May 31, 2005


Ex-FBI official says he's 'Deep Throat'
Magazine quotes him as saying he was 'doing his duty'
(MSNBC, May 31, 2005)

W. Mark Felt, who retired from the FBI after rising to its second most senior position, has identified himself as the "Deep Throat" source quoted by The Washington Post to break the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon's resignation, Vanity Fair magazine said Tuesday.

"I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he told John D. O'Connor, the author of Vanity Fair's exclusive that appears in its July issue.

Timothy Noah nailed that one.

Washington Post Confirms Felt Was 'Deep Throat': Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee Reveal Former FBI Official as Secret Watergate Source (William Branigin and David Von Drehle, May 31, 2005, Washington Post)

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."

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 31, 2005 12:07 PM

The intensity of interest in DT's identity waxes and wanes over the years, and I'm curious as to why he'd ID himself now, instead of years ago. IIRC, Ben Bradlee claimed DT was ill, so maybe this is the motive force behind the revelation.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at May 31, 2005 12:18 PM

"Washingtonian" suspected Felt over 30 years ago. Scroll down for stories from June and August 1974:

Posted by: George at May 31, 2005 12:43 PM

Dang. I knew the Ben Stein theory was too good to be true.

Posted by: Guy T. at May 31, 2005 12:49 PM

Then again, Felt has admitted nothing. The article is just speculation backed up by circumstantial evidence. This just proves that Ben was smart enough to plant enough false clues to keep his identity secret by keeping the gullible busy.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 31, 2005 1:03 PM

Okay, I are really confused. If they guy "admits" it, then why do they get quotes from family members confirming it? "the guy they used to call Deep Throat"— what do they call him now? This article is a mess, as are all the others on this subject I've found. I guess this is what happens when it's a slow news day.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 31, 2005 1:13 PM

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz--huh! Wha'you say? Deep Throat? Oh, that's nice. I'm going back to sleep now. Zzzzzz . . . .

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 31, 2005 1:28 PM

Unless he knows where Vince Foster was shot, he knows NOTHING.

Posted by: ratbert at May 31, 2005 1:39 PM

What happened to the claim by Fox News' Eric Burns that Deep Throat was an invention by "Woodstein's" editor to tie up all the loose ends, and give the book a Hitchcock-style McGuffin. Has that now gone out the window with Felt's admission?

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at May 31, 2005 1:54 PM


Seems unlikely Felt will turn out to have been in a position to tell them all, or in the manner, that Deep Throat did, no?

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2005 2:50 PM

On the trail of the secret informant

Even Felt himself claimed during several sections of the taped interviews that Woodward made up the source Deep Throat.

"I just thought he was making it up," the then 90-year-old Felt told my partner.

At one point during the interview, Felt referred to Deep Throat as a "small-time criminal." And added: "Deep Throat was just an imagined thing."

And of Woodward, Felt said this: "Well, he's making a lot of that up, I'm sure of that."

Posted by: lazurus at June 3, 2005 8:08 AM