Watergate


     Sex, drugs, money, power, you name it and there is a scandal for it, but
look back and you will see that from all the scandals there have been, Watergate
was among the worst. The Watergate scandal had everything. From Nixon disgracing
the presidency by lying to the country and abusing his power, to his committees
being involved in illegal acts and a big cover up. All leading to little side
roads of corruption and lies. Watergate is by far one of the worst presidential
scandals in the history of the United States. In the story of Watergate, five
burglars were found breaking into democratic offices at the Watergate complex in

Washington DC. The break-in was passed off as just another burglary, but when
the burglars were found to have connections with the CIA, questions were
starting to be asked. Then when the phone number of Howard Hunt was found in one
of the burglars phone books, it made people think, "Why would one of the
burglars have the phone number of one of the presidents men?" Then there is

Richard Nixon, the man of the hour, plays the role of the president of the

United States of America. The man that was voted into office by the people, and
the man that swore to serve the people. When Watergate was uncovered, it
revealed that the president was a liar and a cheat. The president lied to our
country, lied about his involvement, concealed self incriminating evidence,
abused his power, and planed to have the CIA stop the FBI investigations. He was
also deeply involved with the cover up and still lied about his involvement.

During the times of the unraveling of Watergate, questions were asked about
connections with the White House and the president, but when the president was
asked about it at a press conference he assured Americans that "The White

House has no involvement whatever in this particular incident." He was lying
to the country like it was part of his job (Dorman 158). The lying did not end
there, it went on and on for months, and as the scandal kept unraveling,

"President Nixon and White House, and creep officials were deliberately
misleading the public about the significance of the Watergate affair" (158).

As Watergate was becoming a front-page article in the newspapers, new evidence
was being uncovered. One piece of evidence that changed the peoples ideas of our
president was the tapping of every conversation in the oval office "since
about the 18th month of president Nixon’s term" (Kutler 368). Those tapes
would soon prove that the president was deeply involved in the scandal. During
the trials, "the Nixon administration claimed that the March 21st, 1973
meeting was the first Nixon had heard of the cover-ups", but after the tapes
were heard it was discovered that Nixon was involved from the beginning
(Heritage 36). The Nixon tapes brought out much controversy. The tapes alone
could prove the president innocent or guilty, whichever one it was, Nixon
refused to hand over the tapes. the courts then demanded the tapes, and Nixon
still would not give them up. After much struggle Nixon agreed to give a
transcript of the tapes. The transcripts brought to light a significant amount
of evidence against Nixon. The transcripts revealed payoffs, affiliation with
the burglaries, and the OK’s to the cover-up, But most important "the
transcripts showed that Nixon had lied repeatedly after he had denied knowing
anything about the conspiracy" (27). After much struggle, the courts finally
got the tapes from Nixon, It was Archibald Cox that issued the subpoena for the
tapes, and that started the bloodbath we now know as the Saturday night
massacre. "The night of October 20,1973, possibly the most tumultuous in

American political history, when the special Watergate prosecutor and the
nations two top law officers lost their jobs within the space of an hour and a
half." (Heritage 38). Soon the country would find a new problem with the
tapes. "When the presidents lawyers were going over the tapes, they came along
an 18 minute gap during a conversation with Nixon and Haldman" (34). Three
weeks later, the gap was discovered, Rosemary Woods (Nixon’s secretary)
testified that while transcribing the tape, she had accidentally erased perhaps
five minutes when interrupted by a phone call, she said she had pressed the
‘Record’ button instead of the ‘Stop’ button and then kept her foot on
the machines control pedal while speaking into the phone. (34) "Not everyone
accepted this explanation; The maneuver would have been difficult to perform
because of the distance between the recording machine and the telephone in her
office" (34). Watergate was unraveling, and the story kept getting bigger.

Nixon was just having to much fun in the white house. Before he was busted,

"He ordered the FBI to place wire taps on the phones of thirteen government
officials, and four prominent reporters" (Fremon 28). Nixon was abusing his
powers to the extent, and to him there seemed to be nothing wrong with it. Nixon
needed the FBI to stop the Watergate investigation. Former attorney general John

Michell knew that the FBI had a long-standing agreement with the CIA that
neither agency would jeopardize the other’s operations. If the FBI could be
convinced that the CIA had somehow been involved in financing or carrying out
the Watergate burglary, the investigation could be curtailed on the ground of
protecting "national security." Dorman 159) Nixon then told the chief of
staff: You call them [the CIA director, Richard M. Helms, and his deputy, Lt.

Gen. Vernon A. Walters] in. . . . Play it tough. That’s the way they play it
and that’s the way were gona play it. . . . Say: ‘Look, the problem is that
this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing. . . . and that they
should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don’t go any
further into this case’-- period! (Heritage 27) President Nixon was also
deeply involved with the cover-up. When he was told about the burglary, he gave
his full support to the cover-up plan. "On March 21, 1973 the president had a
meeting with John Dean, and the president agreed that one million dollars should
be raised to silence the burglars" (Kutler 247-257). The president also agreed
in a March 21, 1973 meeting with John Dean, to get money to payoff Mr. Hunt
(Heritage 34). President Nixon also made some statements to the public, saying
that there was no White House involvement with Watergate. In one statement he
said: Within our own staff, under my direction, Counsel to the president, Mr.

