LOUISE CHU from the Associated Press writes about Mark Felt (a.k.a. Deep Throat) a former number two man at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) turned secret informant in a case that toppled President Nixon Administration in the 1970s has passed away at the age of 95. She reports about Felt:
Critics, including those who went to prison for the Watergate scandal, called him a traitor for betraying the commander in chief. Supporters hailed him as a hero for blowing the whistle on a corrupt administration trying to cover up attempts to sabotage opponents.
Felt grappled with his place in history, arguing with his children over whether to reveal his identity or to take his secret to the grave, O’Connor said. He agonized about what revealing his identity would do to his reputation. Would he be seen as a turncoat or a man of honor?
“People will debate for a long time whether I did the right thing by helping Woodward,” Felt wrote in his 2006 memoir, “A G-Man’s Life: The FBI, `Deep Throat’ and the Struggle for Honor in Washington.” “The bottom line is that we did get the whole truth out, and isn’t that what the FBI is supposed to do?”
The revelation capped a Washington whodunnit that spanned more than three decades and seven presidents. It was the biggest mystery of Watergate, the subject of the best-selling book and hit movie “All the President’s Men,” which inspired a generation of college students to pursue journalism.
In the movie, the enduring image of Deep Throat — a name borrowed from a 1972 porn movie — is of a testy, chain-smoking Hal Holbrook telling Woodward, played by Robert Redford, to “follow the money.”
In a memoir published in April 2006, Felt said he saw himself as a “Lone Ranger” who could help derail a White House cover-up.
Felt wrote that he was upset by the slow pace of the FBI investigation into the Watergate break-in and believed the press could pressure the administration to cooperate.
In this day and age, many do not believe that the press is even interested in addressing issues of importance in a meaningful way. The default is the common citizen.
“From the start, it was clear that senior administration officials were up to their necks in this mess, and that they would stop at nothing to sabotage our investigation,” Felt wrote in his memoir.
There is something fundamentally wrong with our culture and institutions when individuals fear persecution for seeking and revealing the truth. When loyalty and allegiance becomes more important than Justice. Who benefits when good people remain silent while the corrupt run around without a worry in the world? The corrupt are the first to jump up to stifle any attempt to bring about transparency. How do national abuses of power, corruption and lack of accountability translate locally? Many recent events clearly point that this country is ready for good people to make a stand. Fear should not be the driving force in our decision making process.