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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 14, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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doesn't say much more. however, presidents throughout history have cited this commander-in-chief power through various means whether it's prisoner torture come the military commission, congress. also as it powers been read into this. too bad we can't ask what they had in mind. i instantly thought about later. why don't we just ask handclap i did the next best thing. i went to the library richard risa helped me go through the primary source says in the excellent collection we have the documents, diaries and newspaper clippings and a thorough luck at
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what the founders were saying to another and understood it to mean. sure enough i kept working on it and i turned my first draft. do you remember what you said? >> i like the title. it was george versus george versus george. george washington, george the third and george w. bush. >> he did like the title, but you asked for more. so here is more. i kept on working and eventually evolved into the books we have coming out in the next couple of weeks. what really shocked me when i was doing my research initially was a quote from washing 10, where he said the foundation of our empire was laid not during the gloomy age, but during a
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topic when the rights of mankind were better understood it more clearly define in this auspicious period came into existence as a nation and of their citizens are not completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own. i saw that as a personal challenge to each and every one of us to learn about this auspicious. and understand what is happening, to see when the founders got together after the revolutionary war, to write the constitution. who is at the front and center as the president of the constitutional convention, but george washington to commander-in-chief who led them to the struggle and forced to define what it meant to be the american commander in general and the president they were
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creating with this constitution. every new george washington with the first president. when it came time to to elect him he had every single vote. so as i was researching this book i came across all sorts of fascinating and juicy and somewhat scandalous stories, some of which sounded like headlines from today regarding torture, regarding military commissions, still discussing the mastermind of 9/11. they were debating the same things back then. or even congress said of meddling in the president's war powers. postdebate discussion during the revolutionary war as well. today i biked to start off and i hope to get into some other stories as well with one in particular because they think it
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helps to establish a recurring principle i found time in 10 egad and that is the divide between the president and the commander-in-chief power over foreign nationals defending us from foreign forces versus his power over american citizens to defend us from one another. so the story begins at a small bad and right now when you think of west point, you think of our nations military elite rushing to and from classes. monumental size buildings. you don't realize in 1788 as a fledgling fort that help the state of the nation. basically the british are
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interested in capturing the higher hudson river because they wanted to cut off the rebellious new england states from the rest of the nation and that was effectively, as george washington said that on the revolution if they were able to do so. so what the americans did, we construct a land-based defense. benedict arnold knew how valuable this wise. so he concocts a plan to sell it for approximately 26 million in u.s. dollars today. where the story gets most interesting when you look at his co-conspirators who are less known. john andre was the reddish head of intelligence under general
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clinton admin joshua hadden smith. so when it came time for benedict arnold to betray his country, he met with john andre to formulate the plan of attack and gave him the plans of west point and let him know where my dad attack from in order to quickly win. they met on the side of the hudson downriver from west point in a wooded area. they were bickering the whole night about how to best do things. you could see how he was not a very amenable fellow. still squabbling about the price, going on and on. sure enough the sun comes up while there's no talking. they ship with the patriots see it, so he strapped.
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so he says okay, smith, andre, let's go back to smith's house and figure out another way to get you back to safety in british controlled new york city. so they get back to the house and arnold says quit, put on the jacket. this will disguise you so everyone will think you're an american. and do me a favor and that attention to your city and make sure he's safe. so everything seems great. they come to westchester and is pretty tired. he wants to go back and sleep. sure enough six miles after the horror, andres jumped by some
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militia men and a free game, strip search him and quickly the whole plan starts to unravel and arnold gets when an escapes and gets away and then washington finds out any quickly send his men. was very striking his washington haas says his disposable john andre and the american citizen involved in the same plot. they both have damning evidence against them. he says i have enough evidence to hang you. deep is the. instead for smith, he provides them with a court-martial, at
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type of military trial to the 13th century and which there are some safeguards and an element of due process to make sure your he has a fighting chance to defend themselves and the panel is charged with deciding whether this man is guilty or not. so after four weeks of trial, smith has evidence against him to have all these witnesses testifying the familiarity between on craig smith and the coat he sues to describe the british officer is a big no-no. describe that, at the end of the
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trial, and they realize because he is an american he had the high burden of proof that he knew what he was doing was wrong and they couldn't. but the high burden he was acquitted. people were shot. they are so shocked the civilian authorities took him back to prison another charges. he actually is a slip or he cared or, that to new york. under a state was far different. instead, washington it bars the resolution on the box that says enemies of the story shall be tried by court herschel. he creates a military commission and the military commission sometimes mirrors a court-martial, but it doesn't
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have to. it really is a win for the commander to determine whatever rules he wants. he seen as sort of a quick and dirty way to punish the accused. they're thinking what punishment does he deserve to send that is guilty. so he receives a ship made a call at a trial, two-day trial in which they read some evidence, a batch of hearsay defenseless refund is the cruisers. washington fell because he realized the real enemy with arnold and this young man who is a very likable to your assertive
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caught in this mess and at the same time, washington felt strongly that his job, his role was to defend the nation and send a strong signal that those who cross him and people would be punished severely. so we were just talking about the title of the book. the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, which i find very startling. i think the founding fathers sought to create the government we have now and the constitution we still use two spares the
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bloodshed they were. they wanted to create a democratic republic where the people were protected, so they give the presidency the power to protect foreign tyrants but not so much he could become a tyrant himself. i look forward to questions and hope to have more stories. >> let me say a few words following on the presentation. i read a blurb for the burke. the books about george washington. what's not to like about that? it is quite an excellent page turner. the reason i see for a suggested paper was to think about the commander-in-chief cause has been a focal constitutional
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argument. that was one of president truman's legal justification, relying on an opinion by robert jackson when he was with fdr for the proposition that commander-in-chief to confiscate on american soil. it was not out of this american soil unlike the revolution. we've seen an important moment in the case and that continue to see it if it weren't cared and most recently on the debate over president obama's continued engagement in the libyan hostilities. apparently contrary to the war powers resolution, which is constitutional but as he told my class, it's not constitutional to all applications.
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apparently the obama administration felt it would be unconstitutional to provide too many limits to conduct hostilities. where those are we don't know. so the commander-in-chief cause is an important constitutional provision. look at this project i think is the first one to give some legal purchase on what might have been the original meeting because when this was drafted in philadelphia, the only commander-in-chief was to. they certainly did not have george the third in mind. governors are often the heads of the states. instead if they had one was george washington 10.
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one of the things he does this give you an idea but the reasons it was frequented byard. at any point in his career he was not an attention grabber. partly because i've not withstanding that he became this universally admired figure in as a model for the commander-in-chief cause. so it's extraordinary relevant, both as a constitutional matter and either the original meeting with the ongoing meeting at the the commander-in-chief clause to cause to know something about the experience that produced this cause i miss everybody expected, george washington missed in the first president
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and commander-in-chief under article ii. you have to read the book to get the full flavor, but logan has given you a wonderful story about the court-martial in military commissions. here are three themes that recur in the book. the book does have bearing and this is a great reason to reject as well, which did have parallels in washington as commander-in-chief and he did take liberty to torture some of the enemy soldiers and he did on some occasions deployed military commissions rather than court-martial to execute spies and i think that's very interesting.
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but i think there's three broader lessons that occur throughout the book. the one that struck by the most remains relevant today as a structural matter is that there was an operative conference for most, not an elite all as commander-in-chief and i was very struck and you could even write another book at how utterly respectful washington was at the instruction to god from congress. so this is someone who is aggressive. he was not bashful about using the power he been given and he also followed this approach during his see. he was very interested in the views of the continental congress and was respectful of the cut, congress pastor rick
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gives a generally followed. this book is a wonderful example of what a republican theory, such as sweat animated the revolution itself after the revolution is the commander-in-chief. there is a degree of humility washington displayed as commander-in-chief towards the directives of the content of congress. i might add this is the same point. there is also an extraordinary amount of humility displayed as to the law of nations. so even when he would be delegated discretion by the continental congress, there's a wonderful treatment and the caricature we all have of plunder is in 18th century
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armies did. and please correct me, i'm more than one with executing people to engage. in other words, taking food, property, et cetera, et cetera. this is not only where he was authorized by the continental congress and did not, but in deference to what he considered what the law of war should be. so i think that is very remarkable in the first remarkable thing about his account, which i think i'll just understand the original meaning of the commander-in-chief clause
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the country has changed, more has changed. second point, which i also think it's interesting that if you are the commander-in-chief, washington provides the first example and it will be followed by subsequent commanders of the inherent dynamism that comes with being the commander-in-chief. in other words, you cannot directives from the continental congress. he could have even agreement on the part of the washington general. but the additions of the battlefield, conditions beyond the battlefield, conditions are beyond going political situation meant that george washington had improvised quite a lot. so even the faithful agent,
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which he reveals himself to be, even the faithful occasion is a highly dynamic turbulent of the discussion as well as the restriction adopted. sometimes he would go against the restrictions sometimes he would refuse discretion based on what he thought was appropriate and needed for the larger strategic and military goals. one of the things bogus but does is show you the parts of the ship that was our fighting force in the revolution. really about every 50 pages were because of various circumstances. it's a very interesting take on the revolution. one of the things washington did, he responded brilliantly to
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terrible circumstances. and he would sometimes violate the restrictions. i think that's an example of the dynamic of statutory interpretation. there is a third point, which is quite remarkable about this book, which i never thought about or noted in the next revolution. and that is something senator mccain would appreciate. senator mccain has been one of the leading and constructive conservative voices on the whole torture debate. but he did have an extremely celebrated career self torture, probably in the violations of
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war has had a very capacious understanding of the limitations that should be legally and morally imposed upon the presidents. president washington did direct the torture on occasion i've enemy soldiers who had been captured. what i thought was interesting was how rarely this occurred and seemed to be tied into a notion of reciprocity. this is a big name about the war generally and things found it so interesting money that general washington had reports that the british were mistreating of the organization and would hear of
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examples of mistreatment of american prisoners, he would very often make a shadow riders at the same circumstances of prisoners we have. there is a bargaining that went on in the revolution between washington and officers on the british side of how prisoners of war should be treated. that gives us in excellent insight into the way in which the ground-level, the way of the rule operates, not just directives by congressmen and not just battlefield by the commanders, but also the dynamic of treatment and the reciprocal
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principle to washington file the to the extent as well. by the way, that would be another great book. read about the revolution from the british point of view. you know, the only criticism of logan spoke is there a fall guys throughout the entire book. how other the enforcement swear, they're pouring around new york city. so washington writes about overconfidence in the south. there's too much fall guy.
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is there not a toy branch of the federalist society. i would supervise this. bananas in the teaching market, alex shores interviewed me for a job. look at them for a british point of view. i'm not so sure it was such a great date either. if we stay part of great britain, we'd be in slavery 50 years earlier to remain part of the commonwealth. candidate for the same time we did. [laughter] so i'm kind of a tory and there is a tory point of view to be
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written. i see them shaking their head and i think i would be very useful. that's a bit of a diversion, the gc the larger implications of the book they hope this stimulates more of a conversation about the early part associate informed our constitutional debates. [inaudible] >> we know that lincoln through the civil war was very much can turn about the fact that would have to be assimilating and integrating the south after the war was over.
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i'm wondering what was going on during the american revolution and was motivated that they sensed that loyalists in the midst of the event that washington prevailed and the revolutionary succeeded. >> absolutely. that's the next month point. the revolutionary war was the civil war. about 40% of the population were petrie is. another 40% were sorted and different. they would switch back and forth and the remaining 20% of loyalists. what's fascinating about the way washington approached it was these loyalists were seen as a descent to a minority within the republic. so if they broke the law the
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majority created to be punished, but they are still americans. so as you were saying, they would go out to the homes particularly and would ransack them. washington would do it girl investigation and find these time and sometimes have them executed. the thinking was that this was a war to win the populace over. and define the nation. at the end of the day, they fled to canada, went to britain or elsewhere. but he knew that they were americans and his republican values required that they treat them with respect.
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>> your story about andre flies and face of logic. >> john andre, the british was hanged after two days in that commission. this myth under the exact same circumstances with that loyalists and you would think he would be given the same treatment. he was then. he was given weeks and weeks of trial. >> please pray for the microphone, though. >> thank you, look at. it's going to be fun to read this book. just a couple of questions. first, let me just point out, andre had violated the laws of
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war by his action. where would she sit scb tried? it's not clear to me the international law required by themselves. canada did not become independent until 1867. there were minor skirmishes before them, but it then a lot time, so maybe it was worth it after all. they will play should is -- >> slaves did not become free until 1866 about the same time. but the point of view of many americans, they were not free until the same time canada was. >> i was corrected the record he set about the same time. the articles of confederation. they use the term
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commander-in-chief. one of the things they could not be done without the consensus of the united states. they are about making more. it's so interesting. they really feared by this experience. i wonder if elected any historical materials and if there's anything to learn from that. preceding the constitution. >> thank you very much. i think washington did the right thing. i think the congressional resolution did say to the court are shallow. however, washington realized he could not effectively send the message he needed to sign. so he is the military commission against andre. so that's regarding your first point. regarding the articles of
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confederation, they were a bit of a mess. so washington was appointed for the article was enacted in the articles -- the governing documents under which we were being governed, it was messy because it was who's in charge. initially, for example, the continental congress micromanaged washing 10 and had various committees on the war effort. i described in the book the war effort were sorted the schizophrenic squirrel jumping problem to problem in trying to correct these mistakes in who's in charge. when we get to battle of new york, washington doesn't think
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he can defend new york city. we have no navy. why are we trying to defend an island? he did lose her battle with anyone, but who was smart enough to know he should not be defending this island. the congress as we expect you to make every effort to defend us. and they lose badly, not surprisingly so. the british higher chasing towards philadelphia, that's when congress finally says, this is not working. we need to change what it means a mess with a great washington and adjust the makeup of how they're going to run this war.
