FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Watergate and All That

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

 

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Nevins
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Jasmine Aguilera
Beto’s Lasting Legacy
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Yves Engler
Ottawa, Yemen and Guardian
Michael Winship
This Was No Vote Accident
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Tracey L. Rogers
Dear White Women, There May be Hope for You After All
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Thomas Knapp
Scott Gottlieb’s Nicotine Nazism Will Kill Kids, Not Save Them
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail