5 thoughts on “Ex president of the USA, Gerald Ford, dies

  1. *What Happened to Vietnam Era War Resisters?*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:06 pm (PST)
    The death of Gerald Ford has led to some discussions about pardons and,
    specifically, the pardons of Vietnam era draft dodgers, deserters and
    military resisters.

    Here’s a bit on that …

    ———————————————————-

    *What Happened to Vietnam Era War Resisters?*

    by Harold Jordan
    American Friends Service Committee

    [an excerpt]

    {* The term “bad discharges” refers to several categories of discharge
    from the military (such as “Undesirable,” “Other Than Honorable,” etc.)
    that may result in post-service job discrimination, the loss of
    veteran’s benefits, or both]

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Relief for War Resisters
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Two programs providing limited legal relief for draft and military
    resisters were implemented in the 1970s. Military resisters and draft
    evaders were treated differently from each other in both Ford and Carter
    programs.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Ford Clemency Program (1974)
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    In 1974, President Ford established a program of partial relief for war
    resisters. This clemency program was considered a complement to
    President Ford’s pardon of President Nixon, who had resigned from office
    in lieu of likely removal by Congress. The program covered the following
    categories of persons: convicted draft violators, convicted military
    deserters and AWOL’s, draft violators who had never been tried, and
    veterans with less than honorable discharges for absence offenses.

    The conditions under which a person could receive relief were onerous
    and discriminatory. Persons receiving clemency were required to do up to
    24 months of alternative service and were required sign broad oath of
    allegiance to the United States.

    In addition to these measures, military deserters automatically received
    bad discharges (“Undesirable”), although they could later apply to get
    them changed to “Clemency Discharges” (considered “Other Than
    Honorable”) after performing 24 months of service. Under the plan, GI
    participants would automatically lose all veterans benefits, unlike many
    other veterans with less than honorable discharges.

    The program was widely regarded as a failure, even by people who
    administered it. Only 27,000 of the 350,000 eligible persons applied;
    21,800 were granted clemency, mostly men living in the U.S., not exiles.
    Those granted clemency were almost equally divided between “draft
    offenders” and “military offenders.” Most exile groups based in Canada,
    Sweden, Britain and France endorsed a boycott of the Ford program
    because of its punitive nature. The “oath of allegiance” requirement was
    considered especially offensive given the generous treatment of Nixon.
    Nixon received a pardon, pension, and was not required to swear
    allegiance to the U.S. despite his role in undermining democracy.
    Program administrators estimated that about 566,000 military “offenders”
    were still in need of relief after the Ford program ended, an ultimate
    indicator of the program’s failure.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Carter Program (1977)
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    In 1977, President Carter established two programs to assist war
    resisters. In January of 1977 he declared an unconditional amnesty for
    draft resisters, both accused and those who could face possible
    prosecution. Later that year, he set up the two stage “pardon” process
    for military absentees.

    Once again, draft evaders and military absentees were treated
    differently.

    Draft evaders were granted unconditional amnesty automatically if there
    were no other legal charges pending. They would not have a criminal
    record. Young men who were considered draft evaders did not have to
    apply (in any formal sense) to get amnesty. It was a blanket amnesty
    granted to all draft evaders whether they had been engaged in a legal
    process or not. This is why no figure exists for the real number of
    draft evaders who benefited from the Carter program. This includes
    people who were never prosecuted, people who were investigated and not
    prosecuted, people who were indicted, people for whom charges had been
    brought, etc. The only restriction is that the person not have other
    (non-draft evasion) charges pending against them. So a draft evader who
    had criminal charges pending for participating in a protest would not
    have those protest-related charges dropped, only the draft evasion
    charges.

