McIntyre on Gleick's "water-gate"

Steve McIntyre writes an historical comparison of how “fake-gate” is more like water-gate than one might realize. It just isn’t the name association, it’s about donor lists. And then there’s that interesting twist that Steve points out from WUWT that makes the connection even more interesting. Some excerpts below, and of course a splendid Josh cartoon done specifically for the story. I’ve located what I think are the two comments that inspired Steve to write this essay – Anthony

Gleick and the Watergate Burglars – by Steve McIntyre

We are approaching the 40th anniversary of the original Watergate burglaries. Although everyone has heard of the scandal, most people have either forgotten or are too young to remember that the purpose of the Watergate burglaries was to copy documents listing donors to the Democratic Party and their financial contributions, either hoping or expecting to find evidence of contributions from “bad” sources (the Cuban government).

Like the Watergate burglars, the objective of Gleick’s fraud against Heartland was to obtain a list of donors, expecting to find evidence of “bad” contributions to their climate program (fossil fuel corporations and the Koch brothers.) The identity of objectives is really quite remarkable. The technology of the Watergate burglars (break-in and photography) was different than Gleick’s (fraud and email). And the consequences of being caught have thus far been very different.

In today’s post, I’ll reconsider the backstory of the Watergate burglaries to place present-day analogies to the Watergate era in better context.

I was in mid-20s at the time of the Watergate events. Although it now looms large in contemporary history, it was a very minor story until relatively late in the chronology, when Nixon’s connections to the cover-up were finally established. (The Vietnam War was the dominant story of the day.) My own recollection of events (prior to researching) was mostly established by the movie hagiography of Woodward and Bernstein, though all of the names in the story (from Ellsberg to G. Gordon Liddy) were names familiar to me as a young man. Today’s post is written almost entirely from secondary sources (mostly Wikipedia articles unless otherwise cited), which seem accurate enough on chronological details.

Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

I’ll start my review of Watergate with Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, which have been cited in some quarters as precedents for Gleick.


The topic of this post was inspired by a witty remark by a commenter at Anthony’s. He wryly observed that Gleick was increasingly being described by his defenders, not as a “climate scientist”, but as a “water scientist”, and that the logical analogue of “climategate” was therefore “watergate”. From this ironic reminder, I browsed easily accessible information on the original Watergate burglary, which immediately showed that it too was about a search for a donors’ list.


Since Steve got his inspiration here, I thought it useful to highlight a couple of comments that likely contributed. I didn’t find any single comment that contained both points that Steve mentions, but I did find these two:

Tom_R  says: February 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Since Dr. Gleick specialized in hydrology and was on a ‘water and technology’ board, maybe this should be called ‘WATERgate’.

What? That one’s already been taken?



Philip Bradley says: February 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Note how at Daily Kos and other media, Gleick is no longer a climate scientist, now merely a water analyst.

Read the full story, well worth your time: Gleick and the Watergate Burglars – by Steve McIntyre

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Tom Harley
March 10, 2012 7:32 pm

Reblogged this on pindanpost.

Bob Bernstein
March 10, 2012 7:40 pm

There are two more similarities that Steve missed.
1. The money trail:
Gleick’s employment is funded by president Obama, through grants made by his climate czar over at the EPA. The Watergate burglars employment was funded by president Nixon through payments made by a fundraising group for the Nixon campaign.
2. The initial coverup:
The president and his EPA tried to distance itself from Gleick by removing all public reference to their connection to Gleick. Nixon and his campaign tried to also cover up their connection to the crooks.

March 10, 2012 7:53 pm

Excellent cartoon by Josh , except for one small detail , Gleik is wearing gloves . In the initial “Whodunnit” phase several people detected Gleik`s “fingerprints” all over it (o:

March 10, 2012 8:39 pm

They spent so much time and money on painting their balls trying to make it look like they hadn’t anything to hide nor done anything wrong. Christ, even a couple of simple sceptical bloggers got raided in the search for the supposed great “oil” conspiracy and some super duper computer villain.
Will they ever realize that they today are the financial behemoths they themselves so loved to loath 25 years ago? The very ones, they said, that had to take all the heat and crap, because of all the money? And here they are, the money themselves.
What a bunch of pansy puftahs, sniffing each others pants, never understanding it’s their own crap they’re smelling, ha ha.

John in NZ
March 10, 2012 8:47 pm

They are also both about fear of what the other sides were doing.

March 10, 2012 9:13 pm

So… just some rambling here… Does this mean we’ll see “Honk to Impeach” protestors outside the White House?
Remember when the media was actually on the side of the people, and tried to EXPOSE fraud and political wrongdoing? Oh, I keep forgetting… they still do, if the people involved have an (R) beside their name. Let the (D) people literally steal at will and it’s silence: whether they’re stealing documents in their pants or legislating theft from future generations.
And I can almost guarantee there won’t be a movie out of this… No “All the President’s Men”, although I’m pretty sure many of the coverup people would be perfectly happy to see “An Inconvenient Truth” shown in schools one more time. Because, see, that’s not anti-science.

