Deep Throat dies; Update: Why Felt’s no hero

posted at 10:20 am on December 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s ground-breaking investigation into presidential wrongdoing died yesterday at his home in Santa Rosa at the age of 95.  W. Mark Felt, passed over for promotion at the FBI in the wake of J. Edgar Hoover’s death, leaked information about operations in the White House that eventually led to the resignation of Richard Nixon and a generation of fallout from the Watergate scandal:

W. Mark Felt, the former FBI official who ended one of the United States’ most intriguing political mysteries when he identified himself as “Deep Throat” — the nickname for the anonymous source who helped guide The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the Watergate scandal — has died. He was 95.

A controversial figure who was later convicted of authorizing illegal activities in pursuit of members of the radical Weather Underground, Felt died of heart failure Thursday at his home in Santa Rosa, Calif., his grandson Rob Jones said.

Felt was deputy associate director of the FBI in 1972 when he began supplying information to Bob Woodward, who with Carl Bernstein made up The Post’s investigative duo who doggedly pursued the story of the Watergate break-in and a conspiracy that led directly to President Richard M. Nixon, who ultimately resigned. …

His disclosure in a Vanity Fair article by his family’s lawyer, John D. O’Connor, provoked a national debate: Was he a hero who should be lauded for sparing the country the strain of further high crimes and misdemeanors by the Nixon White House? Or was he a traitor who betrayed not only his president but his oath of office by disclosing grand jury information and the contents of FBI files?

For those who wondered why Bill Ayers didn’t serve a day in prison for his domestic terrorism, W. Mark Felt is the answer to your question.

In my estimation, Felt was neither hero nor traitor.  He didn’t disclose the information to Woodward and Bernstein from a noble calling to Truth and Justice.  After Hoover died in May 1972, everyone in his inner circle assumed that each of them would succeed him as Director.  Nixon had no intention of perpetuating Hoover’s corrupt influence, however, and appointed L. Patrick Gray to the position while having Felt handle the actual operation of the Bureau.  Felt considered that a betrayal, and struck back by undermining Nixon.

But that doesn’t make Nixon innocent, either.  Felt knew that Nixon had skeletons in his closet and made sure they got exposed.  In truth, most whistleblowers don’t act entirely out of a sense of self-sacrifice, and Felt was no exception.  And as in the case of many whistleblowers, the information was accurate and the offenses were serious.  Nixon needed to go, and Felt played a major role in sending him packing.

The sad fact is that sweet and innocent little old ladies almost never get close enough to corruption to expose it.  Usually, we find out about abuses of power from people like Tony Rezko.  Felt’s connections to Hoover and his own abuses of power simply put him in a position to get the goods on people higher up the chain.  That makes him neither a complete hero or total villain, but merely someone who made some history through the complicated nature of his own life.

Update: Why don’t I consider Felt a hero for revealing the dark underside of the Nixon White House, a necessary step to stop massive abuses of power?  Here’s why.  Felt had other options than skulking around DC parking garages to leak information to Washington Post reporters.  He was the #2 man in the FBI.  Why not start an investigation of the wrongdoing?  If not that, Felt could have contacted Congress to alert them to Nixon’s activities (Congress was thoroughly dominated by Democrats who would have welcomed the gift), or simpy gone public with the information to force an investigation at the FBI or Congress if he couldn’t get either to act.

Instead, Felt took the cheap route and kept his hands clean among the same people he despised.  People seem to forget that we do have channels for whistleblowers that don’t go through the editorial offices of the Washington Post and New York Times.


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He has the blood of many Khmer, Viets, and Laotians on his hands and I am glad he is dead and saddened it did not happen earlier in my life.

Go to Hell DeepThroat.

sven10077 on December 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM

W. Mark Felt couldn’t have been Deep Throat. That code name, “Deep Throat”, was a catch-all for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s speculative investigation. Even if W. Mark Felt provided some of the information credited to “Deep Throat” it is quite clear there were other sources including the imagination of Woodward and the serial liar Bernstein.

DANEgerus on December 19, 2008 at 10:26 AM

A controversial figure who was later convicted of authorizing illegal activities in pursuit of members of the radical Weather Underground…

Let’s all remember the double standard in America. Those same illegal activities were used to bust up the KKK, but nobody is complaining about that and nobody lost their job or went to jail over it. But use those tactics against leftists progessives and you’ve got yourself a problem.

Kafir on December 19, 2008 at 10:27 AM

We learned nothing from the Nixon fiasco. The Clintons makes Nixon look like a shoplifter. But …they’re democrats

Bevan on December 19, 2008 at 10:34 AM

As I see it, Felt betrayed his high position at the FBI. A huge betrayal of the public trust. You gather information with the authority and power of a law enforcement authority, the FBI, and then you leak it to newspapers. That’s highly criminal. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and the ends don’t justify the means.

