Thursday, 2 June 2005

The Denouenent of the 'Deep Throat' Saga

by Trowbridge H. Ford

In today's highly conspiratorial world, there always has to be some release - some apparently telltale event or disclosure about what happened - to keep all the dirty linen about Anglo-American covert government from completely unraveling, whether it be a plot to assassinate some world leader, a diversion to prevent some devastating blowback from some dirty tricks, a gigantic fraud which would blacken the reputation of the governing elite, and the like. The plotters must always keep at least one step ahead of the publicists and the police in such matters.

Take, for example, the conspiracy which assassinated JFK in Dallas on November 22, 1963. No sooner did it happen than the press was increasingly filled with stories about some kind of conspiracy - Cuban agents, right-wingers in Dallas and New Orleans, the KGB, the Mafia, you name it. The plan was constructed to blame the Cubans and the KGB for the killing, but the wounding of Texas Governor John B. Connally, a leader, along with former Vice President Richard M. Nixon, in setting the President up for the shooting, prevented the plan from going ahead, as he survived his wounds, and threatened to get those responsible because he believed that he had been double-crossed.

Connally's threat completely panicked the plotters, especially when they discovered that the scapegoat they had set up at Havana's and Moscow's expense, Lee Harvey Oswald, had an iron-clad alibi, as he was standing in front of the Texas School Book Depository when the fatal shots were fired - what the AP photographer James Altgens' photograph of the shooting established, and what newspapers like The Washington Post confirmed by printing a blown-up version of it on the front page of its second section on the day after. The photo convinced even FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that there was not enough evidence to convict the ex-Marine of the shooting despite all the efforts the Bureau's Dallas office had gone to in order to set him up.

In this potentially explosive situation, Jack Ruby was obliged to kill Oswald before he had any real chance of respond to the claim that he had killed JFK, much less make a convincing defense in court. The sleazy night club operator, armed with a .38 revolver, had attended the press conference that the District Attorney had given on the night of the shooting, and corrected Henry Wade when he indicated that Oswald was connected to an anti-Castro group - stating that he worked for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Once the Altgens' photograph appeared, though, Ruby had the assignment to kill LHO before he could mount a defence - what was accomplished on that Sunday, thanks to a police tipoff about his transfer from the city jail.

Once the leading suspect was dead, there was little chance of establishing his innocence in the whole affair. More important, there was no chance of getting to the bottom of the conspiracy which murdered the President.

The same kind of proactive prophylactic occurred when Britain's revenge killings in South Armagh during the fall of 1982 threatened to unravel because of the investigation by John Stalker - what the Thatcher government had been obliged to appoint because of nationalist complaints about the killing of the six, unarmed Republican volunteers. The killings had been carried out in response to the Provisional IRA bombings in Hyde Park the previous July, and were apparently committed by the Life Guards Captain Simon Hayward who had seen so many of his colleagues and mounts murdered.

When Stalker was becoming convinced that the killings were unjustified, and was looking for an MI5 tape of the shooting of 17-year-old Michael Tigue in hayloft near Lurgan - what would establish who actually killed him, and under what conditions - he was suddenly 'removed forever' from the case on May 29, 1986, and suspended from duty, charged with being criminally involved with Manchester businessman Kevin Taylor, and Simon Hayward's brother, Christopher, in drug smuggling in Spain on the catamaran, True Love. While Stalker was allowed to return to work a few months later, the inquiry ultimately fizzled out under the direction of Colin Sampson, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, because of the need keeping Simon Hayward quiet during the runup to the shooting of more unarmed Republican volunteers in March 1988 at Gibraltar.

In sum, Stalker's removal from the inquiry allowed British covert operators time to hush up the South Armagh murders, thanks to need of maintaining security for ongoing secret operations.

The same kind of preventive action against the fallout from Watergate during Nixon's administration has now occurred with a former Assistant Director of the FBI, Mark Felt, coming forward to claim that he was 'Deep Throat', the famous source within the Executive Branch, and the White House which Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein used so effectively in forcing the President's resignation. Though Felt had denied that he was 'Deep Throat' while Nixon was still in office, he admitted to his son in 2002 that he was, in fact, the source, and the corrupt media, like The Guardian, have immediately jumped on the band wagon with his admission which apparently finally ends the mystery.

The trouble with Felt's last-hour confession is that it has no credibility, given what Woodward and Bernstein put together in All the President's Men, and General Alexander M. Haig wrote in Inner Circles. The reporters, in making their articles into a book, were too revealing about who 'Deep Throat' really was, while still attempting to hide his identity. (For more on this, see my article in the Trowbridge Archive about Haig as 'Deep Throat'.) They said far too much about his working at the White House, first in the Executive Office Building, and then within its inter core to be anyone as far away as the Bureau. Then they declined to include Haig in their cast of characters - The President's Men (pp. 9-10) - though he was clearly one of Nixon's closest servants, being Deputy National Security Adviser before he became the President's Chief of Staff.

