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Old March 31st 04, 09:31 PM
Jim
 
Posts: n/a
Default ( OT ) Creepier than Nixon -- Worse than Watergate

Creepier than Nixon
The man who brought down Richard Nixon says Bush and
"co-president" Cheney are an even greater threat to the country.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By David Talbot



March 31, 2004 | As Richard Nixon's White House counsel
during the Watergate scandal, John Dean famously warned his
boss that there was "a cancer on the presidency" that would
bring down the administration unless Nixon came clean. In
his new book, "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency
of George W. Bush," Dean warns the country that the Bush
administration is even more secretive and authoritarian than
Nixon's -- in fact, he writes, it's "the most secretive
presidency of my lifetime."

"To say that the [Bush-Cheney] secret presidency is
undemocratic is an understatement," he adds. "I'm anything
but skittish about government, but I must say this
administration is truly scary and, given the times we live
in, frighteningly dangerous."

Dean's new book is being published, appropriately, as the
country is being treated to another spectacle of Nixonian
smearing and stonewalling by the Bush White House. Rather
than come clean about its pre-9/11 security policies, the
administration has engaged in a frenzied counterattack on
its whistle-blowing former terrorism chief, Richard Clarke,
while refusing to let National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice testify before the bipartisan panel investigating the
terror attack until the political pressure became overwhelming.

Dean conversed with Salon by e-mail from his Los Angeles home.

Q
How is the Bush-Cheney administration more secretive than
Nixon's

A
A few examples make the point. Nixon became a secretive
president, as his presidency proceeded, while Bush and
Cheney were secretive from the outset. Nixon actually tried
to reduce the excessive national security classification of
documents (through a panel headed by the man who is now
chief justice of the United States), while Bush and Cheney
have tried to increase classification (and 9/11 does not
hold up as the reason for much of it). Nixon only abused
executive privilege (the power of a president to withhold
information from his constitutional co-equals) after
Watergate, while Bush and Cheney have sought to abuse the
privilege from the outset. Nixon was never taken to court by
the General Accounting Office for refusing to provide
information about executive activities, while Bush and
Cheney forced GAO to go to court (where GAO lost under a
recently appointed Bush judge). Nixon believed presidential
papers should be available for historians, but Bush has
undermined the laws to make such records available to the
public.

While Nixon's presidency gave currency to the term
"stonewalling," Bush and Cheney have made stonewalling their
standard procedure, far in excess of Nixon. In short, in
every area one looks, Bush and Cheney are more secretive
than Nixon ever imagined being. I have mentioned but a few.

Q
Why have Congress and the press allowed Dick Cheney to get
away with his stonewalling tactics on the energy task force,
Halliburton, duck hunting with Justice Scalia, and other
questionable aspects of his vice presidency?

A
I would add to the list Cheney's outrageous stonewalling
about his health, which we know is bad, notwithstanding his
effort to keep the details secret. The Congress lets Cheney
do anything he wants because Republicans control it, and
Cheney is their heavy in the White House for getting things
done. Cheney, so long as Republicans control, will not have
to answer, but should we return to divided government in
2004 or 2006 and Cheney is still in the White House, that
will end.

There has never been a vice president -- ever (and even
including Spiro Agnew who was Nixon's) -- who needed to be
investigated more than Cheney. Nor has there ever been such
a secretive vice president. Dick Cheney is the power behind
the Bush throne. Frankly, I am baffled why the mainstream
news media has given Cheney (not to mention Bush) a free
ride. I don't know if it is generational, or corporate
ownership, or political bias, but it is clear that Cheney
has been given a pass by the major news organizations.

Q
Do you feel the vice president has, after more than three
years of secretive governing from an undisclosed location,
become a political liability to the president? How likely is
it that Bush will drop him from the ticket this year?

A
Dick Cheney is a political disaster awaiting recognition. In
the book, I set forth a relatively long list of inchoate
scandals, not to mention problems worse than scandals. They
all involve Cheney in varying degrees. Bush can't dump
Cheney, for it is Cheney, not Rove, who is Bush's backroom
brain. He is actually a co-president. Bush doesn't enjoy
studying and devising policy. Cheney does. While Cheney has
tutored Bush for almost four years, and Bush is better
prepared today than when he entered the job, Cheney is
quietly guiding this administration. Cheney knows how to
play Bush so that Cheney is absolutely no threat to him,
makes him feel he is president, but Bush can't function
without a script, or without Cheney. Bush is head of state;
Cheney is head of government.

If, say, the Securities and Exchange Commission's current
investigation of Halliburton's accounting also discovers
that Cheney engaged in insider trading when he left
Halliburton (which the facts suggest is highly likely), and
this matter erupts before the Republican convention, then
Cheney might be forced to step aside. Cheney always has his
bad-health excuse anytime he wants to take it -- because it
is a fact. He has a certain immunity as vice president, but
if he were to be dropped from the ticket (or he and Bush
lose), I believe Cheney would have serious problems which he
would no longer be able to deflect. Thus, he will stay and
fight like hell to win.

I quote Cheney from his time in the Ford White House when he
said, "Principle is okay up to a certain point, but
principle doesn't do any good if you lose." I think this
statement sums up Cheney's thinking nicely.

Q
You write that Bush and Cheney have not leveled with America
about their true agenda. What is it?

