Truth to Power

Should we have hung Nixon?

What if Nixon had been Hanged?

James Bovard

Seeing the rave reviews on how Iraqis will benefit from the hanging of Saddam Hussein, and hearing the late Gerald Ford lauded today to the heavens, I can’t help wondering how American history might have changed if Richard Nixon had been hanged.

…Many people assume that President Ford pardoned Nixon only for Watergate. Instead, Ford pardoned Nixon for any and every crime Nixon committed from January 20, 1969 (the date he was sworn in) until the day he resigned in August 1974. Ford’s pardon effectively closed the book on holding Nixon culpable for his crimes against the Constitution, Americans, and millions of other people around the world.

If Nixon had been publicly tried and a full accounting of his abuses made to the American public, it may have been far more difficult for subsequent presidents to cover up their crimes. If politicians had vivid memories of Nixon swinging on a rope, they might have been slower to lie the nation into unnecessary foreign wars. If Ford was hellbent on pardoning his friend, he should have had the decency to wait until the evidence was on the table. </i>

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