There are times when publishing a letter by an anonymous writer is prudent. For example, the WSJ reports that in 1991 it shielded the name of a rape victim amid a debate over publishing the names of victims. Using pseudonyms for authors at times has shielded the identities of writers at risk of being punished at the hands of dictators or terrorists.
But offering anonymity to someone in government or in politics who has published an op-ed in the New York Times describing the internal government “resistance” to Donald Trump? The NYT’s op-ed appears to have no specific or noble purpose, as the WSJ’s editorial board notes.
Predictably, Mr. Trump is storming on Twitter and going on a mole hunt. Cabinet officers and senior intelligence officials are issuing denials that they are the author, and reporters are trying to get anyone important on the record. The U.S. looks foolish before the world, which makes us wonder if the writer’s real purpose is to assist the looming campaign for impeachment. This is certainly the New York Times agenda.
A willful Mr. Trump will do the opposite of what the writer wants if his identity is discovered. The honorable and more effective way for the author to accomplish his professed goal would have been to have kept working quietly inside the Administration, or resign and speak on the record.
One irony is that the same people praising Anonymous have for months been denouncing all who work for Mr. Trump as moral cretins who will be condemned by history. The anti-Trumpers are calling for purges and ostracism. Yet now Anonymous is a saint for baring his objections without a byline in the bulletin board of the anti-Trump resistance. Brave dude.
… voting for Donald Trump meant taking a large risk on his manifest character flaws to get better policies. Given the binary choice of Mr. Trump or Hillary Clinton, 63 million Americans took a flyer on Mr. Trump without illusion.
The anonymous author seems to be defying President Trump to pursue his own preferred policies. David French in NRO addresses the author: “If you’re withholding from the American people actual hard evidence of presidential unfitness, then you’re placing your own career before your country. If you’re lying or badly exaggerating the facts for the thrill of constant media contact or the approval of your peers, then you’re just despicable.”