There’s a scene in the movie “All the President’s Men” — a terrifying scene — that could easily have been written about the Obama White House today.
In it, reporter Bob Woodward is talking with his secret source, Deep Throat, in a gloomy parking garage about Edmund Muskie’s failed candidacy for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination, eventual nominee George McGovern, shifty Attorney General John Mitchell, and Donald Segretti, a low-level Nixon aide and political dirty trickster.
Woodward: Does the FBI know what we know? Does Justice? Why haven’t they done anything?
Deep Throat: If it didn’t deal directly with the break-in, they didn’t proceed.
Woodward: Who told them not to?
Throat: Don’t you understand what you’re onto?
Woodward: Mitchell knew?
Throat: Of course Mitchell knew. You think something this size just happens?
Woodward: Segretti said —
Throat: Don’t concentrate on Segretti. You’ll miss the overall.
Throat: You’re missing the overall.
Woodward: What overall?
Throat: They were frightened of Muskie, and look who got destroyed. They wanted to run against McGovern — Look who they’re running against. They bugged, they followed people, false press leaks, fake letters, they canceled Democratic campaign rallies, they investigated Democratic private lives, they planted spies, stole documents and on and on. Now don’t tell me you think this is all the work of little Don Segretti.