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it originally was only for one week. but once they reconvened, washington starts getting his act together and congress size keep these people away from us. dictator back then was not the dirty work it is now. it just meant it full military control to make decisions. u.s.a. political dictator or he can cover until the that congress never gave up their power over the people. but he became the number one in charge and they kept sending this to tatar ship over and over and that is how they came to create this american commander-in-chief, to begin with a weakening your and end up
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with a strong commander over foreign nationals. the >> are you making an argument or at least a suggestion that the terms commander-in-chief as used in the constitution and i asked you about in the article referred to that commander-in-chief who washington was that the end, with the cotton in the congress had given in powers of a military commander? >> that's absolutely right in an evolving term. originally the term didn't mean that much. it came to mean a whole lot harder then. >> df contemporaneous notes the reflections are letters that it is a constitutional convention or previously to turn in all.
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>> the congressmen were debating this ferociously. washington himself was trying to determine, okay, i have all these powers now. which one should i use? it was an experiment in america was a great experiment from the start, especially the commander-in-chief for the congressional side as well as the military side. >> next is a distinguished man also named bernie. >> thank you. one of the things washington had 1775 july, not that much longer after that becomes
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commander-in-chief. he had a war counsel and they arrived on the scene. i don't know if they talk to money then. did they talk many times? >> anyhow, he said they check it out and they can't get out. what we end ms word. they said she might ruin the town. they beat the yankees today, which i was kind of upset about. but in the book, both in hollis a couple of things that are very dramatic. he had researching facilities.
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but he had church washing 10% was to call the british national guard and also was a surveyor. they were going in to the lands a new survey to say, that way and put a camp in the middle and say this is ours. if they get a hold of washing 10 and send them with surveyors in elders and the french were doing. he ran into this group of indians and had indian, but he said the, i'll help you out. they're not happy with you. we know the land that will also
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help you as far as keeping the french array so washington being 22 years old use all the help he could and he did. did they go down the trail and come back very shortly and say there's a group of french soldiers out looking for you and they are on their way down. unbeknownst to wash 10, that had indian father was killed by the local colonel who is leading this group of people coming down the hall. which i found no evidence that is. so they're coming down here and it kills 46 of them.
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later on, the king of england started the french and american more. when they kilotons scalloped 36 surveyors, workers, soldiers and the indian brings the colonel who kills his father from washing to, chops off the top of his head cover reaches in his school and says to his father, i have been diu, father. i think that would disturb me a little bit of that happening. but there wasn't much he could do. what he reported back to england as far as lebanon, he said regrading toothsome french
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military. the word he used this to throw out the ballots flying through the air to thrill to my heart and i was his interpretation and not really an active his approach. so originally when he was at boston, he was listening to every word of this war counsel that congress appointed for him. so it was filled with notices that knew little about work. your washington felt obligated to listen to every word he said. when they came to new york, they did want to withdraw their landmass and they listened. but once he becomes dictator, congress says you keep listening to that war counsel.
