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Duty, Honor, Country (and a little $)

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June 02, 2005, 10:13
A.P. Merillat
Duty, Honor, Country (and a little $)
Friends and most of you others who read this forum -- my literary agent, oops, uh, oh, excuse me, ahem, I mean my conscience, convinced me it's time to come clean: I am the one who leaked to the San Jose Tattle Tale the story that Anna Ayala found Jimmy Hoffa's boxers in a Corsicana fruitcake. Yes, I am the one the Tattle Tale reporter labeled CSI -- Confidential Source Incognito -- all the good nicknames were gone -- that's what I got stuck with. Anyway, I am ready to be recognized as a great patriot and American Hero, just like Dennis Rodman, Jose Canseco and I-can-keep-a-secret-Mark Felt. And if you believe that, I've got a real, authentic Alpine ski lodge in Ville Platte, Louisiana I'd like to sell you over the 'net.

I thought a hero was somebody who was willing to risk personal safety, comfort, security, reputation and all things beneficial to one's welfare in order to do what is true, right and honorable. I don't subscribe to the notion that a man is a hero because he took information he was privy to by nature of his job then snuck it over to a newsman, knowing that he was risking absolutely nothing in doing so. In fact, if Bob Woodward had leaked Deep Throat's identity, Mark Felt could have gotten much richer, much earlier than when he became a nine-o-genarian. I wish Mark would have outed himself while he was 89, because I could have used octogenarian, but alas, he waited until he became an age that I have no idea what class he is put into now. But,whatever nine-0s are classified as, I don't call Felt a hero, that's for sure.
I'm glad the truth about Watergate came out in the early 70's, even though I was barely out of puberty and only shaving twice a day back then. But I don't think funneling job-sensitive facts to the only people in the civilized world who are protected by more laws than regular folks, is heroic or proper to say the least. Felt, the Throat, could have done real heroics and taken the information to the people who are supposed to act upon it, then, if nothing happened, as some of you will say would have been the case, he could have resigned his lucrative position, stood on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial and proclaimed the ugly details to the world at large. Now, that would have been somewhat heroic -- not proclaiming details to the large world, the other part, about resigning from a high-paying, cushy government job.
Now I hear Felt's book deal could be worth at least a million. Mark probably won't be able to spend all of that, unless he makes it into centegenarian-hood, but his happy family will probably benefit much from DT's heroics of 30 years ago.
Actually, my hat's more off to Bob Woodward than it is to the Deep guy -- at least Bob kept his secret.
June 02, 2005, 10:26
everyone knows it was Forrest Gump who revealed Watergate, not Mr. Felt.
June 02, 2005, 10:54
Scott Brumley
I'm much less interested in who "Deep Throat" was (I had always thought it was a term associated with the transitional timeframe during which "stag films" became "adult films"), than in where I can land a "high-paying, cushy government job." Now that we know Mr. Felt's identity, and he has a book deal, will he reveal useful information of that ilk?

As an aside, I'm quite sure the WVBEA is completely uninterested, since the very term "Deep Throat" strongly suggests that Mr. Felt would be unable to yodel.
June 02, 2005, 11:10
My only problem with this whole Felt is Deep Throat, is he a hero or jerk discussion, is that I don't think he is knowingly revealing anything. It appears that his current mental state is not exactly on a par with having full mental faculties and that his kids and/or grandkids couldn't wait to cash in on this and didn't want to wait until after his death. That's when Felt wanted the information released. He just smiles feebly and waves at the cameras and probably has no idea what is going on. According to credible sources, he has no real memory of anything during the Watergate era. I think it is interesting that his "interview" was with Vanity Fair and not you know some really credible and reliable news magazine like Newsweek.
June 02, 2005, 11:46
Jim Tirey
I believe the term is "nonogenarian."
June 02, 2005, 11:51
A.P. Merillat
Thanks, Jim -- at least I was close, phonetically anyway. Myself, I'm an oh-no genarian -- loosely translated: "Oh no, here comes another birthday."
June 02, 2005, 13:29
Rebecca Gibson
As my 18 year old daughter so succinctly put it, 'what was the big deal about Watergate anyway'. I think it's lost in translation if you didn't live it.
June 02, 2005, 14:24
w.d. willis
I'm in Agreement A.P!

Felt is no more Noteworthy than any other Fed who, through evasion of his conscience and the OATH he swore set a precedent for the media to take the reins of what should have been the Bureau's Show from the beginning.

On the Bright side... Woodward and Bernstein appeared to have profited.

I liked the Latin Reference though!
Here's my 2 Cents worth!

multifariam unus BANJO-us praesto consortio leguleius
June 02, 2005, 16:45
The poor guy and his family appear to be up to their eyeballs in debt. If they are trying to cash in now, who can blame them? Stop by the "Watergate section" of your local library sometime. Everyone from R.N. to Larry O'Brien's cat has made a buck off the deal.
June 02, 2005, 17:04
At the danger of risking it all, i.e., another "you are not funny" admonition by John B., I must know what the following phrase means:

multifariam unus BANJO-us praesto consortio leguleius

I didn't know the word BANJO was of latin origin.

