What is a Hero?

Former FBI guy, Mark Felt, revealed this week that he was “the man” who leaked all that information to Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post (henceforth WaPo.) Mr. Deep Throat came out of the closet. Great. Expessly for money. Even better.

Mark Felt was J. Edgar’s poodle at the FBI, groomed to take over when Hoover died. When that happened, Nixon passed him over for the top spot and soon after Mr. Felt was breaking every oath he had ever sworn to out him. Funny, to me it doesn’t look like heroism, just a big case of poopy pants. There were other, and legal, options. Today it’s easy to say it just would have been too hard to take that evidence to the Grand Jury, or to say that if he had, the information still would have been suppressed. The problem is that Mr. Felt didn’t even try to do things the right way and through proper channels. He had taken an oath not to reveal classified information. He broke that oath.

Bob Bradlee, editor of the WaPo, has some interesting ties to JFK, cover-ups and such, that in light of the evisceration of Nixon on his watch are rather hypocritical in nature. He too is looked as a hero, as are Woodward and Bernstein. Whatever.

The left has often pointed at Nixon as proof of the corruption on the right, and in a gesture of fairness, I’ll give them that Nixon was unprincipled and uncouth, actually, not even a nice guy. But now in that same gesture of fairness I’d like to point out that nearly every democratic president from FDR on has acted the criminal. FDR stacked the Supreme Court, Truman overlooked and condoned Soviet spies in our midst, even to the highest levels of government, JKF, a drug addict, used his fathers methods and brother RFK to get things done that shouldn’t have gotten done including murder, LBJ, well, ick, there’s just too much. Carter’s missteps have come from bullheadedness and a petulance not seen often this side of the woobie, but as far as I know he hasn’t been charged with anything. Okay, except a case of stunning and stellar blindness, like when he said that Venezuela’s recent election is more democratic than our own. (What planet is he on anyway?) WJC, well, it starts with sexual harassment, misappropriating FBI files, the rape of Juanita Broaderick and we can just keep going from there. Remember that he was disbarred, you know, lost his lawyers license because he broke the law and lied under oath. On the Republican side you have Ike, one of the most honest politicians ever to inhabit the White House, Reagan, say what you will of Iran-Contra, he ended the cold war, and 41, he got us into GW1, and got us out again, but he made that “read my lips” mistake. Say what you will of W, his tenure is unfinished, and we still have to see what the WMD thing was all about.

One thing has always baffled me, the left’s hatred of the Vietnam conflict. All the protests, all the anger, all the “hawks and doves” junk, and it always looked to me that the left forgot who started, promulgated and LOST that “police action”. It was the left, that was their baby, if you look closely at Somalia you will see Vietnam on a smaller and shorter scale. That same fight-but-don’t-fight thing. We were in Vietnam because of the policy of “containment”, a leftist idea and a poor idea at that. It took Reagan’s vision to stop that silliness and bring an end to the coldwar. I just never understood all the anger from the left at the right over Vietnam when it was the left’s doing. Why didn’t those radical kids all go Republican?

Okay, so, back to Mark Felt. Is he a hero? No. And just to clarify, I’m not saying that Nixon didn’t commit crimes and wasn’t a mediocre president. What I am saying is that selling out your boss because you didn’t get a promotion and then outing your self as the mole for profit doesn’t fit the definition of a hero. Like I said, poopy pants. If Mr. Felt was still on the playground he would have been roundly pounded.

A hero looks like the firefighters who run into burning buildings when every one else is running out. And like Abdul Amir, who gave his life to protect his fellow Iraqi citizens so that they might vote. And like Amy Carmichael, who bought children being sold into prostitution and raised them as her own. And like the Ten Boom family, who built a secret room in their home so they could hide Jews from the Nazi’s and get them to safety. And like the men and women in uniform fighting a world away to give a people not their own a chance at peace. All these people are just ordinary folks who act admirably and bravely to aid others at great personal and physical peril. That is the definition of a hero.


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