March 10, 2012 9:14 pm

Hadn’t thought about the details of these old scandals in years; just as most people now have forgotten the details of the Watergate break-in, we have also forgotten the details of Ellsburg’s case. Ellsburg is in no way comparable to Gleick, and in fact Ellsberg’s case seems very analogous to Climategate. Ellsburg was the insider with high clearance who decided to leak the documents (afterwards called the Pentagon Papers) to the public. *Everything* he leaked was unquestionably true, (no forgeries) and they were all government documents (not private documents) that were being hidden from the public. Now the documents he leaked were classified, BUT he has always maintained that the reason he leaked them was because he realized that the only reason they were classified was because they revealed that the Pentagon’s assessment of the war effort behind closed doors was the complete opposite of what they were saying about the war in public. They were lying to the public about a matter of vital public interest, and they were using their power to hide the documents that proved they were lying.
In other words, a lot like Climategate – those who were most strongly in favor of the policies in public were privately lamenting how their entire case was falling apart and wondering how to keep the public from finding out how much trouble they were in.
If today’s leftists, who still idolize Ellsberg for opposing Vietnam, remembered exactly what Ellsberg did, then they would realize that whoever leaked the Climategate docs did *exactly* the same thing. And they should realize that this man, whoever he is, deserves to be a hero in their book too.

Dennis Kuzara
March 10, 2012 9:14 pm

I just sent a link and excerpt to the G Gordon Liddy show’s producer. Might be interesting if the G-man picks it up..

March 10, 2012 9:17 pm

What the hell is Heartland doing?
What a disappointment another climate criminal goes free

John Wright
March 11, 2012 12:08 am

The wheels of justice grind slow. So far I think Heartland’s actions have been appropriate, unless there’s something I’ve missed (?)
You tell us.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 11, 2012 1:02 am

From afizzyfist on March 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm:

What the hell is Heartland doing?

What a disappointment another climate criminal goes free

Huh? Bub, I don’t know what you’re enjoying right now, but it likely hasn’t been legalized in my state “for medicinal purposes”.
Heartland just assembled their legal team:
They’ve barely begun getting to where they finalize what lawsuits they will file, for what specific reasons, for what specific damages, against what specific groups and individuals. As for “going free”, this federal administration has a noted reticence when it comes to prosecuting even marginal allies, especially when it can blow up into a larger investigation that focuses attention on the favored. It was a given from the start there wouldn’t be a criminal investigation for anything short of a major violent crime, or for a major financial misdoing where the favored have a piece of the action. We’ll have to wait for another administration despite the public confession, unless some brave state or municipality is ready to buck the feds and file charges anyway.

March 11, 2012 1:55 am

Interesting analogy

March 11, 2012 3:02 am

Steve says:
“Gleick and/or (less probably a mysterious associate) then forged a more damaging 2012 Confidential Climate Strategy memo,which he then distributed to sympathetic environmentalist blogs”
but i don’t know that the forged memo went ONLY to blogs. i suspect some of the 15 “friends” were from the MSM/MSM blogs. funny how sceptics all owned up about receiving the Climategate cache, yet we haven’t heard a peep from most of the 15.

March 11, 2012 3:35 am

OT. About fonts
I think it is something to do with ‘data parity check’, somewhere in the system, started two days ago. It flips between good and bad on refreshing a page. It happens only on WUWT as far as I can see, no other wordpress blog or any other website.

cui bono
March 11, 2012 3:59 am

It does seem as though the law moves slowly in the case of the [expletive deleted] Gleick. He has, after all, shown himself to be a [multiple expletives deleted].
Just trying to recapture the spirit of Watergate. 🙂

March 11, 2012 3:33 am

Some one, Ms. Curry, questioned Gleick’s “Rationality” (:-}) so, perhaps…..
(Waiver–syntax and spelling errors do not necessarily mean Gleick wrote this note!)

