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.’”