Sunday, February 20, 2005

Washington's Spy Ring

This weekend we Americans celebrate "All" President's Day in lieu of honoring only our first president, George Washington. In actuality, the Americans of the nineteenth century elevated him almost to a deified status. Washington was and is quite deserving of all the adoration shown upon him. He was ordained by God to become the father of a new nation and he fulfilled his role well. He is probably now commanding a heavenly legion of angels, watching over his beloved land and protecting it. At least, that is my hope. He was a person of many skills and many interests - what was known as a Renaissance man. Something that few people know is that during the American Revolution, he ran a spy ring. Imagine, George Washington, founder of what is now the CIA! He knew he was up against probably the world's greatest army, an army with which he had served as an officer. He was a General in one army and a despised traitor in the other. The wise general knew that his army was mostly an undisciplined squad of ragtag farmers, and as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld famously said recently; "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have". Washington did not even have an army and when he finally raised one and took it to war, he lost many, many more battles than he ever won. With help from the intelligence he gathered by the running of spy ring, he was able to outfox the British, and he won the final battle, the one that really counts. "George Washington, Spymaster" is a wonderful little book. Read it and learn about the intrigues of the long ago Revolutionary War.

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