Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The "Threat Letter" to John Bolton

CNN and the Huffington Post are breathlessly reporting today that John Bolton's representatives have received a "threat letter" from the White House(National Security Council)  instructing Bolton not to publish his book.

The letter itself was included in the Huffington Post article and also linked in the CNN article. They should have known better than to call it a "threat letter". Here is the letter. See if you can find the threat.

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What Bolton is going through with the government is what any government employee could expect. Let me give you another example. As a retired DEA agent, if I wanted to write a book about my career-as several federal agents have done- I would have to submit the manuscript to DEA for review before it could be published. That is because I might put in information of a sensitive nature as to operational tactics, classified information, sensitive case information, or names of agents, informants, foreign officials, or others whose lives could be put at risk.

Imagine what the potential would be for a former White House national security advisor. And that's before you even get into the question of executive privilege.

The letter is entirely reasonable and shows a willingness on the part of the White House to work with Bolton to take out the problematic portions. And yes, that would reasonably include any conversation Bolton had with Trump on the Ukrainian issue, which I think is clearly  privileged information. I see no threatening language in the letter.

For CNN, the Huffington Post or any other news organization to publish headlines calling it a "threat letter" once again points to the dishonesty of the media.

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