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FBI Leaker ‘Deep Throat’ Is Dead At 95

From a bereaved Associated Press:

Mark Felt, Watergate’s `Deep Throat,’ dies at 95

By LOUISE CHU, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO – W. Mark Felt, the former FBI second-in-command who revealed himself as "Deep Throat" 30 years after he tipped off reporters to the Watergate scandal that toppled a president, has died. He was 95.

Felt died Thursday in Santa Rosa after suffering from congestive heart failure for several months, said family friend John D. O’Connor, who wrote the 2005 Vanity Fair article uncovering Felt’s secret.

The shadowy central figure in one of the most gripping political dramas of the 20th century, Felt insisted his alter ego be kept secret when he leaked damaging information about President Richard Nixon and his aides to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.

While some — including Nixon and his aides — speculated that Felt was the source who connected the White House to the June 1972 break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, he steadfastly denied the accusations until finally coming forward in May 2005

It was by chance that Felt came to play a pivotal role in the drama.

Back in 1970, Woodward struck up a conversation with Felt while both were waiting in a White House hallway. Felt apparently took a liking to the young Woodward, then a Navy courier, and Woodward kept the relationship going, treating Felt as a mentor as he tried to figure out the ways of Washington.

Later, while Woodward and partner Carl Bernstein relied on various unnamed sources in reporting on Watergate, the man their editor dubbed "Deep Throat" helped to keep them on track and confirm vital information. The Post won a Pulitzer Prize for its Watergate coverage…

In a memoir published in April 2006, Felt said he saw himself as a "Lone Ranger" who could help derail a White House cover-up.

Felt wrote that he was upset by the slow pace of the FBI investigation into the Watergate break-in and believed the press could pressure the administration to cooperate.

"From the start, it was clear that senior administration officials were up to their necks in this mess, and that they would stop at nothing to sabotage our investigation," Felt wrote in his memoir.

Some critics said Felt, a J. Edgar Hoover loyalist, was bitter at being passed over when Nixon appointed an FBI outsider and confidante, L. Patrick Gray, to lead the FBI after Hoover’s death. Gray was later implicated in Watergate abuses.

"We had no idea of his motivations, and even now some of his motivations are unclear," Bernstein said.

Felt wrote that he wasn’t motivated by anger. "It is true that I would have welcomed an appointment as FBI director when Hoover died. It is not true that I was jealous of Gray," he wrote

Ironically, while providing crucial information to the Post, Felt also was assigned to ferret out the newspaper’s source. The investigation never went anywhere, but plenty of people, including those in the White House at the time, guessed that Felt, who was leading the investigation into Watergate, may have been acting as a double agent.

The Watergate tapes captured White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman telling Nixon that Felt was the source, but they were afraid to stop him.

Nixon asks: "Somebody in the FBI?"

Haldeman: "Yes, sir. Mark Felt … If we move on him, he’ll go out and unload everything. He knows everything that’s to be known in the FBI."

Felt left the FBI in 1973 for the lecture circuit. Five years later he was indicted on charges of authorizing FBI break-ins at homes associated with suspected bombers from the 1960s radical group the Weather Underground. President Ronald Reagan pardoned Felt in 1981 while the case was on appeal — a move applauded by Nixon…

It’s hard to admire a man who leaked what he leaked to get back at Mr. Nixon for not putting him in charge of the FBI. And who lied about it for decades afterwards.

As the article notes, President Nixon knew that Mr. Felt was supplying the information to the media, and especially his old friend Bob Woodward, almost from the gitgo.

Nixon and Halderman considered transferring Felt out of the FBI, but didn’t want the additional scandal.

Still, it is seldom remembered by the hagiographers that Messrs Woodward and Bernstein were mere amanuenses to the bitterly disgruntled Mr. Felt.

Which should be remembered when they claim expertise on all matters based on their Watergate “investigation.”

Anyway, Mr. Felt was the real CRE[E]P of the Watergate era.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, December 19th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “FBI Leaker ‘Deep Throat’ Is Dead At 95”

  1. proreason says:

    Watergate was the beginning of the end for the United States of America…….and not because Nixon abused power……that was so minor by today’s standards that it’s laughable. Obamy abuses more power than Nixon before his first smoke in the morning.

    The tragic legacy of Watergate is that the media took their “success” as carte blanche to become the king makers and breakers in this country. Of course, back then, they thought that they needed actual evidence. They are well beyond that inconvenient silliness now.

