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AMERICAN Liberty League secrets

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

AMERICAN Liberty League secrets

In July 1933 retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler received a visit from two prominent AMERICAN LEGION officials, William Doyle and Gerald MacGuire, requesting that Butler campaign for election as the legion’s next national commander.
The thoughtful legionnaires assured Butler that cash had been collected to finance his campaign, yet Butler demurred when the pair produced a speech for him to deliver at the legion convention in Chicago, including demands for a U.S. return to the gold standard.

A year later, MacGuire approached Butler again, this time hailing the role military veterans had played in bringing FASCISM to GERMANY and ITALY.
MacGuire asked Butler to lead a veteran’s march on Washington, where they would stage a coup d’état against President Franklin Roosevelt and save the United States from a “communist menace.”
Although convinced that “the whole affair smacked of treason,” Butler requested further details. MacGuire spelled out a plan to seize the government by force and install a suitable strong- man in the White House. The plotters had $3 million in hand, with more on tap whenever they needed it, MacGuire said. “Is there anything stirring yet?” Butler asked. “Yes, you watch,” MacGuire replied. “In two or three weeks, you will see it come out in the papers.”
Two weeks later, in August 1934, the American Liberty League was publicly launched by a coalition of right-wing financiers and politicians known for strident opposition to Roosevelt’s NEW DEAL.
Included were directors and officers of U.S. Steel, General Motors, STANDARD OIL, J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward, Goodyear Tire, Mutual Life Insurance, and the members of the wealthy DUPONT family. After MacGuire approached him a third time, Butler told his story to FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION Director J. EDGAR HOOVER, followed by an appearance before the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES.
No leaders of the league were called to testify, but exposure of the group’s plans in media reports caused prominent backers to distance themselves from the group. A half-baked scheme to run Georgia governor (and KU KLUX KLAN ally) Eugene Talmadge for president died on the drawing board, and the league dissolved in 1936.


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