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June 01, 2005

Don't Demonize Deep Throat

I see a lot of conservatives questioning the motives of Deep Throat/Mark Felt.


Yes, the man seems to have mixed motives. So what? I gotta tell ya, re-fighting Watergate does not seem to be a smart move for us.

What Nixon did was pretty bad, even if you assume the best (that he was only involved in trying to cover up for rogue operatives, learning of the break-in after the fact). Worse still was his use of "national security" as an excuse to cover up domestic lawbreaking that would be politically damaging to himself if revealed.

Talk about mixed motives.

It's interesting to learn Felt's motives, but honestly, they don't have much to do with the main story. Most leakers have mixed motives-- as do most human beings, generally.

Knocking Felt for being a fairly normal bureaucrat more concerned with career advancement than with the Fate of the Republic is petty sniping-- what the hell else are bureaucrats worried about?

Attacking the messenger works sometimes (see, Clinton, William J., and Starr, Kenneth), but it sure as hell ain't gonna work here.

Let it go.

Even Nixon said he gave his enemies the dagger with which to stab him and they twisted the blade with relish.

The story is marginally interesting (actually, it's less interesting than the mystery was, but that's almost all true) but there's no percentage in maligning him as some sort of three-bumper-shot to vindicate Nixon.

I have similar feelings about John Dean. I hate John Dean, but I try not to say so, because the implication is that I'd've preferred it if he continued participating in the cover-up. Which really isn't something I'm comfortable admitting.

Hmmmm... Speaking of John Dean, he floated the rumor that Deep Throat was in poor health and that we might soon learn his identity (as W&B famously vowed to never reveal his name until his death).

Maybe a good guess, or maybe he knew something:

Felt, 91, is said to be in poor mental and physical health because of a stroke, and earlier on Tuesday, his family asked the news media to respect his privacy "in view of his age and health."

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posted by Ace at 02:51 PM

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