“In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism.”
“I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won’t deceive you except in matters of this sort.”
“We need a special prosecutor with meaningful independence to make sure that justice is served and that our constitutional rights to free speech, to assembly, and to privacy are protected.”
Cruz said on the Senate Floor on Thursday…He referred to the Watergate Scandal, and said that when President Richard Nixon attempted to use the IRS to target political enemies, “it was wrong, it was an abuse of power, and he was rightfully condemned by both sides of the aisle… Both cases involved an abuse of power, but the difference is that with Nixon,
“Republicans had the courage to stand up to their own party. It saddens me that there is not a single Democratic member of this body who has had the courage to stand up to their own party and say that this abuse of power . . . is wrong.”
IRS Destruction of E-mail Evidence: ‘If Nixon Had Burned the Tapes as People Had Advised Him to, He Would Have Served His Full Term’Posted: June 24, 2014
“That there was targeting of these groups is not disputed…”
“The question that makes this interesting and the question that a special prosecutor would pursue is where does this lead, how high up does this go.”
Will noted that people have been saying that nothing has connected the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups to the White House, but he questions that. He recalled the Watergate scandal, which he said never would have been connected to President Nixon but for the tapes that showed him plotting obstruction of justice.
“Something equivalent to burning the tapes may have happened with the hard drive of Lois Lerner.”
Will explained that if Nixon had burned the tapes as people advised him to, he would have served his full time. “Something equivalent to burning the tapes may have happened with the hard drive of Lois Lerner,” Will said…(read more)
For New York Post, Kyle Smith writes: To understand the latest outrage in the IRS scandal, mull over what might happen if regulators found significant evidence to implicate Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in an insider trading scheme.
“This is “the dog ate my hard drive, broke into another building, ate the backup of the hard drive, then broke into six other top officials’ offices and ate their hard drives also.”
Let’s say Blankfein asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to answer any questions. Say Goldman was subpoenaed to provide all of Blankfein’s e-mails. Goldman replied that, instead of complying with the subpoena, it was itself reviewing the e-mails in question and was considering which ones to release.
It’s already been 13 months, and no one has even been charged. And no one will be charged. Congress has called the cops — the Justice Department — and the cops simply don’t care.
Now imagine that, nearly a year later, Goldman admitted that it had not, in fact, reviewed the e-mails in question, because they had been lost in a computer crash two months before it claimed to be reviewing them. Imagine Goldman also said copies of the e-mails were lost, because while under subpoena it had destroyed the “backup tapes” (whatever those are) that held them and that it had also thrown away Blankfein’s actual hard drive.
The thing about dogs eating homework is, it could actually happen. This can’t.
This is “the dog ate my hard drive, broke into another building, ate the backup of the hard drive, then broke into six other top officials’ offices and ate their hard drives also.”
What we learned about the IRS this week is that there is an obvious criminal coverup that comes in addition to the possible underlying crimes. Prosecutions need to be brought against all of those involved.
Why isn’t this happening already? Read the rest of this entry »
“It’s to me the equivalent of what was discovered with the Nixon tapes.”
“The point is that Republicans have done a terrible job in building the case. Even today I have to say, the questioning was disjointed, it was not organized. If they had appointed a special committee a long time ago the way it was done in Watergate, you would have had answers…”
President Nixon’s voice-activated taping system captured every word spoken in the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and other key locations in the White House, and at Camp David — 3,700 hours of recordings between 1971 and 1973. Yet less than 5 percent of those conversations have ever been transcribed and published. Now, thanks to professor Luke Nichter’s massive effort to digitize and transcribe the tapes, the world can finally read an unprecedented account of one of the most important and controversial presidencies in U.S. history.
The Nixon Tapes offers a selection of fascinating scenes from the
year Nixon opened relations with China, negotiated the SALT I arms agreement with the Soviet Union, and won a landslide reelection victory. All the while, the growing shadow of Watergate and Nixon’s political downfall crept ever closer. The Nixon Tapes provides a never-before-seen glimpse into a flawed president’s hubris, paranoia, and political genius.
Nixon could never have imagined that people with home computers and smartphones would someday have instant access to a digitized library of audio and transcripts, representing thousands of hours of his White House recordings. Here’s the introduction from nixontapes.org:
nixontapes.org has the most complete, digital collection of the Nixon tapes in existence, which includes approximately 2,950 hours of the nearly 3,000 hours of tapes currently declassified and released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In addition, we have transcribed approximately 3,000 pages of conversations on many topics, from conversations dealing with the installation of the taping system in February 1971 to Cabinet Room conversations recorded in July 1973.
[You mean you haven’t ordered this book yet? Pat and Dick: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage at Amazon]
The letters, once revealed, in part, by the Nixon Foundation to celebrate what would have been the President’s 100th birthday, began as correspondence from spouse to spouse in their second year of marriage, as Nixon went off to officer training in Rhode Island. Since the military stationed Richard Nixon overseas, far away from his wife and her career, he would write her again and again. Below are five of the most romantic, inspiring, butterfly-inducing quotes revealed by Politico on Valentine’s Day:
1. “I am certainly not the Romeo type. I may not say much when I am with you—but all of me loves you all the time.”
It is certainly not difficult to imagine Richard Nixon describing himself as “not the Romeo type,” but there is something heartwarming about telling his new wife that he loves her this much but will never be able to make a dramatic gesture about it–as is the fact that he appears concerned that she will think he does not care for her. The sentiment comes at the conclusion of a romantic getaway to New York City one weekend he managed to escape the military. There they dined in Midtown Manhattan and gave themselves the luxury of each other’s time.
Gillispie said, of Sebelius, “she should have tendered her resignation,” and added “This is the biggest G.D. deal that a liberal administration has put forward since Harry Truman.”
“If the President didn’t know a couple days before how bad it was,” Gillespie added, “what is he, Hitler in the bunker? That is objectionable. ”
“Almost as objectable as the Hitler reference,” a smiling Van Jones added, because this is Crossfire.
“He’s like Nixon,” Gillespie allowed. “Is that better?”
WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency is facing its worst crisis since the domestic spying scandals four decades ago led to the first formal oversight and overhaul of U.S. intelligence operations.
Thanks to former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden’s flood of leaks to the media, and the Obama administration’s uneven response to them, morale at the spy agency responsible for intercepting communications of terrorists and foreign adversaries has plummeted, former officials say. Even sympathetic lawmakers are calling for new curbs on the NSA’s powers.
“This is a secret intelligence agency that’s now in the news every day,” said Michael Hayden, who headed the NSA from 1999 to 2005 and later led the CIA. “Each day, the workforce wakes up and reads the daily indictment.”
President Barack Obama acknowledged Friday that many Americans have lost trust in the nation’s largest intelligence agency. “There’s no doubt that, for all the work that’s been done to protect the American people’s privacy, the capabilities of the NSA are scary to people,” he said in a CNN interview.
FILE – In this April 29, 1974, file photo, President Richard M. Nixon points to the transcripts of the White House tapes after he announced during a nationally-televised speech that he would turn over the transcripts to House impeachment investigators, in Washington. The last 340 hours of tapes from Nixon’s White House were released Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, along with more than 140,000 pages of text materials. (AP Photo/File)
FILE – The original Nixon White House tape and original tape recorder are shown in an undated file photo from the National Archives. The last 340 hours of tapes from President Richard M. Nixon’s White House were released Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, along with more than 140,000 pages of text materials. (AP Photo/National Archives, File
FILE – In this June 18,1973 file photo, Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev, left, whispers in the ear of President Richard M. Nixon as the two leaders stand on a balcony at the White House in Washington. The meeting was the only summit ever recorded on an American presidential taping system. The last 340 hours of tapes from Nixon’s White House were released Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, along with more than 140,000 pages of text materials. (AP Photo/File)
YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) — President Richard Nixon had just delivered his first major national address on the Watergate scandal that would ultimately cost him the White House when the calls of support began pouring in.
Audio tapes released Wednesday show that within hours of the speech on April 30, 1973, the beleaguered 37th president heard from Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and evangelist Billy Graham.
The calls were captured on a secret recording system that Nixon used to tape 3,700 hours of phone calls and private meetings in his executive offices between February 1971 and July 1973.
The final chronological installment of those tapes — 340 hours — were posted online by the National Archives and Records Administration as part of a release that also includes more than 140,000 pages of text documents. Another 700 hours of tapes remain sealed for national security and privacy reasons.
Since 2007, the National Archives has released hundreds of hours of the tapes, offering the public an unvarnished and sometimes shocking view of the inner workings of Nixon’s administration and insight into the president’s private musings on everything from Watergate to Vietnam.
Denial, evasion, “Let me be perfectly clear” — is this 2013 or 1973?
The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known. Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
We still do not quite know why Eric Holder’s Justice Department went after the Associated Press or Fox News’s James Rosen — given that members of the administration were themselves illegally leaking classified information about the Stuxnet virus, the Yemeni double agent, the drone program, and the bin Laden document trove, apparently to further the narrative of an underappreciated Pattonesque commander-in-chief up for reelection.
Arrogance, Contempt for Law, and Thuggery, but the Press Will Give Him a Pass: Priority #1 Protect ObamaPosted: May 14, 2013
The comparisons of the Obama and Nixon White Houses are suddenly coming—pardon the expression—fast and furious, and why not? The IRS investigations; the administration’s fixation on leaks and leakers and its obsession with enemies; the cover-ups, the blame-shifting to subordinates, the defiant chief executive, even the sweating, pathetically dissembling press secretary; it all has the odor of that earlier time. Again, it’s all happening early in the second term, following a triumphant reelection. Again, the operative terms are arrogance, contempt for law, and thuggery.
The growing awareness of administration malfeasance is evident in the numbers on Google: more than 59 million hits for “Obama and Nixon” and 24 million–plus for “Obama and Watergate.” For those interested, the 44th president’s face can already be found morphing into the 37th’s. Then there’s the rising tide of commentary. “Obama knee-deep in Nixon-esque scandal” runs the headline of columnist Joe Battenfield’spiece in the Boston Herald, which notes that Obama’s campaign slogan would have been more appropriate if it were not “Forward” but “Backward”—“All the way to, say, 1972.” “Benghazi, IRS—Son of Watergate?” asks Cal Thomas. “In IRS Scandal, Echoes of Watergate,”observes the Washington Post’s George Will.
Such talk is mostly confined to the Right so far, but a handful of principled liberals have also weighed in. “There’s no way in the world I’m going to defend that,” said U.S. Representative Michael Capuano of Massachusetts of the IRS’s going after the Tea Party. “Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing.” Former Michigan Democratic congresswoman Lynn Rivers echoed him: “For anyone over 50, this news couldn’t help but stir memories of Richard Nixon’s Political Enemies Project. . . . To use Dan Rather’s ‘duck test,’ the IRS probe of ‘hostile’ ideological groups looks like, swims like, and quacks like government dirty tricks.” One of the heroes of Watergate weighed in, too. “This is outrageous, and it is totally inexcusable,” Carl Bernstein raged about the revelation that the Department of Justice had secretly seized the phone records of Associated Press journalists. “There is no reason that a presidency that is interested in a truly free press and its functioning should permit this to happen.”
Thus it is that questions that once seemed unfathomable take on unexpected plausibility. Where and how far will it all go? Is it remotely conceivable that where Richard Nixon led, Barack Obama might follow? The answer, of course, depends primarily on the nature and severity of the crimes committed—if, indeed, they are crimes—and whether presidential culpability can be established.
But such an observation instantly gives rise to two other considerations. Lest we forget, while Democrats led the congressional inquiries into the Nixonites’ misdeeds—Sam Ervin’s committee in the Senate, Peter Rodino’s in the House—in the end, it was principled Republicans, led by Barry Goldwater (who told Nixon he could count on no more than 15 Republican votes in the Senate), who forced the president’s resignation. Can we expect such nation-above-party behavior on the part of today’s Democrats? Can you imagine Patrick Leahy ever deserting Obama? Or Al Franken? Or Barbara Boxer?
Then there’s the role of the press. Unsurprisingly, the media on the far left have circled the wagons in defense of the president. “Desperate for a Scandal, Fox’s Dobbs Attacks Obama’s ‘Inner Nixon,’” read a dismissive headline on Media Matters for America, while DailyKos has harped on previous “GOP-Fabricated Non-Scandals” that went nowhere. And it’s true that, whether it was the president’s associations with his racist pastor or the Fast and Furious boondoggle, such allegations have gone nowhere—but primarily because the press has protected Obama. So it is a given that the media will again play a key role in determining whether the current scandals are pursued to their logical conclusion or are allowed to fizzle out.
