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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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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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