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Chafee Says He May Have Been Wrong in Early Doubts about War (posted December 9, 2001)
Senator Lincoln Chafee indicated today that he may have been wrong in his early doubts about the war in Afghanistan. Appearing on the WJAR-TV show "10 News Conference", Chafee said, "It is easy to admit when I am wrong. I could have been wrong on this" referring to the war. "I was apprehensive about going into Afghanistan" based on the unsuccessful Russian experience there. "We had not had success in our recent skirmishes in the area," he argued. "I came up through the Vietnam period. I have seen this country dragged through a bloody morass."
However, Chafee expressed doubts about extending the war to Iraq. "We still have our hands full in Afghanistan," he said. There has been "no credible links" between Iraq and Bin Laden's terrorist networks, he noted.
On other issues, Chafee said that American John Walker, who fought along side the Taliban against the United States had been "brain washed." Citing the example of Patricia Hearst, the Senator was not sure Walker should be charged with treason. "How far do you take the hatred?", he asked. If Walker broke the law, he should pay a penalty, Chafee concluded.
Chafee expressed some support for President George W. Bush's proposal for military tribunals. "There is a role," Chafee said, if military intelligence sources need to be protested.
In terms of the three-way Republican primary between Christine Ferguson, Mike Battles, and Dave Rogers to face Democrat Patrick Kennedy, Chafee said he was not ready to endorse anyone yet. "At this point, it is still early," he said. The party has "three good, qualified candidates....We'll see how they do in their fundraising and polling. I support them all." However, he said he "would hate to see them collide in the primary." It would make more sense for some of them to run for other offices where the state GOP currently does not have a candidate, he noted.
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services