Watergate Essay

3243 words - 13 pages

WATERGATE:Was The Nixon White House Involved?What was Watergate? "Watergate" is a term used to describe a complex web of political scandals occurring between 1972 and 1974. On January 20, 1969, Richard M. Nixon had become the thirty-seventh president of the United States. As Nixon entered the White House, he was "full of bitterness and anger about past defeats, and about years of perceived slights from others in the political establishment." Nixon, a Republican, once stated that, "Washington is a city run primarily by Democrats and liberals, dominated by like-minded newspapers and other media." Nixon's obligation to control his political destiny and to forestall the damaging of his agenda by incumbents urged him toward the development of what was, in effect, a "secret government" (Gettlin and Colodny 6). The word, "Watergate", refers to the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. In addition to the hotel, the Watergate complex houses many business offices. It was here that the offices of the Democratic National Committee were burglarized on June 17, 1972. Five individuals were arrested at the Watergate complex after the burglary. Charges were also pressed on G. George Liddy and E. Howard Hunt ; the "Watergate Seven" were sentenced by Judge John Sirica. Although Nixon was worried about the break-in, he advised the White House press secretary, Ron Ziegler, to dismiss the incident as "a third-rate burglary" (Cannon 107). In the years ensuing the invasion at the Watergate building, questions and controversy have surfaced consequent to whether or not the White House, under the control of President Nixon, was either directly or discursively involved in the planning and/or performing of any illegal deeds. As the Watergate scandal unfolded, the Nixon administration was quick to mitigate the responsibility for the occurrences, however, in actuality, numerous facts and particulars ascertain White House involvement and justify the repercussions.The arrests of the "Watergate Seven" eventually uncovered a "White House-sponsored plan of espionage against political opponents and a trail of complicity that led to many of the highest officials in the land" (Jacobs, "Watergate"). These high political executives included former United States Attorney General John Mitchell, White House Counsel John Dean, White House Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs John Ehrlichman, White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, and President Nixon himself. Evidence corroborating White House involvement was ample and immense. On April 30, 1973, close to a year after the burglary and subsequent to a grand jury investigation of the break-in, President Nixon affirmed the resignation of H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman and announced the dismissal of John Dean; United States Attorney General Richard Kleindienst resigned as well. The resignations and dismissal were all results of pressure placed upon the White House to produce answers regarding the scandal that consummated in the officials'...

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