Thursday, June 02, 2005

Deep Throat deserves praise

It's a shame: faster than one can say "whistle-blower," Deep Throat's decision to go public has all too predictably occasioned a frankly childish atmosphere of condemnation, spurred on by G. Gordon Liddy himself, who is surely in no moral position to condemn the man who exposed the Nixon administration's conspiracy to obstruct justice. According to Liddy on CNN, "If he [Deep Throat] possessed evidence of wrongdoing, he was honor-bound to take that to a grand jury and secure an indictment, not to selectively leak it to a single news source."

Is it fair to second-guess Deep Throat's act? John D. O'Conner's Vanity Fair article is remarkably sensitive on this point and generally a good, evenhanded account of Deep Throat's courage and moral calculus, both then and now. Perceiving that the White House was intent on using the Justice Department for its political ends, Mark Felt believed that the integrity of the FBI was at stake. Felt, it seems, went to the Post almost depsite himself. As Felt's son puts it,

"Making the decision [to go to the press] would have been difficult, painful, and exruciating, and outside the bounds of his life's work. He would not have done it if he didn't feel it was the only way to get around the corruption in the White House and Justice Department. He was tortured inside, but never would show it."

The more I read about Deep Throat the man, the more I believe the words of his son. Deep Throat made whistle-blowing legal and laudable, and for this he should be praised.

1 comment:

PiedPiper said...

Here, here, my good man! Clear, concise and to the point. An excellent post! As for D. Throat, there could have been a few more mentions of the porn connection, but hey, what are you going to do?

Have you thought about live-blogging from Grand Old Day?