Paul-Cincy on December 19, 2008 at 10:35 AM

In my estimation, Felt was neither hero nor traitor.

I’ve got to disagree slightly. He was a disgruntled federal employee who went to a (then and once again) second-rate paper with dirt on higher-ups. He was a traitor because all the illegal stuff he knew about would have been okay if he had gotten the promotion he felt had been denied him. When the litmus test for a public official is “what’s in it for me” treason has occurred. Felt isn’t a traitor on the Benedict Arnold or Sandy Berger level but a traitor nonetheless.

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 10:38 AM

What Nixon did was illegal and stupid. He wouldn’t have been brought to justice without this. Felt is a hero in my book.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Dead rat.

JammieWearingFool on December 19, 2008 at 10:41 AM

Felt was probably the one most responsible for letting Dohrn and Ayers off the legal hook too, by searching Weatherman residences without a warrant, and thus making what he collected (evidence of conspiracy) inadmissible in court.

RBMN on December 19, 2008 at 10:42 AM

sven10077 on December 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM

I have never killed a man but have read many an obituary with great pleasure- Clarence Darrow

To me, Felt falls into this category. Ed is too soft on crime when he suggests that there were mitigating circumstances to Felt’s treason.

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 10:42 AM

When I was in the A.f., in the U.K., me and some of the other guys when out drinkin’ at the pub. This one guy could down a whole pint in one gulp. I said “Damn, you got a big mouth.” He said “No, I got a deep throat.” His eyes widened as soon as he realized what he just said. Everybody busted up laughing and ‘Deep Throat’ became his nickname! haha

Tony737 on December 19, 2008 at 10:43 AM

Felt is a hero in my book.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Bad book. The Clintons are guilty of far more serious crimes than Nixon and they have yet to be brought to justice. Obama is friends with cop-killing terrorists who got off the hook by Felt’s illegal actions. Felt is a traitor and you, like Obama, are the terrorists best friend. Go to Hell friend.

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 10:45 AM

An egotistical self serving traitor to his nation. I don’t wish death on too many people but I am pleased to see him depart this planet and become worm food.

grdred944 on December 19, 2008 at 10:49 AM

sven10077 on December 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Dittos

Wade on December 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

grdred944 on December 19, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Wasn’t the whole reason why he finally came forward was so his family could cash in on his treason?

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

passed over for promotion at the FBI in the wake of J. Edgar Hoover’s death,

THAT was the reason for Felt spilling his guts. Blind hatred of Richard Nixon and a desire for revenge. There was nothing noble about Felt. I agree with “highhopes”, if Felt had gotten Hoover’s job, the world would never had known a thing. Self-serving traitor. Good riddance.

oldleprechaun on December 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

Oh. come on, highhopes. You’re living in a delusion.

What proof do you have of any of your allegations about Clintons who have been investigated multiple times?

And I’ll be happy to go outside and settle things with fists if you ever call me a traitor or a terrorist again. Let me know when and where. I’m in Texas.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

So, does this mean we have Felt to thank for Obama getting elected POTUS? If he did his job in the first place and busted the Weather Underground by the book, there would be no Ayers and therefore no Obama. Probably not. But, it was fun to ponder it.

Smooth Rooster on December 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM

What Nixon did was illegal and stupid.

He wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last.

He wouldn’t have been brought to justice without this.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Nixon wasn’t “brought to justice.” He resigned. Your comment implies that he was impeached or faced other criminal charges after leaving office. None of that happened.

eanax on December 19, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Hero’s don’t hide anonymously.

Wade on December 19, 2008 at 10:54 AM

I was wondering whether Throat would be there to greet John Dean and hand him pitchfork or the other way around. Now we know who got there first.

viking01 on December 19, 2008 at 10:54 AM

I think Felt was a traitor.

jonezee on December 19, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Since no one will go for the obvious horrible pun, I guess it’s left to me…

Deep throat goes down. RIP, you rat.

austinnelly on December 19, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Nixon was going to be successfully impeached. That’s what the GOP Senators told Nixon. And that’s why he resigned the next day. Ford pardoned him as, in effect, a condition for that resignation.

Justice in my book.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Justice in my book.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:55 AM

In your book, but not in a court of law. Funny how that works…

eanax on December 19, 2008 at 10:56 AM

It’s history now.

Best thing to do is to leave Watergate to historians who will write the definite books of the whole scandal… fifty years from now.

newton on December 19, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Good. Now Felt is rotting in hell palling around w/ Pol Pot.

He was a traitor who aided and abetted Dohrn and Ayers.
Next.

