The death of Deep Throat…

IT’S been a bit morbid today, but another death worth noting is that of Watergate‘s Deep Throat, former FBI associate director Mark Felt. Possibly the best-known anonymous source in modern history, the ‘smoking man’ gave Woodward and Bernstein a smoking gun that eventually led to President Nixon’s resignation – the only US leader to have done so. While newspapers are often (and sometimes rightly) pilloried for their reliance on anonymous sources, without Felt it’s likely that the biggest story of the 1970s would have been buried. The issues are as relevant today as they were then and how the US (and UK) deal with whistleblowers has never really been satisfactorily resolved, and the FBI continues to get politically involved. Not a bad day to register (free) to the Washington Post for its full backgrounder on this incredible story that defined an era in US politics and journalism.

  • The claim that Mark Felt was ‘Deep Throat’ is even a bigger bunch of bollocks than the ones about Conor Cruise O’Brien.

    Al Haig was ‘Deep Throat’, as a careful reading of All The President’s Men establishes – i. e., the one source that Woodward and Bernstein were using, though claiming that they had two, given the process by which Haig became Deputy NSA. Also, note carefully that Haig is never considered one of Nixon’s men in cast of characters.

    And Haig shifted the leaking to Felt after he had gone of The Pentagon to clean up the mess surrounding Nixon’s, Oswald’s, et al.’s role in the Dallas assassination where he learned that Felt had helped cover up the Plumbers’ role in the Governor Wallace assassination.

    Haig was quite willing to help see the end of lefties like JFK, MLK, and RFK, but the shooting of the Alabama ‘red neck’ was something else.

    So Haig informed Bob Haldeman, Nixon’s Chief of Staff, that Felt was the source of the leaks on October 19, 1972, though he refused to say how the had found out. Moreover, Haldeman added: “You can’t say anything about this, because it will screw up our source, and there’s a real concern. Mitchell is the only one that knows this and he feels very strongly that we better not do anything because-” (Stanley I. Kutler, ed., The New Nixon Tapes, p. 170)

    Haldeman then explained that if they went after Felt, he would unload everything that he knew about The Plumbers and Watergate. Nixon said that he would at least make sure that Felt never became FBI Director. Haldeman was so concerned about protecting the source that he declined to even mention this meeting with the President in his diaries.

    Under these conditions, Haig was able to torpedo Nixon’s presidency when he replaced Haldeman as his Chief of Staff, as I have explained in this article:

    http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/02/how-and-why-al-haig-torpedoed-richard.html

    After Nixon was forced to resign, and Haig arranged his pardon, no one – Haldeman, Nixon, John Dean, Woodward, Bernstein, etc. – was willing to confront Haig about who he really was, and what he had done, leaving the door open for Felt to falsely claim that he was ‘Deep Throat’ in order to improve his image, and his financies.

    This scandal just demonstrates how corrupt, dishonest, and unreliable American government and media really are.

  • Still a bit early in the morning for me.

    This paragraph should read “So,Haig informed Bob Haldeman, Nixon’s Chief of Staff, that Felt was the source of the leaks, and he informed Nixon on October 19, 1972…”

    Also, I see I misspelled “finances.”

  • 6countyprod

    A disgruntled and vindictive FBI deputy director manipulated the WaPo to bring down an American president and the media is proud of its role.

    WaPo didn’t break the story, Deep Throat used naive journalists to destroy the man who did not appoint him director of the FBI.

    For a more objective look at Deep Throat, read on.

  • This is just more right-wing, covert protection of Nixon, and his betrayer, Al ‘Deep Throat’ Haig.

    As far as I can see, it contains nothing about what Woodstein wrote about the Watergate scandal at the time, especailly their explanation of who ‘Deep Throat’ was:

    “Woodward had a source in the Executive Branch who had access to information at CRP as well as at the White House.” (All the President’s Men, p. 71)

    Here Woodward was referring to Haig as Kissinger’s military advisor who had his office in the Executive Annex building.

    “Bernstein …called a former official of the Nixon administration who might be able to supply some helpful biographical data. Instead of biography, the man told Bernstein: ‘Whoever was responsible for the Watergate break-in would have to be somebody who doesn’t know about politics but thought he did. I suppose that’s why Colson’s name comes up…’ The man knew the inner workings of the White House, of which Bernstein and Woodward were almost totally ignorant, and better still, he maintained extensive contacts with his former colleages.” (p. 27)

    Here Bernstein was referring to Haig, Army Vice Chief of Staff who had gone back to the Pentagon to make sure that nothing serious was remaining about him and Tricky Dick there regarding the JFK assassination, and would return soon, after having shot down Haldeman and Erlichmann, as Nixon’s Chief of Staff.

    And this was before Haig had put Haldeman on to Felt as the alleged leaker, and before Felt had any idea that he was not in line to replace Gray as FBI Director. Gray was so busy covering up the dirtiest secrets of Watergate that he was never going to be confirmed as Hoover’s replacement.