In a nondescript Rosslyn, Va. parking garage in 1972, a FBI deputy director met with two young Washington Post reporters, sharing strands of information that would eventually take down the president of the United States.
The Watergate story has become an American legend, a story many from that era share with their children. The FBI deputy director: “Deep Throat”, later revealing himself in 2005 as W. Mark Felt. The reporters: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
Now that garage boasts a historical marker, reports USA Today. Arlington County drafted the sign in 2008 and put it up this past Friday, according to the report. The text of the sign reads:
Mark Felt, second in command at the FBI, met Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward here in this parking garage to discuss the Watergate scandal. Felt provided Woodward information that exposed the Nixon administration’s obstruction of the FBI’s Watergate investigation. He chose the garage as an anonymous secure location. They met at this garage six times between October 1972 and November 1973. The Watergate scandal resulted in President Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Woodward’s managing editor, Howard Simons, gave Felt the code name “Deep Throat.” Woodward’s promise not to reveal his source was kept until Felt announced his role as Deep Throat in 2005.
But, as the USA Today article notes, a keen blogger pointed out a slight inaccuracy on the signpost. W. Joseph Campbell, on his Media Myth Alert blog, took issue with the line that “Felt provided Woodward information that exposed the Nixon administration’s obstruction of the FBI’s Watergate investigation.” Not so, says Campbell, who wrote:
Such evidence would have been so damaging and explosive that it surely would have forced Nixon to resign the presidency well before he did, in August 1974.
Felt didn’t have that sort of information — or (less likely) didn’t share it with Woodward.
As described in Woodward’s book about Felt, The Secret Man, the FBI official provided or confirmed a good deal of piecemeal evidence about the scandal as it unfolded.
Read more about the sign at WTOP.com