Copyright © 2005 Henrietta W. Hay
Deep Throat Revealed
June 10, 2005
The identification of Deep Throat has almost knocked the Michael Jackson trial off he front pages, for which we may be thankful. I suspect only a handful of people know the actual facts, but it has sent the talk shows into overdrive, and sent most columnists to the computer. And it has aroused some serious political questions.
One personal thing I know for sure. I owe the Nixon administration a debt of gratitude. As my friends know and never let me forget, I started life as a Republican. The Nixon years, with their corruption and graft and secrecy made a Democrat and a political junkie out of me.
Unless you live in a cave -- or weren't born yet -- you know the rough outline of the events which brought President Nixon down in 1974. On June 17, 1972 burglars broke into the Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate Compound and stole secret documents.
Mark Felt, 91, otherwise known as Deep Throat, was at that time the assistant director of the FBI. He gave highly damaging classified FBI. documents concerning the Nixon administration to two reporters with the Washington Post.
Was he a hero Was he a crook?
He knew the details of the extensive corruption in the White House, and that the Nixon Administration was successfully covering it up. He knew that if he did nothing, the information would probably never see the light of day. He realized that this was a major crisis in the political system, in democracy itself, and that it had to be stopped somewhere. He defied his boss, broke the rules and risked his job and possibly his life, and called his friend, Bob Woodward of the Washington Post. He set up the famous private meeting in a parking garage with Woodward and Carl Bernstein, also of the Post.
On the other side of the story, Pat Buchanan, who worked in the Nixon White House, is especially angry at Mr. Felt. He believes that he was a traitor, as he illegally disclosed classified FBI files. He added in an interview with the New York Times that Mr. Felt was a snake
Was Felt a hero or was he a traitor?
I took an informal poll (very informal) among my friends, asking that question. I suspect the possibility of error would run about 50%, but it was interesting. Those I asked the first day almost unanimously said "Hero." The second day most of them said, "Well, probably a little of both."
Either way, the word "hero" is not quite accurate. I would change it to patriotic citizen He realized that it had to be done for the protection of the U. S. and he had the knowledge and the courage to do it.
He did set a major example in whistle blowing. In 2003 Time Magazine chose as Women of the Year three women who ad become famous as whistle blowers. One was in the FBI and two were in big industry. They all suffered professionally and personally. They paid the price because they did not have anonymity.
Although we are taught as kids not to "tattle" there are times when disclosure is essential .and the right thing to do. Felt knew that thirty years ago.
But the question remains. Is Mark Felt a patriot or was he a traitor?
I say he was a true patriot. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!