WHISTLEBLOWERS -- The 2005 Vanity Fair article on the outing of Mark Felt, who died yestery in Santa Rosa at age 95.

On a sunny California morning in August 1999, Joan Felt, a busy college Spanish professor and single mother, was completing chores before leaving for class. She stopped when she heard an unexpected knock at the front door. Upon answering it, she was met by a courteous, 50-ish man, who introduced himself as a journalist from The Washington Post. He asked if he could see her father, W. Mark Felt, who lived with her in her suburban Santa Rosa home. The man said his name was Bob Woodward.
    Woodward's name did not register with Joan, and she assumed he was no different from a number of other reporters, who had called that week. This was, after all, the 25th anniversary of the resignation of President Richard Nixon, disgraced in the scandal known as Watergate, and hounded from office in 1974. The journalists had all been asking whether her father—the number-two man in the F.B.I. during the Watergate years—was "Deep Throat," the legendary inside informant who, on the condition of anonymity, had systematically passed along clues about White House misdeeds to two young reporters. Joan figured that similar phone calls were probably being placed to a handful of other Deep Throat candidates.

Bob Woodward, in today's London Times, tells why he kept Felt's identity secret for 30 years.

In the autumn of 1972, as we were writing critical Watergate stories, Carl and I had signed a book contract with Simon & Schuster. We decided we had no alternative but to write the story of covering Watergate as Washington Post reporters. It was what we knew best.
    I called Felt and asked, gingerly, that since he was now retired, and since he had let me quote him on the record defending the FBI, would he let me identify him for the book? He exploded. Absolutely not. Was I mad? It was about as emphatic a “no” as anyone could receive. Angry and unhappy, he told me: don’t call here again. Our agreement was that there would be no identification of him, his agency, or even a suggestion in print that such a source existed.
    Felt made me feel shame. I wondered how I could have made such a request. Certainly he had made representations to his colleagues at the FBI, the club, and to his friends and family that he had not been a Watergate source for us. Exposure would challenge his probity with everyone important in his life. He still had potential legal liability. But most important, Nixon was still President.