PimFortuynsGhost on December 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM

It’s funny how some here are showing a double standard to Nixon. Just admit he was corrupt and move on, why sit here and spin everything.

justinok on December 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM

I hope God judges harshly this man. He allowed murderers to go free, and murderers to reign in SE Asia.

Tim Burton on December 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Good riddance.

t.ferg on December 19, 2008 at 11:02 AM

Wade on December 19, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Tell that to anyone who’s dared to snitch on a mobster.

Dark-Star on December 19, 2008 at 11:13 AM

And I’ll be happy to go outside and settle things with fists if you ever call me a traitor or a terrorist again. Let me know when and where. I’m in Texas.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

How brave.

hillbillyjim on December 19, 2008 at 11:13 AM

No one takes the logical road in this:
Watergate provided the hammer for the left to wield on Nixon for his anti-communist stance in the 1950′s that hit a bunch of lefties.
Nixon being crippled by Watergate gave the radical left the means to deny funds to the military to re-enter Vietnam as the NVA had invaded the South in direct violation of the Paris Peace Treaty. That treaty required us to go back into Vietnam. South Vietnam fell and people died, Pol Pot killed another 2,000,000.
And the left, lead by Mr. Swimmer of the Year Ted Kennedy, said “NO” to the funds and millions died.
There is a direct link to this now dead a**h*le and millions of dead in Asia.
Hero- absolutely not!!

Amendment X on December 19, 2008 at 11:15 AM

I think people better remember that, in the end, even though there were NO heroes in this saga (not even Felt), the only one to blame for all of it was Richard Milhous Nixon.

He brought it upon himself. He was a crook, even though he denied it at first. But eventually, he saw the error of his ways, just as he knew his presidency was finished. Remember his words upon his last speech, before he boarded that helicopter out of the White House for the last time:

“Always remember, others may hate you- but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”

That’s it. All the other bad things that happened later on can be traced to the fact that he was so blinded by his own hate that he did not see the dangers ahead for the nation and the world.

newton on December 19, 2008 at 11:20 AM

People seem to forget that we do have channels for whistleblowers that don’t go through the editorial offices of the Washington Post and New York Times.

Ed,

Felt couldn’t reveal what he knew by feigning an internal investigation because what he knew he got from illegally wiretapping Nixon’s phones at Key Biscayne.

Sure, he could present all of the evidence he had to a court. But, when the judge asks him how he got it, he could only incriminate himself.

Anonymity and the parking garage was the only avenue available to him.

Tuning Spork on December 19, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Amendment X on December 19, 2008 at 11:15 AM

You’re using critical thinking and root cause analysis in support of your country. Leftists don’t care about their country just their party. While jim_m may not be a trator he is an idiot if he actually believes just one half of the things he posts here.

thomasaur on December 19, 2008 at 11:24 AM

trator=traitor

thomasaur on December 19, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Support Felt if you’d like to be tried in the pages of the NY Times or Wash Post.

Paul-Cincy on December 19, 2008 at 11:27 AM

While jim_m may not be a trator he is an idiot if he actually believes just one half of the things he posts here.

thomasaur on December 19, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Careful, thomasaur. Billy Badass will call you out if you’re not careful. OOOoooooo.

hillbillyjim on December 19, 2008 at 11:29 AM

Let’s start with the real root cause:

Nixon’s insecurities, even while winning significantly in public opinion, caused the original Watergate break-in.

Nixon then lied to the public about his knowledge of the break in and the subsequent coverup.

Nixon’s ego required that he tape his conversations for posterity.

Nixon then partially cooperated with an investigation and then fired (I think) the Attorney General on a Saturday night when things did not go as planned.

Amendment X, the real root cause was Nixon’s lie and subsequent cover-up.

And I do believe what I write here.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 11:30 AM

That’s okay, hillbillyjim. I’d tell you I’d go out and fight you as well, but I’d feel bad about knocking out the last two teeth you have.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Well, he was probably a better human being than John Dean…

jon1979 on December 19, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Had this dirt bag truly acted in the best interests of the nation he would have publically presented his complaints to the congress or the courts. Instead, he spilled his guts to a reporter that offered him anonymity and covered up his gutless behavior. Good riddance to the bum.

rplat on December 19, 2008 at 11:37 AM

So what’s the difference between Felt and Linda Tripp? Let’s ask Katie Couric and Chris Matthews.

perroviejo on December 19, 2008 at 11:41 AM

Watergate provided the hammer for the left to wield on Nixon for his anti-communist stance in the 1950’s that hit a bunch of lefties.
Amendment X on December 19, 2008 at 11:15 AM

That was the only point of the exercise. Watergate was the high (or low) point of the liberal media’s grip on American propaganda. It’s hard to imagine today, but they managed to cover that trial on every TV channel nearly every broadcast hour. Not 24/7, because stations weren’t on all day back then, but it usurped ALL almost all other programming for WEEKS.

