Pilot scribe sues Pentagon

Guy Snodgrass wrote a book about his time as speechwriter for Defense Secretary James Mattis; the Pentagon is slowing its release.

Did you read where former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and other Pentagon folks sought to delay the publication of a memoir by Mattis’ speechwriter Guy Snodgrass?

Now Snodgrass is suing the Pentagon, accusing it of favoring the publication of Mattis’ own book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, which is out this month.

But apparently Mattis objected to the Snodgrass book back in March, when he reviewed a courtesy copy, according to CNN.

“I regret that you appear to be violating the trust that permitted you as a member of my staff to be in my private meetings,” Mattis wrote, adding that Snodgrass “would have been in none” had Mattis known he “intended to violate that trust.”

We don’t take sides in this legal dispute, but we always worry for the credibility of other speechwriters when a colleague comes out with behind-the-scenes book, at least in arguable violation of the confidentiality clause of the Speechwriter’s Code of Ethics, adopted by the PSA three years ago: “Speechwriters keep matters involving clients as confidential as the clients demand and expect.”

Is that clause itself too demanding in these fluid times? Would love to read your thoughts: [email protected].

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