North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones is best known for calling for the renaming of “French fries” as “freedom fries.” That was during the buildup to the Iraq War when the French were standing in the way of the U.S. invasion. Jones was pro-war because he believed the Bush administration intelligence on weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein.
As no evidence of WMDs appeared, Jones felt betrayed. One of his latest bills is to allow the prosecution of presidents who intentionally manipulate intelligence reports to make a case for war. The bill has died in committee through the action of fellow Rep. Lamar Smith. Jones isn’t upset with Smith though. His focus remains on presidential administration.
“I have no malice towards Lamar, I have respect for him. But that again is the problem. Congress will not hold anyone to blame. Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney.”
Johnson manipulated the Gulf of Tonkin incident to engage the U.S. into the disastruous Vietnam War. Comparing Johnson and Cheney is not an unreasonable association. Both are culpable at not being honest with the American people.
Yet there is a way to punish a president and vice-president who lie to the American people. That is impeachment. It’s something that must be used with some judiciousness because all presidents lie. They must for national security, their political agenda and politics. Causing wars is an example when that lying is impeachable. Even if Jones had his law, the political will may not be there to impose it, just as it is not there for impeachment in most cases. Of course, if a president lies about an affair with an intern that is impeachable, while causing thousands of American deaths is ignored.
Jones’ comments can be found around the 35:40 mark.