Saturday, October 07, 2006

an excerpt from "America's Anti-Torture Tradition," Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

The below excerpt was posted as a comment on a piece I wrote, "in time for Columbus Day," which appears on Huffington Post. It is from an article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. , from 2005, which appeared in The Los Angeles Times:

"George Washington, dead on point. "In 1776," wrote historian David Hackett Fischer in "Washington's Crossing," "American leaders believed it was not enough to win the war. They also had to win in a way that was consistent with the values of their society and the principles of their cause. One of their greatest achievements ... was to manage the war in a manner that was true to the expanding humanitarian ideals of the American Revolution." After capturing 1,000 Hessians in the Battle of Trenton, he ordered that enemy prisoners be treated with the same rights for which our young nation was fighting.

In an order covering prisoners taken in the Battle of Princeton, Washington wrote: "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.... Provide everything necessary for them on the road."

America's Anti-Torture TraditionDecember 17, 2005 Los Angeles Times Robert F. Kennedy Jr.