Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein, who with Bob Woodward helped expose President Nixon's role in the Watergate scandal, Monday called for the U.S. Senate to open a full-scale probe of President Bush's conduct in office.
Writing in the online edition of Vanity Fair magazine, Bernstein said that during Watergate "there was understandable reluctance in the Congress to begin a serious investigation of the Nixon presidency. Then there came a time when it was unavoidable. That time in the Bush presidency has arrived."
He said the investigation should concentrate on the run-up to war in Iraq, the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity to the press and the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.
Bernstein said that any Senate investigation must not be a fishing expedition but try to determine whether "lying, disinformation, misinformation and manipulation of information have been a basic matter of policy" in the Bush administration.
"We have no trustworthy official record of what has occurred in almost any aspect of this administration," he said, adding, "Nor will we until the subpoena powers of the Congress are used (as in Watergate) to find out the facts."