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go ahead and stop. so as to work clues, it all happens pretty much it the middle and end of the word. he still convened them to get their opinion, but he feels more confident in his ability to dictate what the military was going to do and knew we needed one commander of one person in charge to defend the nation. >> by the way, when you use the word dictator, do you mean by the end of the word he was assuming powers that congress had assumed, even though he didn't have to count the war counsel anymore? >> he was described as the military to tatar versus a political dictator. so i went back to the roman
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republic and he has given powers and took full control. the americans love the classics and you all about it. but they had their own twist on it. their twist was we gave you as dictator of military power over defeating the enemy. so it came to political power they still retained about. so washington was unique in that he never declared martial law. whenever it came to a matter of american citizens, american property, he made sure to defer to congress or the state authority. the defined way of being controlled by the attack to go
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decisions when it came to the host of other political decisions being made, he was very careful to not infringe upon congress. >> other questions? yes commissary. >> i would like to follow up on the andre smith. my understanding is tried as a spy and gates procedure regardless of citizenship subject to either of them. >> it is true they both involved in the same conspiracies and the same plot and washington knee-jerk reaction was to have him hang as well. but when it came down to it, he was an estimate by that fus by
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the nationality and his these loyalists were americans and had raised were going to have to live with them after we win the war was trying to win the hearts and minds of the american people. that was more the deciding factor. for washington, he was not the team at distinguishing and not way. these two men were in cahoots, work together. >> just to clarify that point, both of them are suppose to have been tried by court partial. that's the way congress saw it. so washington was making the bigger move in this unauthorized
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tribunal. >> there were two resolutions. the first was the foreign entity that denies bias and another resolution direct to the americans precluding with the enemy and both of them said we are going to try them pay court-martial had set up the due process. for example, the size of the board, they are trying to decide guilt. other provisions like washington as the convener of the court-martial of could not fit as the president of the committee. not the right to counsel, but they were definitely safeguards in there to make it a fair
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trial. [inaudible] >> the question was what are the specific charges respectively? >> for both of them, it was working to betray west point. they had 10 charges against smith in a narrowed down to one which was for andre was similar. you are working with benedict arnold and you were doing so in disguise. >> follow up on that.
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>> british, but i promise i'm not a spy. while code. so my question is, when we talk about the revolutionary period, we took the flake acceptability, things like that. we're not in that local paradigm anymore -- [inaudible] so my question is how is that development in the international conflict, how does that affect washington precedence of the military commissions?
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>> that's an excellent point. i'm careful not to go so far as washing 10 should do x today. instead, i take the more humble approach, where washing 10 was meant to be the american commander in this important to look at that history. basically anyone who believes in democracy to do so because in the preamble of the constitution , it doesn't say congress to form a more perfect union. the constitution was formed by we the people. so it is important whether the to see what these provisions mean. to see what we the people thought when we were and asked in two section two. and then fast forward today.
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sure, a lot has changed. for instance, you were mentioning how torture was off india's for reprisal and we switched from not too in an visualized system of justice. at the same time, history is the starting point for investigations and newspaper dates about how much weight you should give it. when it comes down, it's important because major players believe so. for oil, the heller decision in which the supreme court are using these historical arguments to decide these cases. so originalists and is alive and well innocent port to look at the history as we discuss the
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issue. >> let me follow up on that. tell me if this is one of the lessons to draw from your account because one of the punch lines in your book is the concept of a republican understanding of the commander-in-chief clause in a major circumstance we have this international commitment that have been proposed by the president, ratified by the senate. they are the law of the land and so on. it sounds to me like even though washington's powers grows, he did have a republican understanding of the job, which required him to be very attentive to the commitments made by the nation. in the 1770s we were not in a position to make international commitment that we did and they didn't have a lot of statutes on
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the book. but would you not say one of the lessons of washington's experience is the commander-in-chief has a constitutional obligation to take seriously the commitment the nation has made and the convention against torture. not to mention statutes that congress has passed so on and so forth. >> absolutely. washington was very eager to catapult us into this realm of nations and it is important to have their act dean is a good city said. he thought the united states and the shining light of democracy and the public would abide by the entire principles.
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it's important for the commander-in-chief to be looking at the commitment we make. >> opinions about canada. [inaudible] [laughter] i know singing every morning all of canada, which is a beautiful and done and that's the reason i made it a point study the history of canada and y have been to have that. [inaudible]
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>> there is this young lady of the evening going back and forth from boston to the american side, the american line. the reason why she was going back so quickly and so often as she was carried letters that they had in washington's army. so there was some trickery they did. she would not tell them who the american person was. and a number of accounts, all is said as washington spent the night with her in the morning divulge to the person was. she was proof against every --
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everything we tried and that brings up a good point about how washington saw a torture as something we should rise above and he wanted to get past the barbaric wars of the past and raise our level of conduct. as the revolution wears on, i'm more opposed to saving american lives. that's in this instance is started racing when it comes down to if i need to do this to save american lives was a different story. >> i think the library is telling us we should bring this to a close.
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i would like to announce a director at "zero dark 30" what do the movie version. [applause] >> and now, boris friedman talks about the life and work of humanist philosopher and cofounder erich fromm, author of escape from freedom and other works. this is about an hour. [applause] >> there's wal-mart shares here if anyone would like.
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it's really nice not only to have josh in terms of amnesty, the basic presence in the boston area, but the head of the board from the yorick -- from the so amnesty with steve quite a bit of emphasis tonight. for 46 years, i've given a talk with questions along the way. i am not going to stop now. so anytime something concerns you, let's deal with it. ..

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