ARTICLE 32 HEARING TRANSCRIPTS
August 11, 1970: Captain James Moore
MR. SEGAL: Captain Moore, please.
(Captain Frank Moore was called as a witness for the defense, was sworn, and testified as following.)
COL ROCK: CPT Moore, please speak loudly and clearly so that both the reporter and I may hear your remarks. Proceed, counselor.
Questions by MR. SEGAL:
Q Captain Moore, do you know -- I beg your pardon. Would you state your full name and rank, please?
A James Frank Moore, Captain.
Q Your branch? Medical Service Corps?
A Medical Corps.
Q Your unit?
A Headquarters, JFK Center.
Q Your armed force? Your service?
A United States Army.
Q Do you know the accused in this case, Captain Jeffrey R. MacDonald?
A Yes, sir, I do.
Q How long have you known Captain MacDonald?
A Since last September when he was assigned to Special Forces.
Q What were the circumstances under which you came to have contact with Captain MacDonald in Special Forces?
A I was the senior MSC in the Surgeon's office in the third group. When Captain MacDonald came, I was in the field up at Nalahala. He joined us there. I worked for him. He was my boss, so to speak. I've been in the Army quite a while, but I was -- it's always our job to assist these people and help them when they first come in the Army.
Q And did you, in fact, undertake the job of briefing and orienting Captain MacDonald?
A Yes, sir, I did. He was real responsive to this. He was really --
Q How often did you have occasion to be with Captain MacDonald on a professional basis?
A Well, daily. I worked for him every day. In the field, as well as in garrison when we came back from the field, until the 3rd disbanded. We worked together closing down the 3rd Group, handing in property in the surgeon section and closing it out.
Q When was that?
A December of this past -- this past December.
Q Did you continue to have contact with Captain MacDonald after December?
A Yes, we were friends, working together all the time, of course, we became friends. Our families knew each other. He had a pony and a wagon and all the little girls the same age as his children and my little girls spent the night at his house and we'd go out to where the pony was at, play with them, families together.
Q You say "we." Do you mean Captain MacDonald, yourself and the children?
A Yes, and my wife and my family. The pony was kept off Bragg Boulevard, with this family and my little girl enjoyed the animals and the friendship of his children.
Q I would gather from what you say, then, that you had an opportunity to observe Captain MacDonald not only in his professional capacity, but in his relationship with his children?
A Yes, on many occasions, I would go and eat lunch at his house, because I lived off post. I visited the family unexpectedly, as well as being invited and people knowing I was coming, so I saw the family when they weren't expecting people to be there.
Q Would that include Mrs. MacDonald as well as the children?
A Yes. Colette fixed sandwiches and food for us at lunch. I saw them on many occasions like this.
Q Let me ask you, Captain Moore, based on your observations of Captain MacDonald; first of all, you've seen his relationship to his wife. On these occasions when you were together, what would you say Captain MacDonald's attitude was toward his wife?
A A very outstanding husband, I would say. I'm older than him, have been married a long time, and I could learn things from him, his relationship with his wife, as far as being nice, friendly, courteous, remembering to say little thing like, "Honey, the sandwiches were real good" or "you look extremely nice today," or just -- I just kind of stumble on, I don't say these things probably like I should. I did, I learned some things from Jeff and his relation with his wife.
Q Did you ever hear Captain MacDonald threaten his wife in terms of doing bodily injury to her or strike or ill use her in any way?
A Oh, no. Oh, no.
Q Captain Moore, what was Captain MacDonald's attitude toward his children?
A He directed his children in good things, he corrected them firmly. He never shouted at them or struck them that I saw. He'd explain to them, you know, "if you do this or if you don't do that, you could have ill effect or bad effects by doing it," like, especially around the pony or playing around the yard, you know; "you don't chase the ball into the street because a car will hit you," instead of screaming at them, especially the older girl. Never screamed or yelled at her. He was very patient with them. Whenever we got off at lunch, when we'd go there to eat, the kids would coming running out to meet their daddy and climb on him and pull on him. They were extremely happy to see him. When I go home, my thirteen year old says, "well, dad, you're home, so what, big deal," but his kids seemed very happy to see him.
Q Did you ever see Captain MacDonald either strike, threaten to strike or in any way physically abuse his children?
A Oh, no.
Q How would you characterize Captain MacDonald's emotional stability?
A I think he was very, very stable. I've seen him in aircraft, getting ready to jump, before jumping. Being a novice jumper, some people, a lot of people get anxious or have mixed emotions. I'd say Captain MacDonald is very stable. I've seen him make decisions at command briefings in the 3rd Group, medical decisions, not for patients, for the operation part of the group; he's very cool, calm and collected and makes sound decisions. Emotionally, he's stable. He handles himself very well.
Q What kind of officer would you say Captain MacDonald was?
A Well, all we knew, he was a two-year doctor. Well, we assumed -- he might have been longer, but you have to understand that some of these people, when they're drafted into the Army, have very negative attitudes. Captain MacDonald was not that way. He had a real good attitude. We refer to it as the saying goes, as gung-ho. He seemed to enjoy his work. He felt that if a job was worth doing at all, it worth doing real well. He's very capable of doing it well. He always did a real good job, exceptional job.
Q Has he -- have you served in any combat areas, Captain Moore?
A I was in Vietnam for a year and I compare Captain MacDonald to the Commanding Officers I had in the medical companies in the First Division and the 101st Airborne Division, I'd say MacDonald is head and shoulders above any of these people as a military and as a doctor, and as a human being.
Q Would you be willing to serve with and under him and in a combat area again?
