Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Who Is Mark Felt?

W. Mark Felt was the third highest official in the FBI at the time of Watergate. James Mann, who had worked at the Post at the time of Watergate and was close to the investigation, brought a great deal of evidence together in a 1992 article in Atlantic Monthly that fingered Felt and convinced many. He argued that the information Deep Throat gave Woodward could only have come from FBI files. Felt was also embittered at having been passed over for the Director General position and the FBI in general was hostile to the Nixon administration.

In previous unrelated articles Woodward had made clear he had a highly placed source at the FBI and there is some evidence he was friends with Felt. Felt was Richard Nixon's personal candidate as Deep Throat. Bernstein's son blurted to others that Felt was Deep Throat many years ago. Bernstein's wife at that time, Nora Ephron, tried to explain it away, saying that their son overheard her "speculations."

Woodward has kept in close touch with Felt over the years, even showing up unexpected at his house in 1999, after Felt's dementia began. Some suspected at that time that Woodward might be asking Felt if he could reveal him to be Deep Throat, though Felt, when asked directly by others, has consistently denied being Deep Throat.

(hat tip - Answers.com)

According to this Slate story, Felt had, less than believably, denied that he was Deep Throat before.