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Death of Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod

Mata Hari

by Doc Halliday

We will get to Margaretha’s demise in a few minutes. Let me provide some background first.
Most people who read this column are familiar with Pickett’s Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. At least they have heard of the assault, even if they do not know the details which can be researched online. I will only note that firepower played a part in the Confederate defeat.
For hundreds of years, there has been a continual increase in any army’s available rate of fire. The basic factors in a charge (human wave attack) are the frequency and effectiveness of fire versus the speed of the progress.
Simply put, if the attackers are able to advance faster than the defenders can stop (by killing or disabling) them; the attackers will be able to overwhelm the position, providing there are a sufficient number of attackers remaining.
Beginning after the American Civil War, charges such as the aforementioned Pickett’s Charge became much less successful with advances in firearms such as the machine gun. Certainly, there were both successful and unsuccessful charges after that time, but the successful ones became less frequent.
One of the myths concerning charges is the Charge of Krojanty during the beginning phase of World War Two. In this action, it was reported that the Polish cavalry charged German tanks on Sept. 1, 1939 using lances on horseback. This is a myth.
The Polish cavalry did attack and disperse a German infantry unit, and the charge is thus recorded as successful. German armored cars then arrived on the scene, and opened fire with machine guns on the Polish forces. When reporters later saw the dead Polish horses, etc. the myth was born.
Unquestionably repeating firearms had been available for hundreds of years, beginning with multiple barreled weapons. Revolvers have been in existence since at least the 1500s, but were not widely available due to the expense. The first flintlock revolvers became widely available in the 1800s. The percussion cap revolver was invented in 1833, and in 1856 Smith & Wesson produced the first cartridge revolvers.
The Spencer repeating rifle with a seven round magazine was patented in 1860. By the end of the Civil War, there were about 48,000 in use. Thus, armies of the world were becoming better armed at least in terms of the rate of fire that was available to them.
Perhaps the first commercially viable machine gun was the Gatling Gun, patented in 1861. It saw very limited use during the Civil War and was manually powered by a hand crank.
Remember Margaretha? She was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle on Aug. 7, 1876. She was the daughter of an affluent hatter.
In 1884, the Maxim Machine Gun was invented. It was the first recoil operated machine gun. The Maxim was referred to by Martin Gilbert as “the weapon most associated with British imperial conquest.”
In 1895 Margaretha married an officer of Scottish origin, Capt. Rudolph MacLeod. She was in some respects a mail order bride, as she answered a newspaper advertisement by Capt. MacLeod.
Between 1887 and 1891 several patents were issued for various formulations of smokeless powders. This invention meant that a machine gun could be hidden. Margaretha started dancing professionally in Paris in 1905 using the name of Lady MacLeod.
Her dances were provocative and relied upon her shedding clothes. She would normally end wearing just a jeweled bra, as she was embarrassed by being less well-endowed than other women. It has been stated that she wore a body stocking. Her fame grew through the years along with her promiscuity.
As World War I developed, it turned into trench warfare. Neither side could effectively cross the open ground (a killing zone) between the trenches without being cut into ribbons by the machine guns of the opposing side. The tank was originally developed as a specialized weapon to solve this difficult situation. The tank was specifically intended as a method to break the impasse of trench warfare.
As the Allies advanced working on the tank, their plans had to be kept secret. If their plans were leaked to the enemy the new invention would lose its effectiveness and surprise. Of course the tank had already been predicted. H.G. Wells had written about large, armored cross-country vehicles, armed with cannon and machine-guns.
Wells wrote about the subject in a short story, The Land Ironclads, published in December of 1903 in Strand Magazine. But I have heard that no one pays attention to what is written. Even earlier, Leonardo da Vinci drew what many have described as tanks in the 15th century. Nonetheless, the Allies would attempt to keep this development secret.
During the war, Margaretha is known to have taken many lovers. The vast majority of these men were members of the armies on one side or the other.
In February 1917, Margaretha was arrested by French authorities for espionage. She became an inmate at St. Lazare Prison in Paris. She was tried by the French military in July. Margaretha was alleged to have revealed details of the Allies’ new weapon, the tank. The allegations, if factual, resulted in the deaths of thousands of soldiers. She was convicted and sentenced to death.
On Oct. 15, the woman you may know as Mata Hari, refused a blindfold and was shot to death by a firing squad at Vincennes. Today is the anniversary of her execution. You may celebrate if you wish.
Mata Hari’s trial is now assumed to have been riddled with prejudice and anecdotal evidence. The German government publicly exonerated her in 1930, and it is probable that French authorities manufactured evidence against her. The French most likely promoted her as “the greatest woman spy of the century” as a diversion for the decimation of the French army on the western front.
Probably her worst fault was not a crime, but a weakness for men in uniform. The French government’s dossier containing her activities has purportedly indicated her innocence. That dossier is scheduled for public release in 2017, and has only been seen by a few people.
Doc Halliday is actively semi-retired, and a resident of Marshall, Texas. He may be contacted by mail at: P. O. Box 1551, Marshall, TX 75671; or by email at:

