Deep Throat Revealed

Deep Throat Revealed


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

After more than 30 years of secrecy, the identity of Deep Throat, the Watergate informant who leaked information to the Washington Post that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon's resignation, is revealed in a Vanity Fair article written by John O'Connor. In a phone interview on May 31, 2005, O'Connor describes the reasons behind former FBI deputy Mark Felt's decision to finally go public.


BREAKING: Kamala Harris’ DARK Past REVEALED

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard accused fellow Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris of being a cruel prosecutor, placing “over 1,500 individuals in prison for violations of marijuana,” and then joking about smoking marijuana.

Gabbard then added: “She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so.”

That is largely true, as the Sacramento Bee noted (original links):

In February, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered new DNA testing in the 1983 murder case of Kevin Cooper. Cooper came within hours of execution in 2004 after being charged with the murders of an adult couple and two children. Harris opposed the testing when she was the state’s attorney general.

She has since said she supports DNA testing and encouraged Newsom to approve Cooper’s clemency request. She did not offer specifics on why she did not approve the testing during her tenure.

In response to a request for comment, Harris’s campaign pointed to a past statement where the senator called a New York Times columnist last year, telling him, “I feel awful about this.”

The San Francisco Chronicle observed at the moment that Harris subsequently changed her stance and endorsed the DNA testing.

The prisoner, Kevin Cooper, has not been released as the DNA testing continues and it is not yet apparent whether he is innocent, although many think that he is innocent.

The Bee also noted that another claim against Harris — this time, by former vice president Joe Biden — that a federal judge freed 1,000 inmates after it discovered that a San Francisco crime lab had misused evidence, and that then-District Attorney Harris had failed to reveal that the evidence had possibly been tainted.

The Washington Post recalled earlier this year: “[I]t was revealed in March 2010 that Harris and her staff had not informed defense lawyers that evidence from the police-run crime lab might have been tainted. A judge ruled in May 2010 that Harris had failed to inform defendants as required by law. Harris said … she took responsibility and made ‘no excuses’ for the failure.”

Harris now runs on a platform that involves reform of criminal justice and claims she is opposed to the death penalty.

21 comments

Harris is an evil , incompetent woman and shouldn’t be allowed to practice law. She got where she is or her practice of using the race card.


Deep Throat Revealed (Again)

The Watergate break-in was 27 years ago today. Happy Watergate Day! This anniversary is marked by the release of a new book by Bob Woodward about how Watergate (and, by implication, Woodward himself) changed the presidency forever, and by the publication of a 25 th -anniversary edition of All the President’s Men (click here to further enrich Woodward and co-author Carl Bernstein). With all these Watergate memories swirling about, it’s time to revisit the question: Who was Deep Throat?

Chatterbox is referring to the anonymous Watergate source (played by Hal Holbrook in the movie of All the President’s Men) who helped Woodward crack Watergate by famously advising him to “follow the money.” Guessing Deep Throat’s identity has been Washington’s favorite parlor game for nearly three decades. Chatterbox doesn’t know who Deep Throat was. However, he is convinced that a large portion of the mystery was solved in May 1992 when the Atlantic Monthly published a piece on this question by James Mann, a former Washington Post reporter who now works for the Los Angeles Times. Mann’s article didn’t solve the “who” question, but it did pretty persuasively answer the “what” question. That is, Mann identified where Deep Throat worked: at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to Mann, Deep Throat was probably W. Mark Felt, then the No. 3 guy at the FBI, and later famous for approving illegal break-ins to investigate the Weather Underground. (Felt was pardoned by President Reagan.) Or, possibly, Deep Throat was Charles Bates, assistant director of the General Investigative Division. Or–Mann thinks this less likely–Deep Throat was one of the FBI field agents in Washington who were working on Watergate.

Chatterbox will review Mann’s evidence in a moment, but pauses first to ponder a deeper mystery: Why, when Mann’s superb Atlantic piece was published, did it attract no notice? All Chatterbox turned up in a Nexis search was a debunking column by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post Magazine (whose own theory, that it was Secret Service technicians who maintained the White House bugging apparatus, had also attracted little notice when he’d published it some years before in New York magazine). Slate Deputy Editor Jack Shafer gave Mann’s theory a sympathetic write-up in City Paper, an alternative weekly in Washington, D.C., that Shafer edited at the time. Otherwise, no one seems to have noticed Mann’s piece. It isn’t even retrievable on the Atlantic’s Web page, which has a pretty extensive archive. Maybe the game of guessing Deep Throat’s identity is so much fun that people don’t want to consider evidence that risks ending it.

Let’s proceed to that evidence. Mann emphasizes in the Atlantic piece that J. Edgar Hoover, who had run the FBI since the 1920s, died one month before the Watergate break-in. For Mann, this is as important as knowing at the beginning of A Christmas Carol that Jacob Marley was as dead as a doornail. Hoover had pretty effectively resisted efforts by the Nixon White House to politicize the FBI. (The FBI had, of course, engaged in many of the same illegal activities that Nixon was trying get it to perform–wiretapping, burglaries, and the like–but it had been Hoover, not Nixon, calling the shots.) In the months before Hoover died, Hoover loyalists at the bureau were fretting that Nixon was plotting to name an outsider to succeed Hoover–Jerry V. Wilson, then police chief for the District of Columbia. Lo and behold, right around that time, the Washington Post started breaking stories about an FBI investigation into corruption in the D.C. police department. While the stories didn’t directly involve Wilson, they provoked the White House into publicly opposing FBI control of the investigation. These stories, presumably based on FBI leaks, were written by Bob Woodward.

Then, in mid-May 1972, George Wallace was shot. Mann, citing former Post City Editor Barry Sussman’s Watergate book, The Great Cover-Up, says that Woodward told Sussman he had a good source at the FBI who could help get information on Wallace’s would-be assassin. Woodward, Mann says, “was able to come up with details about the life and travels of Arthur Bremer … virtually as soon as FBI investigators uncovered them.”

Then, on June 17, came the Watergate break-in. At the time, Mann was a Post metro reporter covering the D.C. federal courthouse, and he often worked closely with Woodward. “[D]uring the summer and early fall,” Mann writes, “Woodward spoke to me repeatedly of ’my source at the FBI,’ or, alternatively, of ’my friend at the FBI’–each time making it plain that this was a special, and unusually well-placed, source.” While Woodward didn’t specifically identify the FBIfriend” as the person later known as Deep Throat, Mann points out that many FBI lifers mistrusted L. Patrick Gray, the “outsider” Nixon had by now named to succeed Hoover, and worried that the Nixon White House was trying to restrict its Watergate investigation–just as it had restricted the FBI’s investigation of the D.C. police department. Felt,Bates, and Robert Kunkel, special agent in charge of the Washington field office, met with Gray in July 1972 to complain about White House interference in the Watergate investigation. Mightn’t one of these people have also fought back by leaking to Woodward? Although Felt wrote in 1979 that he “never leaked information to Woodward and Bernstein or to anyone else,” Mann writes in his Atlantic piece that Felt “was known in Washington as a person willing to talk to the press.” (Translation for nonjournalists: “Professional ethics prevent me from saying so directly, but Felt leaked like a sieve to me.”) Bates had supervised the FBI’s investigations into D.C. police corruption and the Wallace shooting, in addition to supervising its Watergate investigation.

