Thursday, December 28, 2006

Parting Shot: Gerald Ford Was Against the War

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.

8 comments:

dive said...

As you say, baaaad timing, but at least the thought was there.

Not much is known about old Gerald over here in Blighty.
Only that he couldn't walk and chew gum without falling over; that he presided over the US getting their butts kicked out of Vietnam without once admitting that they had "lost"; and that he pardoned the unpardonable …

A sad and strange legacy.

Sassy Sundry said...

Yes, he's a strange duck (and a bit of a klutz). He was one of the last moderates in the Republican party, and so even the American left has been somewhat kind to him.

Old Knudsen said...

He was also a yellow stone ranger and shot boo boo for looting pickanik baskets. I came over here and thankgod you didn't post about Bonnie Prince Charlie or the underground world of fisting.

Robyn said...

He was a bit of a clutz a few times on camera and so became great material for Chevy Chase. But evidently he was quite an athlete. Because he was so soft spoken and not a camera hog we don't know as much about him as we probably should.

My government prof in college liked to describe Ford as an absolute idiot--she was in congress when Agnew needed replacing--she said the party chose Ford because they thought he was harmless. I have always wondered how accurate her description was.

Before Girl said...

Call me a pessimist, but I don't think it would have made any difference if these words had been public on 2004. Like you said, saying you were against the war was equivalent to treason. The public would have just said he was a doddering old man and moved on to whatever the hell Britney Spears was doing at the time. People already had their minds set about who they were going to vote for from as far back as 2003. Not enough of the right people voted, and too many nutjobs from the South got on the religion bandwagon to vote for this pasty old puppet.

james said...

Like before girl, i don't think the 2004 election would have been changed as I currently believe it was stolen. Well . . . maybe it would have been more difficult to get away with, but i think regardless of the sway of public opinion, it still would have been stolen.

But at any rate, preach it sister!

Sassy Sundry said...

Oh, I'm not saying that it would have in and of itself changed the outcome. What I am saying is that if more people had spoken out about it when they had the chance, things might have been different. After all, it wasn't that many votes in Ohio (and James may be right about the stolen part) that changed the outcome.

RICH said...

A day late and a dollar short with this interview. I don't remember Ford much as in 1974 I was busy trying to make sense of the forced busing situation that effected me and the the entire city of boston at that time.