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NYT Answers 9 Questions About Anonymous Op-Ed After Trump Demands DOJ Investigation

The NYT has published answers to questions from nine readers out of 23,000 who submitted questions about the anonymous op-ed.

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Via Zerohedge


After publishing a highly controversial anonymous Op-Ed Wednesday purportedly written by a senior White House official who claims to be part of an internal “resistance” that is actively undermining the President, the New York Times has taken heat from all sides.

The author has been generally deemed a coward – with the right knocking him or her for their pre-midterm “hit-job,” while many on the left have suggested that the author should have published the piece under their real name in order to attach more credibility to a series of anonymous complaints about the President that the New York Times just doesn’t have the journalistic credibility to pull off anymore.

Indeed, the piece appears to have backfired – while President Trump has demanded that the Justice Department launch an investigation into the article for the sake of national security.

Speaking at a Thursday night campaign rally in Billings, Montana, Trump said:

for the sake of our national security, the New York Times should publish his name at once. I think their reporters should go and investigate who it is. That would actually be a good scoop.

That would be a good scoop. Unelected deep state operatives who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself. And I was so heartened when I looked

And as The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald points out: “The irony in the op-ed from the NYT’s anonymous WH coward is glaring and massive: s/he accuses Trump of being “anti-democratic” while boasting of membership in an unelected cabal that covertly imposes their own ideology with zero democratic accountability, mandate or transparency

Perhaps to try and win some points in the court of public opinion (and other possible courtrooms down the road), The Times has published answers to questions from nine readers out of 23,000 who submitted questions about the essay.

Via the New York Times

Why did you publish this piece?

Why publish this? What purpose does it serve, other than to enrage its target and assuage the guilt of a collaborator? We have a mad king and a shadow government. This is a coup, not a heroic attempt to save democracy.

— Henry Matthews, New York

Henry:

In our view, this Op-Ed offered a significant first-person perspective we haven’t presented to our readers before: that of a conservative explaining why they felt that even if working for the Trump administration meant compromising some principles, it ultimately served the country if they could achieve some of the president’s policy objectives while helping resist some of his worst impulses.

We’ve certainly read excellent news stories that quoted anonymous officials making similar points and criticizing the president’s temperament and chaotic style. What distinguished this essay from those news articles was that it conveyed this point of view in a fleshed-out, personal way, and we felt strongly that the public should have a chance to evaluate it for themselves.

The only way that could happen was for us to publish the essay without a byline. That was an extraordinary step for us, but the piece touched off what we believe to be an important national debate about whether the writer, and similarly situated Trump administration officials, are making the right choice (many of our readers clearly think they are not).

— Jim Dao

***

How did you find this writer?

Did The New York Times seek out the author of this piece, or did the author seek out The New York Times?

— Norma Buchanan, Billings, Mont.

Norma:

The writer was introduced to us by an intermediary whom we know and trust.

— Jim Dao

***

How do you vet a piece like this?

How are you certain of the author’s identity?

— Martin Trott, Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Through direct communication with the author, some background checking and the testimony of the trusted intermediary.

— Jim Dao

***

What does ‘senior administration official’ really mean?

Who qualifies as a “senior administration official” for The New York Times? How many individuals are there in the administration who fit the bill?

— Daniel Burns, Hyattsville, Md.

Daniel:

I understand readers’ frustration that we didn’t provide a more precise description of the official. But we felt strongly that a broader categorization was necessary to protect the author from reprisal, and that concern has been borne out by the president’s reaction to the essay. The term we chose, senior administration official, is used in Washington by both journalists and government officials to describe positions in the upper echelon of an administration, such as the one held by this writer.

— Jim Dao

***

Would you ever reveal your source?

Under what conditions would The New York Times be forced to disclose the source of the Op-Ed?

— Stephanie Genkin, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Stephanie:

It is difficult to imagine a situation where The Times could be forced to disclose the author’s identity. The First Amendment clearly protects the author’s right to publish an essay criticizing the president, and absolutely nothing in the Op-Ed involves criminal behavior. We intend to do everything in our power to protect the identity of the writer and have great confidence that the government cannot legally force us to reveal it.