Of course, thanks to the most successful public indoctrination in American history, everyone “knows” that Richard Nixon is The Most Evil Man Who Ever Lived, because we’ve all heard it, literally, thousands of times now. But how many people can summarize what, exactly, Nixon actually DID that was so incredibly terrible?

What Nixon did was exactly the exact same thing that every Presidential candidate always does: ask an investigator to dig up dirt on the opposition – and don’t tell me how you got it.

But as incredibly idiotic as the Watergate “scandal” was in the first place, it pales to insignificance in light of the liberal hypocrisy since then. The same people who attack Nixon most rabidly for conducting a standard political campaign also self-righteously defend Bill Clinton’s oval office orgies and solicitations of donations from the Communist Chinese on the grounds that “everyone does it.”

logis on December 19, 2008 at 11:42 AM

Felt was a traitor. Good riddance.

BTW, what makes anyone think the Weathermen are dormant?

faraway on December 19, 2008 at 11:45 AM

That’s okay, hillbillyjim. I’d tell you I’d go out and fight you as well, but I’d feel bad about knocking out the last two teeth you have.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Shows how much you know. I’ve got three teeth, thank you very much.

Bigot.

hillbillyjim on December 19, 2008 at 11:48 AM

He was the #2 man in the FBI. Why not start an investigation of the wrongdoing?

Felt was a coward.
I actually believe much worse things ‘happened’ in the White House during Clinton admin than Nixon ever dreamed.
10 years ago Clinton was impeached and it was the moment when all integrity left Washington, perhaps for ever. Dems have done nothing but try to get revenge ever since while destroying our nation from the inside, buying us into socialism. No B Hussein has free reign with a bunch of MAD (both definitions) vindictive pricks running ramrod for him.

shooter on December 19, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Shows how much you know. I’ve got three teeth, thank you very much.

Bigot.

hillbillyjim on December 19, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Come on hillbillyjim,
You know that only us dentally challenged, rednecked, con-servarives can be bigots. Leftists can’t be bigots because they have all of their supporters categorized.

thomasaur on December 19, 2008 at 11:52 AM

People seem to forget that we do have channels for whistleblowers that don’t go through the editorial offices of the Washington Post and New York Times.

You’re saying it is better for the government to investigate itself than to be investigated by the people it is supposed to serve?

Would the outcome have been different? Probably. Would it have delivered more justice? No way. No way in Hades.

We the people have the right to transparency from our government. Reporting this to the FBI would have resulted in a cover-up and no real punishments doled out to anybody.

Business as usual isn’t the best course of action!

angelat0763 on December 19, 2008 at 11:56 AM

A disgruntled criminal ratting on other criminals. Sometimes there are villians only and no heros.

LevStrauss on December 19, 2008 at 11:58 AM

But thank Zeus they rat each other out.

LevStrauss on December 19, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee always said that they would reveal Deep Throat’s identity when he died.

So, had his daughter not outed him a few years ago (with his consent), today would have been the day we learned the identity of Mr. Folow the Money.

YYZ on December 19, 2008 at 12:13 PM

He has the blood of many Khmer, Viets, and Laotians on his hands and I am glad he is dead and saddened it did not happen earlier in my life.

Go to Hell DeepThroat.

sven10077 on December 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Dittos, Yes he has.

Texyank on December 19, 2008 at 12:15 PM

sven10077 on December 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Amen! Don’t forget that this whole stunt created the concept in public perception of the “crusading reporter”. Wonder why most Journo students want to “change” the world rather than “report” it? Look no further.

TBinSTL on December 19, 2008 at 12:18 PM

In what way was Felt a “traitor”? Nixon resigned. In the case of the WU, he was incompetent. So I assume there must be something else to which everyone is referring.

[I'm an ignorant Canadian]

gh on December 19, 2008 at 12:24 PM

And I’ll be happy to go outside and settle things with fists if you ever call me a traitor or a terrorist again. Let me know when and where. I’m in Texas.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

You are a traitor and terrorist supporter. That’s the only way to explain your lauding the actions of an individual like Felt. The man betrayed his public duties by not coming forward in a public manner and exposing the corruption of which he had implicit knowledge because he was part of it. Had Nixon given him the FBI job he thought was his due, the man would have remained silent and Woodward and Bernstein would have remained the second-rate journalists they were and are. That isn’t the kind of person to admire even if the second-order effects took out a Republican president (which I suspect is the only thing that matters to somebody like you).

