Happy Watergate Day, Republicans!

Ahhh, the good old days when political criminals were actually held to account.

Charlie Pierce has a fantastic piece on the 40th anniversary of the unravelling of a President.

Forty years ago, on June 17, 1972, a very ordinary middle-class guy did his job, and he did it very well. His name was Frank Wills, and, on that night 40 years ago, he was making his rounds as a security guard at the Watergate complex, a bit of high-end real-estate hard by the Potomac in Washington, D.C. He passed by a door in the basement of the complex’s parking garage and noticed that a piece of tape had been placed on the door in such a manner as to prevent the door from locking. Wills took off the tape and continued on his rounds. Upon passing the door again, Wills saw that a fresh piece of tape had been put on it. It was then that he did his job very well. Frank Wills called the cops.

Forty years ago, on June 17, 1972, three members of the D.C. metropolitan police’s tactical team did their jobs, and they did them very well. Sergeant Paul Leeper, and officers John Barrett and Carl Shoffler responded to Wills’s call at 1:52 a.m. It didn’t sound like much. They got half-a-dozen “burglary in progress” calls every night. But when they met Wills, and saw the tape on the door, they began to work the building in earnest. It was then that they did their jobs very well. On the sixth floor, which was occupied entirely by the Democratic National Committee, they saw more tape on another door. They also found some ceiling panels missing. They drew their guns. Barrett saw some movement in a darkened office belonging to Stanley Griegg, the deputy secretary of the Democratic party. He identified himself and told whomever was there to put their hands up. Five men gradually unfolded themselves from behind desks and chairs. They surrendered peaceably, and then it all began.

Nixon had his secret taping system; Walker had (has?) his secret e-mail system.  Coincidence?


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3 thoughts on “Happy Watergate Day, Republicans!

  1. What about the Fast and Furious scandal? You know, the scandal where Holder allowed guns to be sold to the Mexican drug cartels. These weapons have been used to kill hundreds of people, including US citizens.

    When will someone be held accountable?

  2. I believe that the Watergate scandal left an indelible mark on my generation — the one that was passing through junior high and high school at the time, and had its youthful idealism and naïveté about government exploded earlier than I think the previous generation’s had. As a middle school history teacher, I’ve endeavored to explain to my students just how disillusioning that entire period was. I put together a video summarizing the events. You can watch it at

  3. Grief! Do you think people who would deny food and health services to impoverished Americans or job opportunities to graduates and more mature workers would feel any shame at this. This is 55% of Wisconsin and who knows how much of the nation. Revisiting this minor travesty only gives those people more incentive to see that they don’t get caught again.

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