Thursday, June 02, 2005

No More Deep Throat

It's been interesting reading the Washington Post these past few days, what with Deep Throat revealed and the end of this city's favorite parlor game. I came of age politically during the summer of Watergate hearings. I read all the early books about the scandal and was practically waiting in line when All the President's Men opened.
It's amusing to listen to the remaining Nixon loyalists this week attacking the integrity of the FBI man who leaked crucial information to Woodward and Bernstein. I used to be surprised when Nixon's supporters looked everywhere but at the Oval Office and its occupant to place the blame. These days I recognize it as a habit too ingrained to break.
Now that the identity of Deep Throat has been revealed, it's clear he was a man of many and mixed motives. It has always been clear that power politics played a central and crucial role in Nixon's downfall. Now we know that personal politics played a part as well. But mixed motives and power politics pale beside the truth, and the information that Mark Felt suplied all turned out to be true.
The truth ought to set us free. The truth was that the Nixon administration abused its power and broke the nation's laws. Truth freed the nation from the strange, paranoid grasp of Richard Nixon.
Alas, as Sen. Hiram Johnson put it during the first World War, "the first casualty of war is truth." The war on terror certainly counts truth among its victims -- from truths about weapons of mass destruction to those about prisoner abuse. The lies of the current Oval Office occupant have shaped the fearfulness of our time, stoking legitimate fears far beyond reason and using them as pretext for much mischief.
There is no more Deep Throat to leak unpopular truth and free us from this fear. While, as they used to say on the X-files, the truth is out there, we choose to ignore it and go on living in the grasp of our own strange paranoia.
So long, Deep Throat. Thanks, and rest in peace.