Washington mixed on Deep Throat emergence

June 1, 2005 at 7:58 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) -- Reactions in Washington to the identification of the Watergate-era Deep Throat tipster ranged Wednesday from praise to accusations of treason.

News the man who helped two Washington Post reporters topple the Republican administration of President Richard Nixon was the No. 2 official at the FBI, W. Mark Felt, drew outrage from senior Nixon adviser Charles Colson.

"When any president has to worry whether the deputy director of the FBI is sneaking around in dark corridors peddling information in the middle of the night, he's in trouble," said Colson, who served seven months in prison for obstruction of justice in connection with Watergate.

Speaking with MSNBC, former Nixon speechwriter Patrick Buchanan called Felt a "traitor" for having worked with reporters.

However, Richard Ben-Veniste, a top lawyer in the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, said Felt's acknowledgment of his role showed "the importance of whistle-blowers shouldn't be underestimated, particularly when there are excesses by the executive branch of government -- which in this case went all the way to the executive office."

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