Should General MacArthur have been court-martialled?

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JamesNo1
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Should General MacArthur have been court-martialled?

Post by JamesNo1 » 13 Jan 2005 05:56

This question addresses the issue as to whether General Douglas MacArthur's defence of the Philippines in 1941-42 was so appallingly inept that he should have been court-martialled.

I have been revising the Battle of the Philippines section of the Pacific War Web-site at:

http://www.users.bigpond.com/pacificwar ... index.html

Before I complete my revision, I would appreciate thoughts of members on this issue. I have summarised some of the key points telling against MacArthur's performance as a general below, although there are important references to MacArthur's other failings, including his shabby treatment of his troops on Bataan, at the abovementioned web-site.

THE JAPANESE ATTACK ON THE PHILIPPINES

Within minutes of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which occurred at about 2.30 a.m. on 8 December 1941 (Manila time), the news was received at the headquarters of the United States Asiatic Fleet in the Philippines. Admiral Hart was informed at about 3.00 a.m. The news was not passed on to the army. At about 3.40 a.m. on that morning, General MacArthur was informed of the Japanese attack by his Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Richard K. Sutherland. An army signalman had picked up the news while listening to a Californian radio station. Instead of acting decisively to prepare for a likely Japanese attack on the Philippines, MacArthur was paralysed by indecision for almost nine hours between 3.40 a.m and 12.20 p.m. on 8 December.

From 5.00 a.m. on that day, the commander of the Far East Air Force, Major General Lewis Brereton, tried to speak to MacArthur about an air force response to the Japanese attack, but he was repeatedly denied access by MacArthur's very protective Chief of Staff, Sutherland. General Brereton was aware of the Japanese propensity to launch surprise attacks at dawn, and he wanted to persuade MacArthur to mount a bombing attack on the Japanese airbases on Formosa. At dawn on 8 December, Japanese carrier aircraft attacked the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, and Brereton again asked Sutherland to permit him to see MacArthur or approve bombing of the Japanese airbases himself. Sutherland refused both requests. Fearing that his aircraft would be caught on the ground by the Japanese and destroyed, Brereton finally ordered them aloft to circle their airfields. Shortly after 9.00 a.m., Brereton was told that Japanese aircraft had attacked southern Luzon, and he pressed Sutherland again for permission to attack the Japanese airbases on Formosa. Again Sutherland refused. It was not until 11.00 a.m. that MacArthur finally approved a bombing attack on the Japanese airbases. Brereton ordered all of his aircraft to land so that they could be refuelled and the bombers armed.

As a direct result of MacArthur's indecision and inexcusable failure to bring his command to a proper state of readiness to resist a likely Japanese attack, most of Brereton's aircraft were sitting on their airstrips when Japanese bombers and fighters arrived overhead at about 12.20 p.m. on 8 December and took them by surprise. Reflecting the slackness of MacArthur's command structure, radar and other warnings of the approach of unidentified aircraft formations had not been passed on to flight commanders at American airbases. At the Clark Field airbase, located about 50 miles (80 km) north of Manila, the American bombers and fighters were caught on the ground and most were destroyed. Other Japanese aircraft attacked the American fighter airbase at Iba on the west coast of the main northern island of Luzon and destroyed all but two of the American P-40 fighters based there. Half of the aircraft of MacArthur's Far East Air Force were destroyed on the ground on the first day of the Japanese attack. In the following week, continuing Japanese air attacks reduced Brereton's remaining aircraft to a handful of P-40 fighters and a handful of B-17 bombers. Realising that there were not enough fighters left to protect the B-17 bombers, MacArthur ordered Brereton and his staff to take the B-17s to the safety of Australia.

It has been difficult for historians to establish the reason for MacArthur's fatal indecision during the crucial nine hours that elapsed in Manila following news of the Pearl Harbor attack. There was no American government inquiry into MacArthur's behaviour of the kind that addressed alleged failures of command at Pearl Harbor. When informally questioned after the war, the chief actors in the Philippines disaster appeared to be concerned to protect their own reputations by shifting blame to others.