A
Because of their secrecy, it takes a lot of work to connect
the dots. I've not connected them all, but enough of them to
know that the only agenda they had during the first term was
to get a second term -- which meant secretly taking care of
their major contributors. Should they get a second term, we
know their secret agenda, for they have quietly stated it:
They intend to make sure the Republicans control the federal
government (all three branches) indefinitely, if possible.
In short, the Bush-Cheney agenda is about perpetuating
Republican rule by taking particularly good care of major
contributors who share their views of the world.

Q
Karl Rove also plays a unique role in the Bush
administration. One close observer says in your book that
he's "Haldeman and Ehrlichman all in one." Explain.

A
Rove's unique role is that he is a political guy making
policy decisions for political reasons. Decisions in the
Bush White House are made not based on what is best for the
public interest, rather what will get the president the most
mileage with his base, and best political advantage. Not
since Nixon's so-called responsiveness program -- which was
uncovered during the Watergate investigation -- have we had
such overt political decision-making.

The reference to Haldeman and Ehrlichman as explaining Rove
was a quip from a friend of mine from the Nixon White House
who has had dealings with Rove. Since Rove is a revengeful
fellow, my friend will remain nameless. But my friend was
telegraphing a lot of information about Rove with this bit
of shorthand -- for anyone who has any knowledge of the
Nixon White House and Watergate, they know Haldeman and
Ehrlichman were the heavies. First, it is a compliment in
that both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were very smart, and
highly efficient. But what it tells us is that Rove is
ruthless, for both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were that too.

Both Haldeman and Ehrlichman saw the world through a
political lens, and what was most likely to help Richard
Nixon get reelected. So does Rove. Haldeman was involved
with procedure (broadly speaking, I mean who was doing what
at the White House, arranging the presidential travel and
appearances for maximum political benefit, and constantly
mindful of the president's image and making him look good),
and Ehrlichman was the substance guy (who developed domestic
policies, but accounting for the political impact). Rove
controls both.

Had Haldeman and Ehrlichman not received the longest
sentences of any of those involved in Watergate, Rove would
probably be pleased by the comparison.

Q
Karl Rove first came to your attention during Watergate. In
what ways is he the reincarnation of Nixon dirty tricksters
like Charles Colson and Donald Segretti?

A
He is way beyond anything Nixon had at his disposal. He is
closer to a behind-the-scenes Nixon operator named Murray
Chotiner, who could cut off an opponent at the knees so
quickly the person did not immediately realize he had been
crippled. As I note in the book, the first time I heard the
name Karl Rove was when I was asked if I knew anything about
him by one of the Watergate special prosecutors who was
investigating campaign dirty tricks. I didn't have any
knowledge. But I recalled that question when working on this
book, and located a memorandum in the files of the Watergate
prosecutor's office that indicates they were asking others
as well about Rove. Based on my review of the files, it
appears the Watergate prosecutors were interested in Rove's
activities in 1972, but because they had bigger fish to fry
they did not aggressively investigate him.

Colson was brutal, cruel and vicious before he found God
(during Watergate). While he once famously said he would run
over his grandmother to get Nixon reelected, today I suspect
he'd run over his grandmother to convert a few heathens to
Christ. Segretti did not engage in the kind of dirty
politics that Colson liked to play. Segretti was a political
prankster, who only by accident got associated with
Watergate. Nothing that Segretti did, that I know of, could
be called sinister. Colson, on the other hand, was as nasty
a political operative as could be found. Indeed, to this day
we don't know the full extent of Colson's activities. He
even refused to tell Nixon some of the things he had done
(while boasting to Nixon he had done things he didn't want
to tell the president). Colson walked out of the White House
with any of his papers and records that might cause him a
problem. Karl Rove, from what I've seen, makes Colson look
like a novice.

Q
Bush has managed to stay above the ugly tactics used against
opponents like John McCain and now John Kerry. Does he
privately give them his blessing?

A
Of course. All candidates control their campaigns, and if
they don't want such activity, it doesn't occur. As I
discovered in talking to people about Bush, he is a highly
sophisticated political operator. I've noted in the book
that Rove gets the credit for being Bush's political brain.
It's an arrangement both men like, because it raises Rove's
importance as a political operator, and lowers Bush's
exposure. In truth, Bush is probably more politically savvy
than Rove. Both men learned their politics from Lee A****er,
who ran Bush senior's 1988 campaign. A****er made dirty
politics into an art form, by which I mean he provided those
for whom dirty deeds were done deniability while A****er's
people tore up an opponent's pea-patch and everything else.
I expect the 2004 presidential campaign to make Richard
Nixon look like a high-road campaigner.

Q
At least until recently, the Bush administration has
successfully used the public's fear of terrorism to advance
its agenda. You go so far as to agree with Gen. Tommy
Franks' dark prediction that another major terror attack on
U.S. citizens will drive the country to suspend the
Constitution. Why do you fear that?

A
As I state in the book, I agree for reasons that probably
differ from those of Gen. Franks. The short summary of what
is really a thread that runs through the book is that when
you have a presidency that has no regard for human life,
that develops and implements all (not just national
security) policy in secrecy, and is driven by political
motives and a radical philosophy, it is impossible not to
conclude that they will overreact -- and at the expense of
our constitutional safeguards. Bush and Cheney enjoy using
power to make and wield swords, not ploughs. They prefer to
rule by fear. We've had three years to take the measure of
these men. I've done so and reported what I found in a book
I never planned to write, but because others were not
talking about these issues, I believed they needed to be
placed on the table.

