by Charles Burris
Aug. 12, 2016

As the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson played an important role in the George W. Bush administration.

In the years since, however, the former Bush official has established himself as a prominent critic of U.S. foreign policy. Col. Wilkerson is Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy, College of William & Mary, and is a member of the Academic Board of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

He is one of the excellent array of noted speakers at the upcoming Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Conference, on Saturday, September 10, 2016, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 PM at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott, 45020 Aviation Drive, Dulles, VA 20166.

“I think Smedley Butler was onto something,” explained Lawrence Wilkerson, in an extended interview with Salon.

In his day, in the early 20th century, Butler was the highest ranked and most honored official in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He helped lead wars throughout the world over a series of decades, before later becoming a vociferous opponent of American imperialism, declaring “war is a racket.”

Wilkerson spoke highly of Butler, referencing the late general’s famous quote: “Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

“I think the problem that Smedley identified, quite eloquently actually,” Wilkerson said, “especially for a Marine — I had to say that as a soldier,” the retired Army colonel added with a laugh; “I think the problem is much deeper and more profound today, and much more subtle and sophisticated.”

Today, the military-industrial complex “is much more pernicious than Eisenhower ever thought it would be,” Wilkerson warned.