What nails the FBI connection for Mann is that the day after the Watergate burglars were indicted in September 1972, he phoned Woodward to say goodbye (Mann had just left the Post and was heading off to Italy for a year). Mann asked Woodward about the indictments, and Woodward said, “I just talked to my friend at the FBI. I think we’re on to a whole new level on this thing.” Mann pairs this exchange with a passage in All the President’s Men in which Woodward and Bernstein report that the “day after the indictments were handed down”–i.e., the same day Woodward and Mann spoke–Woodward phoned Deep Throat and was told to “go much stronger” on the story. Two days later, the Post published its first story linking the Watergate break-in to top Nixon campaign officials.

[Update, 8/4/99: After much pestering online and by phone, Chatterbox has finally gotten The Atlantic to post on its Web site Jim Mann’s watershed Deep Throat piece. Click here and wonder no more about Deep Throat’s place of employment.]


Find out what's happening in White House with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Reagan and Gorbachev: The Moscow Summit

Two days into the commencement of the Moscow Summit in 1988, things were off to a rocky start between President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, then-general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

The summit had been touted as a celebratory follow-up to the breakthrough summit of October 1987, where Reagan and Gorbachev signed the groundbreaking Intermediate-Range Nucclear Forces Treaty (INF), which eliminated an entire class of nuclear missiles from Europe.

The May 31 meeting consisted of "lectures" from Reagan to Gorbachev regarding improving the Soviet Union's human rights record to Gorbachev's marked frustration when he said it might be "a time to bang our fists on the table" in order to hammer out an arms agreement. At other times, Reagan was speakingn before a group of students and Russian intellectuals or talking a walking tour of old churches. The summit meeting was considered a victory of style over substance.

Identity of Watergate's "Deep Throat" figure revealed

After 30 years of speculation, the identity of "Deep Throat" — the previously unidentified source who leaked key details of Nixon's Watergate cover-up to Washington Post reporters — revealed himself has 91-year-old Mark Felt, described as "number two at the FBI in the early 70s."

For some context, the Watergate scandal came to be when the public learned that five men had been arrested for breaking into and illegally wiretapping the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. One of the suspects, James W. McCord Jr., was revealed as President Richard Nixon's salaried security coordinator.

For more American history, Patch has you covered.


Deep Throat

Deep Throat/Bob Woodward: First, Vanity Fair scooped the Washington Post with the article exposing the identity of Deep Throat. Then USA Today's Mark Memmott scooped the Post with his summary of Bob Woodward's book. Then Woodward gave Tom Brokaw -- not the Post -- the address of the garage where he met with Mark Felt. Woodward doesn't seem to care that his colleagues have had to play catch-up. He says to Erik Wemple: “What was the problem -- some people were late for dinner?"

Deep Throat: Tom Brokaw's interview with Bob Woodward for the NBC special about Deep Throat.

Deep Throat/William Gaines: William Gaines, the journalism professor whose class wrongly fingered Deep Throat (first, Patrick Buchanan, then Fred Fielding), says that there were discrepencies in Woodstein's accounts that misled them: 1. Mark Felt was said to have smoked a cigarette in Woodward's presence, even though he gave up smoking decades earlier. 2. Deep Throat provided authoritative information gleaned from listening to Nixon’s secret recordings during a meeting in November 1973. That was several months after Felt left the FBI. And to complicate things still more, no one from the FBI had been at the meeting where the recordings were played. According to Gaines, that means Felt could only have learned about the contents of the recordings at third hand, at best. Felt was, as Gaines put it in an e-mail note, “"so far removed that his comments to Woodward would have to be considered hearsay, and not the kind of thing a reporter could write for fact by quoting an anonymous source.”

Bob Woodward: The Washington Post, somewhat awkwardly, uses Bob Woodward's memoir of his relationship with Deep Throat to profile Woodward himself -- and explain what the book tells about this most-reticient of reporters: "To read The Secret Man, -- along with All the President's Men, Woodward and Bernstein's mesmerizing 1974 book on their Watergate reporting -- is to notice that Woodward wasn't afraid to challenge Felt's rules. He telephoned Felt when he really needed to. And during his very first visit to the underground garage, at a point where his source had suddenly stopped talking, the reporter 'grabbed his arm and said we were playing a degrading chickenshit game pretending that he was not passing original, new information to me.'"

Deep Throat/Woodward Book: What Woodward reveals about Deep Throat in Secret Man: One tidbit . Mark Felt did smoke during their clandestine meetings, possibly out of nervousness. Bob Woodward's The Secret Ma isn't due out until next Wednesday, but a USA Today reporter bought it Thursday at a store in Fairfax County, VA., that had mistakenly put copies out for sale. Mark Memmott writes: "Woodward suspected at the time of his reporting on Watergate that someone from the Post was leaking information about his sources to the White House. It was never discovered who the leaker might have been, but the information led the White House close to identifying Felt as one of Woodward's sources."

Deep Throat/Secret Almost Given Away in 1976: The identity of Deep Throat, the Washington Post's key Watergate source, was almost revealed nearly three decades ago, according to Bob Woodward's new book on his relationship with W. Mark Felt. In The Secret Man, to be published next week by Simon & Schuster, Woodward -- now a Post assistant managing editor -- writes that he learned in 1976 from then-assistant attorney general Stanley Pottinger that Felt, who had been the No. 2 man at the FBI, had given himself away while testifying before a grand jury. Asked,"Were you Deep Throat?" Felt initially said, "No," but his stunned look alerted Pottinger to the probability that he was lying. In that grand jury proceeding, Woodward writes, Pottinger quietly reminded Felt that he was under oath. He then offered to withdraw the question as irrelevant to the subject of investigation, which was illegal break-ins conducted by the FBI in pursuit of antiwar radicals from the Weather Underground. Felt quickly accepted the offer. Pottinger told Woodward, who didn't confirm his conclusion, that he would keep his knowledge to himself. "To his eternal credit," Woodward writes, he did just that.

FBI Memos Detail Mark Felt's Involvement in Efforts to Identify Secret Watergate Source: The senior FBI official now revealed as "Deep Throat" -- the Watergate source for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward -- ordered his subordinates to "forcibly remind all agents of the need to be most circumspect in talking about this case with anyone outside the Bureau" according to declassified FBI documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Many of these documents -- which were declassified in 1980 -- have been cited in recent articles in The Nation and the Washington Post.

Deep Throat/The Complicated Mr. Felt: A review of tens of thousands of pages of declassified White House and FBI documents, and interviews with more than two dozen people who had dealings with Mark W. Felt, reveal an exceptionally complicated personality, according to a new analysis by the Washington Post. It is impossible to disentangle Felt's sense of outrage over what was happening to the country from his own desire to scramble to the top of "the FBI Pyramid," a phrase he later used as the title of a little-noticed autobiography.

The Deep Throat Collective: Rex Smith, editor of the Albany Times-Union, claims his paper had reported last week that Deep Throat was more than one person -- that it was a group of FBI officials doing the leaking: "The day after retired FBI official W. Mark Felt revealed that he had been the secret source who tipped the Washington Post to White House intrigue during Watergate, Harry Rosenfeld came into my office and, uncharacteristically, closed the door. Rosenfeld, as most of you know, was editor of the Times-Union for many years, and before that headed the local news staff of the Washington Post, where his reporters produced the groundbreaking Watergate coverage. Rosenfeld related that a retired FBI official had called him to say there was more to the story of Deep Throat: Felt, according to the ex-agent, hadn't been a rogue leaker, but rather part of a group of senior FBI officials who carefully chose what to pass along to the press. They were fighting to prevent the White House from squelching the FBI's Watergate probe, believing that if citizens got the facts, the Nixon inner guard wouldn't be able to cover up the truth."

How Felt Fooled FBI: The recent revelations about W. Mark Felt's identity as the Deep Throat informant of Watgergate fame have been dramatic and widely reported. But Felt's role as the most famous anonymous source in U.S. history was even more complex than the newly revised public account suggests. According to originally confidential FBI documents -- some written by Felt -- that were obtained by The Nation from the FBI's archives, Felt was at one time in charge of finding the source of Woodward and Bernstein's Watergate scoops. In a twist worthy of le Carré, Deep Throat was assigned the mission of unearthing -- and stopping -- Deep Throat.

Deep Throat/Watergate: In a column in the Observer, writer Ron Rosenbaum says journalists should have invested their time in figuring out who ordered the break-in rather than who Deep Throat was. He lauds historian Stanley Kutler for providing tape transcripts that point to Nixon's having ordered the break-in. "In this tape, Nixon starts off giving what will be his public line, the lie he will stick to that he was shocked that burglars would choose to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, because political sophisticates know that party headquarters aren’t where the juicy stuff is to be found. 'My God, the committee isn’t worth bugging, in my opinion,' he tells Haldeman. But I didn’t give you Nixon’s full quote to Haldeman: 'My God, the committee isn’t worth bugging, in my opinion.' And then he says (and this is the phrase I singled out in my 1999 column): 'That’s my public line.' 'That’s my public line'! He had to lie to cover up the fact that he knew exactly why some burglars broke into where they did. As Mr. [David] Greenberg put it in his Times op-ed on July 29, 2003: '[A]s the journalist Ron Rosenbaum has noted, the wording ["public line"] implies that he had some private suspicion to the contrary.' (To say the least.)"

Deep Throat/George McGovern: "We need someone like that who is highly placed to tell us what's really going on. We know that we were misled on Iraq," McGovern told Fox News Radio. "This war in Iraq, in my opinion is worse than anything Nixon did. I think Nixon deserved to be expelled from office in view of the cover-up that he carried on and the laws that he violated."

Deep Throat/Woodward & Bernstein Back Together Again: The writer Murray Kempton once called them the Tom and Huck of American journalism, and their surnames became a single, swashbuckling compound noun: Woodstein. Now Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are together again, joined in a visibly affectionate, sometimes awkward embrace by the disclosure of Deep Throat's identity. "One was colorful and flamboyant, and the other one thought that was absolutely fine," said Robert Redford, who helped produce the film of All the President's Men, in which he played Mr. Woodward." Bob was quite comfortable with Carl being the more colorful, because that helped him do what he did best, which was to have a killer instinct masked by a very cool, Presbyterian presence. I used to tell him, 'I'm having trouble getting a handle on you you're kind of dull.' And he said, 'No, I really am.'"

Deep Throat/Did Bernstein's Son Tell a Friend: Carl Bernstein's son famously told a friend at summer camp that his mother told him that Mark Felt was Deep Throat. His mother was Nora Ephron. Both she and Bernstein say she never had the inside scoop: "I knew that Deep Throat was Mark Felt because I figured it out. Carl Bernstein, to whom I was married for a brief time, certainly would never have told me he was far too intelligent to tell me a secret like that. He refused to tell his children too, who are also my children, so I told them, and they told others, and even so, years passed and no one really listened to any of us."

Watergate/Grandsons of Nixon & Felt Are Friends: Nicholas T. Jones and Jarett A. Nixon, law school classmates here, have exchanged tales about Costa Rica, where Mr. Nixon was born and Mr. Jones enjoyed traveling. They have practiced speaking Spanish together, and at one point last year, Mr. Nixon, 28, tried to recruit Mr. Jones, 23, to work on a law journal at the school, the Hastings College of the Law. "He's a good guy," Mr. Nixon said of Mr. Jones. "We've had a friendly relationship." What neither man knew until the identity of Deep Throat was revealed this week, however, was that they come from opposite sides of one of the most profound divides in modern American political history. Mr. Nixon's great-uncle, whom he recalls fondly as Uncle Dick, was President Richard M. Nixon, a relationship he had never shared with Mr. Jones. His grandfather, Donald Nixon, was the president's brother.

Watergate/Unsolved Mysteries: WITH the unmasking of Deep Throat, one of the twentieth century's biggest political mysteries has been solved. But other riddles about Watergate linger. Did Nixon order the Watergate break-in? What was the purpose of the break-in? What was lost in the 18 1/2-minute gap in the White House tapes? Who erased the tape? Why didn't Nixon destroy the tapes?

Deep Throat/Mark Felt's Past in WW II Espionage: W. Mark Felt, whose cloak-and-dagger methods contributed to his mystique as Deep Throat, learned the black arts of spying during World War II when, as a young FBI agent, he ran a case, code-named Peasant, in which he used a compromised German agent to feed the Third Reich false information. Mr. Felt drew on his espionage experience in 1972 when he insisted that the Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward take circuitous routes to their clandestine meetings in an underground parking garage and use elaborate communications signals that were recounted by Mr. Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their book All the President's Men.

Deep Throat/Hero or Traitor?: W. Mark Felt's disclosure that he was Deep Throat has sparked a debate about whether he should be praised as a hero for leaking information to the Washington Post or condemned as a traitor for going outside the legal system. His family has sought to portray him as a hero, and by prodding him to disclose his identity as a secret source for the Post in the Watergate scandal, has taken steps to shape his legacy in a positive light. But Mr. Felt's role as a newspaper informer raises questions about the obligations of officials at institutions like the FBI. Should those obligations be defined as adhering to the regulations of the bureau and the laws about releasing secret information? Or is there a higher calling when law enforcement officials think that they are being obstructed at the highest levels of government?

Deep Throat/Historical Significance: Deep Throat's significance has surely been inflated by journalists, who have been entranced by a story that matters more to them than to history. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had scores of sources for their Watergate reporting, and while Deep Throat -- or, as we should now say, W. Mark Felt, the former deputy associate director of the FBI -- was an important one, he did not single-handedly expose Richard Nixon's "White House horrors." Deep Throat's mythic role in the public imagination, however, remains strong.

Deep Throat/Role of the FBI: The revelation that a senior FBI official was the secret Watergate source known as Deep Throat has rekindled a controversy about the role of the government bureaucracy in bringing down President Richard M. Nixon. Most accounts of the unraveling of the Watergate conspiracy have focused on the very public efforts of journalists, the special prosecutor and Congress in documenting the abuses of power that led to Nixon's resignation on August 8, 1974. The bureaucratic battles within the administration between Nixon loyalists and opponents have drawn much less attention from historians -- for the simple reason that they took place in secret, far from the public gaze. As the historical record becomes more complete, some Watergate experts are bracing for a new wave of revisionist histories examining the complex, mutually beneficial relationship between reporters chasing the biggest political story in modern American history and their frequently anonymous sources.

