Dean To Reveal "Deep Throat" Guess

Erin Brockovich appeared on the Early Show to discuss her newest case of contaminated water in Midland, Texas. CBS

Thirty years after the 1972 Watergate break-in, former White House counsel John Dean intends to publish an electronic book revealing who he believes was "Deep Throat," the anonymous informant who helped unseat President Nixon.

The mystery source gave Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward key pieces of information about the break-in and subsequent cover-up, often meeting with them in dark parking garages.

San Francisco-based online magazine Salon.com will offer the e-book June 17, the 30th anniversary of the break-in, managing editor Scott Rosenberg said Tuesday. Dean previously has written political commentary and book reviews for Salon.

"Obviously, he has strong personal interest in the subject," Rosenberg said. "After a lot of careful research that he details in the book, he's pretty certain he knows who it was.

"We think it's a persuasive argument, or we wouldn't be publishing it," Rosenberg added

It won't be the first time Dean has postulated on the identity of Deep Throat.

In 1975, Dean said in a speech in Natchitoches, La., that it was Earl J. Silbert, one of the original Watergate prosecutors. Silbert laughed at the idea.

In a 1982 book, "Lost Honor," Dean said Deep Throat had to be Alexander M. Haig, who was the No. 2 aide to Henry Kissinger at the National Security Council and later Nixon's chief of staff. Haig denied it.

Woodward and Bernstein have vowed to keep "Deep Throat's" identity secret.

Others fingered as possible suspects are former White House staffer and current network anchorwoman Diane Sawyer and one-time Nixon law partner Leonard Garment.

Dean told the San Francisco Chronicle he spent some 20 years going through archives and tapes to develop his theory on "Deep Throat."

"I thought that 30 years of hiding was long enough," Dean, who served 127 days in prison for his part in the Watergate cover-up, said. "It's a great brainteaser, and an avocational pursuit that I finally got serious about buttoning up for the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in.

"There's one person who's headed into Richard Nixon's eternal history who outranks me as his worst enemy, and that's Deep Throat," Dean told the Chronicle.

"Nixon said Dean was a traitor and Deep Throat was even worse. I wanted to visit with this person."

Testimony from Dean against Nixon also helped uncover the Republican president's efforts to obstruct justice to hide his involvement in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee's headquarters and subsequent cover-up.

Rosenberg said Dean opted to publish his findings electronically because he wanted to turn the story around quickly. He would not discuss the book's contents or the nature of the research.
  • Lloyd Vries

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