News Release

“Deep Throat”: Then and Now

MIKE GRAVEL
U.S. Senator from 1969-81, Gravel said today: “W. Mark Felt, the assistant director of the FBI during the Watergate scandal, has admitted to being ‘Deep Throat.’ He was the source of important information for Washington Post investigative reporters Woodward and Bernstein. Felt’s revelations and tips kept the investigation alive by pulling back the shroud of secrecy hiding the criminal activities of the Nixon White House. Felt should receive the American Medal of Freedom for his courage and patriotism in defense of our democracy. The greatest threat to democracy is secrecy. It is a generic flaw of our representative system of government. Secrecy is endemic to government; it is the device government officialdom uses to hide the truth and to manipulate the media and the public, and is the slippery slope leading to tyranny.”

Gravel added: “The only antidote to the excesses of secrecy is the occasional patriot leaking the truth to the media or to the Congress. Unfortunately, the Congress is all too complicit in maintaining secrecy in government. Thank you, Mark Felt, for your service to freedom and democracy; let us hope that your revelation is an incentive to present-day whistleblowers. The need for whistleblowers has never been greater.” Gravel is now chairman of the Democracy Foundation, which works to institute methods of direct democracy.
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NORMAN SOLOMON
Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, which comes off the press this month. The book includes detailed analysis of parallels between presidential deceptions on behalf of the Vietnam War and the current war in Iraq. Solomon said today: “Potentially, the most important ‘Deep Throat’ in American politics today is the anonymous source who, several weeks ago, leaked the Downing Street Memo to The Times of London. The memo — providing minutes from a high-level meeting that Prime Minister Tony Blair held with British government officials on July 23, 2002 — reported that President Bush had already made the decision to order an invasion of Iraq, while the president was telling Congress and the American people that the opposite was the case.”

Solomon added: “The memo also provides evidence that U.S. intelligence was being tailored to fit President Bush’s decision to go to war: ‘The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.’ So far, in the aftermath of this leak, the current White House has been successful as it tries to stonewall. But the longer-term political impacts of this memo remain to be seen. We should remember that the Watergate story was at first viewed as a minor burglary, and most news editors treated it as meriting no more than sporadic back-page coverage. Now, at a time when a war based on deception is also raging, the momentous question of presidential accountability hangs over Washington and the nation.”
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Text of Downing Street Memo
Background

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167