    Similarly, military deserters and AWOL’s could apply for a limited
    pardon if there were no other charges pending. Under the Carter program
    deserters would automatically receive a less than honorable discharge
    (“Undesirable”), but could apply for an upgrade later. The upgrade would
    not be automatic and few veterans received them. They were barred from
    receiving veterans benefits, unlike many other vets with less than
    honorable discharges. Military resisters had to apply for relief within
    a certain time frame, about 5-6 months, during 1977. Only 4,200 of them
    were considered eligible for the program; less than 25% of them were
    processed and received the less-than-honorable discharge. The program
    allowed for a case-by-case review of potentially another 430,000 cases
    of veterans with bad discharges; yet only 16,277 benefited from this
    procedure.

    The Carter program was more successful than the Ford program despite its
    serious limitations. Many of the resisters (especially military
    absentees) had trouble surviving in other countries. Exile groups urged
    people to take advantage of the Carter program and work from within the
    US for a full amnesty.

    One factor leading resisters to remain in exile was the poor advertising
    of the details of the Carter relief program (1977) in the aftermath of
    what was regarded as a highly discriminatory and defective Ford Clemency
    program (1974). Congress refused to fund the Carter program fully. Both
    relief programs had conditions many exiles found hard to accept.
    Finally, the period of time under which one could apply for relief was
    sharply limited.

    Unfortunately, universal and unconditional amnesty was never granted to
    military resisters. It is estimated that only 28,420 Vietnam Era
    military resisters received any form of legal relief — many of them
    received bad discharges — while another 550,000 never received any form
    of relief. To place this figure in perspective, the number of ex-GI’s
    who never received legal relief roughly equals the number of soldiers
    who participated in the Gulf War of 1990 and 1991. This is another way
    in which our country has yet to fully come to terms with the legacy of
    the war in Southeast Asia. >>

    http://www.afsc.org/youthmil/conscientious-objection/Vietnam-war-resisters.htm

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  2. *Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg

    Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:33 am (PST)

    It’s nice to know that Gerald Ford disagreed with Bush about invading
    Iraq and lying about the reasons for doing it, but it would have served
    America a heck of a lot better if Ford had spoken out when it counted
    and might have helped.

    Jimmy Carter had the guts to speak out …. why not Ford?

    And why not any other major Republicans?

    Why the Silence For Party Loyalty?

    Why did they all put Party ahead of country?

    Why did every g__d___ Republicans think being loyal to a Republican
    president was more important than saving our country and the world from
    this monstrosity Bush has created in the Middle East?

    Why?

    Because Republicans don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.

    It is the Party of greed and selfishness.

    ———————————————————-

    *Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq*

    by Bob Woodward
    The Washington Post
    December 28, 2006; A01 — Page One

    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.”

    In a conversation that veered between the current realities of a war in
    the Middle East and the old complexities of the war in Vietnam whose
    bitter end he presided over as president, Ford took issue with the
    notion of the United States entering a conflict in service of the idea
    of spreading democracy.

    “Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people,” Ford
    said, referring to Bush’s assertion that the United States has a “duty
    to free people.” But the former president said he was skeptical “whether
    you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what’s in our
    national interest.” He added: “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.”

    The Ford interview — and a subsequent lengthy conversation in 2005 —
    took place for a future book project, though he said his comments could
    be published at any time after his death. In the sessions, Ford fondly
    recalled his close working relationship with key Bush advisers Cheney
    and Rumsfeld while expressing concern about the policies they pursued in
    more recent years.

    “He was an excellent chief of staff. First class,” Ford said. “But I
    think Cheney has become much more pugnacious” as vice president. He said
    he agreed with former secretary of state Colin L. Powell’s assertion
    that Cheney developed a “fever” about the threat of terrorism and Iraq.
    “I think that’s probably true.”

    Describing his own preferred policy toward Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Ford
    said he would not have gone to war, based on the publicly available
    information at the time, and would have worked harder to find an
    alternative. “I don’t think, if I had been president, on the basis of
    the facts as I saw them publicly,” he said, “I don’t think I would have
    ordered the Iraq war. I would have maximized our effort through
    sanctions, through restrictions, whatever, to find another answer.”

