Remember Watergate’s Butterfield: Don’t vote early

Remember Watergate’s Butterfield: Don’t vote early

Columbus : OH : USA | Oct 27, 2012 at 6:59 PM PDT
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Fred Thompson

One quiet night in June 1972, five men broke into Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate office building in Washington, D.C. Cash found on them was traced to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (Nixon). They were attempting to plant electronic eavesdropping devices in the Democratic headquarters.

In July 1973, the US Senate hearings in Washington, D.C., involving this break-in were stuck in neutral. Congressional investigators kept looking for what became known as the “smoking gun.” They needed one key piece of evidence that could either break the case against Nixon wide open, or put it to rest.

The US Senate investigation turned toward the administrator of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). Why? That administrator, Alexander Butterfield, had achieved a successful career in the Air Force. In 1969, Nixon’s chief of staff, H.R. (Bob) Haldeman, who remembered Butterfield from their days together at UCLA, sought a competent assistant. Haldeman asked Butterfield if he’d consider becoming Deputy Assistant to the President. He did. He resigned from the Air Force and joined Haldeman at the White House. After Nixon was re-elected, Butterfield was appointed Administrator of the FAA. Alexander_Butterfield

Since Butterfield worked for Nixon when the Watergate break-in occurred, Butterfield was called to testify. Fred Thompson, then Senate Republican counsel, and later an actor and also a Republican senator from Tennessee, asked directly if there were any listening devices in the Oval Office. Butterfield said yes. He added one of his jobs was to maintain a secret taping system Nixon wanted for his historic records. That was the smoking gun. It broke the case wide open, but not until after a Supreme Court fight. After the tapes were finally surrendered, the infamous “eighteen-and-a-half minute gap” was discovered. Nixon claimed that was caused by an accidental erasure, a story no one bought but that Nixon & Co. insisted on repeating. The rest is history: the cover-ups, perjuries, stonewalling, and eventually only 10 of the 535 members of Congress opposed impeachment. Nixon resigned in August of 1974. The link below is a different looking Fred Thompson examining Butterfield on Nixon's taping system (17 min) . We can only imagine how that has changed.

What does all that have to do with today? Benghazi is Obama’s Watergate. Just as the evidence against Nixon began to unravel and build a momentum of its own, so, too, will the evidence continue unraveling the truth about Obama’s real motives concerning Benghazi. The result will be that some Obama supporters will waver. Some will switch. Others will vote, but not for president..

This Benghazi charade will be exposed as a plan to protect or otherwise help Obama before the election. Obama’s feeling is that if he wins, he can manage the Benghazi scandal from there. That’s what Nixon thought about Watergate after he won re-election by one of the biggest margins in history. Two years later, being a Republican was a very tough job. The Democrats can avoid that fate if they divorce themselves from Obama. The nation can avoid a repeat of what Gerald Ford, Nixon’s successor, called “the long national nightmare of Watergate,” by defeating Obama.

Steadily, the Benghazi story unfolds. The truth reveals Obama directing his own cover-up. Again, that is just what Nixon did while pretending to be statesman-like and too ethical for the dirty deeds. Nixon said, “I am not a crook.” Obama said, he didn’t know. Even reasonable Democrats will recognize Obama’s purely political motives and follow the example of responsible Republicans during Nixon’s term. They will have to for their own sakes and the sake of their party. Only then can Americans get back to the usually healthy debates about matters of concern to us all.

Why are Obama & Co. so eager for people to vote early? Obviously they want those undecided or leaning towards but not yet firmly for Obama to vote now before this Benghazi scandal really explodes.

Benghazi will dwarf Watergate because Watergate really was what Nixon’s people originally called it, "a third rate burglary attempt.” No one was killed. No one was seriously hurt. It did not involve foreign policy. It did not involve the US economy. It did not involve national security. It was not racist. It was not anything except a really stupid attempt to do something totally unnecessary for unneeded political gain. Benghazi is about US security and foreign policy. It is about the personal security of brave Americans who we send to potentially dangerous places on peaceful (diplomatic) missions. It is about those Americans being abandoned...something a real commander-in-chief would never allow.

Democrats will need to save themselves and their party for the future. The Republicans joined in on Watergate, disassociated themselves from Nixon, and recovered nicely, thank you. If the Democrats follow the Republican example when their leader is at fault, the Democratic Party will recover before the 2016 election. A real Secretary of Defense wouldn’t talk about “basic principles” in that nauseatingly pedantic manner. (Please see

Oh! And don’t forget the economic data still to come out. Will it be worse than before or just not as bad? Probably some of each. The Obama team wants people to vote early in case there’s more that is worse.

If you’re absolutely certain for whom you are going to vote regardless of any forthcoming news, vote when it’s convenient. If you have any doubt, wait until Nov. 6, when you have as much information as possible regardless of what that information suggests. Vote your conscience. Or as Jack Welch, the former very successful chairman and CEO of General Electric says, “from the gut.”

If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.

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Benghazi under attack
US consulate under attack in Benghazi, Libya. Obama's Watergate. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
JamesStotter is based in Columbus, Ohio, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • 	US consulate under attack in Benghazi, Libya.   Obama's Watergate.	 	Photo courtesy of Wikipedia	 

    Benghazi under attack

  • Fred Thompson was Republican Council to US Sente committee investigating Watergate. ASked the question that revealed Nixon's recording system. Also an actor and US Senator from Tennessee.	Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

    Fred Thompson

  • 	Only US President to resign becaue he lived up to long-time nickname "Tricky Dick."	 	Courtesy Wikipedia

    Richard Milhous Nixon

  • 	Obama's Secretary of Defense. Smiling because photo was taken before Benghazi.	 	Courtesy Wikipedia	 

    Leon Penetta

  • 	Harry Robbins (Bob) Haldeman. Chief of staff to Pres. Nixon before serving time for Watergate. "Every president needs a son-of-a-bitch and I'm Nixon's."	 	Photo Courtesy Wikipedia

    H.R. Haldeman

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