Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A statement from the person who wrote the anonymous NY Times op-ed about President Trump’s incompetence

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Miles Taylor, who worked at Department of Homeland Security, writes at Medium:

Why I’m no longer “Anonymous”

More than two years ago, I published an anonymous opinion piece in The New York Times about Donald Trump’s perilous presidency, while I was serving under him. He responded with a short but telling tweet: “TREASON?”

Trump sees personal criticism as subversive.

I take a different view. As Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.”

We do not owe the President our silence. We owe him and the American people the truth.

Make no mistake: I am a Republican, and I wanted this President to succeed. That’s why I came into the Administration with John Kelly, and it’s why I stayed on as Chief of Staff at the Department of Homeland Security. But too often in times of crisis, I saw Donald Trump prove he is a man without character, and his personal defects have resulted in leadership failures so significant that they can be measured in lost American lives. I witnessed Trump’s inability to do his job over the course of two-and-a-half years. Everyone saw it, though most were hesitant to speak up for fear of reprisals.

So when I left the Administration I wrote A Warninga character study of the current Commander in Chief and a caution to voters that it wasn’t as bad as it looked inside the Trump Administration — it was worse. While I claim sole authorship of the work, the sentiments expressed within it were widely held among officials at the highest levels of the federal government. In other words, Trump’s own lieutenants were alarmed by his instability.

Much has been made of the fact that these writings were published anonymously. The decision wasn’t easy, I wrestled with it, and I understand why some people consider it questionable to levy such serious charges against a sitting President under the cover of anonymity. But my reasoning was straightforward, and I stand by it. Issuing my critiques without attribution forced the President to answer them directly on their merits or not at all, rather than creating distractions through petty insults and name-calling. I wanted the attention to be on the arguments themselves. At the time I asked, “What will he do when there is no person to attack, only an idea?” We got the answer. He became unhinged. And the ideas stood on their own two feet.

To be clear, writing those works was not about eminence (they were published without attribution), not about money (I declined a hefty monetary advance and pledged to donate the bulk of the proceeds), and not about crafting a score-settling “tell all” (my focus was on the President himself and his character, not denigrating former colleagues).

Nevertheless, I made clear I wasn’t afraid to criticize the President under my name. In fact, I pledged to do so. That is why I’ve already been vocal throughout the general election. I’ve tried to convey as best I can — based on my own experience — how Donald Trump has made America less safe, less certain of its identity and destiny, and less united. He has responded predictably, with personal attacks meant to obscure the underlying message that he is unfit for the office he holds.

Yet Trump has failed to bury the truth.

Why? Because since the op-ed was published, I’ve been joined by an unprecedented number of former colleagues who’ve chosen to speak out against the man they once served. Donald Trump’s character and record have now been challenged in myriad ways by his own former Chief of Staff, National Security Advisor, Communications Director, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others he personally appointed.

History will also record the names of those souls who had everything to lose but stood up anyway, including Trump officials Fiona Hill, Michael McKinley, John Mitnick, Elizabeth Neumann, Bob Shanks, Olivia Troye, Josh Venable, Alexander Vindman, and many more. I applaud their courage. These are not “Deep Staters” who conspired to thwart their boss. Many of them were Trump supporters, and all of them are patriots who accepted great personal risks to speak candidly about a man they’ve seen retaliate and even incite violence against his opponents. (I’ve likewise experienced the cost of condemning the President, as doing so has taken a considerable toll on my job, daily life, marriage, finances, and personal safety.)

These public servants were not intimidated. And you shouldn’t be either. As descendants of revolutionaries, honest dissent is part of our American character, and we must reject the culture of political intimidation that’s been cultivated by this President. That’s why I’m writing this note — to urge you to speak out if you haven’t. While I hope a few more Trump officials will quickly find their consciences, your words are now more important than theirs. It’s time to come forward and shine a light on the discord that’s infected our public discourse. You can speak loudest with your vote and persuade others with your voice. Don’t be afraid of open debate. As I’ve said before, there is no better screen test for truth than to see it audition next to delusion.

This election is a two-part referendum: first,  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

28 October 2020 at 1:04 pm

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