Sometimes anonymity is okay
President Trump has demanded to know the name of Anonymous, the whistleblower who revealed the quid pro quo offer to Ukraine and subsequently released a book about it. He claims the classic right to face his accuser.
Normally I would agree that the accused deserves the right to face his accuser. But in this case, I fear for the safety of the whistleblower and his or her family. Given Trump’s penchant for bullying opponents and supporting/encouraging violence (eg, “There are good people on both sides”), anonymity is understandable. It’s either that or some kind of lifelong witness protection program. And the whistleblower’s identity pales in comparison to the many other known witnesses who’ve come forward and testified.
I have previously compared Anonymous to Deep Throat’s part in the Nixon case. While Nixon resigned before he could be impeached, the analogy seems fair. It was many years later before we learned Deep Throat’s identity.
And again, a reminder. Impeachment is only the formal bringing of charges against Trump. The Senate must then conduct a trial and vote to convict the president of those charges. Not until then will he be removed from office. It would be helpful if the media would say “impeachment and conviction” instead of reporting as though impeachment is the end game.
Update, Nov. 8, 2019: It seems that some sources have recently revealed the name of the person they believe to be Anonymous. Correctly or incorrectly, naming someone puts that person and his or her family in very real danger. There are federal laws to protect the names of anonymous whistleblowers, so it strikes me that anyone naming the current whistleblower is breaking the law. Of course, we’ve already seen that a little thing like illegality doesn’t bother Trump & Co.