Obama’s Air Strikes


US Soldiers Get 4 hours of Ebola Training Before Shipping Out to West Africa

American soldiers are being placed in the path of the Ebola epidemic with only a couple of hours training in how to avoid contracting the disease.


by Rick Moran
Daily Beast:

Soldiers preparing for deployment to West Africa are given just four hours of Ebola-related training before leaving to combat the epidemic. And the first 500 soldiers to arrive have been holing up in Liberian hotels and government facilities while the military builds longer-term infrastructure on the ground.

For soldiers at Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg preparing for their deployments to West Africa, Mobile Training Teams from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), based out of Fort Detrick, have been tasked with instructing them on Ebola protocols.

A team of two can train as many as 50 personnel over that four-hour time frame, USAMRIID told The Daily Beast. The training includes hands-on instruction on how to put on, remove, and decontaminate personal protective equipment, followed by a practical test to ensure that soldiers understand the procedures.

“All training is tiered to the level of risk each person may encounter,” said USAMRIID spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden.

The training process sounds daunting: One USA Today report described soldiers being told that Ebola “basically causes your body to eat itself from the inside out” and that Ebola is “worse” than what soldiers encountered in Afghanistan. Others reportedly heard that the disease is “catastrophic” and “frightening… with a high fatality rate,” though the chances of contracting it are low.

“I’ll be honest with you,” one soldier told the newspaper. “I’m kind of scared.”

The military maintains that the risk of contracting the virus is minimal. Ebola is not an airborne disease, and there are no plans for U.S. service members deployed to West Africa to have any contact with sick patients.

While military personnel will not be treating Ebola victims directly, uniformed members of the Public Health Service will staff an Ebola hospital, according to The Hill:

The commander in charge of the U.S. response to Ebola in Africa said Thursday that 65 U.S. uniformed personnel would soon staff a 25-bed hospital in Monrovia that will directly treat Liberian healthcare workers if they are infected.

“They will actually be involved in the care and feeding of health care workers who have been infected with the Ebola virus,” said Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, commander of Operation United Assistance Joint Force, at a Pentagon briefing Thursday.

Although the team members are uniformed personnel, they are not considered “troops” because they serve as part of the U.S. Public Health Service under the Department of Health and Human Services, not the Pentagon.

“The U.S. Public Health Services are actually providing support to healthcare workers … if they unfortunately are stricken with the disease,” Williams said.

“That’s what their purpose is, that 65. The 25-bed hospital, I hope we never have to put anybody in it, but that’s the purpose of the U.S. Public Health Services,” he said.

The Pentagon has repeatedly said that with the exception of several dozen highly skilled troops who will man mobile testing laboratories in Liberia and could handle Ebola samples, no troops would come into contact with Ebola patients.

The assertion was restated on Thursday.

“I want to emphasize again that no U.S. military personnel will be providing direct patient care to the local population,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Thursday at a State Department briefing.

I don’t think anyone knows how serious the risk is to our people. Four hours is not enough time to completely familiarize oneself with the many protocols and safety procedures necessary to significantly reduce the chances of catching the virus. Hopefully, there will be frequent reviews of those procedures while our people are in the hot zone.