Bush and Cheney have exploited terrorism ever since 9/11.
Now they are exploiting it to get reelected. Should there be
an even more serious threat, they have found that when
Americans are frightened they can be governed like sheep,
which suits Bush and Cheney perfectly. Rather than taking
the terror out of terrorism by educating and informing
Americans, they have sought to make terrorism as frightening
as possible -- using terrorism to launch a war of aggression
that is breeding a new generation of terrorists and getting
the Congress to pass the most repressive new laws imaginable
and calling it an act of patriotism.

Q
Do you think Bush has an enemies list? Are you on it?

A
I don't believe that Bush, Cheney or Rove are foolish enough
to actually maintain such a list -- as was foolishly done in
the Nixon White House. But I believe they have long
memories. As to how they feel about me, I could care less.
As I explain in the book, I used many of my sources on
background because this is a White House that takes revenge,
and its supporters and surrogates play as dirty as they can
get away with. The truth for this White House is not very
pleasant, and my writing about it will not be appreciated. I
didn't write this book for those who believe that Bush and
Cheney have got it right, and don't want to hear otherwise.
Rather I wrote it because a lot of people suspect that
they've gotten it wrong, and needed someone who knows the
workings of the White House to explain what is going on and why.

Q
If the Bush-Cheney scandals are "worse than Watergate," why
hasn't this administration produced a whistle-blowing John Dean?

A
First, I make very clear in the book that while the
underlying conduct is worse than Watergate, it has not --
yet -- erupted into a scandal like Watergate. Like anyone at
the White House, yours truly included, you first try to work
within the system -- to right things you know are wrong.
Take former terrorism czar Richard Clarke. He certainly
tried to get the Bush administration to address the problems
of terrorism sooner rather than later, but failed. After
leaving government he remained troubled about the Bush
administration's failures to deal with terrorism, for he
knows better than most that the war in Iraq only added to
the problems. So he testified truthfully before the 9/11
commission -- which is all I did. Or take former Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill. He tried to work within the system.
However, he was fired for telling the truth and expressing
his well-founded concern about Bush's excessive tax cuts for
the upper incomes. This is a presidency that does not like
the truth told about their activities.

If, as I believe to be the case, things are going to get
rough for Bush and Cheney given the potential scandals they
face, others like Clarke and O'Neill may fill the role I
found myself having to fulfill. But the stakes are higher
now. No one died because of the abuses of power known as
Watergate. Too many have died (and more in the future may)
because of the abuses of power by this presidency. That's
why their abuses are worse than Watergate.


  #2   Report Post  
Old April 1st 04, 01:52 AM
Tuuk
 
Posts: n/a
Default ( OT ) Creepier than Nixon -- Worse than Watergate

Not too smart are you? Surprised some of these authors of these articles do
not sell something at the ends of them. I mean, they already have a simple
person's mind paying attention to them, why not try and sell them some swamp
land bridges while they are at it. Its obvious these readers are not too
smart.








"Jim" wrote in message
...
Creepier than Nixon
The man who brought down Richard Nixon says Bush and
"co-president" Cheney are an even greater threat to the country.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By David Talbot



March 31, 2004 | As Richard Nixon's White House counsel
during the Watergate scandal, John Dean famously warned his
boss that there was "a cancer on the presidency" that would
bring down the administration unless Nixon came clean. In
his new book, "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency
of George W. Bush," Dean warns the country that the Bush
administration is even more secretive and authoritarian than
Nixon's -- in fact, he writes, it's "the most secretive
presidency of my lifetime."

"To say that the [Bush-Cheney] secret presidency is
undemocratic is an understatement," he adds. "I'm anything
but skittish about government, but I must say this
administration is truly scary and, given the times we live
in, frighteningly dangerous."

Dean's new book is being published, appropriately, as the
country is being treated to another spectacle of Nixonian
smearing and stonewalling by the Bush White House. Rather
than come clean about its pre-9/11 security policies, the
administration has engaged in a frenzied counterattack on
its whistle-blowing former terrorism chief, Richard Clarke,
while refusing to let National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice testify before the bipartisan panel investigating the
terror attack until the political pressure became overwhelming.

Dean conversed with Salon by e-mail from his Los Angeles home.

Q
How is the Bush-Cheney administration more secretive than
Nixon's

A
A few examples make the point. Nixon became a secretive
president, as his presidency proceeded, while Bush and
Cheney were secretive from the outset. Nixon actually tried
to reduce the excessive national security classification of
documents (through a panel headed by the man who is now
chief justice of the United States), while Bush and Cheney
have tried to increase classification (and 9/11 does not
hold up as the reason for much of it). Nixon only abused
executive privilege (the power of a president to withhold
information from his constitutional co-equals) after
Watergate, while Bush and Cheney have sought to abuse the
privilege from the outset. Nixon was never taken to court by
the General Accounting Office for refusing to provide
information about executive activities, while Bush and
Cheney forced GAO to go to court (where GAO lost under a
recently appointed Bush judge). Nixon believed presidential
papers should be available for historians, but Bush has
undermined the laws to make such records available to the
public.

While Nixon's presidency gave currency to the term
"stonewalling," Bush and Cheney have made stonewalling their
standard procedure, far in excess of Nixon. In short, in
every area one looks, Bush and Cheney are more secretive
than Nixon ever imagined being. I have mentioned but a few.

Q
Why have Congress and the press allowed Dick Cheney to get
away with his stonewalling tactics on the energy task force,
Halliburton, duck hunting with Justice Scalia, and other
questionable aspects of his vice presidency?

A
I would add to the list Cheney's outrageous stonewalling
about his health, which we know is bad, notwithstanding his
effort to keep the details secret. The Congress lets Cheney
do anything he wants because Republicans control it, and
Cheney is their heavy in the White House for getting things
done. Cheney, so long as Republicans control, will not have
to answer, but should we return to divided government in
2004 or 2006 and Cheney is still in the White House, that
will end.

