Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cruelty = Disgrace

In their December 19, 2012 remarks on the movie Zero Dark Thirty, United States Senators Dianne Feinstein (Democrat-California), Carl Levin (Democrat-Michigan) and John McCain (Republican-Arizona) characterized torture not only as a violation of the Geneva Conventions but "an affront to America's national honor."

In his September 14, 1775 instructions to Colonel Benedict Arnold, George Washington instructed the colonel to discourage Continental soldiers and their Native American allies "from all Acts of Cruelty and Insult, which will disgrace the American Arms, and irritate our Fellow Subjects against us."

In his April 28, 1779 instructions to Commodore John Paul Jones, Benjamin Franklin urged Jones to be "particularly attentive" to how his men treated British prisoners.  Many Jones's crew members were former prisoners who escaped British prisons in England and America.  Franklin wanted Jones to prevent act of retaliation and an imitation of inhumanity that "ought rather to be detested and avoided for the sake of humanity and for the honor of our country."  
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