The Nation: Finding the Perfect Prober

"I don't have the slightest doubt that I will be independent."

Nor do most people who know Archibald Cox, the wry, close-cropped Harvard law professor and former U.S.

Solicitor General who was named last week as special U.S. prosecutor in the Watergate case. His sense of independence is crucial, for he confronts the task of not only conducting a thorough investigation but also convincing an increasingly skeptical public that he has done just that.

Cox, 61, who accepted the post after three of Elliot Richardson's first four choices declined, was offered the assignment just after ending a speech at Berkeley on the importance of...

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