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May 31, 2005 - The Day the World Learned the Identity of Watergate's "Deep Throat"

Culture | February 1, 2018

8/8/1974-Washington, DC- Newspaper headlines being read by tourists in front of the White House tell of history in the making. It is said to be imminent that President Nixon will become the first President of the country to resign. (Getty Images)

The Watergate scandal rocked the United States during the early 70s. It had all the makings of a story for the big screen; politics, public officials (including President Nixon), break-ins and wiretapping, a cover-up and last, but by no means least, a mysterious informant. Unfortunately for those involved, and for the rest of the Country, for that matter, it was all too real!

The Nixon administration had gotten in way over its collective head with this one.  An informant, referred to as Deep Throat, blew the infamous scandal right out of the water! The scandal led to the discovery of despicable abuse of power and was the unfortunate downfall of dozens of people; not the least of which were directly connected to Nixon. Eventually, Nixon had no option but to resign his office to avoid being impeached. As a result, Vice President Gerald Ford assumed his role as President.

The Watergate scandal led to Nixon’s disgraceful resignation.

Eventually, Nixon had no option but to resign his office to avoid being impeached. As a result, Vice President Gerald Ford assumed the role of President. His first Order of business was to pardon Nixon for his crimes.

The identity of Deep Throat, as the informant came to be known, was the source of much torment and speculation for years. The fact that this person was responsible for uncovering the possible illegal activity was not enough. His claims had been validated and the administration went tumbling down.  Although politicians are usually held to a certain standard, they often disappoint.  Most organizations including, if not especially, political ones, often frown on whistleblowers and Deep Throat was not ignorant of this fact. It was years before his identity would be revealed.

Nixon had long suspected Mark Felt as the informant, as early as 1973, but couldn’t be sure. The name, Mark Felt was often mentioned as a possible source. Despite that fact, Felt consistently denied any involvement and went to great lengths to cover his tracks. In so doing, he blatantly misled the public due to his fear of retribution. In fact, no less than 6 years before he caved and came clean, Felt issued the following statement: “It would be contrary to my responsibility as a loyal employee of the FBI to leak information.”. Clearly, he was concerned about revealing his true involvement with the infamous scandal.

Eventually, after covering all of his bases, Felt confirmed stories about the events that brought Nixon’s administration to an end. He had finally admitted to his involvement and to being the mystery informant that brought the Watergate scandal to light.

The infamous Watergate Hotel

The infamous scandal was named after the Watergate Hotel, where much of the activity took place. All these years later, many scandals, both here in the U.S. and abroad, political or not, are associated with the distinction of the (current scandal) - “gate”.

Mark Felt passed away in 2008 at the age of 95; years after exposing the injustices of the Nixon administration.  His efforts and involvement are forever cemented in our U.S. history.

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.