Thursday, June 02, 2005

Nixon aides condemn 'Deep Throat' for betrayal

Nixon aides condemn 'Deep Throat' for betrayal

Wed Jun 1, 6:23 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Aides to the late president Richard Nixon have said that former FBI deputy director Mark Felt, unmasked as the anonymous Watergate source known as "Deep Throat," had breached professional ethics by leaking information.

G. Gordon Liddy, a Nixon operative who engineered the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Campaign headquarters in the Watergate building in Washington, and served four and a half years in jail for it, said Wednesday that Felt "violated the ethics of the law enforcement profession."

"If he possessed evidence of wrongdoing, he was honor-bound to take that to a grand jury and secure an indictment, not to selectively leak it to a single news source," Liddy, now a popular conservative radio talk show host, told CNN television.

"Deep Throat," named after an emblematic porn film of the time, helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein draw connections between the break-in and the White House, eventually leading to Nixon's resignation under threat of impeachment.

Forty Nixon aides were indicted as a result of the break-in in which burglars planted listening devices to spy on the Democrats during an election campaign.

Felt revealed Tuesday that he had secretly fed to Washington Post reporters information about crimes committed by members of the presidential entourage, who spun an intricate web of illegal political espionage and vendettas against those perceived to be Nixon's enemies.

Liddy suggested that Felt had been also aware of information that was damaging to the Democrats but chose to keep that silent about it, indicating he was driven by partisan politics.

Leonard Garment, Nixon's chief legal counsellor from 1969-1973, said he thought Felt kept his role in Watergate secret for 31 years "because he felt that what he had done could well be considered dishonorable."

Garment said the question was "when government persons, having private, secret, confidential information, are justified to become the whistle-blower and defy or ignore their sworn obligation to maintain security and go to the press with it."

Chuck Colson, the head of White House communications in 1972, Felt could have helped America avoid a wrenching political crisis, the ripple effect of which was felt in the country for decades, if he had gone through proper channels.

"Mark Felt could have stopped Watergate," said Colson, who served time in jail and is now an evangelical Christian broadcaster. "He was in a position of that kind of influence. Instead, he goes out and basically undermines the administration."

Former Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan, in an appearance on MSNBC television, bluntly said Felt was a "traitor."

But David Gergen, another ex-Nixon aide and one-time Deep Throat suspect, was reserved, saying he was "relieved" he was no longer under suspicion.

Felt's disclosure was hailed by leading US dalies Wednesday as a prime example of how anonymous sources can keep government abuse in check.

"Had Felt remained quiet, Nixon might have succeeded in one of the most serious abuses of power ever attempted by an American president," said the Washington Post.

The New York Times wondered if a Watergate scandal today would similarly come to light.

"Now, at a time when reporters' right to keep sources secret is under so much attack, it's worth asking whether Deep Throat would have shared his secrets" if he had not been confident the Post reporters would keep the secret.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Watergate scandal

The Watergate Scandal

Posted 5/31/2005 5:52 PM Updated 5/31/2005 10:06 PM

The Watergate scandal
The Associated Press
A timeline of the Watergate scandal:
June 17, 1972: Five men are arrested in a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington.

June 20, 1972: President Nixon and aide H.R. Haldeman discuss Watergate. Later, prosecutors find an 18-minute gap in tape of that conversation.

Sept. 15, 1972: Seven men, including two former White House aides, are indicted in Watergate break-in.

Jan. 11-30, 1973: Five of the men plead guilty to conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping. Two stand trial and are convicted.

April 30, 1973: Haldeman and Nixon aide John D. Ehrlichman resign. White House aide John Dean is fired.

July 16, 1973: Testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee reveals that all of Nixon's White House conversations were taped.

July 24, 1973: The Supreme Court rules that Nixon must provide the tapes and documents subpoenaed by special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox.