With the Clintons and Obama, it isn’t about single blatant events but a pattern of unethical, immoral, and legally questionable actions. The Clinton administration is far more corrupt than the Nixon administration as measured by the number of top-level officials that were indicted and/or served jail time. Ron Brown’s and Vince Foster’s “convenient” deaths helped hide the corruption of the Clintons. It’s the truth- deal with it.

Obama is going to go down as the most corrupt administration in modern times and I say that with the utmost confidence even before the filthy politician even takes office.

So you terrorist-loving traitor, I’m in Michigan if you want to do something about me calling it as I see it when somebody admires the actions of a man like Felt.

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 12:26 PM

gh on December 19, 2008 at 12:24 PM

Public official, second in charge of the FBI, responsible for executing some of the illegal acts that were exposed, leaking stuff to the Washington Post instead of going to the Attorney General. You don’t see why the man can be considered a traitor? He betrayed the public trust inherent in the high-level job he held.

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Nixon did nothing that many other Presidents had not done before, and some like Kennedy, to obscene excess, which was lie in furtherance of political objectives. But Felt’s treachery gave the liberal media the chance to take down a Republican president they hated by inventing a new standard, one which of course has never been applied by them to Democrats. If you want to put your finger on who enabled the media to began taking over this country, Felt is your man. And remember, he was not promoted by Nixon in order to curtail the influence of JE Hoover. Think about that, Nixon-haters.

I hope Mark Felt will not have to wait overly long to be reunited with his fellow scumballs.

drunyan8315 on December 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Here’s one debt of gratitude to Felt. By outing himself, we are spared next year of another righteous tome by Bob Woodward revealing Deep Throat’s true identity.

Mallard T. Drake on December 19, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Do the statistics report the death as a male or female?

This is no man. A man would have gone public boldly and courageously.

This girl hid behind the skirts of the Washington Post.

They can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

jeff_from_mpls on December 19, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Nixon was, in fact, a crook. Felt was a traitor in the sense that Sammy Gravano was a traitor, no more.

factoid on December 19, 2008 at 1:09 PM

This god-forsaken country is so screwed due to its swallowing a quasi-religious mythology.

* JFK = foreshadowing of the Messiah
* JFK = not killed by a communist, but by republicans
* JFK = wanted marxism because my college teacher said so
* LBJ = no credit for civil rights because he’s not JFK
* Caroline Kennedy = senator because she’s JFK’s child
* Nixon = evil because JFK was killed by republicans.

Get the picture?

These retarded bastards are trying to recreate a fantasy, and they’re going to get us all killed.

jeff_from_mpls on December 19, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Nixon was, in fact, a crook. Felt was a traitor in the sense that Sammy Gravano was a traitor, no more.

factoid on December 19, 2008 at 1:09 PM

hey factard, I notice clowns like you lost all interest in law abiding presidents after Nixon — the Clinton white house had 1000 FBI files while Chuck Colson did prison time for 2

get off your high horse before he throws you off, factard.

jeff_from_mpls on December 19, 2008 at 1:15 PM

It’s funny how some here are showing a double standard to Nixon. Just admit he was corrupt and move on, why sit here and spin everything.

justinok on December 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM

He was corrupt, but far from the only one. He was impeached not for a crime, but for covering up a crime. He did show enough class to resign rather than to tough out the impeachment, which puts him ahead of Clinton.

He definitely would have been impeached, but I’m not at all sure he would have been removed from office.

Apparently, for all that we pride ourselves in not being like corrupt banana republics, we had a lot of corruption going on in government. Anyone who thinks it only happened in Republican administrations is delusional or a journalist. But I repeat myself.

At any rate, Nixon, for all his faults, never stabbed an ally in the back like the Democratic Congress did to South Vietnam after he was gone. That was a much bigger disgrace than the petty-by-comparison stuff that Nixon was impeached for.

tom on December 19, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Are you closer to Kalamazoo or Detroit, Highhopes. I just left Michigan and do get back there from time to time.

Let me know and we’ll pick a bar to fight at.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Hey, that’s a beautiful coffin lining…it must be Felt.

James on December 19, 2008 at 1:25 PM

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Oh! You’ll have to come much further north than that to find me though K-zoo is closer than the cesspool of Detroit.

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 1:30 PM

But Felt’s treachery gave the liberal media the chance to take down a Republican president they hated by inventing a new standard, one which of course has never been applied by them to Democrats.

drunyan8315 on December 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Maybe it was a new standard then. Sure has gotten old now.

tom on December 19, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Anonymity and the parking garage was the only avenue available to him.

Tuning Spork on December 19, 2008 at 11:24 AM

…Nixon was a monster to the left…he still is, even in death. His crimes were petty, and his attempt to cover them lent weight to them, but in the end he was far less a villain than was Bill Clinton…and those who might’ve leaked against Clinton — those who may have done so and survived — will be forever painted as rats, as historians have ceased to be historians and have become, by and large, sold-out polemicists.

…even if what Mr. Felts had done was in a noble cause, it was done ignobly, as Ed mentions above….

…he was a bitter, disappointed civil servant taking revenge…his “outing” was, as someone mentioned above, nothing more than an attempt to rehabilitate him and to cash in on his dubious celebrity….

…in the end, Mr. Felts wounded America as deeply as Mr. Nixon did…and, while Mr. Nixon was trying to save his administration, Mr. Felts was trying to get even…you decide who was the more repulsive of the two….

…he deserves neither praise nor censure…he deserves, rather, to be a factoid in the greater drama of Watergate, and no more…a story in which there were NO good guys….

…he’s passed before judgment by now…speculating on its outcome, or wishing it to be one thing or another, is wishing to pollute perfect justice with human agenda…let’s all be satisfied that he’s out of our misery….

Puritan1648 on December 19, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Here’s one debt of gratitude to Felt. By outing himself, we are spared next year of another righteous tome by Bob Woodward revealing Deep Throat’s true identity.

Mallard T. Drake on December 19, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Don’t you remember his reason for outing himself in 2005? He wanted to cash in on the book deal himself. I don’t know how that worked out for him but I am certain that it won’t stop Woodward from penning yet another self-righeous publication filled with whatever political agenda is most popular at the time.

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Hey jim m, remember those 93 Attorney Generals Clinton fired, some of whom were building case files against the Clinton’s? Or the missile technology sold to the Chinese, check out the donations list for the Clinton library too by the way. You’re just another useful idiot traitor apologizing for another traitor.

celtnik on December 19, 2008 at 1:35 PM

How to remember Felt?

No thanks, he’s already done enough damage to this country. See: your analysis of why Bill Ayers is allowed to teach young people and gave “gravitas” to Blowhard Woodward and IntheRightPlaceatRightTimewithnotalent Bernstein…

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 1:39 PM

highhopes on December 19, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Public official, second in charge of the FBI, responsible for executing some of the illegal acts that were exposed, leaking stuff to the Washington Post instead of going to the Attorney General. You don’t see why the man can be considered a traitor? He betrayed the public trust inherent in the high-level job he held.

I don’t equate “be considered a traitor” with “betray the public trust”. Thanks for the clarification.

gh on December 19, 2008 at 1:40 PM

And I’ll be happy to go outside and settle things with fists if you ever call me a traitor or a terrorist again. Let me know when and where. I’m in Texas.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM

Uh Oh, HighHopes; I bet you are shaking in your shoes. LOL

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 1:48 PM

This god-forsaken country is so screwed due to its swallowing a quasi-religious mythology.

* JFK = foreshadowing of the Messiah
* JFK = not killed by a communist, but by republicans
* JFK = wanted marxism because my college teacher said so…

jeff_from_mpls on December 19, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Oliver Stone’s JFK movie was even more psychotic than most of his movies, but I thought one line stood out. There’s only one question that really matters: “Who stood to gain the most?”

Stone’s theory about this being a conspiracy among organized crime, Fidel Castro, something called “The Military Industrial Complex,” etc., was just a tiny bit hard to swallow. As near as I could tell, Stone himself was the only person in the whole world left out of the conspiracy (and I got the impression he still harbored some lingering suspicions.)

But history speaks for itself. LBJ and the ultra-leftist wing of the Democrat Party parlayed the death of the second-most conservative President in the past century into the greatest power grab in American history.

logis on December 19, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Amendment X on December 19, 2008 at 11:15 AM

BRAVO!

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 1:56 PM

So some dick weed is “disappointed” that he was not promoted? So what does he do? He curls up under his desk, sucks his thumb for awhile (being the obvious victim that he is) and then decides to rat out his President and his Nation! To hell with any loyalty oaths that he took!

If this is your idea of a hero, you are seriously lacking in your sad miserable little life! True heroes are sullied and insulted with the comparison to this little coward of a man!

sabbott on December 19, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Felt was a traitor in the sense that Sammy Gravano was a traitor, no more.

factoid on December 19, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Sammy the Bull wasn’t a traitor…he was a rat….

…yup…the parallel is more accurate…for Felt, betraying his country was an afterthought….

