The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ford disagreed with Bush on invading Iraq

Raw Story
Published: Thursday December 28, 2006
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Washington Post investigative journalist Bob Woodward once helped break the story that ultimately led to the first unelected president in United States history. On the day after former President Gerald R. Ford's death, Woodward returns to the front page with an exclusive report that the former president disagreed with President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq.

Ford told Woodward, in an "embargoed interview" taped nearly two-and-a-half years ago, that he believed the war was a "big mistake," and felt that Bush should have pursued more diplomatic roads before resorting to war. The former Republican Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Vice President, and 38th President following Nixon's resignation doesn't think that the invasion was "in our national interest."

"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," Ford told Woodward, but added that he wasn't certain "you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest."

"And I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security," Ford added.

Excerpts from Woodward's latest "scoop":


Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford's own administration.

In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney -- Ford's White House chief of staff -- and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford's chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief.

"Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction," Ford said. "And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do."



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