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BOOK REVIEW: ‘A Warning’ a chilling account of the Trump administration that’s not easily put down

By Friday, Dec 20, 2019 Arts & Entertainment 15

A Warning
Twelve Books
Hachette Book Group
Copyright © 2019 by Anonymous

Several commentators disqualify Anonymous’ “A Warning” merely because the author won’t tell us who s/he is. I frankly don’t give a damn. There are many reasons to hide one’s identity. Talk to undercover FBI, CIA, DEA agents. Read about the French Resistance. The Ukraine call whistleblower is constantly harassed by the president and multiple Republican members of Congress.

At the end of the day, what’s most important is what Anonymous has been a witness to, and what we learn about our commander in chief.

Most critically, as Congress moves forward with impeachment, Anonymous informs us that President Trump is not up to the job: “The Donald J. Trump administration will be remembered as among the most tumultuous in American history. Future historians will record the volatility of the president’s decision-making, as well as the internal struggles of a government forced to grapple with it. They will write that his advisors came to find him unfit for the job.” (Emphasis added.) 

His failures loom large: “He couldn’t focus on governing, and he was prone to abuses of power, from ill-conceived schemes to punish his political rivals to a propensity for undermining vital American institutions.”

Late night talk show hosts manage to take the everyday awfulness and make it humorous. But Anonymous, still surviving in the midst of the madness, isn’t laughing. Instead, so used to the unimaginable, s/he shares the despicable with straight-faced reporting:

“At one point, Trump warmed to a new idea for solving what he viewed as the biggest crisis in American history: to label migrants as ‘enemy combatants.’ Keep in mind this is the same designation given to hardcore terrorist suspects. If we said these illegals were a national security threat, Trump reasoned, then the administration had an excuse to keep all of them out of the country …

“It’s times like these when people freeze and don’t know what to say. They’ll give him one of those polite smiles reserved for a deranged relative who thinks you want to hear about his soul-searching solo retreat to the Rockies … Trump went further and mused about shipping the migrants to Guantanamo Bay, where hardened terrorists were jailed …

U.S. Customs Temporary Holding Area, El Paso, Texas. Photo: Ivan Pierre Aguirre, Texas Tribune

“‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ one career State Department official blurted when informed of the proposal. ‘This is completely batshit.’ Advisors worked to shut it down quickly and quietly. They argued it was wildly impractical (how could you ship thousands of migrants a day to Cuba?) and too expensive (Trump often was persuaded against something if he thought it was too pricey, ironic for someone who is driving the country deeply into debt). Left unsaid was the more obvious reason. It was truly insane, on its face, for America to send migrant children and families to a terrorist prison in Cuba. Finally, aside from its ineffectiveness and moral offensiveness, the policy would be outright illegal.”

There is a significant difference between those who are concerned with increases in illegal border crossings and what Anonymous reveals as President Trump’s all-consuming hatred for poor Latin Americans and Mexicans:

“At an event in Florida, Trump asked the crowd how to deal with illegal immigrants. ‘How do you stop these people?’ he asked, his frustration visibly mounting while talking about the challenges at the border. ‘Shoot them!’ one rally-goer cried. Rather than temper the suggestion, the president smiled and chuckled. ‘That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.’

“Defenders have scoffed at the idea that the president incites clannish hatred. At the aforementioned rally, they say, he prefaced his question by actually clarifying that the United States couldn’t use weapons to fend off immigrant caravans. ‘We can’t. I would never do that’ … In fact, it was Trump himself the previous year who suggested shooting immigrants found crossing the border. Yes, shooting them, real human beings, with bullets from guns held by members of our armed forces. ‘They are throwing rocks viciously and violently,’ he said, discussing an incoming caravan of people, most of whom were fleeing poverty … ‘If they want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. I told them to consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.’ …

“It wasn’t rhetoric. It wasn’t facetious. He wanted it to happen. He’d deployed US troops to the border because he was trying to show a ‘tougher’ response. Trump didn’t want to murder innocent people, but he thought injuring a few immigrants would serve as a warning to others. ‘Why not?’ he asked advisors. Defense Department officials, in full panic, picked up the phone to forcefully remind the White House about the actual rules of engagement for our troops, which did not include opening fire on unarmed civilians …”

Time and again we’re reminded that Anonymous is no flakey refugee from “The Apprentice,” an ambitious upstart like Cliff Simms or even a supposedly objective journalist like Woodward cataloguing complaints from the outside. Anonymous is an insider, a conservative Republican who takes his/her work in the administration seriously. Thoughtful and well-read, “A Warning” is a red light flashing, an air raid siren screaming that things are worse than you imagine.

