Monday, June 06, 2005

What the Right Believes

The coming-out of Mark Felt as Deep Throat has certainly unveiled a lot of conservative craziness for all to watch. Martin Schram has the scoop at Newsday:

Richard Nixon's ex-convicts - who did jail time for their crimes against democracy and then profited from their crimes by writing books and becoming celebrities - had returned to work one more con. Nixon's former senior White House assistant, Charles Colson, and the Nixon team's burglar-in-chief, G. Gordon Liddy, worked the cable news circuit, expressing moral indignation that the FBI's former deputy director, W. Mark Felt, was Deep Throat.


"I was shocked because I worked with him closely," Colson said on MSNBC. "And you would think the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, you could talk to with the same confidence you could talk to a priest." Then on CNN: "I was shocked, because ... I talked to him often and trusted him with very sensitive materials. So did the president. To think that he was out going around in back alleys at night looking for flowerpots, passing information to someone, it's . . . not the image of the professional FBI that you would expect."

Ah, image. Conjure Colson, with Nixon and others in the Oval Office, as Nixon orders a burglary at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

Meanwhile on CNN, Liddy tells Paula Zahn: "I view him [Felt] as someone who violated the ethics of the law enforcement profession." Then, back on MSNBC, Liddy brags that not only had he plotted the burglary of the Democratic Party's Watergate offices but, "I planned the Brookings break-in." It wasn't done, Liddy said - "too expensive."

When the face of Nixon's speechwriter Pat Buchanan appeared on our looking-glass/screens, some viewers might have expected a refreshing, ruminative literary perspective about Felt and the Watergate era. Then Buchanan spoke: "I think he's a snake."

"Here is an individual," Buchanan explained, "sneaking around at night leaking things to damage the president of the United States in the middle of a campaign. And I don't see what is heroic about ... that."


Lost in the wailings of Nixon's men is the one thing Americans need to know to understand Felt's dilemma. Felt couldn't go to his boss. J.Edgar Hoover had just died and Nixon had replaced him with an unqualified Nixon loyalist - L.Patrick Gray III, who proved his worth by destroying documents and slipping others to officials running the White House cover-up. Felt couldn't go to the attorney general; John Mitchell was attorney general when he presided over the Watergate break-in planning and, after leaving to run Nixon's campaign, was replaced by a Nixon loyalist not trusted by many FBI hands. Felt couldn't go to Congress - the Senate Watergate Committee didn't exist yet. Felt certainly couldn't go to Nixon or all the president's henchmen.

So he helped his young reporter friend, Bob Woodward. And, three decades later, these Nixon criminals popped up on our looking-glass/screens, doing their shtick. They wailed like pro wrestlers pounding the mat in feigned pain.

What Schram doesn't mention and that I find particularly egregious is the fact that the Nixon wailers are trying to lay blame for the Vietnam debacle on Mark Felt. What crap. What's especially amusing about this is that these men are frantically prostituting themselves over the body of a dead president who would now be classified as "insufficiently Republican."


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