Deep Throat Revealed
By Patrick Mondout
May 31, 2005
After more than 30 years of speculation, the identity of Deep
Throat - the source Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and
Carl Bernstein used to bring down a corrupt president - has finally been
revealed. It is none other than W. Mark Felt of Santa Rosa, California.
Felt was second in command at the FBI and had long been suspected as Deep
Throat though by no means was he the prime suspect.
The 91 year old Felt was finally convinced by his children to come
forward after they learned his secret by accident. An article in today's Vanity
Fair outlines the story and I would encourage all who have followed
the story to read it here.
A number of suspected "deep throats" were revealed by
journalists, historians, and even Watergate insiders. Of those, W. Mark
Felt was a fairly obscure choice and few really believed it. Leonard
Garment's 2000 book suggested it was Republican strategist John Sears. He went
ballistic when Woodward and Bernstein denied it, thereby hurting sales
of his book. John Dean's more recent book promised to reveal the name but
only suggested one of five candidates (Nixon speech writer Pat Buchanan; a
special assistant to Nixon named Raymond Price; Steven Bull, who was an
assistant to Nixon's appointment secretary Dwight Chapin; Nixon's press
secretary Ron Ziegler; and Ziegler's assistant, Jerry Warren.) You can
read more about such speculation on our Deep
One person who did believe that it was Felt - at least initially - was
Richard Nixon himself. In the Watergate tapes, he is told by H.R. Haldeman
that it was Felt who was doing the leaking. Nixon exclaims, "I'll
fire the whole Goddamn Bureau!" Nixon, who also believed their was a
Jewish conspiracy against him, then asked Haldeman, "Is he a
Catholic?" Haldeman erroneously reported that Felt was a Jew. Nixon
asked incredulously, "Christ, put a Jew in there?" Feeding on
Nixon's anti-Semitic views, Haldeman responds, "Well, that could
explain it, too."1
Nixon aide and apologist Monica Crowley, wrote today that "...Mark
Felt’s name did come up repeatedly while we were talking, but never in a
serious context in terms of Felt being “The Source.”" She went on
to write "Nixon always had a hard time understanding “The
Source’s” motivation - why someone would be this disloyal to the
president and leak the story to the Washington Post reporters."
Actually, it was not hard to understand Felt's loyalty to his country nor
Nixon's loyalty to himself nor Crowley's loyalty to her former boss and
friend. Crowley has written two
books composed of quotes from her friend and mentor on a wide range of
topics. She says she wrote them down in secret and that Nixon wasn't her
Ronald Kessler - another former Washington Post reporter - revealed in
his 2002 book The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI:
"Other (FBI) agents were convinced that Mark Felt was Deep
Throat." Kessler is best known today for his attempts to rehabilitate
George Bush Jr.'s image through his writings.
Felt himself said in his 1979 book The
FBI Pyramid from the Inside, "I never leaked information to
Woodward and Bernstein or to anyone else!" Woodward and Bernstein
have said all along that they would not reveal the information until their
source had died. According to the Vanity Fair article by John D. O'Connor,
Felt was concerned about what other would think of his leaking information
to the press and was even concerned about prosecution!2
Felt had been passed over as director of the FBI by Nixon when the
notorious J. Edgar Hoover died and this may well have been his motivation
- at least initially. But in an era with so few genuine heroes, he will no
doubt be called an American hero for his courageous actions in the
Who Got It Right?
Of all the books to name a Deep Throat, none actually said that Mr.
Feld was indeed that individual. However, Hartford Courant reporter
David Daley posted a story on July 28, 1999 reporting that Chase
Culeman-Beckman, a childhood acquaintance of Carl Berstein's son, Jacob,
revealed that the younger Bernstein told him back in 1988 - when they were
pre-teens - that Deep Throat was Felt: "I'm 100 percent sure that
Deep Throat was Mark Felt."
The usual denials were issued with Carl Bernstein stating, "Bob
and I have been wise enough never to tell our wives, and we've certainly
never told our children." He further speculated that Nora Ephron, his
ex-wife, must have speculated that it was Felt and that his son must have
heard this. Jacob told the New York Post in its July 29, 1999 edition,
"At no point did my father Carl Bernstein or Bob Woodward reveal the
identity of Deep Throat." It is possible he was telling the truth; he
might well have read one of his father's private writings, but it is
fairly obvious that his son knew.
That Woodward visited Felt only weeks later led others to believe there
must be something to the story.
1 Haldeman himself later
wrote that he believe Fred Fielding, the then-Deputy White House
Consul to John Dean, was Deep Throat.
2 Don't be shocked of Trent Lott calls for such action. He was one of the
few congressmen against impeachment in 1974.