There has never been a vice president -- ever (and even
including Spiro Agnew who was Nixon's) -- who needed to be
investigated more than Cheney. Nor has there ever been such
a secretive vice president. Dick Cheney is the power behind
the Bush throne. Frankly, I am baffled why the mainstream
news media has given Cheney (not to mention Bush) a free
ride. I don't know if it is generational, or corporate
ownership, or political bias, but it is clear that Cheney
has been given a pass by the major news organizations.

Q
Do you feel the vice president has, after more than three
years of secretive governing from an undisclosed location,
become a political liability to the president? How likely is
it that Bush will drop him from the ticket this year?

A
Dick Cheney is a political disaster awaiting recognition. In
the book, I set forth a relatively long list of inchoate
scandals, not to mention problems worse than scandals. They
all involve Cheney in varying degrees. Bush can't dump
Cheney, for it is Cheney, not Rove, who is Bush's backroom
brain. He is actually a co-president. Bush doesn't enjoy
studying and devising policy. Cheney does. While Cheney has
tutored Bush for almost four years, and Bush is better
prepared today than when he entered the job, Cheney is
quietly guiding this administration. Cheney knows how to
play Bush so that Cheney is absolutely no threat to him,
makes him feel he is president, but Bush can't function
without a script, or without Cheney. Bush is head of state;
Cheney is head of government.

If, say, the Securities and Exchange Commission's current
investigation of Halliburton's accounting also discovers
that Cheney engaged in insider trading when he left
Halliburton (which the facts suggest is highly likely), and
this matter erupts before the Republican convention, then
Cheney might be forced to step aside. Cheney always has his
bad-health excuse anytime he wants to take it -- because it
is a fact. He has a certain immunity as vice president, but
if he were to be dropped from the ticket (or he and Bush
lose), I believe Cheney would have serious problems which he
would no longer be able to deflect. Thus, he will stay and
fight like hell to win.

I quote Cheney from his time in the Ford White House when he
said, "Principle is okay up to a certain point, but
principle doesn't do any good if you lose." I think this
statement sums up Cheney's thinking nicely.

Q
You write that Bush and Cheney have not leveled with America
about their true agenda. What is it?

A
Because of their secrecy, it takes a lot of work to connect
the dots. I've not connected them all, but enough of them to
know that the only agenda they had during the first term was
to get a second term -- which meant secretly taking care of
their major contributors. Should they get a second term, we
know their secret agenda, for they have quietly stated it:
They intend to make sure the Republicans control the federal
government (all three branches) indefinitely, if possible.
In short, the Bush-Cheney agenda is about perpetuating
Republican rule by taking particularly good care of major
contributors who share their views of the world.

Q
Karl Rove also plays a unique role in the Bush
administration. One close observer says in your book that
he's "Haldeman and Ehrlichman all in one." Explain.

A
Rove's unique role is that he is a political guy making
policy decisions for political reasons. Decisions in the
Bush White House are made not based on what is best for the
public interest, rather what will get the president the most
mileage with his base, and best political advantage. Not
since Nixon's so-called responsiveness program -- which was
uncovered during the Watergate investigation -- have we had
such overt political decision-making.

The reference to Haldeman and Ehrlichman as explaining Rove
was a quip from a friend of mine from the Nixon White House
who has had dealings with Rove. Since Rove is a revengeful
fellow, my friend will remain nameless. But my friend was
telegraphing a lot of information about Rove with this bit
of shorthand -- for anyone who has any knowledge of the
Nixon White House and Watergate, they know Haldeman and
Ehrlichman were the heavies. First, it is a compliment in
that both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were very smart, and
highly efficient. But what it tells us is that Rove is
ruthless, for both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were that too.

Both Haldeman and Ehrlichman saw the world through a
political lens, and what was most likely to help Richard
Nixon get reelected. So does Rove. Haldeman was involved
with procedure (broadly speaking, I mean who was doing what
at the White House, arranging the presidential travel and
appearances for maximum political benefit, and constantly
mindful of the president's image and making him look good),
and Ehrlichman was the substance guy (who developed domestic
policies, but accounting for the political impact). Rove
controls both.

Had Haldeman and Ehrlichman not received the longest
sentences of any of those involved in Watergate, Rove would
probably be pleased by the comparison.

Q
Karl Rove first came to your attention during Watergate. In
what ways is he the reincarnation of Nixon dirty tricksters
like Charles Colson and Donald Segretti?

A
He is way beyond anything Nixon had at his disposal. He is
closer to a behind-the-scenes Nixon operator named Murray
Chotiner, who could cut off an opponent at the knees so
quickly the person did not immediately realize he had been
crippled. As I note in the book, the first time I heard the
name Karl Rove was when I was asked if I knew anything about
him by one of the Watergate special prosecutors who was
investigating campaign dirty tricks. I didn't have any
knowledge. But I recalled that question when working on this
book, and located a memorandum in the files of the Watergate
prosecutor's office that indicates they were asking others
as well about Rove. Based on my review of the files, it
appears the Watergate prosecutors were interested in Rove's
activities in 1972, but because they had bigger fish to fry
they did not aggressively investigate him.

