May 18th, 2017

The history of the anonymous source: blame it on Watergate

[NOTE: The following is a very slightly-edited copy of an early post I wrote on this blog (May, 2005)—twelve long years ago, and it does not seem like it was only yesterday. But I think you’ll see how very relevant it still is today. Some of the links in it have died in the interim. But I’ve kept them in, just to show you where I got the information.]

To the best of my recollection, the newspapers of my youth attributed every quote to an actual named person–not that I was paying a whole lot of attention at the time to subtleties like that. Now, however, it seems as though articles are often merely glorified gossip columns full of anonymous commentary–a sort of “he said, he said” kind of journalism.

The only thing we know for sure is the identity of the article’s author. We are asked to take the facts on trust, without a chance to evaluate the source of the remarks. This over-reliance on the anonymous source gives both the journalist and his/her informant an overwhelming power, and takes away our ability to judge the veracity of what we are being told. I believe it’s one of the most pernicious trends in journalism.

This practice seems to be the logical development of a phenomenon that started with Vietnam and became stronger with Watergate. As I’ve written earlier, during that era many people’s attitudes towards the government and the military became more negative, while their attitudes towards the press became correspondingly more positive, in a sort of reciprocal seesawing movement. As trust in the press grew, it seems that the time-honored journalistic methods of sourcing, previously acting as a system of checks and balances against the power of the press, were now considered unnecessary.

The most famous anonymous source of them all, of course, was Deep Throat of Watergate fame. He was not only a seminal figure in Nixon’s denouement (and thus a hero to liberals everywhere), but he was so renowned that he had his own nickname, taken from a popular porn flick. It turns out that Deep Throat had another claim to fame: he was the trailblazer in the practice of relying on anonymous sources, now so commonplace in today’s journalism.

I had suspected all along that Watergate might be at the heart of it, but it was difficult to document when I first tried to do some online research on the subject. I finally struck pay dirt with this article from American Journalism Review. It’s hardly up-to-date (it was written way back in 1994), but it was the only discussion of the history of anonymous sources that I could find. It turns out Watergate was indeed a watershed in the use of this practice:

Although confidential sources predate Watergate, they were infrequently used before that celebrated story, which produced the most famous unnamed source of all time. Deep Throat, whose identity remains a mystery*, helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down Richard Nixon in 1974. After that, the use of anonymous sources flourished, with many reporters considering it sexier to have an unnamed source than a named one.

Unfortunately, it’s only gotten worse since then. See this, if you want to remember the good old days:

“Of course, you talk to everybody when you begin a story,” says Philip Scheffler, a senior producer for CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “Off the record. On the record. In the record. For background. Not for attribution no matter what. But it’s not the raw notes we are talking about. We are talking about what goes on the air.” And “60 Minutes” does not use anonymous sources on the air.

Would that that last sentence were still true!

And how about this guy:

There’s not a place for anonymous sources,” says Allen H. Neuharth, founder of USA Today and chairman of the Freedom Forum. “I think there are a few major historical developments that happened in journalism – the Pentagon Papers, maybe Watergate – where anonymous sources had a more positive influence than a negative impact. But on balance, the negative impact is so great that we can’t overcome the lack of trust until or unless we ban them.

Where is Mr. Neuharth now [as of May, 2005]? Retired to Florida and eighty-one years old–which makes him something of a dinosaur, I guess. As recently as 1998, though, he was still speaking out against the use of the anonymous source, which he calls evil. Here’s an excerpt from a 1998 interview with Neuharth [emphasis mine]:

Traditionally journalists were taught to believe in accuracy above all else. And that changed. I think it changed with Watergate, and I think the anonymous source is the most evil thing that newspapers and the media have adopted or adapted in the last 25 years [said in 1998]. It started with Watergate, (when) journalists coming off college campuses (were) determined to be (Bob) Woodward or (Carl) Bernstein. They believed that because of Watergate’s successes there was dirt under every mat in front of every office. They came out as young cynics. The journalists of my generation were taught to be skeptics. And there’s a hell of a difference between a skeptic and a cynic. All you need to do is be accurate and fair.

Sounds about right to me.

