Nixon biographer Stephen Ambrose: "Nixon doesn't have to specifically say, 'I want you guys to go do this.'"
Katie Couric; "He clearly created an atmosphere..."
Ambrose: "Oh certainly."
Couric: "...where his underlings thought this was perfectly acceptable behavior."
-- The Today Show, January 24, 2000
"Whether or not Nixon knew, he bears personal responsibility for the break-in because he created an atmosphere in which his subordinates would logically assume this was what he expected from them." -- David R. Gergen, Eyewitness to Power (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000), p. 97.
"Well, you have to go to the best evidence, which are all--all of the tapes. And they showed that Nixon not only created the specifics, but created the atmosphere of paranoia, this--this incentive to get dirt on the opposition." -- Bob Woodward on The Today Show, June 17, 1997
"But there was an atmosphere created in the Nixon White House from the top down." -- Carl Bernstein, on Tim Russert, CNBC, Jue 15, 1997.
"As far as Nixon is concerned, we have no proof that Nixon was in on the (burglary) planning. All I say is that Nixon created an atmosphere around the White House that made it quite logical for his assistants to believe that this was a proper thing to do." -- Leon Jaworski, quoted in UPI story, July 17, 1979.
"I think the President, whether he knew about the Watergale break-in and bugging or not, created the atmosphere and the climate by which this could happen." -- Walter Hickel, quoted in AP story, September 7, 1973.At The New York Times, Ross Douthat points in a similar direction:
Where might an enterprising, public-spirited I.R.S. agent get the idea that a Tea Party group deserved more scrutiny from the government than the typical band of activists seeking tax-exempt status? Oh, I don’t know: why, maybe from all the prominent voices who spent the first two years of the Obama era worrying that the Tea Party wasn’t just a typically messy expression of citizen activism, but something much darker — an expression of crypto-fascist, crypto-racist rage, part Timothy McVeigh and part Bull Connor, potentially carrying a wave of terrorist violence in its wings.