— Jim Dao

***

Were the writer’s motives considered?

Were the motives of the author considered when deciding whether to publish the Op-Ed?

— Samantha Combs, Pensacola, Fla.

Samantha:

Our first step in evaluating any submission is to look at the background of the writer and the quality and significance of the piece itself. But we do also take into consideration a writer’s motives as part of the vetting process.

It can of course be difficult to discern what those motives are, and in this case a combination of motives were undoubtedly in play, including the writer’s desire to defend the integrity of the president’s internal critics.

But we concluded that the author’s principal motivation was to describe, as faithfully as possible, the internal workings of a chaotic and divided administration and to defend the choice to nevertheless work within it. The resulting essay, we believe, is an important piece of opinion journalism.

— Jim Dao

***

Why now?

Why did you publish it now? At a time when the country should be focused on the Kavanaugh hearings, the outcome of which will affect us for the next 30 years or more, you totally distracted everyone with a guessing game. This administration is placing our democracy in enough danger. Do you really need to play along?

— Paul Birkeland, Seattle

Paul:

The simple answer is that we published when we did because the piece was ready to go and we saw no reason to wait. It certainly was not our intention to start a guessing game or draw the nation’s attention away from the Kavanaugh hearings.

The Op-Ed section considers the Supreme Court nomination to be of the utmost importance and, for that reason, has published numerous Op-Eds and columns about Judge Kavanaugh since he was nominated (including several just this week).

It was always our expectation that even if the Op-Ed created a splash, that the Kavanaugh hearings would remain a focus of media attention. And indeed, though the Op-Ed was the big news on Wednesday and Thursday, the hearings remained front-page news in The Times throughout the week. I should also point out that the actual vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination could be more than a week away, leaving plenty of time for additional coverage.

— Jim Dao

***

Has this happened before?

You said publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay is a “rare step.” So does it mean that it was not unprecedented? Then what were other times when you made a call to run anonymous Op-Eds? What were your rationales back then?

— Dien Luong, Vietnam

Dien:

It has happened before. Earlier this year, we published an anonymous essay by an asylum seeker whose name we withheld because she was concerned about gang violence against her family in El Salvador. In 2016, we published this Op-Ed by a Syrian refugee in Greece, using her first name only because her family in Syria faced threats. We also published in 2016 an account of the Syrian civil war by a writer in Raqqa using a pen name to protect him from being targeted by the Islamic State.

— Jim Dao

Did you consider the effect this piece might have?

To what extent did The Times consider the effect that publication of the piece would have in bolstering conspiracy theories about the “deep state” or QAnon, etc.?

— James Apps, Berlin

James:

We did not take that into consideration. It is difficult to ever know what reportage might feed into a conspiracy theory. But the essay included a passage that indicates the author suspected the piece might be viewed as part of a “deep state” theory: “This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.”

— Jim Dao

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john vieiraThraxiteT W HuningrogermorrisOld Uncle Dave Recent comment authors
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Anne felippe
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Anne felippe

Someone should have asked if the NY Slime wrote the piece. Good article from paul craig roberts convinced this s the case. Regardless who wrote it, since the NYSlime has zero credibility, the motives for publishing this are crystal clear. And all the accomplishments of the president were part of his campaign promises yet this egotistical unelected nobody thinks he is taking credit for accomplishing them. And as far as his absurd claims about syria this is all false flag and almost everyone realizes it and as far his claims about rx spy poisoning any person not dumbed down by… Read more »

john vieira
Guest

“They” are at wits end and will try ANYTHING…even going so far as to “invent” a traitor or group of traitors in the White House. The only traitors in America are the 5th Column/Shadow Government led by the “organizer” and their minions/eunuchs in the corrupt, sold out mainstream media…

Old Uncle Dave
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Old Uncle Dave

Do a search: Times op-ed USC plagiarism

rogermorris
Guest
rogermorris

This is not the first time NYT’s has been ‘ahead of the curve[ball]’ in the ‘manufacturing of public myth. It has been here before.Many many times. It builds the biggest and bestest of all myths. Including the big kahuna 17yrs ago just down the road :The ‘Lower’ Manhattan Project/Office Furnishings Fire Myth. NYT.
The worm in the big apple.
Mother mouth piece of the Wurlitzer .