Back when that 1994 American Journalism Review article was written, there was apparently a great deal of variation in the rules for using anonymous sources—some papers used them liberally at the time, and some vary sparingly or not at all. My impression is that the use of anonymous sources seems to be something like alcohol—seductive and habit-forming. In that 1994 article, everyone keeps talking about going on the wagon and curbing the practice, but very few have actually done so. Apparently it’s too enticing to give up, for so many reasons: getting a sensational story, beating the competition, laziness, habit.

Is there any hope, short of Mr. Neuharth coming out of retirement? Well, in 2003 a group of eighteen well-known journalists were brought together by Poynter to make recommendations about improving journalism. They came up with this set of extremely sensible-seeming rules for the use of anonymous sources. If followed, they would eliminate a lot of trouble:

• Anonymous sources should be encouraged to go on the record.

• We should weigh the source’s reliability and disclose to readers the source’s potential biases.

• The more specific we can be in describing the source in the story, the better.

• Anonymous sources should not be used for personal attacks, accusations of illegal activity, or merely to add color.

• The source must have first-hand knowledge.

• Journalists should not lie in a story to protect a source.

I don’t know why these guidelines haven’t been widely adopted [NOTE: I may not have known when I wrote that back in 2005, but I certainly feel that I know now, in 2017]. I guess the bottom line is that journalists have become far too addicted to the easy fix that anonymous sources provide.

Like all addictions, this calls for a 12-step program, right? I even have a name for it: ASA, Anonymous Sourcers Anonymous.

That’s how the post ended in 2005. My suggestion about ASA was tongue-in-cheek; I didn’t seriously think for a moment that the press really wanted to give up the use of the anonymous source. But looking back, what I wrote still seems naive of me at the time. The anonymous source is the bedrock of the MSM political agenda, and the MSM’s pretense of objectivity is now tissue-paper thin. The reputation of the press is also far lower than it was in 2005, but its pro-left anti-right agenda continues—not just unabated but intensified.

The anonymous source is not going anywhere; it’s far too valuable. Not only that, but it has become so standard and so accepted that I wonder whether younger people question its use at all, or realize that things were once very different.

* [NOTE: Coincidentally, only about a week after I originally wrote this piece in May of 2005, “Deep Throat’s” identity was revealed to have been FBI Associate Director Mark Felt.]

24 Responses to “The history of the anonymous source: blame it on Watergate”

  1. Mike K Says:

    Mark Felt was the founding member of the Deep State. He took down a president as revenge for being passed over for the position of FBI Director when Hoover died. It was superlative revenge and his two young stenographers set the standard for “Journalism” for decades.

  2. AesopFan Says:

    Excellent post, and frightening to think we have gone so far off the rails, because the Media think they are The Chosen Ones to lead the rest of us rubes.

    Historians will look back at the short period of about 1950-1970 as the “Golden Age of Journalism” – a brief respite in the norm of scandal and partisan sniping (which I mean as a near-literal metaphor: they shoot from a distance, stay under cover, and use words for bullets).

  3. AesopFan Says:

  4. AesopFan Says:
    “Reading the news stories that have created the consuming controversies of the past few days, this is what I see. Hostile officials inside the executive branch of the government seek the removal of Donald Trump from office. They are powerful. They lack any qualms about abusing their positions. And they are determined.

    With malicious intent, “current officials” inside the intelligence agencies with access to top secret information, for example, have passed it on under the cloak of anonymity to their friends in the mainstream media. Even “former officials” — i.e., former Obama administration officials — have gotten in on the act. (The source of their information is neither revealed nor apparent.)

    As always, the reporters have a hot story regarding the identity of those “current officials” disclosing critical intelligence for dissemination to the world at large. The reporters’ knowledge of the identity of those “former officials” working to overthrow Trump is just a bonus in this case. The role played today by those “former officials” working with their media friends is something new. We’d like to hear more about it. It would make a great story all by itself. For some reason, however, it’s one more hot story they won’t tell.

  5. AesopFan Says:

    Tangential news.

    Ailes became the founding CEO of Fox News in 1996 and built the network, which at the time only reached 17 million viewers — or a less than a third of CNN’s reach — from the ground up.

    He re-shaped the network as the “fair and balanced” right-wing alternative to MSNBC and CNN and staffed the 24-7 network with conservative talking heads.

    In 1998, Fox quadrupled its ratings with its coverage of President Clinton’s extramarital affair with Monica Lewinksy.(sic)

    Before Fox, he served as a Republican party consultant and worked under President Nixon in 1970, when he outlined his vision for the news in a 300-page memo titled “A Plan for Putting the GOP on TV News,” CNN reported.

