This is huge. Really huge. Trust me on this. I’m just old enough that I remember coming home from school and having nothing to watch on TV because the Watergate hearings were on every channel. (This was back when we had only like 6 VHF channels and a couple of UHF channels in Los Angeles.) I also vaguely remember when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, because it was such an historical event.
The Nixon presidency was incredibly dirty and corrupt, but I have to believe what’s going on with the Trump administration right now makes Watergate look like a Sunday picnic. This has to lead to Congressional hearings and quite possibly impeachment proceedings against Lord Dampnut. Mike Pence should likely be in the crosshairs as well, because this simply can’t be only Lord Dampnut’s doing. His entire cadre of minions are suspect.
If it goes all the way to impeachment, I also can’t help but wonder if there’s any chance of a presidential election do-ever. I know this is absolutely unprecedented, but Russia manipulated things to make sure the Republicans got in power not only in the White House but also in Congress, so I don’t know if having Paul Ryan end up as president because he’s speaker of the house is the right outcome.
All I can say is, we are most definitely in uncharted territory right now. So hang on tight, because this is most definitely going to be a very bumpy ride.
“You know the results of the latest Gallup Poll? Half the country never even heard of the word Watergate. […] 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.” - Ben Bradlee
“At Key Biscayne, according to a Secret Service source, Nixon once lost
his temper during a conversation about Cambodia. ‘He just got pissed,’
the agent quoted eyewitnesses as saying. ‘They were half in the tank,
sitting around the pool drinking. And Nixon got on the phone and said: ‘Bomb the shit out of them!’ ‘If the president had his way,’
Kissinger growled to aides more than once, ‘there would be a nuclear war
each week!’ This may not have been an idle jest. The CIA’s top Vietnam
specialist, George Carver, reportedly said that in 1969, when the North
Koreans shot down a US spy plane, ‘Nixon became incensed and ordered a
tactical nuclear strike… The Joint Chiefs were alerted and asked to
recommend targets, but Kissinger got on the phone to them. They agreed
not to do anything until Nixon sobered up in the morning.’ The
allegation of flirting with nuclear weaponry is not an isolated one.
Nixon had been open to the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Vietnam as
early as 1954 and as president-elect in 1968 had talked of striking ‘a
blow that would both end the war and win it.’ A Kissinger aide who moved
over to the White House, David Young, told a colleague ‘of the time he
was on the phone [listening] when Nixon and Kissinger were talking.
Nixon was drunk, and he said, ‘Henry, we’ve got to nuke them.’”
So, do you think Rex Tillerson–or anyone else in the Trump administration–has Kissinger’s role as “The Guy Who Doesn’t Let the President Start a Nuclear War Whenever He Gets Angry About Something”?
Can you imagine what this man could have been had somebody loved him? Had somebody in his life cared for him? I don’t think anybody ever did, not his parents, not his peers. He would have been a great, great man had somebody loved him.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, on Richard Nixon, in an interview with TIME’s Hugh Sidey
President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign was energized by calls to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server containing classified information, but one man now has a unique power to frustrate the Trump partisans’ cries of “Lock her up!”: President Barack Obama.
Experts agree that Obama has the authority to foreclose that possibility by pardoning Clinton for any federal offenses she may have committed or could ever be prosecuted for. And he could do it whether she asks or not.
“The president here will, I’m sure, consider using what tools he has in his last couple of weeks, including a pardon, to do what he can before Trump takes over,” said Harold Krent, dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. “There’s a window and presidents have used those windows to accomplish a variety of goals.”
“What he’s going to do with this power in the next two months is really a good question,” said a close observer of the pardon process who asked not be named. “There are so many things on the table….This whole event is going to cause us to think even more about: what is this power?”
But such an act of clemency for Clinton is fraught with danger to Obama’s reputation and to hers, as any move to protect the failed Democratic presidential nominee would surely trigger charges of unfairness and political favoritism, while seeming to some to be an admission of guilt.
Dan Rather slams Donald Trump in viral Facebook post
Watergate is the biggest political scandal of my lifetime, until maybe now. It was the closest we came to a debilitating Constitutional crisis, until maybe now. On a 10 scale of armageddon for our form of government, I would put Watergate at a 9. This Russia scandal is currently somewhere around a 5 or 6, in my opinion, but it is cascading in intensity seemingly by the hour. And we may look back and see, in the end, that it is at least as big as Watergate. It may become the measure by which all future scandals are judged. It has all the necessary ingredients, and that is chilling.
When we look back at Watergate, we remember the end of the Nixon Presidency. It came with an avalanche, but for most of the time my fellow reporters and I were chasing down the story as it rumbled along with a low-grade intensity. We never were quite sure how much we would find out about what really happened. In the end, the truth emerged into the light, and President Nixon descended into infamy.
This Russia story started out with an avalanche and where we go from here no one really knows. Each piece of news demands new questions. We are still less than a month into the Trump Presidency, and many are asking that question made famous by Tennessee Senator Howard Baker those many years ago: “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” New reporting suggests that Mr. Trump knew for weeks. We can all remember the General Michael Flynn’s speech from the Republican National Convention - “Lock her up!” in regards to Hillary Clinton. If Hillary Clinton had done one tenth of what Mr. Flynn had done, she likely would be in jail. And it isn’t just Mr. Flynn, how far does this go?
The White House has no credibility on this issue. Their spigot of lies - can’t we finally all agree to call them lies - long ago lost them any semblance of credibility. I would also extend that to the Republican Congress, who has excused away the Trump Administration’s assertions for far too long.
We need an independent investigation. Damn the lies, full throttle forward on the truth. If a scriptwriter had approached Hollywood with what we are witnessing, he or she would probably have been told it was way too far-fetched for even a summer blockbuster. But this is not fiction. It is real and it is serious. Deadly serious. We deserve answers and those who are complicit in this scandal need to feel the full force of justice. — Dan Rather
August 2 1971: President Nixon and Kissinger discuss the Concert for Bangladesh the following morning. Nixon, especially, was not best pleased at any show of support for the refugees - a nice illustration of the hostile and thankless political climate in which George boldly organised the concert. Go get ‘em George.