    Ford had faced his own military crisis — not a war he started like
    Bush, but one he had to figure out how to end. In many ways those
    decisions framed his short presidency — in the difficult calculations
    about how to pull out of Vietnam and the challenging players who shaped
    policy on the war. Most challenging of all, as Ford recalled, was Henry
    A. Kissinger, who was both secretary of state and national security
    adviser and had what Ford said was “the thinnest skin of any public
    figure I ever knew.”

    “I think he was a super secretary of state,” Ford said, “but Henry in
    his mind never made a mistake, so whatever policies there were that he
    implemented, in retrospect he would defend.”

    In 1975, Ford decided to relieve Kissinger of his national security
    title. “Why Nixon gave Henry both secretary of state and head of the
    NSC, I never understood,” Ford said. “Except he was a great supporter of
    Kissinger. Period.” But Ford viewed Kissinger’s dual roles as a conflict
    of interest that weakened the administration’s ability to fully air
    policy debates. “They were supposed to check on one another.”

    That same year, Ford also decided to fire Defense Secretary James R.
    Schlesinger and replace him with Rumsfeld, who was then Ford’s White
    House chief of staff. Ford recalled that he then used that decision to
    go to Kissinger and say, “I’m making a change at the secretary of
    defense, and I expect you to be a team player and work with me on this”
    by giving up the post of security adviser.

    Kissinger was not happy. “Mr. President, the press will misunderstand
    this,” Ford recalled Kissinger telling him. “They’ll write that I’m
    being demoted by taking away half of my job.” But Ford made the changes,
    elevating the deputy national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, to take
    Kissinger’s White House post.

    Throughout this maneuvering, Ford said, he kept his White House chief of
    staff in the dark. “I didn’t consult with Rumsfeld. And knowing Don, he
    probably resented the fact that I didn’t get his advice, which I
    didn’t,” Ford said. “I made the decision on my own.”

    Kissinger remained a challenge for Ford. He regularly threatened to
    resign, the former president recalled. “Over the weekend, any one of 50
    weekends, the press would be all over him, giving him unshirted hell.
    Monday morning he would come in and say, ‘I’m offering my resignation.’
    Just between Henry and me. And I would literally hold his hand. ‘Now,
    Henry, you’ve got the nation’s future in your hands and you can’t leave
    us now.’ Henry publicly was a gruff, hard-nosed, German-born diplomat,
    but he had the thinnest skin of any public figure I ever knew.”

    Ford added, “Any criticism in the press drove him crazy.” Kissinger
    would come in and say: “I’ve got to resign. I can’t stand this kind of
    unfair criticism.” Such threats were routine, Ford said. “I often
    thought, maybe I should say: ‘Okay, Henry. Goodbye,’ ” Ford said,
    laughing. “But I never got around to that.”

    At one point, Ford recalled Kissinger, his chief Vietnam policymaker, as
    “coy.” Then he added, Kissinger is a “wonderful person. Dear friend.
    First-class secretary of state. But Henry always protected his own
    flanks.”

    Ford was also critical of his own actions during the interviews. He
    recalled, for example, his unsuccessful 1976 campaign to remain in
    office, when he was under enormous pressure to dump Vice President
    Nelson A. Rockefeller from the Republican ticket. Some polls at the time
    showed that up to 25 percent of Republicans, especially those from the
    South, would not vote for Ford if Rockefeller, a New Yorker from the
    liberal wing of the Republican Party, was on the ticket.

    When Rockefeller offered to be dropped from the ticket, Ford took him up
    on it. But he later regretted it. The decision to dump the loyal
    Rockefeller, he said, was “an act of cowardice on my part.”

    In the end, though, it was Vietnam and the legacy of the retreat he
    presided over that troubled Ford. After Saigon fell in 1975 and the
    United States evacuated from Vietnam, Ford was often labeled the only
    American president to lose a war. The label always rankled.

    “Well,” he said, “I was mad as hell, to be honest with you, but I never
    publicly admitted it.”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Christine Parthemore contributed to this report.

