Saturday :: Dec 17, 2005

Another Good One Bites The Dust


by pessimist

It's been a busy week for the progressive undertakers - Gene McCarthy, William Proxmire - and now columnist Jack Anderson has died:

Jack Anderson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning muckraking columnist who struck fear into the hearts of corrupt or secretive politicians, inspiring Nixon operatives to plot his murder, died Saturday. He was 83.

Anderson gave up his syndicated Washington Merry-Go-Round column at age 81 in July 2004, after Parkinson's disease left him too ill to continue. The column broke a string of big scandals, from Eisenhower assistant Sherman Adams taking a vicuna coat and other gifts from a wealthy industrialist in 1958 to the Reagan administration's secret arms-for-hostages deal with Iran in 1986.

Anderson won a 1972 Pulitzer Prize for reporting that the Nixon administration secretly tilted toward Pakistan in its war with India. He also published the secret transcripts of the Watergate grand jury.

Such scoops earned him a spot on President Nixon's "enemies list." Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy has described how he and other Nixon political operatives planned ways to silence Anderson permanently -- such as slipping him LSD or staging a fatal car crash -- but the White House nixed the idea.

Over the years, Anderson was threatened by the Mafia and investigated by government agencies trying to trace the sources of his leaks. In 1989, police investigated him for smuggling a gun into the U.S. Capitol to demonstrate security lapses.

Would that the American media had many more like him! We might then be able to save our Republic.

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