1. Last night I watched “All The President’s Men,” and found it newly chilling, and disturbingly relevant. At the end of the film, Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards , Jr.) is talking to Woodward and Bernstein—outside his house, because they think it might be bugged—after Woodward has told him that the Watergate cover-up was being orchestrated from the White House (according to Deep Throat). Bradlee says:
“You know the results of the latest Gallup Poll? Half the country never even heard of the word Watergate. Nobody gives a shit. You guys are probably pretty tired, right? Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up… 15 minutes. Then get your asses back in gear. We’re under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing’s riding on this except the, uh, first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys fuck up again, I’m going to get mad. Goodnight.”
After more revelations from the Post’s investigative reporters, (and after the action of the movie ends), the Senate began its hearings led by Democratic Senator Sam Ervin. His Republican counterpart, Tennessee Senator Howard Baker, didn’t make speeches about partisan witch hunts (though that was the Nixon White House’s tactic) nor did he denigrate the investigation, nor did he act as a impediment to the process, or waste time gushing over every Republican witness. He did his job in a competent, cooperative, non-partisan manner and sought the truth. Even then, it took a long time to get to it.
At issue was the fact that the nation’s law enforcement and intelligence community appeared to be part of the conspiracy. The attorney general and his predecessor, John Mitchell, were poisonously partisan and refusing to investigate the unfolding scandal. The FBI and the intelligence community could not be trusted; former CIA agents had participated in the Watergate burglary. In the absence of an executive branch that could be trusted to investigate itself and be held to account, the legislative branch, aided by the judiciary, had a solemn obligation to do the job. Fortunately, it did. This was only possible, however, because Republicans didn’t attempt to aide in the cover-up and obstruct the search for justice.
2. Such bi-partisan dedication to the nation over politics was also more possible, not to say it was easy, because Richard Nixon was never popular. He had won a landslide re-election only because the Democratic candidate was far left of the nation (he’d be a conservative to many of today’s Democrats), and obviously unqualified. Barack Obama, in contrast, is unbreakably popular with almost 15% of the population, a key Democratic constituency, due to group identification and little else. This has been sufficient to eviscerate any integrity among Democrats regarding the Benghazi hearings and a lot more.
3. The reason the hearings have dragged out so long, as Chairman Trey Gowdy laid out in prosecutorial fashion in his opening statement, is that the Obama Administration, like the Nixon administration, has been stonewalling, delaying and obstructing justice. The contentious issue of Hillary’s e-mails explains why this is true. The fact that Clinton’s e-mails were hidden on a private server made them unavailable to the investigation, and yet without them, the investigation couldn’t be complete. Why didn’t the State Department make this known before 2015? Why has it dragged its metaphorical feet in producing them so egregiously that a judge had to order it to comply? Why didn’t Clinton comply with a committee subpoena. and why did she destroy “personal” e-mails she knew would be requested before they could be examined by anyone not in her employ? If it looks like a cover-up and quacks like a cover-up, it might well be a cover-up. The committee has a duty to the American public to find out what’s going on. Gowdy also said the the public deserves the truth. Why did Clinton and Obama, as well as their designated liar Susan Rice, continue to tell the news media, the public and even the U.N. that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous uprising sparked by a YouTube video when all the evidence indicated that it wasn’t, including the CIA analysis? It’s obvious why, of course: Obama was running for re-election, so the Administration set out to deceive the public. That alone is worth proving, and if it takes a House investigation to do it, fine. We need to know when the country is being run by liars who set out to manipulate elections. No, what Obama did in this instance isn’t on the same level as Watergate. It would still warrant impeachment, however. Continue reading →