Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new president of Iran, has proudly proclaimed his membership in the Pasdaran -- the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps -- the entity responsible for seizing the U.S. Embassy and holding American diplomats and Marines hostage for 444 days. He now claims that he only supported the embassy seizure because that's what Ayatollah Khomeini wanted. Ahmadinejad insists he did not participate in it, but at least four of the former hostages place the president-"elect" among their captors.
Iranian reformers -- who were not allowed to run in the presidential "election" that Ahmadinejad "won" -- claim that in the 1980s, he was with the "Internal Security" department of the IRGC and had responsibility for "interrogations, torture and executions." According to current and former IRGC leaders, during that same time frame, the organization assisted the Hezbollah terrorist organization in kidnapping Americans in Beirut, killing 241 Marines at the barracks near the Beirut airport and twice blowing up the American Embassy in the Lebanese capital. One of Ahmadinejad's most memorable lines: "We did not have a revolution in order to have a democracy." So far, he's yet to condemn the mass murder in London.
Williams doesn't specify, but "the first several U.S. Presidents" must include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and perhaps Andrew Jackson -- the last U.S. President to have served in the American Revolution.
George Washington commanded the Continental Army -- in uniform, not as a terrorist. The warrant against him by the British crown charged him with rebellion -- not terrorism. There is no record of Washington ever being involved in torture, hostage taking or murder but we know he repatriated British diplomats. One of his most memorable lines: "It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it."
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison served in civil and/or diplomatic capacities during the Revolution. None was involved in any known acts of terror against the British or their allies. Their most memorable lines are found in the Record of the Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
James Monroe served as an officer in the Continental Army and was wounded in the Battle of Trenton. There is no record of any involvement in torturing hostages or committing any acts of terrorism. His most notable lines were contained in the Monroe Doctrine.
John Quincy Adams was a child during the Revolution and committed no known acts of terrorism. He is best remembered for advocating the abolition of slavery during the 17 years he served in the House of Representatives after being president.
Andrew Jackson served in the Continental Army as a teen-aged boy. His face bore the scar of a British officer's saber cut -- a wound inflicted after young Jackson refused to clean his captor's boots. His best lines were in opposing the creation of a government banking system.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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