'Deep Throat' regarded at memorial as truth-teller

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Mark Felt, the former FBI second-in-command who helped unlock the secrets of Watergate as the shadowy "Deep Throat," was remembered Friday by family and friends as a man who stood up for truth in deceptive times.

About 300 people, including journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, attended the service in Santa Rosa to remember Felt, who died in December at the age of 95. The Washington Post reporters wrote the stories based on Felt's tips and guidance that helped expose the government complicity in the 1972 break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington's Watergate building.

The ensuing scandal helped lead to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974.

It also set off an intense guessing game over the identity of Deep Throat until Felt revealed himself in a 2005 Vanity Fair magazine article written by longtime family friend John O'Connor.

O'Connor said Felt kept silent to protect the FBI, not himself. A number of agents, retired and active, were present at the service.

Woodward, who spoke at the ceremony, called Felt a "truth-teller."

"He knew his oath of office in the end was to the people of the country and to the Constitution," Woodward said. "He served both creatively and ably and courageously. It was the highest loyalty."

Bernstein, who read from a letter he had written to Felt's daughter, Joan Felt, said the former FBI man had "acted with remarkable personal courage and concern for principles."

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