an acquaintance of the general. His name was Robert Sterling Clark, known to Butler as the millionaire Lieutenant. This is the singer Guy Clark had been a junior officer under Butler's command in China during the Boxer Rebellion. According to Butler, Clark had been a Batty, sort of queer fellow who did all sorts of extravagant things. Got him a Batty. Batty like, like, as in, like how we say that girl's a Batty or like, as in Batty. Yeah, Batty. Like this kid, this. He's this, you know, there he goes to war with this guy. And everyone knows this kid is a millionaire. And he's weird, right? Like, he's a rich kid, you know? He's a weirdo. Patient's. Yeah. I was like, wait, what do you mean by a Batty. No, no, no. And I was like, wait, you calling him a Batty and then saying, well, he does queer stuff, like, you just called him a Batty. Like, yeah, bro. Like, just OK, now I get it. Yeah. You know, so the man. Yeah, that's clarify that. So, so, so, so wait. So make sure I'm following along so at this point. Smedley's antennas are all, like his Spidey senses in England all over the place. Like, some now, right? Yeah. Something is there. What? **** yeah. And then he's like, and I don't trust you rich guys. Like, you ain't never seen no combat. You ain't no blood on your hands, man. You are. You stayed on the porch the whole time you wasn't running with the wild dogs. So. So help me understand. And then he goes and he meets what? He's rich, dude. He's like, hey, I remember this kid. Yeah. Oh, you see this ******* kid? Yeah. Yeah. And he's also, he's also. This is kind of the guy, that smelly. Very intelligent man. He thinks something is fishy and he's like, I wanna go up the food chain. I wanna follow the money. I don't wanna talk to you. I'm gonna talk to the guy giving you money, you know? Yeah. So the general meets with Clark, this millionaire air. And Clark's first question was whether or not Butler had read the speech that that Clark had helped write for him. And Butler was like, says yes. But it looks as if it were a big business speech. There's something funny about that speech, Mr. Clark. Now, once it was clear that Butler knew he was being used for some purpose, even though he wasn't sure what that purpose was, Clark drops the act. So Butler says that in Clark's like, OK, you know, something's going on. So I'm just going to tell you the truth. And he tells Butler this quote, you understand just how we are fixed. I have got $30 million. I do not want to lose it. I am willing to spend half of the 30 million to save the other half. If you go out and make this speech in Chicago, I am certain that they will adopt the resolution and that will be one step towards the return of gold. They have the soldiers stand up for it. We can get the soldiers to go out in great bodies to stand up for it. And obviously gold isn't the end goal here, but that's how they want to like, start things. So that's their starting it. Yeah. And and this guy admits, like, look, I I am trying to use you to keep my money and I'm willing to spend half of my money to keep the other half. You know, that's what's important to me is continuing to be a rich man. Yeah. Now in his later, there's there's some sort of like a kind of a dark and twisted but kind of. Good financial advice in that, like, I'll spend half of this if it's gonna make my other half double. Yeah. Yeah. It's like. And he said he's also saying, like, I'm a I'm afraid that the decisions being made by this government will reduce my class. Lose it all. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. That's what I'm saying. Like, this is like, dark. Like, OK, this is This is why they wealthy. It's like, well, I'm not just sitting on this stuff, and I'm not willing to burn it all, but I'll spend on what's gonna protect the other. Yeah. And increased the other half. You know, I'm saying it's how rich guys think, you know, it's how rich guys think. And my point, yeah, this enrages Butler, when they, when he said, like, Butler is kind of barely able to keep himself from just, like, flipping out at this guy. Because Butler, he had been obviously an Imperial soldier. But his entire career, his focus, the thing that kept him going was the well-being of the soldiers under his command, right. He had risked his life repeatedly and been wounded to protect the men under his command. And this rich guy is saying. I wanna use your fellow soldiers for my own, to keep my money. And Butler's like, **** that and **** you. Yeah, like, you know, at this point, yeah. We done? Yeah. Yeah. Now, at this point, Smedley didn't quite realize that his entire career up to that point had been doing the same thing in other countries, right? Had been like risking the lives of his men to protect the money of rich people. And he doesn't quite get that yet. But he sees that what? He understands what this guy is trying to do now, right? Yeah. So he gets angry and he tells the millionaire how he feels. I took an oath to sustain democracy and that is what I'm going to do and nothing else. I am not going to get these soldiers marching around and stirred up over the gold standard. What the hell does a soldier know about the gold standard? Now, so Maguire, different when it's direct, man. Yeah, when you see it like rather than like at a systemic or like a, you know, a indirect way, like you said, like ultimately, you know, you're at least in our most recent wars, you just went to protect somebody's money and to