So, what was it that brought Anonymous to this point? Trump’s response to the death of John McCain: “The loss of a good man revealed the true nature of a troubled one … Instead of respect, he offered resentment … This one, targeting a veteran and former POW, was the last straw … Someone in the administration needed to say something, anything. There was silence. So, the next morning I started drafting an op-ed about Donald Trump’s lack of a moral compass and about the efforts of a group of administration officials trying to keep the government afloat amid the madness …

“I wrote of a quiet ‘resistance’ of Trump appointees — at the highest levels — trying to manage his rash impulses. We wanted the administration to succeed and supported significant components of the president’s agenda, but we were alarmed by his unstable behavior, in public and private. Those who tried to steer him away from self-destructive impulses were not the so-called ‘Deep State,’ I wrote, but the ‘Steady State’ … (Emphasis added.)

Anonymous turns to Robert Mueller: “‘The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful,’ he wrote, ‘but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.’” According to Anonymous, there’s an important lesson here: “President Trump should not be shocked that wary aides and cabinet members saved his presidency. My colleagues have done so many times. He should be worried — we all should be worried — that these reasonable professionals are vanishing … With every dismissal or departure of a level-headed senior leader, the risks to the country grow …”

These public service colleagues “are not traitors or mutineers. They give the president their best advice and speak truth to power. They do not hesitate to challenge Trump when they believe he is wrong … When they fail to persuade him to change course, they work with the president and others in the administration to limit the fallout from decisions that will have deleterious consequences …”

But all this takes a great toll: “Increasingly, I’ve doubted whether this type of environment is at all effective, let alone sustainable. Can Americans put their faith in a cabal of unelected officials to maintain stability? More importantly, should they? This question is more urgent than ever because there is a chance Donald Trump, despite his extraordinary flaws and the threat of impeachment in Congress, will be reelected in 2020. By then the guardrails will be gone entirely, and freed from the threat of defeat, this president will feel emboldened to double down on his worst impulses. This may be our last chance to act to hold the man accountable …” (Emphasis added.)

Anonymous hopes “A Warning” will be read by “the Trump supporter, or at least a subset of them. Many reasonable people voted for Trump because they love their country, wanted to shake up the establishment, and felt that the alternative was worse. I know you because I’ve felt the same way. I’ve worked with you. Many of you are my friends. But I also know deep inside you feel that something is not right about this presidency. That Donald Trump’s behavior is not tolerable, and is often embarrassing … We’ve made excuses: ‘He’s just got a different style.’ ‘He may be brash, but he gets it done.’ ‘The other side is worse.’ ‘The media is stacked against him.’ I shared those sentiments, but this book is in part an effort to demonstrate why excuses have blinded us to some ugly but necessary truths …”

“After I published the op-ed in the Times, Trump responded with a one-word tweet: “TREASON?” Those seven letters say it all. To the president, criticism is treasonous …”

Undaunted, Anonymous reminds us that Donald Trump’s impetuousness, his lack of experience and arrogance endangers us all. On Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018: “At 9:29 a.m., he fired off a missive from the executive mansion: ‘We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.’ Within minutes, news broke that the president had decided to withdraw. He later tweeted: ‘After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to bring our great young people home!’…

“From the top Pentagon officials to leaders of the intelligence community, most of the president’s top advisors cautioned against arbitrarily pulling the roughly two thousand US troops out of Syria. ISIS was still a potent threat, he was told, and America’s exit would allow the group to reconstitute and plot more deadly attacks. An early pullout would also cede the area to a dictator who used chemical weapons on his own people, to the anti-American Iranian regime that was expanding its reach in the region, and to Russia. What’s more, it would probably result in the slaughter of Kurdish forces who had helped us go after terrorists. In every way, withdrawal would damage US security interests …

