"When you were in the Army, you had a lot of contact with various White House staffs. Did you ever have any dealings with some of the people who now serve in the Bush administration?Alrighty then.
When I was a thirty-year-old Army major, I was sent to Washington, where they put me in the Ford White House. This was 1974. Nixon had just resigned. They said, 'How would you like to be staff secretary to this executive committee -- it'll have Henry Kissinger,' who was then secretary of state; James Schlesinger, the secretary of defense; the director of the CIA and the counsel to the president. Well, for someone who'd just come to Washington, you can imagine how I felt. Pretty impressive, right? What I discovered was that the White House was full of paranoia and suspicion -- a real Watergate mentality. I'd bring something up, and they'd say, 'Wes, if you ask a question like that, you can't work here.' The reason the White House was that way was not only because of Watergate but because of the two guys in charge: Donald Rumsfeld, who was Gerald Ford's chief of staff, and Dick Cheney, who was his assistant.
Today you've got the same people in there running things, trying to close down access to government. Rumsfeld and Cheney are patriotic men, and I know they are doing the best they can. It's just that I disagree with them. I don't believe that government is made better by secrecy and restraint. It's made better by transparency, by being open and honest. If you're right, you're right. If not, you take your licks."
Saturday, September 27, 2003
Is Wesley Clark the One? The Rolling Stone Interview.