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Mark Felt a Secret Nixon/Mao Operative?

So Felt just "happens" to meet Woodward outside the Situation Room in the West Wing of the White House. That deafening racket you hear are all the alarm bells sounding in your head. Use some logic: Felt must be CIA. He's recruiting Woodward, only Woodward is so young and green he thinks this dapper gentleman is just loitering in the waiting room with nothing better to do than talk to an ambitious whippersnapper. So is Watergate nothing more than an Agency plot to take down Nixon because of his overtures to Russia and China? That's way too simple. It doesn't stretch credulity to imagine that Nixon was on Mao's payroll. It seems likely that Felt was a plant by Nixon in the CIA (with an FBI cover story), and that Nixon masterminded the Watergate "scandal" to distract attention from his scheme to establish diplomatic relations with Red China and eventually funnel technology to Mao to help him in his secret war against the Soviets.

How do I know these things? Because I've had too much coffee. With enough caffeine and a little paranoia you can achieve amazing insights into phenomena that don't actually exist.

Nothing that I just typed is true, but we should all steel ourselves for a rash of conspiracy theories.

One of the many fascinating things about the Woodward story today is that Deep Throat turns out to be not just a source, but a mentor. Woodward had always talked about having a "friend," and we knew their relationship pre-dated Watergate, but until now no one realized that they met through a chance encounter. But that's how history works, maybe. Chance events. Contingencies. A series of improbabilities hardening into the facts of our lives. The lie of the textbook is that history is orderly and logical, when in fact it is chaotic. There's a Butterfly Effect to the Woodward/Felt story: If they don't meet outside the Situation Room in 1970, the Watergate story never makes it out of the Metro section, Nixon finishes his second term, Republicans hold onto the White House...the Bee Gees never record "Saturday Night Fever"...um...sorry, struggling to see all the mind-boggling implications.

In yesterday's blog I wondered how Felt knew that he could trust Woodward, how he picked up the fact that Woodward was so special. But now we know that Woodward cultivated Felt, that he saw that this distinguished, confident man could teach him something, be a life guide. Woodward had his first source before he knew he wanted to be a journalist!

Woodward then went back to Felt when Woodward was starting out in the business, and in the story today there's a wonderfully understated line: "Maybe he could help me with stories."

Some of the fine details of the Felt/Throat story remain unknown at the moment, most notably, how Felt kept tabs on Woodward. Woodward doesn't know. In the story today, Woodward writes:

Felt and I agreed that I would move the flowerpot with the flag, which usually was in the front near the railing, to the rear of the balcony if I urgently needed a meeting. This would have to be important and rare, he said sternly. The signal, he said, would mean we would meet that same night about 2 a.m. on the bottom level of an underground garage just over the Key Bridge in Rosslyn.

Obviously Felt had Woodward under surveillance. [And by the way, I'm writing this at Java House at 17th and Q, borrowing their wireless connection, and Woodward lived a block away, at 17th and P. This would be a great coffee shop for a spy. In fact I think the woman to my right is very suspicious. All in black. Pretending to read the paper. I'm being monitored. I may be dead by the time you read this.]

[Or fired.]

Other people, perhaps still alive, must have been privy to the Woodward/Felt relationship. Felt lived in Virginia and, as number two at the FBI, wasn't going to be driving by Woodward's apartment building to see if he had moved his flowerpot. (Initially Felt suggested that Woodward open his drapes if he wanted to speak to Felt. That's classic spy mentality: Why would anyone want to shed light into his apartment unless as a secret signal to meet in an underground garage?)

But except for the loose ends, the Deep Throat story now makes perfect sense. An FBI guy with a grudge against Nixon (for not appointing him to succeed Hoover) leaked information to Woodward to ensure that the White House didn't squelch the FBI investigation of Watergate. When the story first broke Tuesday, I blurted out on this blog that it was a letdown to hear that D.T. was just an FBI guy. But I retract that. It's all good stuff. Great stuff, in fact. A Navy lieutenant meets an arresting fellow at the White House, and they change the course of history. What's not to like?