    “Today television news is watched more often than people read newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or gather any other form of communication,” the memo read. “The reason: People are lazy. With television you just sit — watch — listen. The thinking is done for you.”

  6. T Says:

    All institutions are corruptible.
    The larger an institution is, the more corruptible it is.
    The more corruptible an insitution is, the more corrupt it will be.

    Never, never trust an institution to be honest and “play fair” be it a corporation, a government or a church. Honor, when it exists at all, exists between people in human relationships. The further removed from those relationships an event is, the more distilled any honor will be.

  7. T Says:

    Correction, sorry!

    “The further removed from those relationships an event is, the more distilled diluted any honor will be.”

  8. arfldgr Says:

    In this Zombie post…
    I want to point out how funny this all is…

    The Great Punkin has commenced..

    you guys want a BIG laugh?

    well, with the Dems so vociferously turning themselves into their own enemy, what happens next? how do they return to their leftist marxit communist roots after becoming a laughing stock version of McCarthy (cause McCarthy was right, and these clucks are wrong)

    let me give you a clue as to the wealthy people I know rangning from family, to famous greates, to not so famous people who dont want to be known.

    The easiest teflon one can put on in business and moving forwards is to do things honestly. that doesnt mean you are passive, or give in, or dont6 say your mind, but that you have negated all the ways an opposition can attack you using your own actions against you.

    combine that with the secret sauce of higher than normal standards and higher requirments and you have a VERY winning combination.

    he is doing the opposite of shakespeares, i think the lady protesteth too much.

    the innocent need not protest so much.
    in fact, its in his favor to let them waste time energy and effort on a wild goose chase he knows the end result to as its over him!

    while they are all doing THAT, what then?

    anyway… i put my money where my mouth is and i am up over 20,000 this morning thanks to reality…

  9. arfldgr Says:

    I don’t know why these guidelines haven’t been widely adopted [NOTE: I may not have known when I wrote that back in 2005, but I certainly feel that I know now, in 2017]. I guess the bottom line is that journalists have become far too addicted to the easy fix that anonymous sources provide.

    yeah, but the style was perfected by the feminists who got to experiment with this stuff and no on noticing… how do you think they suddently got 30 million men to decide to do less economically, not have wives, and be considered losers? how else did they prove to women that X the lie, is the truth?

    easy, their articles and things ALWAYS call up fake anonymous people that always confirm

    so when some militant wack job says men like to stand to pee to validate their superiority, they happen to have Bif confirm it as she talked to him, but bif the oppressor and priveleged is too afraid to be known.

    the most egregious are the ones in which thye go too far and get caught… otherwise, if they stay low enough they fly below that radar and womens ego wont let anyone prove anything negative, true or not.

    yeah… magnum was raped
    tawana brawley too
    so was that frathouse rape party

    but the gay administrator at duke pimping his black adopted boys to gay men, that was true.

    but then again, go back to willi munsenberg as he and people like the famed holodomar hider at the times, created this as a norm (or as stalin woud say, its normalized)

    they even have articles and papers in each of these movements on what canned answer replys you give when they argue or debate!!!

    and if you dont think that is going on then you dont know about blacks being teens, and other snot, pakistani being asian, and on and on all these changes that set us at each other.

    its how you make revolution and have your dictatorship, which they are not impeded one iota by people who dont know the game

    its like watching top trained troops up against a hodgpodge militia and NOT like the american revoltuion but more like the massacres!!!

    and they wont get it till the coupe de grace comes..
    which is the point of that… if you knew before, you would avoid it… no?

  10. Oldflyer Says:

    The Press has managed to distort the First Amendment to suit their purposes. Publishing sensitive information, or libelous allegations attributed to anonymous sources is a visible example. I wish that an Administration would be courageous enough to take them on formally; e.g, not with tweets or whining. I would suggest a situation in which classified information is published and attributed to an anonymous source; not a difficult undertaking. Then charge the reporter with conspiracy; and harboring a criminal. Leave it to the lawyers to define the charges. I think a few cases like that would make the use of anonymous sources less attractive; and if the Reporter would deal the source in a plea bargain, so much the better.

