Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Lie about History - The Captain Fred MacDonald Story

In Bradley's "Imperial Cruise" we  get this quote about Captain Fred MacDonald (U.S.V) and his conduct during the Philippine American war (1899-1902):

"Captain Fred MacDonald ordered every native in the Hamlet of LaNong killed, save a beautiful mestizo woman, whom the officers repeatedly raped, prior to giving her over to the enlisted men. "
The source for this?  A secondary history called "Benevolent Assimilation" (1982).   And what is that book's source?

Answer - The 1902 Senate Hearing on American atrocities in the Philippines.  During that hearing  a certain Corporal Richard  T. O'Brien charged that MacDonald (his company commander) and the officers gang-raped the woman.

Seems pretty solid, except that O'Brian admitted under oath that:
  • he never saw MacDonald rape anyone
  • his charge was based on hearsay i.e. what the woman's husband supposedly told him
  • the woman's husband only told him - and no other soldier in the company
  • No one overhead the husband statement to O'brien that his wife had been raped
  • he never mentioned the rape in any of this letters home
  • he never reported the rape to MacDonald's superiors.
The army records were then produced showing that O'Brien was:
  • a troublemaker and had a grudge against MacDonald
  • was never in LaNong but stationed as a supply clerk 25 miles away
  • had made other charges (that the company never took prisoners) proven to be false by army records
  • not supported by anyone else in the company.
And finally,  after the Senate Hearings, O'Brien stood trial for perjury.

In other words there is no convincing evidence that Captain Fred MacDonald raped anyone. But that doesn't stop the looney left historians from printing it as fact.  As Mark Twain said:  " A Lie can travel half-way around the world before the truth gets its boots on"

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