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Old 07-24-2018, 07:40 PM
 
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I was watching the movie and I was wondering if the scenes where Dustin Hoffman is able to get his hands on other people's banking information is true. He just walks into offices and asks to see it, and they give it to him?

Not even the police can look at someone's banking information without a warrant signed by a judge, so is it true that a reporter can, when writing a story?
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:48 PM
Status: "Getting older everyday" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Willamette valley, oregon
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This took place in the 70's. Things have probably tightened up a bunch since then.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:32 PM
 
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I'm guessing that anything untrue was done mostly as a matter of dramatic license. So, in the example you mention, I'm guessing that would be the truth. It's always possible to persuade people to tell you things they shouldn't. Also, it's been a long time since I saw the movie, but I think the scene you mention isn't at a bank, is it?
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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Well, they had special information from Deep Throat to follow the money. The Miami DA guy, Dartis, whose political affiliation is not revealed, had the financial records from Barker, and Dartis was investigating to see if any Florida laws were broken. They had the money records for 89K deposited into the bank account of Barker, a Watergate burglar, and one of the checks was signed by Kenneth Dahlberg, a midwest finance chairman for Nixon campaign funds. It looked pretty suspicious and we can see from this movie how a reporter can pull from a bag of tricks to get people to talk. A reporter can be every bit as good as a police interrogator, and use harassment techniques which make people want to give them what they want, just to get them out of their hair.

In this movie, they try to play it like the paper was unbiased in it's motives, when in fact, the owner and editor were hard core democrats and disliked Nixon before any of this came about. They had special help from Mark Felt, and the combination of that, and the political motives of the paper, made all the difference in keeping the story alive, and in the public eye until enough of it could be unraveled to warrant a senate investigation. The paper basically did the job of the FBI for a while to keep the investigation going. Had this story been about a democratic administration, I believe in all certainty they would have done everything in their power to sweep it under the rug. And had they swept it under the rug, I don't think the senate hearings would have taken place, and much of that was also dependent upon Barker keeping his mouth shut. They never paid those guys enough money to compensate them for the jail time they were facing. Nor was the break in team able to face up to the fact that they royally screwed up the job they were paid to do, and that their own incompetence is what put them in the spot they were in. They admired and valued the administration enough to do all this crazy stuff for them, but not enough to protect their bosses when they messed up. And Hunt, Liddy & the break in team messed up bad.

That was what broke the case wide open, Barker talking to the judge on the eve of his sentencing. The paper had already set the stage for getting people in the mood to talk, it may have affected Barker's reasoning to switch sides. Without his input, it would have stopped at lower level CREEP officials, MaGruder & Porter, and Dean would not have gotten sucked into it and spilled the beans.

I would advise watching the 5 part 1994 Discovery Channel special on Watergate, hosted by Daniel Schorr, which tells the other side from inside the administration, with interviews of all the players except Mitchel, whom had already died back in '88. The PBS special Watergate Plus 30, done in 2004, covers the senate hearings a little better than anything else. Schorr was on Nixon's enemies list, and you should note that when you watch, but I think he did a good job with this documentary in bringing out the details, step by step as it unfolded.

Last edited by mofford; 07-24-2018 at 11:53 PM..
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:51 PM
 
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But that's just it though, is that how do you follow the money, since bank records are kept secret cause of rights to privacy laws? I don't see how the reporters got around these laws, by simply asking for the records and information.

Why didn't Barker or Dartis just tell them to get a warrant or something?

Another thing is, in this movie, Deep Throat's real identity is 'Klassen', cause Woodward calls Klassen, and then after talking they agree to meet.

Now the filmmakers didn't know that Deep Throat was Mark Felt back then, but why did Deep Throat go under the name Klassen, or was this made up for the movie?
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Iowa
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Well, I don't know how much legal protection there was at the time, for someone suspected of a high profile crime such as this. Perhaps Dartis was just sympathetic to see this information come out and further the investigation. Perhaps he was just one of the first leakers, along with Daniel Ellsburg, and Mark Felt. Angelo Lano over in the FBI was also straining at the leash to investigate this further, but kept getting a stop order when he found stuff, lol. The time of leakers had begun, and perhaps Dartis just figured this info was going to come out within a very short time anyway, maybe he had a political motive, or as a Miami DA, just wanted to throw it out there and see what happens.