Colson was brutal, cruel and vicious before he found God
(during Watergate). While he once famously said he would run
over his grandmother to get Nixon reelected, today I suspect
he'd run over his grandmother to convert a few heathens to
Christ. Segretti did not engage in the kind of dirty
politics that Colson liked to play. Segretti was a political
prankster, who only by accident got associated with
Watergate. Nothing that Segretti did, that I know of, could
be called sinister. Colson, on the other hand, was as nasty
a political operative as could be found. Indeed, to this day
we don't know the full extent of Colson's activities. He
even refused to tell Nixon some of the things he had done
(while boasting to Nixon he had done things he didn't want
to tell the president). Colson walked out of the White House
with any of his papers and records that might cause him a
problem. Karl Rove, from what I've seen, makes Colson look
like a novice.

Q
Bush has managed to stay above the ugly tactics used against
opponents like John McCain and now John Kerry. Does he
privately give them his blessing?

A
Of course. All candidates control their campaigns, and if
they don't want such activity, it doesn't occur. As I
discovered in talking to people about Bush, he is a highly
sophisticated political operator. I've noted in the book
that Rove gets the credit for being Bush's political brain.
It's an arrangement both men like, because it raises Rove's
importance as a political operator, and lowers Bush's
exposure. In truth, Bush is probably more politically savvy
than Rove. Both men learned their politics from Lee A****er,
who ran Bush senior's 1988 campaign. A****er made dirty
politics into an art form, by which I mean he provided those
for whom dirty deeds were done deniability while A****er's
people tore up an opponent's pea-patch and everything else.
I expect the 2004 presidential campaign to make Richard
Nixon look like a high-road campaigner.

Q
At least until recently, the Bush administration has
successfully used the public's fear of terrorism to advance
its agenda. You go so far as to agree with Gen. Tommy
Franks' dark prediction that another major terror attack on
U.S. citizens will drive the country to suspend the
Constitution. Why do you fear that?

A
As I state in the book, I agree for reasons that probably
differ from those of Gen. Franks. The short summary of what
is really a thread that runs through the book is that when
you have a presidency that has no regard for human life,
that develops and implements all (not just national
security) policy in secrecy, and is driven by political
motives and a radical philosophy, it is impossible not to
conclude that they will overreact -- and at the expense of
our constitutional safeguards. Bush and Cheney enjoy using
power to make and wield swords, not ploughs. They prefer to
rule by fear. We've had three years to take the measure of
these men. I've done so and reported what I found in a book
I never planned to write, but because others were not
talking about these issues, I believed they needed to be
placed on the table.

Bush and Cheney have exploited terrorism ever since 9/11.
Now they are exploiting it to get reelected. Should there be
an even more serious threat, they have found that when
Americans are frightened they can be governed like sheep,
which suits Bush and Cheney perfectly. Rather than taking
the terror out of terrorism by educating and informing
Americans, they have sought to make terrorism as frightening
as possible -- using terrorism to launch a war of aggression
that is breeding a new generation of terrorists and getting
the Congress to pass the most repressive new laws imaginable
and calling it an act of patriotism.

Q
Do you think Bush has an enemies list? Are you on it?

A
I don't believe that Bush, Cheney or Rove are foolish enough
to actually maintain such a list -- as was foolishly done in
the Nixon White House. But I believe they have long
memories. As to how they feel about me, I could care less.
As I explain in the book, I used many of my sources on
background because this is a White House that takes revenge,
and its supporters and surrogates play as dirty as they can
get away with. The truth for this White House is not very
pleasant, and my writing about it will not be appreciated. I
didn't write this book for those who believe that Bush and
Cheney have got it right, and don't want to hear otherwise.
Rather I wrote it because a lot of people suspect that
they've gotten it wrong, and needed someone who knows the
workings of the White House to explain what is going on and why.

Q
If the Bush-Cheney scandals are "worse than Watergate," why
hasn't this administration produced a whistle-blowing John Dean?

A
First, I make very clear in the book that while the
underlying conduct is worse than Watergate, it has not --
yet -- erupted into a scandal like Watergate. Like anyone at
the White House, yours truly included, you first try to work
within the system -- to right things you know are wrong.
Take former terrorism czar Richard Clarke. He certainly
tried to get the Bush administration to address the problems
of terrorism sooner rather than later, but failed. After
leaving government he remained troubled about the Bush
administration's failures to deal with terrorism, for he
knows better than most that the war in Iraq only added to
the problems. So he testified truthfully before the 9/11
commission -- which is all I did. Or take former Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill. He tried to work within the system.
However, he was fired for telling the truth and expressing
his well-founded concern about Bush's excessive tax cuts for
the upper incomes. This is a presidency that does not like
the truth told about their activities.

If, as I believe to be the case, things are going to get
rough for Bush and Cheney given the potential scandals they
face, others like Clarke and O'Neill may fill the role I
found myself having to fulfill. But the stakes are higher
now. No one died because of the abuses of power known as
Watergate. Too many have died (and more in the future may)
because of the abuses of power by this presidency. That's
why their abuses are worse than Watergate.



  #3   Report Post  
Old April 1st 04, 02:12 AM
Jim
 
Posts: n/a
Default ( OT ) Creepier than Nixon -- Worse than Watergate



Tuuk wrote:
Not too smart are you? Surprised some of these authors of these articles do
not sell something at the ends of them. I mean, they already have a simple
person's mind paying attention to them, why not try and sell them some swamp
land bridges while they are at it. Its obvious these readers are not too
smart.


The person interviewed (and most of the talking) was John
Dean of The Nixon team. I suspect he's a republican.









"Jim" wrote in message
...

