Mark Felt bigraphy, stories - Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and official; Watergate scandal informant

Mark Felt : biography

17 August 1913 - 18 December 2008

William Mark Felt, Sr. (August 17, 1913 – December 18, 2008) was an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who retired as the Bureau's Associate Director in 1973. After denying his involvement with reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein for 30 years, Felt revealed himself to be the Watergate scandal's whistleblower, "Deep Throat," on May 31, 2005.

Felt worked in several FBI field offices prior to his promotion to the Bureau's headquarters in Washington, D.C. During the early investigation of the Watergate scandal (1972–1974), and shortly after the death of longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on May 2, 1972, Felt was the Bureau's Associate Director, the second-ranking post in the FBI. While Associate Director, Felt provided Washington Post reporter Woodward with critical information on the story that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. In 1980, Felt was convicted of the felony of violating the civil rights of people thought to be associated with members of the Weather Underground Organization, by ordering FBI agents to search their homes as part of an attempt to prevent bombings. He was ordered to pay a $7,000 fine, but was pardoned by President Ronald Reagan during his appeal. In 2006, he published an update of his 1979 autobiography, The FBI Pyramid. His last book, written with John O'Connor, is titled A G-Man's Life. On June 14, 2012, the F.B.I. released Felt's personnel file at the agency covering the period from 1941 to 1978. It also released files pertaining to an extortion threat made against Felt in 1956.

Early FBI years

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover often moved Bureau agents around so they would have wide experience. Felt observed that Hoover "wanted every agent to get into any Field office at anytime. Since he had never been transferred and did not have a family, he had no idea of the financial and personal hardship involved."

After completing sixteen weeks of training at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia, and FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC., Felt was first assigned to Texas, working in the Field Offices in Houston and San Antonio, spending three months in each. He then returned to the "Seat of Government", as Hoover called FBI Headquarters, and was assigned to the Espionage Section of the Domestic Intelligence Division, tracking down spies and saboteurs during World War II, where he worked on the Major Case Desk. His most notable work there was on the "Peasant" case. Helmut Goldschmidt, operating under the codename "Peasant", was a German agent in custody in England. Under Felt's direction, his German masters were informed "Peasant" had made his way to the United States, and were fed disinformation on Allied plans.

The Espionage Section was abolished in May 1945 after V-E Day. After the war, Felt was sent again to a Field Office, first to Seattle, Washington. After two years of general work, he spent two years as a Firearms Instructor and was promoted from Agent to Supervisor. Upon passage of the Atomic Energy Act and the creation of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the Seattle Office became responsible for completing background checks of workers at the Hanford plutonium plant near Richland, Washington. Felt oversaw these checks. In 1954, Felt returned briefly to Washington as an inspector's aide. Two months later, he was sent to New Orleans, Louisiana, as Assistant Special Agent in charge of the Field Office. When he was transferred to Los Angeles, California, fifteen months later, he held the same rank there.