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EBOLA IN OBAMALAND: Ten Things the Ebola Crisis Tells Us About the Obola Administration

What a shock: faced with a crisis that could demolish the Democrats in the coming midterm elections and permanently cripple his post-election plans to continue “fundamental transformation,” President Obama has done the only thing he knows how to do — seek a political solution to get him past Nov. 4, in the hopes that he can fool the American public one last time.

I mean, does this make you feel confident?

After learning this week that an infected nurse had traveled by air, Mr. Obama scrapped most of his schedule in favor of meetings with top national security and public health officials. While praising their work to date on Ebola, the president said they had full plates — including the fight against the Islamic State and the onset of flu season — and another person might be needed “just to make sure that we are crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s going forward.”

Mr. Klain will report directly to Lisa Monaco, Mr. Obama’s homeland security adviser, and Susan E. Rice, his national security adviser, the official said.

Islamic State, the flu season, a lethal virus hitherto confined to Africa — just another day at the office for President Golf n’ Fund-raise. What this appointment — made only under duress, and purely for political reasons, since there is absolutely nothing Ron Klain personally can do to stop the spread of the Ebola virus now that the barn doors at our borders and airports have been left wide open for ideological reasons — tells us is this:

Not Ron Klain, left; but Spacey did play him in a movie

If a retread party hack like Klain is the best Obama can do, then the Democrat talent pool is incredibly shallow. Naturally, though, Obama wouldn’t think of going outside it.
The President considers Ebola a political/messaging problem, not a medical problem. Klain is an an insider process guy, not an expert in the field.
The fact that we need a “Czar” to cut across federal agency red-tape and make things happen expeditiously is an indictment of the federal agencies themselves, although no Democrat would ever dare to suggest such a thing. The choice signals that, as Ronald Reagan said, government itself is the problem, not the solution.
The reason they won’t dare is that the federal agencies — unelected hives of beetling bureaucrats, scurrying beneath the media surface — are the sources of their power. You don’t alienate or fire your most ardent union voters and financial supporters.
This is a government devoted to process, not results. Its most deeply held belief — a by-product of its quasi-Marxist belief in the “labor theory of value” — is that putting in hours and hitting “metrics” is the job itself, not whatever it ostensibly happens to be about; hey, even if you die, they get paid. In this sense, bureaucrats are similar to to the education majors who teach our children in the public schools, with no particular expertise in anything but theory. And the results speak for themselves.
With theory ascendant over common sense, the government’s adamant refusal so far to ban travel to and from West Africa and its affected nations proves conclusively that Leftists are perfectly willing to have you die for their ideological beliefs.
The longer this goes on, the more the panic will spread — look what happened at the Pentagon earlier today, or on this cruise ship. If you haven’t started to panic yet, then read this.
Regarding the open borders and open airports, a larger issue: why is the Left so adamantly opposed to the people’s right to defend themselves? There is nothing “racist” about closing the country to travelers from certain countries in west Africa — heck, the Africans have already done it themselves.
In twice electing Barack Obama president Americans made a choice: professional politicians over men of integrity. Symbolism over substance (hello, Nobel Peace Prize). Potential over accomplishment. Guilt over responsibility.
If the naked malevolence of the Leftist project for America isn’t visible to you now, then you’re beyond help.
But hey, not to worry — Kevin Spacey played Ron Klain in a movie. So it’s all good.

AFRICA: ‘BORDER CLOSURES SAVED US’…Someone Fwd This To Our Daft President

Good for them and bad for us if BHO insists that we keep flying in to Ebola death zones. Check this out…africa-300x180

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Health officials battling the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa have managed to limit its spread on the continent to five countries – and two of them appear to have snuffed out the disease.
The developments constitute a modest success in an otherwise bleak situation.
Officials credit tighter border controls, good patient-tracking and other medical practices, and just plain luck with keeping Ebola confined mostly to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since the outbreak was first identified nearly seven months ago.
Senegal did so well in finding and isolating a man with Ebola who had slipped across the border from Guinea in August that the World Health Organization on Friday will declare the end of the disease in Senegal if no new cases surface.
Nigeria is another success story. It had 20 cases and eight deaths after the virus was brought by a Liberian-American who flew from Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital of 21 million people, in July. Nearly 900 people were potentially exposed to the virus by the traveler, who died, and the disease could have wreaked havoc in Africa’s most populous nation.

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