Ladies and gentlemen: I have come to a decision which I felt I should tell you and all of my fellow American citizens, as soon as I was certain in my own mind and in my own conscience that it is the right thing to do.
I have learned already in this office that the difficult decisions always come to this desk. I must admit that many of them do not look at all the same as the hypothetical questions that I have answered freely and perhaps too fast on previous occasions.
My customary policy is to try and get all the facts and to consider the opinions of my countrymen and to take counsel with my most valued friends. But these seldom agree, and in the end, the decision is mine.
To procrastinate, to agonize, and to wait for a more favorable turn of events that may never come or more compelling external pressures that may as well be wrong as right, is itself a decision of sorts and a weak and potentially dangerous course for a President to follow.
I have promised to uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and to do the very best that I can for America.
I have asked your help and your prayers, not only when I became President but many times since. The Constitution is the supreme law of our land and it governs our actions as citizens.
Only the laws of God, which govern our consciences, are superior to it.
As we are a nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God. And I have sought such guidance and searched my own conscience with special diligence to determine the right thing for me to do with respect to my predecessor in this place, Richard Nixon, and his loyal wife and family.
Theirs is an American tragedy in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must.
There are no historic or legal precedents to which I can turn in this matter, none that precisely fit the circumstances of a private citizen who has resigned the Presidency of the United States. But it is common knowledge that serious allegations and accusations hang like a sword over our former President’s head, threatening his health as he tries to reshape his life, a great part of which was spent in the service of this country and by the mandate of its people.
After years of bitter controversy and divisive national debate, I have been advised, and I am compelled to conclude that many months and perhaps more years will have to pass before Richard Nixon could obtain a fair trial by jury in any jurisdiction of the United States under governing decisions of the Supreme Court.
I deeply believe in equal justice for all Americans, whatever their station or former station. The law, whether human or divine, is no respecter of persons; but the law is a respecter of reality.
The facts, as I see them, are that a former President of the United States, instead of enjoying equal treatment with any other citizen accused of violating the law, would be cruelly and excessively penalized either in preserving the presumption of his innocence or in obtaining a speedy determination of his guilt in order to repay a legal debt to society.
During this long period of delay and potential litigation, ugly passions would again be aroused. And our people would again be polarized in their opinions. And the credibility of our free institutions of government would again be challenged at home and abroad.
In the end, the courts might well hold that Richard Nixon had been denied due process, and the verdict of history would even be more inconclusive with respect to those charges arising out of the period of his Presidency, of which I am presently aware.
But it is not the ultimate fate of Richard Nixon that most concerns me, though surely it deeply troubles every decent and every compassionate person. My concern is the immediate future of this great country.
In this, I dare not depend upon my personal sympathy as a longtime friend of the former President, nor my professional judgment as a lawyer, and I do not.
As President, my primary concern must always be the greatest good of all the people of the United States whose servant I am. As a man, my first consideration is to be true to my own convictions and my own conscience.
My conscience tells me clearly and certainly that I cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book. My conscience tells me it is my duty, not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility but to use every means that I have to insure it. I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference. I do believe, with all my heart and mind and spirit, that I, not as President but as a humble servant of God, will receive justice without mercy if I fail to show mercy.
Finally, I feel that Richard Nixon and his loved ones have suffered enough and will continue to suffer, no matter what I do, no matter what we, as a great and good nation, can do together to make his goal of peace come true.
Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from July (January) 20, 1969, through August 9, 1974.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-ninth.
Gerald R. Ford – September 8, 1974
“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” – Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004
“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.” – John Adams, US diplomat & politician (1735 – 1826)
“One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.” – President George W. Bush
“His electricity was unbelievable. He made a 7-year-old like me hope to get his Topps card, even though I was an avid Giants fan.” – President George W. Bush, on Jackie Robinson.
“I take full responsibility for the federal government’s response, and a year ago I made a pledge that we will learn the lessons of Katrina and that we will do what it takes to help you recover.” – President Bush, in New Orleans. New York Times, August 30, 2006
“I don’t think anybody thinks that the unelected mullahs who run that regime are a good thing for the Iranian people or for the region. I think our European allies agree that the Iranian regime’s human rights behavior and its behavior toward its own population is something to be loathed.” – CONDOLEEZZA RICE, secretary of state.
