Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Oath of Office.

The blockbluster revelation of my generation's political history has occurred:

How Mark Felt Became 'Deep Throat'

Was Felt's conduct consistent with an FBI Agent's oath of office?

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Was it consistent with the Pledge of FBI Officers, which states in part:

Humbly recognizing the responsibilities entrusted to me, . . . . I accept the obligation in connection with my assignments to . . . consider the information, coming into my knowledge by virtue of my position as a sacred trust, to be used solely for official purposes. . . . In the performance of my duties and assignments, I shall not engage in unlawful and unethical practices . . . . While occupying the status of a law enforcement officer or at any other time subsequent thereto, I shall not seek to benefit personally because of my knowledge of any confidential matter which has come to my attention. I am aware of the serious responsibilities of my office and in the performance of my duties . . .

The question remains, posed by none other than G. Gordon Liddy: what was Felt's duty as one of the highest law-enforcement officials of the United States? Wasn't that duty to bring his information to some authority (like the grand jury) to pursue the criminality in the Nixon White House through our laws? Or did Felt feel that there was no such untainted authority to which he could turn? Or was this payback for Patrick Gray being named as FBI chief rather than him?

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