John Dean Confirms Suskind's Book Focuses On Impeachable Crimes

[media id=5995] [media id=5996] (h/t Heather) I don't know that the revelations from Ron Suskind's new book The Way of The World are truly bombshel

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I don't know that the revelations from Ron Suskind's new book The Way of The World are truly bombshells, so much as confirmation of what we in the liberal blogosphere have always said: the Bush administration wanted to go to war in Iraq and were willing to do whatever they had to to sell it to the American people.

But what is key to me is that there is very little left to which people like Nancy Pelosi can hold on to claim that there is no proof of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the White House. John Dean--no stranger to impeachment proceedings--has been saying that this administration is worse than watergate for years. On Tuesday's Countdown, he confirms that Suskind's findings absolutely signal impeachable offenses on the part of the administration and why it is critical that Congress find their spines and pursue it:

OLBERMANN: The big picture question. As I‘ve been saying, you saw enough in Bush in malfeasance by the end of 2003 to have titled that book "Worse than Watergate." Suskind says in his that just the Iraq part is worse than Watergate. Do you concur with his assessment?

DEAN: Well, I do and I base mine largely on the excessive secrecy which he has only added more detail and information about and the consequences of that secrecy. And, of course, in Watergate, nobody died as a result of Nixon‘s so-called abuses of power nor was anybody tortured. So, we‘re playing in a whole different field and on a different level. So, I think he is right, it is worse.

OLBERMANN: The devil‘s advocate question in this one, John, is-the Bush administration ends in six months, presumably-why is simply, you know, getting the shovel, the historical shovel out and covering this up with as much clean and sanctified dirt as we can not enough? Why is forgetting this man and his presidency not enough?

DEAN: Keith, I think it‘s more than a devil‘s advocate question. It really is the central question in the 2008 campaign. If we have another Republican administration, we‘re going to see more of the same that this sort of material that‘s revealed by Suskind.


↓ Story continues below ↓

Full transcripts below the fold, including Olbermann's exclusive interview with author Suskind

In our fourth story on the COUNTDOWN: The book‘s assertions would obviously destroy deniability for the president and would constitute criminal wrongdoing worse than Watergate.

As noted by Mr. Suskind in his book, "Under a 1991 amendment to statutes that created CIA and that govern its actions. There is a passage that reads no covert action may be conducted which is intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies, or media."

Suskind adding, "The operation created by the White House and passed to the CIA pertains to the White House‘s knowingly misusing an arm of the government, the sort of thing generally taken up in impeachment proceedings."

Let‘s turn now to Nixon White House counsel John Dean, author, of course, of "Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush" and a columnist for FindLaw.com.

John, always a pleasure. Thanks for your time tonight.

JOHN W. DEAN, FMR. NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Before we broaden out, that CIA statute that he cited, is Suskind right, is the violation of that, (A), did it happen; (B), is that by itself an impeachable offense?

DEAN: Well, I think, if indeed it did happen, there are some real problems. I don‘t think people are looking at it too narrowly or Suskind is when I read his book. What happens when you tie that with a criminal conspiracy statute, 18 USC 371, which nailed countless people in Watergate for misusing the agencies and departments of government-that‘s where they‘ve got a problem.

That‘s where Nixon had a problem for telling the CIA to block the FBI for part of the Watergate investigation. Yes, it was obstruction but it was also defrauding the government. This is their real problem with that statute. This may be why some of these people are having second thoughts about being on the record with Ron.

OLBERMANN: Well, once again, as we know, history repeats itself. Suskind has tapes. And the tie between Watergate and this is-is deniability, plausible deniability or the lack thereof. In your opinion, if this book is accurate, if the allegations are correct here, are the links clear enough about the president on the specific issue of knowing criminality?

DEAN: Well, what I‘ve read so far, no. It looks like Cheney has been very effective in setting up his deniability and always being the failsafe for Bush. And as they start waterboarding the vice president, which isn‘t too likely, he is the man that the trail ends right there, as it did with Scooter Libby, for example.

OLBERMANN: The big picture question. As I‘ve been saying, you saw enough in Bush in malfeasance by the end of 2003 to have titled that book "Worse than Watergate." Suskind says in his that just the Iraq part is worse than Watergate. Do you concur with his assessment?

DEAN: Well, I do and I base mine largely on the excessive secrecy which he has only added more detail and information about and the consequences of that secrecy. And, of course, in Watergate, nobody died as a result of Nixon‘s so-called abuses of power nor was anybody tortured. So, we‘re playing in a whole different field and on a different level. So, I think he is right, it is worse.

OLBERMANN: The devil‘s advocate question in this one, John, is-the Bush administration ends in six months, presumably-why is simply, you know, getting the shovel, the historical shovel out and covering this up with as much clean and sanctified dirt as we can not enough? Why is forgetting this man and his presidency not enough?

DEAN: Keith, I think it‘s more than a devil‘s advocate question. It really is the central question in the 2008 campaign. If we have another Republican administration, we‘re going to see more of the same that this sort of material that‘s revealed by Suskind.

Those people have been well-implanted-as we learned from the testimony on the record and the inspector general‘s report of what‘s happening in the Department of Justice-this is really true throughout the government. These people are there, that mentality is there. And if there isn‘t a serious change of parties controlling the top of the government, we‘re going to see much more of this.

OLBERMANN: John Dean, the author of "Worse than Watergate" and "Broken Government," giving his assessment of Ron Suskind‘s reporting tonight, an extraordinary thing as it is. Great thanks, as always, John.

DEAN: Thank you, Keith.

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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