As I wrote a week or so back, I've been fairly puzzled by some people's reaction to the revelation of Deep Throat's identity. Here in my home state of Utah, especially, a lot of folks are saying that Mark Felt is a bum because he betrayed a president he was sworn to protect. I wonder what those same people think about Nixon himself. Do they think he was wrongfully driven from office for the crimes committed in his name, if not on his actual orders? Do they honestly believe Felt's "betrayal" is worse than breaking and entering, illegal wiretapping, and government cover-ups, all for the purpose of one political party unfairly increasing and retaining its grip on power? It seems to me that Felt was being a good soldier by protecting the Republic as opposed to a president he knew to be corrupt. In other words, he was showing loyalty to something higher and more important than Richard Nixon. Just in case you missed it the first time I said it, I'll say it again: it doesn't really matter what motivated him to do it, because it was ultimately the right thing to do, for the country as a whole. In the real world, people often do things that get labelled as "good" or "bad" regardless of the purity of their intentions, and that's how I see Mark Felt blowing the whistle.
People have been debating whether Mark "Deep Throat" Felt was a good guy or a bad guy, and these debates often seem to be conducted on the assumption that he had to have been one or the other.
I don't think many public figures -- especially in government -- can be fit wholly into one of those two classifications, and I see no reason to expect that Mr. Felt can be so tidily rated. His motives in leaking to Bob Woodward were probably some mixture of wanting to protect the F.B.I. from abuse by the Nixon administration and wanting to advance his personal agenda. In the grand scheme of things, I suspect he was less important to the toppling of a president than he was to the career advancement of Woodward and Bernstein. I don't think what he did was dishonorable or illegal -- that's the spin of those who cast their lot with Richard M. Nixon -- and to the extent he did it to expose corruption, I guess he's a hero. But only for that one series of actions. He wasn't a hero for what he did soon after.
Evanier finishes with a link to an article that details Felt's less-than-noble, post-Throat exploits, if you're interested.