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Tuesday, May 31, 2005


WORST-KEPT OPEN SECRET IN WASHINGTON: WASHINGTON POST CONFIRMS THAT W. MARK FELT WAS 'DEEP THROAT' 

Washington Post Confirms Felt Was 'Deep Throat'



The official revelation of W. Mark Felt as "Deep Throat" is not earth-shattering news. Speculation of Deep Throat's identity has been a cottage industry since the Watergate scandal enveloped Washington, D.C. Many writers have speculated over the years that Felt was the notorious source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Check out this article from Slate Magazine in 2002,

Why Did Bob Woodward Lunch With Mark Felt in 1999?
Was it to ask if he could unmask Deep Throat?
By Timothy Noah
Posted Thursday, May 2, 2002, at 7:29 PM PT

As Chatterbox noted yesterday, the best guess going about the identity of Deep Throat, Bob Woodward's crucial but anonymous Watergate informer, has long been W. Mark Felt, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
[...]
James Mann, [...] published the definitive Deep Throat piece 10 years ago in the Atlantic.


James Mann focuses on Deep Throat being from the FBI according to a timeline and contemporaneous conversations he had with Woodward. The article is entitled, "Deep Throat: An Institutional Analysis". Mann said that the FBI was miffed that the White House was instituting changes in the agency on the heels of the death of long-time director, J. Edgar Hoover. Mann even prominently places and quotes W. Mark Felt in the article. It is Mann's assertion that someone from the FBI had all the relevant information and knew all what was going on in the Watergate investigation.

SOUR GRAPES?

Mr. Felt hoped to be named FBI director when Hoover passed away. The Washington Post reported, "Felt himself had hopes that he would be the next FBI director, but Nixon instead appointed an administration insider, assistant attorney general L. Patrick Gray, to the post."

James Mann was on the mark when he speculated it may have been Felt, and also focused on the fact that Felt could barely hide his disappointment for not being chosen by President Nixon to lead the FBI. Mann did go on to surmise on other possibilities, however.

He could well have been Mark Felt, who admitted that he harbored ambitions to be the FBI director -- not only at the time of Hoover's death but also in the spring of 1973, when Gray's nomination as permanent director failed to win confirmation and Nixon named William Ruckelshaus acting director. Felt was known in Washington as a person willing to talk to the press. He has denied that he was Deep Throat. "I never leaked information to Woodward and Bernstein or to anyone else!" he wrote in his 1979 book. Felt retired from the FBI in 1973, not long after Ruckelshaus's appointment.

THE INTREPID SUMMER CAMP REPORTER

Perhaps the best indication that W. Mark Felt was Deep Throat came from a 19 year old who found out the true identity at, of all places, a summer camp when he was a child. According to Slate's Timothy Noah, "Felt had just been the subject of a flurry of stories about Chase Culeman-Beckman, a 19-year-old from Port Chester, N.Y., who'd revealed to the Hartford Courant that Bernstein's son, Jacob, 11 years earlier had blurted out at summer camp that Deep Throat was W. Mark Felt. Carl Bernstein and his ex-wife, Nora Ephron, quickly stepped in to explain that Bernstein had never told his wife or son Deep Throat's identity and that Ephron had just always guessed it to be Felt."

EVEN NIXON KNEW IT WAS FELT

Who better to pin the Deep Throat tag than President Nixon himself? Here is what Timoth Noah had to say in 1999...

Deep Throat: The Game Is Afoot
Timothy Noah
Posted Thursday, July 29, 1999, at 1:42 PM PT

Reporter David Daley of the Hartford Courant has found W. Mark Felt, the former FBI associate director believed by the late Richard Nixon and various other people to have been Deep Throat.
[...]
Daley's story, which was picked up by the Associated Press and MSNBC, broke the news that a 19-year-old from Port Chester, N.Y., named Chase Culeman-Beckman claims to have been told by Carl Bernstein's son Jacob that Deep Throat was ... Mark Felt. Culeman-Beckman says that 11 years ago he attended Hampton Day School Camp in Bridgehampton, Long Island with Carl Bernstein's sons, Jacob and Max, and that Jacob was the one who told him. According to Daley, Culeman-Beckman "said the young Bernstein told him the information came straight from his dad," who of course is one of the three people known to be party to the secret. (The other two are Bob Woodward and Ben Bradlee.)

Chatterbox, who is increasingly drawn to the hypothesis that Deep Throat was indeed Felt, finds much to like in this story.



DEEP THROAT, DEEP-SIXED

So, there you have it. It's, yawn, W. Mark Felt. It turns out that Geraldo's foray into Al Capone's vault held more intrigue, imagine that.

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