State Department awaits criticism on Bush policy

State Department awaits criticism on Bush policy

Former officials set to express concerns U.S. ‘on wrong track’

Tuesday, June 15, 2004 Posted: 11:31 AM EDT (1531 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The State Department said it will be receptive to a critical statement from a group of former high-level diplomatic and military officials who are expected to condemn the Bush administration’s foreign policy and to assert that it has harmed national security.

Calling themselves Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, the signers include former senior military commanders and 20 former U.S. ambassadors, many of whom were appointed or served in Republican administrations.

The statement, to be released Wednesday, was prompted by concerns “we are on the wrong track, and we need a fundamental change,” according to one of the signers, Phyllis Oakley, a deputy State Department spokeswoman during President Reagan’s second term and an assistant secretary of state under President Clinton.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday that he had not seen the document yet and couldn’t comment on its contents.

“We’ll look at it when it comes out and see if there are any ideas we want to deal with at that point,” Boucher said.

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