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Watergate And Richard Nixon Essay

1525 words - 6 pages

On June 17, 1972, a burglary occurred that would not only change Richard Nixon's role as President of the United States, but the nations view on politicians in general. The break-in leaked fast and some reporters at the Washington Post then began to write reports that the break in was linked to Nixon and his staff. The post had two reporters that made it their task to research deep into the break in. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were the reporters; they discovered that one of the men that had broken into the building had an address book containing the number of a White House official that could have been involved in the break-in. This soon grew into a full fledged investigation by the FBI into the burglars and the people that hired them. Richard Nixon denied that neither he nor any of his staff were involved in the scandal. When the burglars went to trial, the story turned from a small break-in to a national scandal. These series of events brought to new light the policy behind the President's privacy and the use of executive privileges by President Nixon. ("Watergate")Nixon became President in 1968 and from the day he entered office he started a war against his other political opponents. Nixon got the IRS to look into a lot of the Democratic parties to see if they could be audited in anyway possible. This created a lot of tension between the Nixon administration and the Democratic Party. In 1970 the leaks of national security which included his spying on his rivals became a problem for Richard Nixon.(Garment 27-32) Nixon knew that this would have to be stopped so he got the head of the National Security Council to begin a program of background checks on all White House staff. Henry Kissinger began to install taps on certain people of importance to Nixon. Fifteen taps were put in place but after some legal questionability only four were kept. (Garment 167)Nixon tried to keep the information leaks as isolated as possible and often broke the law in an effort to keep the information secret. In June 1971, The New York Times began publishing The Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon Papers where photocopied documents containing secret information on the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. These papers led to another article in the Washington Post about the United States and the Soviet Union having military relations. ( Nixon became furious that someone in his staff was leaking information so he had his aides to conduct polygraph tests of all government bureaucrats with top-security clearance. The tests seemed to be a smart move, but they were never given to anyone.Nixon knew the man that was leaking the papers was Daniel Ellsburg and he just couldn't stand it anymore. He set out to punish Ellsburg for leaking the documents. (Kutler 109-10) In order to meet the presidents demands, John Ehrlichman, chief domestic policy adviser to the president, gave the go-ahead to the burglars for their first job. On September 3, 1971, the burglars...

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