Another kind of leak and coverup near the Watergate

July 1, 2012

A leak and a coverup occurred a few days ago almost on the doorstep of the Watergate office building, where the historic break-in happened 40 years ago. But the recent events were not quite an example of history repeating itself.

Years ago, a group was set up to stop leaks of classified information. The group was called the plumbers, and members of the group were linked to the break-in.

Last week’s leak involved only water, and those who stopped it were sent by DC Water, Washington’s water utility.

A DC Water spokeswoman said a leak was reported last Monday in the 2600 block of Virginia Avenue NW, the block where the Watergate office building is located.

Workers dug up the pavement, perhaps 100 yards from the doorstep of the office building. They unearthed nothing more secret than a six-inch water supply line and a valve on the line.

A repair was made to a valve on the line the same day.

The date was only a few days beyond the anniversary of the June 17, 1972, break-in at the office building.

The repairs involved pipes and water, but those who did the work may not be properly described as plumbers, who generally perform their tasks indoors.

After the valve repair was made, the hole in the Virginia Avenue sidewalk and in the adjacent roadway was patched with an asphalt-like material.

And in contrast to the events of 40 years before, things seemed to end there.

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