In Iraq, they say, failure is not an option. But it is a possibility. From the start of the intervention, two critical questions have awaited answers: Is there a critical mass of Iraqis who are willing to fight for freedom rather than submit to tyranny? And can the American military – designed to confront the Soviet Union, a lumbering giant – learn to effectively fight an elusive enemy who plays by no rules and need not win a single battle? All that the enemy has to do is erode our will to fight. Videotapes of beheadings and suicide bombings tend to have that effect on the Western psyche.
For the relatively small band of reporters who labored exhaustingly for two years trying to unravel the Watergate scandal, it comes as little surprise that one of the sources who helped along the way, the so-called “Deep Throat” glamorized by Hollywood, was the FBI’s W. Mark Felt.
“The Democrats should have a plan, and they should talk to the president and the congressional Republicans about it.” Thus spoke former President Bill Clinton on ABC News May 16. Clinton’s fellow Democrats did not exactly race to the microphones with fresh ideas on how to modernize Social Security.
When the North Vietnamese shot down his plane and took him prisoner in March 1967, they put Jim Hiteshew, then a 36-year-old Air Force pilot from North Carolina, in a concrete-floor cell with a wooden board for a bed, and they gave him a porcelain cup. It was white with a thin blue band around it.
Former FBI official W. Mark Felt, the man now universally identified as “Deep Throat,” was “in turmoil, profound ambivalence” over his role in tearing down the presidency of Richard Nixon, according to the journalist who transformed him into a cultural icon, and never “felt totally comfortable with it.”