  11. blert Says:

    Oldflyer, Comey has been blocking all such investigations.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The inimitable Mark Steyn has some pertinent observations on this subject;

    “A leaker [anonymous source] is not a disinterested provider of information, but a character in the drama, with his own motivations. …A leaker is not a “source” – a passive repository of information – but a player in the drama seeking to manipulate the narrative to his own advantage.

    Incidentally, re Trump cozying up to the Russians, it’s interesting to see him being accused of treason by people who believe in open borders, and the erasure of any distinction between citizens and non-citizens, and therefore of any claim of national allegiance, upon which the entire concept of treason depends.”

    Thank you AesopFan for that link.

    One more point. Neither the CIA, NSA or any other ‘rogue’ intelligence agency or agent is the anonymous source. He, she or they are the conduit between the source and the media. The source is someone in the room with Trump in these ‘private’ meetings. Trump has a mole(s) in his inner circle.

  13. arfldgr Says:

    McCarthy had anonymous sources as he could not reveal the contents of a still ongoing collection of information…

    one of his targets, owen lattimore, wrote a book and went after him, coining the term McCarthyism, despite that Lattimore WAS a spy…

    nonymous Sources: A Historical Review of the Norms Surrounding Their Use

  14. arfldgr Says:

    Mental reservation is a form of deception which is not an outright lie. It was argued for in moral theology, and now in ethics, as a way to fulfill obligations both to tell the truth and to keep secrets from those not entitled to know them (for example, because of the seal of the confessional or other clauses of confidentiality). Mental reservation, however, is regarded as unjustifiable without grave reason for withholding the truth. This condition was necessary to preserve a general idea of truth in social relations.

    In wide mental reservation, equivocations and amphibologies are used to imply an untruth that is not actually stated. In strict mental reservation, the speaker mentally adds some qualification to the words which they utter, and the words together with the mental qualification make a true assertion in accordance with fact.

    A frequently cited example of equivocation is a well-known incident from the life of Athanasius of Alexandria. When Julian the Apostate was seeking Athanasius’s death, Athanasius fled Alexandria and was pursued up the Nile. Seeing the imperial officers were gaining on him, Athanasius took advantage of a bend in the river that hid his boat from its pursuers and ordered his boat turned around. When the two boats crossed paths, the Roman officers shouted out, asking if anyone had seen Athanasius. As instructed by Athanasius, his followers shouted back, “Yes, he is not very far off.” The pursuing boat hastily continued up the river, while Athanasius returned to Alexandria, where he remained in hiding until the end of the persecution.[1]

    Another anecdote often used to illustrate equivocation concerns Francis of Assisi. He once saw a man fleeing from a murderer. When the murderer then came upon Francis, he demanded to know if his quarry had passed that way. Francis answered, “He did not pass this way,” sliding his forefinger into the sleeve of his cassock, thus misleading the murderer and saving a life.[2] A variant of this anecdote is cited by the canonist Martin de Azpilcueta to illustrate his doctrine of a mixed speech (oratoria mixta) combining speech and gestural communication.[3]

    The Bible contains a good example of equivocation. Abraham was married to Sarah/Sarai, his half-sister by a different mother. Fearing that as he traveled people would covet his beautiful wife and as a result kill him to take her, he counselled her to agree with him when he would say that “she is my sister.” This happened on two occasions, first with the Pharaoh of Egypt, told in Genesis 12:11-13, and second, with a king called Abimelech in Gen 20:12.

  15. Linda Fox Says:

    The first thing reporters should be asking themselves is:

    Who benefits from this story?

    MOST of these ‘sources’ should be ignored.

    Unfortunately, in the very competitive world of journalism, with the ever-increasing scarcity of jobs, asking them to refrain from writing hysterical, overblown stories is a waste of time.

  16. AesopFan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    May 18th, 2017 at 2:01 pm
    The inimitable Mark Steyn has some pertinent observations on this subject;…

    Thank you AesopFan for that link.

    One more point. Neither the CIA, NSA or any other ‘rogue’ intelligence agency or agent is the anonymous source. He, she or they are the conduit between the source and the media. The source is someone in the room with Trump in these ‘private’ meetings. Trump has a mole(s) in his inner circle.
    * * *
    Mark is always worth reading on current (and past) politics.
    In re sources: there doesn’t seem to be much reason to suspect the people we KNOW were in the meeting, and so far I haven’t seen any list of any subordinates, who are generally invisible, but should be known to Trump and Company.