“Rather than convene his national security team to discuss options, he bucked them with a tweet. ‘People are going to fucking die because of this,’ a top aide angrily remarked … US allies were baffled and alarmed … The nation’s top military brass were infuriated at the lack of pre-planning, as the sudden announcement meant soldiers on the ground could immediately become sitting ducks …

“The day after the Syria tweets, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced his resignation …

“Two traits are illustrative of what brought the Steady State together: the president’s inattentiveness and his impulsiveness … Take, for instance, the process of briefing the president … an experience that no description can fully capture … Early on, briefers were told not to send lengthy documents. Trump wouldn’t read them. Nor should they bring summaries to the Oval Office …

“Then they were told to cut back the overall message (on complicated issues such as military readiness or the federal budget) to just three main points. Eh, that was still too much … Forget the three points. Come in with one main point and repeat it – over and over again … until he gets it. Just keep steering the subject back to it. ONE point. Just that one point …

“I saw a number of appointees as they dismissed the advice of the wisened hands and went in to see President Trump, prepared for robust policy discussion on momentous national topics, and a peppery give-and-take. They invariably paid the price. ‘What the fuck is this?’ the president would shout, looking at a document one of them handed him. ‘These are just words. A bunch of words. It doesn’t mean anything.’ … (Emphasis added.) …

“There is no shortage of people, inside and outside the administration, who want to convince you and themselves that this is an act of three-dimensional chess. Trump is doing all of this for a reason. Just wait and see. It’s part of his genius. During the administration’s infancy, a handful of aides went as far as to argue that management-through-chaos was an asset. Among them was Stephen Miller, a senior advisor to the president and early campaign hand Trump inherited from Jeff Sessions …

“Stephen has argued that Donald Trump’s impulses needed to be encouraged, not tempered. From the beginning, he agitated for the White House to ‘flood the zone’ by issuing as many dramatic policy changes as possible, regardless of whether they would withstand legal scrutiny … To Stephen, chaos is a deliberate governing strategy …

Among us friends, let’s be honest,’ a prominent presidential advisor once remarked, after the pro-chaos crowd left a White House meeting. The slimmed-down group was comprised of White House officials and cabinet secretaries. ‘About a third of the things the president wants us to do are flat-out stupid. Another third would be impossible to implement and wouldn’t even solve the problem. And a third of them would be flat-out illegal.’ Heads nodded …” (Emphasis added.)

“The high rate of turnover was a direct result of the president’s leadership. He ejected people who were willing to stand up to him … John Bolton, Trump’s third national security advisor, saved the president many times from irresponsible decisions but grew weary of the turbulence and Trump’s fumbling in foreign policy. He resigned of his own volition, but the president still tried to make it look like a firing …” Perhaps Bolton might have spared us impeachment.

Sadly, Anonymous has some really depressing news for us: “I was wrong about the ‘quiet resistance’ inside the Trump administration. Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump in the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style …”

Anonymous’ Warning would be less devastating if s/he wasn’t so perceptive: “In the history of American democracy, we have had undisciplined presidents. We have had incurious presidents. We have had inexperienced presidents. We have had amoral presidents. Rarely if ever before have we had them all at once. Donald Trump is not like his predecessors, everyone knows that. But his vices are more alarming than amusing …

“That is why it’s every American’s responsibility to assess the occupant of the Oval Office and consider the leader’s disposition and moral qualities, especially when deciding whether that person remains suited for the role …”

Quite frankly, I had to force myself to keep reading, not because “A Warning” isn’t well-written or ever boring — just the opposite. It is just too real. Because as bad as I thought it was, Anonymous revealed again and again, it was so much worse on the inside than any outsider imagined.

Remember Charlottesville? Here’s an inside look: “I still remember the gnawing ache in the pit of my stomach. The quiet tension. The sunken faces at work … The day we all knew was coming had arrived. The day that any remaining questions about President Donald J. Trump’s character were definitively answered …

“On August 12, 2017, organizers of what was called a ‘Unite the Right’ rally gathered to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from a park in Charlottesville, Virginia … They welcomed well-known white supremacist groups, including neo-Nazi and neo-Confederacy organizations as well as the Ku Klux Klan … On the previous evening, white supremacists conducted an unauthorized march through the University of Virginia campus, where they chanted, ‘Jews will not replace us,’ ‘white lives matter,’ and ‘blood and soil.’ They were met by university students who had stood together around a statue of Thomas Jefferson to oppose the group. The encounter turned violent, only exacerbating the unease in the city before the larger event was scheduled to take place the next day.

