Call it by its right name: "Woodwardgate."
It amazes and saddens me that a journalist and reporter of the stature of Bob Woodward would compromise journalistic ethics by misrepresenting the truth in order to sensationalize and promote a book that he authored on my uncle William Casey.
Then again, in reviewing the post-Watergate career of Bob Woodward, it should not be so surprising. Similar controversy existed in his 1976 book "The Final Days," his 1979 book on the Supreme Court, "The Brethren," and his 1984 book "Wired" about the sad life of John Belushi.
Finally, it was Bob Woodward who was The Washington Post metropolitan editor who supervised and encouraged the infamous Janet Cooke, who fabricated the story of an 8-year-old drug addict named Jimmy.
In the present case, Mr. Woodward asserts he spent four minutes with my uncle several days after Jan. 22, 1987, at which time 19 words were spoken in response to his questions.
This is an outright lie because:
My uncle was under 24-hour guard by CIA security men at the hospital. The security guards were under instructions to let no one but immediate family in the room unless given personal permission by Mrs. Casey.
Mrs. Casey and her daughter, taking turns, maintained a 24-hour vigil along with nurses by his bedside from the day he took ill until the night he passed away. Mrs. Casey denies the Woodward visit.
The approximate date Mr. Woodward suggests the visit took place was a little over a month after Bill Casey's brain operation, still a dangerous time for a patient after such major surgery. Certainly, this was a time that my uncle was under heavy medication, stress and disorientation. If a visit was attempted by Mr. Woodward, not only would it have been callous, and displayed despicable disregard for Mr. Casey's health, but it would have been fruitless in results.
My uncle's speech was affected after the brain operation, and it remained nearly impossible for him to frame words for the balance of his time in or out of the hospital. Therefore, Mr. Woodward's assertion of 19 words being uttered by Mr. Casey is patently absurd.
Perhaps it is time for someone in a responsible position at a responsible newspaper to do an investigative piece on Bob Woodward. Let's see him exposed as he really is, without the protective cover of reporter privilege, and discover if his skin is as thin as his story line.
LAWRENCE W. CASEY Alexandria