Only that the mystery is over. In-house at the Post, it's hard not to be wistful: We may never again see, as we saw this week, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward and Ben Bradlee converging at the Post to deal with a breaking story. Forgive the overblown language, but in our profession these men are gods. Their stories are the legends we will tell our grandchildren.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 2, 2005; 6:49 AM ET
 
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Comments

Joel, if you're still alive, we need to talk. Here's the way you can contact me. I will write in a question to Carolyn Hax that will appear to be about how to deal with a girlfriend who seems to like other girls a little too much, but will actually include coded instructions (standard 64 bit, Enigma encryption) to find a cell phone in the pyracantha bushes in front of the Bulgarian Embassy. When you call, ask for "Boris Badenov". And don't trust Kornheiser or Wilbon, they're MI-6.

Posted by: corndog | June 2, 2005 9:44 AM | Report abuse

If you're dead, be aware I don't attend funerals.

As you said, history sometimes operates with the butterfly effect. It's also fascinating to see the "mesa effect" in operation: the passage of time erodes away detail and certain people start to emerge and dominate the scene, at least as represented in popular memory and history. You can see that operating here. First there's the idea that "All the King's Men" played up "Deep Throat" to make a stronger narrative. Now popular commentary seems to be saying the Post brought down Nixon and Deep Throat was the source for the Post. (I see Bradlee resisted that idea in the interview on msnbc.com) The whole drama gets simplified as time goes on--Judge Sirica, the prosecutors, the Senate committee, Saturday Night Massacre, all get omitted in the retelling. (The main exception to the simplification is the multiplication of conspiracy theories by the nuts.) It's plausible that Felt had several different reasons to confirm Woodward's info and guide his research, but the soap opera requires that he be either piqued villain or idealistic hero, not an ordinary human operating with mixed motives.

We should at least pause to remember people like James McCord and Tony Ulasewicz.

Posted by: BillH | June 2, 2005 9:44 AM | Report abuse

That's the thing about a mentor that a lot of folks don't understand. They help you before your first entry and they teach you lessons after they die or become incapacitated.

If Woodward would have gone into a different field, I suspect that DT would have been just as valuable in Woodward's life and success.

I have missed my mentor a lot since she died, but she still hasn't finished helping me to apply the lessons she taught me -- including one that came home to me since Tuesday.

Posted by: Dave in Chicago | June 2, 2005 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"Do all realities exist simultaneously? Is there a possibility that all potentials exist side by side?"

-- Ramtha

Posted by: Anonymous | June 2, 2005 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I think this is a reason you shouldn't write emails at 6:49 AM. How wacky.

Posted by: cd | June 2, 2005 10:01 AM | Report abuse

What bugs me is that the number 2 guy at the FBI knew that Agnew had accepted a bribe in his office and that he was unable to do anything about it except tell a cup reporter at the Post. As I understand the timeline in the story it wasn't for more than a year that an indictment was filed. It seems like government has too many fingers in the bureaucracy for there to be effective oversight of either: Reference the current misuse of intelligence, the responsiveness of the FDA to phamacorps, the compliance of the FCC to special interests, the castration of the EPA and the current assault on the SEC. The executive no longer is the office for enforcing laws, it has become the de facto government ruling by fiat.

Posted by: Chris | June 2, 2005 10:03 AM | Report abuse

That was meant to be CUB reporter.

Posted by: Chris | June 2, 2005 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. You're saying that without Felt and Deep Throat the Bee Gees never record Saturday Night Fever? That would mean no disco movie, no megastar career for John Travolta, and ultimately no production of Battlefield Earth! This Felt guy has a lot to answer for. Butterfly Effect hell, this is more China Syndrome.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | June 2, 2005 10:08 AM | Report abuse

We also have a cup reporter. Cups are his beat. Dixie cups, baseball cups...It's actually a very interesting assignment.

