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A reclist diary gleefully cites what is essentially an NSA press release under Dana Priest's byline in the Washington Post as proof that Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald are lying about the NSA's activities. Here is what the the WP might have published about Nixon if the reporting at the time had been as credulous as Dana Priest's reporting is today.

Watergate a 3rd-rate burglary, Nixon not a crook

by Danah Preest

President Richard M Nixon forcefully disproved allegations of misconduct today, saying in a White House news conference that he is "not a crook."

The statement was corroborated by officials from the White House Chief of Staff’s office, the Department of Justice and the office of White House Counsel, who said that the president has wide-ranging authority to order break-ins, firebombings and bribery.

Interviews with White House and Justice Department officials, intelligence officers and experts, public statements and recently declassified documents also indicate that ordering such actions marks the beginning of a long — and, U.S. officials say, carefully regulated — process.

Before firebombings or burglaries can take place, they must be authorized by a combination of officials that include Attorney General John Mitchell, White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman, Domestic Affairs Aide John Erlichman, Special Counsel Charles Colson and CIA Officer E. Howard Hunt.

Independent oversight is provided by Florida businessman Charles Gregory “Bebe” Rebozo.

A recent plan to firebomb the Brookings Institution so it could be burglarized in all the confusion, for example, was well within the president’s authority to order as a means of quelling discussions that are not in the national interest, the officials say. The bombing plan was not carried out because it failed to pass muster with Mr Rebozo.

“You have to realize that not just anyone can order a burglary or a firebombing,” said one official. “The Justice Department, White House and CIA have to agree and Bebe Rebozo has to sign off.”

Burglarizing the office of a psychiatrist is also legal, administration officials say, as long as there is a direct link to a person who is saying things that embarrass the White House.

“Breaking into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office was totally justified,” said National Security Advisor Henry A Kissinger. “Daniel Ellsberg is the most dangerous man in America.”

White House officials add that the robust oversight comes despite the authority of the president to order these and other actions on his own. “You have to remember, if the president does it, it’s not illegal,” the official said.

The assurances are unlikely to convince Nixon-haters such as Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, DailyKos commenter expatjourno and others whom experts say suffer from Nixon Derangement Syndrome (NDS), a rare, untreatable condition.

“It’s a sickness, really,” says one Nixon Administration supporter. “All these white people deranged about civil liberties when they could be happy about the creation of the EPA and the end of the Vietnam War. What do they want next? Magic ponies?”


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