Impeaching, prosecuting Nixon could have elevated the nation
SYNDICATED COLUMNISTOne of the high points of the U.S. media was the investigation into the Watergate scandal. Now, 30 years later, with President Ford's death, the media are contributing to the cover-up they once exposed.http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/298235_amy04.html
Let's review the history: Nixon was running for re-election in 1972 against anti-war Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota. Nixon's Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP -- their acronym, not mine) had been conducting a campaign of dirty tricks against potential Democratic presidential candidates. In May and June 1972, Nixon operatives, called "The Plumbers" (so-called as they both plugged up and generated information leaks), broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, based at The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The burglars, including an ex-CIA man and several Cuban American veterans of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, were planting bugs and photographing documents. An address book on one of the burglars linked them to the White House.
John Dean, Nixon's White House counsel, became the star witness of the Senate investigation. He linked Nixon not only to the cover-up, but also to the criminal break-in of the psychiatrist's office of Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg. In an exclusive "Democracy Now!" broadcast with Ellsberg and Dean, the two former antagonists spoke together on national television for the first time. They described other dirty schemes planned but not acted on, such as "incapacitating" Ellsberg, and firebombing The Brookings Institution.
For Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, Nixon's resignation was an opportunity: Ford made Rumsfeld his chief of staff, with Cheney as his assistant. When Rumsfeld moved over to secretary of defense, Cheney became chief of staff. George H.W. Bush was named director of Central Intelligence. Journalist Robert Parry describes the Ford administration as the "incubator" of the current Bush administration.
If those emerging power brokers had witnessed a vigorous prosecution of Nixon and his co-conspirators, it could have elevated the country ... and changed history. Perhaps a decade later, the Reagan-Bush administration would have thought twice about the Iran-Contra scandal, in which an unaccountable administration would defy Congress and illegally support the Contras in Nicaragua, who killed thousands of civilians. Perhaps the current Bush administration would not have dared to manipulate intelligence to invade Iraq, leading to the deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
As the nation buries President Ford, let's not let the U.S. media bury the story.
05 January 2007
Amy Goodman recently wrote of how The USA could have benefitted from an eventual conviction of Richard Nixon. Unfortunately, view points like hers are being stifled more and more in the nation's mainstream media. Here are some excerpts and a link to her article, published at the Seattle PI: