JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NEW FILM ON WATERGATE’S “DEEP THROAT” (MARK FELT) APPEARS VERY SHORT ON HISTORY – OBSERVATIONS ON THE WATERGATE SCANDAL AND NIXON IMPEACHMENT – WHO WAS REALLY DOING WHAT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A MOVIE REVIEW IN THE GUARDIAN

 

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House review – the Deep Throat riddle

Liam Neeson’s heroic portrayal of the FBI boss who helped topple Nixon following Watergate, doesn’t quite wash

“The Man Who Brought Down the White House review – the Deep Throat riddle”

 

I don’t think there’s much of a riddle.

The movie appears to be very thin on history.

First, Mark Felt was no hero. He was classic Hoover-era FBI, my career over anything else. Hoover himself set that standard.

And I think there is little basis for crediting Felt with bringing down the President. His role was almost marginal, although it made a lot of press at the time, and The Washington Post just relished its theatrical position, serving both to enhance a public image of great, deep journalism while at the same time quietly serving the cause, as it were, of bringing down or, at least, embarrassing Nixon.

Katharine Graham was CIA-connected, and her Editor, Ben Bradlee, may well have been career CIA. There are many suggestive connections.

The Post’s reporting team of Woodward and Bernstein, who met with Mark Felt (Deep Throat) regularly, became almost pop stars at the time, but few knew Woodward had intelligence work in his background. His career in writing since is heavily weighted with persuasive work for the establishment in Washington.

Nixon virtually certainly was the victim of a CIA black operation. The CIA no longer trusted Nixon for several reasons.

So, they put out the idea that there was some irresistible stuff to be had at the Democrats’ Watergate Offices.

And they had James McCord join Nixon’s “Plumber’s Unit,” an alternative security private service Nixon created and not something greatly appreciated by the boys at Langley.

McCord was former CIA, and once CIA, always CIA. It’s like being a “made man” in the Mafia or a tattooed Yakuza in Japan. Other members of the break-in team, like Frank Sturgis, were former Cuban-refugee fighter types, a group almost entirely financed by CIA. They were recruited by Howard Hunt, who was CIA and had worked with them.

McCord was a lifelong technical pro, yet somehow, he made the amazing blunder that created the entire scandal, the sloppy taping of the office door so that a security guard spotted it easily.

You could say, Nixon brought himself down because he never had to take the bait concerning the Watergate, but he couldn’t resist. To this day, there are several speculations on what they expected to discover. One of them is stuff concerning the Kennedy assassination, a topic about which Nixon was long intensely, almost morbidly, curious.

 

Posted March 23, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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