MacArthur's failure to respond appropriately to the emergency was almost certainly influenced by Philippine politics. The president of the Philippines, Manuel Quezon, had been a friend of MacArthur for many years. Despite the Philippines already having been included, without its consent, in Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, Quezon naively believed that his country was neither militarily or economically important to Japan. In pursuance of this fantasy, Quezon had hoped to steer the Philippines to a course of neutrality in the event of war between the United States and Japan.

When Quezon received news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he contacted MacArthur immediately to urge him to avoid action that might provoke a Japanese attack on the Philippines. Quezon's pressure for neutrality was reflected in the orders issued by MacArthur immediately following the news of Pearl Harbor. Although ordering his army and air forces to battle stations, MacArthur directed that the American Army and Air Force in the Philippines was not to initiate offensive action against Japan. The American Far East Air Force was permitted by MacArthur to retaliate only if directly attacked by the Japanese.

Quezon's pressure for neutrality appears to have infected the decision-making process at MacArthur's headquarters in Manila during the critical hours immediately following Pearl Harbor. MacArthur's indecision was particularly damaging for America's most powerful means of retaliation, the Far East Air Force in the Philippines. United States Air Force historian, Dr Daniel R. Mortensen, describes the paralysis at MacArthur's headquarters during the initial hours following news of Pearl Harbor:

"Awakened before dawn on December 8, the military and political leaders at Manila realised that the disaster of Pearl Harbor might prevent the reinforcement of the islands. The shock of the Japanese attack on American territory, and the lingering hope that Japan might somehow ignore the Philippines, confused and paralysed MacArthur and other decision-makers. With Quezon urging neutrality, (Admiral) Hart hoping to regroup to the south, and (Major General ) Brereton calling for a strike against Formosa by his ill-prepared bomber squadrons, MacArthur's command post sank in a positive quagmire of indecision".

From Delaying Action or Foul Deception, "War in the Pacific: Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay" (1991).

Drawing on the recollections of those who observed MacArthur at his headquarters during the critical nine hours between news of Pearl Harbor reaching Manila and the commencement of the Japanese air assault on the Philippines, his biographer William Manchester describes MacArthur's mental condition at this time as verging on catatonic. The commander of America's Army and Air Force in the Philippines was observed to be "grey, ill and exhausted."

Manchester was not a hostile biographer. He suggests that MacArthur's decision-making faculties may have become paralysed in the hours immediately following Pearl Harbor owing to "overload" caused by conflicting pressures. See William Manchester, "American Caesar", at pp. 230-231.

The inexcusable failure by MacArthur to place American military forces in the Philippines on a proper war footing immediately following news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor compromised the defence of the Philippines. His neglect of his duty to the United States resulted in the effective elimination of American air power in the western Pacific by 15 December 1941, forced the complete withdrawal of the United States Asiatic Fleet from Philippine waters, and paved the way for the Japanese invasion that followed. The Navy and Army commanders at Pearl Harbor were relieved of their commands even though they were taken completely by surprise by the Japanese attack. MacArthur's disgraceful neglect of duty was much worse and he deserved to face a court martial. His subsequent escape to Australia with only his closest staff officers and family enabled him to escape a court martial because the senior officers who could have testified to his incompetence and neglect of duty remained in the Philippines, and either died or suffered lengthy imprisonment in Japanese prison camps. Even after the truth became known at the end of World War II, MacArthur had established himself as an heroic figure and was never brought to account for this disgraceful episode in the Battle of the Philippines.

Major General Brereton cannot escape criticism for the debacle that wiped out American air power in the Philippines in such a short time. Even allowing for MacArthur's fatal indecision during the crucial nine hours that elapsed after news of Pearl Harbor, Brereton should have responded to the danger created by MacArthur's indecision by taking sensible precautions to avoid all of his aircraft being caught on the ground by the Japanese. Those sensible precautions could have included maintaining combat fighter patrols over the main airbases while other fighters were being refueled, dispersing some of his fighters to secondary airfields, and withdrawing all of his B-17s to Mindaneo while MacArthur was paralysed by indecision.

