Congressman Walter Jones, who gained notoriety in recent years for regretting his support for military intervention in Iraq, died on Sunday as a result of a fall at his home last January, his office said in a statement.
Jones, 76, represented for 24 years the state of North Carolina from the bench of the Republican Party, although he had begun his political career as a member of the Democratic Party.
“Congressman Jones will be remembered for his honesty, faith and integrity, he was never afraid to position himself according to his principles, he was known for his independence and widely admired across the political spectrum.” Many did not agree with him but all recognize that he always did what he considered correct, “the note states.
Jones supported the then president, Republican George W. Bush, in his decision to invade Iraq in 2002 on the basis of intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein’s government was developing an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
The congressman’s endorsement of this decision was such that in 2003, in response to criticism from the French government for US military intervention, he promoted a measure to change the name of the “French fries” in the Capitol cafeteria. ) by the one of “freedom potatoes” (“freedom fries”).
Just a year later, in 2004, a report prepared by inspectors with the support of the main intelligence agencies found that suspicions about the production of massive weapons in Iraq were unfounded.
However, it was not these conclusions that initially led Jones to regret his support for the war, but his attendance at the funeral of a Marine sergeant who had died in the Arab country due to the explosion of a grenade.
After talking during the funeral with the soldier’s family, the politician came to the conclusion that the human cost of the armed conflict was intolerable.
As a result of this episode, the republican began to write regularly to the relatives of the military men who died in the different conflicts in which the Armed Forces took part.
“I have signed more than 12,000 letters to relatives who have lost their loved ones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that has been my way of asking God to forgive me for my mistake,” confessed Jones in an interview with the chain. NPR in 2017. (EFEUSA) .-