While Presidents’ Day may have been two days ago, Fox “News” can’t let an opportunity to trash Democratic president go by. That’s why those Foxy Friends on Fox and Friends hosted John Fund this morning to expound on his Fox “News” dot com article. The Fox segment was called “Did presidential scandals put nation at risk?” As I listened to the segment I thought it curious that it only touched on the sex scandals of Presidents John Kennedy and William Clinton. My spidey sense told me that something was being left out. I was wrong. John Fund’s article was only about those two presidents: a reach-back to the ‘60s and a modern president. I’ll see Fund’s reach-back and modern president and raise him a Republican icon: The triumvirate of Presidents Nixon, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan respectively, all of whom [allegedly] committed crimes worse than mere sexual indiscretions or lying about them under oath. Video after the jump.
Fund’s original article is titled “A tale of two presidents: Honor and dishonor in the White House” and in it Fund takes the view that both Clinton and Kennedy put the country at risk because:
The Code of Federal Regulations (Title 32, Chapter 1, Part 147) makes clear that sexual behavior is a security concern if it is "compulsive or addictive” and "self-destructive or high-risk." The regulations warn a person may lose a security clearance for "personal conduct or concealment of information that may increase an individual's vulnerability to coercion, exploitation, or duress, such as engaging in activities which, if known, may affect the person's personal, professional, or community standing or render the person susceptible to blackmail.”
One barely need break a sweat to link my Presidential Trio of Bush, Reagan, and Nixon to crimes far more serious than errant DNA.
President George W. Bush: I’m not going to get too deep into the weeds, but I could. Heck, we all could. No less an authority on presidential abuse of power than John W. Dean, III pegged the Bush administration correctly in his book “Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush,” proving his case between the covers. However, let’s ignore all that and just focus on that funny little elective war in Iraq, yannow the one that Obama just ended? The rationale for that war kept changing. WMD? Hearts and flowers? Known unknowns? In the end the only thing they were able to make stick was “Isn’t the world better off without Saddam Hussein in power?” Not really. Personally I think the price was far too high to get rid of one man, no matter how evil he may have been. It cost thousands of American and untold Iraqi lives, trillions of dollars, and that part of the world is less stable than it was before Bush started screwing with it. [Which is true of just about everything you could mention.] Besides, regime change is not the business of the Yew Ess Eh and is something we shouldn’t tolerate from our government. However, was marching into Iraq really a crime? The best person to ask about that is Private Citizen George W. Bush, who is afraid to travel anywhere in the world, including Canada, lest he be arrested for War Crimes. I predict Arbusto will never leave ‘Merka again.
Oh yeah, and lest we forget: No one was ever prosecuted for outing Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, in retaliation for her husband telling the truth about one of the lies the government was trying to use to sell the Iraq War.
However, Fox “News” defended his presidency right to the bitter end.
President Ronald Reagan: This hyphenated word barely tells the story: Iran-Contra. The Teflon President managed to skate completely on that one. Normally in these matters one asks, “What did he know and when did he know it?” With Reagan one asks, “What did he forget and when did he forget it?” Iran-Contra, it turns out, was only the tip of a very large iceberg. I am currently reading “Dark Alliance; The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Epidemic” by Gary Webb (on page 228 of 485). Webb makes a very good case that the DEA and CIA turned a blind eye to the activities of drug smugglers (including Manuel Noriega, until he was no longer any use) because the money derived went to the Contras after Congress cut off funds. Oliver North needed to develop a new toolbox and drugs generated profits. These drug cartels also transshipped weapons south to be used in the guerrilla wars. After the whole thing blew up Oliver North stonewalled investigators, which appears to have given the Oval Office plausible deniability. However, it’s never been plausible to me that Good Soldier North did all of what he was accused of doing on his own ticket. In the end North was convicted of 3 felonies, all eventually vacated on technicalities, ironically with the help of Fox “News” nemisis: the ACLU.
Ironically Oliver North—who is a Fox “News” personality, natch—kept appearing live via satellite from Somalia all over the Fox “News” schedule today as I did the final research and drafts on this post. The same Oliver North that Gary Webb says contributed to the crack epidemic in 'Merka, the scourge that has destroyed whole swaths within cities.
President Richard Nixon: What would you guess was Nixon’s worst crime of all? If you guessed anything Watergate-related, you’d be wrong, even though there are certainly crimes there to choose from. Here are two crimes that are ‘worse than Watergate’: 1). It must never be forgotten that Roger Ailes got his start in the Nixon White House; 2). It’s now generally accepted that Nixon committed acts of treason against the United States of America and he did it before ever becoming president. Let me explain:
During the 1968 election Nixon was running opposite Vice President Hubert Humphrey because President Lyndon Johnson had decided not to run again due to the Vietnam War. However, Johnson was still fully invested in ending the war and was pushing hard for the Paris Peace Talks to take place. Nixon, concerned that a peace in Vietnam Would win the election for the Democrats, used back channels to reach out to the government of South Vietnam. Nixon suggested they should hold out because they’d get a better deal from a President Nixon. The Paris Peace Talks fell apart when South Vietnam withdrew and the war continued, costing more American lives and treasure.
More synchronicity: Nixon has long been fascination of mine and I have dozens of books by and about him. Yesterday I was rushing through a bookstore with no time whatsoever when I spotted a book I had to have on a remaindered table. I barely looked at it. I saw John Mitchell on the cover and the title “The Strong Man; John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate,” and the price of $3.50. Despite being pressed for time I bought it, shoved it in my knapsack and ran to meet my client. This morning, long before this article had been contemplated, I tweeted aforementioned Mr. Dean:
WTF? A Fox “News” person? I was in such a hurry I never looked at the author’s name, which is covered by the discount sticker. Why it’s none other than James Rosen, Chief Washington correspondent for Fox “News.” My day ends as it begins, with someone on Fox “News” distorting the records of presidents. Watch: