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Ford Says Moynihan’s and Mitchell’s Criticisms of Amin ‘needed to Be Said’

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President Ford was reported today to be supporting Ambassador Daniel Moynihan’s denunciation of Uganda President Idi Amin as a “racist murderer,” and the statement by Clarence Mitchell Jr., a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations, in which he said that Amin’s speech to the General Assembly last week was “an affront to millions of citizens of the United States.”

Presidential press secretary Ron Nessen said Ford believed both statements “needed to be said.” Amin delivered a tirade calling for the expulsion of Israel from the UN, the extinction of Israel as a state and charged that the U.S. is controlled by Zionists. Moynihan, the U.S. envoy to the UN, in a speech before the AFL-CIO convention in San Francisco, picked up the phrase “racist murderer” from an editorial in last Friday’s New York Times to describe Amin.

Mitchell, who is also the director of the Washington bureau of the NAACP, remarked three days later that a long war had been fought “against one kind of racism, inflicted upon the world by a dictator who exterminated millions of humans because they were not members of what he called the master race.” He added, “If we had been less courteous with that dictator in the beginning, immense human suffering and loss would have been avoided.”

Reporting Ford’s belief that both statements “needed to be said,” Nessen added: “The President feels that is about all he can contribute.”

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