Skip to comments.Ford had problems with Bush Iraq policy
Posted on 12/28/2006 9:36:03 AM PST by ARealMothersSonForever
WASHINGTON - Former President Gerald R. Ford questioned the Bush administration's rationale for the U.S. invasion and war in Iraq in interviews he granted on condition they not be released until after his death.
In his embargoed July 2004 interview with The Washington Post, Ford said the Iraq war was not justified, the Post reported Wednesday night.
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, the Post's Bob Woodward wrote. The story initially was posted on the newspaper's Internet site.
"I don't think I would have gone to war," Ford told Woodward a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion.
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 secretary of defense.
"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."
In an interview given with the same ground rules to the New York Daily News last May, Ford said he thought Bush had erred by staking the invasion on claims Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
" Saddam Hussein was an evil person and there was justification to get rid of him," he observed to the Daily News. "But we shouldn't have put the basis on weapons of destruction. That was a bad mistake. Where does (Bush) get his advice?"
In the Daily News interview, Ford was more defensive about Cheney and Rumsfeld. Asked why Cheney had tanked in public opinion polls, he smiled. "Dick's a classy guy, but he's not an electrified orator," Ford said.
The former president did not like Bush's domestic surveillance program.
"It may be a necessary evil," Ford conceded. "I don't think it's a terrible transgression, but I would never do it. I was dumbfounded when I heard they were doing it."
Woodward wrote in the Post that his interview took place for a future book project, though the former president said his comments could be published at any time after his death.
In another interview released after his death, Ford told CBS News in 1984 that he initially was against using the phrase "long national nightmare" in his first speech as president following Richard Nixon's resignation, concerned that it was too harsh.
Ford said he reconsidered and sought his wife's advice. "After thinking about it and talking to Betty about it, we decided to leave it in and, boy, in retrospect, I'm awfully glad we did," he said.
In the Daily News interview, Ford, a few weeks from his 93rd birthday, showed frustration with the toll health problems had taken on him, saying he thought doctors were too strictly limiting what he could do.
At one point, he offered to share some butter pecan ice cream, his favorite dessert, with his guest, correspondent Thomas M. DeFrank.
Asked what his doctors would think about that, the former president said, "We have it anyhow."
Listen to the tape.
Words of wisdom from the guy who couldn't beat Carter.
Hmmm, butter pecan ice cream!
So, ignoring the messenger, what will the opinion mean in the next 2-4 years?
Woodward proves himself to be scum once again.
Ford was considered a dunce by the left. Now he will be their hero.
This could be quite a powerful gift to Pres Bush if used correctly.
He was a terrible President who continued Nixon's ridiculous and socialist domestic policies.
He was an abortionist's dream President.
He was the epitome of the Rockefeller wing of the GOP that almost consigned the party to oblivion.
He stood for the diametric opposite of everything Ronald Reagan stood for.
It does not surprise me in the least that he badmouthed our efforts in Iraq.
Please let the ceaseless hagiography end.
I wouldn't be surprised if Bob has a few posthumous interviews with Gerald coming up in his next book.
It wouldn't be the first time he spoke to dead people.
This is the point being made by the guest host on Rush's radio show today.
Use it or the Ds will. Call Kissinger if necessary.
I am ARealMedicfortheAF........bottom line..... WHO CARES!!
It's just the Bush-bashers trying to give the false impression that they aren't the vicious hate-mongers that they actually are.
I don't see how it's a "powerful gift" just because you have to "use it" or the D's will.
How to use it in a way that makes it a "powerful gift"?
It's another half-baked liberal republican yammering about how W is too much of a cowboy. How's that good? It might be spinnable in some way (although I don't see the way), but how can it be a "powerful gift"?
I'm not arguing with you, I'm just totally drawing a blank here.
Not Even Cold
He couldn't even wait for President Ford to be buried. Bob Woodward breathlessly informs us that President Ford was opposed to war in Iraq -- and, conveniently, didn't want that opinion to be released until he was dead.
Congratulations, Woodward -- you waited a full 36 hours before releasing the information.
Interesting that we are constantly informed by the MSM that our country is "divided" -- but then, on one of the few occasions when people of all politial stripes should be able to put their differences aside out of respect for the deceased, someone like Woodward lobs a figurative grenade into the crowd of mourners.
Ford was considered a dunce by the left. Now he will be their hero.Exactly. Ford was better than Carter. But that's like saying shinola is better than shit. The question is, how much shinola? In Ford's case, there wasn't a whole hell of a lot.
But he was largely useless on national security and foreign policy. The only reason he isn't remembered as one of the worst ever in those categories is because he was followed by the absolute worst possible President in those categories.
I would also submit that if war against Iraq was not justified--even without the WMDs--then there is no justification for war by American forces anywhere at any time.
Ford did little to advance what later became the Reagan Revolution. Both he and his wife fit the bill more as cdountry club Republicans, which was borne out by their final residence. God's Peace to Ford. But I am not going to get caught up in his views on this or that through Woodward.
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