“There are two ways of being happy: We may either diminish our wants or augment our means – either will do – the result in the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest. If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means. If you are active and prosperous or young and in good health, it may be easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society.” – Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)
“This is a victory for consumers and a big loss for criminals who want to steal your Social Security number and your identity.” – Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., in a statement after reaching an agreement with legal-research service Westlaw about limiting access to Social Security numbers on its site
“People who are willing to give up freedom for the sake of short term security, deserve neither freedom nor security.” – Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)
“Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower
“One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.” – President George W. Bush
“Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable.” – Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt
“I’m ready to tear out what little bit of hair I have left.” – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), during a hearing in Washington, D.C., last week on the FBI’s plan to scrap a $170 million computer system it’s been building for three years.
“I can play hardball as well as anybody. That’s what I did, cut people’s hearts out. On the other hand, I do it to cure them, to heal them, to make them better.” – BILL FRIST, the Senate majority leader and a transplant surgeon.
“I will listen to anyone who has a good idea to offer.” – President George W. Bush, on Social Security.
“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” – Benjamin Franklin
“The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people. I understand that. We value life. And we weep and mourn when soldiers lose their life. But it is the long-term objective that is vital, and that is to spread freedom.” – President George W. Bush
“I hesitate to say anything nice about him, for fear that it would be used against him. And that’s a terrible commentary on the state of politics and the political climate today.” – Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, on Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut.
“We were banging our heads against the wall six or seven hours a day, working out the words of these resolutions among four or five capitals. We’d go home at 10 or 11 at night and say, ‘Tomorrow will be a better day.’ But the next day was Groundhog Day all over again.” – R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, on talks on Lebanon. New York Times, August 14, 2006
“I regret he made that decision but it’s pretty firm: I don’t think there’s any way to talk him out of it.” – Christopher Dodd, on Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, a fellow Connecticut Democrat and friend, who is running as an independent after his loss in the primary. New York Times, August 10, 2006
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” – Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” – George Washington
“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” – George Washington
“I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)
“Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. — Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)
If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe. – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)
I don’t know who my grandfather was; I’m much more concerned to know what his grandson will be. – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)
“When you appeal to force, there’s one thing you must never do – lose.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Today marks the seventh anniversary of the day our world was broken. It livesj forever in our hearts and our history.” – New York Mayor Michaejl Bloomoberg, speaking about the Sept. 11 attacks
“The past is dead; let it bury its dead, its hopes and aspirations… Let me beseech you to lay aside all rancor, all bitter sectional feeling, and to take your places in the ranks of those who will bring about a consummation devoutly to be wished – a reunited country.” – Jefferson Davis, President of the Confedrate States of America (June 3, 1808 – December 6, 1889)
“I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” -John Adams, The 2nd President of the United States of America (Oct. 30, 1735 – Jul. 4 1826)
“I still believe that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein [from Iraq] is going to turn out to be a great strategic achievement.”
My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor — who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive… that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
“You are disgraced professional losers. And by the way, give us our money back.” – Representative Earl Pomeroy, Democrat of North Dakota, on the A.I.G. executives who were paid bonuses after a federal bailout.
“Washington is all in a tizzy over who’s at fault. Some say it’s the Democrats’ fault, the Republicans’ fault. Listen, I’ll take responsibility, I’m the president.” – President Barack Obama, over executive bonuses at the American International Group.
“How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” – President Barack Obama, reacting to the payment of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives of American International Group.
“The United States has been enriched by Muslim-Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country. I know because I am one of them.” – President Barack Obama, in a speech in Ankara, Turkey.
“In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up.” – President Barack Obama
“Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.” – Gen. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State
“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.” – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a visit to Mexico.
“It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.” – President Barack Obama, defending his decision to wait a few days before expressing anger over bonuses paid to executives of the insurance giant A.I.G.
“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” – Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America
“I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists.” – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
“Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government agencies to do good.”
— Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) American politician and academic
“While this loss is raw and extraordinarily painful, we also know this: Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history.” – President Barack Obama on Iranian demonstrators, including a 26 -year-old woman who was shot on a Tehran street.
“It is unprecedented, but at least it’s transparent.” – Representative Joe Barton, Republican of Texas, on the deal-cutting that led to House passage of climate-change legislation.
“Frankly, I don’t mind not being president. I just mind that someone else is” – at Washington Gridiron Club dinner, March 1986.
“Well, here I don’t go again” – on not running for president in 1988.
