Thursday, June 02, 2005

Those who do not learn from history...

Listening to "Democracy Now!" this morning, and they replayed a clip from the movie "All the President's Men," where "Deep Throat" tells Woodward that CREEP (the ability to translate that acronym is a test of your knowledge! Young whippersnappers need not apply!) manipulated the Democratic primary process to maneuver McGovern into being the candidate. "They wanted to run against McGovern," Deep Throat tells Woodward. And anyone who remembers what was revealed about the "dirty tricks" campaign cannot seriously doubt that CREEP both had that aim, and managed to succeed at it.

Amy Goodman also interviewed George McGovern, who recalled being told by even his friends that he could not accuse the President of the United States of being corrupt. He didn't say he was criticized for being too "shrill," but perhaps only because the political lexicon didn't yet include that term.

And then there was COINTELPRO, for which Mark Felt was responsible and convicted for illegal activities of that program (he was pardoned by Reagan). Jennifer Dohrn is being interviewed now, a woman who was investigated by the FBI on the orders of Mark Felt. She claims the FBI file on her included a plan to kidnap her son when he was born (she was pregnant when the FBI was pursuing her to get her sister, Bernadine Dohrn, a member of the Weather Underground, and because of her own political activism).

And all of this sounds so painfully familiar. Perhaps it is simply the nature of governance, to abuse power in the name of stability and security.

Note to the eagle-eyed: spellings of proper names have been corrected.

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