The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

November 19 saw the release of “A Warning,” a tell-all book anonymously written by the same Trump Administration senior official who, in September 2018, wrote a New York Times op-ed headlined, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” And David Kusnet, a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, believes he knows who the writer is.

In a November 25 article for The New Republic, Kusnet speculates, “My entry in the guess-who-wrote it sweepstakes is the former Pentagon aide Guy Snodgrass, who would know about many events described in the book. He would have honorable reasons to render his judgments. And revealing the author to be an apolitical Navy officer, not a renegade Republican operative, would elevate the nature of his very serious concerns about Trump’s fitness to hold the office of the presidency.”

Both the New York Times op-ed and “A Warning,” according to Kusnet, have the same writing style found in Snodgrass’ book, “Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon With Secretary Mattis.” Snodgrass, in fact, served as former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ speechwriter and chief of communications.

“Why did I suspect Snodgrass enough to buy his book?,” Kusnet asserts. “First, ‘A Warning’ and the original op-ed both read like they were written by a speechwriter. They both feature short sentences and one-line paragraphs, the frequent use of alliteration, and ‘reversible raincoat’ constructions: Lincoln had a ‘team of rivals,’ Trump has ‘rival teams.’”

Kusnet notes that the Times op-ed and “A Warning” both use the types of terms Snodgrass would typically use.

“For linguistics mavens with a penchant for forensic analysis,” Kusnet observes, “the op-ed uses several words, ‘lodestar’ and ‘not moored,’ that would be familiar to pilots with a literary bent.”

Kusnet notes that while he considered other possibilities, Snodgrass made the most sense.

“Compared to other widely rumored suspects whose backgrounds I researched, Snodgrass checks three boxes,” Kusnet explains. “He can write. He knows and cares about national security — a major theme of ‘A Warning.’ And, to borrow from his description of Mattis, he is ‘a badass’ who eventually offended his hero and won a pre-publication battle with the Pentagon over the release of ‘Holding the Line.’”

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Police outside Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, on May 14, 2022

By Steve Gorman and Moira Warburton

(Reuters) -An 18-year-old white gunman shot 10 people to death and wounded three others at a grocery store in a Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, before surrendering to authorities, who called it a hate crime and an act of "racially motivated violent extremism."

Keep reading... Show less

Supreme Court

Youtube Screenshot

The right-wing freakout over peaceful protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices and chalk on the sidewalk in front of Republican senators’ homes, built around the seeming belief that any kind of protest at all is an act of violence, is actually a piece of classic right-wing projection. Conservatives assume that all protests feature intimidation and menace, bellicose threats, and acts of violence, because they themselves know no other way of protesting, as we’ve seen over the past five years and longer—especially on Jan. 6.

So it’s not surprising that the right-wing response to protests over the imminent demise of the Roe v. Wade ruling so far is riddled with white nationalist thugs turning up in the streets, and threats directed at Democratic judges. Ben Makuch at Vice reported this week on how far-right extremists are filling Telegram channels with calls for the assassination of federal judges, accompanied by doxxing information revealing their home addresses.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}