Deep Throat/Nixon's Praise for Felt: In a strange footnote to history, Richard M. Nixon unwittingly testified on behalf of Deep Throat in a federal court trial in October 1980 -- six years after Nixon was forced to resign as president because of his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Six years after Nixon was driven from office, Felt and Edward S. Miller, formerly head of the FBI's domestic intelligence division, were charged with illegally authorizing government agents in 1972 and 1973 to break into homes without warrants in search of anti-Vietnam War bombing suspects from the radical Weather Underground organization. Nixon, then a private citizen, testified that he believed that at the time the FBI director and his deputies had direct authorization from the president to order break-ins in the interest of national security. Felt was subsequently convicted and fined $5,000. But five months later, President Ronald Reagan pardoned Felt on the grounds that he had"acted on high principle" to bring an end to the terrorism threatening the nation.

Deep Throat/Marketing the Story: Major publishing houses -- HarperCollins, Random House and Little, Brown among them -- fielded calls from David Kuhn, a media agent representing Mark Felt's family and his attorney, in New York yesterday. They may have listened with skepticism, or excitement, or a mixture of both, but many signed up for meetings later this week. The family is also reportedly interested in television and film projects."If you asked me two days ago how much you'd pay for Deep Throat's memoir, I'd say the sky's the limit," said David Hirshey, senior vice president at HarperCollins."Now that the great mystery has been solved, I'm sure the sky is a little bit lower. But Deep Throat is still one of the biggest 'gets' of all time and I expect major publishers to chase it like Ahab did the whale. And I'll be one to have the harpoon out."

Deep Throat/Woodward's Explanation: Bob Woodward explains in the Washington Post where he first met Mark Felt and how their friendship developed. They met at the White House one day when Woodward, then in the Navy, was delivering some documents from Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, the chief of naval operations. Woodward stayed in touch, confessing he did so in a calculated move to make friends with people in high places. Felt soon became the number two official in the FBI. One of Felt's early leaks to Woodward was to tell him that Vice President Spiro Agnew had been caught taking bribes. Woodward tried to run down possible leads but got nowhere. Felt later supplied Woodward with leads in the assassination attempt on George Wallace in 1972. Felt helped Wopodward with the Watergate reporting from the start, helping the Washington Post establish that E. Howard Hunt was a chief suspect in the Watergate burglary. When Woodward failed to reach Felt on the phone in a follow-up call he showed up at Felt's house in Virginia. It was then that Felt, who had worked in espionage during WWII, said that from then on they would only communicate face to face and in secret. No more phone calls. "I said that I had a red cloth flag, less than a foot square -- the kind used as warnings on long truck loads -- that a girlfriend had found on the street. She had stuck it in an empty flowerpot on my apartment balcony. Felt and I agreed that I would move the flowerpot with the flag, which usually was in the front near the railing, to the rear of the balcony if I urgently needed a meeting. This would have to be important and rare, he said sternly. Felt said if there was something important he could get to my New York Times -- how, I never knew. Page 20 would be circled, and the hands of a clock in the lower part of the page would be drawn to indicate the time of the meeting that night, probably 2 a.m., in the same Rosslyn parking garage." Woodward says he doesn't know how Felt kept an eye on his balcony. Why did Felt talk?"Felt believed he was protecting the bureau by finding a way, clandestine as it was, to push some of the information from the FBI interviews and files out to the public, to help build public and political pressure to make Nixon and his people answerable."

Deep Throat: The Washington Post today confirmed that W. Mark Felt, a former number-two official at the FBI, was "Deep Throat," the secretive source who provided information that helped unravel the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s and contributed to the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon. The confirmation came from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate story, and their former top editor, Benjamin C. Bradlee. The three spoke after Felt's family and Vanity Fair magazine identified the 91-year-old Felt, now a retiree in California, as the long-anonymous source who provided crucial guidance for some of the newspaper's groundbreaking Watergate stories. Felt was convicted in the 1970s for authorizing illegal break-ins at homes of people associated with the radical Weather Underground. He was pardoned by President Reagan in 1981.

Deep Throat: W. Mark Felt, the No. 2 official at the FBI during the Nixon era, made the admission to Vanity Fair magazine. Now, an ailing and aging former FBI agent in California, Felt told Vanity Fair magazine that he was the one who leaked certain secrets about Mr. Nixon's Watergate coverup to the Washington Post reporters."I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," Mr. Felt told John D. O'Connor, a lawyer and the author of the Vanity Fair article, the magazine said today in a press release. Mr. Felt, who is 91 and living in Santa Rosa, Calif., was the second-in-command at the Federal Bureau Investigation in the early 1970's.

Deep Throat/Who Guessed Right: Esquire had it wrong The Atlantic Monthly had it right. Leonard Garment's book missed the mark Ronald Kessler's was on the money. William Gaines's college journalism class flunked the test Chase Culeman-Beckman's high school paper, though he didn't get an "A" when he turned it in in the late 1990s, should have put him at the head of the class. A three-decade national guessing game is over.

Deep Throat/Washington Post Caught by Surprise: For 30 years, the Washington Post kept secret the identity of Deep Throat, waiting for the right moment to disclose the name of the person who helped the paper develop the biggest story in its history. Yesterday, the paper was scooped on Deep Throat's identity by a monthly magazine. The revelation by the magazine, Vanity Fair, caught the Post by surprise and threw the paper into turmoil. The Vanity Fair article said Mr. Felt's family wanted to collaborate with Mr. Woodward on an article, wondering at one point why Mr. Woodward should "get all the glory" for what they saw as their father's courage. Vanity Fair said Mr. Woodward scheduled two visits with the family to talk about a collaborative effort but he canceled them and never rescheduled. Mr. Woodward has declined to comment. But it was known in New York publishing circles that Mr. Woodward, a prolific author, was planning to write his own book about Deep Throat.

Deep Throat/Woodward's Small Lies: Slate's Tim Noah, who long pointed to Felt before he started to doubt himself, notices that Woodward engaged in some small-bore misdirection or, shall we say, lying. Quoting Noah: "One [lie] is that, in All the President's Men, Deep Throat is described as a heavy smoker. But Felt quit smoking in 1943. I suppose Woodstein would call this necessary misdirection. I call it conscious fabrication, however trivial. Also, a November 1973 Woodward and Bernstein Post story sourced anonymously to 'White House sources' is described in All the President's Men as being sourced to Deep Throat. Yet Felt was not a 'White House source.' It's conceivable that Deep Throat was an additional, unacknowledged source on the story, but it's also possible that Woodward and Bernstein were misleading readers about where they got their information. Which was it, gentlemen? Finally, why did Woodward, in a 1979 Playboy interview with J. Anthony Lukas, flatly deny that Deep Throat was anyone inside the 'intelligence community'? The FBI, where Felt worked, is most definitely part of the intelligence community.

Deep Throat/Woodward's Own Book About Felt: Woodward had prepared for Felt's eventual death by writing a short book about a relationship he describes as intense and sometimes troubling. His longtime publisher, Simon & Schuster, is rushing the volume to press -- but the careful unveiling of the information did not proceed as Woodward or the Post had envisioned. In an article being prepared for tomorrow's Washington Post, Woodward will detail the "accident of history" that connected a young reporter fresh from the suburbs to a man whom many FBI agents considered the best choice to succeed the legendary J. Edgar Hoover as director of the bureau. Woodward and Felt met by chance, he said, but their friendship quickly became a source of information for the reporter. On May 15, 1972, presidential candidate George Wallace was shot and severely wounded by Arthur H. Bremer, in a parking lot in Laurel. Eager to break news on a local story of major national importance, Woodward contacted Felt for information on the FBI's investigation. Ben Bradlee knew only Felt's status as a top FBI official. The editor did not learn Felt's name until after the Post had won the Pulitzer Prize for its Watergate coverage and Nixon had resigned.