Creepier than Nixon
The man who brought down Richard Nixon says Bush and
"co-president" Cheney are an even greater threat to the country.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By David Talbot



March 31, 2004 | As Richard Nixon's White House counsel
during the Watergate scandal, John Dean famously warned his
boss that there was "a cancer on the presidency" that would
bring down the administration unless Nixon came clean. In
his new book, "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency
of George W. Bush," Dean warns the country that the Bush
administration is even more secretive and authoritarian than
Nixon's -- in fact, he writes, it's "the most secretive
presidency of my lifetime."

"To say that the [Bush-Cheney] secret presidency is
undemocratic is an understatement," he adds. "I'm anything
but skittish about government, but I must say this
administration is truly scary and, given the times we live
in, frighteningly dangerous."

Dean's new book is being published, appropriately, as the
country is being treated to another spectacle of Nixonian
smearing and stonewalling by the Bush White House. Rather
than come clean about its pre-9/11 security policies, the
administration has engaged in a frenzied counterattack on
its whistle-blowing former terrorism chief, Richard Clarke,
while refusing to let National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice testify before the bipartisan panel investigating the
terror attack until the political pressure became overwhelming.

Dean conversed with Salon by e-mail from his Los Angeles home.

Q
How is the Bush-Cheney administration more secretive than
Nixon's

A
A few examples make the point. Nixon became a secretive
president, as his presidency proceeded, while Bush and
Cheney were secretive from the outset. Nixon actually tried
to reduce the excessive national security classification of
documents (through a panel headed by the man who is now
chief justice of the United States), while Bush and Cheney
have tried to increase classification (and 9/11 does not
hold up as the reason for much of it). Nixon only abused
executive privilege (the power of a president to withhold
information from his constitutional co-equals) after
Watergate, while Bush and Cheney have sought to abuse the
privilege from the outset. Nixon was never taken to court by
the General Accounting Office for refusing to provide
information about executive activities, while Bush and
Cheney forced GAO to go to court (where GAO lost under a
recently appointed Bush judge). Nixon believed presidential
papers should be available for historians, but Bush has
undermined the laws to make such records available to the
public.

While Nixon's presidency gave currency to the term
"stonewalling," Bush and Cheney have made stonewalling their
standard procedure, far in excess of Nixon. In short, in
every area one looks, Bush and Cheney are more secretive
than Nixon ever imagined being. I have mentioned but a few.

Q
Why have Congress and the press allowed Dick Cheney to get
away with his stonewalling tactics on the energy task force,
Halliburton, duck hunting with Justice Scalia, and other
questionable aspects of his vice presidency?

A
I would add to the list Cheney's outrageous stonewalling
about his health, which we know is bad, notwithstanding his
effort to keep the details secret. The Congress lets Cheney
do anything he wants because Republicans control it, and
Cheney is their heavy in the White House for getting things
done. Cheney, so long as Republicans control, will not have
to answer, but should we return to divided government in
2004 or 2006 and Cheney is still in the White House, that
will end.

There has never been a vice president -- ever (and even
including Spiro Agnew who was Nixon's) -- who needed to be
investigated more than Cheney. Nor has there ever been such
a secretive vice president. Dick Cheney is the power behind
the Bush throne. Frankly, I am baffled why the mainstream
news media has given Cheney (not to mention Bush) a free
ride. I don't know if it is generational, or corporate
ownership, or political bias, but it is clear that Cheney
has been given a pass by the major news organizations.

Q
Do you feel the vice president has, after more than three
years of secretive governing from an undisclosed location,
become a political liability to the president? How likely is
it that Bush will drop him from the ticket this year?

A
Dick Cheney is a political disaster awaiting recognition. In
the book, I set forth a relatively long list of inchoate
scandals, not to mention problems worse than scandals. They
all involve Cheney in varying degrees. Bush can't dump
Cheney, for it is Cheney, not Rove, who is Bush's backroom
brain. He is actually a co-president. Bush doesn't enjoy
studying and devising policy. Cheney does. While Cheney has
tutored Bush for almost four years, and Bush is better
prepared today than when he entered the job, Cheney is
quietly guiding this administration. Cheney knows how to
play Bush so that Cheney is absolutely no threat to him,
makes him feel he is president, but Bush can't function
without a script, or without Cheney. Bush is head of state;
Cheney is head of government.

If, say, the Securities and Exchange Commission's current
investigation of Halliburton's accounting also discovers
that Cheney engaged in insider trading when he left
Halliburton (which the facts suggest is highly likely), and
this matter erupts before the Republican convention, then
Cheney might be forced to step aside. Cheney always has his
bad-health excuse anytime he wants to take it -- because it
is a fact. He has a certain immunity as vice president, but
if he were to be dropped from the ticket (or he and Bush
lose), I believe Cheney would have serious problems which he
would no longer be able to deflect. Thus, he will stay and
fight like hell to win.

I quote Cheney from his time in the Ford White House when he
said, "Principle is okay up to a certain point, but
principle doesn't do any good if you lose." I think this
statement sums up Cheney's thinking nicely.

Q
You write that Bush and Cheney have not leveled with America
about their true agenda. What is it?

A
Because of their secrecy, it takes a lot of work to connect
the dots. I've not connected them all, but enough of them to
know that the only agenda they had during the first term was
to get a second term -- which meant secretly taking care of
their major contributors. Should they get a second term, we
know their secret agenda, for they have quietly stated it:
They intend to make sure the Republicans control the federal
government (all three branches) indefinitely, if possible.
In short, the Bush-Cheney agenda is about perpetuating
Republican rule by taking particularly good care of major
contributors who share their views of the world.

