Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Recent accusations of political spying here in Grenada reminds us of the saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and often we see this being played out in ruling circles.

Politicians and other people in positions of power, even when their power is overwhelming, may not be satisfied that they have enough and may want to flatter themselves that like God they are most powerful.

Therefore, they will give people the impression that not only are they all powerful, but they are also all knowing and can be present everywhere, even inside the head of people, so they create spying networks.

Grenadians should be reminded that this year 2013 is the fortieth anniversary of the Watergate scandal in the United States.

In 1972, political operatives of the American Republican Party of the then President, Richard Nixon broke into the headquarters of the Democratic Party at the Watergate complex in Washington D.C.

Their intention was to photograph documents and install listening devices to gather intelligence as part of a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage on behalf of the 1972 Nixon re-election campaign.

However, unfortunately, the break-in was discovered by a security guard at the complex and five men of the break-in team were arrested.

It was uncertain whether Nixon was involved in the plan to break in, but investigations later revealed that he was involved in a massive cover up of the incident in which the FBI, CIA, and the American Justice Department were implicated.




For instance, evidence suggested that he was involved in paying hush money to the men arrested. Nixon’s attitude to his role in the rather bizarre affair could be summed up in some of his own words: “When the President does it, it means that it is okay.”

In other words, power automatically confers innocence on its holders. Might is always right. However, this kind of sentiment was not shard by many Americans since many of them knew what was a criminal act when they saw or heard about one.

Furthermore, they knew that a President was not above the law. In the American Senate, a special committee was set up to investigate the matter.

For over a year, an embattled Nixon resisted calls for him to resign from office and for him to deliver tapes to the Committee of his private conversations in the White House that would either prove or disprove his role in covering up the affair. When he finally turned over some of the tapes, it was observed that there were many areas of erasures in them.

As the crisis deepened, it became increasingly clear to him that he would lose if he allowed impeachment proceeding to be initiated against him. Accordingly, he resigned from the Presidency in August 1974, with more than two years remaining for him to complete his second term in office.

The more I study this affair and consider our Constitution, the more I am convinced that we in Grenada should introduce a clause in our Constitution under which our Prime Ministers and Ministers of government could be impeached when they transgress against the laws of the state.

This would serve as a constant reminder to those in power that it is always good for them to have right and truth on their side.

Truth Seeker

 

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