I was reading up on Smedley Butler when I came across this. The most interesting part was the note at the end that discusses his dealings with the FBI. It seems odd that a man who had no problem associating with communist radicals could be on good terms with J. Edgar “Red Scare” Hoover, but he was. In a speech denouncing the rest of the government he said the FBI was one of the few departments “which did not smell to high heaven”. Butler had also been an ardent enforcer of Prohibition (he worked as Director of Public Safety for Philadelphia and turned over half his revenue to groups attacking politicians that hampered his efforts to enforce Probition) and declared “put the law books in cold storage and bring out the high-powered rifles and machine guns”. It also notes that he was the target of a hoax about Charles Coughlin invading Mexico. I suspect the “coup” he was asked to take part in had no more substance to it. It would seem odd that anyone would believe Butler would be willing to take part in it. It’s too his credit that he opposed pro-Republican intervention in the Spanish Civil War when many of his radical associates is, as I suppose it is that despite his dislike for FDR he would refuse to unseat him. At the same time I can’t help but think when I read Kevin Grier say “I’d rather see the craziest policies coming out of a democracy than excellent ones coming after a coup from a military junta”: why?

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