Analysis: Editor cautions against lionizing Deep Throat

Greg Mitchell, the author and editor of Editor & Publisher, has authored a column cautioning against the uncritical lionization of former FBI official W. Mark Felt, who died yesterday at the age of 95. In 2005, Felt voluntarily revealed he was the mysterious whistleblower nicknamed Deep Throat, who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, which lead to the eventual resignation of US President Richard Nixon. Mitchell urges “[j]ournalists and many others lionizing the former FBI official [to] not overlook the fact that Felt was one of the architects of the bureau’s notorious COINTELPRO domestic spying-and-burglary campaign”. Felt was in fact found guilty of authorizing several illegal black bag operations in the state of New Jersey under COINTELPRO, an illegal domestic surveillance and sabotage project directed by the FBI with the participation of the CIA and NSA. Black bag operations refer to covert, surreptitious entries into structures in the course of human intelligence missions. Mitchell correctly points out that “[o]nly a pardon, courtesy of Ronald Reagan, kept him out of jail for a long term”. [JF]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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