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Carl Bernstein Finds Plame Parallels To Watergate

Carl Bernstein Finds Plame Parallels To Watergate
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By Joe Strupp
Published: October 27, 2005 7:30 AM ET

NEW YORK As the anticipation over possible indictments in the Valerie Plame case reaches excruciating levels, Watergate legend Carl Bernstein warns that comparisons to the case that made him famous more than 30 years ago must be viewed carefully.

Still, the former Washington Post reporter who shared a Pulitzer Prize for helping to expose the Nixon administration's wrongdoing says some parallels can be drawn between the two investigations, particularly the way both helped uncover extended dishonesty in the White House.

"We are obviously watching and the press is beginning to document the implosion of a presidency," Bernstein said Thursday, just hours before the Plame grand jury is set to expire. "How destructive that implosion is going to be, ultimately, we don't know yet.

"But what the Plame leak investigation has unveiled is what the press should have been focusing on long before and without let up--how we went to war, the dishonesty involved in that process in terms of what the president and vice-president told the American people and the Congress, and the routine smearing by members of the Bush administration of people who questioned their actions and motives."

Bernstein compared that to the way the Watergate investigation uncovered widespread dishonesty in the Nixon administration in a similar way. "Beware of exact comparisons," he said. "However, in Watergate, the cover-up of the role of Nixon's aides in the Watergate break-in led to the discovery by the press and the political institutions of the larger crimes -- the so called 'White House horrors' -- meaning the constitutional crimes of the president and his men.

"In the case of the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame, there also has been a political cover-up, not necessarily a criminal one, having to do with the question of how we went to war and the smearing of this administration's opponents," he added. "The question of whether or not there is criminal culpability by Lewis Libby or Karl Rove is less-important, I believe, than the fact that their actions have finally shed light on questions that long ago should have been examined much more closely by the press and the political establishment, and particularly the president's fellow Republicans."

Bernstein found a similarity there as well, noting "in the Nixon administration, courageous Republicans decided it was important that the president's actions be scrutinized and that hasn't occurred in large measure (in the Plame case). But the implosion that seems to be occurring would indicate that that kind of scrutiny might be on the way."

Citing the Plame case's connection to the Iraq War, and the lies that led up to U.S. involvement, Bernstein found another similarity to Watergate. "The long range interests of the country are affected every bit as much by the (Iraq) war as (by) the events of Watergate," he declared. "What we are seeing is a broad question of the honesty of how we got into this war and the honesty of a presidency."

When asked how the special prosecutors in the Watergate case compared to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's work in the Plame matter, Bernstein zeroed in on his subpoenaing of reporters to testify. "Most of our sources in Watergate were in the Nixon administration and some of them probably broke the law," he said. "I think the unfortunate thing about this special prosecutor's investigation is that it took him hauling reporters in to court before a lot of the relevant questions about the president were raised in the press."

That delay in press alertness, he said, was similar in both the Watergate case and the Plame matter. "It took a long time for the press to stay with the story of Watergate and it has taken the press a long time to stay with the story of this presidency's truthfulness and how it went to war."

Joe Strupp ( is a senior editor at E&P.


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Sure, Machiavelli's "The Prince" set to paper the "Game Rules" of Patriarchal fascism, but the game had already been going on for over 5500 years. And the game rules of "The Human Primate as Sociopath Predator" are not that complicated, though they are quite effective.

Nixon summed it up pretty well when he said during the David Frost interviews in the late 1970s that "When the president does it, it isn't breaking the law." This past week, we had DeLay echoing the same sentiment when he declared that he wasn't being criminal, he was just playing hardball politics. Karl Rove tours the country teaching "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" to grass roots politicians. (It was a pack of Republicans that tried to plant illegal drugs on me when I was shaking up the local Power Structure in Chatham County, NC) I have personally sat in corporate board meetings stunned like a deer in headlights while my co-workers plotted and schemed on how to get around worker protection laws, fair trade laws, and how to "neutralize" their opposition with any means necessary.

From the roots of Albert Pike's "Scottish Rite Freemasons" thru the inception of the Robber Baron "Grand Old Party" to the Military-Industrial-Medical-Media Complex PNAC-AIPAC alliance, the ANTI-AMERICAN sentiment of this NEOCON cabal remains consistant with their fascist belief that "Law of the Jungle trumps the Law of Civilized People" . . . "All men are NOT created equal. We are better than everyone else and we are right!!!." These guys are willing to manipulate, lie, cheat, blackmail, steal, torture, destroy, and kill in order to get their way and maintain their dysfunctional addiction to Power.

We have GOP leaders saying the US Constitution is a "quaint but dated document." We have Ann Coulter being cheered by republicans as she states her disdain for the protections of the first amendment.

And in their "Right Man" damaged psyches, they are "justified." After all, God talks to them directly, right Mr. Bush? Mr. Pat Robertson? Mr. Falwell?

First Game Rule HERE - "WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men (people) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Anyone not willing to play by this Game Rule is a Traitor to the Constitution and should be treated as such. In Wilkes County, NC where I grew up, we used to take school tours to the "Tory Oak Tree" where they would hang traitors. It is interesting that the only crime specifically outlined in the US Constitution is for Treason:

Article III - Section 3 - "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."

Of course, I personally find the killing of my fellow humans a violation of sacred law . . . you know, "Ape shall not kill Ape" from "The Conquest of the Planet of the Apes." I would prefer a more fitting punishment like house arrest on an MTV2 Reality TV
show while these guys attempt to survive working minimum wage jobs at McDonald's and WalMart and having to put up with each other.
("Turd Blossom - Did you eat the last of the bologna???" "Yeah, Dubya, but I put in those pop bottles and only got three pieces. No, wait, it WASN'T me, it was, uh, SCOOTER!! Yeah, SCOOTER did it!!" "Don't lie to me, Turd Blossom!! Do you know who my daddy is???") ;-)

"Concrete shoes, cyanide, TNT
Done Dirt Cheap
Neckties,contracts, highvoltage
Done Dirt Cheap"
- Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC


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