Deeply Felt

James P. Pinkerton in his Newsday column puts Deep Throat in perspective, noting this among other things about Watergate:

As an impressionable teen back then, I remember the chairman of the Watergate investigating committee, Sen. Sam Ervin (D-N.C.), declaring that the scandal was "the greatest tragedy this country has ever suffered, [worse than] the Civil War."

At the time, I took those words to heart, mostly because there was no voice in the media to simply laugh out loud in derisive response. Watergate was worse than the death of 600,000 people in the War Between the States? Worse than the Depression? Worse than any number of disasters, epidemics, lynchings and assassinations? Please.

As for W. Mark Felt, the #2 FBI man now self-exposed as Deep Throat,

he's a strange kind of hero. In 1980, he was convicted of ordering FBI agents to burgle the homes of political dissidents. Isn't that kind of close to what Nixon's men were guilty of? And after decades of denial, at 91, now he comes forward - or at least his daughter does, on the stroke-ridden old man's behalf. As she explained to Vanity Fair, "Bob Woodward's gonna get all the glory for this, but we could make at least enough money to pay some bills."

And Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher, telling of his “secret life with W. Mark Felt,” notes that Felt is a man who “truly knew a thing or two about illegal break-ins,” thanks to his heading up FBI’s “notorious COINTELPRO domestic spying-and-burglary campaign” about the time he was giving good stuff to Woodward and Bernstein.


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