MACARTHUR IMPLEMENTS "PLAN ORANGE"

MacArthur realises too late that he has spread his troops too thinly

On 24 December 1941, MacArthur implemented Plan Orange by withdrawing the Philippines government and his own headquarters to the heavily fortified island of Corregidor on the western side of Manila Bay. Realising too late that he had committed a fatal error by spreading his troops thinly across the islands of the Philippines, MacArthur ordered a general retreat of his troops on Luzon to the Bataan Peninsula on the western side of Manila Bay. The American and Philippine Army troops scattered across eight of the other large Philippine islands were abandoned to the Japanese.

The air of unreality pervading MacArthur's command in the Philippines is further evidenced by his share buying as the Japanese neared Manila. With Japanese troops closing in on the capital, MacArthur telephoned the mayor of Manila, Jorge Vargas, from Corregidor on 28 December and asked him to buy $35,000 worth of shares in the Lepanto mining company for him. Vargas executed the transaction for MacArthur on the following day. Many years later, Vargas recalled that this single share transaction during the critical stages of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines made MacArthur a millionaire by the end of the war.

When MacArthur's 90,000 troops on Luzon reached the Bataan Peninsula after a two week fighting withdrawal, they discovered that adequate equipment and supplies for a lengthy defence of the peninsula were not available because their commander had scattered huge quantities of military equipment, food, and medical supplies across nine of the major islands of the Philippines. The Japanese would become the grateful beneficiaries of MacArthur's foolishness.

Plan Orange had required the Bataan Peninsula to be stocked with sufficient food and medical supplies to enable 43,000 troops to withstand a Japanese siege for six months. MacArthur had only stockpiled enough food and medical supplies on Bataan for a thirty day siege. The troops were immediately put on half-rations.

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Post by David Thompson » 13 Jan 2005 07:21

JamesNo1. -- You asked:
Should General MacArthur have been court-martialled?
and went on to explain:
This question addresses the issue as to whether General Douglas MacArthur's defence of the Philippines in 1941-42 was so appallingly inept that he should have been court-martialled.


This is an interesting question. Let's assume that you have been assigned to evaluate the possibility of instituting court-martial proceedings against General MacArthur.

(1) What are the specific charges and their factual bases, drafted in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) equivalent in effect in 1941-1942, which you feel would be appropriate in this matter?

(2) What documentary or testimonial evidence can you bring to support each charge?

(3) What exculpatory or mitigating evidence exists that would tend to explain away or minimize General MacArthur's culpability?

(4) How is the character evidence you mentioned, assuming it could be proven, relevant to any or every charge?

(5) Considering the above, is there proof beyond a reasonable doubt of any of the proposed charges?
Last edited by David Thompson on 13 Jan 2005 22:45, edited 1 time in total.

JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 13 Jan 2005 19:59

David - you are confusing 'JamesNo1' with me, 'JamesL.'

Besides, I don't think Mac should have been court martialled. Caught in the 'fog of war' for 8-9 hours can be excused when balanced off by Mac's involvement with the defense and later liberation of the Philippines.

FWIW, Maj. John H. "Machine Gun" Parker in his book "Trained Citizen Soldiery" (1916) predicted that the Japanese invasion of the Philippines would succeed and that it would take a concerted effort by American forces to displace them.

mars
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Post by mars » 13 Jan 2005 22:32

There is a book which provided excellent infomation about this subject:
"December 8, 1941: MacArthur's Pearl Harbor" by William H. Bartsch ISBN: 1585442461

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 13 Jan 2005 22:45

JamesL. -- You're right, and my apologies for the error, which I just corrected above. I also agree with you about Mac. Thanks again for pointing it out.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 14 Jan 2005 03:24

JamesL wrote:Besides, I don't think Mac should have been court martialled. Caught in the 'fog of war' for 8-9 hours can be excused when balanced off by Mac's involvement with the defense and later liberation of the Philippines.
Monash had his own time of crisis at Gallipoli(Chunuk Bair August 1915).His brigade attack came apart in the dark and Monash was criticised for suffering a mental block("I thought I could command men").Good commanders even have their off days.

Lieutenant General Gordon Bennett was never court martialled for leaving his AIF 8th Division command either.

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Should General MacArthur have been court-martialled?

Post by JamesNo1 » 14 Jan 2005 05:42

In support of my necessarily abbreviated question “Should MacArthur have been court-martialled?”, I posted an extract from a much more extensive coverage of MacArthur’s fatally flawed defence of the Philippines on the Pacific War Web-site.

