Tape 1 Side 1
This is the WGBH film project Vietnam project- the head of Sound Roll #471 corresponding to the head of Camera Roll #2470. This is the 29th of April, 1982
; we're in Palm Springs
interviewing President Gerald Ford. Digital slate will be the slating system.
Digital slate 101 will be the first slate up. One bloop is a head slate and two is a tail slate.
If Watergate had not occurred, I still believe that there would have been Congressional action to preclude the kind of military support which was necessary to help South Vietnam. Watergate may have had an impact, but there was still this tremendous anti-Vietnam war reaction that was reflected in the Congress, so there would have been a cut off of the bombing; there would have been a stopping of most of the aid to Vietnam even if Watergate had not occurred.
I was very fortunate to be in the Congress when the War Powers Resolution was approved in the House and Senate and when it was approved over the veto of President Nixon. I vigorously opposed the War Powers Resolution because I thought it was impractical on the one hand and unconstitutional on the other.
I found it to be impractical when I was President because, at the time of the actions when we were trying to evacuate Americans and Vietnamese from Vietnam, we tried to consult with the Congress, and we found in this very critical time we couldn't find members of Congress - they were spread out all over the world; some were overseas in Europe
, some were overseas in the Pacific
, some were spread out all over the United States.
You can't consult with Congressional leaders in a responsible, orderly way if they're not around. And that was tragically the case in this one instance that I personally experienced.
Furthermore, under our republic we have three coordinate, co-equal branches of government. The Constitution says the President shall be Commander in Chief. He has to run the military operation.
You can't have 535 members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, trying to run a military operation involving the national security of the United States. And, in addition, the President, by implication if not directly, is put in charge of foreign policy in the United States.
You can't have all the members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, trying to decide what a President or a country ought to do on a crucial foreign policy issue. It just doesn't work.
I think the War Powers Resolution is a clear-cut illustration of the Congress encroaching, overreaching, beyond the constitutional limits set by our forefathers.