Saturday, July 26, 2008
The Republicans have no moral values
From an artical by by JOHN W. DEAN, a FindLaw columnist and former counsel to the president, where he discusses the "smoking gun" Watergate tapes with Nixon's defence attorney, Chuck Wiggins. What neither Wiggins nor other Nixon apologists were prepared to defend was Nixon’s lying to Congress and the nation.
In discussing the investigation of Bu$hco about "Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations” Dean says...
"It struck me that given my knowledge of the Nixon presidency, and because few in Congress today realize that Nixon was sent packing for a far lesser lie, I might focus my testimony on why Nixon was removed from office. In short, I might be able to add some perspective for the Kucinich resolution."
Friday, Jul. 25, 2008
John Dean discussing a conversation with Nixon's defence attorney, Chuck Wiggins, for the Watergate trial...
Wiggins believed that the lawyers representing Nixon had done a terrible job, and that Nixon should have claimed not merely “executive privilege,” but also taken the Fifth Amendment and invoked the State Secrets privilege as well to block access to his tapes. He had every right to do so, and had he done so, he would not have been forced from office. It would have been bad press, but he would have survived. (I agree with Judge Wiggins’s analysis.)
Wiggins had no doubt that the June 23rd tape showed that Nixon had participated in conspiracy to obstruct justice regarding the Watergate investigation. However, Wiggins also thought there was an argument to be made that a president could not obstruct a federal investigation, since he himself had the theoretical power and authority to establish the parameters of that investigation. In addition, it could also be argued that Nixon’s actions on June 23, 1972 had been taken based on the advice of his counsel (who believed national security issues were involved) and of his former attorney general (who similarly believed national security issues might be at stake).
As for the other charges in the articles of impeachment, Wiggins said he and the other Nixon defenders had planned to make fools of the Democrats by showing that everything that had been set forth in the articles had been done by Democratic presidents many times over. It was the classic defense: Two wrongs don’t make a right, but in law and politics they make a respectable precedent. But what neither Wiggins nor other Nixon apologists were prepared to defend was Nixon’s lying to Congress and the nation.
After the smoking gun tape surfaced, none of these various defenses and strategies were relevant, because no member was prepared to defend Nixon’s obvious lies about Watergate. As today’s hearings continue, it will be interesting to see if any members of Congress are prepared to defend Bush and Cheney’s lies about taking the nation to war in Iraq. Disturbingly, it has been clear for some time that Bush and Cheney did indeed lie – and that their lies fit within a clear, extensive pattern of abuse of power. Yet condemnation from Congressional Republicans has yet to be heard. Sadly, it seems possible that today’s Republicans -- unlike Wiggins and the other Nixon apologists who changed their minds when confronted with proven presidential lies -- have no moral lines that they will draw.