I don't know why it took an online story in the Washington Post this afternoon to confirm this for me, but it did.
W. Mark Felt was Deep Throat.
The news broke this morning, ending a favorite national guessing game. Here's a link to the Vanity Fair piece in which the 91-year-old former FBI associate director fesses up.
But with folks starting to doubt Felt's recall or his motives, it was to my relief that Ben Bradlee, the Post's executive editor during Watergate, stepped in the put the matter to rest: "The number-two guy at the FBI, that was a pretty good source," Bradlee told reporters at his old paper. "I knew the paper was on the right track." The "quality of the source" and the soundness of his guidance made Bradlee sure of that, he said.
Since then, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, themselves, have said what they'd said they'd never say until Deep Throat died.
What mysteries are left?
Not so pleased are Pat Buchanan, the former Nixon speechwriter, who told the New York Times that Felt acted "treacherously." Or Eileen McNamara, columnist in the Boston Globe, who cannot overlook Felt's conviction, since pardoned, for ordering illegal wiretaps of The Weather Underground.
Chuck Colson, former chief counsel to Nixon, twisted the knife this way: "Mark first served this country with honor, and I cant imagine how Mark Felt was sneaking in dark alleys leaving messages under flower pots and violating his oath to keep this nations secrets. I cannot compute that with the Mark Felt that I know," Colson said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press.
Which makes the folks at the Corrente blog lick their lips.
"As many know, Colson's career has had a lucrative (and lachrymose) second act as a "born-again Christian." Fewer might recall that his conversion came about after the Watergate-induced shattering of his earlier lucrative career as self-described "hatchet man" who "would walk over my grandmother for Nixon."