And Consequence Of Watergate
Watergate was without precedent in the political annals of
America in respect to the scope and intensity of its unethical
and illegal actions. To be sure, there had been previous milder
political scandals in American history. That fact does not
excuse Watergate. Murder and stealing have occurred in every
generation since Earth began, but that fact has not made murder
meritorious or larceny legal.
What Was Watergate?
Watergate was a conglomerate of various illegal and unethical
activities in which various officers and employees of the
Nixon reelection committee and various White House aides of
President Nixon participated in varying ways and degrees to
accomplish these successive objectives:
To destroy, insofar as the Presidential election of 1972 was
concerned, the integrity of the process by which the President
of the United States is nominated and elected.
To hide from law enforcement officers, prosecutors, grand
jurors, courts, the news media, and the American people the
identities and wrongdoing of those officers and employees
of the Nixon reelection committees, and those White House
aides who had undertaken to destroy the integrity of the process
by which the President of the United States is nominated and
To accomplish the first of these objectives. . . .
They exacted enormous contributions—usually in cash—from
corporate executives by impliedly implanting in their minds
the impressions that the making of the contributions was necessary
to insure that the corporations would receive governmental
favors, or avoid governmental disfavors, while President Nixon
remained in the White House. A substantial portion of the
contributions were made out of corporate funds in violation
of a law enacted by Congress a generation ago.
They hid substantial parts of these contributions in cash
in safes and safe deposits to conceal their sources and the
identities of those who had made them.
They disbursed substantial portions of these hidden contributions
in a surreptitious manner to finance the bugging and the burglary
of the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the
Watergate complex in Washington. . . .
They deemed the departments and agencies of the Federal Government
to be the political playthings of the Nixon administration
rather than impartial instruments for serving the people,
and undertook to induce them to channel Federal contracts,
grants, and loans to areas, groups, or individuals so as to
promote the reelection of the President rather than to further
the welfare of the people.
They branded as enemies of the President individuals and members
of the news media who dissented from the President's policies
and opposed his reelection, and conspired to urge the Department
of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal
Revenue Service, and the Federal Communications Commission
to pervert the use of their legal powers to harass them for
They borrowed from the Central Intelligence Agency disguises
which E. Howard Hunt used in political espionage operations,
and photographic equipment which White House employees known
as the "Plumbers" and their hired confederates used
in connection with burglarizing the office of a psychiatrist
which they believed contained information concerning Daniel
Ellsberg which the White House was anxious to secure.
They assigned to E. Howard Hunt, who was at the time a White
House consultant occupying an office in the Executive Office
Building, the gruesome task of falsifying State Department
documents which they contemplated using in their altered state
to discredit the Democratic Party by defaming the memory of
former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who as the hapless
victim of an assassin's bullet had been sleeping in the tongueless
silence of the dreamless dust for 9 years.
They used campaign funds to hire saboteurs to forge and disseminate
false and scurrilous libels of honorable men running for the
Democratic Presidential nomination in Democratic Party primaries.
U.S. Senator Sam Ervin (1896-1985m serving from 1954 to 1974)
chaired the Senate Watergate Committee that transfixed the
nation and brought down President Richard Nixon.