Water Under The Bridge Gate
Postscript: Three years after this article was first written, on May 31, 2005, W. Mark Felt, the number two man at the FBI, acknowledged that he was the Woodward source, Deep Throat. At 91, Felt did not talk to the press about his role in the Watergate story. His family called him a heroic patriot. Nixon insiders called him a disloyal individual who was motivated to get Nixon for not appointing him Director of FBI after Hoover died. Felt retired from the FBI in 1973. Afterward, he repeatedly denied that he was Deep Throat when confronted by reporters or authors investigating the mysterious source which lead to the fall of President Nixon. Woodward confirmed that Felt was his source. Nixon insiders and Watergate researchers are puzzled by Felt revelation, as it now opens up more questions than answers in how Felt could possibly have confirmed White House conversations and events in which he was not present or no documents had come into existence at the time the original Post stories were published. This opens the next era of speculative collaboration: what was Felt's alleged source material he relied upon to confirm key facts for Woodward?
Anniversaries are supposed to be retrospective good times. In the case of the anniversary of the Watergate-President Nixon journalism chapter, there has been a rush of new speculation on the identity of the famous unnamed source of the scandal, Deep Throat.
A University of Illinois journalism school project pinned the label of DT on Republican Presidential wannabe commentator Pat Buchannan as the most probable person. Buchannan denies it.
John Dean, Nixon's White House counsel, who's testimony sank the Nixon ship, was to allege in an e-book his current view of the DT identity, presumably an FBI deputy director or agent. The credibility of the piece also diminished when all his suspects vehemently denied that they were the infamous source.
So the mystery that shrouds journalism finest hour remains secret. Woodward and Bernstein ran the gauntlet of cable news stations like media princes, smug to their answers about who this person is. The great release of the identity of Deep Throat will be upon his death, Woodward said. How convenient.
The U of I study probed the likely sources for all Woodward and Bernstein's material, including their book, All the President's Men. It took in account Woodward's statement at face value that the source was an older male, smoker and scotch drinker with executive branch knowledge of the story.
But why take the reporters at face value? If they were protecting their source because he feared he would never work again or worse, then why have any clues in their chronicles at all?
The problem with a mystery holding water for thirty years is that human nature does not allow such a secret to remain secret.
The starting point is a few critical questions: who talked to the press? who wanted change in the White House but was rebuffed by the conspirators? who squealed? who was at the nexus of the White House and Justice Department? and who had the most to gain from Nixon's downfall?
It has never been denied that Deep Throat could have been a named source in press accounts. There were several White House aides whose testimony before Congress or grand jury opened the door to conspiracy unraveling: Alexander Butterfield's statements that Oval Office discussions were taped; Maurice Stans statements about campaign money going to the burglars; Martha Mitchell trying to speak to a reporter but cut off by her husband and James McCord.
The major clues of the All The President's Men story was DT's cues: follow the (campaign) money; follow the trail to the White House; forget what civics lessons you learned about honorable men in powerful places. Woodward and Bernstein sourced much of their DT information by some accounts as from FBI reports and Justice files that had seen. The reporters also claim that their mysterious source was an Executive Branch player. One would reasonably assume that the same source had access to FBI and Department of Justice materials. Not many people would have such access unless their job was to funnel information between the President, Justice and/or the Nixon Campaign.
Besides the Justice and FBI overlap, it is clued that the source knew Nixon taped his conversations, and that there were gaps in the tapes covering up sensitive matters. Again, not many people had access to the tapes or knowledge of what the tapes contained prior to the Butterfield bombshell.
The Roads of Power, between the Justice Department-FBI and the Nixon Campaign, ran through really two principals: John Mitchell and H.R. Haldeman. Mitchell was Nixon's attorney general and head of his re-election campaign (CREEP). Haldeman's duties was to run the White House operations and during the campaign, CREEP staff reported to him.
Mitchell and Haldeman would have had access to FBI reports and campaign strategy. Mitchell was up to his eyes in bad deeds, and Haldeman acknowledged near the end that he would probably take the fall for the cover-up. However, both men were more concerned with protecting their president, and figuring out ways to stop the story from growing to be Nixon traitors.
On Haldeman's staff, he had three aides: Larry Higby, Gordon Strachan and Bruce Kehrli. Other staffers who reported to Haldeman included Dwight Chapin and Stephen Bull.
After Mitchell resigned as attorney general, Kleindienst replaced him.
