HARVARD MEN had a good deal to do with the establishment of the American form of government. Harvard has contributed five presidents to the country and countless cabinet members and administrators. On occasion, as with Vietnam, Harvard has contributed unparalleled bad advice.
But the Watergate affair perpetrated by President Nixon's ad agency hypesters, the worst scandal ever to rock the White House, has put Harvard back in the position of bailing out its younger cousin, the U.S. government.
At the center of the Watergate controversy is Harvard's former trouble-shooter, Archibald Cox '34, Williston Professor of Law and the Justice Department's special Watergate prosecutor. Cox was appointed in mid-May by attorney general Elliot L. Richardson '41, who studied under Cox at the Law School right after World War II.
Samuel Dash, chief majority counsel for the Senate select committee investigating Watergate, also learned his law under Cox in the forties.
Cox wasted no time in reinforcing the Harvard Brigade for the Watergate battle. Five days after his appointment, Cox tapped Philip B. Heymann and James Vorenberg '49, professors of Law, as informal assistants to aid him in setting up the investigation.
Cox, a trim, tall 61-year-old labor lawyer, will hold the key command position in the Harvard Brigade, independent from even his nominal superior Richardson. As special prosecutor he will be in charge of all prosecutions stemming from offenses committed during last year's presidential campaign.
ALIBERAL Democrat who has served under four Democratic presidents, Cox is no stranger either to Washington or to crisis situations. During the late sixties, when the nation's campuses were embroiled in controversy, Cox earned a reputation as "university trouble-shooter" for his role in investigating the 1968 Columbia University disorders and his efforts to end a Harvard building takeover in March 1971.
In the spring of 1968, Cox chaired a five-member factfinding commission which studied the riots and building takeovers at Columbia University and in the fall of 1969, just after the takeover of University Hall, the Corporation granted him a broad mandate to handle disorders at Harvard.
One of the apparent reasons for Cox's selection as special prosecutor was his scrupulous regard for independence. During the Korean War, Cox headed the Wage Stabilization Board, but resigned after four months when President Harry S. Truman reversed one of his decisions on a wage increase for the United Mine Workers.
At Harvard, Cox demanded almost unilateral decision-making power in his duties as trouble-shooter. In early March 1971, Cox almost single-handedly brought a non-violent end to the nine-day occupation of a vacant building at 888 Memorial Drive being held by militant women's groups.
Two weeks later, Cox earned notoriety among Harvard radicals for his role in the controversy surrounding a prowar "counter teach-in." Cox floated reports before the incident that any disruptions by antiwar activists would be taken as violations of academic freedom.
On the night of the teach-in, March 26, 1971, Cox appeared on the stage in Sanders Theater to plead with the crowd to stop the chanting and clapping which had made it impossible for the pro-war speakers to be heard. "You have the power to disrupt this meeting at any time. But will you please let me speak?" Cox told the noisy audience.
Cox continued a prepared speech despite the fact that few in the crowd could hear him. "If this meeting is disrupted--hateful as some of us may find it--then liberty will have died a little and those guilty of disruption will have done inestimable damage to the cause of humanity and peace."
When the noise failed to abate after 45 minutes, Cox called off the teach-in and the crowd dispersed. Cox later took charge of the University disciplinary actions against those accused of disruption.
COX WILL almost certainly insist on maintaining an independent course as Watergate prosecutor. In one of his first public statements after the appointment, the white-haired, crewcut professor told The Crimson in an exclusive interview that he had definitely decided to take most of his staff from outside the ranks of the present administration.