Nixon’s Shenanigans vs. Obama’s Shenanigans

As we discover the depths to which the Obama operatives and holdovers went to skewer the Trump campaign/administration from 2016-20, I find myself wondering just what the Nixon operatives were up to, back in the bad old Watergate 1970s.

Back in the day the eeevil Republican Richard Nixon thought he needed to spy on the opposition in the run-up to the 1972 election. So he set up a nongovernmental Special Investigations Unit to go a-burgling.

Just the day before yesterday the noble Democrat Barack Obama -- or his henchmen -- wanted to spy on the opposition presidential campaign. So they went to their pals at the FBI and Main Justice and the intelligence community and got them to go a-spying.

Just yesterday the patriotic Obama holdovers in the Trump administration spent three years trying to trip up President Trump based on fake accusations that we now know -- because said holdovers didn’t want to risk lying under oath -- that they knew were fake.

So why did President Nixon start the “plumbers unit” that eventually burgled the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate back in 1972?

According to George Will writing in 2014 it all started in 1968 when Candidate Nixon used Chinese-American Anna Chennault in a backdoor negotiation with the South Vietnamese ambassador. Naughty boy, because Nixon was a private citizen at the time. But of course, the FBI found out about it because they had a wiretap on the South Vietnamese embassy.

On Nov. 2 [1968] at 8:34 p.m., a teleprinter at [President] Johnson’s ranch delivered an FBI report on the embassy wiretap: Mrs. Chennault had told South Vietnam’s ambassador “she had received a message from her boss (not further identified)… She said the message was that the ambassador is to ‘hold on, we are gonna win.’” The Logan Act of 1799 makes it a crime for a private U.S. citizen, which Mr. Nixon then was, to interfere with U.S. government diplomatic negotiations.

Well, bust my buttons: The Logan Act! Back then!

In 1971, right after the publication in the New York Times of the Pentagon Papers, President Nixon, cranking up for reelection, was worried who knew about the Chennault connection. So he created the Special Investigations Unit that eventually went a-burgling at the Watergate.

So here we are, nearly 50 years later. Only notice the difference between the early 1970s and the mid-2010s.

Back in the 1970s the Nixon people wanted to know what the deep state knew about them. What to do? Well, they had to create their own spy operation. Not good.

The Obama administration was interested in what was going on in the Trump campaign. What to do? Set up an extra-governmental spying operation like Nixon? Dear me, no. The FBIs were perfectly happy to spy on the Trump campaign. Logan Act? No problem, the FBI was perfectly happy to work up a Logan Act violation in respect of LTG Michael Flynn. And the “lovebirds” at the FBI were glad to help in time-outs from their love-birding.

After the end of the Obama administration “someone” was interested in continuing anti-Trump operations. Whether that was a defensive operation, to protect the guilty that had used the government to spy without proper “predicates,” or an offensive operation to destroy the Trump administration, I leave you to decide. What to do? Set up an extra-governmental lawfare operation? Lean on “political friends”  in the right places? Dear me, no! The very people who ran the anti-Trump operation in the FBI and DoJ during 2016 continued to spy and harass for years the Trump administration from inside the government.

But Nancy Pelosi is shocked, shocked, that the Justice Department should ease up on a man who had once pleaded guilty of lying to the FBI when his head was in a vice! Plus, Flynn doesn’t have a $24,000 side-by-side refrigerator, darling. And Rep. Schiff (D-CA) is unrepentant too.

As lawyer Joseph Welch said to Joseph McCarthy: “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” He means you, Nance and Adam.

Back in the day, Dorothy Sayers in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club sent the miscreant to the club library with a revolver and a stiff whisky to do the decent thing. That’s your military honor code.

But honor among liberals is different, because all liberals are the good guys bending the arc of history towards justice. Thus, it’s okay to break the law and violate procedures and use government power to oppress the opposition. Liberals are the good guys, and they are on the right side of history. So when liberal government functionaries break the law it’s not really breaking the law, because it’s all in the good cause of bending the arc of history towards justice.

Worse than Watergate? You be the judge.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

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