Watergate Mystery Man unmasked


From the Washington Post history in the making. I read the book and one of my favourite DVDs is the Redford and Hoffman version of All the Presidents Men. Now the undercover source central to it all is unmasked. Washington Post Confirms Felt Was ‘Deep Throat’
Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee Reveal Former FBI Official as Secret Watergate Source
By William Branigin and David Von Drehle
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 31, 2005; 6:33 PM

The Washington Post today confirmed that W. Mark Felt, a former number-two official at the FBI, was “Deep Throat,” the secretive source who provided information that helped unravel the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s and contributed to the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon.

The confirmation 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. The three spoke after Felt’s family and Vanity Fair magazine identified the 91-year-old Felt, now a retiree in California, as the long-anonymous source who provided crucial guidance for some of the newspaper’s groundbreaking Watergate stories.

The Vanity Fair story said Felt had admitted his “historic, anonymous role” following years of denial.

In a statement today, 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.”

Felt’s guidance to Woodward — provided on “deep background” in secret meetings — helped keep public attention focused on the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington’s Watergate office and apartment complex, and on a subsequent cover-up effort. This ultimately led to a congressional investigation that revealed the role of Nixon and a number of his top aides. Under threat of impeachment, Nixon resigned in 1974.

Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee 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.

But with the Vanity Fair article and the family’s statement, the three decided today to break their silence.

Bradlee said today, “The thing that stuns me is that the goddamn secret has lasted this long.” He was the Post’s executive editor during Watergate and now is a vice president of the newspaper.

Woodward agreed to confirm his source’s identity despite skepticism that the former FBI official was competent to decide to change the ground rules of their secret relationship. Felt has been in declining health since suffering a stroke in 2001.

Woodward, now a Post assistant managing editor, said he is writing an article for Thursday’s newspaper that will provide a personal account of his and Bernstein’s experience in covering Watergate. Bernstein left the Post in 1976 and is now a freelance writer.

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.

radlee, in an interview this afternoon, said that knowing that “Deep Throat” was a high-ranking FBI official helped him feel confident about the information that the paper was publishing about Watergate. He said that he knew the “positional identity” of “Deep Throat” as the Post was breaking its Watergate stories and that he learned his name within a couple of weeks after Nixon’s resignation.

“The number-two guy at the FBI, that was a pretty good source,” he said.

“I knew the paper was on the right track,” Bradlee said. The “quality of the source” and the soundness of his guidance made him sure of that, he said.

“We made only one mistake . . . and that had nothing to do with ‘Deep Throat,’ ” Bradlee said, referring to an error in reporting grand jury testimony.

Bradlee said that over the years, “it was interesting to watch people flounder around with odd choices” about the identity of “Deep Throat,” a nickname borrowed from the title of a pornographic film. Although he knew the source’s identity, Bradlee said, “I’ve never met Felt. I wouldn’t know him if I fell on him.”

In a family statement released today, Felt’s grandson, Nick Jones, said, “The family believes my grandfather, Mark Felt Sr., is a great American hero who went well above and beyond the call of duty at much risk to himself to save his country from a horrible injustice.” The statement added, “We all sincerely hope the country will see him this way as well.”

Jones said in the statement, “My grandfather is pleased he is being honored for his role as ‘Deep Throat’ with his friend Bob Woodward. As he recently told my mother, ‘I guess people used to think “Deep Throat” was a criminal, but now they think he was a hero.'”

In a subsequent appearance before reporters outside their Santa Rosa, Calif., home, Felt’s daughter, Joan Felt, and her son Nick said the family, including Mark Felt, feels relieved now that the secret is out.

“We’re so proud of him, not only for his role in history . . . but for the person he is,” Joan Felt said of her father. She said he is aware that Woodward has confirmed he was “Deep Throat” and is pleased about the disclosure. She said Felt “always remembers Bob very fondly.”

“We’re all relieved,” Joan Felt said. She said her father is “in good health” and “says he’s going to live to be a centenarian.” Asked how he is feeling today, she said, “He’s happy. He’s grinning from ear to ear.”

“He’s always lived with honor,” Joan Felt said. “He’s a great patriot.”

The Vanity Fair article, by California attorney John D. O’Connor, described Felt as conflicted over his role in the Watergate revelations and over whether he should publicly reveal that he was the anonymous source whose identity has been a closely guarded secret for more than three decades.

“On several occasions he confided to me, ‘I’m the guy they used to call “Deep Throat,” ‘ ” O’Connor wrote. The author wrote that Felt “still has qualms about his actions, but he also knows that historic events compelled him to behave as he did: standing up to an executive branch intent on obstructing his agency’s pursuit of the truth.”

The article concluded, “Felt, having long harbored the ambivalent emotions of pride and self-reproach, has lived for more than 30 years in a prison of his own making, a prison built upon his strong moral principles and his unwavering loyalty to country and cause. But now, buoyed by his family’s revelations and support, he need feel imprisoned no longer.”

Roadwarrior Blues


Sprint the US mobile carrier has published an interesting whitepaper based that highlights some of the challenges that mobile workers often face.

Take outs:

  • Almost 96 per cent of both large and small companies surveyed will be taking advantage of wireless technology (both GPRS type connections and 802.11x)
  • The biggest wireless and wireline technical challenge was providing remote access for suppliers and partners indicating that supply-chain management and partner management was still a difficult process and a barrier toward the virtual enterprise
  • 11 per cent of respondents considered that remote access and or mobile access was not on their list of IT priorities

Tech silly season Apple and Intel reports


Every so often there is media reports about Apple and Intel rumours. Usually the speculation runs along the lines that Apple may be getting ready to move the Mac platform on to Intel chips.

Its not likely to happen, especially at the moment. Intel has a number of problems that would make it unappealing to Apple. Its processors have hit a performance roadblock, it is being outgunned in the performance stakes by rival AMD and the EPIC architecture of the Itanium (the processor closest to Apple’s PowerPC chipsets from IBM and Motorola) is a dogs dinner that the industry including Itanium development partner HP has largely ignored. In addition, the amount of money flowing into the PowerPC architecture from IBM contracts with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft means that it will receive an addtional boost in the arm. The sales of consoles will encourage IBM to make the chipmaking process ever cheaper to profit from the volume business coming its way.

Intel not only makes PC processors, but also other chips like the Xscale series that may find their way into future iPod like devices or other specialist network chips that would be handy for the likes of Apple’s Airport Express. It would also be sensible for Apple to have a dialogue with Intel on future technologies like WiMax and future generations of USB.

First-World Sachet Marketing, its better to arrive than to travel and Hot Java


Sachet marketing was developed in emerging powerhouse economies like Brazil, India and China to enable FMCG companies to sell their products to more customers. Now the concept has been used by Proctor & Gamble and Kraft Foods subsiduary Nabisco to sell their products in the US and combat obesity at the same time by adopting sachet marketing as ‘portion control’. Oreos and Pringles will be sold in 100 calorie micro packs according to the New York Times.

Lastiminute.com may have sold out to Travelocity at the right time, the New York Times has an interesting article about the rise of hypercompetition as the online travel industry matures.

Finally, Dutch telecoms news site Telecompaper has an interesting article about the Java economy, over 579 million Java compatiable mobile phones from 30 different manufacturers have now been sold, and a supporting an economy worth about 100 billion USD has been developed.

Stop Press

Marketwatch.com sent out an email news alert saying that an early vote count in France indicate that the public have rejected the EU constitution by about 57 per cent to 43 per cent.