Dean, has conducted a complete investigation of all leads which might involve
any present members of the White House or anybody in the government. I can say
categorically that no one in the White House staff, no one in this
administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident.
(Dorman 167) Actually, Dean had conducted no such investigation and had given
him no such assurances (168). Without question, the most notorious examples of
dirty politics in the nations history occurred during president Nixon’s 1972
re-election campaign An astonishing array of illegal and unethical activities
was carried out on Nixon’s behalf. (Dorman 112) Nixon, having a high role in
the scandal, was nothing compared to his committees. Nixon’s committees were
deeply involved with the whole scandal and other unethical acts. During the 1972
election, they were involved in illegal acts like, smear campaigns, and they
attacked and harassed political enemies, and they were involved in the famous

Watergate break-in. Also the committees had a great role in the cover-up. They
destroyed evidence, paid people off, and lied to the country. It could be said
that Nixon’s committees were more corrupt than him. When Nixon was running for
president in 1972, ambitious plans were prepared for spying on the democrats.

"For four years the White House used the power of the presidency to attack on
political enemies. They spied on & harassed anyone who did not agree with

Nixon’s policies" (Heritage 32). Nixon also had an enemies list that
included the names of about 21 organizations and some 200 individuals (32).

Someone had to take care of these people, so "CREEP ordered the establishment
of several secret teams assigned to carryout political espionage and harassment
operations against the democrats. Placed in charge of one such team was a young

California lawyer named Donald H. Segretti" (Dorman 113). Segretti himself
signed up some of his own men, one was Robert M. Benz, who hired seven others to
help him out, one of his helpers was Douglas Kelly (114). Douglas Kelly helped
handle a big political enemy by the name of, Senator Edmund Muskie, of Maine.

Senator Muskie got it pretty bad from CREEP. "At a Florida rally for

Democratic contender George Wallace of Alabama, they distributed more than one
thousand anti-Wallace cards that purported to come from the Muskie Camp. One
side, the cards read, IF YOU LIKED HITLER, YOU’LL JUST LOVE WALLACE. On the
other side, they read, CAST YOUR VOTE FOR SENATOR EDMUND MUSKIE." (116) When
in fact the Muskie organization had nothing to do with the cards. During another
occasion, "Kelly sneaked into a Muskie news conference and released two white
mice whose tails were bedecked with ribbons reading, MUSKIE IS A RAT FINK"
(115). "Kelly also once hired a young woman to run naked outside Muskie’s
hotel room while shouting, ‘I love Ed Muskie’ " (115). The attacks
didn’t stop there. they went on and on. Segretti and Benz even got Senator

Humphrey one good time. They went and distributed phony invitations, to black
communities in Milwaukee, to a free all you can eat lunch with beer and wine,
and several special guests. when in fact the supposed lunch was non existent
(118). Nixon’s committees were also deeply involved in the cover-up and
destroyed allot of evidence. "Within hours of the burglars’ arrest, G.

Gordon Liddy showed up at the CREEP office and began destroying his confidential
files on the political-spying operation" (150). Also, Howard Hunt’s safe in
his office was drilled open and it contained, among other things, bugging
equipment, a revolver, a psychological profile of Daniel J. Ellsberg, leakier of
the pentagon papers, a state department cable that had been faked to make it
appear that president John F. Kennedy had ordered the murder of president Ngo

Dinh Diem of South Vietnam (Heritage 30). John Ehrlichman (the presidents chief
domestic affairs advisor) told John Dean to throw the "sensitive materials"
over the Potomac river and at night to shred the paperwork (30).Also, L. Patrick

Gray, acting FBI director destroyed the documents from Hunts safe and withheld
word of there existence (Dorman 157). Nixon’s chief aid, H. R. Haldman, also
destroyed files which might prove to be potentially dangerous (157). As more
problems came along, more pressure was being put on the men in jail to keep
quiet. CREEP agreed to pay the men about 400,000 dollars total, after a five
month period, of hush money. CREEP did not have that much money, so they put a
down payment of 40,000 dollars, which was to be divided amongst the men (170).

Although Hunt was incensed at receiving only partial payment, he made no new
threat to expose the cover-up. The day after the payment was made, Mitchell met
at the white house with Dean, Haldeman, and John Ehrlichman. he told them that

Hunt was "not a problem any more" (192) The Nixon committees also repeatedly
lied to the country. John Mitchell issued a statement and flat out lied to the
country. We have learned from news reports that a man identified as employed by
our campaign committee was one of five persons arrested at the Democratic

National committee headquarters. The person involved is the proprietor of a
private security agency who was employed by our committee months ago to assist
with the installation of our security system. He has, as we understand it, a
number of business clients and interests and we have no knowledge of those
relationships. we want to emphasize that this man and the other people involved
were not operating either in our behalf or with our consent. (158) The lies went
on and on, and the truth kept leaking out. The president and his comities were
being exposed, and the presidency was disgraced and all trust in the government
was lost. Some say, "Had a uniformed officer in a marked car appeared and Hunt
gotten the warning earlier, he probably would have been able to alert McCord and
the Miamians in time for them to escape. The Watergate scandal--and its
subsequent enrichment of our language--would never have happened." (Heritage

42). However, it did happen, and anyone old enough to read at that time, will
never forget the story of Watergate. The story of lies and corruption in the
government. The scandal that will forever be known as by far one of the worst
scandals in the history of the United States Of America.

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