Friday, March 31, 2006
Former White House counsel John Dean said on Friday that U.S. President George W. Bush's domestic spying program raised more concerns about abuse of power than the Watergate scandal that toppled his boss Richard Nixon.
Even if the NSA wiretap program were a "domestic spying program" that constitutes an "abuse of power" -- and both characterizations are only political positions, notwithstanding Reuters acceptance of them as received truth -- the claim that it is worse than Watergate is absurd. Watergate involved a conspiracy to subvert the domestic electoral process, followed by a massive coverup from the top. The NSA wiretap program was not covered up in the least. Yes, it was kept secret because its military value depended upon secrecy, but it was both disclosed to Congress and defended forthrightly by the President when revealed to the enemy by the New York Times. It is at worst a violation of the law in the service of national security objectives pursued in good faith, and even that remains to be seen. Iran-Contra is a far better analogy than Watergate, and even that was obviously a much graver violation of law and subversion of justice than the NSA case, which may well be entirely lawful.
I think every time Dean has been trotted out over the last few years he has said the same thing. "Bush is worse than Nixon, and I should know." I don't recall that he has provided any evidence for that assessment. Unless, of course, speaking in an Important Voice is evidence.
I can't imagine this is resonating with too many people other than journalists. It's their version of a Peter, Paul, and Mary reunion concert.
Jethro Tull- "Living in the Past". It's so pathetic. The heyday, the zenith of liberalism hit around 1973 to '75. The War ends, Watergate, Nixon resigns, Roe, the Class of 74. It's been a steady decline since then, with only 20% of Americans identifying themselves as liberal. It would be natural to want to relive it, I suppose. People default back to the good old days.
Speaking of PP&M, I watched a folk train wreck a few months ago on PBS: Trini Lopez in concert. Nothing worse than seeing 60 year old Lopez groupie grannies getting their groove on. Truly a sight to behold.