Bernstein Likens Plamegate to Watergate, Refers to 'Routine Smearing' of Bush Opponents

As Brent Baker noted on NewsBusters, last night on Larry King Live Bob Woodward made what amounted to a pro-Bush point regarding an Iraq-Niger uranium deal. In a Thursday piece on the Editor & Publisher web site, however, Woodward's ex-Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein, discussing the Iraq war and Plamegate, sounded anything but pro-Bush. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)

Some of Bernstein's comments from the Joe Strupp-written article:

"We are obviously watching and the press is beginning to document the implosion of a presidency...How destructive that implosion is going to be, ultimately, we don't know yet.

"But what the Plame leak investigation has unveiled is what the press should have been focusing on long before and without let up--how we went to war, the dishonesty involved in that process in terms of what the president and vice-president told the American people and the Congress, and the routine smearing by members of the Bush administration of people who questioned their actions and motives."

"... in Watergate, the cover-up of the role of Nixon's aides in the Watergate break-in led to the discovery by the press and the political institutions of the larger crimes -- the so called 'White House horrors' -- meaning the constitutional crimes of the president and his men.

"In the case of the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame, there also has been a political cover-up, not necessarily a criminal one, having to do with the question of how we went to war and the smearing of this administration's opponents," he added. "The question of whether or not there is criminal culpability by Lewis Libby or Karl Rove is less-important, I believe, than the fact that their actions have finally shed light on questions that long ago should have been examined much more closely by the press and the political establishment, and particularly the president's fellow Republicans."