The Devil in Mr. Felt


A couple days ago I suggested that Mark Felt could help clear up some of the remaining Deep Throat mysteries. I didn't realize just how senile the man had gotten. Here's reporter J. Todd Foster relating an earlier effort to coax Felt forward:

Felt soon moved into his daughter's basement…."He had dementia. And memory loss," his daughter said. "He was extremely confused. He was up in the middle of the night [at the convalescent home], knocking on people's doors, thinking that he was doing investigations for the bureau."

On Nov. 8, 2003, Felt told my writing partner when asked if he wanted to come forward: "You can tell them that I am Deep—that I was Deep Throat. The only thing is that Deep Throat is a little different than you probably have in mind. Deep Throat was not anybody real inside that was furnishing information. It was somebody confirming information."…

Earlier in that same interview, Felt said he didn't remember anything about Deep Throat, even saying at one point: "Well, I wasn't a Deep Throat."

Of Woodward, he said: "I don't think I ever provided information to him."

Later, Felt said: "I thought Deep Throat was another source entirely."

It was only after prodding and coaching from his daughter and the family's attorney, John O'Connor of San Francisco, that Felt even gave his lukewarm admission.

Interviewed eight days later, on Nov. 16, 2003, he adamantly denied being the most famous journalism source in history—and one of Washington's few well-kept secrets.