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Friday, August 18, 2017

Donald Trump has reached into the fevered recesses of the right-wing id yet again — and his crowds love him for it.

The Hill reports that at a primary election-eve rally in Charleston, South Carolina, Trump told a supposed story about how Gen. John Pershing dealt with Muslim terrorists in the U.S.-occupied Philippines of the early 20th century.

“He took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig’s blood. And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people,” Trump said, as his crowd cheered. “And the 50th person, he said, ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem.”

Notably, Trump spoke of this matter in the context of demanding a return to the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques against terror suspects: “So we better start getting tough, and we better start getting vigilant, and we need to start using our heads — or we’re not gonna have a country, folks!”

But as Snopes.com has documented for quite some time, this is in fact a hoax that has circulated around email chains and other corners of the Internet ever since the 9/11 attacks.

It is also sometimes attributed to military leaders other than Pershing — who in fact sought, as the military leader of an occupying force, to minimize enemy casualties wherever possible, and to avoid inflaming religious tensions. (This was in contrast to other military leaders, such as Gen. Leonard Wood, who presided over an infamous massacre of rebel men and their families.)

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