Monday, June 06, 2005

My Hero: Richard Ben-Veniste

Anyone see the talking head shows this weekend? I caught Richard Ben-Veniste on Fox News and Blizter(?) and another panel show I can't remember -- they all blend together after a while -- and WOW! Ben-Veniste was fantasitc. No Nixon revisionist history for him! Ben-Veniste wasn't haven't any of it, not from the talking heads, not from G. Gordon Liddy who slunk lower in his chair with every Ben-Veniste mention Liddy's criminal acts and prison stay. Called Liddy a "Nixon henchman," right to his face.

It was beautiful. See for yourself:
WATERGATE PROSECUTOR RICHARD BEN-VENISTE: Well, quite clearly, we're looking at the sheer audacity of a group of convicted felons and Watergate revisionists whining about the fact that Mark Felt went outside the system and hurt them; when, in fact, all they wanted was Mark Felt to agree to their trashing of the constitution and to shut up, salute and follow orders.

Now, that is astounding at this date.


BEN-VENISTE: But look, what is confusing here -- and by this week's revisionists, who've been out there on all the media, is their idea of loyalty. FBI agents, prosecutors swear allegiance to uphold the Constitution. They don't swear allegiance to the person who sits behind the desk in the Oval Office. And that's the big difference. It's the difference between a democratic country and a banana republic.

WALLACE: But let me ask you, Mr. Ben-Veniste, because this question of Mark Felt's motives, and his outrage, has come up. Mark Felt was a top official in the J. Edgar Hoover FBI. He was later convicted for his role in black-bag jobs, where he had authorized the break-in into the apartments of various associates of the Weather Underground, the anti-Vietnam War radicals.

Do you think he was really outraged by what the Nixon White House was doing?

BEN-VENISTE: I think he was outraged by the groups like Mr. Liddy operating out of the basement of the White House, taking it upon themselves to break into the offices of psychiatrists, in order to discredit and humiliate individuals whom they hated. He was outraged, I think, by the misuse of the IRS and other federal agencies to further Mr. Nixon's personal vendetta against the so-called "enemies."
Sound familiar? I'm sure to Karl Rove is does.


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