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Richard Milhaus Who?

If there is a single lesson to be learned from Watergate, it has to be "it's not the crime that gets you, it's the cover-up." People can usually forgive you if you admit your mistake and take your lumps. (Your political opponents, not so much. But they're a lost cause, anyway.)

Well, every now and then we're treated to a reminder of the essential truth of that. And right now, we've got three wonderful examples of why trying to hide things not only almost never works, but ends up making things worse.

First up, the hot topic of the week: the global warmening "scientists" at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit and their purloined files. Every day more and more fascinating details emerge from the megabytes of data.

For me, the most damning element are the e-mails related to how to respond to a legal request for releasing their data. England has its own Freedom of Information Law similar to our Freedom Of Information Act, and the learned scholars at UEA had been served with such a request.

In response, they sent a flurry of e-mails "asking" (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more!) correspondents if they had expected their mails to be confidential and private, so they could resist releasing them on those grounds. And if that didn't work, they were ready to just delete them -- in absolute violation with the law.

It's my understanding that, in American courts, if one party destroys evidence, then the court simply presumes that it was detrimental to that party's case. I think that's a sound principle -- but I'd take it a bit further. I'm feel entirely comfortable in assuming that any deleted e-mails not only referred to near-absolute evidence refuting anthropologic-caused global warming, but also involved confessions that the scientists had used government funding to illegally subsidize their sexual obsession with lawn furniture.

The second case is with ACORN. Big Government has found repeated cases of ACORN simply tossing literally thousands of documents in the trash, containing highly sensitive information and confidential documents. And oddly enough, all these found their way into the trash right after California's Attorney General, Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown, announced that he'd be conducting a raid visit to those very same offices.

Why would ACORN be in such a hurry to get rid of all those highly-sensitive documents just before the AG is coming to pay a call? Again, the principle cited above holds -- we should just assume the worst. And thus far, Andrew Breitbart's Big Government (who, if there was true justice in this world, would be up for a Pulitzer for their work) has found some very strong signs that that presumption is a fair one.

Finally, we have the Obama administration itself, with the case of fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin. He was fired for being old and senile and cantankerous, and certainly not for anything he was finding or might find during his investigations. Oh, heavens, no.

Well, maybe yes. It turns out those reasons were being pulled together after he had been fired, and it turns out that he was getting closer and closer to getting some serious dirt on a personal friend of Obama's.

In each case, it's getting clearer and clearer that there was some malfeasance at the core of their behavior. But in each case, the signs of that malfeasance are compounded by the amazingly guilty conduct of the parties in question.

Or, to put it more briefly, not everyone who acts to conceal or destroy evidence is necessarily guilty -- but the percentage of guilty versus innocent is tremendously lopsided.

It's the kind of thing that it wouldn't be too risky to bet the rent on.


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Comments (15)

I'm sure Barry's people are... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm sure Barry's people are clean. After all, didn't Barry and Pelosi campaign against the Republican "culture of corruption"? Ms Pelsoi and company will root out any Democratic malfeasance, just give her time. Say 20 years? Jefferson, Rangel, Dodd, Geithner.....all absolute stalwarts of propriety. Just ask Nancy. At least a certain Democratic Senator is PROUD to let everyone know what the price of her vote is.

Here's my own Richard Nixon... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Here's my own Richard Nixon story. In real life Mr. Nixon actually had a charisma. Many people would surprised to know that I was the first of eight workers on President Nixon's campaign in 1972 here in Portland, Oregon. I tended to be a conservative in those days and supported the Vietnam War as well. I was also once a registered Republican as well. My mother had been a long time friend of Senator Mark Hatfield's wife as well and she remained a registered Republican, although often voting Democratic in later years. I think she probably would have voted for John McCain had she lived until the election.

But, Mr. Nixon did really disappoint me with his ethics. And it became a watershed issue with changing my politics. He really let me down. He was too good of a president to get involved with Watergate and other corrupt behavior.

