Friday, July 6, 2007

The Slime is Oozing

The Boston Globe has a story on Fred Thompson this morning illustrating his role in the Watergate scandal. He was an assistant prosecutor in Tennessee and helped to re-elect the powerful Republican Howard Baker. Baker became the ranking Republican on the Watergate committee and brought in Thompson to serve as minority counsel. Thompson is famous for first asking the question if there was a taping mechanism at the white house that brought the Nixon Presidency to its knees. John Dean, Nixon's former White House counsel tells otherwise that Thompson is not the famous prosecutor he has been portrayed, instead he says: he believed that Baker and Thompson were anything but impartial players. "I knew that Thompson would be Baker's man, trying to protect Nixon," Dean said in an interview.

Before Thompson asked the question of the taping system, it was revealed days before at a private session with Alexander Butterfield and a democratic staffer (Armstrong) asked him the question in which it was first revealed (in private) to the Watergate Committee. Fred Thompson is famous for asking the question in an "open" Watergate hearing. But, here is where the slime oozes; I am going to quote the Boston Globe.

When Thompson learned of Butterfield's admission, he leaked the revelation to Nixon's counsel, J. Fred Buzhardt . "Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home" to tell him that the committee had learned about the taping system, Thompson wrote. "I wanted to be sure that the White House was fully aware of what was to be disclosed so that it could take appropriate action."

Armstrong said he and other Democratic staffers had long been convinced that Thompson was leaking information about the investigation to the White House. The committee, for example, had obtained a memo written by Buzhardt that Democratic staffers believed was based on information leaked by Thompson.

Armstrong said he thought the leaks would lead to Thompson's firing. "Any prosecutor would be upset if another member of the prosecution team was orchestrating a defense for Nixon," said Armstrong, who later became a Washington Post reporter and currently is executive director of Information Trust, a nonprofit organization specializing in open government issues.

Baker, meanwhile, insisted that Thompson be allowed to ask Butterfield the question about the taping system in a public session on July 16, 1973, three days after the committee had learned about the system.

Thompson wrote of the Watergate scandal:
"In retrospect it is apparent that I was subconsciously looking for a way to justify my faith in the leader of my country and my party, a man who was undergoing a violent attack from the news media, which I thought had never given him fair treatment in the past," Thompson wrote. "I was looking for a reason to believe that Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, was not a crook."

Is there any surprise that Thompson was leaping to his feet when Libby was pardoned? These scumsucking Republicans will do anything to justify one of their own being granted a get of jail free card. Al Gore said of the commutation this morning, that the pardons in the past are very different from the one orchestrated by the President, George Bush. President Bush commuted the sentence of a person that was covering up information that both Bush and Cheney knew about and personally orchestrated the leaking of Valerie Plame. In essence, Bush commuted himself. Go read it at rawstory.

1 comment:

Dan Caputi said...

Bush's pardon was so predictable and yet so pathetic. But as time has passed since the announcement, it seems that Bush may have, ironically, out-smarted himself on this one. The decision is extremely unpopular, and I learned yesterday that the judge in the case no longer believes Libby is eligible for probation because he did not serve any prison time at all. Which would mean that with the fine paid and the prison sentence commuted, Libby is basically done, save for the appeal which is going no where. This develpoment is not about to make those already unhappy with the ccommutation decision any happier.