Friday, December 30, 2016

The Absence Of Intent And The Presumption Of Guilt:Richard Nixon And Watergate

When Hillary Clinton was facing prosecution for over 33,000 leaked emails apologists in the media and Dept. of Justice kept citing an absence of criminal intent as an excuse for avoiding prosecution. During the Watergate hearings, President Richard M. Nixon was afforded no such out. In fact, he wasn't even afforded the presumption of innocence, a mainstay of the American judicial system since its inception.

I recently watched a film about the last days of the Nixon Administration and attempted Watergate cover-up. The movie was a typical Hollywood smear job but several things stood out. First was Nixon's integrity which, despite their efforts to obfuscate it, showed him to be a man who put the nation ahead of himself. Second was his love of his family and concern for them above himself. Another thing that was painfully obvious was a complete lack of impartiality in the investigation. Throughout the film I listened for the word intent- it was never used. Nixon's intent, however, was apparent. His only intent was to preserve the integrity of the office of the any cost. In doing this he embarked on a road that would inevitably cost him his presidency.

Watergate was a political witch hunt from beginning to end. When the "burglars" were caught and turned out to be operatives of the White House, the Democrats lost no time in bringing down the president. A Special Prosecutor was appointed and Congressional hearings begun. The media went into a frenzy. In any objective investigation the impartiality of the investigators in paramount. The very fact that Hillary Clinton, given her radical political affiliations, worked for the Congressional committee doing the investigating shows that impartiality was never a concern. This was a blatant attempt to bring down Nixon.

The Democrats and Special Prosecutors demanded tapes, some 64 of them, that contained not only issues pertinent to Watergate, but conversations with his family, foreign diplomats and others that would essentially strip the president of any vestige of privacy. This is what Nixon objected to. He offered to give Congress transcripts of all pertinent material, but that wasn't good enough- they wanted everything. In his attempt to preserve the privacy and integrity of the presidency, Nixon made some pretty bad blunders. This just added fuel to the fire. However, if you think about it, how comfortable do you think foreign leaders would be talking in the Oval Office, if everything they said was to be made public? Nixon had a point.

But the Democrats and media were unrelenting. I wonder why they weren't equally unrelenting during the attack on Benghazi. I wonder what transcripts of Obama's communications with Valerie Jarrett or Hillary Clinton would have revealed. Or, perhaps communications between Bill Clinton and Communist Chinese donors, who had access to the Lincoln Bedroom. But these issues were never even raised. The Democrats have historically represented everything reprehensible in America. They were the party of slavery. They were the party of Tammany Hall and the party of Richard Daley's political machine in Chicago. They were also the party of the undoing of a man that hopefully history will vindicate. The movie does make one good point: If the private conversations of every president were made public, how many would have been able to continue as president?

Nixon was, after all, a pretty competent president. He normalized relations with Communist China and opened trade negotiations. He also did more for Middle-East relations than any other president. He was able to negotiate with Leonid Brezhnev one of the most hard-line Premiers of the USSR in the Cold War era. Nixon funded Johnson's Great Society programs and started the EPA. He also won the Vietnam War...Yes won it. This video shows how the North Vietnamese, Viet Cong, and South Vietnamese, along with the U.S. initialized the Paris Peace Accords and were ready to sign them a short time later. This is why the Democrats had to bring Nixon down.

In the end, Richard M. Nixon was guilty of being a decent, honorable human being, albeit a flawed one- like the rest of us.He was guilty of putting country and family first, ahead of political expediency. If he had stuck it out, he would most likely have prevailed, but at what cost? He didn't want to put the country or his family through the scandal. Unlike Bill Clinton who has no concept of decency, he stepped down for the good of the nation he loved. The Nixon presidency and its undoing say more about the Democrats who have come after than the man himself. History, I'm certain, will vindicate him.

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