My dad always hypothesized that it could have been Kissenger or Haig. I think that Felt is a hero, or at least a good guy, under the circumstances. His motives at the time may or may not have been heroic, at least according to what I have read, since he was disgruntled over not being selected to head the FBI. I wonder if he would have acted similarly had he been selected to be the Director instead of Gray.

Regardless, I had several history, government and poly sci professors in later years who developed the opinion that that entire phase of history was as close as this country ever came to turning away from democracy and transforming into something else. Their opinions of what could have occurred varied considerably, but the involvement of folks like Felt helped keep the worst from occurring.

So maybe Felt was an unintentional hero, one who did not intend to become a hero but did because of the way the circumstances and history played out.

And yeah, it's his family that wants to cash in on his fame, not him.
June 02, 2005, 21:16
Under the great President James Earle Carter, in the late seventies, Felt was indicted for and convicted of running illegal infiltration and surveillance of domestic political groups (Gee, maybe they needed it....remember the Weather Underground, Black Panthers and the Symbionese Liberation Army?). He left the Bureau in semi-disgrace. In 1981, President Reagan granted him a full pardon, saying that it was certainly just in light of the pardons Carter granted to draft dodgers. His daughter has cared for him for the last 15-20 years as he descended into Alzhiemer's dementia so I say I hope they get all they can. Woodward and Bernstien and Ben Bradlee and the rest have gotten rich as Croesus from the thing. The dadgum reporters sold their papers the other day to UT for a cool 5 million.
June 02, 2005, 22:41
P.D. Ray
The expression "as rich as Croesus" comes from the legendary wealth of the king who reigned from 560 to 546 BC over Lydia in western Asia Minor. Gold from the mines and from the sands of the River Pactolus filled his coffers to overflowing. The Lydians in the time of Croesus, it is believed, were the first people to mint coins as money.

The fame of the splendid court of Croesus at Sardis attracted many visitors. One of these, according to a legend, was Solon, the lawgiver of the Greeks. The king proudly displayed his treasures and asked Solon who was the happiest man that he had met. Solon named two or three obscure men who had lived and died happily. Croesus was surprised and angry and said: "Man of Athens, dost thou count my happiness as nothing?" "In truth," replied Solon, "I count no man happy until his death, for no man can know what the gods may have in store for him."

There was indeed great misfortune in store for Croesus. Cyrus the Great of Persia, extending his vast domains, was soon threatening the kingdom of Lydia. Croesus consulted the oracle of Delphi in Greece. The oracle replied: "If Croesus goes to war he will destroy a great empire." So Croesus went out to meet the army of Cyrus and was utterly defeated, he destroyed his own great empire.

The old story goes on to relate that Cyrus ordered Croesus to be burned alive. When Croesus saw the flames creeping upward to consume him, he remembered the words of the wise Solon and cried out, "O Solon! Solon! Solon!" Supposedly Cyrus was so moved by the story of how Solon had warned the proud king that he ordered Croesus to be released. Cyrus asked to Croesus why he shouted Solon's name, and Croesus asked him another question "what your soldiers are doing now?", showing the Persian soldiers taking all the treasures and destroying everything; Cyrus replied "They are plundering your city"; then Croesus said "They are not plundering my city, it's your city now and your soldiers are destroying your city". After that short conversation Cyrus the Great stopped his soldiers.
June 03, 2005, 06:57
Maybe I'm too cynical - and that's saying something considering most of the post on this board, but I'm not sure I believe it. Some nano..nono...nine-o...old guy, comes forth waving his hands saying "I'm deep throat" and we believe him? Where do we go from here?

Ring, ring

"Hello, FBI"

"Yes, FBI, I would like you to know that I'm Jesus"

"Okay sir. How old are you?"

"In this life I am just short of 100, but over all I am 2005."

"My, that's old. How is your health?"

"I have Alzheimer's, but it's not that bad really, at least I get to keep meeting new people."

"Sir, I am afraid I need someone to back up you're Jesus claim, because frankly it's kind of hard to believe."

"I got Woodward and Bernstein."

"Well, now that's a different story. I'll get the president."
June 03, 2005, 09:43
A.P. Merillat
And what high school marching band veteran from the past 30 - 35 years doesn't remember "Cyrus the Great" -- that great, lively tune played at parades, football games and pep rallies for years? Croesus the Rich would probably have made a good number, but it's much harder to spell, for me anyway.

And Bill, thanks for that Latin banjo phrase. It really encouraged me after a long day of fighting crime, corruption and/or evil. I'm nearly finished with a poem that borrows from your kind words, but I'm having a little trouble with my meter.
June 03, 2005, 13:05
That same King Cyrus of Persia was a busy fellow. He actually freed the children of Israel from their Babylonian overlords. Cyrus has long been held in esteem by observant Jews and at least one wacked-out wanna-be preacher in Waco: David Koresh. "Koresh" is the ancient pronunciation of Cyrus.

[This message was edited by BLeonard on 06-03-05 at .]
June 06, 2005, 07:23
And later he went on to record such hits as achy, breaky, heart after dropping the "king" and opting for the first name Billy Ray instead.