On September 5th, and by its own account, The New York Times took “the rare step” of publishing an anonymous Op-ed piece. But this was not your ordinary unsigned work of art. The author was said to be a top official in the Trump administration - with a serious ax to grind against the US leader.
In the very opening line of the explosive easy, entitled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” the writer drops a veritable bomb by alleging: “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”
A bit later, he – assuming the closeted author identifies as male – says “many of the senior officials in [Trump’s] own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”
And as if to preempt the predictable claim that the piece was drafted by a shady member of the ‘deep state,’ the writer had that base covered: “This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.”
Well, that’s certainly ironic. This dauntless freedom fighter expects us to believe he is part of the same “steady state” that drafts diatribes against the US Commander-in-Chief. You know, because the good old ‘steady state’ doesn’t want to rock the boat or anything crazy like that.
In any case, this Washington insider, if he is who he says he is - and I am of the opinion he is not - triggered a firestorm of speculation as to his identity. Political pundits had a field day putting forward their favorite suspect, forensic experts were duly consulted to examine the ‘fingerprints’, while late-night ‘comedians’ pounced on the soggy ammunition for yet another round of painfully and very unfunny jokes. Eventually, every high-ranking official, from Vice President Mike Pence to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to even Ivanka Trump herself, has been fingered as the fink.
Yet all of these sensationalistic efforts to play Sherlock Holmes are nothing more than an exercise in sheer quackery. The reasons are twofold: first, it is exactly what the architects of this letter want – to spark a firestorm and sow chaos inside of the administration, thus making Trump look not only out of control, but cornered; second, in all likelihood the letter was crafted by some pimply hack in the New York Times editorial department. But the ‘Grey Lady’ hides behind the paper shield of ‘journalistic ethics,’ saying it cannot reveal its sources, which could be just another way of saying there was no source at all. Most likely, we’ll never know.
What does seem certain is that a true patriot who loves his country would not set off fireworks like some juvenile delinquent in the highest branch of government. Instead, he would have done the honorable and professional thing and quietly resigned without a fiasco. Then this official – again, if he truly exists - could go on to sign a multi-million book deal detailing his life and times spent in the White House. Predictably, however, it would be in the same vein as fact-fudger Bob Woodward and his latest bit of Masterpiece Theater, replete with innumerable nods to anonymous officials and former diplomats who would rather not have their names mentioned. You know, because security and other such delightful nonsense (Buy your bindered bull crap here).
But I digress. What is so lamentable about the New York Times’ decision to publish this unverifiable diatribe is that it further erodes the foundation of the already severely damaged mainstream media colossus. The last thing that newspaper readers want or need is an anonymous opinion piece that stinks to the high heavens of political intrigue. News articles already read like Tom Clancy pulp novels, complete with fictional, anonymous characters and highly implausible plots that make substantiating the claims next to impossible. Few people would eat a can of soup that didn’t advertise the ingredients; the same thing could be said about chowing down at the media trough without knowing the names of the sources. This sort of junk-food journalism goes far at explaining, incidentally, why alternative news sites have been doing a booming business, and, moreover, why the brutal crackdown on these sites has shifted into high gear.
And then there is the very suspicious timing for the release of this mystery piece with Midterms – possibly the most pivotal one in US political history – bearing down on us like a tornado. Although it seems that most Americans are firmly fastened to either the Democratic or Republican gangplank, so much hangs in the balance during this election cycle that I am guessing - really going out on a limb here - that the Left will pull any stunt in the book to get the upper hand. That much seems obvious by their duplicitous methods ever since Trump won the White House. Trump himself has demanded that the Times release the identity of the mystery writer, but of course no newspaper is under any such obligations.
Finally - and here is where it might be necessary to don our conspiratorial tin foil - the Times op-ed piece was published at precisely the same time that the ‘QAnon’ posts have been gathering not only steam, but an increasing number of faithful followers. For the uninitiated, ‘QAnon’ - a reference to top-secret Q clearance at the highest government level - is the pseudonym of an individual or individuals who proclaim to be working in the upper echelons of the Trump administration. This anonymous internet entity claims to have inside information on a number of former and current members of the US government. These tantalizing nuggets of information have been distributed sporadically through “breadcrumbs” since October 2017, and according to the disseminators of said information, if the believers “trust the plan” the fetid DC swamp will be drained as promised. With public supporters of this mystery movement starting to appear on a regular basis at Trump rallies, the mainstream media was begrudgingly forced to finally take note of the phenomenon.
It seems a bit odd and coincidental that at the same time QAnon is gathering momentum, the Times allows an anonymous White House insider to present as fact that a resistance group is waiting in the wings to “frustrate parts of [Trump’s] agenda.” Is part of that agenda going after the very people who wrote that Op-ed piece? Since we are dealing in the realm of the unknown unknowns, as Donald Rumsfeld would say, anything is possible.
In any case, if any of this is to be believed, with the news of a “resistance” group – a “sleeper cell,” as it has been called - inside of the Trump administration, it would seem that we may be witnessing from the shadows a showdown between two opposing, albeit anonymous forces. One comprised of QAnon and their supporters, and the other made up of the so-called Resistance.
Are these groups are merely wild conspiracy theories, dreamed up out of the blue - possibly as a stunt or even a psy-ops operation - or do they represent a bona-fide standoff between two battling factions competing for different agendas inside and outside of the Trump administration?
My personal hunch is we’ll have the answer to that question before the Midterms.