“Ulster is becoming Britain’s Vietnam” – on The Troubles in Northern Ireland, October 1971
“My brother need not be idealised or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it” – eulogy for brother Robert Kennedy, June 1968.
“I regard as indefensible the fact that I did not report the accident to the police immediately” – during a televised statement after he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident in regards to the Chappaquiddick incident, July 1969
“What we have in the United States is not so much a health-care system as a disease-care system” – on health care reform for which he campaigned throughout his life, 1994
“With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion. With Barack Obama we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay” – Senator Edward Kennedy, endorsing Barack Obama for president, January 2008.
It’s now clear that from the very moment President Bush took office, Iraq was his highest priority as unfinished business from the first Bush Administration. His agenda was clear: find a rationale to get rid of Saddam.
– Senator Edward Kennedy
There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.
– Senator Edward Kennedy
Thus, the controversy about the Moral Majority arises not only from its views, but from its name – which, in the minds of many, seems to imply that only one set of public policies is moral and only one majority can possibly be right.
– Senator Edward Kennedy
We want to support our troops because they didn’t make the decision to go there… but I don’t think it should be open-ended. We ought to have a benchmark where the administration has to come back and give us a report.
– Senator Edward Kennedy
“We have lost the respect of other nations in the world. Where do we go to get our respect back? How do we re-establish the working relationships we need with other countries to win the war on terrorism and advance the ideals we share? How can we possibly expect President Bush to do that? He’s the problem, not the solution. Iraq is George Bush’s Vietnam, and this country needs a new President.”
– Senator Edward M. Kennedy
“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens of whom the judiciary is — and is often the only — protector of the individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy.”
– Edward Kennedy
“The Constitution does not just protect those whose views we share; it also protects those with whose views we disagree.”
– Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)
“Integrity is the lifeblood of democracy. Deceit is a poison in its veins.”
– Senator Edward M. Kennedy
“The contents of the Downing Street Minutes confirm that the Bush Administration was determined to go to war in Iraq, regardless of whether there was any credible justification for doing so. The Administration distorted and misrepresented the intelligence in its attempt to link Saddam Hussein with the terrorists of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, and with weapons of mass destruction that Iraq did not have.
“In addition, the Downing Street Minutes also confirm what has long been obvious – that the timing of the war was linked to the 2002 Congressional elections, and that the Administration’s planning for post-war Iraq was incompetent in all its aspects. The current continuing crisis is a direct result of that incompetence.
Many of you have worked hard for the American people, the media and those in government to speak out about the Downing Street Minutes and the Iraq war. You can join me in speaking out as well. “The policy of “shoot first, ask questions later” took us into an unjustified war, and without a clear concept of what “winning the war” actually means.
“President Bush constantly talks about the “progress” that is being made in Iraq against the insurgency, but he’s looking for good news with a microscope. All anyone can see is “Mission Mis-accomplished” and the continuing losses of
American lives, the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis, the torture scandal, and the ominous decline in our nation’s moral authority in the world community.
We know the Administration had been planning to invade Iraq for many months before the invasion actually began. We know the Administration twisted the intelligence to make the facts fit their plan. We know that the Administration never really intended to give the U.N. weapons inspectors a reasonable chance to succeed. The Downing Street Minutes demonstrate that the Administration knew their case for war was paper thin, and that in order to go into war with the support of our allies, we had to demonstrate some willingness to go along with the UN inspection process.
But the Administration continued to misuse its intelligence, distort the facts and pay only lip-service to the UN’s role in disarming Iraq.”We never should have gone to war for ideological reasons driven by politics and based on manipulated intelligence. The Downing Street Minutes provide even more proof that this is exactly what happened on Iraq. The Administration’s dishonesty, lack of candor, and lack of planning have brought us to where we are today, with American soldiers dying, Iraqi civilians living in constant fear, and with no clearer picture of our strategy for victory in Iraq than when we started.”
– Senator Edward Kennedy
“The next time it will be a far worse reality than a reality TV show.” – Representative Peter T. King, who called for a Congressional investigation into how two uninvited guests appeared at the White House for a state dinner while aspiring to be featured on “The Real Housewives of Washington.
“People are starting to see it like drunk driving, and that’s the comparison we need to continue to make.” – Steve Farley, an Arizona state representative from Tucson who in 2007 first proposed banning texting while driving.
“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third President of the United States
“Never be haughty to the humble; never be humble to the haughty.”
– Jefferson Davis (1808-1889), President of the Confederate States of America