“In a conspiracy like this, you build from the outer edges and you go step by step...the list is longer than anyone can imagine...It involves the entire U.S. intelligence community, FBI, CIA, Justice; it’s incredible. The cover-up had little to do with Watergate; it was mainly to protect the covert operations. It leads everywhere.” Essentially, everyone was involved.
That description of the Watergate scandal was from the character of Deep Throat, whispering in a shadowy parking garage to WASHINGTON POST reporter Bob Woodward in ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, which happened to be on TCM this weekend. (If you have TCM, you can stream the film free on their app or their streaming TV channel until April 30.)
The movie was released in 1976 and dealt with events that took place a mere four years earlier, long before modern surveillance techniques and digital communication. But it was still about an intelligence community gone rogue --- sound familiar? --- with massive (for its time) surveillance capability that had been turned on political enemies. That scandal led to the resignation of President Nixon and the swearing-in of Gerald Ford.
For a long time, the Biden administration was seemingly immune to any accountability, but now that it’s obvious --- come on, it is --- that Biden can’t be the candidate in ‘24, that’s not necessarily the case. One new poll shows that over 70 percent of Americans don’t want Biden to run again, including 79 percent of independents.
Probably for that reason, it seems as if a memo had gone out to the mainstream media, saying, “Sure, go ahead now and implicate ol’ Joe in the Biden family scandal, as he’s cooked for ‘24 and we’ve got to move somebody else into the running.”
Polls change quickly. Recall that in the movie, when Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein go to Ben Bradlee with their proof, Bradlee says, “You know the results of the latest Gallup poll? Half the country never even heard of the word ‘Watergate.’” But he adds, “Nothing’s riding on this except the First Amendment of the Constitution, freedom of the press and maybe the future of the country.” Again, sound familiar?
That story started with the arrest of five men who had broken into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in June 1972. Woodward found out at their arraignment the next day that they had possessed bugging equipment and were being represented by a high-priced “country club”-style lawyer, and also that they were tied to the CIA. Imagine, our intel agencies spying on domestic political enemies! Good thing THAT never happens any more.
The end of the movie is a series of teletype news headlines from the WASHINGTON POST, most of which deal with various individuals pleading guilty to charges such as conspiracy, burglary (to bug the Democrat headquarters in DC), lying to a grand jury, lying to the FBI, obstruction of justice and illegal fundraising. The sentences, the ones we can see, range from 30 days to 6 months. And, of course, we all know how it ends: with President Nixon resigning.
The book written by the real-life Woodward and Bernstein, released in 1974, gives us a firsthand contemporaneous account of what was going on half a century ago, and the movie, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards, stays for the most part faithful to the book, or at least the first half of it, as that’s the part that was adapted for the script. As it happens, this article about the film was written just a few days ago.
It’s fascinating to watch it today and see journalism as it was practiced back in the 1970s, seeing reporters doing research the old-fashioned way, with exhaustive legwork and lots of dead ends as opposed to a few internet keystrokes that almost guarantee all the reporters will treat the same story in exactly the same way. The filmmakers even reproduced a precise replica of the WAPO newsroom of that time, right down to the 1972 phone books. Here are a few fun facts about the movie…
Roger Ebert said at the time that ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN “succeeds brilliantly in suggesting the mixture of exhilaration, paranoia, self-doubt, and courage that permeated the WASHINGTON POST…” Today, sadly, we see reporters at WAPO receiving a Pulitzer Prize --- sharing it with reporters at THE NEW YORK TIMES --- for being political hacks playing “scribe” to members of the intel community leaking fake stories. How ‘journalism’ has changed. I still say they should have to give their Pulitzer back, but that will never happen. Or better yet, give it to Miranda Divine at the New York Post, who actually earned one.
We hear the term “worse than Watergate” a lot from politicians, so much so that it tends not to even register any more, but after watching this movie again now, you’ll probably agree that the scandals involving the FBI since 2016 are indeed arguably worse. This time, they’re buttressed by the media, social media, academia and government-funded think tanks (which are aiding and abetting), and, ironically, Hollywood. Think a mainstream Hollywood movie will be made any time soon about the intelligence community falsely discrediting the Hunter laptop story to save Biden’s candidacy in 2020? Me, neither, unless the story is somehow twisted to make heroes out of those liars.
So, in light of this 50-year-old scandal, let’s take a look at the latest in the news about Biden family influence-peddling and the intel community’s dedicated efforts to cover it up. Kentucky Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, says that a dozen members of the Biden family are implicated in their money-making schemes.
“The documentation that I’ve seen --- I can’t comment on all of it, but what I can comment on is that it is bad and is getting worse, and...it is showing illegal moneys from Chinese Communists flowing into this White House,” said Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, also on the Oversight Committee, to FOX NEWS’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday. He brought up impeachment of Biden over his potentially compromised position in dealing with Communist China.
Rep. Comer told Maria on Sunday in a must-see interview that there were “many more LLCs” taking in money for the Bidens and “many more countries” involved. “China was probably one of the most reputable countries that the Biden family was dealing with,” he said. Watch the full video and be stunned at what China was apparently getting for its investment in, say, 2013.
Comer told Maria there are six decisions Biden made as Vice President that are “very concerning to us.” And he said that even with the limited records they’ve accessed so far, it’s obvious they were going to great lengths to disguise the money going to family members and deceive the IRS.
“There’s no rhyme or reason why Hunter Biden shouldn’t have been indicted years ago,” he said, “even before the last presidential election.” But now he doesn’t know what to do with “this many family members of the President. There’s not gonna be anybody left for a Christmas picture.” Well, that’s apparently because Hunter was using his father’s position to play Santa Claus for the whole family.
RELATED STORIES: Michael Goodwin at the NEW YORK POST has a very pointed opinion piece about the Biden family’s influence-peddling schemes. “The breakthroughs,” he says, “include testimony showing how a group of of retired intelligence officials influenced the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, effectively proving the existence of a corrupt Deep State.” He says “it is possible investigators are on the cusp of revealing one of the largest scandals in the history of American politics.” The election interference would involve not just retired staff, but current Biden officials such as Secretary of State Tony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
Goodwin offers a foolproof guide to reporters who are unsure about reporting on this: “They should simply ask themselves what they would write or say if the same set of charges and facts involved another President, say, one named Donald Trump.”
Of course, it’s challenging to report the news when the ‘Justice’ Department refuses to turn over the names of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s staff. Check this out from Judicial Watch...
Finally, Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson are demanding answers after a former FBI agent told them he had to sign a nondisclosure agreement that did not allow legally required whistleblower exceptions.