Over the years politics has become synonymous to controversies. As much as it sounds as a field where you work for the development of your country it has also been subjected to various scandals and dirty happenings going on within its framework. It stands now as a proven fact that politicians and politics is nothing but all about muscle-power and also a risky game where it sometimes can cost somebody his/her reputation built over the years, or even one’s precious life. The world has been a witness to quite a number of scandals in past that has stunned the humanity. The list features some of such scandals that have left a permanent black mark on our minds:
- Commonwealth Games Controversy
Having the opportunity to host the prestigious Commonwealth Games is indeed a great deal of honor for any country. Yet, India, host of Commonwealth Games 2010, almost screwed that up with its corrupt practices. Though the event was a success by and large, yet it attracted a lot of harsh criticism for the billions of dollars spent on it which was way more than what was required. Suresh Kalmadi, the renowned politician and former Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Commonwealth Games, was accused for being the main culprit and was arrested in 2011. Following this, he was literally thrown out of the Indian Olympic Association and received suspension from the political party Indian National Congress as well.
- The Teapot Dome Scandal
It was during the tenure of President Warren Hardings that one of the biggest political scandals in US history ever took place – The Teapot Dome Scandal. The prominent accused and later found guilty of the charges as well was none other than US Secretary Albert B. Fall who accepted bribes in forms of gifts and loan to give up the rights of Teapot Dome, an oil field, without any competitive bids. Harding, in spite of not being involved directly faced a severe backlash for leading a corrupt administration. The incident cost both Harding and Fall their well-established reputation which was built over a span several years.
- Bofors Controversy
One of biggest political controversies of all time, Bofors Scandal in between 1980’s and 1990’s with Sweden firm Bofors AB tangled up badly in quite a messy affair. It was alleged that the firm has paid a large amount of kickbacks to the top Indian politicians including Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India to seal the deal of selling artillery guns to Indian Army. It also included the names of some of the key defense officials as well and the entire mess pushed the Defense Minister to resign from his post and Rajiv Gandhi lost the general elections of 1989 due to lack of public support. Despite all the controversies, the Bofors guns were extensively used in the Kargil War fought between India and Pakistan gaining India “an edge” over Pakistan.
- Chen Shui Bian Controversy
Not every ambitious person makes a good leader – this fits just so right for Taiwan political leader Chen Shui Bain. He was not only a politician but was President of Taiwan for 8 long years. Yet he ended up in a pretty messy political controversy that cost him most of his fortune and his reputation as well. It was during his reign itself that his son-in-law was accused for inside trading, followed with the charges of forgery of political funds. His wife made wires huge amount of money to banks of different countries – a fact that did not go down well with either the authorities or the public. All of these led to Bian resigning in 2008 only to get arrested six months later for embezzling huge amounts of public funds as well as for taking bribes. He and his wife were sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment with a fine of $ 15 million.
- Willbur Mills Controversy
Politicians and sex scandals have a long history behind them together. Willbur Mills Controversy is one such sex scandal indeed. Mills was a member of House of Representatives with a serving tenure of 18 years from 1939 to 1977. He was otherwise considered successful with no ill reputation until he was caught in a controversial scandal when he was found with the Argentinian stripper Fanne Fox in the back seat of his car. He was said to have been drunk and misbehaved with the police when they tried to stop him. He was once again discovered in the somewhat similar state with the same stripper, pushing him to resign from his position of Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee along with no permission of entering the political domain ever again.
- Chappaquiddick Controversy
On July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, a female passenger of US Senator Edward M. Ted Kennedy, was killed when he accidently drove his car off a bridge in Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusettes. Kennedy was the only survivor of the incident and fled from the scene, not reporting within nine hours. Kopechene, unfortunately died on the scene itself due to lack of immediate medical assistance. The body and the car were discovered in the early hours of July 19 after which Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury. He received two months suspended jail sentence and the incident went on to become a national scandal. Many consider this incident that may have been the prime reason for Kennedy not to campaign for President of United States in 1972 and 1976.
- Robert Packwood Controversy
Another sex scandal on the list, dominoes started to crumble down for Oregon politician Robert Packwood in November 1992 when he hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. His liaisons with 10 women, chiefly former staffs of his office, proved fatal when all of them accused him of sexual abuse and assault. Though he denied all the charges initially, he had to admit to them later on and he ended up resigning from his post.
3. The Plame Affair
In the year 2003, a Washington Post journalist Robert Novak effectively jeopardized the career of Valerie Plame by identifying her true identity as a CIA operative. Plame was actually a covert CIA operative working on weapons proliferation. Her identity, along with her then mission was all tagged as “classified” and being leaked entirely to the media surely created a great scandal. The culprit in the case was found to be Richard Armitage from the US State Department who leaked the information to Novak. Another “aid” in this illegal leaking was Scooter Libby who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. Despite all these, Armitage and Libby were sentenced only with few years in jail.
- Iran Contra Affair
One of the biggest political controversies ever the Iran-Contra Affair started with President Ronald Reagan of America declaring Iran as the “confederation of terrorist states” on July 8, 1985. But the real drama was going on at the backstage with Reagan’s administration members selling their weapons to Iran secretly for releasing US hostages held in Lebanon by pro-Iranian terrorist groups. The profits thus gained were being sold to Nicaragua to aid rebel forces named Contras. After investigation, head of National Security Council Robert McFarlane was found to be the mastermind behind this. Though Reagan, as it was being said, was also involved but pleaded not guilty as he was misinformed about the whole situation.
The Watergate Scandal came into being in June 1972 when there was a break in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office of Washington DC. The government led by then President Richard Nixon initially tried to deny all of these but it eventually led to his resignation making him the first US President to resign from his post. During investigation it was found out that it was Nixon himself who backed the CIA Agent Hunt with quite a huge amount of money for all of these. It is still not clear what exactly they were trying to accomplish with the break in.