hold up a crooked regime. You know, I'm saying, but if somebody couldn't. But if, like if your general stood up to you and just said, hey, homie, this place got oil. So we need to kill these people to get it. Like, you would be, like, nothing to do that. You know, I'm saying I'm not gonna do that. Yeah, I'm gonna do. What are you talking about? You know, I'm saying. But, like, when it's in your face the way it was with him, he's like, no, listen, here's the thing. I'm rich and I might lose it. So I need you to go get my money. Yeah. And this is this is a bit of a spoiler. This it being this direct for him is what helps him realize what the rest of his career had been, right? Like this really is crisis. We're not quite there yet. So, OK, McGuire like Butler's like, I am not going to to do this thing for you. I'm not going to go ******* put my neck on the line for the gold standard. And McGuire is like, all right, all right? And he's like, can I use your phone? And while Butler listens, McGuire gets on the phone in Butler's house or not McGuire Sterling gets on the phone. In Butler's house. And he calls McGuire, the guy who had was his Gopher, and tells him that Butler's not coming to the American Legion convention. And Sterling tells McGuire to use $45,000 that he'd given him to flood the convention hall with telegrams urging a return to the gold standard. And that's exactly what happens at the convention. The telegrams flow in and the resolution is passed, condemning, like, the move away from the gold standard. And, you know, sterling kind of does this to show off to Butler. Like, OK, well, if you're not going to do this, let me show you what I can accomplish. I can just pay 45 grand to get ******* uh, Flyers put up and like, yeah, we'll we'll flood them with propaganda and make it happen. And Butler takes this as the lesson that it is right that these are powerful men and this is like, they do have the ability to to make this **** happen. So for a little while, that's kind of all it is. It's this weird thing over the gold standard in Butler. It it feels off to him, but he doesn't think much more about it until the next year, August of 1934, when Gerald McGuire comes up to his house again and he and Butler meet and Maguire tells the general quote, the time has come to get the soldiers together and McGuire, who's a veteran himself, is referencing the bonus army. He's basically coming up and being like, hey, you know, the things are still hard for veterans, why don't you and I work out something where we can, like, get? Other group of soldiers together and maybe March them on Washington. And Butler's, like, willing to have this conversation, right? Yeah. He's not willing to do the gold standard thing. But like, oh, you're talking about getting people together because veterans need some money. Absolutely. That's my whole thing in my language. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But then the conversation turns. McGuire tells Butler that he just gotten back from an overseas trip, and it was on. It wasn't a vacation, but his wealthy backers were paying him to go scouting. And this is what McGuire says, quote, I went abroad to study the part that the veteran plays and the various setups of the governments that they have abroad. I went to Italy for two or three months and studied the position that the veterans of Italy occupy in the fascist setup of government. And I discovered that they are the background of Mussolini. They keep them on the payrolls in various ways and keep them contented and happy. And they are his real backbone, the force on which he may depend in case of trouble to sustain him. But that setup would not suit us at all. The soldiers of America would not like that. I then went to Germany to see what Hitler was doing, and his whole strength lies in organizations of soldiers too. But that would not do. I looked into the Russian business. I found that use of soldiers over there would never appeal to our men. Then I went to France and I found just exactly the sort of organization we are going to have. It is an organization of super soldiers. And what he's talking about, you remember the, the cross of fire that we talked about last episode in France, that French veterans organization, you got 500 officers, 1000 officers and NCO's, and they control the votes of five million men. And they're very, very far, right. Right. And they have a role in the insurrection that happens over in France, which has just happened at this point. So these rich guys watch what happens in France and almost succeeds. And they're like, oh, you know, that's that's not a bad idea. Why don't we set up a veteran's organization? Like that. OK. Yeah. So that's what mcguires like, we need to build the same thing that they have in France, because if we can get 5,000,000 votes or so, like a coalition of five million votes, we can win any election we want. We can get rid of, you know, Roosevelt or we can March them on the capital, you know, if we have half a million soldiers. So Butler said, all right, like, I'm not, I'm not against this idea. If you want to organize a bunch of veterans to, to to make political changes, act as a voting bloc, that makes sense to me. Because I care about veterans issues, but what do you want to use them for? Right. Why are you, why are we building this? Like because he's still suspicious of this guy over the gold. Still don't know what you're doing. Yeah. And McGuire some like, no, they're going to support the president. That's what we want them to do, is to kind of support the President and his efforts to to fix the economy. And Butler points out when McGuire says this, Butler points out that like, well in all these speeches you wanted me to give earlier, you would had me, you wanted me to oppose all of FDR's policies. So why are you trying to make a veterans organization to support FDR now? And Maguire responds. Don't you understand that the setup has got to be changed a bit now we have got him, we have got the president. He has got to have more money. There's not any more money to give him. 80% of the money now is in government bonds and he cannot keep this racket up much longer. He has got to do something about it. He has either got to get more money out of us or he has got to change the method of financing the government. And we are going to see to it that he does not change that method. He will not change it. They're worried about him like going into debt and devaluing the dollar and stuff. So Butler. These were this is going and? He asks McGuire straight up. The idea of this great group of soldiers, then, is to sort of frighten him. Is it? McGuire lying said that no, they don't want to scare FDR, they just want to support him. And then he introduces a new idea. He tells Butler, you know, the president's overworked and he's he's an old man. He's not healthy. Wouldn't it be nice if we could give FDR an assistant president? We can use this big armed group of veterans to convince the President to create a new cabinet position, Secretary of General Affairs and this person will do all of the actual work of the President and he'll institute policies that my rich backers know we're going to fix things. The American people. Whoa. FDR will still be president, but he'll just be ceremonial and will be controlling things. And this big armed group of veterans will make sure that everybody plays Nice. That right up under our noses, bro. So McGuire tells Butler that this is all necessary because the president is sick. And even if it's not true that he's unable to do the job anymore, the American people will believe them if they say he's sick because, quote, we have got the newspapers he's talking about the fact that William Randolph Hearst is one of the guys involved in this plot, like, whatever, whatever. We need the American people to believe they'll believe because we control the newspapers. So all we need to do is organize this body of men. OK, so in suggesting this mcguires. Rich backers, we're looking to treat FDR kind of the same way Mussolini treated the King of Italy or Hitler treated Hindenburg in his last months. Of course, Maguire didn't point this out to Butler, but he asked, would you be interesting in heading up this super organization of veterans that we're going to use to take power? So he's he's all on the table now like we're going to take over the government. We're going to do it in a way that's not obvious. We're going to use the newspapers to make sure people don't know that we've just stopped FDR from having any power and we're if things are going to be run by the rich and but so he's like do you want to be the guy who who leads this army of veterans into the capital to demand these things? And, Butler responds, I'm interested in it. I'm interested in this veterans organization, but I don't know about heading it. I am very greatly interested in it because you know my interest. My one hobby is maintaining a democracy. If you get these 500,000 soldiers advocating anything smelling of fascism, I'm going to get 500,000 more and lick the hell out of you and we'll have a real war right at home. He's a direct band. Yeah. I love it. He's like, look, man, you know, many wars are fought. You think I'm scared of you? Yeah. Like, yeah, like it. And this, like, if you do this and I think you're trying to create a fascist state, all raise an army and all win. Like, you don't know **** about actual war vet. Like, I actually know the veterans. Yeah. Yeah. So this makes McGuire backpedal a little bit. He's realized he's maybe, like, gone. He was maybe a little bit too open about what they were planning to do. And he insists, like, no, we're not trying to overthrow. I just want to support the President. We're not trying to take power. We want to support him. And Butler says, well, if that's the case, you're going to need a lot of money, right? This is not going to be a cheap thing to do. And Mcguire's like, well, we've got $3 million on hand. You know, the money and a problem, bro. Money ain't a problem. We get access to $300 million if necessary. And so Butler again is like, who in the **** is putting up this? Muddy, honest men don't have $3 million to throw around. And so he's like, where are you getting all of this money? And I know it's not just Clark or Sterling, the guy that I had met earlier. And McGuire says, you know how Clark told you he would spend half of his fortune to save the other half? Well, there's a lot of other rich guys who feel the same way, right? Prescott Bush and JP Morgan and all these all these other rich dudes feel the same way. So Smedley Butler meant what he said. He was absolutely committed to American democracy, and he never actually considered helping, but he knew the danger of what he was hearing and he wanted to be able to expose it. And to do that, he was going to need a corroborating witness. So his goal now to becomes, I need someone else credible to be witness to the whole plans that we can go testify to Congress just in case. Dude Smith dog. This dude's antennas are like, they are attuned because to be like, you can't just be like FU. Storm in the room. Yeah. Because these people don't need you. They'll find somebody else. You know, I'm saying. And it's like the understanding that, like, just that power play. When you in a room with people that wealthy, they always feel like they're in charge, but that. But that power is given to them. If you don't, if you don't give a **** about their money, you know, I'm saying then, then the power don't matter, you know? I'm saying, yeah. Then you realize, really, what's happening here? It's like, oh, wait, y'all got all this money and you still need this meeting with me? So there's some, you know, I'm saying so, like, he had his antennas enough to be, like, I need to make sure because it's not like these people can't put me away. Yeah. I need somebody over here to watch all this happening because they wheeled in all his power and I'm. I am. You know, I'm saying, like, right now I'm in a good graces. Yeah. Right now they still hungry for me. So let me make sure I'm playing this dog. Smelling. His antennas are hard. I love it. Yeah. You know, he's he's he's thinking. He's thinking. And I'm thinking that right up by Arcadia Publishing again for what happens next, having previously worked as the police captain of Philadelphia. Butler reached out to a Philadelphia record writer, Paul Comley French, who agreed to meet with McGuire as well. During this meeting, McGuire told French that he believed a fascist state was the only answer for America, and that Smedley was the ideal leader because he could organize a million men overnight. So French, the very skilled journalist, comes in and kind of on the guise of like, yeah, you want the press on your side, let's talk about what you're trying to do. And he's like, French is clearly a good interview and gets Maguire to admit, like, yeah, I want to, we want to make a fascist state. That's the only way. Forward for America, and Butler's the best guy to do it. So French takes detailed notes after all of these meetings, he would later tell Congress. Quote during the course of the conversation he continually discussed the need of a man on a White Horse, as he called it, a dictator who would come galloping in on his White Horse. He said that was the only way, either through the threat of armed force or the delegation of power and the use of a group of organized veterans to save the capitalistic system, Speaking of capitalistic systems, Speaking of capitalism. You know who won't? Inside a fascist revolution. I mean, hopefully. Hopefully. Fingers crossed I have something to tell you at this ad break that just broke in the news, but I guess I'll tell you now, Jeff Bezos just stepped down as CEO of Amazon. What the **** is happening? He's transitioning to an executive chair role. Something's about to go down. Yes, I have some theories. That's big. Take this break. Take this. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're we're off. What are your theories? Something's ******* happening. Yeah, so here's my theories. I think there was two things going on here. I think one is he's like, I would like the money without the headache. So let me just let somebody else had a headache. I'm just going to take the money. This is from obviously, the Washington Post because he owns it. Bezos will step down from the role after founding the company more than 20 years ago, ushering a new era for the ecommerce merchant giant. Currently, current Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy will take on the mantle of CEO. I don't like, I don't like that word, mantle, first of all. Yeah but I think the money from the like from the from the web support platform services is now outpacing the products. I agree. So they like we need to move that way #1 and #2, I'm positive they gonna break the company up. They gonna break this it up because it's so, yeah, yeah. And he's like, I better get out now. They gonna break the **** up. I I really hope so. Yeah. It should be broken up. It should be. It's too much of a of a business. You can't be the grocery store and the groceries. Yeah. I think he just wants to go off into the moon and just spend the rest of his life. I wanna. I want all the money. Without the headache, no reasonable person would be worth 100 billion plus dollars and want to keep doing a job. Why do you keep working? Yeah. Go fill an island with, I don't know, no more. No more rich white guys with the islands that they always do. But at the say, yeah, it's like you don't make $100 million to keep working. He'll he'll never spend this. You will never spend this money. It's the only billionaire who's ever made sense to me. One of the Google founders who, like, spent hundreds of millions of dollars making a house blimp and it was like, yeah, that's rad. Like, yeah, like you live on a ******* blimp, you know? Yeah, dude, I'm gonna live on a blimp. Like, I could never. You can't even give it away. There's not enough. There's not enough hours in the day. You know? You're not going to live enough years to spend this. Yeah, you couldn't. Yeah. Ah. All right. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month, Mint mobile will give you the best rate. Whether you're buying one or for a family, and it meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. 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You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. We're back. Ohh, what a great, what a great time. So we're talking about. Yeah, this guy Butler brings in this journalist French who gets who gets these guys to throw down some dirt, right, and admit, yeah, what they're actually looking to do. Yeah. Now, in his write up on the business plot, Bradley Galkin notes. Quote McGuire also discussed this group's intended solution to the National Employment crisis. He said they were inspired by Adolf Hitler's policies in Europe, that the solution would be the institution of Labor camps and barracks in America to mobilize the unemployed. You said you said it out loud. You said you're not supposed to say that out loud, bro. This hit the guy has some good ideas. I'm just saying, like, we could save you. Hear me, hear me out. We could save capitalism. We could save cap well if we put the power in camps and make them work for us. They're not doing anything right. They're not doing anything right. Shouldn't be voting, they're just gonna vote to take out money, put them in camps. Such an initiative, Maguire insisted, would solve the problem overnight. He also revealed that the plotters would force all suspected radicals across the country to register their movements with the government. That way, said McGuire, the new regime could stop a lot of these communist agitators who were running around the country. McGuire ended by insisting that another economic crash was inevitable and would come when bonds reached 5% interest when that time. Comes, he said. The soldiers must prepare to save the nation. Now, it's worth reiterating 2 important takeaways from mcguires interactions with Butler and French. First, during Mcguires meeting with Butler at the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia, McGuire claimed that he and the plotters have got the newspapers. He told Butler that whatever cover story his boss has decided to put in the papers would be accepted by the dumb American people who would fall for it in a second. Damn it. Not wrong. Yeah, not wrong, not wrong. Bradley Golf is right off of this is very good. It's and it's free, so I really recommend it for folks. Now, at this point, Butler decided he had enough information to go to Congress. On November 20th, 1934, he appeared before the Special Committee on Unamerican Activities. Before the committee and its lawyers, General Butler laid out the details of the whole sordid scheme, providing Congress with French's corroboration and the detailed notes that he himself had taken of every conversation. He swore Underoath that this was all true and that a cabal of bankers and industrial magnates were plotting to overthrow American democracy. So he goes to Congress and he puts it all out on the line, and the story hits the news media soon after. The New York Post, which at this time is a Liberal newspaper, publishes the first report, which is written by French himself. It outlines the details of the plot accurately. The Post also publishes a second, shorter piece which provides the accused plotters with an opportunity to give their denials. Now the post coverage here was both responsible and vital, but Maguire had not been lying when he said that his secret backers controlled much of America's print media. A second wave of coverage bursts from conservative Hearst owned newspapers. These papers tended to provide only the barest details of the actual plot and spend most of their time publishing denials by the accused magnates. 1 popular columnist Arthur Brisbane, who worked for the Hearst owned San Francisco Examiner, suggested that somebody may have been deceiving General Butler. He portrayed the business plot as more or less a practical joke and wrote mockingly, that those wicked and bad and outrageous Wall Street men were the ones who actually had the most to fear from a fascist. Dictatorship. Adam off, huh? Yeah. Flim flam boy. Yeah. Flim flam, yeah. Oh, look at this. Dumb general. He just he just he he got took in by a practical joke, you know. Listen, he doesn't understand, you know, Doug and and I I man, I imagine even like how you stand in front of Congress and like this. I I don't know, like if you have this, this, like sinking feeling when you're trying to say something that you know is true and you're positive the people in front of you don't believe you and you're like, ah, damn, this ain't going. I'm stuck, ain't I? You know, I'm saying, like, I I wonder if I don't know why, as you was talking, that was like the moment I pictured when he was like, he went to Congress to tell them that, like, he's snitching, but it's like a good type of snitch to where I'm like, no, I'm trying to tell you the truth. This is what these people are doing. Yeah, I don't know, because it's like even coming out of his mouth, he was probably like. Do I sound crazy? I might sound crazy, but I'm trying to tell you this what they're doing, yeah. Wow. Yeah, so Adam Ox, a writer for the New York Times, wrote an article about the business plot. And again, it's not just Hearst papers. The New York Times gets in on this ****. He writes an article titled Credulity Unlimited, which also mocked Butler and painted him as a crank. What can we believe? Apparently anything, to judge by the number of people who lend a credulous ear to the story of General Butler's 500 fascists in buckram marching on Washington to seize the government. Details are lacking to Linda Versimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. The whole story. Sounds like a gigantic hoax. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Listen, this guy's crazy. Yeah, talk to him. The old man thinks that we're businessmen. Want to take over the country, rich dudes? Yeah, we're just saying. It's fine. And there is one of the things that really does corroborate that the story is true is there is a massive and very organized media campaign to discredit Butler. And it's not just journalists. Will Rogers, the former cowboy actor who, like half of LA, is named after. Yeah, I was like, wait, wait, wait. Yeah, yeah, that. Will Rogers publishes an article in the New York Times. He gets to write a column for the times. And this article both mocks Smedley Butler. And in the article, after making fun of Butler for being an idiot. Will Rogers volunteers to lead a fascist army in his stead. If Smedley Butler don't take that job of marching down Pennsylvania at the head of Wall Street's Fighting Brigade, I would like to get my application in I got the Grey Horse. It won't be such a novelty as people think. This is clearly ******** but if it's not, I'd lead a fascist army on behalf of Wall Street. Man, you, man, that's the you remember Katy Perry tried to buy his house out here? Oh yeah, it's a nice house. It's a very nice house. Went on a field trip once anyway. Yeah. New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia called the business plot a cocktail push. By which he means he thought Butler had heard the plans at a part as a joke at a party and run away with the idea. That's a great you. The more I hear their defense. That's a great cover story. It's a great coverage. They were just joking, dude, we're just drinking. It's like this guy got his party. He don't really roll with us. He don't know how. We don't know how he work. We're just playing around. Yeah, yeah. It's not it's not dumb, right? These aren't idiots. Now the committee. The congressional committee. An American activities Committee continues their investigation, though, and they find additional evidence of the plot. Concerted digging revealed that a number of the men implicated in the plot had recently formed a conservative lobbying group called the American Liberty League. Its members included JP Morgan junior Irene DuPont, the CEO of General Motors, the CEO of General Foods, and other industrial leaders controlling roughly $40 billion in assets, which in modern terms is 3/4 of a trillion dollars. All of the richest guys. And then yeah, like, these are the dudes behind it. Now, this digging also turns up the fact that Prescott Bush, who was heavily involved in with the Nazi government, right? He's working with them on the Hamburg America lines and stuff that Prescott Bush, under the proposed American Fascist government, would have acted as a liaison between the American dictatorship and the Nazi government. So George W Bush's grandpa volunteered for the job of liaising between a fascist American state and the Nazis. Was like, oh, I love the Nazis. I'd be perfect at this job. What? Yeah, Prescott Bush. So and then gave birth to presidents, two of them. Well, his wife gave birth to president. Let me clear that up. Sorry, ladies. He didn't give birth to nobody, OK? He donated genetic material that led to two presidents, both of whom were trash. So the the committee, after its investigation, never releases an official report on the business plot. But they do give a report to Congress and in it they say that they quote that had no trash. Oh, it's about to get trasher. OK, before it's trash, the committee goes to Congress and they say everything. We checked out that Butler said we were able to verify. They say that they, quote, had received evidence 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. The names of the individuals involved, they said, would have to be kept secret until they could be investigated and their complicity verified. So they're like, we we we looked this up and we found a lot of evidence that it was true, but we can't confirm anything 100% yet. And we're not going to give the names of the individuals we found evidence about because we haven't finished the investigation, right? Which sounds reasonable. That's how it's supposed to work. But they never finished the investigation. Oh, man. After saying, hey, yeah, this. Yeah, we've cooperated everything you said. OK, cool. And we don't know why the investigation doesn't get finished. There are some theories, and I'm going to quote the Washington Post for one of them. According to journalist John Buchanan, speaking to the BBC in 2007, this was probably because Roosevelt struck a deal with the backers of the plot. They could avoid treason charges and possible execution if they backed off their opposition to the New Deal. Sally Denton, an author who wrote a book. About the business plot thinks the press may have ignored the report at the urging of the government, which didn't want the public to know how precarious things might have been. So the government that like was threatened by this may not have wanted it to be super public knowledge, right? Just like the. I don't think it's a good idea for people to know how quickly they can, how close they came to overthrowing us. Yeah, you shouldn't notice. Yeah, and and FDR probably sits down with these rich guys, and it's like, look, we can hang you and it'll be ugly for everybody. Like, there will be consequence. It'll