Posted by: Achenbach | June 2, 2005 10:09 AM | Report abuse

...meet that same night about 2 a.m. on the bottom level of an underground garage just over the Key Bridge...

I am still just working on how you have an underground garage over the Key Bridge. And how I have never seen it in my 30 years of Washington life.

Posted by: EA | June 2, 2005 10:16 AM | Report abuse

It must be in Rosslyn. Good activity today: Find the garage. Maybe in that building where Continental pool hall is?? Or...let's see...is there an underground garage at the Marriott Key Bridge? That's "just over" the Key Bridge.

Posted by: Achenbach | June 2, 2005 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The Key Bridge Marriott garage - specifically identified on the map at the top of Washingtonpost.com. Check out the 360 degree panoramic photo!

Posted by: mizerock | June 2, 2005 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Excellent, now all we need is the answer to Who shot JFK and we're all set. (I'm for the magic bullet theory)

Posted by: Fitz | June 2, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Joel,

I think your blog is a perfect example of why the internet is such a great medium, as well as a good parallel to the whole Deep Throat scenario. This blog allows you air your own views, for better or worse, without any of the work-process that would eventually edit out the spontaneity That makes it so entertaining.

Felt had to leak to the Post if there was any chance of justice being done; because how else can you uncover illegality when normal channels would inevitably lead you straight through those perpetrating the corruption? The interesting question is, if this had all gone down 20 years later, would Woodward have been neccessary? Or would we all be reading about Watergate on Deep Throat's blog?

Posted by: jw | June 2, 2005 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I normally like Keith Olbermann, but he's in conspiracy-theory central these days.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6210240/

Posted by: Bilbo | June 2, 2005 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Woodward would be necessary because of freedom of the press is protected speech. If Felt was blogging, and if it could be traced back to his computer, then he could be indicted for leaking classified information.

People beat up the mainstream media, but blogs can't exist by themselves. Anyone can type opinion ... reporting is hard work. It's not like Felt hand delivered documents to Woodward. Woodstein had to get independently verify.

Posted by: hh | June 2, 2005 11:25 AM | Report abuse

What are you doing having so much coffee at 03:49 AM?

Posted by: katje | June 2, 2005 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The time stamp on this blog is routinely wrong. I posted this item at about 9:10 a.m., from Java House on Q Street, but the time stamp refers to when I first created a template for the item, at 6:49 a.m. in my living room, after I read the Woodward piece. For some reason the TypePad blogging tool often inserts a time that is 3 hours before that -- as though I'm writing in California.

Posted by: Achenbach | June 2, 2005 12:58 PM | Report abuse

My beef with the revelation of Deep Throat is the motives of Felt's daughter. She does not come across all that well in the Vanity Fair piece - seems like all she is interested in is cashing in on her father's fame so as to pay her kids' education bills. I wonder how much Felt himself understands about his revelation.

Another beef: the author of the Vanity Fair piece was a lawyer for the Felts. Felt told him he was Deep Throat in the context of the attorney-client privilege. Yet the guy started shopping around the story for a possible book deal and says Felt and Felt's daughter released him from the confidentiality. Question: How can Felt's daughter release Felt's attorney from his confidentiality requirement to Felt? Which makes me wonder if Felt's mental capacity was such that he could waive the confidentiality privilege. And makes me suspect the daughter is simply looking to make some money off the story before Felt passes.

Posted by: legalbeagle | June 2, 2005 1:21 PM | Report abuse

And another thing: the Deep Throat commentary amongst pro-Republican/conservative talking heads and websites seems to fall into one of three categories:

1) Felt's revelation is no big deal since nobody cares about Watergate anymore;

2) Felt's revelation shows what a horrible person he was since he betrayed the FBI by leaking information to reporters;

3) Felt's leaking of information brought down Nixon, which weakened the presidency, caused the US to abandon South Vietnam, allowed the rise of the Khmer Rouge, encouraged the Soviet Union, and endangered the entire free world.

Seems to me that all the Republican an conservative talking heads are missing the obvious point: Were it not for the idiots who ordered and conducted the break-in, there would have been no cover-up, which would have meant no stories in the Post, no Congressional investigations, and no resignation of Nixon.

It was the break-in that set in motion Nixon's resignation, not the Deep Throat leaks. The ones to blame for all the resulting horrors are those who ordered and executed the breakin. Yet some of those same clowns (G. Gordon Liddy, I'm looking at you!) are on TV expressing their moral outrage and righteous indignity that Felt leaked information to expose the cover-up of a crime.

Posted by: legalbeagle | June 2, 2005 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I wonder about Felt's daughter, too. Her first impressions of Woodward, as quoted in the Vanity Fair article, are quite telling:
"He looked about my age. I thought, Gee, [he's] attractive. Pleasant too. Too bad this guy isn't single."
Somehow I think Woodward, even if he had been single, would have been more inclined to date someone who was sufficiently in touch with U.S. history and politics to recognize the name "Bob Woodward" -- keeping in mind that this encounter between Felt's daughter and Woodward took place in 1999. She was no kid, and in fact she was no kid during the Watergate events more than 30 years earlier. What planet was she living on?

Posted by: Achenfan | June 2, 2005 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Make that "more than 20 years earlier." Or something like that . . .

Posted by: Achenfan | June 2, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Felt's daughter, an 'educator' at that time, did not recognize Bob Woodward (or his name) when answering her door in August of 1999? People, we need to re-examine our education process in this country. Duh. This is an example of how stupid people get rich and/or richer.

Posted by: Nyoka | June 2, 2005 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It is wonderful to here morality preached by Colson and other criminals from the Nixon administration. And then there is Pat Buchanan, he never went to jail but jail is definitely the place for that fascist thug. Pat Buchanan reminds us of the bad old days when the Catholic Church was the Fascist Party at prayer.

Posted by: norman | June 2, 2005 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"It's plausible that Felt had several different reasons to confirm Woodward's info and guide his research, but the soap opera requires that he be either piqued villain or idealistic hero, not an ordinary human operating with mixed motives."

I was listening to C-Span this morning and their call-in program wanted opinions: "Mark Felt, villain or hero?" Yep, those were the only two options allowed.

Posted by: DDAY | June 2, 2005 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"The Key Bridge Marriott garage - specifically identified on the map at the top of Washingtonpost.com. Check out the 360 degree panoramic photo!"

Man, wouldn't that be a great place for a party?!!

Posted by: DDAY | June 2, 2005 2:20 PM | Report abuse

My sister is an "educator" too and my guess is that she would not recognize the name either. Some people don't spend their lives in front of computers. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. (Says the washingtonpost.com/slate devotee).

Posted by: Analyst | June 2, 2005 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Now DDAY is going to berate me for giving only two options.

Posted by: Analyst | June 2, 2005 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Man, Joel, like you said, we may never see the likes of Bernstein, Woodward, and Bradlee converging in the Post newsroom over a breaking story again -- although these journalistic giants and their legacy can be viewed ad nauseum in "All the President's Men" via Redford, Hoffman, and Robards. My question is this: Joel, if you were ever involved in one of the biggest journalistic coups of all time, and it was being made into a movie, who would you like to play the role of yourself? Be reasonable -- you cannot claim the rights to Brad Pitt, Colin Farrell, or Gene Weingarten.

Posted by: Wistful | June 2, 2005 2:46 PM | Report abuse

How about Gilbert Godfrey?
(Just kidding!)

Posted by: Achenfan | June 2, 2005 2:53 PM | Report abuse

This is not a chat and I don't have to answer that question. I don't even read most of these comments, but merely patrol the premises occasionally, looking for rogues and rapscallions. As someone who has never broken a story or had a source, it is hard to play along with the hypothetical. I have never in my life wondered who would play me in a movie. But now that I ponder it, one name comes to mind: Tina Fey.

