Thursday, December 28, 2006

The "Accidental" President

Gerald Ford and Alexander Haig took a walk in the Rosegarden of the White House in the summer of 1974. Haig told Ford that Nixon would be "willing to resign" if there was a full pardon for him on the other side. All this nonsense about "sparing the country" from the turmoil of an American President on trial for "high crimes and misdemeanors" and "ending the long national nightmare" is bullshit. This was yet another deal forged by the GOP to continue to decieve the American people and continue the Nixonian imperial power-grab for the executive branch.

After his 'installation' as president, Gerald Ford went on to not only pardon Nixon and keep the People from knowing the depth and breadth of crimes committed by the Administration, but he also covertly okayed the invasion of East Timor by the Suharto regime who then murdered up to a million Timorese. Ninety percent of the weapons and armaments used were provided by the US government. This information was supressed by the Ford administration and ignored by the mainstream media. This arming of the overtly authoritarian Suharto regime was also expressly against US law at the time. Weapons sold to others could not be used for aggressive purposes, which the hostile invasion of East Timor was and could be considered an "impeachable offense". It's also no accident that the warmongers of today's administration are the same smarmy bastards of Ford's day--Cheney and Rumsfeld.

If I have to listen to anothor white-wash of how "decent and full of integrity" Gerald Ford was, I'm gonna puke. He was just another tool in the long line of power-mad dictators-in-waiting and idiots who are undermining our Democracy. Jon Swift says this of Ford,"...what some see as Ford's decency may actually have been evidence of moral laxity."

How much of this did you know? I guessing not much because until 2002 the information was supressed under "national security" which has just become another way to say "cover your ass". I guess the people want to 'stay out of politics' because it is too painful to know the truth that our government is not a force for good but a tool for destruction and evil when in the hands of what is in most cases, the GOP. Nobody wants to know that the USA is not any different from the rest of the world and its history of tyrants. The truth hurts.


op99 said...

The moral of the story is, if you are ever inclined to give a Republican pol the benefit of the doubt, dig a little deeper. Here's a link for the East Timor part of the story.

op99 said...

Mark Twain said, “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Thanks Op for the East Timor link. I should have put that in the post.
Love the Mark Twain...

MarcLord said...

That's all true, but I for one am willing to fall down a flight of stairs to honor Ford's memory.

True story: back in the 80s I once attended a funeral of a Great American (and they kept reminding us of it, repeating that phrase ad infinitum), the patriarch of a prominent US family. It was in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and the list of eulogizers was impressive: among them were Billy Graham. Henry Kissinger. Gerald Ford. Richard Nixon.

As it happened, I was sitting in the fifth or sixth row of the center phalanx of seats. There were sections of seats to the right and left, and people didn't sit in the first few rows of them out of respect for the family and friends, who occupied the first few center rows.

One tall man came in, I think somewhat late, and sat alone on the outer right of the second or third row of the section of seats to my right. He kept his bald head down, and only when his name had been passed over without comment and he did not rise to speak as per the memorial schedule was his resemblance confirmed: he was Gerald Ford.

I'm not sure if he even stayed for the entire ceremony or not, but the proceedings and his position relative to mine gave me ample occasion to study Ford and his demeanor, which was eyes-on-the-floor downcast. It seemed like he didn't want to be there, and even, somehow, really didn't belong there.

Maybe he just couldn't bring himself to utter the platitudes I was being subjected to, the self-serving praises of the deceased's anti-communism, free market economics, Growth, and Greatness. Or maybe he just couldn't stomach going between (as my faulty memory recalls) Kissinger and Nixon. He detested the first man as a matter of record, and perhaps he detested the other despite inheriting his Presidency.

At the time, the sadness or at least discomfiture before he was passed over made me wonder, and it was no doubt strange. Perhaps because I was already well on my way to becoming a dissident in that world, or more accurately an outcast from it, that the observations made me empathize with him. At the least, it's possible to be a President, but an outsider.

op99 said...

Marclord, it is one thing to honor any human being's life, and I'm sure that on a personal level, to Ford's family and friends, he is as deserving of that respect as any of us. However, as a political matter, when the pundits and media start in with the beatification of dead politicians who made many vile compromises in their lives, somebody has to speak up about it.

FWIW, I still thought of Harry Truman as a mass murdering fuck at his funeral.

This quote is not really apropos of Ford, but perhaps we can use it at George W. Bush's funeral:

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."
---Oscar Wilde

MarcLord said...

hi op99,

not defending Ford one bit, and I'm glad bloggers are speaking up. He was a weak man chosen for unthinking party loyalty who accommodated great evils against this country and others. Even back then I knew most of what he had done, including supporting Suharto.

I just related the story to point out that Ford exhibited what looked like a lot cognitive dissonance, a trait not seen very often in elected officials. He may have just gotten hold of a bad burrito, or more likely was too drunk to speak (ref to "falling down a flight of stairs"). I'm just saying there
*might* be an untold story which involves a conscience.

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

If Gerald Ford had any conscience, he would have confessed. Told the truth about the evils he was at the very least, conplicit in. I think he probably was a "good family man" but he sold out all of any goodness to evil. I think Betty is a good woman and it's pretty obvious why she drank and took drugs. I hope she finds peace in this twilight of her life.

Anonymous said...

And great photo as usual.


Anne said...

The Accidental President, whom Nixon no doubt hand-picked because he knew Ford would not be able to betray their friendship by doing what was right for the democracy.

When we see the kinds of consequences that can flow from not acting, it behooves us all to make sure that the current occupant of the White House is held accountable for his crimes - not because I would like to put the country through more trauma, but because it is vital to the continued health of the democracy.

A component of oversight is accountability: there is no point to overseeing the actions of the executive branch if there is no accountability for those actions.

Time to get the 110th Congress to do the job the framers expected of them.

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

I'm all for "forgive and forget" but you must confess in order to recieve forgiveness. Keeping mum doesn't count. Also this latest revealation about how Ford strongly disagreed with the Iraq war and Bush's prosecution of it yet insists this should not be made public while he was alive is another nail in the coffin of his so-called "legacy". Legacy , indeed.