This week is the fortieth anniversary of the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon. As you might expect, Washington is abuzz and the Washington Post
(whose reporters famously cracked the story) has compiled quite an array of current and archival materials
analyzing the events and their impact on American politics. The Post
also hosted a fancy event in the Watergate office building itself, where a handful of the key players were given a chance to talk about it all. Thanks to my friends at the newspaper, I was invited to attend.
|Entrance to the Watergate office building|
|Hallway to the room where the |
burglers were caught
|Cocktail reception on the top floor|
(the room later filled up completely)
The program had an impressive line-up:
- Jim Lehrer gave the opening remarks.
- The first panel focused on the investigation and cover-up. The panelists were John Dean (White House counsel to Nixon), Fred Thompson (chief minority counsel, Senate Watergate Committee), Richard Ben-Veniste (special prosecutor during Watergate).
- The second panel focused on the legacy of Watergate. The panelists were William Cohen (member of House Judiciary Committee during Watergate), William F. Weld (associate minority counsel, House Watergate Committee), and Bud Krogh Jr (co-director, White House Special Investigations Unite).
- The third panel focused on the reporters. The panelists, not surprisingly, were the reporters: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and their conversation was moderated by Charlie Rose.
I couldn't stay for the entire program, so unfortunately I missed the second two panels (which were the ones that were most interesting to me). But even so, I learned a lot about the events surrounding the scandal that I hadn't known before. And it was neat to be in the same room with all those key players, just a few floors up from where it all began.
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