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Tom Friedman Attacks Torture

Tom Friedman criticized the US for its failure to adhere to civilized standards of war in an excellent Op-Ed on March 24. He quotes from Washington’s Crossing about how George Washington treated prisoners of war during the Revolutionary War. Friedman says, drawing or quoting from the book:

“Washington ordered that Hessian captives would be treated as human beings with the same rights of humanity for which Americans were striving. The Hessians … were amazed to be treated with decency and even kindness. At first they could not understand it.” The same policy was extended to British prisoners.

In concluding his book, Mr. Fischer wrote lines that President Bush would do well to ponder: George Washington and the American soldiers and civilians fighting alongside him in the New Jersey campaign not only reversed the momentum of a bitter war, but they did so by choosing “a policy of humanity that aligned the conduct of the war with the values of the Revolution. They set a high example, and we have much to learn from them.”

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