In Haldeman's campaign files, there is noted that the attorney general met with Magruder on 3/27/71. On 3/28/71 and 4/4/71, Haldeman met with Mitchell. Also in the file index,Kalambach campaign poll file, under George Wallace, Chapman's Friends Reports. From January to November, 1972, Haldeman had numerous memos with Chapin during the campaign.
In Higby's file index, there is a news summary docket item on John Dean, and Dean IRS file. Why would Haldeman's staff keep a file on Dean, unless he had raised some attention or mistrust.
It would seem that during the Nixon campaign years, multiple parties were collecting odd information beyond their normal duties.
Who had access to Nixon to know all his secrets? From April, 1971 to June, 1972, the following persons were taped by Nixon in the Oval Office: Henry Kissinger, Rosemary Woods, Secretary of State William Rogers, Charles Colson, OMB Director Charles Schultz, speechwriters Pat Buchannan and William Safire, Bebe Rebozo, Alexander Haig, Treasury Secretary John Connally, aides Alexander Butterfield and Peter Flanigan, Senator Dole (RNC Chairman), Vice President Agnew, CIA Director Richard Helms, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird, OMB Deputy Director Casper Weinberger, CIA Deputy Director Vernon Walters, press secretary Ron Ziegler, Haldeman and Mitchell.
On April 14, 1973, the Nixon tapes contain information that John Ehrlichman knew the entire history of Operation Sandwedge, the CREEP intelligence operation, and that Mitchell and Jeb Magruder had prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in. It was discussed the legal exposure of Dean, Haldeman and Chapin. It was noted that there was pressure from Kleindienst to appoint a special prosecutor. There is also mention of the involvement of Strachan and Colson; possible perjury, cover-up money for the Watergate defendants, and exposure of the White House staff.
On April 16, 1973, it is discussed Dean's resignation letter; whether Dean has any information against Ehrlichman; and Kleindienst's request for a special prosecutor. It is mentioned that the White House staff knew about the break-in; and Dean failed to write down his reports. Kalmbach and LaRue's role and Segretti's dirty tricks operation was noted.
On April 17, 1973, White House staff knew of the payments to Watergate figures. Dean's testimony was discussed; his breach of confidentiality; Mitchell's culpability. Possible blackmail from Watergate defendants demanding money for silence. There is a note that someone needs to listen to the tapes. Richard Moore's fear of legal exposure also noted in the tapes.
On April 25, 1973, the tapes indicate that the Tapes had been listened to; that Haldeman, Erlichman, Mitchell and Dean have probably obstructed justice. There are also mentions of other behavior: Fielding break-in in California, planned break-in at Brookings Institute, LaRue and Pappas's role. Strachan and Haldeman had received bugging information. It was discussed possibility of $1 million to defendants. Kalmbach's testimony was discussed; his conversations with U.S. Attorney Earl Seibert; Dean contemplating immunity.
From the Washington Post's own website, it states conclusively that Deep Throat was a man would encouraged Woodward and Bernstein to follow the money trail, but only would confirm or deny reports from other sources. DT had access to information from the White House, Justice, FBI and Campaign Committee. What he knew represented an aggregate of hard information flowing in and out of many stations. The site names the most cited suspects as Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, CIA officials Cord Meyer and William F. Colby, and FBI officials L. Patrick Gray, W. Mark Felt, Charles Bates and Robert Kunkel.
It would hard to believe that the Post would list the true identity of Deep Throat on its website. Other sleuths have listed numerous other people: Alexander Haig, Diane Sawyer, Leonard Garment, William Casey, Asst. A.G. Henry Peterson, Fred Fielding, Richard Helms, John Ehrlichman, and Sen. Robert Bennett.
The U of I students list was different: it named speechwriters Pat Buchannan, Ray Price and David Gergen, attorney Jonathan Rose, special assistant Stephen Bull, Dean assistant Fred Fielding, and deputy press secretary Gerald Warren. The study concludes that these individuals were in place at key moments, and had no staff so they were insulated from giving order (or leaving a paper trail). They denied that they were the DT source for Woodward.
The key evidence presented in the study for each person was different. For Buchannan, it was that he was a local, close to Woodward's apartment, and met regularly with Nixon's attorneys. For Gergen, it was similar backgrounds of Yale and the Navy. Rose also went to Yale, and had access to the information according to Haldeman. Bull listened to Nixon's tapes before they were transcribed. Fielding picked up FBI reports for Dean according to Felt; and helped cleaned out Hunt's safe with Gray. Warren got a favorable work up in the book, All the President's Men.
