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George Washington: No Torture on My Watch

Posted by PowerToThePeople 
George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
April 17, 2009 09:52PM
"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

It seems that after the battle, 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... 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.

From []


"When they say there’s not enough money, they mean there’s not enough money for YOU." - Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee.
Anonymous User
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
April 18, 2009 07:42AM

My grandfather's side of the family (on my mother's side) are German Hessians.


I might have to do some research and find out how that line got here.
Anonymous User
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
April 18, 2009 05:17PM
I would like to comment, the definition of torture was limited to physical abuse then, if tortur ewas defined at all.

The fact physical abuse occurred at all is an embarrasment enough for the US, but I don't think that mental stress and/or humilitation is abuse. Now, is it disrespectful?...yeah, and doesn't have any good reason to occur, but inhumane...NO.

Any physical abuse rightfully should be prosecuted to the fullest extent directly to the top of the chain-of-command(which includes SECDEF, and CIC).
Anonymous User
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
April 18, 2009 05:21PM
Any other mental stress/physicial humilitation and disrespect should be punished if neccessary via the UCMJ according to NJP if appropriate. Take some rank, and dock some pay...that should fix the problem as far as the military is concerned.

However, the contractors...that is a different story, or those whom work for different government agencies and the UCMJ isn't as strongly enforced even though it is federal law civilians are subject to follow in certain circumstances.
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
March 12, 2010 06:04AM
Does being deprived of sleep for days count as torture? Chained squatting on your haunches? Waterboarding? Wrists chained to the wall and subjected to loud music for days? Threatened with vicious dogs? Screamed at for days without pause, your tormentors working in shifts? Anal penetration? Thrown into a pitch dark cell for days to await the next round of "enhanced interrogation?"

Would George Washington have found these acts to "demonstrate the moral superiority of the American cause?"
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
March 12, 2010 11:21PM
gw - should we care what he thought? he sold out the country by signing the law that brought us the first bank of the united states (think private banking controlling money creation, like the federal reserve). the bank of england's policies are what started the revolutionary war.....they didnt like the colonies creating their own debt free money -

the first bank ruined the country within a short time -- which lead to the americans revolting against it....which brought us the war of 1812.....which ended with the creation of the second bank of the united states (so we lost the war of 1812).....which lasted until andrew jackson courageously put it down (he survived assassination attempts during the process).

we are now on the third bank of the united states (the fed). jfk was our last jackson (until ron paul)...

others that died fighting this fight - huey long, garfield, mckinley, louis mcfadden
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
March 12, 2010 11:32PM
Torture doesn't work. That's the first point. Secondly, it's a reflection of the person (or country) inflicting the torture. Why would you want to put someone in a stress position? Are you that small of a person that you feel you need to demonstrate your "superiority" by belittling or inflicting pain on someone you have already conquered? When DICK Cheney said "we might have to go to the dark side" - why didn't the person interviewing him ask the obvious question... why? Are you a dark person, DICK? Do you get some kind of twisted thrill out of inflicting pain? Why would the veep - a guy who has absolutely no contact with the enemy - be even suggesting such a thing? Because he was obviously one incredibly sick person. And anyone who agrees with him is also mentally ill. They need to get help.
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
March 13, 2010 01:35AM
It was far more complicated than that, tx. The prosperity of the American colonies was a temporary one based on Government credit with no asset backing. It was a bubble that would burst. Further, the comparison that Franklin dre was invalid. Britain incurred huge debts fighting the European powers that would have taken you over. America contributes almost nothing to that cost.

Aslo, the colonies actually ignored the British edict and continued to print paper money. Interestingly, that was the right path and one that Britain later followed BUT asset backed.

Your follow up about the war of 1812 is silly.

At the Scopes Monkey Trial, Clarence Darrow gave a brilliant speech, but the cynical journalist H.L. Mencken told him "You may as well have shouted it up a waterspout in Outer Mongolia for all the effect it will have on your listeners ..

Ditto here.
Anonymous User
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
March 13, 2010 05:10AM
Germans are not raggheads.

The entire premise of the opening post is thus rendered moot, foolish and ignorant in the extreme.

Have you any questions?
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
April 05, 2010 05:15AM
Eliot Spitzer has shown great interest.


"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
Anonymous User
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
April 10, 2010 04:42PM
GW's "watch" has been over for some time now. I'm sorry you didn't catch it in your State mandated history or government classes.
Anonymous User
Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
April 11, 2010 12:13AM
Apparently General Washington was "soft on defense".
How could he possibly expect to beat the Brits without torture?

Re: George Washington: No Torture on My Watch
April 11, 2010 03:20AM
Like Cheney hiding in a bunker duh.


"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
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