Saturday, July 5, 2014

Regarding FBI Official W. Mark Felt's (aka Deep Throat) Two Unpublished Manuscripts


In my recent book, Surveillance in America: Critical Analysis of the FBI, 1920 to the Present (2012), I devote a whole chapter to top FBI official W. Mark Felt, who we now know acted as Deep Throat during the Watergate crisis of 1972-1974. I detail how Felt led a secret faction at the FBI consisting of several other officials to undermine President Richard Nixon after Watergate and eventually to remove him from power.  The Felt faction worked with Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to break the Watergate story. However, if Felt had gone to Congress, instead of the press, to expose the Watergate break-in and associated crimes, the exposure would have occurred faster and probably would have led to Nixon losing the 1972 election.  In sum, Democratic candidate George McGovern would have been elected President.  By leaking slowly to the press, Felt helped Nixon win reelection.  
      Beyond that dramatic story, in my book I refer to two unpublished manuscripts written by Felt which have not seen the light of day.  In 1986, Felt submitted to the FBI for prepublication review and approval a book titled, An Unexpected Turn of Events.  In 1990, the FBI reviewed a second Felt manuscript entitled, Thirteen True Stories About the FBI.  The FBI reviewed both books and concluded that "no sensitive information" was revealed.  

      I have heard through the academic grapevine that scholars have made efforts to locate these unpublished manuscripts and have not been able to find them. These scholars have checked my sources in my Surveillance in America book to see how I know about them. 
      Information referring to these manuscripts are contained in the declassified FBI file on Felt.  I was the first person to request and obtain this FBI file under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) after Felt's death.  Soon after I received the Felt file, the FBI decided to put part of it on its own website (www.FBI.gov.)  Let me repeat, they put only part of it online. 

      I emphasis this fact because the FBI memos referring to Felt's two unpublished manuscripts are not contained in the Felt file that is posted on the FBI website.

      The FBI sent me a much larger file on Felt than they posted online -- about twice as large  I already have referred to this fact in a public lecture I gave in the summer of  2012 at the HOPE 9 conference in New York City.  My hour-long talk was video-taped and already has been posted on my blog.  Here is a link to the lecture --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQuuaDHiJWs.
       The mystery of where Felt's two unpublished manuscripts are located never may be resolved.  But there should be no doubt that he wrote them and they went through the prepublication review process at the FBI.
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Update -- A fellow researcher in FBI files tells me the FBI may retain copies in their files of both of Felt's unpublished manuscripts since they underwent prepublication review.  One strategy is to file FOIA record requests with the FBI on both manuscripts to see if they can be obtained through the declassification process.  

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