From Watergate to today: Descent into lawlessness

Hagmann P.I.
August 5, 2014

By Douglas J. Hagmann

Forty years ago this week, our country experienced a monumental constitutional crisis that led to the first and only resignation of a sitting president in our nation’s history. Richard M. Nixon resigned from the U.S. Presidency forty years ago this Friday, August 8, 1974 consequential to three Articles of Impeachment that were adopted by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on July 27th, 29th and 30th, 1974.

Article One addressed Nixon’s obstruction of justice, Article Two his abuse of power, and Article Three his contempt of Congress. Concluding each article, the following terminology was used to describe the actions of the President:

[The President] “…acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.”

I ask every reader to set aside personal bias and carefully consider those words of the House Judiciary Committee in the context of today’s standards after reading the Articles of Impeachment here. Also consider… that was “then.”

History books tell us that Nixon’s impeachment was the culmination of the investigation of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the his administration’s conspiracy to cover-up its involvement. The investigation led to the discovery of an array of numerous other abuses of power, including but not limited to the use of the IRS, the FBI and the CIA to harass political opponents (and others), obstructing official investigations into such activities, and in general, subverting the U.S. Constitution as detailed above.

In total, 43 other individuals, many who were top officials in Nixon’s administration, were indicted, tried, convicted and jailed for their roles in the conspiracy that was actively subverting the U.S. Constitution—our rule of law. We had, at least, a partially functioning Judicial Branch of our government. That was then.

A world without the Internet

In the days long before the internet, the corporate media played an integral role in keeping pressure on elected officials to investigate Richard M. Nixon and members of his administration. We had a competitive, rather than a “captured” media. We had an independent media of diverse ownership. Admittedly, it was still biased and operated under certain agendas, but there still existed tireless journalists searching for truth and unafraid of harassment. That was then.

Those of us old enough will recall how we were riveted to our televisions for the hours of hearings from May through August, 1973. Many businessmen and women could be seen standing opportunistically in front of the bulky store televisions watching reports during their lunch hours. Most of us actually cared about the state and direction of our country instead of possessing a feeling of despair and hopelessness. That was before the mantra that “you cannot fight city hall” was ingrained into our collective psyche by the very people who don’t want you to fight, because they know that we can win on the numbers. That was then.

The print media, meanwhile, mostly led by The Washington Post and The New York Times, contained article upon article of the growing scandal, the result of leaks from anonymous sources. Journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post took the point on the leaks from a then-unidentified source referenced only as “Deep Throat,” later identified as Mark Felt, a long-time FBI agent who briefly served as the Associate Director during the Nixon administration. Anonymous sources, or sources known only to journalists, were once considered sacred to those who were “known and trusted.” Their anonymity was closely guarded from prying, spying eyes of “big brother” for the sake of truth, much to the ire of those under the microscope of investigation. That was the time of wearing out shoe leather as intrepid reporters pushed out from behind their desks and actually chased leads and sources.  Journalists were willing to fight for the scoop and were not intimidated by the tactics of an increasingly oppressive government. Of course, that was then.

Yes, that was then. It was the spring and summer of 1974, when Americans seemed to have had enough of the lawlessness of and within the executive branch. Even without the internet, they had seen, heard and read enough to demand accountability—demand that the checks and balances built into our constitution be activated. It may be reasonably argued that our constitutional system of government worked, and the weight of the Articles of Impeachment was too great for Nixon to overcome.  Arguably, our nation’s chief executive did not want to put our country through the turmoil that further legislative and judicial action would likely cause. As such, he did the “honorable” thing and resigned. It was before the orchestrated “Balkanization” of America took over completely, before all morality was completely stripped out of every aspect of the halls of power, and America was still considered somewhat of a sovereign nation.

Obviously, politics and politicians were different in some respects at that time; lawlessness was much less overt, except for the occasional embarrassing scandal that reared its ugly head from time to time.

