by: Mary Mostert, Director of Editorial Content-Michael Reagan Information Interchange
As the comparisons of Whitewater and Watergate begin to spread, a refresher course in the background that led to Watergate, compared to the background of Whitewater-Travelgate-FBI files in the White House is needed.
The Watergate burglary which brought down the Nixon Administration, originated in a perceived danger to America's National Security taking place due to leaked secret documents about Vietnam. The nation was divided sharply.
Those in the first group generally ridiculed the notion that Cambodia and Laos would fall. The media, in large measure, support that view. In Lyndon Johnson's administration, anti-war groups gathered daily to yell at the White House, "Heh, Heh, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?" This is worth remembering as the media and Clinton supporters tell us that the Clintons are experiencing the "worst public attacks of any president in history."
America's Vietnam involvement developed through a series of presidents, beginning with Harry Truman, who believed that America's biggest mistake in the 1930's was its failure to stop Hitler BEFORE millions died.
The Vietnam involvement, which is included in the introduction to the official "history" of Vietnam, as ordered compiled by then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara showed:
During this three way argument, Nixon and others of the World War II generation were genuinely concerned over the Communist threat. As it turned out, they were right about Laos and Cambodia. Both did fall and millions of Laotians and Cambodians were killed by the communist led insurgents. The elite media, during that period, covered very little of the genocide occurring in Indo-China - probably because they had taken numerous editorial positions ridiculing the "war hawks" who said it would happen.
It was in this climate that Nixon authorized the "plumbers" - a White House group composed of former FBI and CIA people to try to "stop to leaks" of secret documents to the New York Times and others.
Although every effort was made in a highly charged political investigation of Watergate to claim that Nixon was motivated by a re-election effort, this simply was not what was going on. Those involved with the Watergate burglary, which the Nixon tapes proved was not something Nixon knew about ahead of time, believed that some of the nation's pro-Communist enemies were lurking in the Democratic party.
However wrong they were in the Watergate affair, their motivation was based on a real concern for the threat hanging over the nation which was coming from the Communists.
Whitewater, on the other hand, has never had any connection whatever with any sort of perceived or actual public business. In its most favorable light, it has involved personal and business dealings of the Clintons, their partners and their associates. None of the Whitewater related 33 convictions to date have involved any issue relating to the nation's business.
Nixon did ask FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in 1970 authorize a secret plan to stop bomb threats and the leak of secret documents by "surreptitious entry-breaking and entering and wire-taping." Hoover "adamantly opposed it" and it was put on ice. J.Edgar Hoover died May 2, 1972. President Nixon was the first American president to visit Moscow on May 22, 1972. Five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office Complex on June 17, 1972.
When the Clintons fired Billy Dale, director of the White House Travel Office, it was to give control of the Travel business to an Arkansas crony. Dale was not allowed to make copies or preserve records that would have easily cleared his name. His FBI file was requested by the White House seven months after he had been summarily fired, and while he was being prosecuted by the government. The FBI files of more than 400 other people were recently discovered in the hands of political appointees of the Clintons INSIDE the White House.
Democrats have maintained for months - years - that there was "nothing to" the Whitewater issue because there is no "public" connection. That is true. In fact, that is what makes it so reprehensible. Nixon may have been totally wrong in being worried about the security leaks during the Vietnam War. However, his concern was not based in personal greed and in a massive abuse of the public trust and government power. That cannot be said of Whitewater. The abuse of the public trust in Whitewater, as it unfolds, is far worse than Nixon's abuse of the public trust by covering up for his staff's bad decisions.
The fact that Hillary Clinton was one of five young lawyers recruited by the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 to prepare impeachment proceedings against President Nixon is an interesting sidelight to the present development. She is a very intelligent woman. She graduated from one of the nation's most prestigious law schools. She is well aware that most of the charges involved the "obstruction of justice." She also knows that Nixon won a landslide election for a second term more than halfway through the Watergate scandal, that a serious of judicial investigations found no evidence of conspiracy and that the FBI conducted 1,500 interviews and issued a clean bill of health to the president. With no unexplained dead bodies lying about, as in the case of Vince Foster, the final chapter was: Resign or Impeachment.
Hillary Clinton must know by now that "Filegate," on top of 33 Whitewater convictions plus additional indictments, Travelgate, the unexplained death of Vince Foster, Paula Jones' lawsuit, her former law partners in the Rose Law Firm either in jail, or resigned in disgrace, is far worse than the hyped up issues that led to the Nixon impeachment.