Notes

  1. W. Mark Felt, The FBI Pyramid: From the Inside (New York: Putnam, 1979) p. 11; & Ronald Kessler, The F.B.I.: Inside the World's Most Powerful Law Enforcement Agency (New York: Pocket Books, 1994), p. 163.
  2. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 11.
  3. Ibid, p. 18.
  4. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 18; & Anthony Theoharis, Tony G. Poveda, Susan Rosenfeld, and Richard Powers eds., The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide (New York: Checkmark Books, 2000), pp. 324–325.
  5. Theoharis et al., FBI: Reference Guide, pp. 324–325.
  6. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 19.
  7. W. Mark Felt, The FBI Pyramid: From the Inside (New York: Putnam, 1979) p. 25.
  8. Thaddeus Holt. The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War. New York: Scribner, 2004. 452–456
  9. Felt, p. 29ff.
  10. Ibid., p. 45.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. John O'Connor, "'I'm the Guy They Called Deep Throat'", Vanity Fair
  14. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 59.
  15. Ibid., p. 67.
  16. Theoharis et al., FBI: Reference Guide, p. 315, p. 470; & Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991), p. 624.
  17. Felt, FBI Pyramid, page number not given
  18. Kessler, F.B.I.: Inside the Agency, p. 163.
  19. Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets, p. 24.
  20. Ibid., p. 43.
  21. Ibid., p. 49.
  22. Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets, p. 50; & United States Congress, House of Representatives, "Inquiry Into the Destruction of Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's Files and FBI Recordkeeping: Hearing Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations."
  23. United States Congress, House of Representatives, "Inquiry Into the Destruction of Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's Files and FBI Recordkeeping: Hearing Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations."
  24. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 216.
  25. Ibid., p. 225.
  26. Ibid., p. 186.
  27. Ibid., p. 245.
  28. Kessler, F.B.I.: Inside the Agency, p. 269.
  29. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, All the President's Men, 2nd ed. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 71.
  30. Ibid., p. 131.
  31. Bob Woodward, "How Mark Felt Became 'Deep Throat'", The Washington Post; Woodward Secret Man, p. 16
  32. Bernstein and Woodward, All the President's Men, p. 71.
  33. Adrian Havill, Deep Truth: The Lives of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (New York: Carol Publishing, 1993), pp. 78–82.
  34. "Voice from the shadows", The Sydney Morning Herald, p. 35.
  35. Stanley Kutler, Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (New York: Touchstone, 1998), p. 67.
  36. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 227.
  37. Ibid., p. 225.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 226.
  40. Ibid., p. 278.
  41. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 293; Kessler, F.B.I.: Inside the Agency, p. 181; & Kutler, Abuse of Power, p. 347.
  42. Kutler, Abuse of Power, p. 347.
  43. Ibid., p. 454.
  44. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 300.
  45. Ibid., p. 293.
  46. John Crewdson (August 30, 1976), "Ex-F.B.I. Aide Sees 'Scapegoat' Role", The New York Times, p. 21.
  47. Kessler, F.B.I.: Inside the Agency, p. 194.
  48. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 333.
  49. Ibid., p. 337.
  50. Robert Pear: "Conspiracy Trial for 2 Ex-F.B.I. Officials Accused in Break-ins", The New York Times, September 19, 1980; & "Long Delayed Trial Over F.B.I. Break-ins to Start in Capital Tomorrow", The New York Times, September 14, 1980, p. 30.
  51. Robert Pear, "Testimony by Nixon Heard in F.B.I. Trial", The New York Times, October 30, 1980.
  52. Ibid.
  53. Kessler, F.B.I.: Inside the Agency, p. 194.
  54. Roy Cohn, "Stabbing the F.B.I.", The New York Times, November 15, 1980, p. 20.
  55. "The Right Punishment for F.B.I. Crimes." (Editorial), The New York Times, December 18, 1980.
  56. , Ronald Reagan. April 15, 1981.
  57. Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets, p. 595; Robert Sam Anson, Exile: The Unquiet Oblivion of Richard M. Nixon, p. 233; Laurie Johnston and Robert McG. Thomas, "Congratulations and Champagne from Nixon."
  58. "Pardoning the F.B.I's Past." (Editorial), The New York Times, April 16, 1980.
  59. Robert Pear, "President Pardons 2 Ex-F.B.I. Officials in 1970's Break-ins.", The New York Times; & Lou Cannon and Laura A. Kiernan, "President Pardons 2 Ex-FBI Officials Guilty in Break-Ins", The Washington Post.
  60. Joe Pichirallo, "Judge Allows Appeals by Ex-Officials Of FBI Despite Pardons by Reagan", The Washington Post.
  61. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 349.
  62. Ralph de Toledano, "Deep Throat's Ghost." The American Conservative. July 4, 2005.
  63. Henry Steck, "Review of The FBI Pyramid", Library Journal.
  64. Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 11.
  65. David Wise, "Apologia by No. 2", The New York Times Book Review.
  66. Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets, p. 728.
  67. Kessler, F.B.I.: Inside the Agency, p. 179.
  68. Carol Benfell, "A Family Secret: Joan Felt Explains Why Family Members Urged Her Father, Watergate's 'Deep Throat' to Reveal His Identity", The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California).
  69. Jack Limpert, "Deeper Into Deep Throat", Washingtonian.
  70. James Mann, "Deep Throat: An Institutional Analysis", The Atlantic Monthly.
  71. Woodward, Secret Man, p. 116.
  72. ibid., p. 131.
  73. Frank Rizzo, "Nixon one role will remain nameless", The Hartford Courant.
  74. David Daley, "Deep Throat: 2 boys talking politics at summer camp may have revealed a Watergate secret", The Hartford Courant.
  75. Leonard Garment, In Search of Deep Throat: The Greatest Political Mystery of Our Time, pp. 146–47.
  76. Ibid., pp. 170–71.
  77. Vicki Haddock, "The Bay Area's 'Deep Throat' candidate", San Francisco Chronicle.
  78. John O'Connor, "'I'm the Guy They Called Deep Throat'", Vanity Fair
  79. Martin Schram. "Nixon's henchmen lecture us on ethics." Newsday. June 6, 2005. A32.
  80. Tom Raum. "Turncoat or U.S. hero? Deep Throat casts divide." Journal–Gazette (Ft. Wayne, Indiana). June 2, 2005. 1A.
  81. "Deep Thoughts" (editorial). Los Angeles Times. June 2, 2005. B10.
  82. Ralph de Toledano, "Deep Throat's Ghost.." The American Conservative. July 4, 2005.
  83. Bob Thompson. "Deep Throat Family Cuts Publishing, Film Pacts; Tom Hanks to Develop Movie About Secret Watergate Source." The Washington Post. June 16, 2005. C1.
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