Posted by: Achenbach | June 2, 2005 2:57 PM | Report abuse

So, am I a rogue or a rapscallion? Who would play me in the movie?

PS - Tina Fey is a PERFECT choice! Especially now that she's pregnant!

Posted by: Wistful | June 2, 2005 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Interesting reports that when Woodward visited Felt at Felt's home in 1999, he parked his white limo in a school lot 10 BLOCKS away, and walked -- as if still practicing the tradecraft that his mentor had taught him and insisted on decades earlier.

Posted by: RDB | June 2, 2005 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, the motives of Felt's daughter are dubious in these early days of post-revelation. Seems like Mr. Felt had to lose his mental capacity before the family brought him out of the closet. It's unlikely that he had any idea what he was agreeing to in the past several months while the storms of revelation were brewing about him. Let's see, Mr. Felt keeps his DT identity under wraps for 30+ yrs., loses his competent mental state, family tells all with no fear of "removal from will" since Mr. Felt likely has no real idea what's going on... Follow the money.

Posted by: Geo Steinbrenner | June 2, 2005 3:52 PM | Report abuse

A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.

Posted by: Socrates | June 2, 2005 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"But that's how history works, maybe. Chance events. Contingencies. A series of improbabilities hardening into the facts of our lives. The lie of the textbook is that history is orderly and logical, when in fact it is chaotic."
--Achenbach

"History never looks like history when you're living through it. It always looks confusing and messy, and it always feels uncomfortable."
--John W. Gardner, 1912-77, U.S. writer and public official, from "No Easy Victories," 1968

"History is written by the winners."
--Dan Brown, "The DaVinci Code"

"History is written by the oppressors."
--Ben Sherman, Lakota nation, 2005

Posted by: Linda Loomis | June 2, 2005 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"It's never happened in World Series history, and it's never happened since" - Yogi Berra.

Posted by: RFK bleacher bum | June 2, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"You must clear your mind of the fancy with which we all begin as children, that the institutions under which we live are natural, like the weather. They are not. Because they exist everywhere in our little world, we take it for granted that they have always existed and must always exist. That is a dangerous mistake. They are in fact makeshifts. Changes that nobody ever believed possible take place in a few generations. Children nowadays believe that to spend nine years at school, to have old-age and widows' pensions, votes for women and short-skirted ladies in Parliament is part of the order of nature and always was and ever will be; but their great-grandmothers would have said that anyone who told them that such things were coming was mad---and that anyone who wanted them to come was wicked."

-- George Bernard Shaw, 1928

Posted by: Anonymous | June 2, 2005 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe he could help me with stories."

Precisely. Mark Felt was a leaker plain and simple, giving Woodward information about Spiro Agnew and Arthur Bremer amidst ongoing investigations that could have been compromised by his actions. Folks may concur with the outcomes of Felt's subsequent Watergate disclosures, but he is no hero, and given his serial deceits to avoid accountability for them, he knew it.

Posted by: InvestiGator | June 2, 2005 5:36 PM | Report abuse

A combination of denial, poor judgment, bad memory, and being allergic to reality in general, seem to afflict the naysayers like Investigator.

"Accountability reporting" is exactly what Felt was party to as Deep Throat. The power-addicted thugs in the Nixon administration - A Wax Museum Peanut Gallery of Tricky Dick's Dirty Tricks - were so widespread and corrupt that the only patriotic avenue Felt could pursue was the press. There's a time to fall on your sword as a good soldier, and there's a time to restore the Republic to the people. We are fortunate that Felt chose the latter, and the criminals were identified and dealt with.

