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Inside Politics

Former officials to condemn Bush foreign policy

From Lesa Jansen

George W. Bush
Middle East
Joint Chiefs of Staff

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Several former presidential diplomatic and military officials have signed a statement condemning the Bush administration's foreign policy, saying that it has harmed national security, one of the document's signers said Sunday.

Many of the signers were appointed by Republican administrations.

Phyllis Oakley, the deputy State Department spokeswoman during former President Ronald Reagan's second term and an assistant secretary of state under former President Bill Clinton, said the statement was "prompted by a growing concern, deeply held, about the future of the country's national security."

The statement clearly calls for defeat of the Bush administration, she said, although it does not endorse any candidate.

"We are on the wrong track, and we need a fundamental change," said Oakley.

20 former ambassadors among signers

The statement, which will be released Wednesday, was signed by 20 former U.S. ambassadors, including William Harrop, who was appointed ambassador to Israel by former President George Bush in 1991.

Military commanders who signed the document include retired Marine General Joseph P. Hoar, commander in chief of U.S. Central Command over-seeing the Middle East in 1991; and retired Admiral William Crowe Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1985-89.

The signers called themselves Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change.

Oakley said the group is representative of very senior, former government officials who "have spent their lives working to erect the stature and posture of the U.S. as a leader in the world ... and we simply see that edifice crumbling."

Oakley also said that releasing the statement was not an easy decision.

"We're all career [public] servants who have never taken a political stand," she said. "What we want to get on record is our profound concern about the future security of the U.S."

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