Deep Throat/How Vanity Fair Got the Story: Vanity Fair's big scoop almost didn't happen. The problem for Vanity Fair was that lawyer John D. O'Connor wanted the magazine to pay Felt and Felt's family for the story -- a condition the magazine would not agree to. O'Connor tried then to sell the story to a book publisher, but after a year returned to Vanity Fair when he couln't.

Deep Throat/His Motivation: Six days after the Watergate break-in, President Richard M. Nixon had a secretly recorded conversation about W. Mark Felt, the number two man at the FBI. Nixon was hatching a plan to stop the FBI from investigating the burglary at Democratic National Committee Headquarters, and the president figured that friends at the CIA could persuade the FBI to drop the investigation. The White House figured their appointee, FBI acting director L. Patrick Gray, would go along. But what about Felt, a 30-year, dyed-in-the-wool Bureau man who ran its day-to-day operations? "Mark Felt wants to cooperate because . " Nixon chief of staff H.R. Haldeman told the president. "Yeah," Nixon responded. ". because he's ambitious," Haldeman said.

Deep Throat/Reaction: Prominent figures from the Watergate era expressed a mixture of reactions yesterday, from shock to admiration, upon learning that the number two official at the FBI had guided Washington Post reporters investigating illegal activities by the Nixon administration. Richard Ben-Veniste, a top lawyer in the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, said W. Mark Felt's acknowledgement of his role showed that "the importance of whistle-blowers shouldn't be underestimated, particularly when there are excesses by the executive branch of government -- which in this case went all the way to the executive office. But Charles W. Colson, a senior Nixon adviser who served seven months in prison for obstruction of justice in connection with Watergate abuses, declared that he was"personally shocked."

Deep Throat/Why He Talked to Post Reporters: Felt believed that the White House was trying to frustrate the FBI's Watergate investigation and that Nixon was determined to bring the FBI to heel after Hoover's death in May 1972, six weeks before the break-in at the Democratic National Committee's Watergate offices occurred. "From the very beginning, it was obvious to the bureau that a cover-up was in progress," Felt wrote in his 1979 memoir, The FBI Pyramid. Felt may have had a personal motivation as well to begin talking to Post reporter Bob Woodward. At the time of Hoover's death, he was a likely successor to take over as FBI director. Instead the White House named a bureau outsider, L. Patrick Gray, then an assistant attorney general, as acting director and then leaned on Gray to become a conduit to keep the White House informed of what the FBI was learning.


Deep Throat Revealed - HISTORY

The Post's Watergate team of Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Ben Bradlee hasn't worked together for a while, but they were definitely out and about and on air today.

Woodward and Bernstein started off their day on MSNBC and Don Imus, according to Tina Gulland, the Post's Director of Television and Radio Projects. Next, they appeared on the Today Show. Then, Good Morning America and at 9 pm, they'll sit down with Larry King Live.

Bradlee took questions on washingtonpost.com is scheduled to appear tonight onHardball with Chris Matthews.

The weekend is still up in the air, Gulland said, although Woodward has said he's through being interviewed for a while.

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments: (13)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 06/ 2/2005

'All the President's' Amazon.com Sales

Jennifer Frey writes in this morning's Post about the money that stands to be made from new book and movie projects related to Deep Throat. But what about the money generated by the relevant-all-over-again "All the President's Men"?

As of this morning, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's book on Watergate ranked No. 5 on Amazon.com's list of top-selling nonfiction books and as the No. 27 seller in books overall. The DVD of the 1976 movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman has also shot up on Amazon's list it now ranks No. 15 overall, one notch above "The Incredibles." Not bad for a DVD that was released in 1997.

In case you're wondering, Warner Bros. already had a special 30th anniversary edition of the DVD slated for release in 2006. A date has not been set, but Ronnee Sass, executive director of publicity and communications for Warner Home Video, confirmed in an e-mail that the revelation of Deep Throat will likely play a role in the disc's extra features. May I suggest a commentary track recorded jointly by the Felt family and Hal Holbrook?

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (5)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 2:39 PM ET, 06/ 1/2005

Traitor or Nobel Prize Winner?

The talk show regulars and assorted big names from the Watergate era have lined up to praise or condemn Mark Felt for his role in the scandal, and there are few surprises so far.

Pat Buchanan, the former presidential candidate and Nixon speechwriter, labeled Felt "sneaky" and "dishonorable" on MSNBC's "Hardball." Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press, suggested to Salon that Felt deserved "an honorary Nobel Prize."

Online observers of the Deep Throat story are also divided. Here are some sample judgments pulled from the washingtonpost.com Message Boards:

-- Lindsay Howerton and Hal Straus

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (35)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 06/ 1/2005

Deep Throat Abroad

The news has gone worldwide, mostly with straightforward coverage of "The Man Behind the Mystery," as The Independent Online in South Africa calls Felt.

In Beijing, the government-controlled China Daily plays up the testimony of former Nixon White House aides who say Felt betrayed them and the law.

The Guardian of London writes that Vanity Fair "outscooped" the Post with "a two-year negotiation process involving 15 editors, a San Francisco lawyer, and a dummy issue of the glossy magazine."

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (8)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 9:39 AM ET, 06/ 1/2005

Follow the Money

Perhaps the most famous piece of advice Deep Throat gave Post reporter Bob Woodward during the Watergate investigation was to "follow the money" to find out who was behind the Watergate break-in.

So, it's not entirely surprising that pundits are asking what role money may have played in the identification of Mark Felt -- and in the financial consequences of yesterday's disclosure for Woodward.

Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara questions the motives of the Felt family in confirming to Vanity Fair's John D. O'Conner that Felt was Deep Throat. She also criticizes Felt's role in approving illegal break-ins as part of the FBI's investigation of the Weather Underground. "Felt's commitment to the Bill of Rights in 1973 was as selective as his family's motives in 2005 are self-serving," writes McNamara.

In O'Conner's Vanity Fair piece, Felt's daughter Joan recalls discussing money with her father. "Bob Woodward's gonna get all the glory for this, but we could make at least enough money to pay some bills, like the debt I've run up for the kids' education," Joan recalls saying. "Let's do it for the family."

Newsday columnist Ellis Henican notes somewhat gleefully that Bob Woodward's income will probably suffer because of his decision not to reveal his source's name. ". a big pile of money just went flying from the legendary reporter's bank account," Henican writes. "No one wants to buy a book from the second guys to tell you who Deep Throat is."

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (13)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 8:26 AM ET, 06/ 1/2005

Redford Weighs In

So, it turns out Robert Redford isn't Bob Woodward after all. He had no idea who Deep Throat was.

Well, some idea. Redford, who played Woodward in the Watergate movie "All the President's Men," told Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell that he suspected Deep Throat was in the FBI. But the actor guessed that Woodward's source was agency director L. Patrick Gray, not Mark Felt.

