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Anonymous insider Trump resisters are not heroes

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LONDON – The unnamed insiders who claim to be working clandestinely to resist Donald Trump are not heroes. As a State Department whistleblower who lost his career to tell the truth about the Iraq War, I am burdened by how the interviewees in Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” and the anonymous writer of that New York Times “resistance” op-ed are hailed as patriots holding back the U.S. president’s worst impulses through fibs and bureaucratic tricks. Having faced similar choices, I know their approach is neither honorable, nor effective.

No one should join the government to do only things they think are right; one serves the United States, and takes an oath to the Constitution. There is no addendum saying, “but if you REALLY disagree with the president it’s OK to do what you want.”

This is not to support robotic bureaucrats. But ideas, no matter how vigorously opposed, at some point change from being Trump’s or President Barack Obama’s policies to those of the U.S. Implementing them on a global scale, whether on a battlefield or across a negotiating table, is a team sport. Any other way is to bring on the chaos Anonymous claims to be pushing back against.

I served 24 years in such a system, joining the State Department under President Ronald Reagan and leaving during the Obama era. That splay of political ideologies had plenty of things in it to disagree with or even believe dangerous. Same for people in the military and the intelligence agencies, who, for example, were sent to train Afghan mujaheddin under one president and then kill them under another.

In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, some inside government were privy to information about the nonpresence of weapons of mass destruction, and understood President George W. Bush was exaggerating or lying........

© The Japan Times