Former FBI Second-In-Command says he was 'Deep Throat'

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

In an interview by John D. O'Connor for the American magazine Vanity Fair, it was revealed that W. Mark Felt, a former associate director of the FBI during the Nixon Administration, was the anonymous informer called "Deep Throat". "Deep Throat" helped journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down then-president Richard Milhous Nixon through the exposure of the Watergate scandal.

Previously bound by a pledge not to reveal "Deep Throat's" identity until after his death, Woodward and Bernstein at first refused to confirm the Vanity Fair report. However, in a story posted late today on the Washington Post website, they verified that Felt was "Deep Throat."

However, one of Richard Nixon's biographers, Jonathan Aitken, believes that at least one of "Deep Throat's" tips could not have been known by Felt. The Post first reported on the famous 18 1/2 minute gap in a crucial tape at a time when only six people were aware of its existence -- none of them Felt. This raises the possibility that "Deep Throat," though mainly based on Felt, may be a composite character.

Felt has been mentioned as a leading candidate for "Deep Throat" by many that have tried to solve the mystery. An article published in the American Journalism Review last fall claimed Carl Bernstein's son once exposed Felt as the mysterious informer. But until now, Felt, Woodward, Bernstein and the Post's former editor Ben Bradlee have all denied it.

Felt, 91, has reportedly been in poor health in recent years. His family says Felt admits to being the source and described him as feeling proud of his role in history and having "a big grin" when told of the Vanity Fair article.