Haig compounded his problems by how he recounted his service in the White House, and dealt with the issue of who 'Deep Throat' really was. Haig was hired personally by Henry Kissinger as a military aide whose job was to keep the NSC leak-proof - what the Plumbers were hired to track down after Hoover refused to do the checks Haig and Kissinger requested. Then, in discussing his alibi for not being the mole, Haig was most unconvincing in claiming that he was elsewhere when 'Deep Throat's meetings and calls took place with Woodward, otherwise occupied completely in foreign affairs, and did not know personally either of the reporters. More important, Haig wrote this about his being the mole:

"This pusillanimous lie was given currency in 1982 by John W. Dean III in his book Lost Honor. Dean admits therein that his theory is pure speculation and that he was unable to find a single scrap of actual proof to support his thesis. Dean's accusation was false and defamatory, but lawyers advised me that it was useless to sue. Because I happened to be a former White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of State, I was a public figure who could be libeled with impunity as a result of decisions of the Supreme Court that had, for all practical purposes, stripped people in public life of the traditional rights to protect their reputations." (p. 321)

This, of course, is blatantly untrue, and it is hard to imagine any two competent lawyers so claiming. No one can deliberately and falsely defame any public figure, and get away with it. The Supreme Court only permits innocent defaming during the political process. Haig could have won a bundle and exonerated himself completely if he had decided to sue Dean, and had won.

The truth of this being the case was demonstrated when Haig worked with Nixon and President Clinton to get me to say and write deliberately false claims about the ex-President - what Jim Marrs and Jim DiEugenio were attempting to accomplish through false and indirect means with me during the 1990s. (See my articles about America's plot to kill me in the archives.) If they could have gotten such statements, I am sure I would have been sued.

The reason why Haig did not sue Dean was because the President's former counsel knew better than anyone else what he was claiming - what he had gone ultimately to the greatest lengths to cover up for Haig's benefit in the end. It was Dean who got Fred Fielding, another candidate for 'Deep Throat, to make sure that Kathleen Chenow, the Plumbers' secretary, did not tell the Bureau and Watergate prosecutors anything revealing about their operations (Woodward and Bernstein, pp. 216-7) - testimony which ultimately would have led to Haig's exposure and destruction.

Instead, Haig changed Woodward's description of 'Deep Throat' into one more fitting for Felt - ..."tall, gaunt, careless in his appearance, with a tough beard that he sometimes does not shave....He thinks, talks, and acts like a lawyer. He is an expert handler of the press and a superb spotter of journalist talent...His speech is guarded, though fluent and eloquent." (p. 324) Woodward never spoke of 'Deep Throat' being tall and gaunt, his behavior was never lawyer-like, and his speech was much like Haig's.

Once Haig's false claims received considerable support, he expanded upon them for the Strobers while they were preparing Nixon: An Oral History of His Presidency:

"What a lot of people don't know about Watergate is that the FBI knew more about the subject than anybody, and was feeding the press; that was Woodward and Bernstein's 'Deep Throat'. I only realized this when I was researching my own book. I always thought that 'Deep Throat was someone around the White House - Len Garment or Dave Gergen. It had to be somebody who was very coherent and also had a collective picture, and only the FBI had that, because they were working intensely on it." (p. 498)

This has to be the falsest statement ever muttered by man. The Bureau, thanks to Felt, was anything but intensely involved - avoiding the Agency like the plague in its inquiries - though Dean and the President were clamoring for it to become so, and Nixon had placed his own yes-man, L. Patrick Gray, as its acting Director to speed up its involvement in the attempted cover up. Haig's alleged lack of knowledge about White House affairs is totally laughable and unbelieveable. And while pointing in Felt's direction, he still implicates others as possible candidates in place of himself.

Now, Felt has finally emerged from the woodwork to admit that he is 'Deep Throat', though Woodward, Bernstein, and their former editor Ben Bradlee refused at first to confirm his claim, explaining that they would only do so after he dies. Of course, this meant we would have to wait a bit longer until Felt does, but thanks to public pressure by people like former Senator Mike Garvel -my old housemate from CIC back in Paris, and leaker of The Pentagon Papers to try to stem Haig's paranoia about them - who thinks Felt should get a medal for something he never did, the Post people have caved in with their false acknowledgement.

Watergate was too terrible for continued confusion about it causes and resolution. And they will certainly do nothing to change the picture when 'Deep Throat' himself actually dies.

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