All the Presidents Men

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All the Presidents Men 7

Allthe Presidents Men

Allthe Presidents Men

Civilliberties denote the guarding of individual rights against intrusionby government. It also denotes the freedoms such as those of speech,privacy, a fair trial in the court, freedom to marry, vote amongstmany others. For example, as given in the first Amendment of theRights of Americans, the people are free to subscribe to whicheverbelief they desire to practice. This means that the government cannotinterfere with their freedom to worship. The modification I give thecitizens &quotliberty&quot from the doings of the regime.

Onthe other hand, civil rights may also be used to signify affirmativeactions the state ought to take make environments fair to allAmerican citizens. The terminology civil rights&quot is most of theterms related with the guard of marginalized individuals, such as theblack Americans, the women together with the Hispanics. The stateoffsets the &quotmajority rule&quot inclination in a socialequality that in various ways may find minorities outvoted.

Thedifference between the two civil rights and civil liberties isblurred. In the present world, the thoughts are usually used in placeof each other. On the contrary, they do denote different kinds ofcertain protections. The bill of rights categories civil libertiesclassified into two broad categories: rights and freedoms asenshrined First Amendment that broadly demystifies the differentareas of interest including speech, assembly, petition, religion, andpress. Also, it covers the rights and liberties that are inassociation with criminality.

Theindividual civil rights could be illustrated by for instance lookingat what right has been violated, and the people affected. Forexample, everyone is fit for promotion in the workplace, but this notnecessarily a civil right or liberty. However, there should be nodiscrimination on who is to be promoted, whether based on their race,or gender, or disability, so that the female has right to promotion,equally as the male, so that in the instance a woman not beingpromoted on the basis of her gender, then a civil right has beenviolated.

Inthe 20th century, the U.S. government through its executive branchgained power at a time when the country was facing these challengesand was at the centre of world affairs. The 37th President of theUnited States, Richard Nixon acted in ways that portrayed him asbeing above the law in trying to ensure that he was re-elected in theelection of 1972 (00:34:00-00:41:21). This ended up in a scandalthat had sought to infringe rights and liberties of Americans. One ofthe means involved an attempt of burglary into the Democraticnational Committee headquarters at the Watergate office. This washowever not successful as they were caught in the act. The presidenttried to cover up the event. This was an obstruction of justice,planned by the white house and attorney general.

Ajournalist, Woodward was tasked with covering this story for theWashington post. He realized later on that the burglary was not anordinary one. Another journalist by the name Bernstein was alsocovering the same story. The two men were not in real terms. Woodward realized at the trial that the story was deeper than hethought. Bernstein on the other hand, while being on vacationresearched the issue and realized that the white house was not cleanon the issue. The reporting of the burglar had much more than meetsthe eye of the normal citizen. The more deep the investigation went,the more it elicited much evidence.

Woodwardby the help of an informant by the name Deep Throat found other clueswith regards to the issue. The informant chose to remain anonymous.He realized with growing evidence that over 50 people had been usedto cause the havoc and that they had been paid through a secret bankaccount by men authorized by the president. More newspapers begancovering the story leading to more evidence and more arrests. As moreevidence was uncovered, it was realized that the president himselfwas also part of the scandal.

Oneof Nixon’s undemocratic activities was to try and sabotage thepresidential campaigns of Senator Edmund Muskie. They sought toundermine his bid using dirty tricks, this being against the civilliberties and rights of the senator. This tricks included disruptionof a fundraising dinner, rallies, and advertisements that wereharmful to Muskie`s bid. They were successful leading Senator GeorgeMcGovern of South Dakota being nominated as the presidentialcandidate of the Democrats. Donald Segretti, who was later sentencedto six months imprisonment was in charge of the dirty campaigns. Indoing so, Muskie`s right to vie for a political post had beeninfringed. It also meant that the government`s action in sabotagingDemocratic nominations had violated the liberty of the party membersin nominating their best candidate to vie for the presidency eventhough the party still had a presidential candidate. By disruptingmeetings and assemblies of the Democratic Party, the right toassembly was infringed.

TheCIA provided false information to the FBI that the Watergateinvestigation was a security threat to the country. This was anobstruction to justice and a hindrance to fair judicial process(00:45:12-00:51:12). FBI agents were used to searching homes withoutwarrant thus infringing rights of the affected people. This infringedon the right to privacy and the civil liberties of the same peoplesince the FBI is not at liberty to search anyone`s property without asearch warrant. The acting head of the FBI decided to resign afterconfessing that he had set ablaze evidence on the issue.

DeepThroat had sought anonymity since at that time there were no laws toprotect such people. Currently, there are laws to protect them, andhence their right to anonymity is enshrined constitutionally thoughthe liberty to reveal sensitive information is limited. He revealedhis identity in 2005, how he had worked with the FBI at the time ofthe scandal.

TheSenate investigated the white house after uncovering the evidence itindeed proved that the government had tried to rob the citizens oftheir rights to vote in a free and fair election. Not only had thisright been infringed but also the liberty to choose whoever personthey want to be president. The government did this by tampering withthe electoral process. The Senate televised its settings hence inadditional to the investigations by the two journalists which weremade bare to the public, the right to information was upheld.

Dueto public pressure, Nixon appointed a special prosecutor who was toconduct investigations on the scandal. The prosecutor was ArchibaldCox. Cox subpoenaed the tapes from the white house. Nixon wantedhowever that Cox drops the warrant or be fired. This he wanted to bedone without trial thus subverting his freedom to the fair trial andinfringing his liberties by interfering with his work environment. Atthe end of the day, after two attempts, on the third attempt, he wasable to fire Cox.

Thecommittee compiled a report and sought to impeach the president forcrimes of obstruction of justice, violation of the citizens’constitutional rights and the refusal to comply with the committee.However, he resigned before he was impeached.

Therefore,president Nixon and his administration had tried to infringe on therights of the citizens by using unwarranted search operations andabstraction of justice by interfering with security agencies, theyalso interfered with the rights to vote and civil liberty of citizensto choose whichever president they so wish (00:23:22-00:26:21). Theright to assembly and a fair trial were also infringed, and theliberty to the fair trial also violated in the case of Cox. In sodoing the government acted in an unconstitutional manner thus goingagainst the rights and liberties enshrined in the Bill of rights. Thefact that Nixon was pardoned and other perpetrators given lightersentences could also raise the question whether indeed justice wasserved. However, the Senate through its committee proved that thepresident was not above the law and that the rights and liberties ofcitizens were constitutional and were to be upheld.


Allthe Presidents Men.United States of America: Alan J. Pakula, 1976. DVD.