I belatedly found, via a link from Will Collier, what Will correctly calls NBC News anchor Brian Williams' "rather pompous non-apology apology" for writing and broadcasting last week that "several U.S. presidents were at minimum revolutionaries, and probably were considered terrorists of their time by the Crown in England."
Heck, Ben Franklin only broke familial relations with his Tory son, rather than trying to have him beheaded. Patrick Henry's cry was "Give me liberty or give me death!" rather than "Give them all death, the guilty and the innocent alike, slowly and painfully and publicly!" Nathan Hale wasn't quoted as saying, "I regret that I haven't killed thousands of innocent women and children for my country." George Washington was not Guy Fawkes, and although his artillery bombardment (partly directed by Alexander Hamilton) of British fortifications at Yorktown was indeed terrifying, those who marched out with Cornwallis were Redcoats, not civilians. Whatever his other personal failings, Thomas Jefferson had never murdered, raped, and pilaged his way through Canada. James Madison and James Monroe are rather more closely associated with the Bill of Rights than with jihad or fatwa. When John Adams, John Jay, and Ben Franklin signed the Treaty of Paris on America's behalf in 1783 to formally end the war, not one of them had explosive charges strapped around his waist; and his Britannic Majesty's express purpose in joining in that document was not to put a stop to anything remotely akin to "terrorism," but rather "to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which [Britain and the United States] mutually wish[ed] to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two countries upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony."
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