Wednesday, April 29, 2009

George W. Bush, Nixon, whatever.

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[19]—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?

13 comments:

bluepitbull said...

Actually James, yes America was harmed. Thanks to Nixon, and Woodward and Bernstein, the nation learned that politicians are all corrupt to one degree or another.

Sadly, that's the only lesson that was taught. Once people were willing to accept that at face value, they continued to elect the 'lesser of both evils'. What did we get? Well, I think that your blog articulates that so splendidly that I need go on no further.

I must confess, James, that I wasn't sure where this was going at first, but being able to write my own onto this, I do now. Excellent, informative post.

I don't think I have you linked. I'll take care of that now. Thank you for linking me, although I don't consider myself right-wing, just conservative, I am flattered.

James' Muse said...

Thanks pitbull. I know we've had our disagreements (and heated debating) in the past, but it is nice to be able to move on.

You are right on the lesser of two evils. In the last election, I thought Obama was. In the one before, I thought Bush was. Kerry is still somewhat of a joke.

Thanks for the link, and for the compliment. It means a lot.

The Red Head said...

I'd like to know why all liberals ALWAYS brings up Nixon whenever their man screws up?

News flash! Nixon is gone, dead, and buried!

Obama is in the White House and if he screws up then HE'S going to take the heat...Like it or not!

James' Muse said...

Um, red, I don't think liberals always bring up Nixon...

I'm just pointing out that there are a lot of historical parallels between Bush's policies and Nixon's, and FDR's.

And "our man" Obama hasn't screwed up. "Your's" did.

Matt Rose said...

Why not bring up Nixon? He was the Poster Boy of the "Screw Up's

Listen To John said...

Obama says he admires Abraham Lincoln. Then why is he copying Richard Nixon's economic (how about burglary) policies? Most Americans are too ignorant to know that the darling of the Left is copying the failed policies of the Nixon era; policies which started the delights of high inflation, poor jobs, tin soldiers, and a general invasion of privacy.

After Mr Nixon was ejected from office by the Democreep controlled media, Americans elected Jimmy Carter. Carter gave us more and more of the same failed Nixonian policies. Things got so bad that era is called the Great Malaise.

Brace yourselves. It going to get worse. Another Nixon invention, the Environmental Protection Agency, is going to be used to tax and regulate the living snot out of anyone who dares to make anything for the rest of us.

The Democreeps finally found their dream man. Mr Obama is going to rush through all the oppressive moves of both Nixon and Carter. We will be lucky to get out alive.

James' Muse said...

John, Obama is more Reagan than Nixon or Carter, or even FDR.

Biden is a lot like Carter, not Obama. The first Omnibus act was under Reagan. Reagan also spent us out of a recession, along with tax cuts. The difference is that reagan gave tax cuts to the rich while Obama is giving it to the middle class.

TRUTH 101 said...

We haven't had to blame Nixon since W.came along.

But one thing I give W. credit for. The political wisdom to not use email. As an admitted political hack, I appreciate good hackness no matter what party the hacker belongs.

dmarks said...

Red: I'm no big fan of Obama, but when discussing and comparing different Presidents, it is useful to realize that there are 43 presidents prior to Obama. And yes, Nixon is one of them, and yes, we can discuss them.

"And "our man" Obama hasn't screwed up. "Your's" did."

I think he is screwing up in several ways. One of them is irresponsible deficit spending that scheduled to be even worse than George W. Bush's.

Also, Reagan's tax cuts were across the board, not just "for the rich". As for Obama's tax cuts, the middle class will probably be nailed with his promised "negative cuts" by hiking gasoline taxes.

"Obama is giving it to the middle class." can be read multiple ways.

James' Muse said...

Dmarks: Saying I didn't think Obama screwed up was referring to Red's comment. Compared to Nixon (and for that matter, Bush) I don't think Obama has screwed up on that level.

As for economically, it is yet to be seen.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Wow, James, reading your blog has enlightened me, A LOT. I'm ashamed to say that I don't know all the details of Watergate. I was just telling my husband the other day that we need to get a book on it. In my opinion, though, I agree with Pitbull. I think it did harm America. Because now we expect our politicans to be corrupt. That's pathetic. So, now with the secret CIA files going public-will any of them be "secret" in the future? Or will we "expect" all CIA information to be public knowledge? Food for thought.

James' Muse said...

Yes, it harmed us in now expecting them to be corrupt. But the greater harm? Letting the corruption remain in the dark and allowing travesties to be done in our name. It's policy without representation.

Now we know, and we should know, which is why we have the Freedom of Information Act. The only things exempt are things that pose an immediate threat. Nixon's didn't, and arguably neither did releasing the "torture" memos. Now we can decide if our politicians have been truly representing us.

TRUTH 101 said...

While we may want to shield children from certain "truths" we are adults. It is our responsibility to know the truth. To hide despicable behavior in the name of protecting our heroes, or elected officials is irresponsible and not what we as a people are about. It diminishes the truly great when the foilbles of the weak and dishonest are hidden. Jim Bouton's baseball book "Ball Four" is a good example. Recent books about steroid abuse are another. I want my kids to grow up thinking integrity, work and a good set of goals are the keys to success. Not lying and cheating.