If only the lessons learned about having unnaccountable warmongering megalomaniacs in the executive branch had been applied to choosing the current administration, then perhaps the historical revisionists would be less inclined to deploy arsenals of suppression-fire rhetoric - recognizing instead the primacy of the lethal weapon, the pen, so much mightier than the sword that Felt never fell on.

Posted by: peter | June 2, 2005 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the garage in question was the one just recently demolished? It was just across the Key Bridge at 1925 N Lynn Street. It seemed haunted to me when I worked there.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 2, 2005 6:39 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting to listen to
the Colsons and Buchanans.

As conservatives, one would think
they'd be bothered by the idea of
a president trying to subvert an
FBI investigation of corruption,
and supportive of an FBI employee
who thwarted that subversion.

But, then again, so-called conservatives
often aren't; they just take on the coloration to hide their true identity,
as pimps for power.

-- stan

Posted by: Stanley Krute | June 2, 2005 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Carly Simon says she's revealing the subject of the song "You're So Vain" and it is....Mark Felt! No, just kidding. Really she says she's keeping the secret forever and speculation is that it is either Mick Jagger or Warren Beatty. What I think is: It's Mick, but Warren thinks it's him.

(Yes I know that is bad grammar, but it's the way Warren thinks.)

Posted by: AnonyMouse | June 3, 2005 7:54 AM | Report abuse

What does 'not spending a life in front of computers' have to do with not recognizing Bob Woodward's name, may I ask? If your sister wouldn't recognize Woodward's name, she needs some serious education herself.

Posted by: Nyoka | June 3, 2005 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"I don't even read most of these comments..." -- Achenbach.

yet he searches for "rogues and rapscallions" !?!?

What a disservice to the loyal Achenbloggers, doesn't care about our comments yet peruses his blog for heathenistic subservients. I'm verplexed... what's that blog site for Drudge ?

Posted by: Post Partum | June 3, 2005 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the "computers" comment comes down to the age divide. People who are, say, in their 20s today may very well get all their news and other information from the Internet, not from newspapers or televised news programs. And they may not fully appreciate the significance of Watergate. For people of Joan Felt's vintage, Watergate was a big deal, and it would have been difficult to NOT know about it and to not know the names of key figures, of whom Bob Woodward was one, although they didn't get their news about Watergate from computers. In the case of Joan Felt, you'd think she'd be even MORE aware of the Watergate issue -- at least by 1999 if not during the 1970s -- given that there had been speculation about her father's being Deep Throat.

Posted by: Achenfan | June 3, 2005 10:01 AM | Report abuse

More from Olbermann, for anyone who might be interested.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6210240/

Posted by: Bilbo | June 3, 2005 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Justice served to the Runaway Bride:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050603/ap_on_re_us/runaway_bride

Posted by: peter | June 3, 2005 1:31 PM | Report abuse

For however long DT provided info to Woodward he was the most powerful man in the country, if not the world. By keeping Woodward on his toes DT controlled The White House, The Post, and was #2 man in the FBI (until mid-1973 anyway...) It was all about power. Still is.

Posted by: Numero Uno | June 3, 2005 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach-

I'm shocked *shocked* that have not commented on the Very Interesting Fact that this Deep Throat fellow just *happens* to live on Redford Place.

This is quite significant for reasons I'm sure you understand but cannot discuss.

Posted by: MattH | June 3, 2005 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Further evidence of the holographic nature of the universe.

Posted by: Dreamer | June 3, 2005 2:54 PM | Report abuse

But, Achenfan, that's just the point! If those of us in our 20s (I'm 23) weren't told about Watergate as we were educated on US history, something is wrong. That was a major event in our history that still had a huge impact on politics today. I grudgingly read "All the President's Men" as a senior in college and loved it.

Of course, I'm biased. I think Watergate is fascinating as one of the buglars at Watergate, in a prime moment of panic, gave my grandfather's name instead of his own. My grandmother was not pleased to be told that her husband, sleeping beside her, was in jail.

