by Christina Pino-Marina, The Washington Post
Thirty years after the Watergate break-in, The Washington Post's Bob
Woodward still won't identify Deep Throat - the mysterious source who
exposed the widespread abuse of power and cover-up that led to the
resignation of president Richard Nixon.
During a live Webcast on washingtonpost.com today, Woodward, now an
assistant managing editor, and Benjamin C. Bradlee, now The Post's vice
president at large, recalled their days covering the story and discussed
themes that continue to make the Watergate scandal an object of
In a new e-book published on Salon.com, John Dean, Nixon's White House
counsel and a key witness, sparked renewed speculation this week about the
identity of Deep Throat, the famous source who worked with Woodward and
reporter Carl Bernstein.
Woodward didn't have much to say about Dean's book. "John Dean is like
Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, chasing the white whale, Deep Throat," Woodward
Lisa Todorovich, executive producer of washingtonpost.com's Live Online
section, passed along questions from people following the Webcast online,
and in the audience at George Washington University. "Someone in the
audience had a question: 'So who was Deep Throat?' - thank you - Let's talk
about it. What can you tell us?"
"Nothing," replied Bradlee in is trademark gruff voice.
Woodward said not identifying Deep Throat is a matter of deeply held
"It is a legitimate question, but we have to protect sources and I think
that for thirty years we've kept our word. And it's important that we keep
our word. It's important to future sources out there. Current sources know
that this [is] first principle with us and we're not going to budge on
Woodward said that the protection of sources is a must in order to build
confidence. Without the security of anonymity, he said, sources won´t
be willing to expose wrongdoing.
"They can count on that," Woodward said. "They can take it to the bank.
And if they can't take it to the bank, its much more difficult to build
essential relationship of trust."
Barry Cardin, a 19-year-old English major at GWU, said he was drawn to
today's event in part because he once had a view of the Watergate building
from his dormitory on Virginia Avenue. Thirty years ago, that building was
the Howard Johnson hotel, where Alfred Baldwin -- a lookout for the
Watergate burglars -- watched with binoculars from room 723 while five men
sneaked into the Democratic National Committee offices the night of June
"Living in Washington, D.C. -- the center of politics and everything
it's a great opportunity to meet people that had a large part in our
history," Cardin said.