The reply from moderator David Thompson appears to confirm that I erred by oversimplifying a complex issue.

I urge those who are interested in this topic to read the section on the Battle of the Philippines at:

http://www.users.bigpond.com/pacificwar ... index.html

In my view, the evidence is clear that MacArthur’s defence of the Philippines was not only deeply flawed from a military viewpoint but that he would have stood at grave risk of conviction for dereliction of duty if it had been possible to charge him after he escaped from the Philippines.

To understand why he would have been at risk of being charged with dereliction of duty, it is really necessary to have some knowledge of Pearl Harbor and the manner in which Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short were treated in the aftermath of the Japanese attack. Despite the fact that Kimmel and Short had no prior warning of the Japanese attack on Hawaii, both men were found to be derelict in their duty by the Roberts Commission. The commission’s finding against both commanders of dereliction of duty appears to have been based largely on their alleged failure to consult with each other so as to coordinate their response to the impending danger of attack and to “make suitable dispositions to meet such an attack.” See Prange: ”At Dawn we Slept” (1981) at page 600. The issue of courts martial for Kimmel and Short on the ground of dereliction of duty went as high as Roosevelt himself. The President agreed that a court martial for Kimmel and Short was not feasible because (a) it could lead to the airing of military secrets, and (b) it would be impossible to ensure a fair trial in the atmosphere prevailing so soon after Pearl Harbor.

A close scrutiny of MacArthur’s strange behaviour in the nine hours immediately following his becoming aware of the attack on Pearl Harbor (his biographer William Manchester describes it as verging on “catatonic”) suggests to me very strongly that he would have had great difficulty avoiding a similar accusation of dereliction of duty if it had been possible to make his behaviour the subject of inquiry by a commission similar to the Roberts Commission in 1942. However, MacArthur ensured that no voice would be raised against the self-styled “Hero of the Pacific” after his escape to Australia by bringing fourteen of his most trusted staff officers with him. In bringing fourteen instead of only Major General Sutherland, MacArthur defied a direct order of the Chief of Staff, General Marshall. These fourteen staff officers were mostly without combat experience, and their sycophancy earned them the derisive title of "The Bataan Gang". None of them was likely to bring an accusation against MacArthur, and the most senior ones had joined MacArthur in helping themselves to the almost bankrupt Philippine Treasury before they escaped. In this context, it is difficult to avoid a suspicion that MacArthur’s order to General Wainwright to fight on in the Philippines to the last man and not to surrender was a cynical means of disposing of potential witnesses to his behaviour in the Philippines.

MacArthur had received the war warning from Washington on 27 November and had almost nine hours notice of the attack on Pearl Harbor before the Japanese attacked his air bases in the Philippines and destroyed half of his air force on the ground. During those nine hours he ordered his men to battle stations but took no realistic steps to bring his air force to a proper state of readiness to resist a likely Japanese attack or to disperse his air forces so as to minimise the risk of their destruction. Those who read my initial posting will have noted that I have not excused Major General Brereton from blame for the destruction of so many of his aircraft on the ground.

Perhaps the most compelling evidence of dereliction of duty by MacArthur is to be found in his failure to consult with the commander of his Philippine-based air forces, Major General Brereton, at the earliest possible time after he heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor. It appears from the histories of the Battle of the Philippines that I have read that MacArthur made no attempt to confer with Brereton during the critical nine hours even though Brereton had been trying repeatedly to see him from 5.00 am on December 8, 1942.

In my view, MacArthur’s dereliction of duty is aggravated by the fact that he pressed General Marshall strongly for a large number of B-17 heavy bombers prior to Pearl Harbor. In supporting his demand for every B-17 that Washington could supply, MacArthur asserted his strong belief that the heavy bombers would enable him to defend the Philippines successfully against a Japanese attack. At the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, every available B-17 was being flown to MacArthur. There were only twelve left in Hawaii, and six of these were not airworthy because they had been cannibalised for parts for B-17s destined for MacArthur. MacArthur knew that seventeen of his total force of thirty-five B-17s were sitting on the ground at Clark Field. He knew that these aircraft were very vulnerable to attack from Formosa, but he did nothing to ensure their timely removal to Del Monte on Mindanao.

