Tuesday 17 October 2017

Robbyn Swan: Truth still stuck in Watergate web

It's impossible to tease the facts from the labyrinth of lies, and pinpoint a single motive, writes Robbyn Swan

THIS weekend marks the anniversary of the burglary at the Watergate that toppled US President Richard Nixon. Yet, 40 years on, the central mystery remains unanswered. Who ordered the break-in? And why?

Alternative histories of the event have flourished -- many of them letting the president himself off the hook. One theory suggests the CIA orchestrated the bungled burglary to cover up an illegal surveillance operation. Another contends that a junior White House staffer ordered the burglary in search of evidence linking his fiancee to a call- girl ring used by Democrats so as to cover it up.

The far reaches of Watergate conspiracy theory include an allegation that a famous journalist spun his reporting to avoid exposure of his own involvement in the Washington "swingers" scene. The bizarre twists and turns of the story include corrupt military brass, a bent police officer, a homosexual informant, and the circulation of supposed lewd photographs of the president himself.

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