Woodward & Bernstein Confirm: Felt Was ‘Deep Throat’

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By: Greg Mitchell

The Washington Post late this afternoon confirmed that W. Mark Felt, the former FBI official, was legendary Watergate source “Deep Throat.”

Following half a day of speculation set off by a report in the July issue of Vanity Fair, the final word came from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate story, and their former top editor, Benjamin C. Bradlee.

Woodward said he is writing an article for Thursday’s Post that will provide a personal account.

In a statement, Woodward and Bernstein said, “W. Mark Felt was ‘Deep Throat’ and helped us immeasurably in our Watergate coverage. However, as the record shows, many other sources and officials assisted us and other reporters for the hundreds of stories that were written in The Washington Post about Watergate.”
They had kept the identity of Deep Throat secret at the source’s request, saying his name would be revealed upon his death.

“We’ve kept that secret because we keep our word,” Woodward said.

Bradlee told the Post today, “The thing that stuns me is that the goddamn secret has lasted this long.” He said he had never met Felt and wouldn’t know him if he fell over him. He only learned his identify just after Nixon’s resignation.

According to the newspaper, “Woodward said Felt helped The Post at a time of tense relations between the White House and much of the FBI hierarchy. He said the Watergate break-in came shortly after the death of legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Felt’s mentor, and that Felt and other bureau officials wanted to see an FBI veteran promoted to succeed Hoover.

“Felt himself had hopes that he would be the next FBI director, but Nixon instead appointed an administration insider, assistant attorney general L. Patrick Gray, to the post.”

Bradlee, in an interview this afternoon, told the Post that knowing Deep Throat was a high-ranking FBI official “helped him feel confident about the information that the paper was publishing about Watergate.” He called someone in that position “a pretty good source…I knew the paper was on the right track.”

Felt has been picked as a possible candidate by many over the years, including Nixon.

In October 1972, a month after the first suggestions that the Watergate burglars were part of a wider conspiracy, “Nixon threatened to take action against the FBI, mentioning Felt’s name in conversations with H.R. Haldeman, one of his closest aides,” the Los Angeles Times pointed out this evening.

“Nixon asked whether Felt was Catholic. Haldeman told him he was Jewish. ‘It could be the Jewish thing. I don’t know. It’s always a possibility,’ Nixon wondered aloud.”

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