felt.jpeg

William Mark Felt was

born one state over, in Twin Falls, and after graduating from the

University of Idaho, found his way into the FBI,

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RIP Deep Throat

felt.jpeg

William Mark Felt was

born one state over, in Twin Falls, and after graduating from the

University of Idaho, found his way into the FBI, and an assignment in Seattle.

But if Mark Felt is remembered around here, it's for the same thing he's remembered around the world - as Deep Throat, the role model of anonymous sources everywhere.

The primary informant for Bob Woodward, who, with Carl Bernstein, undertook the Washington Post Watergate investigation that won their paper the Pulitzer, themselves fame and fortune, and Richard Nixon eternal ignominy, died yesterday in Santa Rosa, Calif. He was 95. 

Felt rose to the FBI's No. 2 position after stops at bureaus in Seattle, New

Orleans, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Kansas City. He is famous for saying something that a screenwriter thought up: Follow the money.

Before he became a folk hero, Felt was convicted of a federal crime, authorizing black-bag break-ins at the homes of Weather Underground members; he was pardoned in 1981 by Ronald Reagan.

His motives to become a source on deep background for Woodward were thought to be classic - a disgruntled employee - after Nixon opted to choose someone other than Felt as successor to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

But Felt maintained that a higher principle was at work. Though he was suffering from dementia, he said (with the help of co-author and San Francisco lawyer John D. O'Connor) in his 2006 tell-all autobiography "A G-Man's Life": " What we [the FBI] needed was a 'Lone Ranger' who could bypass the

administration's hand-picked FBI director and Justice Department

leadership and derail the White House cover-up."

Or as Woodward puts it: "Each time I raised the question with Felt, he had the same answer: 'I have to do this my way.'"

While history is recording all that, by the way, let us reiterate that Watergate was in part orchestrated by Seattle attorneys, and began over dinner at the Benson Hotel in Portland.

 
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