Q
Karl Rove also plays a unique role in the Bush
administration. One close observer says in your book that
he's "Haldeman and Ehrlichman all in one." Explain.

A
Rove's unique role is that he is a political guy making
policy decisions for political reasons. Decisions in the
Bush White House are made not based on what is best for the
public interest, rather what will get the president the most
mileage with his base, and best political advantage. Not
since Nixon's so-called responsiveness program -- which was
uncovered during the Watergate investigation -- have we had
such overt political decision-making.

The reference to Haldeman and Ehrlichman as explaining Rove
was a quip from a friend of mine from the Nixon White House
who has had dealings with Rove. Since Rove is a revengeful
fellow, my friend will remain nameless. But my friend was
telegraphing a lot of information about Rove with this bit
of shorthand -- for anyone who has any knowledge of the
Nixon White House and Watergate, they know Haldeman and
Ehrlichman were the heavies. First, it is a compliment in
that both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were very smart, and
highly efficient. But what it tells us is that Rove is
ruthless, for both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were that too.

Both Haldeman and Ehrlichman saw the world through a
political lens, and what was most likely to help Richard
Nixon get reelected. So does Rove. Haldeman was involved
with procedure (broadly speaking, I mean who was doing what
at the White House, arranging the presidential travel and
appearances for maximum political benefit, and constantly
mindful of the president's image and making him look good),
and Ehrlichman was the substance guy (who developed domestic
policies, but accounting for the political impact). Rove
controls both.

Had Haldeman and Ehrlichman not received the longest
sentences of any of those involved in Watergate, Rove would
probably be pleased by the comparison.

Q
Karl Rove first came to your attention during Watergate. In
what ways is he the reincarnation of Nixon dirty tricksters
like Charles Colson and Donald Segretti?

A
He is way beyond anything Nixon had at his disposal. He is
closer to a behind-the-scenes Nixon operator named Murray
Chotiner, who could cut off an opponent at the knees so
quickly the person did not immediately realize he had been
crippled. As I note in the book, the first time I heard the
name Karl Rove was when I was asked if I knew anything about
him by one of the Watergate special prosecutors who was
investigating campaign dirty tricks. I didn't have any
knowledge. But I recalled that question when working on this
book, and located a memorandum in the files of the Watergate
prosecutor's office that indicates they were asking others
as well about Rove. Based on my review of the files, it
appears the Watergate prosecutors were interested in Rove's
activities in 1972, but because they had bigger fish to fry
they did not aggressively investigate him.

Colson was brutal, cruel and vicious before he found God
(during Watergate). While he once famously said he would run
over his grandmother to get Nixon reelected, today I suspect
he'd run over his grandmother to convert a few heathens to
Christ. Segretti did not engage in the kind of dirty
politics that Colson liked to play. Segretti was a political
prankster, who only by accident got associated with
Watergate. Nothing that Segretti did, that I know of, could
be called sinister. Colson, on the other hand, was as nasty
a political operative as could be found. Indeed, to this day
we don't know the full extent of Colson's activities. He
even refused to tell Nixon some of the things he had done
(while boasting to Nixon he had done things he didn't want
to tell the president). Colson walked out of the White House
with any of his papers and records that might cause him a
problem. Karl Rove, from what I've seen, makes Colson look
like a novice.

Q
Bush has managed to stay above the ugly tactics used against
opponents like John McCain and now John Kerry. Does he
privately give them his blessing?

A
Of course. All candidates control their campaigns, and if
they don't want such activity, it doesn't occur. As I
discovered in talking to people about Bush, he is a highly
sophisticated political operator. I've noted in the book
that Rove gets the credit for being Bush's political brain.
It's an arrangement both men like, because it raises Rove's
importance as a political operator, and lowers Bush's
exposure. In truth, Bush is probably more politically savvy
than Rove. Both men learned their politics from Lee A****er,
who ran Bush senior's 1988 campaign. A****er made dirty
politics into an art form, by which I mean he provided those
for whom dirty deeds were done deniability while A****er's
people tore up an opponent's pea-patch and everything else.
I expect the 2004 presidential campaign to make Richard
Nixon look like a high-road campaigner.

Q
At least until recently, the Bush administration has
successfully used the public's fear of terrorism to advance
its agenda. You go so far as to agree with Gen. Tommy
Franks' dark prediction that another major terror attack on
U.S. citizens will drive the country to suspend the
Constitution. Why do you fear that?

A
As I state in the book, I agree for reasons that probably
differ from those of Gen. Franks. The short summary of what
is really a thread that runs through the book is that when
you have a presidency that has no regard for human life,
that develops and implements all (not just national
security) policy in secrecy, and is driven by political
motives and a radical philosophy, it is impossible not to
conclude that they will overreact -- and at the expense of
our constitutional safeguards. Bush and Cheney enjoy using
power to make and wield swords, not ploughs. They prefer to
rule by fear. We've had three years to take the measure of
these men. I've done so and reported what I found in a book
I never planned to write, but because others were not
talking about these issues, I believed they needed to be
placed on the table.

Bush and Cheney have exploited terrorism ever since 9/11.
Now they are exploiting it to get reelected. Should there be
an even more serious threat, they have found that when
Americans are frightened they can be governed like sheep,
which suits Bush and Cheney perfectly. Rather than taking
the terror out of terrorism by educating and informing
Americans, they have sought to make terrorism as frightening
as possible -- using terrorism to launch a war of aggression
that is breeding a new generation of terrorists and getting
the Congress to pass the most repressive new laws imaginable
and calling it an act of patriotism.

Q
Do you think Bush has an enemies list? Are you on it?

A
I don't believe that Bush, Cheney or Rove are foolish enough
to actually maintain such a list -- as was foolishly done in
the Nixon White House. But I believe they have long
memories. As to how they feel about me, I could care less.
As I explain in the book, I used many of my sources on
background because this is a White House that takes revenge,
and its supporters and surrogates play as dirty as they can
get away with. The truth for this White House is not very
pleasant, and my writing about it will not be appreciated. I
didn't write this book for those who believe that Bush and
Cheney have got it right, and don't want to hear otherwise.
Rather I wrote it because a lot of people suspect that
they've gotten it wrong, and needed someone who knows the
workings of the White House to explain what is going on and why.

Q
If the Bush-Cheney scandals are "worse than Watergate," why
hasn't this administration produced a whistle-blowing John Dean?

A
First, I make very clear in the book that while the
underlying conduct is worse than Watergate, it has not --
yet -- erupted into a scandal like Watergate. Like anyone at
the White House, yours truly included, you first try to work
within the system -- to right things you know are wrong.
Take former terrorism czar Richard Clarke. He certainly
tried to get the Bush administration to address the problems
of terrorism sooner rather than later, but failed. After
leaving government he remained troubled about the Bush
administration's failures to deal with terrorism, for he
knows better than most that the war in Iraq only added to
the problems. So he testified truthfully before the 9/11
commission -- which is all I did. Or take former Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill. He tried to work within the system.
However, he was fired for telling the truth and expressing
his well-founded concern about Bush's excessive tax cuts for
the upper incomes. This is a presidency that does not like
the truth told about their activities.

If, as I believe to be the case, things are going to get
rough for Bush and Cheney given the potential scandals they
face, others like Clarke and O'Neill may fill the role I
found myself having to fulfill. But the stakes are higher
now. No one died because of the abuses of power known as
Watergate. Too many have died (and more in the future may)
because of the abuses of power by this presidency. That's
why their abuses are worse than Watergate.





  #4   Report Post  
Old April 1st 04, 07:00 PM
Doug Kanter
 
Posts: n/a
Default ( OT ) Creepier than Nixon -- Worse than Watergate

" Tuuk" wrote in message
...
Not too smart are you? Surprised some of these authors of these articles

do
not sell something at the ends of them. I mean, they already have a simple
person's mind paying attention to them, why not try and sell them some

swamp
land bridges while they are at it. Its obvious these readers are not too
smart.


So, you'd only believe a source who worked for free? Please name a few.


  #5   Report Post  
Old April 1st 04, 10:08 PM
Tuuk
 
Posts: n/a
Default ( OT ) Creepier than Nixon -- Worse than Watergate

No, it is just that some sources of information can also manipulate their
message in a way to play with the backs of simple people's minds. So that
they actually believe it then they will act accordingly. Subliminal
messages. If someone isn't sure of much, then it is easier for someone else
to convince them to do some things that are not always ethical. Especially
if they have control over one vote or something like that. I am sure those
suicide bombers are brainwashed into believing what ever it is they believe.
Look at that 15 year old kid last week. Did you see the parents speaking on
what happened? Same idea.





"Doug Kanter" wrote in message
...
" Tuuk" wrote in message
...
Not too smart are you? Surprised some of these authors of these articles

do
not sell something at the ends of them. I mean, they already have a

simple
person's mind paying attention to them, why not try and sell them some

swamp
land bridges while they are at it. Its obvious these readers are not too
smart.


So, you'd only believe a source who worked for free? Please name a few.






  #6   Report Post  
Old April 1st 04, 10:41 PM
Doug Kanter
 
Posts: n/a
Default ( OT ) Creepier than Nixon -- Worse than Watergate

" Tuuk" wrote in message
...
No, it is just that some sources of information can also manipulate their
message in a way to play with the backs of simple people's minds.


Oh yeah. Like the way GWB uses the word "folks" a lot, and CHOOSES to
mispronounce "nuclear"? This way, he manipulates the simple-minded and makes
it seem like he's one of them. I understand now. :-)


  #7   Report Post  
Old April 2nd 04, 06:30 PM
Tuuk
 
Posts: n/a
Default ( OT ) Creepier than Nixon -- Worse than Watergate

Now your spinning,, but understandably so, you see in certain levels or
positions or occupations there is methods of communication in context that
is expected.





"Doug Kanter" wrote in message
...
" Tuuk" wrote in message
...
No, it is just that some sources of information can also manipulate

their
message in a way to play with the backs of simple people's minds.


Oh yeah. Like the way GWB uses the word "folks" a lot, and CHOOSES to
mispronounce "nuclear"? This way, he manipulates the simple-minded and

makes
it seem like he's one of them. I understand now. :-)




  #8   Report Post  
Old April 2nd 04, 08:12 PM
Doug Kanter
 
Posts: n/a
Default ( OT ) Creepier than Nixon -- Worse than Watergate

I've asked you the following question in the past:
WHAT????

" Tuuk" wrote in message
...
Now your spinning,, but understandably so, you see in certain levels or
positions or occupations there is methods of communication in context that
is expected.





"Doug Kanter" wrote in message
...
" Tuuk" wrote in message
...
No, it is just that some sources of information can also manipulate

their
message in a way to play with the backs of simple people's minds.


Oh yeah. Like the way GWB uses the word "folks" a lot, and CHOOSES to
mispronounce "nuclear"? This way, he manipulates the simple-minded and

makes
it seem like he's one of them. I understand now. :-)








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