- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2005

Former FBI Deputy Director W. Mark Felt, who has admitted being “Deep Throat,” should not be allowed to profit for illegally disclosing FBI information to The Washington Post, says a former agent who played a critical role in the Watergate investigation.

“This guy shouldn’t be entitled to blood money,” said former FBI Agent Paul P. Magallanes, now head of a Los Angeles-based security consulting firm. “Mark Felt has never apologized for what he did and his disclosure of confidential FBI information endangered the lives of witnesses vital to the investigation and obstructed an FBI probe.

“All of the incriminating facts surrounding President Nixon and his administration would have come out in a normal fashion but for Felt’s actions,” Mr. Magallanes told The Washington Times.

Mr. Felt, in line for a $1 million payoff for his life story, announced last month in a Vanity Fair article that as the bureau’s No. 2 official, he was the source who exposed critical details of the FBI’s Watergate investigation more than three decades ago. Now 91 and retired in California, he revealed his secret identity at the urging of his children, according to Vanity Fair.

Universal Pictures has agreed to pay Mr. Felt $1 million to buy the film and book rights to his life story. His family, which has described him as “an American hero,” has not been available for comment. In 1978, Mr. Felt was convicted for approving the use of illegal wiretaps on an underground political group, but was pardoned by President Reagan in 1981 while his case was on appeal.

Mr. Magallanes, who retired from the FBI in 1989 after a 21-year career, was among 27 agents assigned to the Watergate investigation, but is credited with developing one of the first sources of information — including critical interviews with employees at the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) — that ultimately led to Mr. Nixon’s resignation.

He said any profits Mr. Felt or his family receive from a book and movie deal should, at the very least, be turned over to the Former Agents of the FBI Foundation, which provides assistance grants to ex-agents and their families in times of need and grants scholarships to FBI family members and children of police officers.

“Felt violated his oath of office,” Mr. Magallanes said. “His information was not second or third hand, it came from the loyal, hard working investigative efforts of 27 street agents who were true to their oaths.”

Mr. Magallanes said he and his fellow Watergate investigators never suspected Mr. Felt was the source of The Post leaks.

That was true, he said, even after the agents were ordered by FBI Director L. Patrick Gray in July 1972 to an unusual Saturday morning meeting in his bureau headquarters office after a Post story describing FBI interviews.

Mr. Magallanes, who conducted the interviews, said, “Gray stormed into the room … said he knew someone was leaking information to the press and that it was one of us. He said he wanted that agent or agents … to step forward and to place their credentials on the table and resign or be fired. He then called us ‘yellow belly sniveling agents,’ among other expletives and choice names.

“Obviously, no one stepped forward,” he said.

Mr. Magallanes said Mr. Felt, in his capacity as the No. 2 official at the FBI, “must have known what Gray had said at that Saturday morning blood bath and he didn’t say anything in defense of his agents.

“We were accused of leaking information to the press when all along the leaker was none other than a bureau official,” Mr. Magallanes said. “Mark Felt is being lauded as a hero by the media. I assure you, he is no hero.”

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