    What I suggest is that the “source” simply took the public announcements about the meeting, conjectured what might have been said, using known (laptop bombs) and unknown but plausible (Israeli spy) details, and simply made the whole thing up.

    Erick Erickson claims to know the source, by the way.
    (originally here, now picked up by Salon and HuffPo)
    “What sets this story apart for me, at least, is that I know one of the sources. And the source is solidly supportive of President Trump, or at least has been and was during Campaign 2016. But the President will not take any internal criticism, no matter how politely it is given. He does not want advice, cannot be corrected, and is too insecure to see any constructive feedback as anything other than an attack.

    So some of the sources are left with no other option but to go to the media, leak the story, and hope that the intense blowback gives the President a swift kick in the butt. Perhaps then he will recognize he screwed up. The President cares vastly more about what the press says than what his advisers say. That is a real problem and one his advisers are having to recognize and use, even if it causes messy stories to get outside the White House perimeter.”

    I linked to that on another thread of neo’s, with the comment that no one elected said source(s) to run the country, and they always have the option to resign. I might add, that the “pro Trump” line is not necessarily true, or, that we don’t know WHY he became disgruntled at Trump’s actions (which could be for reasons others might take issue with).

    Leaking is cowardly (if you aren’t, in fact, a professional cop/spy, or pursuing some Grand Value which requires you to stay hidden to get more evidence; Mark Felt doesn’t count) and prone to (inevitable) collateral damage, which is why I totally subscribe to neo’s post here:

  17. AesopFan Says:

    As long as we’re walking down memory lane, I became curious about the media’s procedures during Bill Clinton’s ordeal with a special prosecutor, and found this:

    The introduction and conclusion are 6 pages, followed by 30 of evidence. I excerpt a few relevant passages below, sorry it’s still so long.
    The present-day analogues should be apparent.
    * *
    The Clinton/Lewinsky Story
    How Accurate? How Fair?
    Project for Excellence in Journalism
    1900 M Street NW Suite 210 | Washington DC 2009
    202-293-7394 |

    Overall Summary
    Contrary to White House accusations, those doing the bulk of the original reporting did not ferry false leaks and fabrications into coverage of the Clinton/Lewinsky story. But in some important cases, the press leaned on the
    suspicions of investigators that did not hold up and downplayed the denials of the accused, according to a new study.
    The findings of the study, conducted by the Committee of Concerned Journalists, raise questions about whether the press always maintained adequate skepticism about its sources.
    There were occasions, moreover, when the press got ahead of the facts in its basic reporting. Others then used that work to engage in sometimes reckless
    speculation and propaganda.

    The study identified six major threads, tracking their first appearance and subsequent development in major news outlets in print, television and the Internet.

    General Findings
    Overall, the research paints a picture of a news media culture that in breaking stories usually relied on legitimate sources and often was careful
    about the facts in the initial account.

    But even in these careful stories, the press at times tended to accept interpretations from those sources uncritically and may have had a penchant to emphasize the perspective of investigators over those being investigated…
    At other times, reporting was based on sources whose knowledge was second hand, and this occasionally got journalists into trouble. …
    On occasion, the press also ferried speculation, some of which could have been construed as threats, from investigators into news accounts, raising questions about whether the press was sufficiently wary of being used by
    sources, especially law enforcement sources. …
    Lastly, so much of the news media culture today involves commenting on the news rather than reporting it, that in follow-up coverage, especially on television, the principle of keeping fact separate from suspicion and analysis separate from agenda- setting is no longer clearly honored. It was in the talk show arena that many of the rumors and unsubstantiated suspicions found their way into the mainstream media. The press itself has encouraged this by helping create a new class of activist pundits: loosely credentialed personalities who often thrive on their being provocateurs. These people are often treated as authorities, but they operate neither as news sources nor as opinion journalists. The argument culture may be undermining the reporting
    culture, and news organizations are helping that occur.

    The Story Threads
    The study identified six story threads that went to the crux of the ClintonLewinsky case: whether the affair occurred and whether the president had obstructed justice and tampered with evidence to hide it.
    Overall, the New York Times account, which constituted the principal source for other reporting, holds up well.

    There is a general sense that over time the reporting of this story became more careful and that news outlets became more cautious about publishing rumors. A study by the Committee in March documented empirically that there was less reliance on anonymous sourcing and less punditry in the coverage in March than was true in January. However, in the late summer,
    there were some cases of rumors resurfacing….
    Thus while there is much evidence of the press relying on legitimate sources, there are also cautions here about haste, about punditry, about relying on second-hand sources, and about presenting information thoroughly so that audiences will find it credible.
    There are cautions, too, about whether the news media in an increasingly instantaneous and competitive media environment are always maintaining adequate skepticism–less about the facts than how and how quickly those facts might be interpreted. This is especially important in a case where the
    special prosecutor has indicated in at least one court paper that he makes no distinction between journalists and police informants.

    It is not the purpose of this study to deal with the question of the amount of coverage. We are only attempting to assess the quality. In addition, it was
    not meant to evaluate individual news outlets but rather the role of the news media in general in a slippery case like this to see what they do well and what they don’t.

    Starr’s Dealings with the Press
    If the coverage at certain points showed a penchant to reflect the suspicions of prosecutors and investigators out of balance with the denials of the accused, this would hardly be unusual, whether the case be Richard Jewell or countless of other accused citizens whose cases are covered in the press. It does, however, reflect a growing tendency of media coverage.
    A generation ago, it was not uncommon for news organizations to have policies against naming the accused in cases until they were charged. Those
    policies are largely gone now,
    and while they may never have applied to politicians, these changing standards reinforce the importance of a press that
    is skeptical of being used by investigative arms of the government.
    In Clinton/Lewinsky, the issue may be particularly important given the stakes involved. It may also be important because Starr himself in trying not to disclose his contacts with the press has alluded to his relationship with reporters as being analogous to a relationship with informants.

    The story of who has been leaking and why has gotten little notice in the mainstream media because news organizations have invested time and resources to establish a relationship with the Office of Independent Counsel. (See footnote 3).
    It is also difficult for news organizations to cover a story in which they are actors, and in this case it may even hinder their relations with Starr. The story might be analogized to an elephant at a dinner party: if
    nobody pays attention, maybe it will go away. (See footnote 4)
    * *

  18. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Sorry, for an adviser to seek to manipulate a President “for their own good” rings false to me. At best, it is as arrogant (they’re right and the fool just won’t listen) as they portray Trump to be. We also have plenty of evidence and reports that those close to Trump have influenced him. Ivanka with the strike on Syria and McMaster’s obvious ‘moderation’ on Trump’s views on Islam. Trump’s many backtracks on campaign promises, his willingness to accept and support legislation that ignores repeal of Obamacare and neglects funding of the border Wall are all indicative that Trump IS being influenced by others close to him.

  19. Beverly Says:

    In my brief journalistic experience, my editor in chief said, “You can ONLY use anonymous sources if you get TWO OTHER SOURCES to confirm it.”

    IOW, get three anonymous sources for a bit of info, or forget about using it.

    Now? any bozo can call a “reporter” and feed them any lie, and if the “reporter” likes the lie, s/he will run with it.

    I went to a press club gathering in a posh New England state recently. The president of the club, a real drama queen, took the floor and melodramatically called for all her fellow journos to “fight back against this unprecedented oppression,” claimed “we’ve never been under threat like this before!” and then gave a long, worshipful anecdote of meeting [the disgraced liar] Dan Rather.

    She was succeeded by the MC of the evening who called for “all of us good leftwing journalists to join the Resistance!” to cheers and applause.

    They haven’t been actual journalists for a looong time, and they’re no longer bothering to pretend.

  20. AesopFan Says:

    Beverly Says:
    May 18th, 2017 at 8:18 pm
    “They haven’t been actual journalists for a looong time, and they’re no longer bothering to pretend.”

    Thanks for the story. And they call Trump “brazen” —

  21. blert Says:

    Thank you Beverly.

  22. blert Says:

    The leaker in this case HAS TO BE McMaster.

    Cernovich lays it out.

    McMaster is trying to stay on as the NSC.

    He knows how fast DJT can fire someone.

    And it’s obvious to Donald that McMaster is aligned with never-Trumpers.

  23. blert Says:

    On as NSA and in the NSC.

  24. Big Maq Says:

    Anonymous sources will go away around the time that “anonymity” on the internet disappears.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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