A Well, I can't say again, but I would -- right, I would serve with him anywhere again, if it was combat or if it was peacetime. It would be a privilege to serve with him.
Q Based upon your observations of Mrs. MacDonald, on occasions with her, how would you characterize her emotional stability?
A Very Good. Example: I went to their home one day to have lunch, sandwiches, like I mentioned before and she was very elated, excited and she and Jeff both explained to me that she was expecting and that they were going to have another child and they were both very happy about the fact that they were going to have another child. She, socially, any time I was there, she was cool, calm and collected at all times. I never saw her out of balance any way at all, other -- or lose her temper at all.
MR. SEGAL: Thank you Captain Moore. You may cross-examine.
Questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Your professional relationship with Captain MacDonald was that of a non-medical personnel, was it not? You're not a doctor, are you?
A No, I'm an MSC, as I stated before.
Q And you've seen Captain MacDonald on duty in the field, is that correct?
A In garrison and in the field, yes. Yes, we were in the field on numerous occasions and in garrison, too.
Q What was Captain MacDonald's apparent physical condition?
A Very good. I ran with him, taken PT with him. I'm a little older than he is and he is real good shape.
Q Have you ever boxed with him?
Q Does he box?
A I think he's mentioned that he boxed somewhere back in school, a little bit, in our conversation somewhere. But never any lengthy conversation about it. When I was teenager, I boxed in the Golden Gloves and I think that he mentioned something, he had boxed somewhere in the past.
Q Did Captain MacDonald ever state to you that he would have been satisfied with two children?
A No, I don't think we ever discussed that.
Q Did you speak to a CID agent named Hodges on the 24th of February?
A I spoke with a CID agent. I'm not sure of his name and I'm not sure of the date, but a man came to my house, who showed me his credentials and I accepted him as a CID agent. He came into my house and said he'd like to talk with my wife and I, yes.
Q If I was to tell you that his resume of that conversation indicates that you stated to him that Captain MacDonald told you that he would have been satisfied with two children, would you say that was incorrect?
MR. SEGAL: Excuse me. That's objected to, sir. In accordance with the procedures previously set forth in these hearing, if the government is suggesting that it has a statement of Captain Moore, I believe it's appropriate at this time to make it available to Captain Moore to see it and also counsel for the accused to see it and to ask whether or not the station is correct or incorrect and he may explain, of course, if there are any variances with anything he's said today.
CPT SOMERS: Sir, the government does not have a sworn statement by Captain Moore and that's what we're talking about; nor does it have a statement of any type. It has some investigative notes and it's simply asking this witness questions about that interview. If he wishes to answer the question in the negative, fine.
CPT BEALE: Captain Somers, it would probably be better to merely ask the witness the facts, as opposed to suggesting to him what somebody else might say. Just put the question to him as to whether or not he ever stated such and such or so and so and if you establish that he, in fact, did, then you can bring in Mr. Hodges. Okay?
CPT SOMERS: Well, he stated that Captain MacDonald never said that. He has yet to state whether he ever said that Captain MacDonald said it.
CPT BEALE: Okay, well he can answer that portion of it. But if he say no, then you --
MR. SEGAL: I do object to the form of that question.
CPT BEALE: I realize that. Rephrase your question.
CPT SOMERS: All right. I will.
Continued questions by CPT SOMERS:
Q Did you tell that CID agent that Captain MacDonald had told you that he would have been satisfied with two children?
A I can honestly say that I did not say that and I did not imply that in any way.
Q Captain Moore, you said that you and Captain MacDonald were together when the 3rd Group was disbanded. Is that correct?
A What I said is that the 3rd had notification of being disbanded. We worked together in closing out the property of the surgeon's section.
Q What happened to all that property?
A I --
MR. SEGAL: That's objected to. It's specified by Army regulations as to what happened to -- there's no suggestion here that regulations were not complied with.
CPT SOMERS: I was about to suggest it, sir, and I think it bears on the general character of the accused.
MR. SEGAL: There's no statement of charges here against Captain MacDonald for having in any way misappropriated or misdistributed government property. I object to the question.
CPT SOMERS: There's evidence here as to his character as a soldier and this bears on it.
CPT BEALE: Mr. Segal, your objection is overruled. Answer the question, Captain Moore.
A Would you restate your question, please? Give it to me again.
Q How was that property, in the medical supply, how was that disposed of?
A Would you like a run down on piece by piece or would you like in general?
Q In general.
A I had been signed for that property -- it had been signed over to another man at this particular time and I personally supervised the turning in, through proper channels, of accountable for the government property.
Q Are you saying that Captain MacDonald received none of it?
A I didn't say that. You said that.
Q I'm asking you if that's what you said.
MR. SEGAL: I object to this form of a question, sir. It implies something that's not in evidence.
CPT BEALE: Sustained. Rephrase your question, Captain Somers.
Q Did Captain MacDonald receive some of that property?
A I don't know.
Q Would that have been correct channels?
MR. SEGAL: That's objected to. He's already answered the question. That all the property was returned through appropriate government sources.
CPT BEALE: Move to another area, Captain Somers.
CPT SOMERS: No further questions.
MR. SEGAL: I have nothing further of Captain Moore, sir.
COL ROCK: Captain Moore, you are advised that you will discuss your testimony with no person other than counsel for the government or counsel for the accused. Do you understand?
WITNESS: Yes, sir, I do.
COL ROCK: You are excused, subject to recall. This hearing will be recessed for 15 minutes.
(The hearing recessed at 0938 hours, 11 August 1970.)