March 11, 2012 3:34 am

It is interesting to an observer that old stories are being dredged up to maintain the myth that Nixon was a bad person when he did the almost impossible and made the most important strategic Foreign Policy changes that have made the world unrecognisable.
Nixon’s historic trip to China 40 years ago is being submerged in a raft of stories designed to perpetuate the myth that had been generated about Nixon. The often repeated cop out is that there is a mountain of documents to wade through such that the observer has to reply on the writings of those who stand to benefit only if they kept to the well-worn political line. Are we missing the wood for the trees? Is this a deliberate mis-direction? I have read many such books and it is my opinion that the direct quotations of Nixon are open to very different interpretations. He is a very complex man. Which great leader was not a complex person? Of course the meme that Nixon is a bag egg has been popularised and who would dare to be unconventional and go against the grain and risk being labeled a laughing stock? Especially when one’s career is on the line.
Why do we not think for ourselves and question the inconsistencies and contradictions in the official story? After all we are supposed to have been taught to do so in our schooling.
Why would Nixon order a raid on Watergate when he was already 26 points ahead of Senator McGovern?
Why did the Watergate raiders persist in a risky and dumb project so that they would be arrested at the THIRD attempt?
Why did the dollar bills found on the arrested raiders have consecutive serial numbers? How was this observation made and who popularised it?
Why were H Hunt’s details that led to the White House found on the address books of TWO of the four arrested Cubans?
The raiders were supposed to be ex-CIA; why were they so incompetent?
What has Richard Dawkin’s memes got to do with Watergate?
If Nixon had wanted to order the Watergate raid, why did he pass the FEC Act that brought about greater transparency in campaign funding? It was not perfect but was a step in the right direction.
Nixon was against the Zionist lobby influencing US Foreign Policy in the Middle East. Was this another reason for his downfall? Another accusation is that Nixon was anti-Semitic.
Although anti-bussing, he was responsible for the desegregation of the Southern States, a carry over from President Johnson. He appointed Connolly, a Democrat to be his Secretary of Treasury and Kissinger who was an advisor to Rockefeller.
He formed the Environmental Agency, thus he was years ahead of his time.
He alone among the political elite wanted to withdraw from Vietnam not at any price but though ‘Peace with Honour’. He did end the Vietnam War; the principal cause of all the trouble of the US in the 60s and 70s.
He was right wing, but a patriot, doing everything for the US of A, the country that he loved.
It is my hypothesis that the Watergate plot was a right wing false flag operation that the liberals would run with, once the trap was sprung. Have we been hoodwinked for so many years? Can someone please explain the contradictions and inconsistencies of the official and conventional account to me? Please don’t be lazy and try to fob me off. Do your own research.

March 11, 2012 3:42 am

> but i don’t know that the forged memo went ONLY to blogs. i suspect some of the 15 “friends” were from the MSM/MSM blogs. funny how sceptics all owned up about receiving the Climategate cache, yet we haven’t heard a peep from most of the 15.
How do you know there were 15?
Gleick didn’t make the To field visible – in which case people could have just counted. He used blind copies apparently.
In which case none of their recipients would have any idea how many other recipients there were or the 15 – except Gleick said there were 15 in the body of the email.
Since Gleick has apparently made a habit of lying in emails, including in the email to the “15” – identifying himself as a Heartland insider, and mixing documents of 3 different origins as all being from Heartland – there is no real reason to believe that there actually 15.

Jean Parisot
March 11, 2012 4:41 am

In the same way that their perception of the Climategate leaks as hacks provides them internal (and within the left) moral justification, the Watergate burglars justified their actions based on an earlier burglary by the Democrats.

Gail Combs
March 11, 2012 5:20 am

CodeTech says:
March 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm
So… just some rambling here… Does this mean we’ll see “Honk to Impeach” protestors outside the White House?
Remember when the media was actually on the side of the people, and tried to EXPOSE fraud and political wrongdoing? Oh, I keep forgetting… they still do, if the people involved have an (R) beside their name. Let the (D) people literally steal at will and it’s silence: whether they’re stealing documents in their pants or legislating theft from future generations……
CodeTech, the media has not been on the “Side of the people” for close to a hundred years. That is why we are in the mess we are in The media has been nothing but a propaganda machine since 1917 when J. P. Morgan bought controlling interests in the leading news papers.
“…In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, ship building and powder interests and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press in the United States.
“These 12 men worked the problems out by selecting 179 newspapers, and then began, by an elimination process, to retain only those necessary for the purpose of controlling the general policy of the daily press throughout the country…..”
U.S. Congressional Record February 9, 1917, page 2947
This was followed by the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird conducted under Dulles Info (???) on Dulles. Seems he was also a part of the same “Old Boy” network:
It is STILL a propaganda machine ~ He who owns the press controls the press:
JP Morgan: Our next big media player?:
What I find absolutely hilarious is Chris Hedges in his book Death of the Liberal Class names the five pillars of the liberal class ; the press, universities, unions, churches and the Democratic Party. This is the Christians that are now attacked by the “Liberal Media” as gun toting right-wing nuts. The Democratic Party that is the party that gave use Fractional Reserve Banking, the Federal Reserve and then compounded the crime by confiscating the common man’s gold (real wealth) to be given to the bankers. The “Liberal Press” that is controlled by the bankers and “captains of industry” (checkout General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt & NBC Universal ) But try telling a liberal any of this and you get cognitive dissonance followed by the usual spouting of the party line. (I am an equal opportunity politician hater BTW)
Louis T. McFadden’s Speech In the House of Representatives 10 June 1932:
The Great American Disaster: How Much Gold Remains In Fort Knox?:
(There has still not been an independent audit of the gold in Fort Knox. Why does the Fed fiercely resist a physical audit of the gold at Fort Knox and in the vaults of the New York Fed? Did far more U.S. gold flow overseas under LBJ and Nixon than is admitted?)
Now where is Jim to rush to the bankers defense and call me looney tunes?

Gail Combs
March 11, 2012 5:28 am

wws says: @ March 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm
“….Ellsberg’s case seems very analogous to Climategate….”
Nice catch you and Steve McIntyre are correct the similarity in the two events are incredible and the response of the media very telling.

