Ellsberg: All Nixon’s crimes now legal

Via Juan Cole, this striking interview with Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame:

These days, when you find yourself thinking about Richard Nixon, what comes to mind?

[Ellsberg]: Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life. (And his aide Henry Kissinger was not the last American official to win an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.)

He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me–which forced his resignation facing impeachment–are now legal.

That includes burglarizing my former psychoanalyst’s office (for material to blackmail me into silence), warrantless wiretapping, using the CIA against an American citizen in the US, and authorizing a White House hit squad to “incapacitate me totally” (on the steps of the Capitol on May 3, 1971). All the above were to prevent me from exposing guilty secrets of his own administration that went beyond the Pentagon Papers. But under George W. Bush and Barack Obama,with the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendment Act, and (for the hit squad) President Obama’s executive orders. they have all become legal.

There is no further need for present or future presidents to commit obstructions of justice (like Nixon’s bribes to potential witnesses) to conceal such acts. Under the new laws, Nixon would have stayed in office, and the Vietnam War would have continued at least several more years.

Is it just me, or do you, too, find this more newsworthy than Anthony Weiner’s weiner?

3 thoughts on “Ellsberg: All Nixon’s crimes now legal

  1. It will be interesting to see if the Versailles courtiers press corps will ever report on this. It would not help them maintain access, nor would it burnish their career achievements.

    Will any politicians mention this? Outliers only.

    The left committed to Obama will not breathe a word of this. Moyers might cover it, but he’s no longer on any broadcasts.

  2. Orwellian to the MAX and much more newsworthy than (a) Casey Anthony (b) Weiner’s sexting!

  3. Usurpative policies according to Ellsberg.
    Would Maddow run a segment on this interview?

    Side note on Anthony case:
    Geraldo of all people ran an interesting segment on whether or not Casey was Mirandized. Most other speculations about appeal possibilities fall short, but Geraldo nailed it on the one that has the most potential. Zeitgeist out of this case: Interrogation as a communication style. Social Systems research shows that absent other forms of communication, the counterpart for persistent interrogatory pattern is pathological lying. Casey’s father, if reports are correct, was a cop. Obvious thus far is the ability of interrogators to be bought off/staved off by elaborately detailed narratives. Kinda like filling up the space availabe in 24/7 cable. (There are so many levels of meta irony here, it’s palpable).

    The public has the opportunity to learn, at a micro and local law level what long term interrogation elicits out of the psychologically vulnerable and impressionable, especially without informed consent or even proper, respectful boundaries. The third and fourth dynamics are denial and repression, as in, the family did not acknowledge Casey’s pregnancy for months.

    Listening to Casey’s interviews, there are a few selected statements that make a lot of sense if you substitute Casey’s own name for her statements about Caylee. Especially the one about not going to for help, because she did not want *Caylee* to get hurt.

    In sum, this case is a referendum on apportioning responsibility, and determining the nature of a crime, when a pattern of invasive abuses, in multiple, layered contexts, is allowed to continue unabated. That the defense counsel started out with allegations of sexual abuse can be taken as symbolic as well. I think what he’s trying to convey is a level of invasiveness. Caylee’s death is symbolic of the death of innocence in every major player in this tragedy, and the society at large.

Comments are closed.