Thursday, June 09, 2005

Alleged confidante opines on what Felt felt

Some have speculated Felt chose to leak information because he was angry when Nixon passed him over and gave the director's job to Gray. But Daly said it had nothing to do with promotions.

"It was done, as I understood it, so that the investigation into Watergate wouldn't be contained, so that the news media that were recipients of the leaks would create an atmosphere that would allow the investigation to go forward," he said. "There was a sense that the White House was seeking to curtail the inquiry and make it very, very limited."

from a story on the Web site of the Times Union newspaper, in which three FBI agents, now dead, are said to have assisted Felt in assembling the information he leaked as Deep Throat. John Dean says the story rings true.

The evidence in the article argues that Felt wasn't motivated by resentment at having been passed over, but it doesn't rule out Felt having been cagey and having had an aim still broader than the one he allegedly confessed to co-conspirators and Daly. Admitting to having desired to circumvent highly suspicious White House interference with an investigation is, of all plausible explanations, the easiest one for Felt to make. By comparison, confessessing to having had the aim of toppling the president, such as Felt might reasonably have expected to result from the leaks, would have been indescribably more incriminating. Felt is a man who has been all but totally mum for three decades and who attests now to a sense of guilt which, arguably, doesn't quite square with the motives he has confessed to. I don't think it's safe to assume this man--who is in effect a defendant on the stand--has been completely frank with us.

Postscript: Transcript of Mark Felt interview at age 92 with Larry King. Echoes Daly.

KING: Those who say that you wanted to be a bigger job, that you wanted to be director of the FBI, and that when you didn't get that job, that's why you turned.

M. FELT: No. No. No. That's just some ambitious thinking that isn't accurate at all. No, I was trying to do the maximum effect I could and keep the bureau on the proper course.

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