Reviews ...

Patriot or traitor?

... a facinating man

by Ella Letterie

I just finished reading Bob Woodward’s new book called “the Secret Man.”

It was well written and therefore well read. But we have known about Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who were reporters for the Washington Post for over 30 years... ever since the book “All the President’s Men” and subsequent movie came out. This book was all about the Watergate break-in and its cover up by the White House, which ultimately led to Richard Nixon’s resignation.

But recently another name came to light. The identity of “deep throat".

His name is W. Mark Felt, who was second in command of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover. When Hoover died, Felt thought he would succeed into the top position at the agency, but it was not to be. President Richard Nixon named L. Pat Gray to be the new director.

What were Felt’s motives for his befriending Woodward and steering him in the correct way during the Watergate break-in investigation?

Disappointment at not becoming director when Hoover died?

Revenge against President Nixon?

Was he a traitor or a patriot?

Remember, Felt and Woodward had been friends for years. Woodward would call Felt on the telephone and visit with him at home. It reached a point when Felt told Woodward that they should keep their visits private. They then met in an underground garage.

Felt was in the position to know that the justice system was so polluted that the FBI could never get to the bottom of it.

Felt would steer and confirm what Woodward reported.
Felt would not be Woodward’s only source, just one of them.
Felt told Woodward to look higher up in the administration.
Felt told Woodward when he was going in the wrong direction.

During this episode, there developed a relationship of trust between the reporter and his source.

As asked before, was Felt a traitor or a patriot?

I think he was a patriot.

I prefer to think that Felt had higher morals than revenge. He knew what was happening in the White House with the President and his subjects. His sense of obligation to our country and it’s people and principles, were greater than his duty to the FBI.

September 2, 2005

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