Major General Smedley Butler – The Military Industrial Complex’s Original Whistleblower

MEME Smedley ButlerSigmund Fraud, Staff Writer
Waking Times

After marking the 12th anniversary of the terrible events of 9/11 and remembering the over 3000 lives that were lost, the American people find themselves embroiled in endless military conflict without clear objectives, without a clear definition of who or what we are still fighting, and without respectable leadership. This confusion has been highlighted by the recent push to initiate a bombing campaign against Syria, even though it is widely known that any campaign against the Syrian government would be in direct support of Al Qaeda, the group supposedly to blame for the attacks on 9/11.

For 12 years now the casualties on all sides have mounted and the Middle East has become increasingly destabilized. How is it that our national response to the 9/11 attack has triggered such a destructive, expensive, confusing and open-ended military conflict, largely presided over by a Nobel Peace Prize winning president?

Cui Bono – Who benefits?

In the 1930’s, an outstanding Major General of the Marine Corps, Smedley Butler, went public with information that he was approached by powerful industrialists to be involved in a plot to overthrow the United States government. Led by powerful business magnates with the intention of ousting President Roosevelt and installing a Fascist dictatorship ruled by business magnates and a private army of half a million US soldiers, this coup was disrupted by Butler’s integrity and willingness to be one of the military industrial complex’s first whistle-blowers.

  • These events led Butler to publish a short book that today still gives us a realistic and truthful picture of the forces keeping this nation in a perpetual state of emergency, involving us in war after war against other nations, and diverting so much of our wealth and resources to military buildup.

    War is a Racket

    WIKI - Smedley Butler

    Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler

    His credibility is immense. A highly decorated and courageous veteran of multiple overseas conflicts, Smedley Butler is still, to this day, one of a small handful of American soldiers to twice receive the Medal of Honor for bravery in combat. Having been wounded in the boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, and having seen the horrors of France during World War I, as well as combat in several other conflicts, Maj. Gen. Butler has unique credibility when it comes to discussing the workings of the war machine.

    His book, War is a Racket, denounces the workings of the military-industrial complex, the network of industrialists, financiers, and government officials who directly profit from war, a security state, and the industries that support this. It is a must read still today, as his logic and clarity offers deep insight into why our priorities are so stoutly centered around war and security. It is very, very lucrative for people in high places.

    He writes:

    “WAR is a racket. It always has been

    It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

    A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

    In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

    How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

    Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

    And what is this bill?

    This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

    For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.”


    Since Smedley Butler’s warnings nearly a hundred years ago, we have since received warnings from other high-ranking Americans about the insidiousness and danger of permitting an economy to be created out of war and destruction, most notably from former US Presidents Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.

    President Eisenhower:

    President Kennedy:

    These warnings by such prominent Americans are worth repeating and spreading as the national debate is steered toward military endeavors and away from other critical concerns. And with the high profile whistle-blowing cases of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, the American public has again been alerted to the fact that government does not always obey it’s own laws, reveal it’s true motives, or serve the interests of the citizenry.

    War is definitely a racket, and unless you’re taking dividends from the industries that press for it, you have nothing to gain.

    About the Author

    Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for where he pursues the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for mankind.


    This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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