March 11, 2012 5:33 am

OT this would have to be the most important AGW news for some time
BTW very very difficult to find “post under new items” here please put on top where we can see it. Cheers
This scandal seems to be worse than anything we’ve seen so far. needs to be published. If already done my apologies

March 11, 2012 5:36 am

Was just stirring the hornets nest to find out we are with the legal stuff, good to hear something is being done in any case…

Mike McMillan
March 11, 2012 5:50 am

CodeTech says:March 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm
So… just some rambling here… Does this mean we’ll see “Honk to Impeach” protestors outside the White House?

Richard Nixon had Spiro Agnew, Baraq Obama has Joe Biden.
It’s called “Impeachment Insurance.”

Coach Springer
March 11, 2012 6:00 am

From McIntyre’s post:
Gleick: “Scientists are used to debating facts with each other, with the best evidence and theory winning. Well, this is a bar fight, where the facts are irrelevant, and apparently, the rules and tools of science are too. But who wins bar fights? As the Simpsons cartoon so brilliantly showed, bullies. Not always the guy who is right.”
The above statement reflects five fundamental misunderstandings driving them all crazy. 1) The IPCC never accepted honest debate and forced an initial conclusion where the science had concluded that science was unclear. They’ve been scientifically committed to an unscientifically derived position ever since. (Out on the illusion of a limb) 2) Scientific fact is independent of what is perceived as best evidence at the time. 3) Scientific fact develops over time. 4) A scientific debate is never about which human being wins. 5) The scientific bully is the one who fails to understand and accept 1 -4.
This is not about what seems to be the slightly best guess at the time (especially in a debate where the questions are being controlled by those who feel a personal and ideological need to win). What is required is proof of an adequate description of how CO2 works in the climate compared to all other variables under known past and present conditions. The description is entirely inadequate and there is no proof. And after that, there is still the science related to what effects both positive and negative that warming will bring and why the earth cannot withstand climate change when that is all the climate has ever done.
I recall Trenberth co-authoring a screed with Gleick and Abraham. What’s his connection and who are all the climate activists with science titles that are open only to how to stop the public inquiry so that they may implement action – any action and drastic reaction regardless of the sense it makes? An easier question and shorter list, who are the scientifically honest warmists that place fact and an honest appraisal of what is both known and unknown before the precautionary principle and worst-case leveraging?

Ian W
March 11, 2012 6:00 am

There is of course one major difference between Gliek’s ‘FakeGate’ and ‘Watergate’; the ‘conspirators’ in Watergate did not find any incriminatory material that could be used. Gliek found no incriminatory material that could be used either – so he then proceeded to forge incriminatory material which he then passed off as genuine to his willing and gullible (?) press and blog contacts.
Would you trust a climate ‘scientist’?

March 11, 2012 6:09 am

Watergate, donors lists, what a great point. I’m embarrassed to admit it never crossed my mind. It shows what can happen when you get wrapped up in the details of Gleick, missing the forest for the trees. This is a rather brilliant point actually and may have a bigger payoff in the end. Bravo Steve McIntyre!

wws says: @ March 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm
“….Ellsberg’s case seems very analogous to Climategate….”
Gail Combs [March 11, 2012 at 5:28 am] says:
“Nice catch you and Steve McIntyre are correct the similarity in the two events are incredible and the response of the media very telling.”

I’m not onboard with this comparison. First, why even go there and associate climate data and military secrecy in the same thought? Real military secrets must have a bright line regardless if they happen to be over-classified. It is enshrined in the Constitution that we can have some secrecy as it is critical to national security. Ellseberg was lucky he didn’t get the chair, as is Bradley Manning. I’m quite sure that in previous years, both would have been in front of a tribunal, given a last meal and hung at dawn, especially the latter who walks out with pilfered secrets while in uniform!
P.S. Good to see you back Gail. Hope all is well!

