Haldeman Had It Right

Mark Felt kept most of the country guessing for more than 30 years -- but it's worth noting that former White House chief of staff and Watergate figure H.R. "Bob" Haldeman thought Felt was leaking information to Post reporter Bob Woodward during the height of the Watergate scandal.

What's more, Haldeman told his boss, former president Richard M. Nixon.

Tim Noah at Slate reported in 1999 on the taped conversation that took place in 1972 between Haldeman and Nixon. Noah published this excerpt:

Haldeman: We know what's left, and we know who leaked it.
Nixon: Somebody in the FBI?
Haldeman: Yes, sir. Mark Felt. You can't say anything about this because it will screw up our source and there's a real concern. Mitchell is the only one who knows about this and he feels strongly that we better not do anything...

Noah answered questions online earlier today about the confirmation of Deep Throat's identity.

-- Hal Straus

By washingtonpost.com |  May 31, 2005; 8:50 PM ET  | Category:  Richard Nixon
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I had to laugh at Larry King's coverage of the Deep Throat story today. Almost everyone on his show condemned Mark Felt for ratting to the press. But guess who King's guests were? Former Nixon aides, many of whom were convicted of crimes in the whole mess.

Posted by: Dan | May 31, 2005 11:16 PM

I also listened to the former Nixon aides denounce Felt for his motives and his disloyalty. Frankly, I agree with them...he snuggled up to the FBI agency-istas in order to schmooze his way to the top, then turned on the hands that fed him. Keep one axiom in mind..."once a traitor, always a traitor"...and find out where else this guy leaked information (how many FBI agents might he have burned to the Soviets once he felt 'passed over' by the Bureau?).

Posted by: Rich | June 1, 2005 08:42 AM

So now we have a new question: who was Haldeman's source??

Posted by: Mark | June 1, 2005 09:05 AM

Yes, I'm with Mark, who was Haldeman's source? Who was keeping tabs on Felt? That would have to be someone named or working for L. Patrick Gray (likely) or Mitchell.

Posted by: Nancy | June 1, 2005 10:25 AM

Felt says it is okay that he broke his oath of office because he felt Nixon had broken his oath of office?
Typical liberal thinking.
This was done out of spite - because Nixon passed over Felt for the head of the FBI when Hoover died.
And his family now wants to make money off of this.
Felt is a real class act!

Posted by: Linda Lovelace | June 1, 2005 01:02 PM

What is wrong with you people? Mr. Felt's actual boss was John Mitchell, Attorney General under Richard Nixon, and up to his eyeballs in corruption! Who would you have Mr. Felt go to with this information? As for Ms. Lovelace, whatever the "reason" for Mr. Felt's disclosures, this does not negate Nixon's criminal actions in the Watergate coverup.

Posted by: Kathy | June 1, 2005 01:17 PM

You can always tell the conservatives.

They are the ones who feel loyalty to the Maximum Leader is most important.

They have little regard for well being of greater loyalties to the basic ethic of America, or its citizens who they almost seem to despise.

Maybe that is the magic key to understanding conservatives vs liberals.

Posted by: A. Sons | June 1, 2005 01:29 PM

I don't understand the mystery if he was pointed to in one of the tapes. I'm looking around at the transcripts and have not found a reference to Felt.

Posted by: Jackson | June 1, 2005 01:34 PM

Liberals, conservatives? What about decent Americans who are tired of corruption in both parties and want to have all law breakers stopped. Loyalities to lawbreakers or loyalities to their self respect. Never the less, I lived in that era and I wouldn't want to repeat for love or money or country. It was horrible and there didn't seem to be much honor left in anything.

Posted by: Granny | June 1, 2005 02:07 PM

By failing to reveal who his sources were or where their interests lie, Woodward concealed the fact that many of his sources had axes to grind and/or agencies to protect. For example, his source Robert Bennett, then working for the Mullen Company (Howard Hunt's "employer"), was a CIA asset who wrote a memo to his CIA handler which said that Woodward agreed to downplay CIA involvement in exchange for exclusive information. Likewise, Felt knew the FBI had much to hide in terms of illegal wiretaps and break-ins (blackbag jobs), the very things Felt was squealing on Watergate crowd for, and that his exclusive information provided to Woodward would keep the investigation away from FBI misconduct, misconduct which came to light several years later.

Posted by: butterfield 8 | June 1, 2005 08:13 PM

We'll be discussing for decades weither Felt is good guy or a bad guy. I guess sometimes people can do the right thing with the wrong motives.

Posted by: peter, netherlands | June 1, 2005 10:33 PM

Nixon's comment when he found out that Mark Felt was a Jew was all I needed to hear. I believe it was something to the effect "Christ, a Jew in that office."
What does that say about the President..or Jews for that matter?

Posted by: morganstern | July 18, 2005 11:58 PM

I am amazed at how people denounce a guy who put his career on the line so that Watergate would be revealed, justice could be done and people could see that corruption does not always pay. This was an administration which arrogantly trampled over the rights of anyone it wanted in order to retain power.

Mark Felt was no angel - but would you not prefer people in power to speak out against corruption instead of condoning it, as all the crawling Bush underlings do today.

Posted by: Sinclair | September 10, 2005 12:41 AM

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