Recent history suggests which outcome is more likely.
Benghazi? With a few notable exceptions, such as CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson and CNN’s Jake Tapper, reporters shrugged off the administration’s cover-up in the immediate aftermath of the attack, when it might have harmed Obama’s presidential fortunes. They have at last been forced by whistleblowers to start asking obvious questions, but their impulse to protect Obama is presumably undiminished. The IRS scandal? Reporters have as little sympathy for the Tea Party as other liberals do, but this story can’t be ignored, at least for the moment. Even administration apologist Joe Klein opines: “I don’t think Obama ever wanted to be on the same page as Richard Nixon. In this specific case, he now is.” But the “specific case” wording is telling; Klein’s piece is generally tepid, arguing that the IRS matter is an exception to what has been a generally scandal-free administration. It is a line that many in the media are apt to adopt.
As Bernstein’s outburst makes clear, the media generally saves its greatest outrage for government attacks on . . . the media. Thus, the DOJ/AP episode may be the most dangerous to the administration of the mushrooming scandals. It’s likely that a prominent head or two will roll, perhaps even Attorney General Eric Holder’s. Reporters are nothing if not creatures of the pack, and the pack has been dissed here, big-time. How hard will they go after the president? Probably not very. Think battered-woman syndrome: he may be an abuser, but he’s still their man—the one they covered for when he was caught with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, the one they played along with on the faux war on women and the anti-Islam video as the cause for the Benghazi attack. With Nixon, by contrast, once the media picked up the faintest scent of blood, they were relentless and increasingly joyous in pursuit.
As George Will writes: “Episodes like this separate the meritorious liberals from the meretricious. The day after the IRS story broke, The Post led the paper with it, and, with an institutional memory of Watergate, published a blistering editorial demanding an Obama apology. The New York Times consigned the story to page 10.” So it’s also the case that, amid all the stunning events of the past few days, the story that will likely prove the most relevant is this one, courtesy of hotair.com: “Top CBS, ABC, CNN execs all have relatives working as advisors for White House.”
Harry Stein is a contributing editor of City Journal and the author of No Matter What . . . They’ll Call This Book Racist (soon to appear in paperback as Why We Won’t Talk Honestly About Race) and the forthcoming e-book novel Will Tripp, Pissed-Off Attorney-at-Law.
This month, I spoke at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal with some of its survivors at the National Press Club. While much of the discussion looked back at the historic clash with President Nixon, I was struck by a different question: Who actually won? From unilateral military actions to warrantless surveillance that were key parts of the basis for Nixons impending impeachment, the painful fact is that Barack Obama is the president that Nixon always wanted to be.Four decades ago, Nixon was halted in his determined effort to create an “imperial presidency” with unilateral powers and privileges. In 2013, Obama wields those very same powers openly and without serious opposition. The success of Obama in acquiring the long-denied powers of Nixon is one of his most remarkable, if ignoble, accomplishments. Consider a few examples:
Nixon’s use of warrantless surveillance led to the creation of a special court called theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). But the reform turned out to be more form than substance. The secret court turned “probable cause” into a meaningless standard, virtually guaranteeing any surveillance the government wanted. After hundreds of thousands of applications over decades, only a couple have ever been denied.
Last month, the Supreme Court crushed any remaining illusions regarding FISA when it sided with the Obama administration in ruling that potential targets of such spying had to have proof they were spied upon before filing lawsuits, even if the government has declared such evidence to be secret. That’s only the latest amongdozens of lawsuits the administration has blocked while surveillance expands exponentially.
Unilateral military action
Nixon’s impeachment included the charge that he evaded Congress’ sole authority to declare war by invading Cambodia. In the Libyan “mission,” Obama announced that only he had the inherent authority to decide what is a “war” and that so long as he called it something different, no congressional approval or even consultation was necessary. He proceeded to bomb a nation’s capital, destroy military units and spendmore than a billion dollars in support of one side in a civil war.