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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Do two wrongs make a right?

Secrets. For 33 years Mark Felt and Bob Woodward kept a secret. That's amazing in the times and environment that we live in. Was Mark Felt right or wrong in what he did? People smarter and more informed than I are weighing in on this. Was he a "leaker" (a sleaze who share information for his own personal gain or revenge) or was he a "whistle blower" (a person of integrity who tries to right a wrong).

While you want to think that Mr. Felt had the best intentions of the country in mind, it is unsettling when you read the following quote from the New York Times:

"On Wednesday, word came that the family of Mr. Felt, the ailing, 91-year-old former No. 2 official of the F.B.I., had sought payment in vain for his story after failing to reach a collaborative agreement with Mr. Woodward - not only from Vanity Fair, but also from People magazine and HarperCollins Books. They are apparently still determined to claim their share of the story that helped make Mr. Woodward a famous millionaire.

"It's doing me good," Mr. Felt told reporters outside his home in Santa Rosa, Calif., when asked how he was reacting to the publicity. "I'll arrange to write a book or something, and collect all the money I can."

I don't fault the family for wanting to "cash in" the way Mr.Woodward and Mr. Bernstein have over the years (both are now millionaires). The family probably has kids in college, bills to pay. And on top of that, who really knows a man's motivation?

Yet did he go about giving out the information in the right way? Secretly? Behind his superior's backs? Do two wrongs make a right?

What do you think?

3 comments:

Firstag Music said...

I don't know about two wrongs making a right, but if you make enough left hand turns you can end up at the same location.

I was only a toddler when this all happened, so I don't know a lot of the details. We would say the biblical thing to do is to go to the person who did the wrong thing and confront them. But in his position he probably would have ended up, as they say in Chicago, "sleeping with the fishes." Were his superiors also corupt so he couldn't go to them? My initial response is that he did the right thing. While he remained hidden, the others cashed in on his integrity. Now he is simply doing what many others do without admiting, wanting money for his story.

Jeremiah Bannister said...

I believe that witnesses (or those reporting a crime, being witnesses by default) MUST stand before the one accused. This is not only supposed to be required by our Bill of Rights but it is also required of God.

Exodus 19 gives laws concerning witnesses. One of the protections against false reports was that the one who made the false report would have been penalized with the punishment due the crime if the falsely accused had been found guilty. (ex. false report of rape would have been penalized with execution).

Regardless of whether or not the charges were found true the fact remains that Nixon, Colson, and Co. deserved, according to our laws, to face their accusers. Beyond this we must guard ourselves from relaxing sanctions that the Lord placed on justice for our protection, as we were created in His image.

Youth Extreme said...

Is there really two wrongs in this situation. Historically Mr. Felt faced his accusers, expressed his concerns to his superiors and they rewarded him by not promoting, and essentially dead ending his career in the FBI. What the general public fails to realize at times is politics play a key role in getting positions like his. They are Senior executive Service position and are approved by the politicians that he exposed. Nixon and his crew faced their accusers on public TV. Mr. Felt pointed out what he felt were wrongs and the police, FBI, and the rest of the political machine investigated and brought official charges against the president and his cabinet members. WHich brings me to the next point. Money, For 33 years others have made money for what Mr. Felt did. He received little or nothing for his role as such I do not blame him for wanting to cash in on our desire for gossip and stories. We the american public in our need to know the dirty secreats have created a huge market for stories such as his....I don't blame him for wanting to make some money on his story...