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Deep Throat and Me: Now It Can Be Told, and Not for the First Time Either

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For many years, I have lived with the secret of Deep Throat's identity. It has been hell, and I have dealt with the situation by telling pretty much anyone who asked me, including total strangers, who Deep Throat was. Not for nothing is indiscretion my middle name.

I knew that Deep Throat was Mark Felt because I figured it out. Carl Bernstein, to whom I was married for a brief time, certainly would never have told me; he was far too intelligent to tell me a secret like that. He refused to tell his children too, who are also my children, so I told them, and they told others, and even so, years passed and no one really listened to any of us. Years passed while unbelievably idiotic ideas of who Deep Throat was were floated by otherwise intelligent people. There were theories about John Dean, and David Gergen, and Alexander Haig, and L. Patrick Gray and Diane Sawyer and Ron Ziegler (Ron Ziegler!), and I'm pretty sure even Henry Kissinger's name came up. I mean, really. Why these people with these ludicrous theories didn't call me I cannot imagine. I am listed.

Only the other day, a well-known and credible journalist who shall be nameless suggested to me that Deep Throat did not exist, that he was a composite character invented by Bob Woodward. I tried to explain to him that Bob Woodward would never have invented anything, much less a composite character, but as I say, no one listened.

The clues to Deep Throat's identity were clear:

* Bob and Carl wrote in All the Presidents Men that Woodward's code name for their source -- before he was christened Deep Throat by Washington Post manager editor Howard Simons -- was My Friend. Hello.

* Long before Bob and Carl had become Woodward and Bernstein, they told writer Timothy Crouse that their anonymous source for their early stories worked in the Justice Department, and Crouse printed it in The Boys on the Bus, his book about the press and the 1972 Presidential campaign.

* If you read All the President's Men carefully, you can see that whoever Deep Throat was had access to FBI files within days of the Watergate break-in, and that the most obvious suspect was probably a high-level official at the FBI.

* Mark Felt was a Navy veteran, and so was Woodward.

I can see just from reading the early coverage about Mark Felt's revelation that he has had a hard time living with this secret too. For years, he has had to hear the constant refrain from Woodward that Deep Throat's identity would not be revealed until Deep Throat died; I don't know about you, but if I were Deep Throat, that would start to get on my nerves. So Felt began to tell the people in his family the truth. "I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he allegedly said to them. My guess is that they reacted with incredulity; after all, that's how people have reacted to me over the years. And then, inevitably, they probably began to wonder about who was going to own the rights to the television movie.

So Mark Felt and his family let Vanity Fair have the story, and now everyone has admitted it's true, and all I can say is that this is a huge load off my mind. Mark Felt is Deep Throat. Don't say I didn't try to tell you.

Around the Web

FBI's No. 2 Was 'Deep Throat' - washingtonpost.com

W. Mark Felt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Deep Throat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

How Mark Felt Became 'Deep Throat' - washingtonpost.com

W. Mark Felt, Watergate Deep Throat, Dies at 95 - Obituary (Obit ...