Magazine article Insight on the News

Watergate Has No 'Foster' Children

Magazine article Insight on the News

Watergate Has No 'Foster' Children

Article excerpt

Why so little in the media about the suspicious death of White House Deputy Counsel Vince Foster? Perhaps putting some evidence regarding his death in a Watergate-like context will bring this question into focus. Assume you are "Ben Bradlee," editor of the Washington Post. Vague rumors about the break-in at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters in the Watergate complex have begun to surface, and two of your reporters, "Woodward" and "Bernstein," come to you with an amazing story they are calling "Watergate." They tell you that they have located and interviewed someone who happened to be at the Watergate that night and apparently observed the burglars near the time of the break-in (Analogue: Virginia construction consultant Patrick Knowlton's damning report of what he saw at Fort Marcy Park on July 20,1993, see "The Vince Foster Mystery" Nov. 27). This witness saw the burglars clearly and can describe them in detail. This is particularly important since the burglars so far have managed to elude the authorities. The witness happens to be a supporter of Richard Nixon (and Knowlton's home sports Clinton/Gore campaign literature), but still wants to tell the truth about what he saw at the Watergate that night.

You learn from your reporters that, after the witness gave his eyewitness account to Nixon's FBI, the bureau scheduled a second FBI interview solely to get him to change his story, something he refused to do (as Knowlton claims happened to him).

When the Watergate witness subsequently was served a subpoena to appear before the District of Columbia federal grand jury, he was harassed by more than two dozen individuals, on the street, in numerous threatening phone calls, and by people who illegally entered his apartment building at night (as Knowlton claims happened to him). Both Woodward and Bernstein personally observed this type of harassment numerous times over a three-day period and took photos of the intimidators and their vehicles (which is how reporters Chris Ruddy and Ambrose Pritchard-Evans personally confirmed harassment of Knowlton).

Woodward and Bernstein also tell you of a copy of a handwritten note that they have obtained from a source within the Nixon White House. This note authorizes the Watergate break-in on national security grounds and appears to have been written and signed by President Nixon himself, at the insistence of those committing the break-in, who had demanded assurance that the break-in was not illegal. …

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