T W Huning
Guest
T W Huning

…should have published the piece under his real name… (Of course the author didn’t publish the piece. The “Typhoid Mary of Journalism”* did.) *Gore Vidal

T W Huning
Guest
T W Huning

Another high Whitehorse souse.

Thraxite
Guest
Thraxite

“We did not take that into consideration. It is difficult to ever know what reportage might feed into a conspiracy theory” The guy/gal has admitted to belonging to a secret group and doing things they’re not supposed to be doing, that is no longer a conspiracy theory, that is actually called a CONSPIRACY!

john vieira
Guest

Considering from whence they are purportedly operating it is tantamount to TREASON!!!

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Some Russian monarchists want Tsar Vladimir Putin

Latest news from Russian monarchists highlight the debate over bringing the Russian Empire back to life in modern times.

Seraphim Hanisch

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A December 13 report in The Wall Street Journal shone light on a notion that has been afoot in the Russian Federation since the fall of Communism in 1991 – the restoration of the Monarchy as the form of government, complete with a new Tsar of all the Russias.

Of course, some of these monarchists have a top contender in mind for that post, none other than President Vladimir Putin himself.

This idea has long been used in a pejorative light in the West, as various shadowy and not-so-shadowy elements in the American media speculated over the years that Mr. Putin was actually aspiring to become Tsar. This was thrown around until probably the time that the Russian president spoke, lamenting the fall of Communism, and since then the prime accusation has been that President Putin wants to bring back the Soviet Union.

This is not true. It also does not appear to be the case that the Russian president wants to be Tsar. But the monarchists are not fazed in the slightest. Here is excerpted material from the WSJ piece, with emphases added:

The last time term limits forced Russian leader Vladimir Putin to step down from the presidency, he became prime minister for a few years.

This time around, a group of pro-Kremlin activists have a different idea: Proclaim him Czar Vladimir.

“We will do everything possible to make sure Putin stays in power as long as possible,” Konstantin Malofeyev, a politically active businessman, said recently to thunderous applause from hundreds of Russian Orthodox priests and members of the country’s top political parties gathered at a conference outside Moscow. They were united by one cause—to return the monarchy to Russia…

Even among those who want a monarchy, however, there are splits over what kind it should be. Is an absolute monarchy better than a constitutional monarchy? Should a blood line be established or should the czar be elected? For those who favor male succession, would it be a problem that Mr. Putin reportedly only has two daughters? Some have even suggested others besides Mr. Putin should accede to the throne.

There is a very keen interest indeed among some in Russia that propose various options as to who might best become Tsar in the event that the Monarchy is restored.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and his mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, together with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Relations

One candidate that has received significant attention is a man by the name of George Mikhailovich Romanov. He is an actual member of the Royal family, the heir apparent to Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, Grand Duchess of Russia. There are other heir apparents as well, and the issue as to who it should be has not been settled among the surviving members of the Romanov family.

The restoration of the Russian monarchy is unique because to carries strong religious significance. As far back as the 8th and 9th centuries, A.D., a host of saints and prophets appear to have foreseen the advent of the Soviet times and the restoration of the Tsar after their conclusion.

Some such prophecies are attributed to anonymous sources, but some are named. Here are two with rather extensive editing, so please go to the site linked for the fullest description of the prophecies.

Monk Abel the Prophet (+1831).

In a conversation with Tsar Paul I (+1801), after prophesying the destinies of all the Tsars from Paul I to Nicholas II:

“What is impossible for man is possible for God. God delays with His help, but it is said that He will give it soon and will raise the horn of Russian salvation. And there will arise a great prince from your race in exile, who stands for the sons of his people. He will be a chosen one of God, and on his head will be blessing. He will be the only one comprehensible to all, the very heart of Russia will sense him. His appearance will be sovereign and radiant, and nobody will say: ‘The Tsar is here or there’, but all will say: ‘That is him’. The will of the people will submit to the mercy of God, and he himself will confirm his calling. His name has occurred three times in Russian history. Two of the same name have already been on the throne, but not on the Tsar’s throne. But he will sit on the Tsar’s throne as the third. In him will be the salvation and happiness of the Russian realm.”

“Russian hopes will be realized upon [the cathedral of Hagia] Sophia in Tsargrad [Constantinople]; the Orthodox Cross will gleam again; Holy Rus will be filled with the smoke of incense and prayer, and will blossom like a heavenly lily.”

And from one of the most famous saints in Russian history:

St. John of Kronstadt (+1908):

“I foresee the restoration of a powerful Russia, still stronger and mightier than before. On the bones of these martyrs, remember, as on a strong foundation, will the new Russia we built – according to the old model; strong in her faith in Christ God and in the Holy Trinity! And there will be, in accordance with the covenant of the holy Prince Vladimir, a single Church! Russian people have ceased to understand what Rus is: it is the footstool of the Lord’s Throne! The Russian person must understand this and thank God that he is Russian.”

“The Church will remain unshaken to the end of the age, and a Monarch of Russia, if he remains faithful to the Orthodox Church, will be established on the Throne of Russia until the end of the age.”

What may surprise those in the West is that there are a great many people in Russia and in Orthodox Christian countries in general who take these prophecies quite seriously.

Interestingly enough, when the idea of restoring the monarchy was brought to President Putin’s attention, he regarded the idea as “beautiful” according to Lt. General Leonid Reshetnikov, but also expressed concern that it would lead to stagnation within the country.

A second statement, this one by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noted that President Putin does not like the idea of bringing back the monarchy, but offered no comment on the conversation with Mr. Reshetnikov.

The idea of restoring the monarchy is not completely absurd. Britain overthrew its own monarchy in 1649 during that country’s Civil War, but it was restored shortly afterwards under King Charles II. Spain cast aside its monarchy in 1931, with its king, Alfonso XIII going into exile, but after sixteen years this monarchy, too, was restored.

Both of these monarchies have become largely ceremonial, with most governing functions carried out through some kind of Parliament and Prime Minister. It is therefore not clear what a ruling monarchy in Russia would look like.

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US confirms pullout from INF treaty, Moscow will respond if missiles placed in Europe – deputy FM

Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

RT

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Washington has confirmed its decision to withdraw from the INF treaty is final, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said, adding that Moscow will ‘take measures’ if American missiles that threaten its security are placed in Europe.

“Washington publicly announced its plans to withdraw from the treaty (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) already in October. Through the high-level bilateral channels it was confirmed to us that this decision was final and wasn’t an attempt to initiate dialogue,” Sergey Ryabkov told the Kommersant newspaper.

The Deputy FM said that Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

“We’ll be forced to come up with effective compensating measures. I’d like to warn against pushing the situation towards the eruption of new ‘missile crises.’ I am convinced that no sane country could be interested in something like this,” he said.

Russia isn’t threatening anybody, but have the necessary strength and means to counter any aggressor.
Back in October, President Donald Trump warned that Washington was planning unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty because “Russia has not adhered to the agreement.” The US leader also promised that the country would keep boosting its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China “come to their senses.”

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will suspend its obligations under the treaty within 60 days if Russia does not “return to compliance.”

Signed in late 1988, the INF agreement was considered a milestone in ending the arms race between the US and the USSR.

In recent years, Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF deal. While the US has alleged that Russia has developed missiles prohibited by the treaty, Russia insists that the American anti-missile systems deployed in Eastern Europe can actually be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.

The deputy FM said that Washington “never made a secret” of the fact that its INF treaty pullout “wasn’t so much about problems between the US and Russia, but about the desire of the Americans to get rid of all restrictions that were inconvenient for them.”

The US side expressed belief that the INF deal “significantly limits the US military’s capabilities to counter states with arsenals of medium-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles,” which threaten American interests, he said. “China, Iran and North Korea” were specifically mentioned by Washington, Ryabkov added.

“I don’t think that we’re talking about a new missile crisis, but the US plans are so far absolutely unclear,” Mikhail Khodarenok, retired colonel and military expert, told RT, reminding that the Americans have avoided any type of “meaningful discussion” with Moscow in regards to its INF deal pullout.

While “there’ll be no deployment of [US missiles] in Europe any time soon,” Moscow should expect that Washington would try to void other agreements with Russia as well, Khodarenok warned.

The INF deal “just stopped being beneficial for the US. Next up are all the other arms control treaties. There’ll be no resistance from the NATO allies [to US actions],” he said.

“The neocons who run Trump’s foreign policy never have liked arms reduction treaties,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. “The new START treaty which comes up for renewal also could be in jeopardy.”

“The risk of a new nuclear buildup is really quite obvious” if the US withdrawals from the INF treaty, Dan Smith, the director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told RT.

“I think the relations between the great powers – the US and Russia as well as the US and China – are more difficult than they’ve been for a long time,” he added.

However, with Washington having indicated that it wants China to be part of the new deal, “there are still possibilities for negotiations and agreement,” according to Smith. Nonetheless, he warned that following this path will demand strong political will and tactical thinking from the leadership of all three countries.

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US Pressures Germany To Ditch Huawei Over ‘Security Concerns’

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

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Via Zerohedge


First it was Australia, New Zealand and Japan, now the US is pressing the German government to refuse to use equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei as Europe’s largest economy seeks to build out its 5G infrastructure.

According to Bloomberg, a US delegation met on Friday with German Foreign Ministry officials in Berlin to talk about the security risks presented by Huawei’s equipment, which the US says is vulnerable to spying. The meeting in Germany follows a report from late last month claiming the US had launched an “extraordinary outreach campaign” to warn its allies against using Huawei equipment (while its vulnerability to Chinese spying has been cited as the reason to avoid Huawei, it’s also worth noting that the US and China are locked in a battle for who will dominate the global 5G space…a battle that Huawei is currently winning).

Germany is set to hold an auction early next year to find a supplier to help expand its 5G network. The Berlin meeting took place one day after Deutsche Telekom said it would reexamine its decision to use Huawei equipment.

US officials are optimistic that their warnings are getting a hearing, though any detailed talks are in early stages and no concrete commitments have been made, according to one of the people.

The US pressure on Germany underscores increased scrutiny of Huawei as governments grapple with fears that the telecom-equipment maker’s gear is an enabler for Chinese espionage. The Berlin meeting took place a day after German carrier Deutsche Telekom AG said it will re-evaluate its purchasing strategy on Huawei, an indication that it may drop the Chinese company from its list of network suppliers.

France is also reportedly considering further restrictions after adding Huawei products to its “high alert” list. The US has already passed a ban preventing government agencies from using anything made by Huawei. But the telecoms equipment provider isn’t taking these threats to its business lying down.

U.S. warnings over espionage are a delicate matter in Germany. Revelations over the scale of the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence, including reports of tapping Merkel’s mobile phone, are still fresh in Berlin five years after they came to light.

Huawei is pushing back against the accusations. The company’s rotating chairman warned this week that blacklisting the Chinese company without proof will hurt the industry and disrupt the emergence of new wireless technology globally. Ken Hu, speaking at a Huawei manufacturing base in Dongguan, cited “groundless speculation,” in some of the first public comments since the shock arrest of the company’s chief financial officer.

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. In an editorial published Sunday, the Global Times, an English-language mouthpiece for the Communist Party, warned that China should retaliate against any country that – like Australia – takes a hard line against Huawei. So, if you’re a German citizen in Beijing, you might want to consider getting the hell out of Dodge.

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