Pat Buchanan

That Woodward became so alarmed and agitated that Bradlee's bullhockey detector had gone off over the dramatized version of "All the President's Men" suggests a fear in more than just one soul here.

A second revelation of Himmelman's is more startling.

During Watergate, Woodward and Bernstein sought to breach the secrecy of the grand jury. The Post lawyer, Edward Bennett Williams, had to go to see Judge John Sirica to prevent their being charged with jury tampering.

No breach had occurred, we were assured.

We were deceived.

According to Himmelman, not only did Bernstein try to breach the grand jury, he succeeded. One juror, a woman identified as "Z," had collaborated. Notes of Bernstein's interviews with Z were found in Bradlee's files.

Writes Himmelman: "Carl and Bob, with Ben's explicit permission, lured a grand juror over the line of illegality ..."

This means that either Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee lied to Williams about breaching the grand jury, or the legendary lawyer lied to Sirica, or Sirica was told the truth but let it go, as all were engaged in the same noble cause -- bringing down Nixon.

Who was that grand juror? Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee know, but none is talking and no one is asking. The cover-up continues.

Had one of Nixon's men, with his approval, breached the secrecy of the Watergate grand jury, and lied abut it, that aide would have gone to prison and that would have been an article of impeachment.

Conduct that sent Nixon men to the penitentiary got the Post's men a stern admonition. Welcome to Washington, circa 1972.

With the 40th anniversary of the break-in coming up this June, Himmelman's book, well-written and revelatory of the temper of that time, will receive a wider reading.

As will Max Holland's "Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat," out this spring and the definitive book on why J. Edgar Hoover's deputy betrayed his bureau and sought to destroy the honorable man who ran it, L. Patrick Gray.

With Bernstein's primary source spilling grand jury secrets, and Mark Felt leaking details of the FBI investigation to Woodward, both of the primary sources on which the Washington Post's Pulitzer depended were engaged in criminal misconduct.

At Kay Graham's Post, the end justified the means.

Redford is now backing a new documentary, "All the President's Men Revisited." The Sundance Kid has his work cut out for him.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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