Snitching on the Boss

You've just been publicly identified as the most famous anonymous source in history. So how do you position yourself for your next job?

This isn't a concern for Mark Felt, 91, who has identified himself as Deep Throat, the source who guided Washington Post reporters in their Watergate coverage.

In the insular political world, press leaks that bring your boss to the brink of impeachment are, er, frowned upon. That's a career challenge that may face the more recent leakers -- their identities still unknown -- who told Robert D. Novak that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative and told Newsweek that U.S. interrogators in Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Koran.

"The first thing you should do if you're fingered as a famous leaker is to cancel your top-secret security clearance, because you're not holding onto that either way," said Chris Jones, president of PoliTemps, a Washington firm that provides staffing and recruiting for the political world.

As for finding a new job, Jones suggests keeping an open mind. "You should embrace it. Make lemonade out of lemons. You're known as a leaker? Take advantage of it. Invest in sieve technology."

-- Neil Irwin