Unite The Right Rally, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo courtesy Wikimedia

“A counterprotest to the ‘Unite the Right’ rally was organized, representing a wide swath of religious, ethnic, and other interest groups, as well as concerned local citizens. Violent clashes again followed. In the afternoon, the scene turned deadly. A self-identified white supremacist from Ohio deliberately rammed his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotestors, sending bodies flying into the air. More than thirty people were reported injured, and one woman, Heather Heyer, was killed. The city declared a state of emergency. The crisis in Charlottesville became an international news story.

“[And] the first real test of his ability as president to respond to civil unrest in our country. He weighed in from his golf course in New Jersey, stating that there was ‘no place for this kind of violence in America.’ That was not all. He condemned the hate and ‘the violence on many sides.’

“On many sides. What on earth did he mean by that, I thought, when he uttered the words. Trump seemed to suggest the counterprotestors were also to blame. He failed to specifically denounce the extremist groups. In fairness, I considered it was possible the president, like others, didn’t want to get ahead of the facts about the incident since we didn’t know who all of the victims were. I knew deep down, though, that the truth wasn’t good. He didn’t want to admit it because the violent group was a pro-MAGA crowd … (Emphasis added.)

“White House staff frantically worked to get the president to approve a new statement to make clear he, too, was opposed to white supremacists and neo-Nazis … Although he would later inform reporters that his first statement in Charlottesville’s violent aftermath was ‘beautiful,’ the president yielded and gave a new public statement singling out the hate groups.

“On Tuesday, it took a turn for the worse. During a press conference at New York’s Trump Tower meant to be about US infrastructure, the president went off on a rant about Charlottesville and … condemned the vehicular homicide, but then he opined that the ‘Unite the Right’ rally included some ‘very fine people’ and that ‘the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.’ The dazed, resigned look on Chief of Staff John Kelly’s face went viral; for good reason.

“Those of us watching it live had to pick our jaws up off the floor … Trump did not stop there. He defended the alt-right demonstration, comparing the removal of the Confederate leader’s statue to bringing down those of the Founding Fathers. ‘This week, it is Robert E. Lee … I wonder, is it George Washington next? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you have to ask yourself, where does it stop?’ … This was the real Trump speaking, not the scripted one …

“I personally have never believed the president is racist in his heart of hearts. But what difference does it make if the effect is the same? When he makes statements that encourage racists and knows full well he is doing so, it is wrong …

“We felt the president’s reaction revealed an uglier side of his nature: the shallow and demagogic politician, prone to self-inflicted disaster … Now, purposefully or not, he was channeling the views of bigots, who were in turn excited that an American leader was sticking up for them. Once people like David Duke are praising you, a normal person quickly figures out they’re on the wrong track and corrects course. Not Donald Trump …

“I wondered, would he learn anything from this? Could he learn anything from this? And how the hell do I stick around? I know that’s a question many of you are asking: Why didn’t anyone leave? God knows it would’ve been easy. We all have draft resignation letters in our desks or on our laptops … ‘Why do people stay?’ a close friend asked me at the time. ‘You all should quit. He’s a mess.’

“‘That’s why,’ I responded. ‘Because he’s a mess.’ It was true for a lot of us. We thought we could keep it together. The answer feels more hollow than it used to … Maybe that was a lost moment, where a rush to the exits would have meant something.

