White House leakers are loyal to the presidency, not the president

Trump Communications
Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci wants to get rid of White House leakers.

The biggest witch hunt going on in the White House is in its communications department.

In a frenzied hunt for leakers within the Trump administration, Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, attacked President Trump’s chief-of-staff, who was fired Friday, and threatened to purge all communications staffers in a desperate quest to uproot leakers. Michael Short, an assistant press secretary, was the first to burn at the stake.

Such drastic action is hypocritical, to say the least, coming from a man who has leaked information himself. But the real source of my frustration with “The Mooch” is his justification for taking such drastic action:

In an interview, Scaramucci proclaimed, “leaking is atrocious. It’s outrageous. It’s unpatriotic. It damages the president personally. It damages the institution of the presidency.”

To fire staffers for disloyalty is one thing, but to purge them for a lack of patriotism is entirely another. It’s an insulting tactic used time and time again to undermine the credibility of true patriots who decide to put their country ahead of politics.

Historically, leakers have been anything but unpatriotic. In fact leaking is as old as America itself.

As early as 1772, Benjamin Franklin leaked a series of letters penned by Thomas Hutchinson, the royal governor of Massachusetts, which said the restive colonists could be subdued by depriving them of their liberties. Once published, the letters helped spur colonists to rebel.

Centuries later in 1971, Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, which revealed how the Johnson administration had systematically lied about the extent of U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945-1967.

In 1972, Mark Felt, a top FBI official later revealed to be the Washington Post source known as “Deep Throat,” leaked the information regarding the Watergate scandal, which led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

Other leakers include Thomas Drake, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning. The list goes.

Undoubtedly, there are pros and cons to every leak. With the truth comes breaches in protocol that could risk national security and, at worst, human lives.

Some people prefer the truth to national security. But in many of these cases, the leakers put their own lives on the line because they love their country. From that perspective, the White House leaks can be seen as protecting the institution of the presidency.

Scaramucci and others who decry the leakers as traitors wrongly see the presidency and President Trump as one in the same, but they’re not. The institution is  much greater than the person.

Leakers in the Trump administration are putting truth ahead of politics to give America a glimpse of the incompetency and paranoia inside the White House.

Truth has always been Trump’s greatest enemy, which is why Scaramucci is so adamant about getting rid of anyone who exposes Trump’s lies.

Scaramucci  is no patriot for doing that. Patriots are people who expose the truth, not the ones who try to keep it hidden.

James Meadows is a University of Pennsylvania student interning at Philadelphia Media Network.