I rest my case.

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Post by David Thompson » 14 Jan 2005 10:20

James No1 -- I orginally asked:
(1) What are the specific charges and their factual bases, drafted in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) equivalent in effect in 1941-1942, which you feel would be appropriate in this matter?

(2) What documentary or testimonial evidence can you bring to support each charge?

(3) What exculpatory or mitigating evidence exists that would tend to explain away or minimize General MacArthur's culpability?

(4) How is the character evidence you mentioned, assuming it could be proven, relevant to any or every charge?

(5) Considering the above, is there proof beyond a reasonable doubt of any of the proposed charges?
In response to (1), above, you replied "dereliction of duty."

(a) "Dereliction of duty" was not a charge under the punitive sections of the Revised Articles of War of 1912/1920, which were in effect in 1941, nor is it a charge under the under the punitive articles of the present Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which replaced the Articles of War in 1951. Without a charged violation of the Articles of War or the UCMJ, a court martial could not then and cannot now be convened. Under such circumstances, the customary procedure was and is to convene a court of inquiry rather than a court-martial.

Revised Articles of War of 1912/1920
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/ ... -1920.html
UCMJ
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ucmj.htm

(b) In regard to my question (2), what are your sources for the factual allegations against MacArthur? To save time, if they are secondary sources, could you provide the author's citations to interviews or primary sources which back up those claims? (I looked at your website, which was handsome and had much to recommend it, but the MacArthur material was not specifically sourced).

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 14 Jan 2005 16:24

David , I myself don't care what it is called "deriliction of duty or whatever" He still failed to follow orders of a superior, so we can call it that. Of course I realize that Macarthur thought he had no superiors, as conceited as he was.



Macurthur was definitely guiltyof deriliction of duty or "failure to follow orders" as he was ordered by his superiors to start military operations IMMEDIATELY . Instead he waited and let the Japanese stike first, as per the wishes of a foreign govenment (PI and Quezon). This in itself is akin to teason. And much more worse for it, he recieved compensation worth several million dollars. Eisenhower later commented that this was unethical and probably ILLEGAL, as no US officer or soldier is allowed to recieve any gifts pay or compensation from anyone except the US government. That is US military law. THat he was not at all prosecuted reflects that the altering of the war plan to put bombers in PI. to bomb Japan was a hollow threat until we had enough bombers there and until we had a non-traitorous bastard in charge, and more importantly that Roosevelt feared Macarthur as a potential presidential candidate for the next election in 1944. I think Macathur stood a good chance of doing that, if Roosevelt and his admin had made a big deal of his treason, or if they had not given him a major role in conducting the war after the loss of the Philllipines.

I highly recommend "Days of Infamy" by John Costello
Last edited by ChristopherPerrien on 15 Jan 2005 02:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Thompson » 15 Jan 2005 01:36

Chris -- I've seen the allegations too, but you know how easily allegations can be repeated like schoolyard taunts, and you can't tell whether they're true until you trace them back to their source. All too often in discussions of public figures, rumours are taken for facts. Like most controversial people -- Patton, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Truman and Churchill, for example -- MacArthur has his detractors. However, I don't trust arguments that start and end with a conclusion, and have nothing in between. I prefer to see the reasoning process documented step by step. That way I don't have to believe what someone else told me -- I can figure it out for myself. I'm thinking maybe some of our readers feel the same way.

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Post by Larso » 15 Jan 2005 01:57

Great post James, there was a lot of stuff there that I hadn't seen before.

I don't know whether MacArthurs orders to Wainwright to fight to the death were with the intent of killing him and others off. They seem more in the way of ensuring a good press 'bite' and presenting himself in the most soldiery light. It's still a pretty lame line though given its 'author' would be sitting safe and pretty while it all took place.

This said, I've read about MacAuthurs courage in general and that he didn't want to leave his 'post' and had to be ordered out. Perhaps there's 'spin' to this as well. Given his treatment of Australian troops and commanders, I have a pretty low opinion of him as a man.

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Post by David Thompson » 15 Jan 2005 02:38

Can we please see some specific sources here? I've asked for them several times now. Hopefully we can make this discussion something more than a "spit at MacArthur" thread.

