Thanks to Truthdig for this one.
It seems we are living out history repeated. In my last post, I discussed the parallels between President FDR violating the US Constitution after Pearl Harbor, finding many, many parallels to President George W. Bush's Constitutional Violations.
Here's another parallel: Richard Nixon's Watergate and George W. Bush's Waterboarding.
From the Truthdig article (link above): "While the Watergate scandal was unfolding, widespread evidence was mounting of illegal government activity, including domestic spying and the infiltration and disruption of legal political groups, mostly anti-war groups, in a broad-based, secret government crackdown on dissent. In response, the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities was formed. It came to be known as the Church Committee, named after its chairman, Idaho Democratic Sen. Frank Church. The Church Committee documented and exposed extraordinary activities on the CIA and FBI, such as CIA efforts to assassinate foreign leaders, and the FBI’s COINTELPRO (counterintelligence) program, which extensively spied on prominent leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It is not only the practices that are similar, but the people. Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr., general counsel to the Church Committee, noted two people who were active in the Ford White House and attempted to block the committee’s work: “Rumsfeld and then [Dick] Cheney were people who felt that nothing should be known about these secret operations, and there should be as much disruption as possible.”
From wikipedia's watergate entry:
When Nixon's tapes regarding these activities were subpoenaed, Nixon refused, citing the principle of executive privilege, and ordered Cox, via Attorney General Richardson, to drop his subpoena. When Cox wouldn't, he had him fired.
While Nixon continued to refuse to turn over actual tapes, he did agree to release edited transcripts of a large number of them; Nixon cited the fact that any audio pertinent to national security information could be redacted from the released tapes.
The tapes largely confirmed Dean's account and caused further embarrassment when a crucial, 18½ minute portion of one tape, which had never been out of White House custody, was found to have been erased. The White House blamed this on Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, who said she had accidentally erased the tape by pushing the wrong foot pedal on her tape player while answering the phone. However, as photos splashed all over the press showed, it was unlikely for Woods to answer the phone and keep her foot on the pedal. Later forensic analysis determined that the gap had been erased in several segments — at least five, and perhaps as many as nine—refuting the "accidental erasure" explanation.
During the investigation of the abuses at Guantanamo and the "enhanced interrogation"(Truthdig):
Amrit Singh, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the Pentagon’s photos “provide visual proof that prisoner abuse by U.S. personnel was not aberrational but widespread, reaching far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib. Their disclosure is critical for helping the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse as well as for holding senior officials accountable for authorizing or permitting such abuse.” The ACLU also won a ruling to obtain documents relating to the CIA’s destruction of 92 videotapes of harsh interrogations. The tapes are gone, supposedly, but notes about the content of the tapes remain, and a federal judge has ordered their release.
Seems like Justice needs to be dealt, once again, to a President from the Republican Party.
Also, anyone saying that releasing these memos and photos "harms" the nation: when watergate came out, did the US get "harmed" from the truth coming out?