suck for me. Like, listen, or you shut the **** ** and let me do the new deal. You know? I love it, man. The brand. Listen, this is a bad. This is bad for everybody. Everybody loses. Yeah, I'm gonna cut your head off. But, like, That's just. I love it. Good job, FDR. Yeah. I mean, it was like, I don't know, I'm not gonna say it was the right thing. I think it would have been better to prosecute these guys, but totally. He's in a rough position. He does what it seems like the best thing to do at the time. Now, based on her research, Sally Denton believes that had Smedley Butler gone along with the plot, it would have succeeded, and he might have been the only person capable of leading that fascist coup who also would have refused to do it. It is hard to overstate how lucky we are that he was the man they went to, right? Like the one guy. Who had that kind of respect among veterans who had that kind of talent and that kind of experience and also doesn't give a **** about money, right? Like, the perfect yes, the perfect combo. Yeah. Damn. Because he could if he even wanted it and and cared about money. He could even extort these dudes. Yeah, yeah, he could have said they're promising. Like, we'll take care of your family. Your kids are never gonna be like, damn right you gonna take care of my family. You are saying you take care of my neighbor's family for to take care of my children. They children. You gonna take care of us until the twenty 20s, but he instead decides. The thing that I swore an oath for was to defend democracy, and that's what I'm going to ******* do. And for his part, the business plot seems to have been the final straw in Butler's radicalization. He realizes, after having been these rich guys trying to use him as a pawn, that that's all he'd been doing his entire career. As a soldier. He'd been a pawn of the bridge. In 1936, he votes for the socialist presidential candidate. In 1935, he publishes a short book based on a series of speeches he delivered. He starts traveling around the country delivering speeches. A speech titled War is a racket, and I'm going to read you a summary. They wrote of his own book that kind of explains where this goes. 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. Damn. And he's there's a lot of good quote when he say from this in from Butler in general. That is good when he say the losses are in lives but the profits are in dollars. Yeah, yeah. God, good God, that's a bar. And he healed because it's truly unsparing, like another quote of his that I love. Our boys were sent off to die with beautiful ideals painted in front of them. No one told them that dollars and cents were the real reason they were marching off to kill and die. Cat dog dude. Yeah, I have a homeboy. The musician. He's a friend, but he's an incredible rappers. Names? Bamboo. Yeah, from Filipino dude. Up, up, up. Well, he's from LA. He lives in the Bay. His wife, Rocky Rivera, both amazing artists. Their whole label, Beat Rock, they're all these like. Left wing guerrilla warfare, like super revolutionary dudes. But he was, he was a LA dude, got in trouble with the law. And then, you know, like any other brown kid, you go to the military to try to like, you know, get out of jail and kind of the same scenario he came out of that so radicalized, so ready to be like, yeah, this is all bull. And I will never send another child, you know? He's not at all pacifist. Don't get me wrong. Like. Brother got a collection of, like, ancient island weapons, let alone. Yeah. Guns. You know, I'm saying so he ain't no pacifist, but he's like, I'm not dying for someone else's. Yeah. Rockets. Yeah. It's like dog. Yeah. This is crazy. Yeah. And and Butler. Butler is that Butler's not a fashion or not pacifist and he's not anti military. He loves the military. He hates what it's used for. And he when he's delivering these speeches, he's trying to get Americans on board with a complete reformation of the military. He believes that it should only ever be defensive in nature, and in order to make it that he thinks the Navy should be limited to operating within 200 miles of the coastline and the army restricted from ever leaving the confines of the continental United States. Yeah, uh, now that same year. Interesting. Yeah, yeah, that he's trying to like, he thinks we need a military. It's just we have to find a way to stop bankers from being able to use it to to fight wars for profit. That's the problem. Wow. In that same year, 1935, Butler gives an interview to Common Sense magazine where he tells the nation quote, I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that. 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 remember that quote. Yeah. Remember that quote from the police one? Yeah. He was just like, man, I'm just a goon. I was just a goon. Yeah, just muscle. Just a goon. And I, man, this needs to be in dog. I wish there's a reason it's not in your history textbooks, you know? Every history book. You know what I'm saying? Because yeah, because the reality is we don't have. Like, I was as you were talking. I was like, do it. Is there any figure in America now that could? Do that. And I'm like, I don't know, only the imaginary one, like, who's the movie The American Sniper was that movie. Yeah. Yeah. That the. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That dude's imaginary. You know, I'm saying, like, the real the real person that he was like a lunatic. Like a dangerous, like murderer and a liar. Yeah. Yeah. And he couldn't lead to fascism. Insurrection. Yeah. You know, I'm saying, but like if if, if the guy that that was portrayed was a real person and maybe, but we ain't got one. Real life, you know, I'm saying, but the one that did exist came out of the other end going, yo, these wars were crap. Yeah, and I was just out there getting y'all's bags and this is ridiculous. I would say hell ******* gangster, you know? *** **** it. He spent the rest of his life giving speeches and trying to radicalize veterans and mourning in public that he and his comrades had only ever fought for, in his words, the benefit of millionaires and billionaires. He insisted that he had named names. The committee that he had, that he had given the names of the people involved, but that those names had been removed from his testimony before it was made public in a radio, in an interview. He insisted, like most committees, it has slaughtered the little and allowed the big to escape. The big shots weren't even called to testify. Yeah. If that ain't the straits broy it it's very. And it's not for nothing that he he he names himself as a gangster. You know, he recognizes like it's exactly why yeah. I'm saying the little the little corner boy doing 15 years, you know what I'm saying? But nobody go to the, you know I'm saying that the the the Russian oligarch that got him 15 bricks. You know, I'm saying like he's living nice in the Hollywood Hills. They don't even he's not even in the testimony, you know, I'm saying that's crazy. And it's ******* one of the things that is because there's so much that's a bummer about this story, right, that they just get away with it. But there is, yeah. There's hope in it, too. And and the hope, I think, is in the story of Smedley Butler, this guy who could not have been a more dedicated soldier of imperialism and realizes he was wrong and spends the rest of his life fighting against what he can't. You can't. You know, there's no time machine. You can't go back and undo what you did to freaking Haiti and Costa Rica and the banana wars. You can't go back and redo that, but I can do the best, my best to pay it forward. That's good, man. Yeah, it's it is a it's a real story of of redemption. Redemption and of a man who was had a. You gotta respect the amount of self knowledge to be able to admit I spent 33 ******* years as a gangster. My friends died. In a gang war over money, you know, like over money that's not even ours. Yeah, we don't even get to collect. Yeah, Big Sean on the last record was like, dude John dying over St Corners you don't even own. Umm, like and it's like, yeah, that like that where you just like we don't even oh, we don't even own these projects. What are these, property day? That's crazy, yeah? Anyway, that's the business plot. So what happened here? It happened here. And the only reason it didn't happen all the way is that there happened to be one really good man in the middle of it. Dang, that is crazy. Yeah. So thanks, Smedley Butler, right? We appreciate you one good dude. Yeah. And I, I will say I think that's maybe another one of the optimistic things to take out of it is that it is a story of sometimes a single person with the right who is willing to make a moral stand can be the difference between. Calamity and and and not calamity, you know? Yeah. Wow. Anyway, wow, prop. You get some pluggable S to plug as we as we roll out of behind the insurrections. This has been you can't say a pleasure, can you? But. It was. I enjoy every time I get to like. Work with y'all and hear about the most horrible things in the world. They're always just, they're a great time of my day, although it takes me like an hour to recoup after we do this. But yeah, thank you so much again for having me. Prop Uh, if this. As of the day that you're hearing this, UM. Which is Thursday, right? Is this Thursday one? Yeah, I will be dropping new music the next day. Friday morning, new video, new music. So please go to you can subscribe to the YouTube get on Spotify of a ton of new music. A new coffee drop into. Uh, hell yeah. Yeah. Prop I gotta get you a bean, man. Yeah, you do. Yeah. You gotta get you on poor agami Fridays too, man. Well, you're not on Instagram. Well, yeah, I I do have an Instagram. I only follow one guy so far, and he's the guy who's making knives for me. You have an Instagram? I feel betrayed. I wanted to look at knives. I mean, I forgive that part, but but I could. I could have coffee and knives be my Instagram thing. What about Sophie and Anderson? I get I I talked to you on signal. This is true. This is hurtful. But I feel you. I feel you. Either way, we're going to figure it out. Yes, I do. If you're a fun follow, we maybe you could log into the ******** pods Instagram, and I've never posted or whatever it is you do on Instagram. Do you post? Yeah, you post. Yeah. I could tell you. Alright, well don't find me on anyway because I am not going to tell anyone. Action. There you find me prop on Instagram. No one else. I will find you. Yes. Yeah. And yeah, we'll we'll be back next week for something different. It'll be fun and a little bit of a break and then we'll probably get back to talking about genocides pretty soon. It won't be long. A genocide every month. That's the behind the ******** promise. That is our promise. Have a good one. Bye bye noses. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. 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