Here's the purpose of the group's statement:
"We agreed that we had just lost confidence in the ability of the Bush administration to advocate for American interests or to provide the kind of leadership that we think is essential," said William Harrop, who served as the first President Bush's ambassador to Israel, and previously in four African countries. "The group does not endorse Kerry, although it more or less goes without saying in the statement."The Independent's take on the story is quite brief.
The BBC version of the story identifies a few additional details about the individuals included in the group and notes that "known critics of the administration were deliberately excluded."
So, what former officials are on board?
They include William Crowe, who as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was America's top military officer and Admiral Stansfield Turner, a former director of the CIA.Actually, a text box has more detail:
William C HarropLike a lot of versions I've seen of this story, the BBC quotes one of the critics:
Ambassador to Israel under Bush Sr
Gen Joseph P Hoar
Commander in chief of US Central Command under Bush Sr; supports John Kerry
Merrill A McPeak
Former Air Force chief of staff; supports Kerry
Jack F Matlock
Ambassador to the USSR under Reagan and Bush Sr
Adm William J Crowe
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Reagan and ambassador to UK under Clinton; has endorsed Kerry
Adm Stansfield Turner
CIA director under Carter; has endorsed Kerry
Phyllis Oakley, the former deputy state department spokesperson under President Reagan, told the BBC World Service's World Today programme that Mr Bush's Iraq policy had played a big part in their decision to publicise their concerns.The New York Times story is fairly short and is taken from an AP wire feed. It seems to be virtually the same story, in fact, that readers of the Independent had:
"But it goes beyond that to the whole thrust of his posture for the US and the world - to move away from the international structures that have been painstakingly built up over the years, away from our work with allies," she said.
Ms Oakley said it was a "dangerous posture" for the US to act as the "unilateral, sole superpower" that could impose its will on others.
"We agreed that we had just lost confidence in the ability of the Bush administration to advocate for American interests or to provide the kind of leadership that we think is essential," said William C. Harrop, the first President Bush's ambassador to Israel and earlier an ambassador to four African countries."That quote from Harrop appears in the UK paper, though he is additionally referenced as saying, "We just feel very strongly that the country needs new leadership."
I agree with that.
Tuesday night, David Letterman ran a video clip of George W. Bush defining the phrase "24/7." After Bush was shown stating the obvious, Letterman said, "I'm going to miss that guy."