Oct. 20, 1973: Cox refuses to compromise on the tapes, and Nixon orders Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refuses and resigns in protest. Acting Attorney General Robert Bork fires Cox. This becomes known as the "Saturday Night Massacre."

July 24, 1974: The Supreme Court rules Nixon must hand over the tapes.

July 27-30, 1974: House Judiciary Committee approves three articles of impeachment: obstruction of justice, misuse of powers and violation of his oath of office, and failure to comply with House subpoenas.

Aug. 9, 1974: Nixon resigns.

September 8, 1974: President Ford pardons Nixon.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

'Deep Throat' Reportedly Comes Forward

'Deep Throat' Reportedly Comes Forward

Tue May 31,12:53 PM ET

NEW YORK - A former FBI official claims he was "Deep Throat," the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about President Nixon's Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, Vanity Fair reported Tuesday.

W. Mark Felt, 91, who was second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s, kept the secret even from his family until 2002, when he confided to a friend that he had been Post reporter Bob Woodward's source, the magazine said.

"I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," he told lawyer John D. O'Connor, the author of the Vanity Fair article, the magazine said in a news release.

Felt was initially adamant about remaining silent on the subject, thinking disclosures about his past somehow dishonorable.

"I don't think (being Deep Throat) was anything to be proud of," Felt indicated to his son, Mark Jr., at one point, according to the article. "You (should) not leak information to anyone."

Felt is a retiree living in Santa Rosa, Calif., with his daughter, Joan, the magazine said. He could not immediately be reached for comment by The Associated Press. His family members disagreed with their father, feeling that he should receive accolades for his role in Watergate before his death.

The Washington Post had no immediate comment on the report.

O'Connor is a lawyer at the San Francisco firm Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin. A receptionist there said O'Connor was out of the office but confirmed he was the author of the Vanity Fair article.

The existence of Deep Throat, nicknamed for a popular porn movie of the early 1970s, was revealed in Woodward and Carl Bernstein's best-selling book "All the President's Men." In the hit movie based on the book, Deep Throat was played by Hal Holbrook.

But his identity of the source whose disclosures helped bring down the Nixon presidency remained a mystery.

Among those named over the years as Deep Throat were Assistant Attorney General Henry Peterson, deputy White House counsel Fred Fielding, and even ABC newswoman Diane Sawyer, who then worked in the White House press office. Ron Zeigler, Nixon's press secretary, White House aide Steven Bull, speechwriters Ray Price and Pat Buchanan, and John Dean, the White House counsel who warned Nixon of "a cancer growing on the presidency," also were considered candidates.

And some theorized Deep Throat wasn't a single source at all but a composite figure.

In 1999, Felt denied he was the man.

"I would have done better," Felt told The Hartford Courant. "I would have been more effective. Deep Throat didn't exactly bring the White House crashing down, did he?"

In 2003, Woodward and Bernstein reached an agreement to keep their Watergate papers at the University of Texas at Austin.

At the time, the pair said documents naming "Deep Throat" would be kept secure at an undisclosed location in Washington until the source's death.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Brownback's idea

Joyce Comments: More embryos should not be allowed to be formed than the number of children each couple, on a case-by-case basis, is willing and able to parent. That is, if an infertile couple feels that they can honestly parent up to six children, then they can reasonably allow up to six embryos to be formed. More oversight of American fertility clinics sounds great. It makes no sense to create 15, 20, or more embryos-far more children than any single couple can realistically parent. To cap the maximum number of embyros the clinics can create in the first place for the couples wanting to be parents, is realistic and sensible. Although this doesn't end the controversial research going on, it curbs the number of available human embryos that otherwise would have been flushed, given up for adoption to other couples, frozen, and or willed for research purposes to be disected for stem cells to a more reasonable number that would be enough for even the most unsuccessful and ambitous couples trying to have children. So write to your local members of Congress in the House, Senate and your state government and push for more oversight of fertility clinics.

