Major General Smedley Darlington ButlerMajor General Smedley Darlington Butler, (1881-1940) Major General USMC, "Old Gimlet Eye'' and "Hell Devil Darling", most highly decorated military man from the pre-World War II era

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler Quote

“My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military.”

Major General Smedley Darlington ButlerMajor General Smedley Darlington Butler
~ Major General Smedley Darlington Butler

Ratings and Comments

armymp, just north of hell

this is probably the most acurate statment made about the military, Because no mater how intellgent you are the final decision always fall to the stupidity of people who are thousands of miles away and never been anywhere near where you are.

cal, lewisville, tx

I admired Douglas McAuthor questioning openly Harry Truman about Korea. It cost him his job but he was not disgraced. Hitler's top general over the Soviet Front refused Hitler's orders and resigned. Hitler took full command and it turned into a great disaster. I shall always admire those who question their leaders when the fates of many are involved.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Cal, I agree and I also admired Douglas Mc Arthur. I think it was Truman who referred to Stalin as "Good Ol' Joe". Too bad that McArthur couldn't have fired Truman.

E Archer, NYC

There is a resentment these days in the military to be commanded by a 'civilian' president. Neither Obama, Bush Jr., nor Clinton had served in the military, and for nearly 2 decades they have used the US military for private gains for their financiers. The American military men and women have taken oaths to defend the Constitution -- do they know how one actually refuses to follow an order that is contrary to the rule of law? I am always surprised at the response by some to immediately discount any argument in which one cites the Constitution. And why should our most willing and patriotic youth be sent away from their homeland that they aim to protect and oversee? We need these folks over here standing up for Freedom at home not dropping bombs on 3rd world countries halfway around the world.

Mike, Norwalk

Okay — probably a little over generalized to make the point. Though my personal belief is that the general military (outside local combatants) are individually among the best the country has to offer — I'm sure there is not one in ten thousand that can explain individual sovereignty, inalienable rights or liberty from a "law of nature and of nature's law" (Declaration of Independence) perspective.  I REALLY ! ! ! hope I'm wrong here.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Doesn't this sound familiar? Isn't this the same basic statement Adolf Eichmann made before his execution? Wasn't it something like  "a cog in a machine?"


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