We do not know the details about Michael Flynn. There must be something else to explain why the Trump administration fed him to the sharks. Indeed, future revelations may revise my view of these events. But more information will not change this fact –The Ruling Class (subject of the book with the same name, by Angelo M Codevilla) wants Trump gone or wounded. That’s why they targeted Flynn; they wanted him out even before the latest leaks.
It’s the old White House shell-game: “he has the full confidence of the president” while they are looking for his successor. The way this was done will enable, not discourage, congressional investigations. And throwing Flynn to the sharks will not satisfy their feeding frenzy but intensify it. For example, the Democrats flatter Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with faint praise but will impugn his judgment the minute the legendary former general authorizes violence.
Few who have reviewed Flynn’s 30 years of service can doubt his patriotism. It was Hillary, not Flynn who proposed the “Russian reset” – then routed uranium to Putin. It is implausible to suggest Flynn somehow has dual loyalty toward Russia. I’m waiting to see if he is guilty of more than bad judgment and selective memory.
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After all, there were hints last year that Gen. Flynn was not the best choice for President Donald Trump’s national security adviser. Reporters asked Flynn, then a potential vice presidential running mate for Trump, about abortion. “Women have to be able to choose,” he responded. Within 24 hours he then morphed into a self-described “pro-life Democrat” wanting “pro-life judges.” Like many former generals, Flynn was not a natural for politics; besides, he was, in his flip-flop, both expedient and naïve.
On the campaign trail and at the convention he shouted in his speech, “Lock her up.” The crowds cheered but this is not the temperament associated with a future national security adviser who supposedly is the calm arbiter of consequential options at a time of crisis. Trump may tweet, but the rap is that he surrounds himself with the best and the brightest. Flynn needed to show gravitas, not polemics.
From all the hype about the election you would think Russia fixed the voting machines. Still, in the weeks before the election, Russian “interference” became a Hillary talking point. Insensitive and imprudent, Flynn continued conversations with the Russians; he should have cooled it, even if the discourse were benign. In presidential transitions someone in Flynn’s positions does talk with emissaries of other nations. But with his background as one-time head of the Defense Information Agency, Flynn must have known the National Security Agency monitored foreign diplomats and thus indirectly him. And surely he knew his enemies in the intelligence community could use this information against him.
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Two weeks ago Flynn in the White House press room said the U.S. was “officially putting Iran on notice” – raising the specter of military action – for its missile test. The Trump administration has too many speaking for it; as in previous administrations, the beleaguered press secretary – Sean Spicer –-should have conveyed this message.
Finally, Flynn briefed Vice President Mike Pence before his weekend talk show appearances; even if unintentionally and inadvertently, Pence compromised the credibility of Vice President Mike Pence. Throughout the campaign Mike Pence has been a good sport, admirably skilled in verbal gymnastics, still preserving his reputation as a straight shooter. Was the embarrassment of the vice president the proverbial last straw? Against the vice president, Flynn likely proved expendable.
Los Angeles Times reporter Doyle McManus says leaks in government are a good thing because they expose the electorate to the scandalous truth. But when the NSA eavesdrops on foreigners and picks up conversations of Americans, it is not only criminal but dangerous to leak. That’s because the intelligence services could be used to damage or destroy the reputation of Americans. That’s why the CIA, for example, is not supposed to operate against Americans.
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But what about the motives of the leakers?
Whatever information yet emerges, we know the leakers had an agenda, and it was not, per Superman, “truth, justice and the American way.”
Here’s who wanted Flynn out.
Iran Lobby. Ben Rhodes was President Obama’s point man for the sell-out to Iran. He was involved in Obama’s bizarre, flawed and failed strategy to elevate Iran as a stabilizing force in the Mideast. Rhodes was integral to threatening Israel with the U.S. militarily blocking an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear capability. In return for putting Iran on auto-pilot for a nuclear capability that could produce a second Holocaust, Obama put Rhodes on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Stalin famously observed, “When we hang the capitalists, they will sell us the rope.” It’s all about money. Big Business, in Europe and the U.S., lobbied for the end of sanctions.
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The Iran Lobby wanted Flynn out. So did the following:
Leftist CIA. Since its founding when the CIA Ivy League-educated brass wanted to fight communism with socialism, the agency has tilted left. It even has a “director of equal opportunity and diversity.” Imagine when you want an Iranian expatriate who speaks Farsi to infiltrate, you send a Latino who speaks Spanish into Tehran. Mike Flynn threatened the status quo in the CIA.
Bloated Intelligence Community. The CIA, especially, is bloated. It’s like a giant ship that can’t maneuver quickly. Mike Flynn would have urged new CIA Director Mike Pompeo, intelligent and capable, to bring in outsiders to reform the agency, retiring some old-timers, and moving more people out of Langley into the field. Instead, the establishment persuaded Pompeo to give an award to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Nayef for “counter-terrorism” –embarrassing the CIA and compromising Nayef. Who dreamed up this brainchild? Let’s hope that when Pompeo “secretly” met with Palestinian leader Muhammed Abbas this week, he told Abbas we have his number and stop encouraging terrorists.
Arabists. There is only one Israel, and Israel cannot win the numbers game. There are 22 Arab countries and arguably 50 Muslim majority countries. The CIA has personnel in those countries. The State Department has lots of foreign service officers, embassies, consulates in those countries. Even the military attaches and the Pentagon’s military personnel have rotated in and out of these countries. Like the Stockholm syndrome, many – if they are not already Arabists — become so. For almost a half century they have obsessed, in their travels and with their expense accounts, about the “two-state solution” that Trump suggests may be a myth; further, he says move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Flynn supported all this and would have urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, while recognizing the many dedicated and competent foreign service officers, to bring in outsiders and clean house of the deadweight. Flynn, actively involved in preparations for the meeting yesterday between President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, was taken out not even two days before. The timing was no accident.
Open Borders. Flynn was inelegant and even simplistic at times in distinguishing between Islam and Islamists, but the bottom line is he strongly opposes in the U.S. what we’ve seen in Europe –massive immigration of Muslims from certain nations, including cultural imperialists, some even infatuated with Sharia, unwilling to assimilate as past Muslim immigrants have done. Trump’s executive order was clumsy, but it energized supporters of open borders who wanted to depose Flynn, the architect of the national security rationale.
Stop Trump. Donald Trump won the electoral vote. No one tampered with the voting machines. But the Left hasn’t stopped questioning his legitimacy. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, not known as a paragon of integrity, started the chorus calling for impeachment. That is, of course, both a substantive and a strategic overreach. They want to disable his presidency.
Anthony Lake, a journalist who has covered national security, decries “the political assassination of Michael Flynn.” How ironic that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a suddenly born-again opponent of Russia, still plays the Russian interference card. Those Wikileaks showed Wasserman to be a fraud and a hypocrite, because she and her team stepped on the scales to favor Hillary over Bernie for the Democratic presidential nomination. That was fixed, not the general election.
Reformed liberal Thomas Lifson, who runs American Thinker focuses particularly on the issue I raised earlier: The CIA was never supposed to interfere in domestic policy or politics. Let’s find anyone there, or at the NSA, or at the Department of Justice who violated the law and prosecute them.
To all you so-called “civil liberties” aficionados who hate Trump but condone these leaks, note that laws protecting the integrity of these files are to preserve the rights of each American, to be secure against character assassination by powerful government officials. To all the “women’s rights” and “gay rights” celebrants, please remember the next time intelligence files are leaked, it may be to smear a woman who challenges the Old Boy Network or a gay who is being singled out.
First they came for the conservative Republicans…then they came for you.
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