The death of former Watergate bagman Kenneth H. Dahlberg, 94, was reported today, although he died four days ago. It’s not fair that Dahlberg, an ace dogfighter and a P.O.W. camp escapee in World War II and a successful businessman for most of his life, is primarily known as the guy who was busted for Watergate money shenanigans by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. But that’s how it is.
I feel I know Dahlberg as well as I know Harry Lime or Alec Leamas or any other ethically murky character in an adult thriller. Because I’ve watched that five-minute scene in All The President’s Men when Robert Redford‘s Woodward calls Dahlberg, a fund-raiser for Nixon’s re-election campaign, and asks why his name is on a $25,000 cashier’s check that had been deposited in the bank account of Bernard L. Barker, one of the Watergate burglars.
The Woodward-Barker scene starts at the three-minute mark.