ARCHIBALD COX '34 has failed in his attempt to discover the truth behind the Watergate scandals and to prosecute the criminals responsible for the scandals. Perhaps Cox was naive in thinking that President Nixon would allow the search for truth to go unhindered. Certainly he overestimated the ability of one individual to root out evil in government.
Despite all of this, Cox ends his tenure as Watergate special prosecutor as a man worthy of respect and admiration. All too few officials in Washington have displayed the honesty and integrity which Cox has shown in the past five months; none have displayed more devotion to the truth than he has.
It is unfortunate that honesty, integrity and devotion to the truth have became such rarely exhibited qualities in our national leaders that one man must be singled out and praised for possessing them. Cox's performance should serve as the model for the investigators who take his place at the head of the prosecution.
Had Cox knuckled under to the pressure to accept Nixon's loaded compromise, the furor now raised for impeachment the opportunity for the courts to hold the president in contempt, and the Justice Department purge which clearly demonstrates the administration's distaste for justice would not have arisen.
For the moment, Cox may have saved the nation from an imposed Nixon solution to the Watergate crisis. He has done his job well.