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Armstrong went public last week, claiming that Thompson had secretly been a mole for President Richard Nixon and the White House during his time as minority counsel to the Watergate Committee. Armstrong was apparently irked that Thompson was attempting to take credit for asking a question of former White House aide Alexander Butterfield that revealed to the public the existence of an Oval Office recording system.
Thompson learned of the system from witness interviews conducted by, among others, Armstrong and his GOP investigative counterparts. The Associated Press makes much of the fact that Thompson asked a question for which everyone on the committee already knew the answer.
“For the most part, there isn’t a single witness that goes before a House of Senate committee who hasn’t told us beforehand what he or she is going to say,” says a current Judiciary Committee career staffer. “The Boston Globe and the Associated Press know this, but they treat the Watergate hearings like they were somehow different. Big surprise.”
In fact, Woodward and Bernstein routinely reported ahead of time what Watergate investigators were discovering during the interview and interrogation process, sometimes breaking news that was bound by lawyer-client privilege. While Armstrong claims he was attempting to find a mole working for the White House, others were trying to find a mole working for the Washington Post.
“There were a number of us who were trying to figure out who was leaking to Woodward, and we never were able to find out,” says a Washington, D.C. based lawyer, who back in the early 1970s served as a junior aide to one of the senators sitting on the committee. “Once everything was over and Armstrong went to work at the Post, it all made sense.”
Perhaps the recent attempt for the spotlight wasn’t such a smart thing, as it raises the specter of Armstrong’s own background. He has a history of raising his profile, but then getting burned.
Back in 1985, Armstrong founded the National Security Archive, a group that was operated through the leftist Fund for Peace. The Archive encouraged the leaking of national security information to the public. Armstrong, according to insiders at the Ford Foundation, was too extreme politically for the foundation, which at the time was the Fund for Peace’s key donor. Armstrong was pushed out.
Today, Armstrong is involved in another leftist group, the Information Trust. Again, its mission is the enabling of federal government leakers of classified information. Information Trust, according to Senate Intelligence Committee staff and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials, is believed to have played a critical role in the leaking of national security and intelligence data to the New York Times and Washington Post about the CIA’s secret prisons that housed al Qaeda terrorists overseas. The organization also is believed to have assisted in the leaking of information on the SWIFT financial monitoring system out of the Treasury Department.
Given the organization’s reputation and Armstrong’s, it’s not surprising that a Democrat mouthpiece like the Boston Globe would play this game on Thompson.p> PICKING AT STRAWS br> If you subtract the 100 or so “guests” former Gov. Mitt Romney brought with him to stuff the ballot box in Florida on Saturday night,
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?