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Deep Throat no hero — yet

What others say

Posted: Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The left's rush to lionize former FBI official Mark Felt after he stepped from the shadows this week and outed himself as the Watergate era's Deep Throat is at once predictable and pathetic.

Predictable in that his betrayal of his office helped bring down a Republican president. Pathetic because, for that betrayal, the left now is panting to brand him a hero.

Whatever else he might be, Felt is no hero.

He and others in the FBI believed the White House was using the CIA in an attempt to block the agency's investigation of what had been called a third-rate burglary at the Democrats' offices in the Watergate Hotel.

As second-in-command of the FBI — he had been passed over by President Richard Nixon for the agency's top post — Felt began meeting in darkened garages with Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to pass information about the White House's actions. ''Follow the money,'' he supposedly told them.

Finally, in the face of a possible impeachment spurred by the roiling scandal, Nixon resigned in 1975.

Despite the Nixon White House's obstruction of justice and other illegal acts, Felt was not innocent. He turned his back on his responsibilities, his position and his public trust as a senior FBI official.

Aside from waiting until now to reveal his Watergate role — and lying about it over the years — you have to wonder why Felt did not choose another, more appropriate and honorable way to make the information public if he felt it necessary. Why not, for instance, simply go public and resign? That would have been heroic by most measures. Any reasonable person must wonder why, if he did not feel ashamed of what he had done, he kept his actions secret for more than three decades.

His long-delayed admission is no real surprise for some. Scandal buffs casting about for Deep Throat over the years have suspected a small group of people who had access to the information passed to the Post, and Felt was on the short list. But his identity was jealously guarded by Woodward, Bernstein and editor Ben Bradlee, the only three who knew who he was.

Perhaps it is no surprise — and somehow fitting — that, in the end, Felt betrayed them as well, taking his story to the magazine ''Vanity Fair,'' scooping the Post on its largest Watergate story yet.

The left unabashedly is busy trying to portray Felt as a man who saved the nation, who somehow risked it all by hiding in the shadows. But it is clear that he is nothing more than a 91-year-old guy who betrayed his trust when he could have done the honorable thing and now, after all these years and perhaps at the behest of his family, is looking for a payday.

Books and movies soon in stores and theaters near you.

Ka-ching!

— Voice of the Times,

June 3



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