Sunday, June 05, 2005

Felt is no hero

Posted by Craig Westover | 7:35 AM |  

Writing in today’s Pioneer Press, guest columnist Jack Rice takes his shot at President Bush for the “sainted or tainted” action of W. Mark Felt.
I am blown away. The news that Mark Felt, the No. 2 man at the FBI, was Deep Throat was amazing. But what was more amazing to me was President Bush's response to the story. What response, you ask?

Well, the president saying it's hard for him to judge if Felt was right to leak Watergate details to the Washington Post.

Let me get this right. President Richard Nixon was a criminal. He was an unindicted co-conspirator in the break-in at the Watergate Hotel and should have gone to prison like many others involved in the break-in and subsequent cover-up. And it is hard for Bush to judge if Felt was right to leak it?
Rice’s own conclusion --
Since 9/11, many people in this country having been wearing patriotism like a mantle and that is good.

However, what is disturbing is that some have tried to use patriotism like a club against others here who might not agree with their political beliefs. Well, you know what? Standing up for what is right is what patriotism is all about.

Felt did that.
No, Felt did not.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, there may have been a reason for his passing information to a reporter in an underground garage during the Watergate investigation. However, to maintain anonymity for 30 years is not “standing up for what is right.” We’re not talking Coleen Rowley here, who agree or disagree with her actions, put her career, credibility and personal integrity on the line when she blew her whistle.

Was it good that the details of Nixon’s actions regarding Watergate surfaced? Yes. Was Felt right to leak Watergate details to the Washington Post? Perhaps. Is he deserving of praise? As much as any street snitch.

“Standing up” for what is right means accepting the consequences of one’s actions, not hiding from them.