Crispin in Johannesburg
March 11, 2012 6:31 am

I pick up just one of your interesting questions and will try to shed at least a little light on some of the other indirectly.
“Why would Nixon order a raid on Watergate when he was already 26 points ahead of Senator McGovern?”
The false story is that it was about finding funders. Notable from the comments above is the fact that the people involved in the breakin were known as ‘plumbers’ i.e. they fixed leaks. The story they were after a donor list is probably the fakest portion of the story. What would they want with donor lists? He was not in need of them and there were other ways to get it.
The link between the plumbers and the Cubans and Nixon went back a lot farther than the election campaign. It is now almost forgotten that the assisination squad of cubans assembled to take out Castro was formed about 1959 (perhaps someone can confirm the date). Nixon was in charge of that squad, yes? This off-the record group was upset that they were never deployed – also well known. They practised repeatedly a triangulation sniper attack on a moving vehicle and were always being told they would be deployed soon. The Cuban missle crisis came and went and alla that jazz. They were never sent to accomplish their mission.
But the team remained in contact: the plumbers and the Cubans and their off-the-books plans. That is why the unprofessional nature of the breakins, and that particular group. It was not their regular line of work.
What were they doing there? They sure as heck wen’t after a some mundane donor’s list but they were certainly after documents. They were there to fix a leak. Donors are not leaks. The leak in question was the existence of the trained triangulation shooters, the plan against Castro and that Nixon was their controller ultimate controller. I heard (and that is my source) that the Nixon camp got word that documentary proof of this was around and had found its way into the Watergate Hotel. They were trying to get it back, or at least know what they had. Note that the main characters were the organisers of a hit squad, not private eyes with skills above basic Agent training.
It is famous by now that Bobby Kennedy called from Wasthington to the head of the Secret Service in Dallas the day after JFK was killed saying, “Your people did this!” Add that to the claims that two of the plumbers were seen leaving the scene in Dallas in ’63 (walking away from the wooden fence, dressed as tramps, heading to the train tracks) and you can understand why a hint of impropriety may have been possible with little recourse other than to reveal more and more.
The commonalities with the Gleick Tragedy are still to be fathomed. Did he write alone? If not, with whom? Who checked the text? How many reporters and bloggers were co-conspirators? How far does the convoluted trail of incompetent collusion go? What rapid response teams do we not yet know about who may have been manipulating the press and the public image of climate science? Who funds them and why?
Are the shredders working overtime as we speak? Are there plumbers working right now to erect walls of invisibility to separate themselves from Gleick if he goes down hard and starts to talk? Will he pull a Jones and start throwing his climate comrades under a bus? Stay tuned to this channel.

March 11, 2012 6:42 am

“Those who deny this science and this evidence are becoming increasingly desperate in their efforts to attack the science and scientists and fool the public and prevent any rational discussion of a climate or energy policy from being adopted,”

This could have been said by anyone, and it could certainly have been said about Gleick.
It was actually Gleick himself.
Who’da guessed it?

March 11, 2012 7:36 am

Crispin in Johannesburg [March 11, 2012 at 6:31 am]

Way too much off topic and incorrect stuff to dispute here. Let me just mention these three:
– ‘Plumbers’ in a clandestine situation means a whole lot more than fixing leaks. Wiretapping was a key issue in Watergate.
– I never heard anything saying Eisenhower/Nixon planned on killing Castro ever (though I among many wish they had). I am pretty sure that all of the attempts, which were numerous and legendary all occurred at the direction of JFK/RFK (one of their few good ideas IMHO).
– Nixon did not order the burglary. No way. That would be a felony and no matter what you think of him, he would never have done it.

March 11, 2012 8:16 am

“- Nixon did not order the burglary. No way. That would be a felony and no matter what you think of him, he would never have done it.”
I tend to agree perhaps, but then why cover it up? Knowing what we do about Nixon, he was loyal and a patriot, but he would also typically not resort backing up his men if they were in over their head without his knowing about it, and if they went behind his back, he would let them take the heat themselves.
That is why I think he did order the burglary or at least ok it in some bizarre brainfart moment. We may never know because of how history turned out, but it just does not fit Nixon’s character to cover up anything if he had not known about the incident in the first place. He would have had the entire incident investigated and would have cooperated if he indeed had known nothing about it. That was the Nixon we knew, look at what happened to Spirow.
Nixon surrounded himself with people who were rather crooked, and he got involved. I don’t think he was really all that bad in the end, but he made a mistake and managed to get himself involved in some of the mess and because he was in the end loyal he went down with the ship. As a politician, he was a terrible crook. Because lets face it, he got caught. His mistakes were two therefore. He had bad people around him and he got involved in their “activities.” To say he had nothing to do with the burglary itself is probably missing the point that he would have never covered it up if he hadn’t….and that in itself was what brought him down in the end.

March 11, 2012 8:19 am

MAVukcevic says:
March 11, 2012 at 2:35 am
If that’s the case then the solar flare may have triggered it.

March 11, 2012 9:07 am

Let’s not forget Rose Mary Woods and the 18-minute gap (deletion) on Nixon’s recorder.
She was just doing her bit to “hide the decline”

March 11, 2012 9:52 am

benfrommo [March 11, 2012 at 8:16 am] says:

