Will Makes Bork Up to Look Pretty

Robert Bork is dead and George Will is working overtime to make him look a lot better than the facts could possibly justify. In a recent Washington Post column, Will credulously repeats Bork’s absurd claim that by firing the special prosecutor during Watergate he was “protecting” the investigation of Nixon’s crimes.

On an October Saturday, when Nixon ordered Richardson to fire Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor, Richardson and his deputy resigned, urging Bork to execute Nixon’s lawful order, which he did. By the two resignations, Bork became acting attorney general, in which capacity he protected the ongoing investigation of Nixon…

Nixon, born 100 years ago in January, is remembered for large diplomatic, as well as criminal, deeds. Agnew is deservedly forgotten. Bork deserves to be remembered by a grateful nation for the services he rendered in preventing disarray in the Justice Department at a moment of unprecedented assault on the rule of law, and for facilitating the removal of a president during Washington days that were darker than most people today can imagine.

By Will’s (and Bork’s) bizarre reasoning, firing the prosecutor investigating Nixon’s crimes, he was preventing an “unprecedented assault on the rule of law” and “protecting” the investigation. In the real world, Bork was actively assaulting the rule of law and trying to eliminate the investigation to protect a criminal in the White House. Richard Ben-Veniste, who was the chief investigator in the special prosecutor’s office at the time, corrects this ridiculous bit of historical fiction:

Bork’s assertion that by firing Cox he acted to protect the ongoing investigation of Watergate crimes is akin to the Army major’s claim during the Vietnam War that “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” Secret recordings reveal that well before the controversy surrounding the subpoenaed White House tapes, Nixon discussed with his chief of staff, Alexander Haig, his intention to fire Cox. This was part and parcel of the president’s continuing effort to obstruct the Watergate investigation.

Bork, recently arrived from the Yale Law School faculty, lent his academic credibility to the attempt to justify the firing — which federal judge Gerhard Gesell later ruled was plainly illegal, as Cox could be fired only for “extraordinary impropriety.” (Bork later stipulated that Cox had committed no such impropriety.) The grateful president, Bork recently wrote, promised to nominate him to the Supreme Court upon the next vacancy…

Indeed, far from championing an independent investigation that would allow recourse to the judicial process, Bork signed an order on Oct. 23, 1973 — three days after firing Cox — abolishing the Office of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.

Bork was a liar. And Will is either lying or playing pretend.

18 comments on this post.
  1. slc1:

    Considering Will’s repeated lies about climate change, it would surprise no one if he was just lying here. The man is a congenital liar.

  2. Gregory in Seattle:

    No matter how much make-up you use, a turd is still a turd.

  3. Raging Bee:

    Every time I read your headline, I wonder why Bjork needs George Will to help her with makeup…

  4. pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile:

    George Will still writes crap op-ed pieces? And people still read them?

  5. Raging Bee:

    George F. Will: Upper-Class Twit of the Decade for…how many decades now?

  6. Phillip IV:

    services he rendered in preventing disarray in the Justice Department at a moment of unprecedented assault on the rule of law

    So he prevented disarray in the face of an assault….by surrendering in good order? I didn’t know they were teaching that kind of logic at Yale, it sounds more like something you’d learn at the Italian General Staff College.

  7. zbeeblebrox:

    George Will is a little sparrow fart who has zero credibility. He was on Reagan’s team during the Carter-Reagan debates. They got hold of some of Carter’s notes and instructed Ronnie on them. Then when he used these points, Will marveled at how astute Reagan was. Asshole.

  8. Michael Heath:

    George Will is a serial liar. But the far bigger problem here is that the Washington Post and Mr. Will’s national syndicators spread his lies.

  9. baal:

    It’s against my stated morals but the first 4 words of the piece make me feel relief and some small pleasure.

    As to Mr.Will – I knew I didn’t agree with him but it took me a number of readings of his stuff (a few decade back) to figure out how or why. The man flips facts and then buries that as assumptions in his sentences. Carrying out the order of a president to fire an out of control cop? Normally a good thing. In this case, however, the order was blatantly unlawful. A fact Bork could not fail to know as the head and next guy quit top positions rather carry it out. there are even hints that Bork was expecting a quid pro quo appointment to the SCOTUS. That’s about as far from lawful as it gets.

  10. Didaktylos:

    The important point to remember is that a reactionary is no less seditious than a revolutionary.

  11. garnetstar:

    Why not laud Bork for his true achievment: declaring that there was nothing unconstitutional about an old Oklahoma law that required the (actual) castration of sex offenders?

    That’s the rule of law.

  12. caseloweraz:

    Will makes it sound like Richardson and his deputy resigned while nevertheless urging Bork to carry out the order they resigned in order to avoid carrying out.

    Has he decided to stop committing sense as well as no longer committing truth?

  13. bionichips:

    In my younger days before I got embarrassed about whose views I shared, I used to think George Will made good arguments. For a period of time I would say, “you may not agree with him, but at least he makes sense.” Now George Will no longer makes sense – did he change, did I change (got more knowledgeable) or both?

  14. slc1:

    Re Michael Heath @ #8

    Jennifer Rubin is even worse then Will.

    Re bionichips

    Will used to be a substantial columnist but that was 30 years ago.

  15. imthegenieicandoanything:

    If George Will would come out against baseball, he’d finish the process of becoming a gold-plated turd, instead of another “conservative” shit.
    He isn’t dangerous – not even Wall Street “Republicans” consider him anything but filler – or even fun to laugh at (watching an old fart in a suit crap his pants doesn’t rate as “entertainment” to anyone I know). He’ll die and no one will remember he ever lived. Or want to.

  16. democommie:

    George Will, Lou Holtz; you ever see them together? No. Coincidence? I think not.

  17. pacal:

    I should mention in partial defence of George Will that during the whole Watergate scandal Will was very critical of the President and his criminal acts. However none of that justifies Will’s crappy defence of Bork and his lies. Of course it is fascinating to find out that after Bork did his toading duty Nixon offered him a Supreme Court position. Although frankly I would not be surprised if it was actually before. Even if it was afterwards it still looks like a bribe for doing some dirty work.

    Thanks for reminding me that Bork did more than just fire Cox he actually performed more bum boy work by agreeing too abolish the Special Prosecutors office. So much for preserving Americans from executive tyranny. As you correctly quote Ben-Veniste has saying all these acts were illegal and by going along with them Bork was corrupting the judicial process. Frankly this alone should have made Bork a bad candidate for the Supreme Court. I am shocked but not surprised that he was nominated.

  18. democommie:

    Every time I see that header I get to thinking about the movie, “Drop Dead Gorgeous”, wherein, Kirsten Dunst played a beauty contest entrant who practiced her tap-dancing routine while doing her after school job of “freshening up” decedents at the local funeral parlor. Then when I think of Will and Bork in a similar tableaux my mind wanders from necrocosmetology to necrophilia…, sorry, my bad.

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