Again, Anonymous is no left-winger. Theirs is a critique from the Right: “For all President Trump’s talk these days about Democrats trying to make America socialist, the reality is that he is the king of big government. The federal bureaucracy is just as large, centralized, careless with spending, and intrusive under Donald Trump as it was when Barack Obama was in office … the budget deficit has increased every single year since Donald Trump took office, returning to dangerous levels. The president is on track to spend a trillion dollars above what the government takes in annually …

“Conservatives should view this as complete and utter betrayal … Donald Trump has America back on the road to bankruptcy … The small band of fiscal conservatives who remain in the Trump administration warned the president about the eventual dangers of his out-of-control spending addiction. In one such meeting, Trump reportedly said, ‘Yeah, but I won’t be here.’ I never heard him say those words, but it doesn’t come as a surprise …’

If you pick up “A Warning,” you won’t easily put it down. One remarkable incident, disturbing insight follows another. Anonymous explains that the president “does not understand how trade works … If Trump continues down this path, the prices on everything from phones to furniture will go up further. Every industry will ultimately be impacted by the ripple effects. Farmers, manufacturers, you name it. Working-class and poor Americans will be hit hardest. That “one of the worst jobs in the administration belongs to the poor souls charged with designing the president’s border wall.” That his arrogance is unbounded: “One time, a leader of a national security agency asked the president for support in convincing Congress to pass an upcoming defense bill … ‘Don’t worry about Congress,’ the president said. ‘Just do what you need to do.’

Regarding the infamous Ukraine phone call: “Those of us who have seen these sorts of reckless actions, again and again, wanted to slam our heads against the wall. The explanation that he wanted to help combat ‘corruption’ in Ukraine was barely believable to anyone around him. The obvious corruption was in the Oval Office … Donald J. Trump will seek to abuse any power he is given … No external force can ameliorate his attraction to wrongdoing. His presidency is continually jeopardized by it, and so are America’s institutions.”

There are mind-boggling incidents regarding Trump’s infatuation with tyrants, and his special affinity toward the Russians: “According to a former top FBI official, Trump at one point rejected information he received regarding a rogue country’s missile capability. He said the Russian president had given him different information, so it didn’t matter what US spy agencies said. ‘I don’t care. I believe Putin,’ the official quoted him as saying …

And the frightening conclusion: “Why is the president so attracted to autocrats? After a contentious meeting about the president’s engagement with a foreign dictator, a top national security aide offered me his take. ‘The president sees in these guys what he wishes he had: total power, no term limits, enforced popularity, and the ability to silence critics for good.’ … He enthused to reporters about Kim Jong Un’s ability to control his population: ‘He’s the head of a country, and I mean he’s the strong head. Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.’

“Trump’s affinity for autocrats means we are flying blind through world affairs. The moral compass in the cockpit, the one that has charted America’s course for decades, is broken … Our enemies and adversaries recognize the president is a simplistic pushover … He is visibly moved by flattery. He folds in negotiations, and he is willing to give up the farm for something that merely looks like a good deal, whether it is or not. They believe he is weak, and they take advantage of him. When they cannot, they simply ignore him …

As for all his Pinocchios: “The president has been called a pathological liar. I used to cringe when I heard people say that just to score political points, and I thought it was unfair. Now I know it’s true … People who’ve known him for years accept it as common knowledge. We cannot get used to this …

Where are we now? “We are now living in different realities. As evidence, a 2019 survey found Republicans and Democrats are further apart than ever on the issues they say should be the government’s top priorities. The most recent study found ‘there is virtually no common ground in the priorities that rise to the top of the lists’ between the two sides. Democratic respondents said our nation’s biggest challenges were health care, education, the environment, Medicare, and poverty. Republicans said they were terrorism, the economy, Social Security, immigration, and the military. It’s the least amount of crossover the Pew Research Center has found since it began tracking these metrics more than two decades ago. Trump’s rhetoric reinforces these divisions … 

“Speaking to a group of Civil War veterans in 1875, Ulysses S. Grant speculated that if ever the nation were torn apart again, it would not be split North versus South along the infamous Mason-Dixon Line, the geographic boundary that separated free states and slave states. He surmised that in the future the dividing line would be reason itself, with intelligence on one side and ignorance on the other. Grant was a student of history. He knew that in societies where truth comes under attack, the fertile soil is tilled for violent conflict …

In fact, Anonymous offers a chilling accounting of how far we’ve moved from mutual respect to hate; how, in such a short time, ignorance has prevailed over intelligence; how successful Trump has been in his efforts to replace reason with chaos and incompetence:

