Sunday, July 8, 2007

Watergate Tapes: Thompson Was Nixon’s Mole

... and Nixon didn’t return the favor, calling Fred Thompson ”dumb as hell.” That shouldn’t stop Republicans, we’ve been saying that about George W. Bush for years.

Anyway, the Associated Press has given a listen to the Watergate tapes in the National Archives and is reporting that a then-30-year-old Fred Thompson served as Nixon’s mole in the Watergate hearings, not the dedicated patriot committed to uncovering the truth as has been believed. According to the transcripts, Thompson informed Nixon that the Senate committee looking into the Watergate break-ins knew of the famed secret tapes--the same tapes that would eventually lead to Nixon’s downfall. Thompson also agreed to work with Nixon to discredit star witness John Dean. Read, weep:
Publicly, Baker and Thompson presented themselves as dedicated to uncovering the truth. But Baker had secret meetings and conversations with Nixon and his top aides, while Thompson worked cooperatively with the White House and accepted coaching from Nixon's lawyer, J. Fred Buzhardt, the tapes and transcripts show.

"We've got a pretty good rapport with Fred Thompson," Buzhardt told Nixon in an Oval Office meeting on June 6, 1973. The meeting included a discussion of former White House counsel John Dean's upcoming testimony before the committee.

Dean, the committee's star witness, had agreed to tell what he knew about the break-in and cover-up if he was granted immunity against anything incriminating he might say.

Nixon expressed concern that Thompson was not "very smart."

"Not extremely so," Buzhardt agreed.

"But he's friendly," Nixon said.

"But he's friendly," Buzhardt agreed. "We are hoping, though, to work with Thompson and prepare him, if Dean does appear next week, to do a very thorough cross-examination."

Count me not shocked. Republicans have been trying to present Thompson as “his own man,” a person who is far different from the rubber-stamp loyalists who have dominated the party for the past 15 years. But I’ve known all along that Soft-n-Safe® is just SOS: Same Old Shit. Who else hires rubber stamp loyalists like Mary Matalin, Liz Cheney and George P. Bush to be his advisors? Come on, wake up and smell the Kool-Aid.

Anyway, in a sane world the tanscripts themselves would be damning. Of course, we live in an insane world at the moment, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re calling Soft-n-Safe® Mr. President in January 2009.