August 04, 2015

The Watergate Complex, Washington D.C.

The Watergate Complex, Washington D.C.

Source: Shutterstock

Woodward and Bernstein benefited mightily from the fruits of Felt’s criminality, getting a Pulitzer for the Post, and having their careers made by collusion with this corrupt civil servant and serial lawbreaker.

The subtitle of the new paperback of All the President’s Men is, “The Greatest Reporting Story of All Time.”

Excuse me, but how much reporting does it take to scribble down notes from Mark Felt telling you who said what to the grand jury that day?

This is stenography, not reporting.

What was Felt’s motivation in leaking grand jury secrets to Woodward? Max Holland’s book Leak tells the story.

Felt sought to cast acting FBI Director Pat Gray, an honorable man, as an incompetent who could not keep secrets. This would result in Gray being passed over for permanent director. With the FBI top job open, President Nixon would likely turn to—Deputy Director Mark Felt.

Lovely fellow, that Felt.

Of all the Watergate offenses of the Nixon White House, the “Huston Plan” is often called the most terrifying. And what was the plan worked up by my old friend Tom Charles Huston in 1970?

After Black Panthers began murdering cops and a Greenwich Village bomb factory—where an anti-personnel bomb was being prepared to massacre noncommissioned officers and their dates at a dance at Fort Dix—blew up, Huston, with CIA, National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency backing, urged the reinstatement of FBI practices used from FDR to LBJ.

These included warrantless wiretaps and surreptitious entries, “black-bag jobs,” to stem the epidemic of terror bombings.

Nixon OK’d the plan, but rescinded his approval five days later after J. Edgar Hoover’s objection.

And who had been in charge of FBI black-bag jobs in the LBJ era?

Mark Felt. Maybe when Woodward met Deep Throat in that garage, Felt was just casing the place.


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