Now there's a new wrinkle. ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Now there's a new wrinkle. Its not Bush's fault, its Tricky Dickie's!

Sheesh, Hooson, your abilit... (Below threshold)

Sheesh, Hooson, your ability to make ANY topic about you and how wonderful you are never ceases to amaze me.

My invocation of Nixon was a METAPHOR. Do you have anything to contribute to the actual discusion -- you know, the corruption of the anthropogenic global warmening crowd, ACORN, or Obama firing an IG to protect a buddy who's apparently a sexual predator?

J.

hooson "Many people wo... (Below threshold)
Marc:

hooson "Many people would surprised to know that I was the first of eight workers on President Nixon's campaign in 1972 here in Portland, Oregon."

No we wouldn't, not in the slightest.

In fact you can take the entire comment and place it where natural sunlight has little chance of penetrating.

Sheesh, Hooson, yo... (Below threshold)
Sheesh, Hooson, your ability to make ANY topic about you and how wonderful you are never ceases to amaze me.

Yeah, he's kind of like Obama in that way, isn't he?

Jay, the sheer mention of R... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Jay, the sheer mention of Richard Nixon brought up many mixed feelings for me. But I also understand that the shortcomings of Nixon will forever become a metaphor for any administration who appears to come up short in their own ethics department as well.

Mr. Nixon's own conduct forever type-casted himself as dishonest as well as acted as a metaphor for the future scandals of others. And that's sad because Nixon was a far better president than most give respect for, despite all the warts and blemishes on his record.

Paul Hooson: "Nixon was ... (Below threshold)

Paul Hooson: "Nixon was a far better president than most give respect for, despite all the warts and blemishes on his record."

Very true.

And Obama is a far WORSE President than is being given credit for...despite his lack of "visible" warts and blemishes.

The stack of cover-ups already piling up in just 11 months is "impressive"...and just getting higher by the week!

The only trust Obama continues to enjoy is the blind-trust his worshipers bestow upon him. The rest of us assume that if his lips are moving he's lying!

p.s. good to see you Paul! ... (Below threshold)

p.s. good to see you Paul! I rarely agree with you...but you're not a troll! :)

Jay, the sheer mention o... (Below threshold)

Jay, the sheer mention of Richard Nixon brought up many mixed feelings for me.

...and you couldn't keep it to yourself, could you?

...and it so overwhelmed you that you couldn't comment on the topic at hand?

Learn some impulse control, man.

And most of all, GET OVER YOURSELF.

J.

"Jay, the sheer mention ... (Below threshold)
914:

"Jay, the sheer mention of Richard Nixon brought up many mixed feelings for me"

Thats funny... I thought the mere mention of Nixon would have reminded You of Your grocery store?

I disagree with the convent... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

I disagree with the conventional wisdom that "it's not the crime that gets you, it's the cover-up." Not true at all.

It is in fact the crime that does get you in the end. It is completely inaccurate to blame it on a failed cover-up. Only the naive contend the aspiring cover-upper would have been forgiven his sins had he only confessed them instead of trying to evade responsibility. There is no evidence of this, and it is a fact that all those who sought to cover up their misdeeds did so believing confession to be a disaster for them - else why bother?

When the cover-up attempt blows up in a miscreant's face, it is tempting to tut-tut and intone stentorianly over the cover-up being the "thing that got 'im." It certainly fits the meme.

This is partly because the successful cover-ups are never discovered, so the risk involved in the attempt must remain unknown.

"Thats funny... I though... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Thats funny... I thought the mere mention of Nixon would have reminded You of Your grocery store?"

Or his Chinese scooter, or his vast empire of real estate, or his selfless charity, or his "teh hot" girlfriend, or his punk rock band leader days, or his uber business acumen, or his....

I know, I didn't comment on the topic. Sue me :)

"The louder he talked of hi... (Below threshold)

"The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons."

Guess I'll have to sue myself, too, Oyster...

J.

I'm still laughing at the c... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm still laughing at the concept of electing a Chicago Pol and expecting "clean government".




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