Woodward and Bernstein put out a lot of misinformation about Deep Throat over the years to keep his identity secret. Pat Buchanan was even on the list as a possible, and not too happy about it. That Klassen thing was just one of many smoke screens they used to confuse and broaden the pool, so Felt could not be pinpointed until he was ready to reveal himself.
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Old 07-25-2018, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
But that's just it though, is that how do you follow the money, since bank records are kept secret cause of rights to privacy laws? I don't see how the reporters got around these laws, by simply asking for the records and information.

Why didn't Barker or Dartis just tell them to get a warrant or something?

Another thing is, in this movie, Deep Throat's real identity is 'Klassen', cause Woodward calls Klassen, and then after talking they agree to meet.

Now the filmmakers didn't know that Deep Throat was Mark Felt back then, but why did Deep Throat go under the name Klassen, or was this made up for the movie?
Barker talked to District Attorney Dartis in hopes of getting a break in his sentence. Dartis, as a member of the court, has the power to subpeona bank records, and used it.

Dartis passed it on to the FBI because the break-in was a Federal offense. Dartis prosecuted a local crime, burglary.

Mark Felt was the #2 man in the FBI at the time, and was bucking for the Director's job (the #1 position) just prior to the break-in. He was passed over for that job, and resented it. But he continued to fill his #2 job as Assistant Director, and he couldn't let his name be known during the investigation or he would lose that job with his retirement approaching.

Felt wanted to retire with a full pension, so the reporters couldn't use his real name, and they came up with a colorful alias. That alias was Deep Throat.

Carl Berstein knew Deep Throat was Mark Felt, but never revealed it, even to his partner. Felt also talked to some reporters from TIME magazine, and they revealed him to the Justice Dept.

Richard Nixon knew Felt was Deep Throat, but since Felt knew everything the FBI ever learned about Nixon, Nixon decided it was in his best interests not to reveal Felt. Felt had long served under J. Edgar Hoover, was a staunch Hoover loyalist, and was very angered when he was passed over when Hoover died.

Hoover kept extensive files on everyone in power for decades, and would use them on anyone who crossed him. Felt was passed over in part because he knew what was in Hoover's files, and Hoover's successor, Patrick Grey, was chosen in part because he agreed to destroy the Hoover files if he got the job.

Deep Throat was the most important element in all this. Since the break-in's leaders were all former CIA, the robbery would have come to be noticed by the FBI anyway. The money trail leading back to the Nixon Re-Election Campaign was very thinly disguised, so even without Dartis, the FBI would have figured it all out.

The real problem was connecting the break-in to the Nixon administration. Felt knew enough about the administration to keep the reporters going in the right direction, and would meet with them every time they took a wrong turn.

But Felt basically followed an old, tried and true FBI tactic. Follow the money trail. When a crime is committed, money is always involved; it comes from someone and goes to someone else.

In Watergate, the money led to John Mitchell, Nixon's Attorney General, and from there to Nixon's personal lawyer, John Dean, who discussed it with Nixon and his 2 top advisors. They all devised a cover-up. And all, except Nixon, went to prison.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
And all, except Nixon, went to prison.
Ah, the good old days.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:12 PM
 
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Oh okay. So how come if the police do not have a warrant to search someone's banking information then why don't they just use Carl Bernstein's method and simply ask someone for it, all the time?
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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Found some interesting stuff on Martin F. Dardis, he was not an attorney, but an investigator for Dade County state attorney Richard E. Gerstein. An interesting tidbit, he was in the battle of the bulge in WW2, and rescued downed pilot, Kenneth H. Dahlberg (sound familiar, lol). Dahlberg almost shot him because he thought he was an enemy soldier upon first glance. Dardis went on to become a policeman, investigator, and reporter. He fought it out with drug lords in Florida and made quite a reputation for himself.

It does not say who tipped him off, but he got a tip about a connection between a Miami bank and Bernard Barker. As a state investigator, he checked the account and discovered a check had been deposited in there from his old buddy who almost shot him back in WW2, Kenneth Dahlberg, who's name I'm sure he recognized, and probably did not like him much, lol. Since he also had worked as a reporter in the past, and was a fighter of corruption in government, and worked for State Attorney Richard E Gerstein, I am now getting the picture as to why he gave this information to The Washington Post. Top that off with the fact that he later went on to work for Attorney General Janet Reno in the 90's, and I think we can guess his political affiliation as democrat.
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