Here is history that not many people who didn’t live through it remember or know: President Gerald Ford was the victim in two assassination attempts. Who would want to kill Ford? He was just a harmless klutz. Anyway, his testimony in one of the cases (that of would be assassin Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme) was released yesterday.
From the Sacramento Bee: “The 20 minutes of testimony, which Ford gave in room 345 of the Old Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House on Nov. 1, 1975, was conducted at the request of Sacramento defense attorney John Virga and played for jurors during Fromme’s trial. The tape, which includes several minutes of audio discussion among lawyers and the judge before and after Ford’s testimony, was later sealed and has been largely forgotten and removed from public view in the years since.”
Here’s the video:
I think one of President Ford’s legacies is providing these images of a President submitting himself to the rule of law or to one of the co-equal branches of government after the scandal that was Watergate. For example, he traveled to Capitol Hill and testified, under oath, pursuant to a Congressional Subpoena, before a Congressional Committee investigating as to whether there was an quid pro quo involving Nixon’s resignation and Ford’s pardon of Nixon. And here now is Ford under oath testifying as a witness in a criminal matter. This testimony set a precedent for later testimony from President Reagan in one of the Iran Contra trials and of course, President Clinton.
The AFL-CIO is targeting six Republican governors for defeat: “The six governors are primarily from the Midwest: John Kasich in Ohio, Rick Scott in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan, and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, plus Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania and Paul LePage in Maine. Mr. Hauser [AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Hauser] says the AFL-CIO will not neglect important state and congressional races in the rest of the country, but its “focus” will be those six battlegrounds where the majority of its 12 million members are located.”
History says don’t do it. Most Americans say don’t do it. But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s homicidal regime with a military strike — and hope that history and the people are wrong.
If it is true that the regime killed hundreds of civilians with nerve gas in a Damascus suburb last week — and Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Monday that the use of chemical weapons is “undeniable” — then Obama has no choice. Such use cannot be tolerated, and any government or group that employs chemical weapons must be made to suffer real consequences. Obama should uphold this principle by destroying some of Assad’s military assets with cruise missiles.
I say this despite my belief that Obama has been right to keep the United States out of the Syrian civil war. It is not easy to watch such suffering and destruction — more than 100,000 people killed, millions displaced, cities pounded into rubble — and do nothing. Now I believe we are obliged to hit Assad. But then what?
Obama should have never drawn a red line. By doing so, he boxed himself in to using military force if the line was crossed.