FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Watergate and All That

by Jack McCarthy

Happy 30th anniversary Watergate buffs!

Like all the preceding anniversaries of the Watergate break-in the big questions posed by the mainstream press are the old reliables:

“What are the lessons of Watergate?”

And of course, “Who was Deep Throat?”

First lets us note the irony that the real Deep Throat, Linda Lovelace died on April 14th.

In the parlance of the conspiracy buff, is it coincidence or conspiracy that April 14th is the date of the dearly departed Trick Nixon’s demise?

The best answer to the “lesson of Watergate” question was provided by Noam Chomsky who, by the way, wrote the best article which appeared in the best book (a collection of essays) on the Watergate scandal, aptly titled “Big Brother and the Holding Company.”

The lesson of Watergate, Chomsky noted, was that its perfectly fine in this country to use Gestapo tactics on those outside the mainstream of US politics, especially the political left: but to use fascistic tactics against one’s peers in the power structure is to court banishment.

And so Nixon’s fall from grace and power as CEO of the US empire transpired not because all of a sudden we realized Nixon was a criminal. As Chomsky further noted, Nixon–and Kissinger– were demonstrably two of the biggest criminals of the 20th century.

Nixon’s crime was he attacked fellow power brokers, DNC chief Larry O’Brien and Ted Kennedy and the Washington Post.

Crimes such as the secret bombing of Laos or Cambodia and the railroading of activists such as Vietnam veterans like the Gainesville 8’s Scott Camille were briefly noted and/or ignored.

Indeed, the U.S. House impeachment committee ruled out the bombing of Cambodia as one of the articles of impeachment.

Another lesson of Watergate is that it literally takes a “smoking gun” i.e., tape to convict or impeach a US president (the Clinton exception noted) no matter how transparent the criminal behavior.

Ronald Reagan, for example, bragged to a grand jury that the Iran-contra was “my idea to begin with,” but congress and the press pretended (ala Reagan) not to hear what he said.

Even today no reporter will go on record and admit that Nixon ordered the Watergate break-in –at least generically.

This despite the fact that transcripts of the Nixon tapes published in book form by professor Stanley Cutler, (“The Abuse of Power Tapes,”) shows an obsessive and revenge minded Nixon ordering his henchmen to go after Larry O’Brien using any means necessary.

Without a smoking gun tape in which Nixon says ala his order to firebomb the Brookings Institute, “I want a break-in at the Watergate,” we are supposed to pretend that Nixon only knew of the cover-up.

Deep Throat?

Silly parlor game that it is, I believe we will one day find out it was the man who revealed the existence of the Watergate tapes, Alexander Butterfield.

In their book “All the Presidents Men,” WoodStein note that of all of HR (Bob)Haldeman’s henchmen, the only one they never got around to interviewing was HR’s head of “internal security,” Butterfield.

Nice guy that he was, Woodward suggested to a Watergate committee investigator that they do the honors of interviewing Butterfield.

And the rest is history.

Perhaps an even more interesting question is “Who wrote All the Presidents Men?”

Several years ago Daniel Schorr wrote a fascinating article in the Christian Science Monitor about a mysterious conversation he had with Woodward.

Schorr says he told Woodward that he couldn’t locate the famous phrase, “Follow the money,” in the book. Woodward told Schorr that Deep Throat’s famous utterance was indeed in the book. It wasn’t, Schorr discovered on second and third read.

Then again, Woodward is the guy who conducted a death bed interview with clinically brain dead William Casey.

Follow the brain waves, Dan.

Jack McCarthy can be reached at: jackm32301@yahoo.com

 

Jack McCarthy is a writer in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at jackm32301@yahoo.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Honduras Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sandes Must Demand Answers
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Gilbert Mercier
Donald Trump: Caligula of the Lowest Common Denominator Empire?
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Robert Dodge
On President Obama’s Hiroshima Visit
Andrew Moss
Bridge to Wellbeing?
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail