The Strange Case of Deep Throat vs. Strep Throat

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The revelation that former FBI official Mark Felt was the "whistleblower" known by the code name "Deep Throat" has been held out as a historic event, and a testament to a great man. Of course, what Deep Throat did in helping the press learn about the systematic lies and abuses of the Nixon White House was useful and would certainly be welcome in today’s White House scenario. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we had a Deep Throat to tell us who was on the Cheney energy subcommittee and exactly how the insiders manipulated the use of intelligence to cover up the acts of 9/11 and propel us into wars of aggression over oil.

So, as Deep Throat, Mark Felt did something useful and remarkable. But some have asserted that Felt did a good thing for a questionable reason – he may have been angry over having been passed over for FBI Chief and thus blown the whistle on the Nixon Administration as a form of revenge. If this is true, and had Felt been appointed as FBI Chief, then perhaps Woodward and Bernstein would have never gotten their scoop and Nixon may have finished two terms and the entire history of the USA may have played out completely differently.

But Deep Throat did more than blow the whistle on Nixon. His own undercover, illegal operations continued even after Nixon Fell. Deep Throat became Strep Throat, a pox on America. Deep Throat was eventually convicted of illegally sur·veil·ling dissidents and war protesters of the war that Nixon was trying to end. The Dohrn sisters were targets, so was the American Indian Movement and the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords of New York City. Strep Throat sent FBI agents in to burglarize apartments, to illegally wiretap phones, to scare businesses away from hiring war protesters. Jennifer Dohrn, sister of Bernadette, says she learned long after the fact that Mark Felt kept a pair of her underwear as a trophy souvenir of his covert operations.

Isn’t it amazing how all this transpired! Mark Felt brought down Richard Nixon because of his own distrust of government hypocrisy and wrongdoing, and then he turned right around and engaged in serious wrongdoing in violation of the U.S. Constitution, for which he was prosecuted and convicted. And then Ronald Reagan, a sort of protégé of Nixon, turned around and pardoned Felt for his crimes! And the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement and the Young Lords were sur·veilled and COINTELPRO’d by the professional intelligence/law enforcement community until they fell apart or ceased to function as effective dissident organizations.

Deep Throat may have done some good, but is he a genuine hero? Deep Throat became Strep Throat and his legacy was forever tarnished.

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