    35 years later we see where we are at.

    • Steve says:

      “The tragic legacy of Watergate is that the media took their “success” as carte blanche to become the king makers and breakers in this country.”

      Also, the media learned that they could post just about anything they wanted and simply attribute it to anonymous sources.

      So we, the public, never know whether the information comes from someone with an ax to grind (like Felt), or even if the “source” even exists beyond the convenient imagination of the “reporter.”

    • Odie44 says:

      Spot on proreason.

      Combined with the saddled Supreme Court decision for “media” and “the press” to not mention “sources” – it’s anything goes, as SG pointed out.

      The fact any bi-ped can slap the moniker “journalist” in today’s society scares me the most. We are not talking about specialist of any form or manner – but simply a 64 IQ’er with a pen and email address. I suggest the right fight fire with fire and use the very same tactics to create any necessary diversion to the left – at all costs.

      Once the media dialogue began, namely with Watergate; integrity, truth and charater are fodder for lemmons. They don’t have it, nor should we pretend. McCain’s “hands off policy” towards the mountain of bama “associates” reeks of the unfair advantage we continue to saddle ourselves with.

      Stop taking a knife to a gun fight and load up the ammo.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Bullsh(cough) … it’s well established that Alexander Haig was the source called Deep Throat. Mark Felt, or as we call him Harry Reid Lite, is just taking the fall to keep the Trilateralists safe from exposure. Mark Felt is no more the source than my granny was Ghengis Khan.

  3. GuppyNblue says:

    Back in March S&L posted an article by Jerry Zeifman. In the original Op Ed News article you’ll find the following quote:

    “A second objective of the strategy of delay was to avoid a Senate impeachment trial, in which as a defense Nixon might assert that Kennedy had authorized far worse abuses of power than Nixon’s effort to “cover up”- the Watergate burglary (which Nixon had not authorized or known about in advance). In short, the crimes of Kennedy included the use of the Mafia to attempt to assassinate Castro, as well as the successful assassinations of Diem in Vietnam and Lumumba in the Congo.”

    Not only does the article show Hillary Clinton’s lawless radicalism but demonstrates the double standard the media was creating in our country with their liberal bias. They must have gained a sense of empowerment to take down a president and as some of us believe, made them a fifth column in the U.S.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Good riddence “Choke-N-Puke”, you dirty rat!! Say hello to Arafat while you are down there.

  5. 1sttofight says:

    Felt should have died either in prison or at the end of a rope.

    There is no punishment for treason anymore.

  6. BillK says:

    There is no punishment for anyone anymore as long as you’re a liberal or cooperating with liberals.

    There are any number of leakers to the Treason Times who also should be executed for treason or at least locked up for life.

    But that’s OK, it’s now fine to leak documents from the NSA or CIA to the press, as long as you feel you’re in the right and it fits the press’ agenda.

    That’s the real legacy of Felt and Watergate.

  7. pinandpuller says:

    Anybody with a pair of shoes can be a journalist these days.

  8. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    The Watergate scandal was the epitome of the press feeding frenzy and nothing has ever come close to it. But longing for their past glory days the media attaches the word Gate at the end of every scandal that now comes their way. It’s pathetic and junvenile and reminds me of a high school football player trying to live off his past laurels, not realizing the leaves of the laurel are faded and dead. Liberalism unchecked will be the undoing of our country.

  9. Barbie says:

    If Felt had been an honest man, motivated by conviction or truth as he saw it, he would have revealed his identify immediately unafraid of the consequences. Instead, he hid his identity too chicken to admit what he’d done. It was not until he was egged on by his daughter seeking some cash that he revealed himself. If he’d been a man of honor, he would have come forth – he must have known himself he was a betrayer else he would have come forth sooner.

  10. Barbie says:

    p.s. Journalism use to be an admired profession. But since Watergate, journalists just want to get the next pulitizer prize, regardless if it is based on real issues. Our founding fathers wanted a free press to monitor the politicians. I don’t think the founding fathers ever envisioned ‘the free press’ would evolve into a bunch of so very untrustworthy and dishonest folk.

  11. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    I don’t think our founding fathers wanted a free press to get this powerful and tyrannical either. I know for a fact they would be appalled if they could could see what press has devolved into. No entity of our country should have that much power and arrogance without accountability.


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