We’re way off topic, but continuing if the mods allow …
Well for one, there is no evidence that Nixon was involved in the break-in. I cannot imagine anything more investigated than Watergate. No dead horse has ever been beaten and flogged more than this one. With the sole exception of the missing minutes on the tapes, what possible stone was left un-turned? I doubt there is any.
I don’t agree with the reasoning that ‘why would he cover it up?’ stands as evidence of involvement. It was probably just the simple case of ‘Mr. President, our guys broke in and bugged the enemy headquarters – and got caught‘. An ‘Oh crap moment’ that they thought they could keep out of the press. Nixon was no doubt aware of many previous black-bag jobs done earlier at FBI or lower level (e.g., Hoover MLK Jr. bugging) and likely felt that this fell squarely into that category, i.e., they were also unknown to the President. In this context, Nixon’s personal responsibility is lessened because in the case of Martin Luther King, both RFK and Hoover actually were involved with the bugging, Now do you think JFK would have resigned over it had it become public? No, His father would have bought his way out (payoff) and perhaps a few resignations.
JFK and Nixon had much in common, however all recent Presidents have something else in common – the automatic knee-jerk reflex to protect the office of the presidency at all costs. The cost that Nixon tried to pay was, in his calculation, a very cheap way to spare the country from the ugly knowledge that a team of ‘plumbers’ did this crime in his name. NOTE: I do believe Nixon should NOT have done this and should have bucked the trend (and it is a long trend going at least back to the 1880’s) of cover-up to protect the office.
So the answer to ‘why would he cover it up?’ is simple – why not? That was what was always done. But it really has nothing to do with him being involved, he most likely wasn’t. One other thing, why would the plumbers involve him? And why would he even want to be involved considering what was going on in the world at the time? Occam’s Razor says Nixon merely had highly motivated people working autonomously that wanted to flush the commies out of the enemy party, no conspiracy is needed.
P.S. Regarding Agnew, you do realize that he was corrupt previously as a governor, right? And it’s not like he was handpicked by Nixon you know. He was one of the classic VP balancing selections. However, he obviously slipped by the vetting process like most of the schmucks that get elected into the District of Criminals. Nothing has changed at all except now we have Presidents who also dodge the vetting process. I guarantee that folks knew more about Agnew in 1968 than they did about Clinton in 1992, and especially Barry Hussein in 2008.

March 11, 2012 11:05 am

Ref: Blade [March 11, 2012 at 9:52 am]
Don’t forget that a lot of people had a bone to be chewed because of the Alger Hiss case. Nixon figured prominently in that.
Jumping up and down on the Watergate soapbox afforded them a bit of payback.

March 11, 2012 11:14 am

Nixon and his guys tried to cover up the White House involvement for the same reason the climate alarmists bend the rules, fudge the data, and outright lie about stuff
Noble-cause corruption
Nixon was certain that McGovern would be a disaster for the country (I concur) but Nixon ended up leaving his own awful legacy of distrust in public institutions (some deserved, some not). By elevating Woodward-Bernstein to “star status”, journalism took a giant lurch to the left and down the toilet – – which is where we are today. Thanks Dick.

March 11, 2012 11:32 am

I believe that the purpose of the Watergate burglarly was to get a looseleaf notebook containing pictures of prostitutes and a list of Democrat donors who had been provided with a choice of the prostitutes from this book as an incentive to make their donation. I don’t know that this makes a real difference in what was done but I do know that the Democrats, who were happy indeed to tout Watergate as something terrible committed against them, were also very eager to keep the target of the breakin secret. The media cooperated with the Democrats in keeping the secret, some say because many of them had been on that list of people provided the special service in question.

March 11, 2012 11:45 am

In a better world both sides of this issue would remain focused on the pertinent science.
I am a skeptic, but I suspect skepticism’s best spokespersons are letting the excitement of uncovering chicanery distract us all from the all important message. That message, of course, is that the warmist’s science is terminally faulty. But just as we claim that consensus is irrelevant to true science, so too strong evidence of fraud and lies is ultimately irrelevant.
Show me scientifically convincing evidence that our planet is/is not warming dangerously. Let the rest remain secondary – please.
(This message also being sent to JunkScience and ClimateAudit.)

Dr. Dave
March 11, 2012 12:04 pm

Before all the Nixon apologists go nuts defending the guy, please remember he was the President who gave us OSHA, the EPA, the DEA and signed the ESA into law. We’d be in much better shape today if these federal agencies didn’t exist.

March 11, 2012 12:13 pm

Had Nixon been a Democrat, “Watergate” would be unknown in our current political lexicon.
The corollary: The Democrats get the action while the Republicans get the rhetoric.
This applies to Gleick–had he been a real Heartland director delving into, say, the Pacific Institute, he’d be in jail by now. Talk about a double standard!

March 11, 2012 1:20 pm

Blade commented on the Ellsberg/climategate comparison, and wrote: “First, why even go there and associate climate data and military secrecy in the same thought? Real military secrets must have a bright line regardless if they happen to be over-classified.”
In defense of Ellsberg, and also why I think the comparison to Climategate is valid, it’s important to note that the papers he leaked did *not*, to my knowledge, contain any actual operational military “secrets”. They were high-level think tank forecasts and analyses, but what made them significant was that they showed that the high level analysis that the Pentagon was talking about internally was diametrically opposed to all of their public statements.
Or to put it simply, the only “military secret” in play was the fact that the US Government was intentionally and deliberately lying to the voters about their real views on the war. Although of course *actual* military secrets should be protected, this is a perfect example of how easily the classification system can be corrupted and turned into nothing but a giant ass-covering project for government officials.
Kind of like what the CRU crowd was trying to do when they restricted access to all of their files.
The statement “let’s continue playing the voters for chumps and hope they never find out what we’re up to” should never be allowed to become an “official secret”, whether it’s military or civilian.

March 11, 2012 4:55 pm

copner –
agreed. there may not have been 15 recipients…but, equally, there may have been.