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 15 Jan 2005 02:46

Well David , go buy that book "Days of Infamy" , Costello presents a real tight case and all of his sources are footnoted correctly and honestly.

To do the same, to "decide for myself" would demand years of research looking at some of the same sources/archives Costello did. Also I seriously doubt any of us have talked to as many of the people who were there as he did. So sooner or later you have to admit that there are some WWII experts that have a better view of what occured than you, and that they are right. History only happens one way, no matter how you look at it.

So far I have read of no-one who has refuted or disproved any fact/statement, Costello has in that book. I will be surprised to see any scholar or layman do so.

My statements about this whole deal are of course much more pointed than anything Costello has in that book , he does not seem to have baisness himself.

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Post by Peter H » 15 Jan 2005 04:26

B-17s in the Philippines:

http://home.att.net/~jbaugher2/b17_20.html
For reasons which are still unclear even today, the planned raid on Formosa was delayed. Instead, in order to prevent them from being destroyed on the ground by a Japanese air attack, all flyable B-17s based at Clark Field had been ordered into the air and to patrol the waters around Luzon. In the meantime, General Lewis H. Brereton, General MacArthur's air commander, finally got approval to carry out the strike against Japanese bases on Formosa, and the B-17s were recalled to Clark. When the Fortresses returned to Clark, three of them were equipped with cameras for reconnaissance and the remainder were loaded up with 100-lb and 300-lb bombs in preparation for the planned mission to Formosa.

The three reconnaissance B-17s were taxiing out for the initial photographic mission to Formosa when about 200 Japanese aircraft struck. Unfortunately, all the P-40 fighters had been recalled for refuelling and were on the ground. The attack was devastating. All except one of the B-17s were destroyed or damaged on the ground. The sole survivor had not taken off on the morning alert, and had been taken up in the air while the rest were being prepared for the Formosa raid. The Fortresses at Del Monte 500 miles to the south were out of range of the Zeros from Formosa and were left untouched.



I doubt though that 19 B-17s at Clark Field would have defeated the Japanese Empire in its expansionary plans south in December 1941.

Manchester also mentions that fog over Formosa was a common seasonal hinderance at the time,limiting recce flights.

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Should General MacArthur have been court-martialled?

Post by JamesNo1 » 15 Jan 2005 04:40

I was initially surprised by David Thompson’s unusual response to my initial posting on this topic. The tone of his response suggested to me that he was an admirer of this very controversial general. However, that did not trouble me; a moderator is permitted to indicate his own bias on a particular topic and it is better that he/she should do so immediately rather than hide it.

I have re-read this thread from the beginning, and I feel that David Thompson owes an apology for misleading contributors. In my view, he has stepped well beyond the role of “moderator” to become a partisan advocate for MacArthur. The evidence of partisanship is evident from the whole tenor of his postings on this thread, but especially from the following comments:

David Thompson, Moderator, 14 January:

“I looked at your website, which was handsome and had much to recommend it, but the MacArthur material was not specifically sourced.

Look at my web-site again David Thompson, and look carefully this time because your statement above is wrong. The URL is included above in both of my postings, but I will repeat it again to save David Thompson’s “time”.

http://www.users.bigpond.com/pacificwar ... index.html

There are references in my web-site to “Delaying Action or Foul Deception” by USAF historian Dr Daniel Mortensen; “American Caesar” by William Manchester; and “MacArthur and Defeat in the Philippines” by Richard Connaughton.

On 15 January, David Thompson, Moderator, wrote:

“Can we please see some specific sources here? I've asked for them several times now. Hopefully we can make this discussion something more than a "spit at MacArthur" thread.”

David Thompson's employment of the perjorative “spit at MacArthur” is certainly revealing! To accuse me of initiating a “spit at MacArthur” thread is a bit rich when our moderator does not even take the trouble to note that I have included references in both posts and sourced all of my comments to my web-site which includes references that our moderator has obviously not read.

From the tenor of his comments, I would be surprised if an apology was forthcoming from David Thompson, but perhaps he would be kind enough to point out one or more instances where he believes that I have erred in my account of MacArthur’s less than illustrious career in the Philippines.

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