June 27, 2022

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Hobbling along

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The country that every survey says Filipinos trust the most marked, on June 17, the 50th year of the 1972 Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of then US President Richard Nixon in 1974.

Its anniversary occurred in the middle of a US Congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 “insurrection” during which a mob of several hundred white supremacists and neo-fascist thugs tried to forcibly prevent the official certification of the victory of Joseph Biden in the November 2020 Presidential elections.

Watergate was an office building in Washington, DC that housed the Democratic Party’s National Committee (DNC). Five men broke into the DNC offices in June 1972 to photograph campaign documents and install wire-tapping and other listening devices. But they were apprehended and their connection to Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP) was established through, among other means, a series of investigative journalism reports by Washington Post reporters Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein which they later republished in book form with the title All the President’s Men.

A Congressional inquiry found that Nixon had approved the criminal act and was legally accountable. Rather than risk impeachment and prolong the crisis, he resigned as US President on Aug. 8, 1974.

The conjunction of the commemoration of the 50th year of the scandal with the ongoing investigation and hearings by the January 6th Congressional Committee on what has  been described as “an insurrection,” an “attempted coup,” and “an attack on US democracy” has invited comparisons between then and now.

In interviews with US media, Carl Bernstein, now in his 70s, said that the difference between the 1972-74 crisis and the current situation in the US is that “the system worked” then, but is currently failing.

During that time the media closely followed the issue and in fact managed to find evidence that showed Nixon knew about and approved the break-in. The US…


2022-06-23 06:22:25

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