March 12, 2012 6:50 am

My only comment regarding Nixon is that what he did, previous presidents routinely did. The only difference was that this time the press cared.

Roger Knights
March 12, 2012 7:27 am

I recall hearing a theory that the burglars were looking for evidence the Dems had some scandalous smoking gun they were going to spring to Nixon during the campaign.

Gail Combs
March 12, 2012 7:29 am

Blade says: @
March 11, 2012 at 6:09 am
….First, why even go there and associate climate data and military secrecy in the same thought?
The comparison is not the “association of climate data with military secrecy” but the fact that information was hidden to prevent the public from seeing they were being told lies. In both cases lies that have a major impact on the USA. In the Ellsberg’s case the Media made the person a “Hero” DESPITE the fact these were “Military Secrets” and in the other case the person is smeared with all sorts of nasty names even though the law stated the e-mails were subject to FOIA and the public had the RIGHT to see them.
Here is another similarity showing that the USA is not run by “The Rule of Law” but by favoritism. (This is the entire point of the discussion BTW)
“…..Sirica, acting on a request from Jaworski, issued a subpoena for the tapes of 64 presidential conversations to use as evidence in the criminal cases against indicted former Nixon administration officials. Nixon refused, and Jaworski appealed to the Supreme Court to force Nixon to turn over the tapes. On July 24, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 (Justice William Rehnquist recused himself) in United States v. Nixon that Nixon must turn over the tapes…..” WIKI
“….In a rebuke to the Attorney General, and to the writers of Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed, “with prejudice,” the AG’s civil investigative demand against the University of Virginia….
Cuccinelli’s office had this to say….
“The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled today that the University of Virginia and all other state agencies cannot be served with civil investigative demands which compel agencies to provide information for fraud investigations involving government funds…
Although the court recognized Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act contains “functional inconsistencies” on the issue, in its ruling, the court said that the university and other state agencies are not considered “persons” under the act. In doing so, the court explicitly recognized that in some instances in the act, the term “person” will “always [be] construed to include Commonwealth agencies” such as the University of Virginia, while in other instances, it will not.”

March 12, 2012 7:31 am

Blade says: March 11, 2012 at 6:09 am
“…Bradley Manning. I’m quite sure that in previous years, both would have been in front of a tribunal, given a last meal and hung at dawn, especially the latter who walks out with pilfered secrets while in uniform!…”
You paint them too kindly – speaking of military secrets makes it sound like he stole the ‘secret plan of battle’.
Let us not forget that what he in fact uncovered was incompetence, and casual, unconcerned, negligent killing of civilians. Those who would encourage you in your correct and loyal support of ‘your military’ are those who will be protected by your trust. And amongst them are the guilty and the incompetent.

March 12, 2012 8:31 am

Forgive me for thinking Mann’s main motivation for that may have been more a vision of his own fame and glory, rather than one of saving mankind.
I can’t help but feel that a person primarily inspired by the latter motivation would have been a lot more meticulous in his work, much more communicative in his prose, and very enthusiastic about sharing his raw data.

March 12, 2012 8:56 am

WWS and Gail,
No doubt the so-called Pentagon Papers were over-classified, I said as much upthread. This does not excuse the perp, nor the New York Slimes. Also, I did mention that Nixon should have come clean and started a new trend for Presidents, being honest rather than implementing a cover-up. However, as far as comparing scientific climate data with classified material, I have to disagree. That argument fails in so many ways IMHO, not the least of which is that it sounds like something Mann would say.
My point is simply that there must be (and always used to be) a bright line regarding national security (state and military) secrets. Crossing this line means you are flirting with the executioner. We are now in a situation where we are practically rationalizing steal them first, and sort them out later. That is not how a sane state survives. The proper answer to addressing over-classified material is to get in touch with the Constitution in which the people and the states grant the feds secrecy but not in a broad sense like we see today. We must simply elect people that understand the Constitution and prod them to pass laws or we will need to go over their heads with another Amendment. Laws like FOIA are a step in the right direction, and further movements towards keeping only important things regarding national security under wraps is the rational approach. Obviously mil satellite orbits and resolution and many other armed forces material falls into this category.
Ellsberg and Manning may have pilfered data that was over-classified but both should have been hung purely on principle, killing two birds with one stone so to speak (liberating over-classified material while upholding national security and treason principles). I’ll take that as a win-win, thanking them for their sacrifice on their walk to the gallows. It is much better to make fast and clear examples out of such people of which there are far too many. When someone like Aldrich Ames is still alive, eating and sleeping on the taxpayer dime in a federal pokey it is safe to say we have moved into the surreal! It can’t be too far off that the Rosenbergs get posthumous pardons and a Peace Prize for liberating over-classified secrets and promoting international military parity. That’s not so far-fetched considering the current occupant of the oval office.
One other thing about the Pentagon Papers, this has morphed into a classic example of bait and switch in popular culture. On one hand it is only ‘data from various think tanks and shady NGO’s’. Then on the other hand ‘it exposed important lies by the administration about the Viet Nam war’. We see this strategy currently with President Dumbo first telling the people that Obamacare is just an insurance regulation, but then tells the courts that courts that Obamacare is a tax. Whatever works. It will be part of our undoing.

