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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 6, 2005 / 28 Iyar, 5765

Tales from Dark Side don't live up to hype

By Mark Steyn


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One by one, the landmark epics of the 1970s are tying up the loose ends — alas, not always in ways that quite support the great mythic power invested in them. In ''Revenge of the Sith,'' George Lucas brings the ''Star Wars'' cycle to a close by revealing how Anakin Skywalker went over to the Dark Side, transformed himself into Darth Vader, destroyed the Republic and consigned it to the mad imperial ambitions of Chancellor Palpatine — all because, er, he was a bit worried his beloved Senator Padme might die in childbirth. If Senator Padme had been like Senator Rodham and had a socialized health care reform bill ready to roll, history might have been very different.

But ''Revenge of the Sith'' is a marvel of motivational integrity compared to ''Revenge of the Felt,'' the concluding chapter in that other '70s saga, Watergate. Before the final denouement last week, there were a gazillion guesses at the identity of ''Deep Throat,'' but all subscribed to the basic contours of the Woodward and Bernstein myth: that he was someone deep in the bowels of the administration who could no longer in good conscience stand by as a corrupt president did deep damage to the nation. So Darth Throat, a fully paid-up Dark Lord of the Milhous, saved the Republic from the imperial paranoia of Chancellor Nixotine by transforming himself into Anakin Slytalker and telling what he knew to the Bradli knights of the Washington Post.

Now we learn that Deep Throat was not, in fact, Alexander Haig, David Gergen, Pat Buchanan or Len Garment, but a disaffected sidekick of J. Edgar Hoover, an old-school G-man embittered at being passed over for the director's job when the big guy keeled over after half-a-century in harness.

Hmm. Like the ''Star Wars'' wrap-up, ''How Mark Felt Became Deep Throat'' feels small and mean after three decades of the awesome dramatic burden placed upon it.

The nobility of the Watergate myth — in which media boomers and generations of journalism school ethics bores have sunk so much — seems cheapened and tarnished by this last plot twist.

The best thing I read on the subject in the last few days was a 1992 piece by James Mann from the Atlantic Monthly. He doesn't identify Deep Throat, though he mentions Mark Felt in an important context. But get a load of this remarkably shrewd paragraph from 13 years ago:

''By coincidence, the Watergate break-in occurred on June 17, less than seven weeks after Hoover's death and [FBI outsider] Gray's appointment [as acting director].

The FBI took charge of the federal investigation at the same time that the administration was trying to limit its scope.

''Therein lies the origin of Deep Throat.''

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Bingo! Mann also adds: ''Rarely is it asked whether White House aides like Haig, Ziegler, and Garment were the sort of people willing to hold 2 a.m. meetings in a parking garage, or whether they were able to arrange the circling of the page number 20 of Bob Woodward's copy of the New York Times, which was delivered to his apartment by 7 a.m. — the signal that Deep Throat wanted a meeting.''

With the benefit of hindsight, Mann's observation seems obvious. That's what the spy novelists call ''tradecraft.'' It's the sort of thing spooks and feds do, not White House aides. Why then was it not so obvious for the last three decades?

The answer is that, thanks to All The President's Men, the media took it for granted they were America's plucky heroic crusaders, and there's no point being plucky heroic crusaders unless you've got the dark sinister forces of an all-powerful government to pluckily crusade against. Think how many conspiracy movies there've been where White House aides are the sort of chaps who think nothing of meeting you at 2 a.m. in parking garages, usually as a prelude to having you whacked. In films like Clint Eastwood's ''Absolute Power'' or Kevin Costner's ''No Way Out,'' political appointees carry on like that routinely. That image of government derives principally from the Nixon era.


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Yet, as the unveiling of Deep Throat confirms, Tricky Dick's downfall was mostly an accumulation of trivial errors. Earlier this year, I chanced to look at both the transcripts of the original Nixon tapes, typed up by his long-time secretary Rose Mary Woods, and the later material released in the '90s, typed up by researchers and scholars who understood the historical significance of what they were dealing with. The latter fellows left in the ''ers'' and ''ums,'' the stumbles and mumbles; when you read the conversations, the sense is of an administration floundering to stay on top of things. Unfortunately, when Miss Woods typed up the first Nixon tapes, she approached it as any good secretary would: She cleaned up the stumbles and ''ers'' and put everything into proper complete sentences. That's what you want in a secretary if you're dictating a letter to the chairman of the Rotary Club. But it was a disaster for Nixon: The cool clinical precision of the language makes the president's inner circle sound far more conspiratorial, ruthless and viciously forensic than the incoherent burble of the actual conversation.

The marking-page-numbers-in-the-morning-paper stuff cemented that impression: of the national government as one huge out-of-control rogue spook operation. Now it turns out that Deep Throat was merely a career law enforcement official leaking information about the target of an investigation. Nothing very unusual about that — around the world, rinky-dink police departments and local prosecutors do it every day of the week — and, being so routine, there's nothing very heroic about it either.

Especially when the man doing it is driven by personal pique and loyalty to J. Edgar Hoover, a figure whose place in liberal demonology comes only just below Nixon. If Rose Mary Woods had been less of a bowdlerizer, if Hoover had lived another year, history might have been very different.

Heigh-ho. If the bloom's belatedly off the rose, Woodward, Bernstein and a pompous, self-regarding U.S. media got a grand three-decade run out of Deep Throat and Watergate. As it is, the best take on Deep Throat comes not from the Washington Post but from LBJ's old aphorism on Mark Felt's boss J. Edgar Hoover: It's better to have him inside the tent, ah, leaking out than outside the tent leaking in. If only Nixon had kept Mark Felt inside the tent . . .


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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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