Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Guess Who?

I don't even think I need to post any links since this must be all over the blogosphere and in on-line copies of newspapers across the country. And, of course, it's been on the evening news. Heck, it's the hottest topic now.

Deep Throat has finally outed himself - it's Mark Felt, one time number two man at the FBI. In my lifetime, I never thought I'd find out Deep Throat's identity, at least not until I was a very old woman. Both Woodward and Bernstein, and their Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee, had all promised they'd never reveal who Deep Throat was until his death.

But Felt revealed himself, and, very reluctantly, both Woodward and Bernstein finally confirmed it tonight just in time for the 6 o'clock news on television.

Besides the astounding news, the reaction of former Nixon operatives has been very revealing.

Of course, Pat Buchanan was expected to squeal like a pig that Felt was a turncoat and betrayer who acted out of maliciousness because he was passed over for the top spot at the FBI after J. Edgar Hoover's death.

David Gergen stated that the public will never know the whole story and also implied that sour grapes was behind Felt's whistleblowing. But the real surprise, at least to me, was Chuck Colson's response.

He dismissed Felt as a bum who should have gone to other law enforcement officials or to a Grand Jury rather than to the press. All I can say is "oh get real, Chuckie."

Nixon was firing special prosecutors and putting politically beholden outsiders in to head the FBI precisely to control his malfeasance from ever getting out. By definition, a cover up involves preventing damaging information from being revealed through official channels.

With his enemies lists and his concerted attacks on both the media and his political opponents, Nixon was going to make sure this story never saw the light of day. No, Chuckie, Mark Felt wasn't a criminal, he was a patriot who was afraid his beloved FBI would become tarnished in the criminal cover up of a Republican administration. And worse, he was afraid the nation itself would be irreparably damaged if these men got away with their high crimes and misdemeanors.

What becomes painfully obvious in watching all these President's Men is how unsorry they are for the events they engineered. They may be terribly sorry they got caught red handed, but they're not a whit contrite at what they did. They still don't get it that they were the criminals. But the worst is Chuck Colson. He is a sanctimonious hypocrite who deserves scorn.

Colson has spent years masquerading as a contrite and pious Christian who was born again in prison. And no doubt his prison ministry has helped many men and women to build new lives. However, he has also used that ministry, and the pulpit, to champion political causes and candidates under the guise of Christian morality.

The very least that must be expected of a convicted criminal who went to jail for his part in the cover up of the burglary of a political opponent's headquarters is contrition, genuine repentance for the criminal activity, the dishonesty, and the immorality of those activities. Morality does not begin and end below the waistline. It's about more than just sexual behavior. Morality is also about ethics, honesty, and integrity all of which were sadly lacking in the Nixon administration.

That Colson was never truly sorry for his role in the Watergate break in and cover up is apparent from his anger at Mr. Felt. Colson is still furious that Mark Felt snitched on him. That's the attitude not of a repenant criminal, but just of a criminal.


sage said...

well written and thought provoking. Yes, Colson has been able to profit from his Watergate experience, some for good and some not. You bring up some good insights.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Thank you Sage. Colson really disappointed me the most. Although I don't agree with his politics, I did respect him for his conversion. At one point, I really thought he was contrite about his actions during Watergate.

As cynical as I sometimes can be, hypocrisy, like Colson's, always angers me.