John Merrow posted this strange and disturbing letter today. Several friends contacted me about it to ask if it was true.

It begins like this:

Friends

Although I have now been retired from journalism for 18 months, I haven’t lost touch completely. Happily, some of my former contacts continue to reach out. Yesterday I received this alarming memo in the mail in a plain white envelope. While I have not been able to get a second source to confirm its authenticity, one source swears that it’s genuine. Its contents are disturbing, to say the least.

Here’s the memo in its entirety

“UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
“Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur”

Memo Re Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Diane Ravitch

To Anthony B. Susan, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Community Understanding (AAAGCU)

From James B Kelly II, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Fundamental Understanding and Communication (ADAAGFUC)

As per your directive, I met privately with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a meeting held at her request. Her stated goal was to find ways to muffle, counteract and otherwise minimize what she referred to as “the constant drumbeat of negativity” about her agenda to improve educational opportunities for all children. The meeting lasted 2 hours and 35 minutes.

The Secretary is particularly upset with Diane Ravitch….”

Read the rest of the memo.

I once crossed swords with Lynne Cheney, when she was chair of the NEH, and she had the legal power of the federal government on her side. It is not a nice feeling. She ultimately backed off, but I had to pay for my legal defense and hers was paid for by the government.

So I read this memo with some trepidation. The part that really got under my skin was the allegation that I once hated dogs; anyone who knows me knows that I have always been a dog lover. When they go low, I go high!

The date at the end of the letter made me suspicious.