On the Use of Anonymity

Brett Kavanaugh faced an anonymous accuser until it became obvious that the attack on his nomination to the Supreme Court would not be derailed that way. As Victor Davis Hanson notes in a post over at American Greatness, the selective use of anonymous sources has become a favorite method of the Left.

Anonymity has also become the impediment to ending the entire Russia-Trump collusion mythology. Almost every document that is so painstakingly obtained from a Justice Department or FBI archive appears so heavily redacted as to be worthless. Miscreants are not identified by name, but instead by letters or numbers. The point of redaction is to disconnect the deep-state messenger from the incriminating message.

How strange, then, that some government leaks to the press are replete with names, and so damn the innocent like Carter Page. Yet at other times official government documents use redaction to protect the identity of the culpable. So the final irony of the new cult of anonymity is that not all anonymity is equal.

The Obama National Security Council and others did their best to unmask and, quite illegally, leak the names of those caught up in surveillance. Either officials in the Justice Department or the FBI or both fed the toady press the names of a number of surveilled Trump campaign personnel.

If an official is willing to offer dirt on the current president, then journalists peddle the gossip and innuendo through the use of anonymity to “protect” a valuable source.

Yet if a name is legally protected from disclosure, but its release might fuel an anti-Trump narrative, then it is usually leaked.

Noble progressive ends justify any means necessary to obtain them—and increasingly anonymity is the preferred method.

Read the whole thing.

Yesterday, President Trump directed the DoJ, FBI, and DNI to release certain information related to the Russian collusion investigation in unredacted form. This has resulted in a round of pearl clutching by some reporters who had previously trafficked in anonymous leaks. You’d think that journalists would be in favor of such transparency, but when it interferes with the narrative, …

1 thought on “On the Use of Anonymity

  1. Classified National Security Information

    Click to access CFR-2010-title3-vol1-eo13526.pdf

    This is the section that is of interest to us today.

    Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations. (a) In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to:
    (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
    (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
    (3) restrain competition; or
    (4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

    Note who signed this order.

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