The Watergate Wrangle

Every administration is plagued by the misdeeds of some of its appointees to public office. Harry Truman felt the lash of scandal in the case of the deep freezes; Eisenhower was caught up in the scandal that sent Sherman Adams home in disgrace; Lyndon Johnson had the shadow of the Bobby Baker case hanging over his head. Now President Nixon is squeezed in the middle of the Watergate debacle. And debacle it is.

At stake are moral and ethical issues that cannot be overlooked. Citizens have a right to expect their government to act uprightly. When public figures breach the common canons of conduct, every citizen should be morally outraged. No stone should be left unturned to bring the culprits to justice.

We will accept at face value the claim of the President that he was not personally involved in the sordid Watergate affair. But now that he knows of its existence and is aware of the names of those who have already been tried and found guilty, and probably of others who have not yet been brought to justice, his duty is clear. It is Mr. Nixon’s solemn responsibility as President and as a Christian to see that the matter is thoroughly and fully investigated, that executive privilege is waived so that the facts can be uncovered, and that the full weight of the judicial processes is employed to guarantee that justice is done.

Mr. Nixon has one other responsibility. He should purge his administration of all who have been involved in this squalid affair. In this way people everywhere will know that his administration will not put up with this sort of thing, and even more, that he himself has taken a stand for ethical and moral principles that have suffered so greatly because of Watergate.

Any failure by Mr. Nixon ...

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