These are 26 very senior centrists, many appointed by Republican administrations. And they are strong in their belief that Bush has damaged America’s national security in near-irreparable ways. How angry someone is at the Bush administration is determined not by how far left he is, but how well he understands Bush’s policies.
Is this bad news for Bush? I suppose we will only see after Wednesday.
Former officials to condemn Bush foreign policy
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Several former presidential diplomatic and military officials have signed a statement condemning the Bush administration’s foreign policy, saying that it has harmed national security, one of the document’s signers said Sunday.
Many of the signers were appointed by Republican administrations.
Phyllis Oakley, the deputy State Department spokeswoman during former President Ronald Reagan’s second term and an assistant secretary of state under former President Bill Clinton, said the statement was “prompted by a growing concern, deeply held, about the future of the country’s national security.”
The statement clearly calls for defeat of the Bush administration, she said, although it does not endorse any candidate.
“We are on the wrong track, and we need a fundamental change,” said Oakley.
20 former ambassadors among signers
The statement, which will be released Wednesday, was signed by 20 former U.S. ambassadors, including William Harrop, who was appointed ambassador to Israel by former President George Bush in 1991.
Military commanders who signed the document include retired Marine General Joseph P. Hoar, commander in chief of U.S. Central Command over-seeing the Middle East in 1991; and retired Admiral William Crowe Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1985-89.
The signers called themselves Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change.
Oakley said the group is representative of very senior, former government officials who “have spent their lives working to erect the stature and posture of the U.S. as a leader in the world … and we simply see that edifice crumbling.”
Oakley also said that releasing the statement was not an easy decision.
“We’re all career [public] servants who have never taken a political stand,” she said. “What we want to get on record is our profound concern about the future security of the U.S.”
The press doesn’t have a spin ready-made for this, so it’s trying to overlook it. The supposedly “liberal” NYTimes ran this story in a tiny AP piece on page A16.
Bush has been condemned by every past head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff except the current one. I don’t think that has ever happened before
Bush has also been condemned in the harshest language by his own former head of “Faith-based Initiatives,” former Treasury Secretary, former Counterterrorism Chief, a number of former Generals, former handpicked Mideast envoy, ten retired CIA officers including two station chiefs, an ambassador handpicked by Cheney to investigate the yellowcake fiasco, researchers at the War College and others whose names I’m too tired to type right now.
Some of the big, smoking gun memos, such as the one in which the White House asked how much torture it could get away with and the Justice Department asserted a royal prerogative in the Presidency, were leaked by the growing roster of internal enemies of the White House and the Pentagon.
Will it affect Bush? Cheney went ahead and lied about Saddam and Al Qaeda again this week, after both Powell and Bush admitted they have no evidence of any connection whatsoever. Obviously, the BA feels the Big Lie strategy will overcome any facts.
The problem is, this press release is the tip of an iceberg. The entire machinery of the professional government, from the Armed Services to the CIA, is nearly in full-scale rebellion against the White House. (It was the CIA that chose to raid the Chalabi stronghold that the Pentagon had paid for, against CIA warnings.) They’ve all had enough. And they are about to reveal all of the smoking guns and buried skeletons.