Bush, Rove engaged in dirty tricks of their
own, as far back as Watergate, highlighting the need for present-day
By Jackson Thoreau
As right-wing criminals like G. Liddy mangle the historical record and hypocritically lecture us on ethics in the wake of the disclosure that former No. 2 G-man W. Mark Felt was Bob Woodward's Deep Throat, many people are ignoring an obvious connection.
The current occupants of the White House have long engaged in dirty tricks that make Liddy and co. look like the bumbling fools they largely were.
Even during Watergate, as Felt told Woodward about the illegal acts of the Nixon adminstration, George W. Bush engaged in similar actions. In 1972, as the Watergate break-in broke, Bush coordinated the campaign of an Alabama Republican Senate candidate. Among his acts was to distribute campaign materials that included a "doctored tape" of a radio debate that distorted the Democratic senator's position on bussing, making him look like he favored bussing.
Meanwhile, Bush's partner-to-be in many, many dirty tricks, chief political advisor Karl Rove, had been doing worse for a few years by then. In 1970, Rove posed as a supporter of Alan Dixon, a Democratic candidate for state treasurer in Illinois, and stole stationary from the campaign. He then created a flier that lied about offering free beer, food and women at Dixon's campaign opening event on the official stationary and distributed thousands of copies to homeless centers and similar places. Hundreds of the homeless showed up, effectively disrupting the event.
Rove spent the Watergate years in similar actions and even was paid by Republican organizations to lead seminars on college campuses, lecturing young Republicans on how to engage in dirty tricks of their own. You think all the phony fliers and dirty tricks in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 and other places were just coincidences? They were born during Rove's Watergate-era seminars.
Then, take a look at Bush's poppy, the main reason we have another Bush criminal in the White House. Bush Sr. accepted illegal campaign contributions from none other than Nixon himself during his failed senate campaign in 1970. Some $106,000 came from Nixon's secret campaign slush fund called "Operation Townhouse," with at least $55,000 in cash that was not reported as required by law.
During Watergate, Bush Sr. headed the Republican National Committee and did everything he could to keep Watergate quiet. In 1973, Bush even came up with a phony plan to divert attention by accusing the late Carmine Bellino, a committee investigator for the U.S. Senate committee investigating Watergate, of trying to bug the hotel where Nixon stayed preparing for the 1960 debates with JFK. The investigation into that lie and dirty trick went on for more than two months, causing delays in the Watergate committee's proceedings.
Bellino was eventually cleared, of course, but not before Bush almost helped destroy the Watergate investigation. He might have succeeded had people like Felt not been there to blow the whistle. That's why people like Liddy and Buchanan and Bush call Felt a traitor, when he is a real hero who understood that reporting what he saw through the normal channels of the Justice Department was not going to work since the Justice Department destroyed evidence and worked directly in cahoots with the criminal Nixon White House.
Many people also erroneously believe Watergate was only about a relatively minor burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters. It's not. The criminal actions of the Nixon administration went way beyond burglary to threatening to kill people, threatening to bomb liberal think tanks, poisoning the food of at least one prominent Democrat, presidential candidate Edmund Muskie, misusing public funds, illegally abusing campaign contributions, and obstruction of justice, to name but a few.
Still, with all that crap that the Nixon adminstration did, those criminals don't compare with the criminals of this Bush administration, which only got to where it is by cheating, dirty tricks, lying and criminal behavior. It's amazing we have sunk so low as a country that these Bush criminals have the untouchable reputation they have and people are accused of being traitors simply for telling the truth about them.
It sickens me. But I continue to scream from my rooftop, to point the finger, to cry out for more Deep Throats of our own generation, and Bob Woodwards and Carl Bernsteins to use them, to at least pay attention to memos like the British one that shows the Bush administration planned to invade Iraq from the get-go. We need you, whistle blowers and media. Find your guts. Find your courage, as W.
Mark Felt and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did more than three decades previously, before it's too late.
Jackson Thoreau, a Washington, D.C.-area journalist, contributed to Big Bush Lies, published by RiverWood Books and available in bookstores across the country. Thoreau's latest book, Thou Shalt Not
Cheat: How Bush and Rove Broke the Rules - From the Sandlot to the White House, is due out later this year. He can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.