Source: The Washington Times - Inside Politics by Greg Pierce - May 30, 2005

Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, yesterday called for restrictions on the number of embryos that could be created during fertility treatments, hoping to lessen the number of unwanted embryos left over when the procedures end.
"In a number of countries, they limit the number of these in vitro fertilizations from outside the womb," Mr. Brownback said on ABC's "This Week."
"They say you can do this, but you have to do these one or two at a time, so that they're implanted in that basis. And that might be the better way to look at this.
"That's a way that you can look at that, instead of going on this massive scale of what we've done here," Mr. Brownback said.
His remarks came after the House last week passed a bill to loosen federal funding restrictions on medical research using stem cells from the unwanted embryos.

Stem-cell research: Perils and promise Destroy an embryo, waste a life

Source: Posted: July 15, 2001

The debate over stem-cell research has a face and a name.

Hannah Strege is a happy 2 1/2-year-old girl. By all accounts, she is a normal, healthy toddler discovering the joy of life. In a few days I hope to meet Hannah, and when I do, I will reassure her that there is no such thing as a spare or leftover person.

Although she may not yet understand what that means, her parents sure do. They understand perfectly because Hannah used to be a frozen embryo in an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) clinic. She was what those who support embryonic stem-cell research - research that destroys such human embryos - callously call spare and leftover.

But Hannah is neither spare nor leftover, even though she spent a considerable time in a deep-freeze tank that served as her frozen orphanage. She could have been fodder for researchers, but instead today she is talking a blue streak. And according to the Snowflakes program (, which arranged for Hannah to be adopted as an embryo, there are between 11,000 and 22,000 similar children today who could be placed for adoption with any one of the 2 million infertile couples waiting to begin families of their own.

The story of Hannah and other adopted embryos underscores why we should not spend federal taxpayer dollars to destroy human embryos to steal their precious stem cells. These cells are not ours to take. And given the breathtaking discoveries from adult stem-cell research, which does not rely on destroying human embryos, arguments for federally funding embryonic stem-cell research are less persuasive than ever.

In just the past few months, several dramatic breakthroughs have been reported by the New England Journal of Medicine and others validating the promise of adult stem-cell research. Donald Orlic of the National Human Genome Research Institute recently said that "we are currently finding that these adult stem cells can function as well, perhaps even better than, embryonic stem cells."

Unlike embryonic stem cells, which have never been used in any clinical applications, adult stem cells are today helping to treat numerous conditions, including brain tumors, ovarian cancer, leukemia, breast cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, autoimmune diseases, stroke, anemia, blood and liver disease. I have introduced legislation to expand federal funding for adult stem-cell research because it already holds the promise of saving lives without destroying lives.

Recent studies have shown, furthermore, that adult stem cells have the exciting potential to treat diabetes, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, blindness, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and glaucoma, as well as to repair or replace organs and tissues.

In view of this growing body of evidence supporting adult stem-cell research, the only way to justify federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research is to take the position that a human embryo has no value - none, zero, less than the dot above the i on this piece of paper. Now that medical advances have clearly demonstrated that adult stem cells are a legitimate alternative to research that destroys human embryos, the only way to justify embryo-destructive work is to assert that Hannah has no value at all.

For all of our sakes, I hope that ethics do matter in this debate. I hope that we can all agree that human embryos have innate value. Once we determine that any human life can be destroyed in the name of science, all life is devalued.

Too many cultures and societies have believed it acceptable to sacrifice the few, the weak, and the vulnerable for the benefit of the strong and the many. But experience and ethics dictate that it is unacceptable to destroy one life for the potential benefit of others, particularly when there are legitimate alternatives.

Adult stem-cell research is scientifically justified, ethically responsible and morally acceptable. Embryonic stem cell research is not.

No child is spare or leftover, and the weak and the vulnerable will always need someone to speak for them. We must speak for them, and for Hannah.

U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R., Fourth District) represents central New Jersey.