Puritan1648 on December 19, 2008 at 1:57 PM

What America really needed was a Deep Throat in the Clinton White House. If Clinton had pulled a scheme exactly like Watergate, he would have gotten away with it. He got away with enough as it is.

whitetop on December 19, 2008 at 1:57 PM

What America really needed was a Deep Throat in the Clinton White House. If Clinton had pulled a scheme exactly like Watergate, he would have gotten away with it. He got away with enough as it is.

whitetop on December 19, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Are you serious or is this just a softball waiting for someone to hit out of the park…or…have you never heard of Monica?

sabbott on December 19, 2008 at 2:01 PM

Before we get too upset about Mr. Felt screwing up the prosecution of Bill Ayers, consider the circumstances. Felt was charged, convicted and later pardoned by Pres. Reagan for ordering illegal searches of the homes of relatives and friends of Weathermen. In taking responsibility for his actions he said

To not take action against these peples and kinow of a bombing in advance would simbly be to stick your fingers in your ears and ptotect your ear drums when the explosion went off, and then start the investigation.

Sounds not unlike situations we face today — “warrantless wiretaps” or use of “waterboarding” to stop terrorist plots before they unfold, or walking the straight and narrow, letting them kill people and then cleaning up the mess using the criminal justice system.

Ayers may have walked free, but innocent people didn’t die in the crimes he was stopped from committing.

BillyRuffn on December 19, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Hey jim m, remember those 93 Attorney Generals Clinton fired, some of whom were building case files against the Clinton’s?

–Every attorney general serves at the whim of the President. Remember how Bush replaced several for political reasons during his term? And Obama will have the same rights, which is why people have talked about how the Blago investigation will affect Fitzgerald.

——————————

You conservatives to my mind have a clearly depraved set of morals. It was an impeachable offense for Clinton to have lied about Monica in office, yet it was heroic for Nixon to have targeted his political opponents and lied about it to the world and under oath? Talk about scum……

And it was Felt’s doing the same thing that Nixon did–illegal breakins–that “blew” Ayers’ conviction. It wasn’t Watergate itself.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Oh! You’ll have to come much further north than that to find me though K-zoo is closer than the cesspool of Detroit.

–Nah. I think it’s still a crime in Michigan to pick on the handicapped.

jim m on December 19, 2008 at 2:22 PM

That’s it. All the other bad things that happened later on can be traced to the fact that he was so blinded by his own hate that he did not see the dangers ahead for the nation and the world.

newton on December 19, 2008 at 11:20 AM

Are you talking a about RMN or BHO?

I mean BHO has surrounded himself by that mentality of hate; [uh, hum, "Chicago 8" of the 1968 Convention Misanthropes at best; mentally unstable poseurs at best - History? Anyone? Anyone?] people consumed by their own hate for “____” (fill-in blank) and couple that with his disdain for only one of his own ethnicities and surrounds himself with pro-abortion proponents {history (see: Margaret Sanger – proponent to “clean the American blood of “negro and semitic blood” – “eyebrows raise”) and application (see: Hitleran “egotistical good speaker who thought he was The Secular Savior of the World“).

Plus, was does it come off that everyone around BHO is perennially pi**ed off at anything and everything?

It’s kind of crying “wolf” rather than righting true wrongs, imho.

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Who is Mark Felt?

Vince on December 19, 2008 at 2:26 PM

hey factard, I notice clowns like you lost all interest in law abiding presidents after Nixon
jeff_from_mpls on December 19, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Not at all, my friend, I am totally interested in crimes committed by post-Nixon presidents. Like that guy who sold arms to Iran and then used the proceeds to foment civil war in Nicaragua, after Congress expressly forbade doing so. He claimed he was too stupid to notice anything, and some of his men took the blame for him.

John Poindexter, Reagan’s national security advisor, guilty of five criminal counts involving conspiracy to mislead Congress, obstructing congressional inquiries, lying to lawmakers, used “high national security” to mask deceit and wrong-doing…

Richard Secord pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to Congress over Iran-Contra. Appointed by William Casey to assist Oliver North.

Elliott Abrams was appointed by President Reagan in 1985 to head the State Department’s Latin American Bureau. He was closely linked with ex-White House aide Lt. Col. Oliver North’s covert movement to aid the Contras. Working for North, Abrams coordinated inter-agency support for the contras and helped solicit illegal funding from foreign powers as well as domestic contributors. Abrams agreed to cooperate with Iran-Contra investigators and pled guilty to two charges reduced to misdemeanors. He was sentenced in 1991 to two years probation and 100 hours of community service but was pardoned by President George Bush.

Robert C. McFarlane, Reagan’s National Security Advisor, pled guilty to four misdemeanors and was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service. He was also fined $20,000. He received a blanket pardon from President George Bush.

Alan D. Fiers was the Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Central American Task Force. Fiers pled guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information from congress about Oliver North’s activities and the diversion of Iran arms sale money to aid the Contras. He was sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. Alan Fiers received a blanket pardon for his crimes from President Bush.

