Mike Wallace “Astonished” Wounded Vets Support Iraq War & Aren’t “Angry” at Bush

Appearing by phone on Friday’s Imus in the Morning radio simulcast on MSNBC, to plug his upcoming Sunday night 60 Minutes report on the struggles and achievements of some military members severely wounded in Iraq, Mike Wallace admitted he was “astonished” at how “almost all of them support the war despite the fact that it's taken such a toll on them.” He elaborated, “We asked them flat out: What about should we be there? And the ones that are the most severely hit believe yes, we should have been there. They are not angry at the President...” Wallace has previously made clear his disgust with the war. In late November on FNC, he contended that "Iraq is becoming a kind of Vietnam" and asserted that "we should never have gone into Iraq. We were sold a bill of goods." Back in 2004 at a Smithsonian forum, Wallace argued that “this is not, in my estimation, a good war” and declared that “it sure is not a noble enterprise." (Transcripts follow.)

During the 8:30am EST half hour interview on the February 10 Imus in the Morning, Imus asked Wallace: “Did any of these kids get into the politics of the war?” Wallace replied, by phone:
“Indeed they did. And I was astonished: Almost all of them, almost all of them are, support the war despite the fact that it’s taken such a toll on them. We asked, we asked them flat out: What about should we be there? And the ones that are the most severely hit believe yes, we should have been there. They are not angry at the President, they’re not angry at the establishment. I promise you you’ll be astonished if you’re up that late on Sunday night.”

Past Wallace remarks about Iraq:

# On the November 28 O’Reilly Factor, as recounted in a NewsBusters posting, Wallace contended that “Iraq is becoming a kind of Vietnam” and asserted that “we should never have gone into Iraq. We were sold a bill of goods.” Wallace, however, suggested Bush may not really have been in charge and thus may not be to blame: “Now, whether the President was sold a bill of goods or whether Dick Cheney was sitting in the chair at that time, I don't know.”

# The June 1, 2004 MRC CyberAlert recounted, with an accompanying RealPlayer clip [click here to launch streaming ram file], how “Mike Wallace, at a Smithsonian Institution ‘National World War II Reunion’ event on Friday [May 28] shown later by C-SPAN, denounced the war in Iraq. ‘This is not, in my estimation, a good war,’ Wallace declared a panel event, on ‘World War II veterans as journalists,’ held in a tent on the Capitol end of Mall the afternoon before the dedication of the World War II Memorial. ‘I don’t know how we got into a position where our present Commander-in-Chief and the people around him,’ the 60 Minutes correspondent lamented, ‘had the guts to take our kids and send them on what seems to be -- it sure is not a noble enterprise.’”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center