    Read this at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/27/AR2006122701558.html

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  3. Re: Ford
    Posted by: “robinsegg” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:58 am (PST)
    I, too, am sick to death of this Republican and whore media worship
    of Gerald Ford for just not being a crook. He was a Republican Party
    hack while in Congress; as president, told New York City to drop dead
    when it needed federal help; pardoned Nixon but only offered
    conditional amnesty to those who had evaded the draft and only if
    they jumped through numerous and onerous hoops; and then played golf
    for the rest of his life as the recipient of a presidential level
    pension.

    = = = = = = = = = = =
    — In leftwing@yahoogroups.com, Jack wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > You know, of all the drivel I’ve been forced to endure being
    blasted at me about the GOP-operative Ford, not one newscast has seen
    fit to mention that he was a member of the Warren Commission.
    >
    > I believe he was the last surviving member of that whitewash crew.
    >
    > Arlen Specter, inventor of the “Magic Bullet” theory, was only a
    junior counsel working for the commission.
    >
    > It’s tough being old enough to remember the Free Press
    >
    > I sure miss it.
    >
    >
    > Jack
    >

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    2.
    more on Ford
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:32 am (PST)
    We are told not to speak ill of the dead, but I would remind everyone
    who will listen that as our American military men and women were dying
    in Iraq for Bush’s vanity war, Bush did a comedy skit for the White
    House press corps in which he pretended to look all over the Oval Office
    for the Weapons of Mass Destruction that could not be found in Iraq —
    which weapons were the announced reason for all the death and dying in
    Iraq.

    So, please do not tell me not to speak ill of the dead, especially when
    we now know this dead Republican MIGHT have used his clout to intervene
    and stop Bush from invading Iraq. True, Bush would probably not have
    listened to Gerald Ford, but at least Ford could have made the effort
    … it might have emboldened other Republicans to break their silence
    and head Bush off.

    *Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq* at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/27/AR2006122701558.html

    ———————————————————-

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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    3.
    Ford’s legacy: rampant Republican corruption…
    Posted by: “Compañero” companyero@mindspring.com chocoano05
    Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:07 pm (PST)

    http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion?pid=151567

    Gerald Ford is gone, but he lives on in two of his key appointees: Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Their impact on America today is greater than Ford’s, who died Tuesday at 93.

    Ford appointed Rumsfeld his chief of staff when he took office after Nixon’s resignation in 1974. The next year, when he made the 42-year-old Rumsfeld the youngest secretary of defense in the nation’s history, he named 34-year-old Dick Cheney his chief of staff, also the youngest ever.

    Those two Ford appointees worked together ever since.

    The Bush White House assertion of unchecked presidential power stems from the lessons they drew from their experience of working for the weakest president in recent American history. “For Dick and Don,” Harold Meyerson wrote in The American Prospect last July, “the frustrations of the Ford years have been compensated for by the abuses of the Bush years.”

    Ford also named a new head of the CIA — a former Texas congressman named George H. W. Bush. Thus you could also credit also Ford with launching the Bush dynasty.

    It was during Ford’s presidency that the last Americans left Vietnam — that photo of them struggling to get into that chopper on the roof of the Saigon embassy remains our most powerful image of American defeat, and it shadows our current debate about how to get out of Iraq.

    Ford did leave one positive legacy, as Meyerson reminds us: his supreme court appointee, John Paul Stevens. Few remember it today, but when the Court majority appointed Bush president in December, 2000, Stevens wrote a blistering dissent, damning the other Republican appointees for their blatant partisanship. And this year Stevens wrote the majority opinion in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld declaring that the military tribunals at Guantanamo violated the Geneva Convention.

    But we wouldn’t need Stevens if we didn’t have Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush — that’s the legacy of Gerald Ford.

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  4. Pingback: US General Haig dies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: USA: Colin Powell regrets lies on Iraq WMD in UN | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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