Search This Blog

Friday, April 02, 2004

Another Former Republican Jumps Ship

Just over thirty years ago, John Dean was President Nixon's counsel. Of course, during the Watergate investigation and congressional hearings, Dean famously became the main whistleblower. Nixon fired Dean in April, 1973 and he testified two months later. After another two months, Nixon resigned -- Dean had demonstrated conclusively that the Watergate conspiracy went all the way to the Oval Office.

Today, Dean taped an interview with journalist Bill Moyers for the PBS TV program "NOW." Dean was promoting his new book, Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush. In the book and interview, Dean claims that the current White House is the most secretive ever -- and should be brought down because of the way it fomented war against Iraq.

Here's the key exchange:
BILL MOYERS: Be specific with me. What is worse than Watergate?

JOHN DEAN: If there's anything that really is the bottom line, it's taking the nation to war in a time when they might not have had to go to war and people dying. That is worse than Watergate. No one died for Nixon's so-called Watergate abuses.

BILL MOYERS: Let me go right to page 155 of your book. You write, quote, "The evidence is overwhelming that George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have engaged in deceit and deception over going to war in Iraq. This is an impeachable offense."

JOHN DEAN: Absolutely is. The founders in the debates in the states. I cite one. I cite one that I found, I tracked down after reading the Nixon impeachment proceedings when Congressman Castenmeyer had gone back to look to see what the founders said about misrepresentations and lying to the the Congress. Clearly, it is an impeachable offense. And I think the case is overwhelming that these people presented false information to the Congress and to the American people.
I've blogged about a lot of the flawed use of intelligence, of course -- and have previously discussed the secrecy angle too.

Like the other recent whistleblowers, Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke, Dean recognizes that he's likely to come under attack from the White House. He claims not to be bashing Bush because of partisan politics. Here are his concerns regarding lack of "good government."
JOHN DEAN: Well, I'm not interested in Bush bashing. I'm really only interested in the truth getting out, people understand a very complex and sensitive issue. And that is secrecy.

In fact, I rely, if you notice in the book on every chapter I start with somebody who is of Mr. Bush's party, talking and complaining about his excessive secrecy. This isn't a partisan issue for me.

This isn't an issue of Republicans versus Democrats. This is an issue of good government versus bad government. This is an informed electorate and an uninformed electorate.

JOHN DEAN: Absolutely. Well, you know, Bill, I don't come at this as a partisan. I mean I really left those days long behind me. I'm a registered Independent. I vote for both Republicans, I vote for Democrats. I vote for the issues.

And you know, I didn't wanna get in the mix of a partisan thing. But I do think these are issues that must be on the table.

BILL MOYERS: You say in here that even more so than Nixon, they come after their enemies list, the people on their enemies list. I mean we see what's happening to Clarke. What's gonna happen to you again?

JOHN DEAN: You know, they can't hurt me at this point. I'm damaged material already.
We'll see if Dean still believes this in a week or two.

No comments:

Post a Comment