Posted by: Annie | June 3, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Hi Annie: I couldn't agree more. I think I was trying to make too many points in one (not very coherent) paragraph. It seems there's been some confusion in the various comments above re. Joan Felt's "education" about Watergate. The woman is approx. 60 years old. Her school days were over when the Watergate story broke. So we can't blame the education system for HER particular lack of familiarity with the story (and hey, maybe I'm being too harsh in criticizing her for not recognizing Bob Woodward's name).
As for what is taught about Watergate in schools TODAY, that's another matter. If schools aren't teaching students about Watergate, then yes, maybe teens and 20-somethings who are interested in the issue will find themselves learning about it on their own, including by surfing the Net, and not all of them will do this -- which brings us back to Analyst's comment above that "some people don't spend their lives in front of computers."
As for me, I fall somewhere between Joan Felt's generation and yours, so I can't really speak for either age group. I was seven years old in 1972, and I grew up outside the U.S. So I didn'really learn about Watergate first-hand while it was happening, because I was too young, and I wasn't taught about it at school, because it was too recent to have found its way into our history books. But somewhere along the way I seem to have picked up the basics.
It's interesting when people of different ages come together on a blog like this, looking at a historical events from different perspectives -- sometimes it can seem as though we're talking at cross-purposes. But it can be enlightening, no?
(By the way, that's a great story about your grandfather!)

Posted by: Achenfan | June 3, 2005 5:56 PM | Report abuse

annie: our education system, for some reason, is not great about teaching recent history. i graduated from h.s. in 1983. and my senior year history class stopped at the korean war. we didn't learning anything about vietnam.

however, my history teacher skipped to Watergate. i remember commenting in class that nixon didn't do anything different from other prez, except that he was caught. my teacher said no no no nixon abused his powers and used the government to investigate is enemies ... 30 years later, that debate hasn't changed.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2005 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Re: Daughter - The thing with the daughter not knowing the story makes sense. I don't know where I read it, but in one of the post-mortems, the articles noted that she had dropped out of society and joined a commune in California for many years before and after Watergate. Felt was very upset about this, and it cemented his loyalty to Hoover and his crackdowns on various counterculture organizations.

Posted by: ADMN | June 3, 2005 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Joel, you are missing so many unexplained coincidences in this story. Like what is the connection between DT and the missing 17 (?) minutes on the tape? Like what is the connection between DT and all the bicycles being stolen in 1972 in the stretch between the WH and Watergate, coincidentally ending with the "unfortunate" death by gunfire of a young man at the hands of the police shortly after the burglary. You need to delve deeper to get to the truth! And did you really mean "mind-boggling" or did you misplace the letters and mean "mind-blogging?"

Posted by: W from W, reclaiming my letter from Dubya | June 3, 2005 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Okay, you bloggers. Please explain this to me. I just don't get it. What's Bob Woodward got that a much older FBI guy would toss him the tips that would land a rookie reporter a job with the Washington Post? Is the guy really that charismatic that important people are driven to help him? I've seen Woodward on Imus--he's cute but I don't know if I'd risk my career over him. Was it the navy uniform that made the man?

Posted by: JealousofBobWoodward | June 5, 2005 12:50 AM | Report abuse

the early-1970s could have been a time where such relationships (old DT/young Woodward) could have been cultivated... not so today. People live more in silos today than 35 years ago.

Posted by: Old Guy | June 6, 2005 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Woodward's appeal comes down to being cute or charismatic. Rather, there is an air of restraint, honesty, and earnestness about him. He seens to be free of the need to amuse or impress, free of ego.

Posted by: Dreamer | June 7, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I would like to wish you much luck. And a lot of money. Thank you.

Posted by: Blass Eun | August 26, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I would like to wish you much luck. And a lot of money. Thank you.

Posted by: Kugel Margo | September 20, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Let it be, let it be... What a strange place here.

Posted by: Azery Bledance | September 25, 2006 9:23 PM | Report abuse

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