There's a lot of "revisionism" today from people who say "I always knew it was Felt," Redford added, but said he would not join in.

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (3)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 7:15 AM ET, 06/ 1/2005

More Firsts

Before moving on to today's reactions to the naming of Deep Throat, we offer two more nominations for the coveted "Who Guessed First" award.

The first, submitted by Adam, goes to James Mann for his May, 1992 article in The Atlantic.

Writing 20 years after the Watergate scandal, Mann emphasized that he didn't know who Deep Throat was, but correctly identified the FBI as the place where DT worked. Mann also concluded that Deep Throat "could well have been Mark Felt" and did a fine job delving into the motivations of many key Watergate figures.

Washingtonian Magazine's Jack Limpert also gets a nomination for two 1979 pieces suggesting that Felt had motive and opportunity, and was the most likely suspect. The second article includes a denial by Felt, who Limpert described as "the handsome, engaging, distinguished former associate director of the FBI."

Please feel free to vote or enter your own "Who Guessed First" nominee as a Comment, or simply enlighten us with other bits of Watergate trivia.

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (7)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 8:50 PM ET, 05/31/2005

Haldeman Had It Right

Mark Felt kept most of the country guessing for more than 30 years -- but it's worth noting that former White House chief of staff and Watergate figure H.R. "Bob" Haldeman thought Felt was leaking information to Post reporter Bob Woodward during the height of the Watergate scandal.

What's more, Haldeman told his boss, former president Richard M. Nixon.

Tim Noah at Slate reported in 1999 on the taped conversation that took place in 1972 between Haldeman and Nixon. Noah published this excerpt:

Noah answered questions online earlier today about the confirmation of Deep Throat's identity.

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (13)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 8:36 PM ET, 05/31/2005

Bad Guess

If the Hartford Courant and others got Deep Throat right, many others apparently did not -- among them Adrian Havill.

In his 1993 book "Deep Truth," Havill claimed Deep Throat was a composite of several sources, including Alexander Haig. More recently, in a Feb. 4 letter to Romenesko, Havill changed his mind and wrote that Deep Throat was George H.W. Bush.

"George Herbert Walker Bush, the president's father, is Deep Throat," Havill explained. "Did Bush have motivation? You bet. It was Richard Nixon who urged Bush to leave a safe seat in Congress, hinting there would be a position as assistant Secretary of the Treasury waiting for him if he failed to win a Senate seat held by Ralph Yarborough. When Bush lost, Nixon reneged and asked him to take the U.N. slot instead but teased him by hinting he would be the replacement for Spiro Agnew in 1972. Instead, he was given the thankless task of heading the Republican National Committee in 1973."

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (1)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 8:19 PM ET, 05/31/2005

Motives Abound

After several hours of simply repeating that W. Mark Felt is the source formerly known as Deep Throat, Internet bloggers are beginning to switch into pundit mode -- offering theories as to why Felt confirmed important pieces of the Watergate investigation.

"It was an act of revenge, pure and simple. Felt had a vendetta against the president, and he got back at him by spoon feeding information to Woodward, knowing it would fatally damage Nixon," said Punditguy.

Posted by washingtonpost.com | Permalink | Comments (3)
Other Blogs' Comments: | Technorati

Posted at 7:15 PM ET, 05/31/2005

John Dean's Guess

Deep Throat's identity was a well-kept secret until today, but there have been hints in recent months that the most famous un-named source in American political history was about to be named.

Former White House counsel and Watergate pioneer John Dean wrote in a Feb. 6 commentary that, "We'll all know one day very soon" who Deep Throat is.

But Dean was less accurate in predicting Deep Throat's identity, writing that the Watergate source would turn out to be "one of my former Nixon White House colleagues." Former FBI official W. Mark Felt never worked in the Nixon White House.


Reviews & Commentary

User Reviews

I have list of movies that are must-see movies. There can only be 2 per year.

The "must-see" notion is a combination of best (whatever that means at the time), and most influential. Perhaps if there is a singular advance or adventure, it may qualify.

This surely is one of the most influential movies ever made. It spawned an industry that is larger than movies. That industry literally drove the market for recorded movies and then became the backbone of the web.

It also plays a role — a significant one — in changing attitudes about sex acts, and became a focus for the religious nuts and feminist movement. And there's a side note about the name being used in the greatest political scandal until recent times.

So, surely this has to be on any list of influential movies. But the funny thing is that there is no value in actually watching it. The interaction with it as a movie has no relationship to its importance as a movie.

Rather than recommend watching this, I'd recommend "Inside Deep Throat," except that does a less than stellar job itself.

An amazing thing this: an important film not worth watching.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


'Deep Throat' Revealed as Ex-FBI Official Felt

Woodward had a source in the Executive Branch who had access to information at [the Committee to Reelect the President] as well as at the White House. His identity was unknown to anyone else. He could be contacted only on very important occasions. Woodward had promised he would never identify him or his position to anyone. Further, he had agreed never to quote the man, even as an anonymous source. Their discussions would be only to confirm information that had been obtained elsewhere and to add some perspective.

In newspaper terminology, this meant the discussions were on "deep background." Woodward explained the arrangement to managing editor Howard Simons one day. He had taken to calling the source "my friend," but Simons dubbed him "Deep Throat," the title of a celebrated pornographic movie. The name stuck.

At first Woodward and Deep Throat had talked by telephone, but as the tensions of Watergate increased, Deep Throat's nervousness grew. He didn't want to talk on the telephone, but had said they could meet somewhere on occasion.

Deep Throat didn't want to use the phone even to set up the meetings. He suggested that Woodward open the drapes in his apartment as a signal. Deep Throat could check each day if the drapes were open, the two would meet that night. But Woodward liked to let the sun in at times, and suggested another signal.

When Woodward had an urgent inquiry to make, he would move [a flower pot with a red flag to the rear of his balcony.] During the day, Deep Throat would check to see if the pot had been moved. If it had, he and Woodward would meet at about 2:00 A.M. in a predesignated underground parking garage.

From 'All the President's Men' by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster)

The Washington Post has confirmed that the infamous secret source known as Deep Throat is a former FBI agent. W. Mark Felt, the No. 2 man at the bureau during the contentious Watergate investigations, was revealed as the source in an article in Vanity Fair released Tuesday.

Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had long vowed to keep the source's name a secret until his death. The revelations from Felt fueled the pair's reporting during a tumultuous time that resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974.

The Post 's executive editor at the time, Ben Bradlee, said tonight that Felt's senior position at the FBI meant, "I knew the paper was on the right track."

In an article on the Post Web site, Woodward acknowledged the central role Felt had played. He aided the disclosure of crimes orchestrated by President Nixon's inner circle -- from the break-in at Democratic headquarters to electoral fraud and a conspiracy to cover up their crimes.

California lawyer John D. O'Connor befriended Felt, now 91, and wrote an article for the July issue of Vanity Fair . Felt had previously denied that he had been Woodward's source.

But O'Connor wrote that on several occasions, Felt told him, "I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat."


"Deep Throat" finally revealed

Ending one of Washington's favorite parlor games and eliciting a huge sigh of relief from the many wrongly suspected "Deep Throats," the Washington Post said Tuesday that a former FBI official, W. Mark Felt, was the confidential source who provided the newspaper information that led to President Nixon's impeachment investigation and eventual resignation.