In a lecture at Stanford, Woodward alluded to the fact that he once went to the White House to see a Ziegler deputy to get comment on new information on the Watergate story.
For the White House insiders with knowledge, Haldeman thought Fielding was DT. Dean thought in his latest ebook that Rose was the source, but threatened with a suit, backed off and gave a list of Buchannan, Bull, Price and press secretary Ziegler. Prior to that story, it was thought it was Alexander Haig. Leonard Garment, Nixon's attorney, said it was Ehrlichman assistant John Sears. Everyone denies the accusation that he is the mysterious Woodward source.
One has to use human nature and common sense at some point. Deep Throat is portrayed as an Executive branch source, knowledgeable with information from the White House, FBI and the Nixon reelection campaign. The best evidence of who Deep Throat was would have to come from the key Woodward and Bernstein Post stories. September, 1972 story on campaign funds to the burglars, the sources were identified as government prosecutors and several reliable sources. In October, 1972, the source material on the dirty tricks of CREEP were from FBI and Department of Justice files and federal investigators. In the story about the GOP Mitchell secret intelligence fund, the sources were stated as "law enforcement and staff of CREEP."
One can assume that the identification of the primary story sources was not Deep Throat, since it has been alleged that DT would only confirm information provided to him by Woodward.
It has been disclosed that Hugh Sloan was once a trusted, unnamed source for several of the Post's Watergate stories. However, he is not mentioned as a possible Deep Throat candidate. He thought DT was Buchannan.
Which individual was at the crossroads of information-knowledge from the campaign, campaign finances, White House staff, FBI and Justice investigations and knowledge of the full story before it was pieced together and reported? Who were the possible Executive gatekeepers with knowledge or access to all this information? John Mitchell wore two hats at the critical times. He was attorney general and chairman of CREEP. He was involved in the campaign, the cover-up and his department was handling the investigation. John Dean had the responsibility of having all the information from FBI investigations, testimony and Watergate files funneled to him. H.R. Haldeman was the liaison between the White House and the campaign.
Mitchell is an enigma. He was on the front lines of all the activities, but was harsh in his stonewalling the story. He is on record blasting the Post and its reporters for asking the questions. The only person that kept him in check was his wife, Martha, who was a political gadfly in Washington social circles. It was alleged that she was once on the telephone attempting to spill the beans on the entire Watergate story to a reporter, but was sedated by Mitchell and McCord.
In a June, 1973 story, one source with first hand knowledge of what Dean was going to testify to was the basis of what Dean's damning testimony would be about before the Senate and grand jury. However, there could only be one source with first hand knowledge of what Dean would be testifying in the future, and that would be Dean himself. It was probable that Dean was the source of that story, as a trial balloon to leverage an immunity deal with prosecutors or the White House. He would have had knowledge and access to documents which were the basis of many Woodward and Bernstein stories. He did not go down with the White House ship; he implicated the President in the cover-up. And he has made a career out of trying to point out who Deep Throat is, but to no avail. Dean claims that people misconceive that DT had vast knowledge of Watergate. In fact, he knew little, and only provided crumbs to the investigation and much of it was dead wrong. That would rule out FBI investigators, and persons like Gray or Felt who were involved indirectly in the cover-up by feeding files and information to Dean. The U of I study also concluded that it was unlikely that DT was part of the FBI.
Haldeman wrote that he believed in the end that he would be the fall guy for the whole scandal. He was the nexus inside the oval office to all things relevant to the scandal. However, he was a loyal soldier to the end, and his personal files are replete with empty file folders where incriminating memoranda may have been stored.
It is hard to imagine that Deep Throat would implicate himself in the scandal. There is a deep human nature of self preservation. Unless there was a stronger motivation. The stylized encounters of Woodward in the parking garage, have the dime store novel quality to them. In the spy novel world, who would create such a setting? E. Howard Hunt would be a possible person. Remember, he was attempting to blackmail the White House early on about the cover-up. He could have used his position to seek checkbook journalism since the White House was not giving him enough cash to keep quiet. He was involved in the dirty tricks campaign from the beginning in 1969. He could have known where the bodies were buried. However, after the break-in, his access to the White House and physical file memoranda is doubtful.
