The Watergate scandal didn't just bring down a president. It uncovered a shadowy side of the state where officials had been operating lawlessly for decades, and it swept into Congress a collection of reformers eager to bring those miscreants to heel. As new stories of misbehavior at the National Security Agency and the Internal Revenue Service hit the headlines, Jesse Walker looks back at the post-Watergate period and asks what it would take to recreate—and surpass—that era's spirit of reform.
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Kevin Van Walk