You may have heard about the plot to take over the White House by a fascist group led by 500,000 veterans way back in 1934 to overthrow FDR. You also may have heard that Gen. Smedley Butler blew the whistle on them, and that was that. This item in American history has been not just buried, but contorted, twisted, and strangled before it was nailed inside its coffin. In this installment, we examine the actual Congressional record to get the facts.
Cast of Characters
Paul Comley French - a newspaper reporter for The Philedelpia Record and The New York Evening Post
|Paul Comely French|
Grayson Murphy - JP Morgan affiliated banker, director of Guaranty Trust, the company that laundered money for the Bolsheviks.
Gerald MacGuire - a member of the American Legion and employee of Mr. Grayson Murphy.
Gen. Smedley Butler was approached by Mr. Gerald MacGuire about whipping up support among the veterans via the American Legion and the VFW. Gen. Butler was something of a celebrity at the time, and it was thought that his leadership would garner the necessary support. Let's go to the source, the sworn Congressional testimony of General Butler before the House Un American Activites Commission:
He said, "The time has come now to get the soldiers together.""Yes," I said, "I think so, too." He said, "I went abroad to study the part that the veteran plays in the various set-ups of the governments that they have abroad. I went to Italy for 2 or 3 months and studied the position that the veterans of Italy occupy in the Fascist set-up of Government, and I discovered that they are the background of Mussolini. They keep them on the pay rolls 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 set-up 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 the use of the soldiers over there would never appeal to our men. Then I went to France, and I found just exactly the organization we are going to have. It is an organization of super soldiers." He gave me the French name for it, but I do not recall what it is. I never could have pronounced it, anyhow. But I do know that it is a super organization of members of all the other soldiers' organizations of France, composed of noncommissioned officers and officers. He told me that they had about 500,000 and that each one was a leader of 10 others, so that it gave them 5,000,000 votes. And he said, "Now, that is our idea here in America—to get up an organization of that kind."
What for? Is it to overthrow FDR as is commonly reported in conservative circles? It's good for us that Gen. Butler asked the very same thing of Mr. MacGuire:
I said, "What do you want to do with it when you get it up?""Well," he said, "we want to support the President."I said, "The President does not need the support of that kind of an organization. Since when did you become a supporter of the President?The last time I talked to you you were against him."He said, "Well, he is going to go along with us now.""Is he?""Yes.""Well, what are you going to do with these men, suppose you get these 500,000 men in America? What are you going to do with them?""Well," he said, "they will be the support of the President. "I said, "The President has got the whole American people. Why does he want them?"He said, "Don't you understand the set-up 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 is not any more money to give him. Eighty percent 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."I said, "The idea of this great group of soldiers, then, is to sort of frighten him, is it?""No, no, no; not to frighten him. This is to sustain him when others assault him."I said, "Well I do not know about that. How would the President explain it?"He said: "He will not necessarily have to explain it, because we are going to help him out. Now, did it ever occur to you that the President is overworked? We might have an Assistant President, somebody to take the blame; and if things do not work out, he can drop him."He went on to say that it did not take any constitutional change to authorize another Cabinet official, somebody to take over the details of the office—take them off the President's shoulders. He mentioned that the position would be a secretary of general affairs—a sort of super secretary.CHAIRMAN [Congressman McCormack]. A secretary of general affairs?BUTLER. That is the term used by him—or a secretary of general welfare—I cannot recall which. I came out of the interview with that name in my head. I got that idea from talking to both of them, you see. They had both talked about the same kind of relief that ought to be given the President, and he said: "You know, the American people will swallow that. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President's health is failing. Everybody can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second." And I could see it. They had that sympathy racket, that they were going to have somebody take the patronage off of his shoulders and take all the worries and details off of his shoulders, and then he will be like the President of France. I said, "So that is where you got this idea?"He said: "I have been traveling around looking around. Now, about this super organization—would you be interested in heading it?"I said, "I am interested in it, but I do not know about heading it. I am very greatly interested in it, because you know. Jerry, my interest is, my one hobby is, maintaining a democracy. If you get these 500,000 soldiers advocating anything smelling of Fascism, I am going to get 500,000 more and lick the hell out of you, and we will have a real war right at home. You know that.""Oh, no. We do not want that. We want to ease up on the President.""Yes; and then you will put somebody in there you can run; is that the idea? The President will go around and christen babies and dedicate bridges, and kiss children. Mr. Roosevelt will never agree to that himself.""Oh yes; he will. He will agree to that."
