White House whistleblower: Gutsy saint or cowardly rat?

Washington loves and loathes whistleblowers depending on for whom the whistle, and the political winds, are blowing.

Deep Throat, a primary source of The Washington Post’s prize-winning reporting on Watergate, is a genuine American hero to many. But to others he was a high-ranking career FBI official bitter about being passed over for promotion. A lot depended on what people thought about Richard Nixon.

The anonymous author of “Primary Colors,” a roman à clef — a fancy way of saying “the names are changed” — about the hidden-side of Bill Clinton’s first campaign was a brilliant writer to some while not-so-admired-denier by others. A lot depended on what people thought of Bill Clinton’s character.

So who wrote the unsigned op-ed column in The New York Times yesterday? It was headlined: “I Am Part Of The Resistance Inside The Trump Administration.” The Times said it was taking “the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay” by a writer who is a “senior official,” and “whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.” You think?

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The column insisted that its writer was part of the Trump team and wanted him to be a success. But he or she then said that many people inside the White House “are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

Speculation as to who the writer is ranges from Vice President Mike Pence to a family member, a low-ranking aide, or that it is merely more “fake news.”

Although it took decades for Watergate’s Deep Throat to be identified as former FBI director Mark Felt, it may not take nearly so long to find out who the author of the Times piece is, and why it was written — closer to home.

Most of us who have worked somewhere for a long time know about serious, maybe even criminal, mistakes that have been made by colleagues, our bosses or even ourselves. And maybe they were glossed over? It can be a national bank chain, a dot.com, a news organization or a federal agency. Especially in the public sector, because of the importance, reach and power of the federal government, there is a lot of room for error — not to mention criminal activity. Think of the power, talent and resources of the CIA, FBI, SEC, FDA and the ultimate, the IRS.

So who is the author of the Op-Ed? Is it real or could the Times have been had? Do you think he or she is correct and did the right thing? Or is this something else, written by someone with an ax to grind or maybe hoping for a career in the media or politics?

And if you’ve been in government for awhile, can you top this?

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

According to the 2017-18 National Pet Owners Survey, conducted by the American Pet Products Association, since 2016 Generation Y (Millenials) has had a higher percentage of pet ownership than Generation X or Baby Boomers.

Source: APPA