Who can forget the powerful democratic U.S. Congressman Wilbur Mills, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and his very public meeting with destiny later that same year? And by “destiny,” I mean Annabelle Battistella, an exotic dancer known by her trade name of Fanne Foxe. It was on October 9, 1974, when Mills was stopped by the Park Police for a traffic incident.  Mills was obviously intoxicated and appeared to have suffered a trashing by the fingernails of the dancer. Apparently afraid, Foxe leapt from Mills’ car and unceremoniously took a header into the nation’s Tidal Basin in an attempt to escape. Although Mills was reelected in November, he at least had the momentary lapse of integrity to step down from his position of Congressional chairmanship and sought help for his alcoholism.

Unbridled lawlessness unleashed

That was then, before the unbridled arrogance shown by the finger wagging William Jefferson Clinton to every American, asserting that he “did not have sex with that woman.” Indeed, that was then, before “CSI: White House” was a prime-time special and the stained blue dress of shame became a monument to presidential hubris. It was really never about sex, though, not even “then.” It was about respect for the office. More importantly, it was about respect for the rule of law— the U.S. Constitution.

It was out of respect for the U.S. Constitution that on December 19, 1998, the House of Representatives passed two Articles of Impeachment against President William Jefferson Clinton. Contrary to what young people might believe today, the Clinton impeachment proceedings were not about sex, but about the very serious charges of perjury and obstruction of justice by the highest elected official in the U.S. The impeachment led nowhere, for the Senate refused to remove Clinton from office, a decision decided largely along party lines. As the morality of our nation changed, so too did the direction of our country.

Today, four decades later post-Watergate and 15 years after the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, the current occupant of the Oval Office is appropriately referred to by the United States Secret Service by his codename “Renegade.” As I’ve previously pointed out, the term renegade is synonymous with the nature of being lawless and traitorous, so I have therefore dubbed him the “Renegade-in-Chief.”

Based on our this brief historical overview, it is easy to see how far our nation has devolved into an abyss of immorality and even more aggressive “finger wagging” at the citizens of our country. Our capture is nearly complete.

For what we have witnessed since the selection of Barack Hussein Obama, a/k/a Barry Soetoro, a “chief executive” lacking authenticated proof of constitutional eligibility has been one scandal after another, each exponentially dwarfing the collection of conspiracies known as Watergate, Mills, and Clinton combined.

Along with the Renegade-in-Chief and his band of traitorous associates, the legislative branch of the United States has become seditious in their own right by failing to represent their constituents or uphold the rule of law. Perhaps it is the result of well over forty years of infiltration by socialist-leaning and communist-adoring Progressives, combined with the giant leftward leap of whatever remains of the entire political spectrum that has brought us where we are today.

Today, instead of acting as journalists, the captured corporate media serve as lapdogs to an unclothed emperor. They have proclaimed Barry Soetoro, a/k/a Barack Hussein Obama—their messiah who is untouchable by scandal or crime. Those who complain about Obama do so within prescribed limits, never touching the all-important third rails such as his eligibility, his background and his allegiance. Their silence is deafening as chaos reigns supreme with our open borders, wholesale spying on Americans, and a Judiciary unwilling to enforce the rule of law.

Many Americans, at least those who know something is amiss, have been nearly lobotomized by the constant assertion that we “cannot fight city hall.” Forty years ago, there were still those of us who believed we could fight city hall—and win. We still can win today, but it’s going to take all of us who are awake to recognize that we endured the last offense to our Constitution.

Unless you’re a fool, you know that there is trouble heading our way. Our way of life is about to take a radical change as the U.S. Dollar is about to be killed in an orchestrated collapse. We are being forced into a virtual North American Union by the intentional erasure of our southern border without our consent. We are being forced into class warfare. We are being lied to everyday by the most powerful who are facilitated by the media, who are perpetuating the lies.

Four decades ago, there was an impeachment that resulted in a resignation of a sitting president and the incarceration of almost four dozen top administration officials. Fifteen years ago, there was an impeachment but without consequence to the man and people behind obstruction and lies. Today, there is virtual silence as we rapidly descend into tyranny. Forty years ago, our objections were heard and acted upon. Fifteen years ago, our objections were acknowledged. Today, those in power are laughing at us.

HAGMANN P.I. (Doug Hagmann)
Private Investigator for over 35 years. TV Host, Radio Host and Author.

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