Mr. French, a reporter had also spoken to Mr. MacGuire on this subject and was also deposed in the same congressional committee:
MR. FRENCH. [I saw] Gerald P. MacGuire in the offices of Grayson M.-P. Murphy & Co., the twelfth floor of 52 Broadway, shortly after 1 o'clock in the afternoon. He has a small private office there and I went into his office. I have here some direct quotes from him. As soon as I left his office I got to a typewriter and made a memorandum of everything that he told me. "We need a Fascist government in this country," he insisted, "to save the Nation from the communists who want to tear it down and wreck all that we have built in America. The only men who have the, patriotism to do it are the soldiers and Smedley Butler is the ideal leader. He could organize a million men over night." During the conversation he told me he had been in Italy and Germany during the summer of 1934 and the spring of 1934 and had made an intensive study of the background of the Nazi and Fascist movements and how the veterans had played a part in them. He said he had obtained enough information on the Fascist and Nazi movements and of the part played by the veterans, to properly set up one in this country.He emphasized throughout his conversation with me that the whole thing was tremendously patriotic, that it was saving the Nation from communists, and that the men they deal with have that crackbrained idea that the Communists are going to take it apart. He said the only safeguard would be the soldiers. At first he suggested that the General organize this outfit himself and ask a dollar a year dues from everybody. We discussed that, and then he came around to the point of getting outside financial funds, and he said that it would not be any trouble to raise a million dollars.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.He warmed up considerably after we got under way and he said, "We might go along with Roosevelt, and then do with him what Mussolini did with the King of Italy." It fits in with what he told the general [Butler], that we would have a Secretary of General Affairs, and if Roosevelt played ball, swell; and if he did not, they would push him out.
And yet another testimony before the committee was given by a Captain Glazier. Reports our host, Dr. Sutton:
On October 2, 1934, testified Captain Glazier, he had received a letter from A.P. Sullivan, Assistant Adjutant General of the U.S. Army, introducing a Mr. Jackson Martindell, "who will be shown every courtesy by you." This letter was sent to Glazier by command of Major General Malone of the U.S. Army. Who was Jackson Martindell? He was a financial counsel with offices at 14 Wall Street, previously associated with Stone & Webster & Blodget, Inc., investment bankers of 120 Broadway, and with Carter, Martindell & Co., investment bankers at 115 Broadway.4 Martindell was a man of substance, living according to The New York Times, ". . . in the centre of a beautiful sixty acre estate" that he had bought from Charles Pfizer,5 and was sufficiently influential for General Malone to arrange a conducted tour of the Elkridge, Maryland Conservation Corps Camp.Martindell's association with Stone & Webster (120 Broadway) is significant and by itself warrants a follow-up on his associates in the Wall Street area.Captain Glazier provided Martindell with the requested camp tour and testified to the committee that Martindell posed numerous questions about a similar camp for men to work in industry rather than in forests. A week or so after the visit. Captain Glazier visited Martindell's New Jersey home, learned that he was a personal friend of General Malone, and was informed that Martindell wanted to organize camps similar to the CCC to train 500,000 young men. The overtones of this talk, as reported by Glazier, were anti-semitic and suggested an attempted coup d'etat in the United States; the organization sponsoring this overthrow was called American Vigilantes, whose emblem was a flag with a red eagle on a blue background in lieu of the German swastika. This was in part an independent verification of General Butler's testimony.
So what we see here are three men independently telling the committee what they knew of this plot to get half a million troops together, not to overthrow FDR, but to install a "general secretary" to deal out fascism and to leave FDR blameless. These Elites have all kinds of contingency plans, but according to the testimony of these three men, their Plan A wasn't to oust FDR, but to implement fascism through an unelected official. What did Mr. MacGuire have to say for himself when he was subpoenaed to speak before the Committee? Turns out, his story was all crossed up, and he contradicted himself more than once. You would think the Committee would be all over him like white on rice. But no, the Committee just slouched off and the story was buried. At the time that Dr. Sutton wrote this book, in the mid '70s, the full transcript of these hearings were still heavily censored.
The Constitution and the American people have always been in these people's sights. Left and Right have no meaning when you really get down to it and follow the money. There are just two groups, the Elite banksters and the rest of us. They succeed by keeping us divided and talking about non-issues. So stop playing their game and start telling people about what is really going on.
1. House of Representatives, Investigation of Nazi Propaganda Activities and Investigation of Certain Other Propaganda Activities, Hearings No. 73-D.C.-6, op. cit., p. 17.
2.. House of Representatives, Investigation of Nazi Propaganda Activities and Investigation of Certain Other Propaganda Activities, Hearings No. 73-D.C.-6, op. cit., pp. 17-18.
3. The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1934.
4. 120 Broadway is the topic of a chapter in this book and a previous book, Sutton, Bolshevik Revolution, op. cit. Stone & Webster is also prominent in the earlier book.
5. The New York Times, Dec. 28, 1934.