Remember when, in what now seems to be an eternity ago, the “infamous” Anonymous penned an explosive op-ed in the New York Times skewering Trump, calling him –among other — unmoored, amoral, impetuous, impulsive, erratic, adversarial, petty and ineffective?
In his op-ed, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the “senior official in the Trump administration” — who along with “like-minded colleagues…vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations” — wrote in part:
The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright
There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.
Of course, immediately, a seething, paranoid, unhinged president launched a witch hunt taking names, kicking butt and making threats to get to the bottom, even demanding that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions investigate the source of the Times op-ed, alleging that the exercise of the writer’s right to freedom of expression was an act of treason, “national security,” and Trump considered action against The Times.
“If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” Trump tweeted and shouted “TREASON?”
A bunch of docile, cowed Trump administration officials denied writing the op-ed, calling the anonymous writer variously “a disgrace,” a “coward,” “gutless” and attacking the New York Times.
Some of the “deniers” included Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Jim Mattis, Dan Coats, Kirstjen Nielsen, Jeff Sessions, Mick Mulvaney, Steven Mnuchin, Kevin Hassett, Rick Perry, Wilbur Ross, Robert Wilkie, Nikki Haley.
Also immediately, the press, cable news, social media, just about everybody started guessing and speculating as to who Anonymous might be.
In a comment to my piece on the Times op-ed, I challenged readers to guess who Anonymous was and offered a $25 donation to the correct guesser’s favorite charity along with a $25 donation to TMV.
Some of the readers’ guesses were: Gen. James Mattis, Don McGhan, John Kelly, Mike Mulvaney, Gina Haspel, even the vice president Mike Pence.
Brownies Girl said James Mattis, but with help from Don McGhan.
IndyGuy felt the op-ed had “the earmarks of a military person…”
Even bookmakers got into the act. The gambling site MyBookie had the following odds:
– Pence: 2-to-3
– Betsy Devos : 2-to-1.
– Mike Pompeo, Steven Mnuchin, and John Kelly: 4-to-1.
– James Mattis: 5-to-1
– Jeff Sessions: 5-to-1
– Ryan Zinke: 6-to-1
– Sonny Perdue: 6-to-1
– Wilbur Ross: 7-to-1
– Alex Acosta: 7-to-1
– Alex Azar: 8-to-1
– Ben Carson: 8-to-1
– Robert Wilkie: 8-to-1
– Kirstjen Nielsen: 10-to-1
– Ivanka Trump: 12-to-1
– Jared Kushner: 12-to-1
– Stephen Miller: 15-to-1
The one name that does not appear in any of the lists above, turns out to be Anonymous.
Today, Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), revealed that he was the author of The New York Times September 2018 op-ed that “set off a hunt for his identity.”
Taylor resigned from DHS in June 2019 and is also the author of “A Warning,” a book that describes Trump as “an ‘undisciplined’ and ‘amoral’ leader whose abuse of power threatened the foundations of American democracy.”
Right on cue and in character, the White House is calling Taylor a “low-level, disgruntled former staffer…a liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action and leaking over leading…”
A donation of $25 will still be made to The Moderate Voice.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.