The announcement comes after a Tuesday article in Vanity Fair magazine by Felt's attorney revealed his infamous identity as Deep Throat.

"I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he was quoted as telling lawyer John D. O'Connor, author of the magazine article.

After getting confirmation from the two reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as well as the paper's then-managing editor, the Post made its announcement on its Web site. Earlier, Felt, 91 and living in California, talked to a lawyer who wrote the magazine article for Vanity Fair.

But until Tuesday, Felt had publicly denied being the Post's infamous secret source, the man Woodward and Bernstein would meet in the parking garage for tidbits of information, reports CBS News Correspondent Wyatt Andrews.

"No, no, I am not Deep Throat and the only thing I can say is that I wouldn't be ashamed to be," Felt said in 1979.

Trending News

However, taped conversations between Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, indicate the White House may have known that Felt was the informant.

Felt, the second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s, kept his secret even from his family for almost three decades before confiding he was the Post reporters' source on the Watergate scandal, according to a Vanity Fair article published Tuesday.

"The No. 2 guy from the FBI, that was a pretty good source," said Ben Bradlee, who had been the key editor at the Post in the Watergate era.

"I knew the paper was on the right track" in its investigative stories, Bradlee said, citing the "quality of the source."

Felt, who lives in Santa Rosa, is said to be in poor mental and physical health because of a stroke. His family did not immediately make him available for comment, asking the news media to respect his privacy "in view of his age and health."

Now, he wants "his honor back," O'Connor told CBS Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts.

Woodward, fellow reporter Bernstein, and Bradlee, their former boss at the Post, had long maintained they would never go public with the identity of Deep Throat until after his death. But with the family's confirmation, they decided collectively to go public.

"The family believes that my grandfather, Mark Felt Sr., is a great American hero who went well above and beyond the call of duty at much risk to himself to save his country from a horrible injustice," a family statement read by grandson Nick Jones said. "We all sincerely hope the country will see him this way as well."

But, as Andrews reports, Felt actually spent years feeling ashamed, Vanity Fair's report says. He was old school FBI, and hated when agents leaked to the press. That's why, the family says, he needed convincing.

According to the article, Felt once told his son, Mark Jr., that he did not believe being Deep Throat "was anything to be proud of. . You (should) not leak information to anyone."

His family members thought otherwise, and persuaded him to talk about his role in the Watergate scandal, saying he deserves to receive accolades before his death. His daughter, Joan, argued that he could "make enough money to pay some bills, like the debt I've run up for the children's education."

As the decades-old secret was released, CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod reports that some other Watergate-era officials breathed sighs of relief.

"I'm relieved that I'm no longer on this list of 'most wanted' for Deep Throat," David Gergen, a Nixon speechwriter, said.

The existence of Deep Throat, nicknamed for an X-rated movie of the early 1970s, was revealed in Woodward and Bernstein's best-selling book "All the President's Men."

CBS' Dan Rather says Felt had a huge hand in exposing the Watergate scandal and, hence, bringing down the Nixon White House.

A hit movie starring Robert Redford as Woodward, Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein and Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat was made in 1976. In the film, Holbrook's shadowy, cigarette-smoking character would meet Redford in dark parking garages and provide clues about the scandal.

The movie portrayed the cloak-and-dagger methods that Woodward and Deep Throat were said to have employed. When Woodward wanted a meeting, he would position an empty flowerpot containing a red flag on his apartment balcony. When Deep Throat wanted to meet, the hands of a clock would appear written inside Woodward's New York Times.

The identity of the source has sparked endless speculation over the last three decades. Nixon chief of staff Alexander Haig, White House press aide Diane Sawyer, White House counsel John Dean and speechwriter Pat Buchanan were among those mentioned as possibilities.

Felt himself was mentioned several times over the years as a candidate for Deep Throat, but he regularly denied that he was the source.

"I would have done better," Felt told The Hartford Courant in 1999. "I would have been more effective. Deep Throat didn't exactly bring the White House crashing down, did he?"

Woodward, who had visited with Felt as recently as 1999, refused to confirm or deny, even to the man's family, that Felt was his source, and wondered whether Felt was mentally competent to decide whether to go public after all these years, the magazine reported.

Woodward and Bernstein were the first reporters to link the Nixon White House to the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington's Watergate complex.

Nixon, facing almost-certain impeachment for helping to cover up the break-in, resigned in August 1974. Forty government officials and members of Nixon's re-election committee were convicted on felony charges.

One of them was White House counsel John Dean, who served a sentence of only four months after becoming the chief informant for Watergate investigators.

Dean says the claim that Felt was Deep Throat raises many questions, as he does not believe Felt had access to either the White House or the Committee to Re-elect the President. Dean also says he doubts that Felt, who was in charge of day-to-day operations at the FBI, could have all by himself come up with the information that wound up in Woodward and Bernstein's stories.

In 2003, Woodward and Bernstein reached an agreement to keep their Watergate papers at the University of Texas at Austin. At the time, the pair said documents naming Deep Throat would be kept secure at an undisclosed location in Washington until the source's death.

Felt was convicted in the 1980 of authorizing illegal break-ins at homes of people associated with the radical group The Weather Underground. He was pardoned by President Reagan in 1981.

First published on May 31, 2005 / 12:03 PM

© 2005 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Who Was Deep Throat?

After 36 years as a full-time reporter at the Chicago Tribune, I retired in 1999 to teach journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During that first semester, as the students searched for an investigative project to tackle, I showed them All the President’s Men. This 1976 movie is based on the book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the Post in 1973 for their stories about the political scandal known as Watergate. The film, starring Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein, accurately portrays how investigative reporters comport themselves, ask questions, conduct interviews, even the unobtrusive way they hold a notebook. What most intrigued the students, however, were the secret meetings between the Woodward character and a high-level government official, played by Hal Holbrook, that the book referred to only as Deep Throat. The name echoes a 1972 pornographic movie and plays off the term “deep background,” or information provided to a reporter on the condition that the source be neither identified nor quoted directly.

Deep Throat met with Woodward seven times between September 1972 and May 1973 to help the two reporters break several stories about the involvement of Nixon administration officials in the June 17, 1972, burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office-apartment-hotel complex in Northwest Washington. (The burglars, who were seeking information that could be used against Democrats in the upcoming elections, were indicted later for conspiracy, burglary, wiretapping and planting secret listening devices.)

The Post’s stories, along with those of other newspapers and several rulings by Judge John Sirica, the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the Watergate trials, led to televised hearings in the U.S. Senate about the break-in. From these, a riveted nation learned about an administration coverup of the break-in and a covert White House operation that engaged in burglary and political spying. The hearings were followed by impeachment proceedings by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. But before the full House could vote on whether the president should be impeached, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, and Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in as president. At least 19 high-level officials and other conspirators would plead guilty to or be convicted of various crimes related to Watergate.

Besides adding the suffix "-gate" to our lexicon as an indicator of scandal, and evoking campaign finance reform bills, Watergate resulted in a lasting public distrust of government. It also left one of the century’s most intriguing political mysteries unsolved.

For the past 30 years, guessing the identity of Deep Throat has become something of a parlor game among journalists, pundits and conspiracy theorists. At least three books and scores of articles have delved into the identity of Deep Throat. The list of likely suspects has included former White House aide and current network anchor Diane Sawyer Nixon’s chief of staff, Alexander Haig acting FBI director Patrick Gray and John Sears, one of Nixon’s deputy counsels. At the same time, some have argued that Deep Throat wasn’t one person but a composite of several sources, while others have posited that he was merely a literary invention.