Thomas G. Clines: convicted of four counts of tax-related offenses for failing to report income from the operations.

Carl R. Channel – Office of Public Diplomacy , partner in International Business- first person convicted in the Iran/Contra scandal, pleaded guilty of one count of defrauding the United States

11. Richard R. Miller – Partner with Oliver North in IBC, a Office of Public Diplomacy front group, convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Clair George was Chief of the CIA’s Division of Covert Operations under President Reagan. George was convicted of lying to two congressional committees in 1986. George faced a maximum five year federal prison sentence and a $20,000 fine for each of the two convictions. Jurors cleared George of five other charges including two counts of lying to a federal grand jury. Clair George received a blanket pardon for his crimes from President George Bush.

Rita Lavelle was indicted, tried and convicted of lying to Congress and served three months of a six-month prison sentence.

Oliver North – He was indicted on sixteen felony counts and on May 4, 1989, he was convicted of three: accepting an illegal gratuity, aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents (by his secretary, Fawn Hall, on his instructions). He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on July 5, 1989, to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours community service. His conviction was later overturned.

factoid on December 19, 2008 at 2:33 PM

TO TUNING SPORK FROM JUSTINOK:

YOU TUNING SPORK People seem to forget that we do have channels for whistleblowers that don’t go through the editorial offices of the Washington Post and New York Times.
Ed,
Felt couldn’t reveal what he knew by feigning an internal investigation because what he knew he got from illegally wiretapping Nixon’s phones at Key Biscayne.
Sure, he could present all of the evidence he had to a court. But, when the judge asks him how he got it, he could only incriminate himself.
Anonymity and the parking garage was the only avenue available to him
Tuning Spork on December 19, 2008 at 11:24 AM.

SEE BOLD EMPHASIS BELOW;
TUNING FORK I FIXED IT FOR YOU, DUDE.

It’s funny how some here are showing a double standard to Nixon FELT. Just admit he was corrupt and move on, why sit here and spin everything.

justinok on December 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM


FROM JUSTNOK

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Reporting this to the FBI would have resulted in a cover-up and no real punishments doled out to anybody.

Business as usual isn’t the best course of action!

angelat0763 on December 19, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Wow, you have some good inside sources! Do you know anything about Rahm and Blago? Or is that “business as usual” I am totally confused.

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 2:46 PM

factoid on December 19, 2008 at 2:33 PM

…I see…you’ve a keen interest in presidential criminality….

…so long as the subject in focus is of the “correct” party….

…adultery is, after all, a private matter…and who doesn’t lie about adultery….

Puritan1648 on December 19, 2008 at 2:51 PM

factoid on December 19, 2008 at 2:33 PM

All of those that you named are Heros to FREEDOM. You may not like the methods that they used but screw you!!!! Have fun at the Che party.

thomasaur on December 19, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Shabbott Shalom:

What America really needed was a Deep Throat in the Clinton White House. If Clinton had pulled a scheme exactly like Watergate, he would have gotten away with it. He got away with enough as it is.

whitetop on December 19, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Are you serious or is this just a softball waiting for someone to hit out of the park…or…have you never heard of Monica?

sabbott on December 19, 2008 at 2:01 PM

Mazel Tov

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Ayers may have walked free, but innocent people didn’t die in the crimes he was stopped from committing.

BillyRuffn on December 19, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Um, you might want to try and lay the kool-aid cough syrup. Just a suggestion

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 3:05 PM

factoid on December 19, 2008 at 2:33 PM

You must just be the life of any party.

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Branch Rickey on December 19, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Thanks, B.R. :)

Tuning Spork on December 19, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Who is Mark Felt?

Vince on December 19, 2008 at 2:26 PM

The question that will never be answered in a public school. As far as High School US history is concerned – the time period from Kennedy’s death to Carter’s Presidency is characterized as a disgraceful blotch. Vietnam, recession, rise of the commies, and of course Watergate, is all Nixon’s fault. Ironic isn’t it, Felt’s actions cause Ayers to go free to do the most effective bombing – bombing the minds of public school children.

batterup on December 19, 2008 at 4:43 PM

Watergate was lefto payback for Hiss. They tried to get Nixon in 1952 claiming a “slush” fund which was really a perfectly legal fund and they were crushed by his Checkers Speech. But they never let up.

Nixon got the last laugh. Turns out Soviet Documents proved Hiss was a commie. Nixon also eliminated the draft and the leftos haven’t been able to put together a decent protest since.

Done That on December 19, 2008 at 5:02 PM

Felt sounds like an unprincipled crybaby; you know, a Dem.

ex-Democrat on December 19, 2008 at 8:23 PM

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