Torture Is Not a Partisan Issue . . . George Washington – Who Was Neither a Democrat or Republican – Forbid All Torture

Those trying to make torture into a partisan issue should look to the founding father of our country: George Washington.

Washington was president before political parties even existed.

As Scott Horton wrote in 2007:

“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” - George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775…

After the battle [of Trenton, New Jersey on December 26, 1776.], the Continentals were preparing to run some of the British Empire’s German mercenaries through what they called the “gauntlet.” General Washington discovered this and intervened. As … explained in the Huffington Post, Washington then issued an order to his troops regarding prisoners of war:

“‘Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British Army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren who have fallen into their hands,’ he wrote. In all respects the prisoners were to be treated no worse than American soldiers; and in some respects, better. Through this approach, Washington sought to shame his British adversaries, and to demonstrate the moral superiority of the American cause.”

In the worst of times – when foreign troops literally occupied American soil, torturing and murdering American patriots – and few believed that the cause of the revolution could ultimately win against the might of the British Empire, the first Commander in Chief of the U.S.A. set the precedent that this society is to lead even our enemies by “benignant sympathy of [our] example.” To win the war against the occupying army of Redcoats, the American revolutionaries needed right on their side.

And it worked. Many of the German Hessians in fact joined the revolutionaries in their fight against the English and stayed here in America to be free when the war was won.

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  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    It would have been difficult at that time to demonize and separate out the enemy. They were basically the same religion and ethnicity. By promoting fundamentalist Christian religion in the military, we have innoculated people from any identification with the populations in the Middle East, so that soldiers can do what is "necessary". Like, torture. Then, they put on entertainment glorifying and promoting things like torture in shows like "24". The MSM is doing demonization in preparation for a big war against Iran by painting Obama as returning to his "Muslim roots" (as ABC puts it) by attempting a dialogue with countries in the Middle East and speaking out against inflamatory Israeli settlements. First you cause an economic crash, then you start a big war to direct attention elsewhere that profits a few at the top and consolidates and solidifies power. It is a repeating game. The Reagan era allowed mergers and acquisition of mass media to the point where it is a very effective propaganda machine and there is barely a squeek from the public about things like torture. They just keep tuning into their daily dose of propaganda.EQ

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    we've really got a big problem on our hands when fully 50 percent of the fuckers who stand next to me in any Starbucks or any grocery store checkout line can condone the torture and murder of people who've not been tried or sentenced for any criminality of any kind, and actually, were tortured to derive self incriminating evidence under torture, by which to convict them in these fucking tribunal jokes that the military set up to kangaroo court these poor fuckers into concocted death sentences.the day is rapidly approaching when either americans either grow up, or their nation 'dies' because you cannot have a nation which condones torture, and freedom, and the moral high ground.the absurdity of the justifications for the torture just astounds me. it's hard to believe I live amongst you fuckers who can condone this banality and amoral bullshit. It's disgusting.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    I can be much more of a patriot as an ex-patriate. Americans have really sunk too low on this one. I can't even stand my own countrymen. And it is embarassing these days to be identified as an american abroad. I just don't know what is worse: Torture? Americans defending it?

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    it's hard to expatriate now, people see us as some kind of vermin, a disease. maybe it's just as well that the illusory concept of the america we thought we lived in dies here, right here and now, and isn't perpetuated into the infinitum with bullshit propaganda. we've sunken to a level that is so scummy and low, that it's a wonder you can get on a plane with a U.S. passport and actually go anywhere. We really have de-evolved, but what is probably more important to understand is that the self-righteous indignation about a fictional america that allegedly has stood for essentially good things, was such bullshit and lies, that when your whole nation is founded on mythological crap that isn't true, ultimately the facade wears thin and exposes the real nature of the people.that happened finally. we really are monsters. those of us who object are too few and far between to have made a significant difference in our fellow citizens. we were the 'albinos' in the pool. the majority were the murderers and the torturers, and the dominionist christian bastards who can talk about christ out of one corner of their mouth, and do this shit from the other corner.the illusion is over. we're really quite evil.and it's sad. we could have been different.

 

 

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