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Thread: Worst Washington Scandal in History?

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    Default Worst Washington Scandal in History?

    Here is something of a poll question. What do you think would qualify as the worst Washington scandal in history? A few immediately come to mind:

    * Teapot Dome - Members of the Harding administration were bribed in order to get oil leasing rights
    * Watergate - a bag of related Nixon scandals including breaking into the DNC headquarters and stealing documents then using the Justice Department to cover it up
    * Iran/Contra - Members of the Reagan administration including George Bush and possibly the new Secretary of Defense Gates illegally sold weapons of mass destruction to Iran and used the proceeds to illegally fund Central American terrorists trying to overthrow the democratically elected government of Guatemala
    * Cointel Pro - The FBI over a number of administrations used dirty tricks, intimidation, and illegal spying to disrupt Peace Groups and Equal Rights Groups
    * Clinton receiving oral sex - and then lied about it
    * Gulf of Tonkin - Johnson had the navy fake an attack by the North Vietnamese in order to escalate the Vietnam war
    * Iraqi WMD - the Bush administration lied about their knowledge of Iraqi weapons programs in order to go to war in Iraq

    I think probably most people would go with Watergate, and they wouldn't be wrong. But my vote goes to Iran/Contra. In the end, nobody died in the Watergate, nobody was tortured, nobody was disappeared. Yes, it was probably the most egregious abuse of power in a limited political sense, but the result was much worse in Iran/Contra. I guess by those standards the Gulf of Tonkin led eventually to even more death and destruction, but that was coming, Tonkin or no. What are your thoughts?

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    IMPD Officer MarionDeputy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worst Washington Scandal in History?

    I would say Watergate, Clinton, Iran-Contra....in that order.

    I don't believe Bush lied, he was sold on the intelligence gathered by the CIA, many democrats and other foriegn countries believed it was true also. I also think Iraq had WMD's as there was plenty of evidence that they had them in the past. (1000's of dead Kurds)
    "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post."

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    Member efx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worst Washington Scandal in History?

    Iran-Contra/Tonkin/Watergate/Clinton in order of importance from most to least.

    The other ones I don't know enough on to comment.

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Worst Washington Scandal in History?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball View Post
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    Here is something of a poll question. What do you think would qualify as the worst Washington scandal in history? A few immediately come to mind:

    * Teapot Dome - Members of the Harding administration were bribed in order to get oil leasing rights
    * Watergate - a bag of related Nixon scandals including breaking into the DNC headquarters and stealing documents then using the Justice Department to cover it up
    * Iran/Contra - Members of the Reagan administration including George Bush and possibly the new Secretary of Defense Gates illegally sold weapons of mass destruction to Iran and used the proceeds to illegally fund Central American terrorists trying to overthrow the democratically elected government of Guatemala
    * Cointel Pro - The FBI over a number of administrations used dirty tricks, intimidation, and illegal spying to disrupt Peace Groups and Equal Rights Groups
    * Clinton receiving oral sex - and then lied about it
    * Gulf of Tonkin - Johnson had the navy fake an attack by the North Vietnamese in order to escalate the Vietnam war
    * Iraqi WMD - the Bush administration lied about their knowledge of Iraqi weapons programs in order to go to war in Iraq

    I think probably most people would go with Watergate, and they wouldn't be wrong. But my vote goes to Iran/Contra. In the end, nobody died in the Watergate, nobody was tortured, nobody was disappeared. Yes, it was probably the most egregious abuse of power in a limited political sense, but the result was much worse in Iran/Contra. I guess by those standards the Gulf of Tonkin led eventually to even more death and destruction, but that was coming, Tonkin or no. What are your thoughts?
    Or could it be that since you are definately sympathetic to the Democratic party you have chosen to look at this on a lesser scale?

    Also, real nice way to just generalize perjury, subornation of perjury, abuse of power and sexual harrasement into saying Clinton gets sex and lies. Again, Democrat. Hmmm.....

    Not that I'm trying to make a point here or anything but correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Cointelpro started under the Kennedy Administration & ended under the Nixon Administration?

    I'm not sure if I feel the Cointelpro was the worst abuse, but it probably fits the bill on this. Although I am always making the point that they lived in differant times back then. Communism was a real threat, even more so than terrorism is today for us, to people living back then so it's hard to fault them on this. But it definately wronged some people who should have not been wronged.

    Watergate was pure stupidity on Nixons part.

    Gulf of Tonkin, which you justified by saying it would have happened one way or the other, was really something as well.

    I'm curious if I ever use the excuse that "faking WMD info is ok because an invasion was going to happen anyway" if you will just say ok to that?


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Worst Washington Scandal in History?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I think probably most people would go with Watergate, and they wouldn't be wrong. But my vote goes to Iran/Contra. In the end, nobody died in the Watergate, nobody was tortured, nobody was disappeared. Yes, it was probably the most egregious abuse of power in a limited political sense, but the result was much worse in Iran/Contra.

    I agree with you, 3Ball.
    And I won't be here to see the day
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    I'd hang around just to see
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    Default Re: Worst Washington Scandal in History?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Or could it be that since you are definately sympathetic to the Democratic party you have chosen to look at this on a lesser scale?

    Also, real nice way to just generalize perjury, subornation of perjury, abuse of power and sexual harrasement into saying Clinton gets sex and lies. Again, Democrat. Hmmm.....

    Not that I'm trying to make a point here or anything but correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Cointelpro started under the Kennedy Administration & ended under the Nixon Administration?

    I'm not sure if I feel the Cointelpro was the worst abuse, but it probably fits the bill on this. Although I am always making the point that they lived in differant times back then. Communism was a real threat, even more so than terrorism is today for us, to people living back then so it's hard to fault them on this. But it definately wronged some people who should have not been wronged.

    Watergate was pure stupidity on Nixons part.

    Gulf of Tonkin, which you justified by saying it would have happened one way or the other, was really something as well.

    I'm curious if I ever use the excuse that "faking WMD info is ok because an invasion was going to happen anyway" if you will just say ok to that?
    Gulf of Tonkin/Clinton Sex were democratic. Watergate/WMD were Republican. Cointelpro stretched across Republican and Democratic administrations. Clinton was in trouble for lying about having sex. Bush is in trouble for lying about WMD. And by the way, whether you think he really believed they were there, he definitely lied about what he knew. Now, you can say that he just lied to shore up a case he really believed, but he lied regardless. I tipped toward Iran/Contra because of the blatent illegality of it. And it wasn't just Nixon that was stupid in the Watergate thing...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Worst Washington Scandal in History?

    Congress had deliberated and declined to fund efforts to subvert the Nicaraguan Sandinists. So the Reagan administration defied a direct decision of congress.

    By contrast, the congress backed the decision to go to war with Iraq. Popular opinion and the congress supported the Iraq war. There were several very good reasons for doing so. The fact that one of those reasons turns out to be less good than we thought doesn't diminish the other good reasons.


    I've sometimes thought that the greatest scandal should have ben about Reagan's deceitful claim that he did not blacken his hair. All those other scandals had a reason, even if they were only the venality of government officials. Oliver North really believed he was Captain America, and that he alone could preserve freedom. He was a deluded idiot, but he had a noble purpose. Even Clinton can defend his offenses because, well.... you know.

    But Reagan was almost 80 and still had jet black hair, and claimed over and over again that it was natural. There was no national interest involved there. Just mendacity.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Worst Washington Scandal in History?

    Tonkin.

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