There are two final, critical hints that Woodward has said about DT. First, that he was helpful to him on the Wallace shooting investigation. Second, he was a man in the Executive branch with knowledge of the campaign, FBI files and investigations, i.e. a trusted advisor, but who would be beyond reproach, i.e. not traceable as or being a scandal conspirator. In a secondary draft of manuscript of the book, All the President's Men, Woodward and Bernstein deleted the passage: Significantly, he was perhaps the only person in government in a position to possibly understand the whole scheme and not be a potential conspirator himself. The U of I study concluded it had to be a speechwriter or press relations person. So Deep Throat had to be someone in the know but who was invisible. Who could be that fly on the wall?
The problem with the Wallace shooting source inference is that The Washington Post's lead story on the incident was not written by Woodward or Bernstein, but by William Greider. If the source provided background information while at the Nixon White House, is there any information to connect these two puzzle pieces.
It is well known that Nixon's friend Bebe Rebozo had access to the president. He is listed on various Nixon tapes on conversations on various subjects. He was a Florida banker, who could have possible connections with the Florida burglars. However, Woodward claims that Deep Throat is still alive today.
In cross referencing the Nixon campaign materials and George Wallace, there is only one reference in Haldeman's records:Chapman's Friends Reports.
H. Chapman Rose is Jonathan Rose's father. Chapman Rose knew Nixon from the Eisenhower administration. Chapman Rose was undersecretary of the Treasury. During his tenure, he was involved in the transfer of investigations of internal intelligence operations to the Secret Service. He was involved in the Gregory Report, which was the intelligence gathering of information on government officials who were parties to Soviet espionage in the United States. He handled FBI memorandum, affidavits and charges against officials and employees of the federal government. He would have been familiar with convert operations and spying, since he was involved in the heart of Cold War intelligence operations.
Chapman Rose was an unpaid advisor to Nixon during his presidency. He would have been the stealth personna: he was not on staff so he would not be a logical person for investigators to contact. His son had access to much of the information DT was supposed to have had knowledge. For people steeped in service to presidents, the access to power is an important, precious commodity that would be guarded like a prized possession. His standing, position, background, and under the radar qualities of his position could make him a more logical DT candidate than the other usual suspects. However, there is no record of him on any of the Nixon tapes at critical discussion periods.
In the cross-checking cross hairs of speculation, there is no one true universal choice for the mysterious Deep Throat character. The U of I study concluded that it was probably a person who had no staff, but was on the sidelines able to hear all the dirty information. Principal actors in the drama, like Dean, or Garment, point fingers at other insiders. Insiders direct the attention away from themselves. No one pins the motivation of Deep Throat's breaching of his trust with the president to save the bigger issue, the presidency itself.
Who gained the most from Nixon's resignation? Clearly, one man did. Gerald Ford assumed the presidency.
Who continued to serve the next president? Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig.
Who would have been motivated by anger, a sense of betrayal by Nixon to funnel information to destroy his former boss? Hunt, his days of power were over when the burglars were caught. He had demanded money for silence and he never really got what he wanted from Nixon. Dean publicly ratted out the boss after he failed to get full immunity. Former Veep Spiro Agnew was let go by Nixon after income tax evasion charges in Maryland arose.
Who was Woodward's friend? Apparently he had contact with Kissinger for a the Nixon book, and he had the controversial meeting on Casey's death bed because he was his friend.
So it is more than likely, if you play the DT source game, that using know and unknown story sources, a list of Sloan, Dean, Chapman Rose, Kissinger or Casey as possible DT sources, or the combination of them.
The Deep Throat controversy is a deck of cards. We can put together a different list of source suspects based on part of the Woodward clues just like the U of I study, Dean's eBook or Garment's book. One can continually reshuffle the deck of source suspects, and deal different hands each time. Luck may have you put down the correct face card, unless of course, the source card is not in the deck to begin with.
Water Under the Bridge Gate part two
There are two overlooked parts of the Watergate saga. First, there has never been any conclusive explanation why the Plumbers were bugging the Democratic National Headquarters. What were the exact orders? What was the exact mission? And who ordered it? It is assumed that Nixon ordered the spy ring to discredit his enemies and to plant incriminating disinformation or to stop press leaks. Second, is Deep Throat the Loch Ness Monster of American journalism?
The creditability of the DT candidates has been analyzed for thirty years. Little as has been analyzed about the Post writers. Instead of viewing the creditability of the DT sleuths, one should first analyze the truth of the assertion that Deep Throat really existed in the first place.
The major criticism of DT is that there is no collaboration that he existed. It was Woodward's lone Executive branch source for confirmation of information from other sources. In Woodward's stories, Deep Throat is not mentioned or identified as a source.
With Deep Throat, Woodward says he will not reveal the name until after he dies. At that point, what is the point? Collaboration is the cornerstone of truth seeking. A dead source cannot collaborate such a statement of fact. And it is also a breach of trust to the dead source. But if the source does not exist, then logically there is no breach.
Woodward was highly criticized for the alleged death bed confession of CIA Director William Casey. Casey's family and physicians stated that Casey's was unable to give any information. Some years later, Woodward said that the information was confirmed by unclassified documentation about Nicaragua. The critics charged Woodward had a book to write, so he wrote it the way he wanted to, and his alleged source could not rebut it. (Casey died shortly after the alleged death bed confession.)
It is like Woodward's portrayal of Nixon in his book, The Final Days. There is a controversial narrative passage of Kissinger and Nixon praying together in the Oval Office. No source was given to that passage. There could have only been two sources for that story: Nixon or Kissinger. Several years later, Kissinger's own memoirs recited the story. Woodward was vindicated by his unnamed source.
Woodward said that the Watergate movie was a perfect rendition of what happened covering Watergate. The movie, All the President's Men, was a movie about the reporters and not the Watergate story. Woodward and Bernstein were the stars of the movie. And Hollywood is not known for keeping facts from interfering with a good storyline.
In the first draft of the manuscript to their book, Woodward and Bernstein do not reference Deep Throat as a source. Their literary agent confirms there were no Deep Throat movie scenes in the first draft. Deep Throat suddenly appeared in the final draft and movie script. Critics charge that DT was a literary fiction used to move the story and movie along. Woodward denies the charge. But he does not explain why Deep Throat was not in the original manuscript or the timing of the appearance of DT after making the book and movie deal with Hollywood.
The movie flows around the drama of the secret source. It keeps the story from bogging down in deadends or stone walls. It may have been used as a composite character in the movie script to avoid confusing the viewer on who said what and when. In real life, they were metro reporters. They did not have the connections to the White House or campaign staffs. They were not long time employees, columnists or media players that could call in favors to get information. They were supposed to have at least two sources confirming information, and DT was not supposed to be one. So when investigating the break-in, there was no real need to have DT as a back-up if the writers already had good, reliable sources of information.
Sen. Howard Baker's question rings true in this aspect of the story. He asked What did the President know, and when did he know it? It is the summation of the entire Watergate cover-up. The same question should be asked to Woodward's editor-in-chief; when did he know of DT?
Post Executive editor Ben Bradlee stated in 1974 that it was only after Nixon resigned that he asked his reporters who Deep Throat was. He was told the name at that time, and he accepted it. In the 25th anniversary stories of Watergate, Bradlee reconfirmed this fact. However, on the 30th anniversary, Bradlee said he knew the identity of the source before Nixon resigned because his paper was on the line. This a major contradiction of a basic fact. Also, Bradlee said he never confirmed whether the person Woodward told him was DT was in fact Deep Throat. Further, telling Bradlee would have violated that Woodward covenant to his source, right? So Woodward telling Bernstein or his editor would have been lying to his source who demanded strict confidentiality. Unless, there was no real person to whom that covenant was made by Woodward.
One has to recall that this was the beginning of the New Journalism period. Reporters were writing more of what they thought than what they confirmed from a first hand source. Opinions, hunches, and analytical assumptions were just a credible than expert sources. Deep Throat could have been one source, two sources, shifting sources, or a composite character. Deep Throat could have been a metaphor to keep their editors from killing the story. It could have been the avenue of personal conviction and unnamed sources that kept the biggest story of their careers going forward. Woodward and Bernstein guard this story to this day. They downplayed the Clinton scandals to non-stories because the greatest political scandal ever was Watergate. If Watergate was eclipsed, then Woodward and Bernstein's stature would fall. In that Stanford lecture, Woodward stated that during his career, all those denials by politicians over time became true. This is a vindication statement of new journalism to print the charge and let time tell if it is true. But that would not have played at all in 1972. Backtracking, from the Casey denials to waiting some vindication of truth, to the White House denials of Watergate to waiting for vindication of truth, there may be a problem pattern in investigating reporting at issue.
The Deep Throat character appeared AFTER the Watergate story was over. Inserting a literary device to chronicle the Watergate journalism story would not harm the fundamental principles of the story, right? Well, it would since Deep Throat and bedrock determination of the reporters to uncover the story with high journalistic ethics is now THE Watergate story and legacy. If Deep Throat was a mere fabrication or literary license, then the whole basis of the original reporting would be undermined. If Bradlee and the Post were snookered into Woodward's hunches about the scheme as being reliable sources, then they are stuck with defending the methods and the final story. The Post had been caught in a literary fabrication of a Pulitzer Prize winning story by Janet Cooke, a Woodward reporter, which was found out to be not a story about a specific individual spotlighted in the reporting, but a composite character.
Woodward claims that his source was reliable and knowledgeable about all matters. The vindication for the Post stories is the Articles of Impeachment leveled against Nixon in 1974.
The Deep Throat character is cloaked in mystery, but upon reflection, he is too good to be true. What person could confirm anything for Woodward? He was a no body in Washington. He was not a powerful columnist, like Jack Anderson. In the beginning, he admits that he knows no one in the White House. No one would have total knowledge of what ever person said to someone else unless they were present at every interview, every grand jury proceeding, every file jacket inspection, and every conversation at CREEP or the White House that had any aspect of Watergate being discussed by a principal. One can only fill in those gaps by speculation, opinion or inference. Deep Throat could not have been put on such a high pedestal if he was based upon double or triple hearsay, unsubstantiated hunches, educated guesswork, or blind inferences from other facts. The Post would have killed the story in its tracks. Recall, that the Post's own political columnists were uncomfortable with the story because their own sources were not confirming anything Woodward and Bernstein were writing. If Deep Throat was such a high placed insider, would he have not gone to a name writer or someone he knew personally to get the story on track?
It is not who Deep Throat is but whether Deep Throat ever existed as depicted by Woodward and Bernstein that is important to concluding the Watergate story. The inconsistencies and contradictions in the clues set forth by Woodward and Bradlee raise serious doubts that one single individual was Deep Throat. After 30 years, it is also unlikely that the source's secret identity would have remained such a closely guarded secret. This is not a murder investigation; Deep Throat would not be criminally punished for revealing himself after 30 years. In fact, he would probably be praised for helping uncover the abuses of the presidency. The mystery of Deep Throat keeps the Watergate journalism story alive, and personally benefits Woodward today as being an A list political guest on the 24-hour cable news shows. It elevated him to editorship of the Post, and made him a highly paid book author. For Woodward, vindication is in the Tapes; Nixon was an evil president. Revealing Deep Throat as a real source, a composite, or a literary device at this time, would only diminish the continuing returns to Woodward.
The movie depicts Woodward signaling the source to meet in a balcony flag. However, it has been reported that Woodward's apartment did not face the street but an internal courtyard, so DT could not have seen the signal as portrayed in the movie. In addition, the movie puts the NY Times edition with the notes at Woodward's doorstep. But NY Times distribution only placed the editions in the apartment building lobby.
The hard evidence points to the conclusion that Deep Throat did not exist as a single individual during the reporting of the Watergate stories. First, Bradlee contradicts himself on a simple fact, when he was told who the name of the key source. Second, the original news stories do not reflect Deep Throat, an Executive branch person, as a source of any reporting. Third, Deep Throat is not mentioned in the original manuscript by Woodward and Bernstein. Fourth, Deep Throat suddenly appears in final draft and movie script. Fifth, if Woodward truly made a promise to the source to keep his name confidential, he broke that promise at least twice: first to Bernstein and then to Bradley. Sixth, the Woodward clues of the identity of DT are inconsistent and not shown to be used by him, i.e. the Wallace shooting story.
The existence of Deep Throat made the Post and its reporters legendary. And that is why we will never truly know the full story of the reporting of Nixon's downfall.
To Nixon, the ends justified the means, in creating the Plumbers and illegal domestic spying ring sanctioned by the presidency. The denials and stonewalling investigators quickly snowballed into a political avalanche that killed Nixon's presidency. For the Washington Post, it may have been caught up in the same ethical quicksand to get the Story. It would be ironic that the Post was caught in the same trap as its prey, Nixon, by covering up the existence of Deep Throat.
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