Deep Throat - Composite Character Theory

Composite Character Theory

Prior to Felt's revelation that "I was the guy they called Deep Throat" and Woodward's confirmation, part of the reason historians and other scholars had so much difficulty in identifying the real Deep Throat is because no single person seemed to truly fit the character described in All the President's Men. This had caused some scholars and commentators to come to the conclusion that Deep Throat could not possibly be a single person, and must be a composite of several sources.

From a literary business perspective, this theory was further supported by the agent who originally marketed the draft for All the President's Men, who stated that the initial typescript of the book contained absolutely no reference to Deep Throat. That led to speculation that Woodward and Bernstein played at condensing history in the same way Hollywood scriptwriters do: the writer sees that the real life hero doing the Great Deed had a dozen helpers, boils them down to a single person, and gives him a fictional name.

This theory was originally thought to be put to rest by Felt claiming to be Deep Throat. However, recent studies of FBI investigative files, Woodward's released notes on his meetings with Deep Throat, and the conversations attributed to Deep Throat in All the President's Men, have revealed that Felt could not possibly have told Woodward all of the information attributed to Deep Throat.

Specifically, in his examination of Woodward's notes on Deep Throat, Ed Gray quotes the notes, quoting Deep Throat, as saying "Mitchell conducted his own invest for ten days and 'was going crazy---we had guys assigned to him to help.' w."

Gray points out that if that source "...was Mark Felt, his "we" could only mean the FBI. But there certainly were no FBI agents assigned to an internal CREEP investigation of its own employees immediately after the break-in, the results of which were precisely what Mitchell and CREEP wanted to keep away from the FBI. If there had been FBI agents "assigned to help" who "found all sorts of new things," not only would the Watergate case have been broken during those first ten days, but the FBI's files would be filled with FD-302s of the resultant interviews. There are none."

Gray also cites a conversation he had with Donald Santarelli, an official with the Department of Justice during the Watergate era, in which Gray described the contents of some notes of Woodward's that were attributed to Deep Throat. In response, Santarelli reportedly told Gray, "This definitely was me. Bob would call me regularly and would ask me stuff like this." He further states that "Deep Throat is still a composite... It wasn't just Mark Felt."

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