- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 2, 2002

Deep Throat?

If you haven't heard, former White House Counsel John Dean says he will reveal next month who he believes was Deep Throat, the anonymous Watergate informant to scribes Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post.

The question now is whether Ronald Kessler, former investigative reporter for The Washington Post, who left the newspaper in 1985, will beat Mr. Dean to the punch.

A New York Times best-selling author of 13 nonfiction books, Mr. Kessler told Inside the Beltway yesterday that Deep Throat might well have been former FBI Assistant Director W. Mark Felt, one of two agents convicted for authorizing warrantless break-ins in 1972 and 1973 in search of fugitive members of the radical Weather Underground.

In his new book to be published next week by St. Martin's Press, "The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI," Mr. Kessler will write: "Other [FBI] agents were convinced that Mark Felt was Deep Throat.

"Lending some credence to that, in the summer of 1999, [Bob] Woodward showed up unexpectedly at the home of Felt's daughter, Joan, in Santa Rosa, California north of San Francisco and took him to lunch, Joan Felt, who was taking care of him at her home, told me.

"She recalled that Woodward made his appearance just after a mini-controversy broke in the press late July 1999 about whether Bernstein had told his then-wife, Nora Ephron, that Felt was Deep Throat," writes Mr. Kessler. "Woodward had been interviewing former FBI officials for a book he was writing on Watergate.

"However, now confused because of the effects of a stroke, Felt was in no shape to provide credible information. Joan said her father greeted Woodward like an old friend, and their mysterious meeting appeared to be more of a celebration than an interview, lending support to the notion that Felt was, in fact, Deep Throat.

"'Woodward just showed up at the door and said he was in the area,' Joan Felt said. 'He came in a white limousine, which parked at a schoolyard about 10 blocks away. He walked to the house. He asked if it was OK to have a martini with my father at lunch, and I said it would be fine.'"

As he has in the past, Mr. Felt denied to Mr. Kessler that he was Deep Throat. It should also be pointed out, however, that Mr. Felt could also not remember having lunch with Mr. Woodward in 1999, and even confused Mr. Woodward with a government lawyer.

Declassifying Nixon

On Monday, Inside the Beltway has learned, the National Archives and Records Administration will open 107,200 newly declassified document pages of the Nixon White House.

The documents consist of President Nixon's trip files (overseas travel, conversations and notes), Alexander Haig's chronological files, Mr. Haig's special files (surrounding the war in Southeast Asia), and National Security Council staff member Harold B. Saunders' Middle East negotiations files.

Contest time

"When is Inside the Beltway going to have another column contest?" wonders Phil from New York City.

Well, Phil, since the November congressional elections are just around the corner and the campaigns are switching into high gear, why not a contest that pertains to our favorite pastime, politics?

We invite readers to dust off those presidential history volumes, books of quotations and political almanacs. Or perhaps your all-time favorite political quotation is on the tip of your tongue. Either way, send us one (sorry, only one quote per reader) memorable political one or two-liner, along with the political leader or observer who uttered the famous words, as well as your name and address, to: John McCaslin, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002; or better yet, e-mail: [email protected]

To help readers get into the spirit, here are a few political pronouncements culled from Ariel Books' "Politics":

•"I am the future."

Dan Quayle

•"There is something about a Republican that you can only stand for just so long. On the other hand, there is something about a Democrat that you can't stand for quite that long."

Will Rogers

•"The first law of politics: Never say anything in a national campaign that anyone might remember."

Eugene McCarthy

•"I'm a fellow who likes small parties, and the Republican Party is about the size I like."

Lyndon B. Johnson

•"Republicans sleep in twin beds some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats."

Will Stanton

As for prizes, the two readers submitting the best quotes will receive the latest edition of political satirist Jim Wrenn's "Clinton Library Book," updating the librarian's original work to include Pardon My Funding with Funding for Pardons, Post-Presidency Adventures of Bill and Hillary, and updates on the official Clinton Library.

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