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History as seen through memos

Dana Milbank on

The committee has, based on its review of the evidence, determined that Mr. Paine is guilty of rank insubordination for accusing Gen. George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, of being a "summer soldier" and "sunshine patriot." Paine, according to highly classified documents in the committee's possession, alleges that Gen. Washington will "shrink from the service" of country, and likens dealing with Washington to "tyranny" and "hell." The committee recommends court-martial for Paine, as well as for naval officer John Paul Jones, for desertion. Jones, according to the committee review of classified information, has not "begun to fight," even though ordered to do so.

Finally, the committee proposes further examination of the un-American activities of Gov. Patrick Henry of Virginia, who upon being offered a choice between liberty and death, stated, "give me death."

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But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate -- we cannot consecrate -- we cannot hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

The Hon. Devin Nunes, chairman

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MEMORANDUM: Abraham Lincoln's Anti-American Communications

In classified intercepts reviewed by this committee, President Lincoln has, in deeply unpatriotic remarks, refused "to dedicate," "to hallow" or "to consecrate" land where so many fell dead at Gettysburg. Furthermore, Lincoln alleged he would use his "power" to "detract" from their sacrifice -- sentiments hurtful to Gold Star families.

Unfortunately, according to the HPSCI review, this is consistent with Lincoln's previous advocacy of a "house divided" policy in which all white Americans would be "permanently half slave." This sort of anti-white sentiment dates back to the Battle of Bunker Hill, when, according to this committee's confidential information, Col. William Prescott remarked, "Don't fire until you see the whites."

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