March 12, 2012 10:52 am

I realize at about comment 50, this will only be read by the moderators, but there is something here about how much easier a computer is to hack by going after the users rather than the system. The sort of attack Gliek did is broadly called ‘social engineering’. I’m a little surprised that HI and other foundations don’t have a standing policy to help prevent this.
Such a policy would be something like “any new email address must be confirmed by voice or confirmation coming from known good email address.” Or something along those lines. Similar to the idea of ‘double opt in’ for e-newsletters. Basically you sign up and get a confirmation email that you signed up.
I also realize this is OT, so Moderators feel free to bit bucket this.

Richard S Courtney
March 12, 2012 11:38 am

I am one of the many non-Moderators who read your post that is on-topic. And I thank you for it.

D. Patterson
March 12, 2012 11:40 am

Dr. Dave says:
March 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm
Before all the Nixon apologists go nuts defending the guy, please remember he was the President who gave us OSHA, the EPA, the DEA and signed the ESA into law. We’d be in much better shape today if these federal agencies didn’t exist.

Like most people who attempt to smear the reputation of a man who needs no extra help in destroying his own reputation, you have resorted to inventing a fallacy, much like Gleick. The President of the United States (POTUS) lacks the Constitutional and de facto power to legislate the creation of OSHA, the EPA, and the DEA, whether or not he ever wanted to do so. Those governmental organizations were created by the legislation of the U.S. Congress, and that Congress was controlled by the majority votes of the Democratic Party. The Republican Party lacked the majority of votes necessary to block such legislation, even if they wanted to do so. Like so many other people, you have attempted to shift the blame from the Democrat controlled Congress to a Republican President who lacked the power to commit the acts you claim he committed as if he were supposed to be some all powerful and dictatorial king. In other words, you act like Gleick to misinform public opinion.

Gail Combs
March 12, 2012 6:54 pm

WWS and Gail,
……My point is simply that there must be (and always used to be) a bright line regarding national security (state and military) secrets. Crossing this line means you are flirting with the executioner. We are now in a situation where we are practically rationalizing steal them first, and sort them out later. That is not how a sane state survives……
I am not advocating releasing military secrets. All I am pointing out is the difference in how the Media treated Ellsberg and how the media is treating the Climategate Whistleblower. Indeed I pointed out that Ellsberg WAS TECHNICALLY GUILTY and the Climategate Whistleblower is NOT yet the treatment is the exact opposite of what it should be.
Again we are not looking at the Rule of Law. If we were we would not see the favoritism by the press just because of their admitted bias. We would not be seeing Nixon treated as a convicted criminal and Glieck as a “Hero”
It is this type of bias that I was trying to point out.
BTW Here is a relatively new article by Daniel Ellsberg in the, Monday 13 June 2011 that you might want to read
What he has to say is quite interesting.
….. Senator Morse – one of the two senators who had voted against that unconstitutional, undated blank cheque for presidential war in 1964 – told me that if I had provided him with that evidence at the time (instead of 1969, when I finally provided it to the senate foreign relations committee, on which he had served): “The Tonkin Gulf resolution would never have gotten out of committee; …
…Had I or one of the scores of other officials who had the same high-level information acted then on our oath of office – which was not an oath to obey the president, nor to keep the secret that he was violating his own sworn obligations, but solely an oath “to support and defend the constitution of the United States” – that terrible war might well have been averted altogether….

D. Patterson
March 13, 2012 8:33 am

The statement, “terrible war might well have been averted altogether….”, is yet another example of the political deception and oxymoron in which Ellsberg and others indulged. The “war” was ongoing long before the U.S. committed its own armed forces in 1965 in defense of human lives, the “war” continued long after the U.S. armed forces were withdrawn from the “war” in 1970-1973, and the “war” continued for many years after the Republic of South Vietnam was overrun and surrendered. Far more civilians were killed and murdered by the million after the surrender in 1975 than had died in the conflict in the years from 1945 to 1975. The MSM (MainStream Media) in its faux anti-war and real socialist pro-war reporting turned a blind eye and suppressed news and editorials that revealed the scope of the loss of human life AFTER the communist conquests of South Vietnam and Cambodia. Nothing the United States did or could do was going to “avert” the war, so Ellsberg is either incredibly self-deluding and/or outright dishonest in his statement about his actions being able to “avert” the war and the losses of human life. The North Vietnamese government was determined to destroy millions of human lives no matter what the United States government did or did not do. The only way in which the North Vietnamese efforts to destroy those millions of lives could be “averted” was to defend them with effective military force, which Ellsberg and his fellow travelers opposed.
Gleick behaves like Ellsberg when he blindly ignores the real world facts to promote his political agenda in the false claim of preserving human life while in fact aiding the destruction of human life inumbering n the millions through the destruction of their life supporting economies.

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