Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Thompson’s Rise To Fame As Crusading Watergate Investigator Highly Exaggerated

Fred Thompson likes to talk about his tenure as a get-tough prosecutor working on the Watergate investigation. ABC News, however, reveals that Thompson was nothing more than Nixon's "useful idiot," a mole who fed the embattled President the committee's plans in advance:
"He gained national attention for leading the line of inquiry that revealed the audio-taping system in the White House Oval Office," his official bio says (LINK).
But the reality is far more complicated than conventional wisdom and campaign puffery would have it.
While some Democrats on the committee to this day profess respect and admiration for Thompson, he was seen as others as a "spy" for the Nixon White House -- an accusation buttressed, at least in part, by Thompson's own writings, which confirm that he tipped off the Nixon White House about internal happenings on the committee.
Moreover, new transcripts from the Nixon White House tapes reveal that the Nixon administration regarded Thompson as a useful idiot -- "dumb as hell," in President Nixon's words, but "friendly." At one point, the White House counsel told Nixon that Thompson insisted he wanted to help the president more than his patron and boss on the committee, Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn, would let him.
Neither Thompson nor anyone from his potential campaign were available for comment.


  
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