Woodward and Bernstein have both said they will not reveal their secret source’s name until the individual dies, although Woodward did disclose that Deep Throat was a living male. Likewise, Ben Bradlee, executive editor of the Washington Post during the Watergate era, has said he knows Deep Throat’s identity but won’t divulge it. About 75 archival boxes, containing more than 250 notebooks, assorted files, galleys for the book All the President’s Men, and photographs, which the University of Texas bought for $5 million this past April, will be available to the public in the fall of 2004. But documents referring to Deep Throat and other confidential sources will be kept sealed in an undisclosed location until the sources’ deaths.

Why, my students asked, was Deep Throat’s identity still not known after so many years? It was not an easy question to answer. Walt Harrington, a fellow journalism professor at the University of Illinois, once told me he had heard Bradlee say that anyone wanting to learn Deep Throat’s identity should search a computer database for Watergate figures who were actually in Washington at the time of those meetings. To my knowledge, no one had ever done so. Though few organizations would have the resources or motivation to unmask Deep Throat, it seemed a challenging pursuit for my students.

The students read autobiographies of potential suspects and filled a computer spreadsheet with dates, meetings, events and other information. During eight semesters, about 60 undergraduate and graduate students pored over more than 16,000 pages of FBI reports on microfilm in our university library, as well as all the newspaper stories Woodward and Bernstein had written in the first two years of the scandal. From those documents, they concluded that only a member of the FBI or the White House would have had access to the information Deep Throat evidently leaked to Woodward. Later, we concluded that Deep Throat could not be in the FBI after we found a quote in a 1973 Woodward and Bernstein Post story attributed to a "White House" source that was similar in wording to one attributed to Deep Throat in All the President’s Men. In an unpublished early draft of that book, we also read that neither reporter had FBI sources. The admission was later excised, in our view, to protect Deep Throat’s identity.

We obtained the 1972 and 󈨍 White House staff directories, which listed 72 people in high-level jobs of those, 39 were living males. The students then ruled out anyone not working at the White House between September 1972 and May 1973, the period when Deep Throat met with Woodward. Newspaper reports showed that some promising Deep Throat candidates, including Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, were out of the country during the time of those meetings. Because the reporters had written that Deep Throat drank Scotch whisky and smoked, the students also eliminated confirmed teetotalers and nonsmokers.

That left just seven candidates: Patrick Buchanan, speechwriter and special assistant to Nixon and later a newspaper columnist and presidential candidate Stephen Bull, a personal aide to Nixon David Gergen and Raymond Price, both speechwriters Jonathan Rose, attorney for regulatory affairs Gerald Warren, deputy press secretary and Fred Fielding, an attorney and assistant to White House chief legal counsel John Dean.

In June 2002, "Dateline NBC" interviewed the students about our project. The students said the leading candidate was Buchanan. But a month later, one of them, Jessica Heckinger, got a note from him: "Please thank the class for me—for the unanimous vote. It is one of the few primaries I have won, outside of the Reform Party where I won them all. However, you made some mistakes. Buchanan gave up smoking on the China trip (February 󈨌) and Buchanan has no motive." It was not a flat-out denial, but most of the students and I found Buchanan’s remarks persuasive. We struck him from the list.

A few weeks later, we got a break. We were trying to determine who on our shortlist would have had knowledge of the secret slush fund controlled by members of Nixon’s reelection campaign committee. This money bank-rolled the Watergate burglars.

Judith Hoback, a bookkeeper for Nixon’s reelection campaign committee, was the general accountant for the fund. In All the President’s Men, Hoback says that soon after the break-in, she deduced that the money she was disbursing might have something to do with the burglary, so she approached the FBI. She told them that cash disbursements of more than $50,000 apiece were given to committee officials Herbert Porter and Jeb Magruder. In their book, Woodward and Bernstein recalled that Hoback had revealed her suspicions about a slush fund to Woodward in an interview. Before the pair published a story about the secret fund in the Post, they confirmed the information, including the amounts, with Deep Throat.

The breadth of Deep Throat’s information surprised my students. How could he have knowledge of the reelection committee’s secret finances?

The students learned that the FBI had shared some of its findings with the White House counsel, John Dean. We did not consider Dean himself to be a candidate because he had left the White House in April 1973. This led us to Dean’s assistant, Fred Fielding, who was already on our shortlist.

In the fall of 2002, student Thomas Rybarczyk dug up a June 1973 letter from Fielding that noted that Dean had given him a summary of a July 1972 FBI report detailing Hoback’s account of the cash transactions. However, Hoback’s recollections of the disbursements were mistaken she had initially provided the FBI as well as Woodward and Bernstein with incorrect figures. In fact, Magruder had received $20,000, not the $50,000 she remembered. Curiously, though, Deep Throat had confirmed the incorrect figures, which suggests that he gleaned the information from the FBI report given to Dean.

Other clues started pointing us toward Fielding. For instance, Woodward and Bernstein omitted Fielding’s name from stories about the White House counsel’s office. Leaving a key source’s name out of a story is a journalistic commonplace it not only protects sources but prevents rival reporters from learning the identity of a valuable informant.

As far as we could determine, Fielding shared Deep Throat’s taste for cigarettes and whisky. He had access to information that Deep Throat corroborated for Woodward and Bernstein. And as student Robert Breslin found in 2002, Fielding even fit a characterization of the mysterious source that Woodward and Bernstein deleted from that early, unpublished draft of their book. The reporters wrote that Deep Throat was "perhaps the only person in government in a position to possibly understand the whole scheme and not be a potential conspirator himself."

Fielding, who helped Dean run the White House’s law office during the growing Watergate crisis, left the White House before Nixon resigned and returned to private law practice. In 1981, he became chief counsel to President Reagan and served in the White House for another five years before again returning to private practice. Fielding became a member of the Bush-Cheney transition team in 2000. In 2002, he became a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Today, at age 64, he is a senior partner in the law firm Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP in Washington, D.C.

In 1978, Bob Haldeman, Nixon’s first chief of staff, wrote in his book The Ends of Power about his belief that Fielding was Deep Throat and that "only Dean, or his associate, had access from the White House to the CRP [Committee to Re-elect the President], the FBI and the Justice Department during Watergate." Fielding denied the charge at the time. But Woodward has said, as recently as October of this year at a lecture, that "Deep Throat is a source who lied to his family, to his friends and colleagues denying that he had helped us." (Fielding did not respond to Smithsonian magazine’s request for comment.)

When my students contacted Woodward during the first semester of the investigation and asked him if he would talk to us about our investigations of Deep Throat, he declined. When we approached Carl Bernstein to ask him about our final seven suspects, he denounced our project, saying it undermined journalistic principles to reveal the identity of a confidential source.

On April 22 of this year, at a press conference in the Watergate Hotel, I announced that my students and I had deduced that Fred Fielding was indeed Deep Throat. The next day, I got an e-mail from John Dean: "I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that you’re wrong about Fielding."


Watch the video: Ελένη Μενεγάκη και Νατάσα Θεοδωρίδου απαντάνε στις καυτές ερωτήσεις του Δημήτρη Ουγγαρέζου