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"That statement is no longer operative." [View All]

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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-03 02:50 PM
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"That statement is no longer operative."
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Being a short lesson in history for the under 40 crowd, and how it MAY (I am hopeful) repeat itself.

The statement in the subject line was made when Nixon was caught in an absolute, straight-up (no ice), bald-faced lie. It has been attributed to Ron Ziegler*, his press secretary, but may have come from H.R. Haldeman*, Nixon's chief of staff. Even then, no one in the Republican party would say the president lied, or fibbed, or even "prevaricated" (which would have sent a few folks to their American Heritage Unabridged). Nope. Just "That statement is no longer operative". As I remember, there were incredulous looks from the press, followed by howls of laughter. No one had yet come up with the wonderful "case closed", which wouldn't have mattered anyway.
It was the beginning of the end.

The point is that it wasn't one huge whopper that brought down Nixon and most of his staff*. It was a series of ever growing fudging and half-truths and withheld information and spinning (didn't have that term yet, either) that eventually created the big whoppers that did it. I certainly see the same pattern, only moreso, with this administration. I can only hope the history is once again the harbinger of future events.

*Ziegler did say that Watergate was "a third rate burglary". Right.
*Haldeman said (referring to the mire they had gotten themselves into) "Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can't put it back in". Really right.
*Nixon felons: (from bartcop)"Then came Richard M. Nixon, and a cavalcade of major scandals and convictions, involving (among other things) such crimes against the state as political burglary, bribery, extortion, wiretapping, conspiracy, and illegal use of the C.I.A., I.R.S., and F.B.I. Most of these crimes are now lumped together under the collective heading of Watergate.
The results:
One presidential resignation.
One vice-presidential resignation.
40 federal officials indicted.
Attorney-General John Mitchell, convicted and jailed.
White House officials H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson, John Dean, convicted and jailed.
Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, "plumbers" and ex-White House officials, convicted and jailed.
James McCord, Committee for the Re-election of the President (CREEP), convicted and jailed.
The reaction to Watergate, and to Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon, brought the election of Jimmy Carter to the White House."
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