Deep Throat Unmasks Himself

Deep Throat is 91 years old and living in Santa Rosa, California.

UPDATE: Washington Post: Woodward confirms that Mark Felt is Deep Throat.

Mark Felt was #2 at the FBI at the time. My ears perked up to the Deep Throat story when I heard John Dean speak at the LA Times Festival of Books; he said he was going to unmask Deep Throat. Of course, I blogged it.

The description of Dean’s eBook on Deep Throat (whom Dean never named) begins with this bullet point “Why Throat couldn’t have been an FBI man” —Wrong, Mr. Dean! Turns out he was.

Also striking is an Atlantic Monthly article in May 1992 (hat tip: Political Animal), where James Mann, former Bob Woodward colleague, looks at the Deep Throat source, focusing institution he was from—FBI? CIA? He also had plenty of circumstantial evidence at the time that Woodward had a contact who was high up at the FBI.

Since I came into this from Dean, I was intrigued by the description of at-the-time John Dean:

In the very first week after the Watergate arrests, FBI investigators found that the White House was putting obstacles in the way of its investigation of the case. White House counsel John Dean insisted on sitting in on the FBI’s interviews.

And, from Felt’s memoir, quoted in the article

…”That’s not all,” I went on. “We must do something about the complete lack of cooperation from John Dean and the Committee to Reelect the President. It’s obvious they’re holding back — delaying and leading us astray in every way they can…. [Read More]

So with all that, I’m waiting for Dean’s comment on Deep Throat.
UPDATE: 6 June. More here, and Dean’s response.

7 responses to “Deep Throat Unmasks Himself”

  1. Donald Larson

    I know Nixon used illegal means to harass his political and perhaps real enemies. Deep Throat and Nixon seem to be two of a kind in that respect.

    Don

  2. Susan A. Kitchens

    In what way is Deep Throat of “that kind” (illegal means, harrassing enemies)?

    One point I came across today in my sundry (and excessive) surfing (really, I should be doing something else): Deep Throat was discussed as being a public servant whose loyalties were not to the boss, not to the administration, but to the American public.

    In the Vanity Fair article, he seems to be still struggling between doing “what is right” (A loyal FBI man) and being a turncoat.

    Is revealing (or helping to reveal, or confirming the fact) of illegal actions and coverups of same in the same category as the illegal/underhanded things themselves?

    EDIT: This Slate piece calls Felt an anti-hero. Or at least delves into the mixed motives he had.

  3. Donald Larson

    Yes, breaking an oath is just as bad.

    While the public benefited from the exposure, he still did an illegal act by betraying the President behind his back.

    If Deep Throat had any real balls, he should have told Nixon to come clean with the American public or he (Deep Throat) would resign and go public with his knowledge. Instead he chose the wimpy way through.

    Deep Throat and Nixon are two peas in a pod in my book. Different perspectives they had through the same means.

    Don

  4. Susan A. Kitchens

    he still did an illegal act by betraying the President behind his back.

    The FBI takes an oath of loyalty to the President of the U.S.? In Hoover’s time? I’m no expert in matters FBI, but I find that very hard to swallow.

    For that matter, who in government takes an oath of loyalty to the President of the U.S.? (I can understand secret service taking oaths to protect the person of the Pres, but loyalty?….) hell, even the President takes an oath to uphold the Constitution…

  5. Donald Larson

    Susan, if you think that people in government should betray the trust put into them, betray an oath to follow the law and Constitution that defines, “Due Process”, then I can understand your point of view.

    As far as an oath to the President, I doubt there is such a thing.

    I know some Americans want to see stories of how a sitting President was brought down. They would probably like to have seen Washington and Lincoln brought down too. They certainly had their ways of going around the law too.

    Deep Throat was an ever Deeper [expletive deleted -susan]. He is nothing to be respected in my view. He’s just another ego-manic who had inside information and exposed it to reporters. Then he lied about being the leaker. Now as an old man he must think he is some kind of hero for his actions.

    Maybe to some Americans he is.

    Don

  6. Susan A. Kitchens

    my, what a leap. from your assumptions about “some americans” re: Nixon brought down to further assumptions re: “they” and Washington and Lincoln. yawn. Take it elsewhere. That has nothing to do with what I said, which was to uncover what, precisely you meant re: break oath/loyalty (or is the word fealty?) about how a Good G-man should do in his job and how that makes him just like Dick Nixon.

    This [ego-maniac/not enough balls/some americans/they] is getting mighty boring to me now. (well, aside from editing your cussing in a manner wholly in keeping with the overall giggle. It brings to mind Mad Magazine’s Horrifying Cliches, which featured some gargoylesque creature having something done to it, which image was labeled “Deleting an expletive”)

    Conversely, watching DeepThroatUnveiled unfold, trainwreck-like, is fascinating for its nuances. Not the summary judgements themselves (hero? anithero? patriot? turncoat?). But the analyses of others surrounding those judgements is interesting. Far far moreso, Woodward’s latest in the WaPo about how he met Felt, and asked him a bunch of career advice, and how that mentor-like relationship unfolded as Woodward continued in his journalist career, eventually leading to Felt confirming and guiding Woodward’s investigations toward exposing White House illegal actions.

    Did that mentor-y relationship have any influence on Felt doing what he did? Obviously a seasoned person in Felt’s position wouldn’t divulge something simply because this younger guy keeps approaching him in a mentor-y way. Not as the primary reason, not as the secondary reason, nor even tertiary or quaternary. But the revelation about their relationship— the Woodward asks for guidance as of a mentor— is wholly new. In a flurry of the unfolding investigation, in the inexorable march from one event to the next to the next, did that relationship have any affect on why Felt did what he did? Is there any reason to add the nature of their relationship to the mix of all the rest of the speculation for why he did it?

    In the end, it’s all still speculation. But I prefer this kind of speculation to the summary judgement kind.

  7. 2020 Hindsight » Dean on Deep Throat

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