Pity Gerald Ford insisted that his July 2004 interview with Bob Woodward published in today’s Washington Post remain “embargoed” until after his death. It might have made a difference in the 2004 election. In the interview, Ford criticized the war, saying “…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.”
On his former chief of staff Dick Cheney and his former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, Ford had some harsh words. “Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction…And now, I’ve never publicly said that they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do.”
Gerald Ford said these things in July 2004, just months before the 2004 presidential election. Anti-war sentiment was still being treated like treason by the far right. Like a good party man, I’d imagine that Ford didn’t want to cost the Republicans the election with his criticism. Still, I wish that this interview had been published then, when it might have done some good.