“The stage is fast becoming a drama-soaked series following the misadventures of a business tycoon navigating Washington in search of power and popularity, stirring up new controversies to capture the short attention span of a glass-eyed, zombie-like mob of spectators. They are desperate to be entertained, willing to be fooled, and easily provoked toward infighting by his unseemly antics. If you feel sick watching this production, imagine what it’s like to be a part of the cast …

“Unquestioning followers have floated to the top, stitched together by the president’s enmity toward ‘others’ — criminals, immigrants, enemies in the media, job-stealers. His internal coalition stays united because of what they stand against, not for. They clap politely when he talks about something like supporting America’s veterans with better care, but they roar with laughter and approval when he blasts a left-wing first-term congresswoman from New York City, an evil liberal trying to revive socialism in America …

“Members of the informal Steady State are not guilt-free in this. We all wish we did more to confront wrong-headed decisions early on. There were times we could have acted and didn’t. Still, many members of this cohort have found ways to push back against what’s inexcusable. That might mean sucking it up and getting into an argument with Trump or one of his close allies. It might mean alerting others about what was coming down the line, or it might mean publicly breaking with the president on an issue …”

As for Anonymous’ take on impeachment: “Much of the evidence of wrongdoing is disturbing, from the president urging Ukraine to investigate one of his political rivals to examples of Trump’s efforts to improperly influence the Russia investigation. It is the job of Congress to consider whether these actions rise to the level of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ and whether they justify Trump’s removal from office.

“While I cannot discuss the specifics surrounding the present allegations against the president involving Ukraine beyond what is in the public record … He has always acted impulsively to serve his interests over those of the United States. As I’ve noted, he has repeatedly concocted ways to break the law if it gets him what he wants. More stories remain to be told and will come out in the months and years ahead … He has few guardrails left. More worrisome, reelection will convince him he is freer than ever to put his self-interest above the national interest.

“Donald Trump’s record is troubling. At some point, aspects of it might be found to have violated his oath of office. Unless and until that happens, though, all of the above courses of action are undesirable ways to fire a president. One option — and one option only — stands above the rest as the ultimate way to hold Trump accountable.

“The people are the best and most legitimate recourse for our present political dilemma … The voters must review the president’s conduct and decide whether Donald Trump is fit for office, whether he embodies the American spirit, and whether we will allow the behavior of one man to define us as a whole …

“In an odd way, an even bigger worry for our republic is what may happen if Trump is removed from office — by impeachment or a narrow defeat in the ballot box — and he refuses to go … Trump relishes the cocoon he has built. He will not exit quietly — or easily. It is why at many turns he suggests ‘coups’ are afoot and a ‘civil war’ is in the offing. He is already seeding the narrative for his followers — a narrative that could end tragically … (Emphasis added.)

“I cannot overstate the consequences of reelecting Donald Trump. I’ve seen the impact of his leadership on our government and country, up close and all too personal. The Trump administration is an unmitigated catastrophe … What is more regrettable is that his faults are amplifying our own …

And an additional warning: “Democrats reading this book know how high the stakes are. I implore you, if you want a majority of our nation to reject Donald Trump, you must show wisdom and restraint in selecting your party’s nominee. Resist the temptation to swerve away from the mainstream. Trust me. We flirted with extremes in the GOP during the last cycle, and look where it got us. If Democrats do the same, Trump will be that much closer to a second term and better equipped to convince Americans to stick with him. If, however, you nominate someone who campaigns on unity instead of ideological purity, you will have a sizable number of Republicans and independents ready to make common cause …

“If we look within ourselves and undertake the arduous task of moral repair, America can restore the soul of its political system. We can once again illuminate a pathway for others onto the vaunted plazas of open society. If, however, we shrink from the task, our names will be recorded by history as those who didn’t pass the torch but let its light expire. That is my warning. Every American generation before us faced and passed this test. Our charge is to do the same, proving that the United States can do what other civilizations could not — survive the ages — and bend the arc of the moral universe toward the value that is the real sinew of civic life: freedom.”

So, if it turns out that we’ve been fooled once more by a “Primary Colors”-like journalist and this is fiction not nonfiction, I say Anonymous has nevertheless performed a public service. And if Anonymous is as s/he claims, a member of the administration, please know you have been warned. You can’t read this book without trembling.


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