Martha Michelle, Whistle-blower and Cassandra

“Watergate is an immensely complicated scandal with a cast of characters as varied as a Tolstoy novel.”

-Bob Woodward, Journalist, Washington Post

Just like we have Vyapam, Coalgate and Bofors scam,US too had a big political scandal called Watergate. Then US president Richard Nixon was accused of bugging offices of political opponents (esp. Democrats) and those people whom he was suspicious of. It started when five people tried to break in Democratic National Committee headquarters at Watergate office complex. On investigation it was found that it was linked to Nixon’s office.

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Two reports from Washington Post Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein started writing articles on this scam. It was found that Nixon and his close aides ordered harassment of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by the Nixon administration. Ofcourse, Nixon denied his involvement.

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“You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the president. I’m innocent. You’ve got to believe I’m innocent. If you don’t, take my job.”

-Richard Nixon, 37th President of US

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One of the officials involved in scam was John N. Mitchell, United States Attorney General under President Richard Nixon. His wife Martha Mitchell played role of whistle blower, she got in touch with reporters, but was prevented from making calls to media. Because of her allegations, she was discredited and even abandoned by most of her family, except her son Jay. Martha Mitchel was then accused of being a crazy alcoholic. In psychiatry it came to be known as “Martha Mitchell effect”, i.e. a psychiatrist mistakenly or purposely identifies a patient’s extraordinary claims as delusions, despite their veracity.

“If it hadn’t been for Martha Mitchell, there’d have been no Watergate.”

-Richard Nixon

In mythology there was lady called Cassandra, she was granted gift of prophecy by God Apollo, but along with it she also had curse that no one would believe her word or her predictions, even though they were true. Apollo gave her a gift that would frustrate her.

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Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy by the Greeks; when the Trojans found the big wooden horse outside the gates of their city. Cassandra told them that Greeks will destroy them if they bring the horse in the city. She was right, but Trojans refused to believe her and took horse inside their city and committed a fatal mistake.

Jeff Koterba cartoon for June 18, 2013 "Whistle Blower"

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