The Pivotal Flynn (Part 2 of 3)

 

Random Observations Surrounding Flynn Case

Pence’s role. On the issue of Flynn’s phone calls, Mike Pence’s general affability was absent to the extent I think he greatly contributed to Flynn’s removal, a departure I’ve come to view as a disaster for both Mike Flynn and the Trump Administration (staff who remained and those who left like Flynn’s deputy K.T. McFarland described in a recent post by @susanquinn.)

Surely a seasoned politician like Pence could have found a way to smooth things over after he was embarrassed on national TV repeating an inaccurate statement regarding Flynn’s contacts with Russia as incoming NSA? He’s such a master at the calm answer, I’ve found myself thinking “It didn’t have to be this way” on the subject of Flynn’s departure.

“Flynn lied.” I don’t know why the discrepancy in Flynn’s statement(s) to White House or FBI. I am inclined to believe error either in translation (miscommunication that snowballed), recall, or judgment owing to a transition in which he was one of the few government-experienced team members. If deliberate, well then intelligence officers of Michael Flynn’s caliber often have good reason for misdirecting statements. Either way, Pence and the rest could have given him more benefit of the doubt though I acknowledge it may have seemed it was either him or the White House itself at the time. Offering up Flynn didn’t save the White House though, did it? Any more than Sessions recusing himself did. Adam Schiff, et al., made sure of it.

Lessons from Time. If there’s one thing the time since Flynn’s removal has shown, it’s how badly he needed to complete the plans he had for revamping the intelligence community, to include audits. Truth. Sunlight. Look at what’s happened just since Acting DNI Grenell put participants’ actual words/thoughts into the public. Who more than taxpayers who fund those agencies are more entitled to knowing whether their law enforcement/intelligence officials are crooks, to paraphrase Nixon? There’s not a doubt in my mind the man who taught F3EAD — Find Fix Finish Exploit Analyze Disseminate — had the knowledge and skill, the will to put a huge down payment toward, in Boss Mongo’s words:

shut[ting] down those that mean the United States ill…across military services, all different federal agencies [as one of] those sworn to protect these United States

In or out of uniform, Flynn was a man who very correctly understood that too many within US halls of power have few limits on what they will do to amass and keep that power. To him then and I imagine more than ever now, protecting the United States requires a “clean up on aisle five,” particularly of the intelligence community, to remind them it’s the American people who are the power. It’s time Americans remember that we allow our government to transfer authority — not power — between successive administrations and exercise it between the branches of government.

Though the more obvious and immediate reason for going after Flynn was to deprive the administration of perhaps its most experienced team member (with access and capability to discover what DOJ and the intelligence community were up to,) the real possibility of a genuine intelligence housecleaning for the first time in decades posed a much greater threat to continued institutional corruption. It boggles the mind what Barr and Durham with Flynn’s able assistance could have accomplished to renew Americans’ belief that Intelligence and Justice are integral parts of our government and not just words on a federal building or agency letterhead.

Part 2 of a three-part series. Part 1 and Part 3 here.

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  1. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    The effort against Flynn started before Trump came down the escalator.  I believe it started in 2014 or early 2015 with the Cambridge set-up.  Whether or not Trump could have been sedated by the CIA, the fact that he was listening to Flynn, and put Flynn in the position to redo or reform the CIA, shows that 0bamagate was not about Trump per se, but about Flynn.

    • #1
  2. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    I don’t know about Flynn. He is at once the smartest guy in the room and yet the only one to get caught. Everyone praises his obvious service, experience,  and accomplishment. Yet, even so, everyone moans how he was so taken advantage of by the FBI and the Muller team. He is a paragon of virtue, yet he misled his own boss. Someone help me, please. I so want to love this guy!

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  3. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    cdor (View Comment):

    I don’t know about Flynn. He is at once the smartest guy in the room and yet the only one to get caught. Everyone praises his obvious service, experience, and accomplishment. Yet, even so, everyone moans how he was so taken advantage of by the FBI and the Muller team. He is a paragon of virtue, yet he misled his own boss. Someone help me, please. I so want to love this guy!

    See what I mean? Trial by combat is still a thing in America.

    • #3
  4. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Mim526: Surely a seasoned politician like Pence could have found a way to smooth things over after he was embarrassed on national TV repeating an inaccurate statement regarding Flynn’s contacts with Russia as incoming NSA? He’s such a master at the calm answer, I’ve found myself thinking “It didn’t have to be this way” on the subject of Flynn’s departure.

    That’s what bothers me the most. Well, what really enrages me is the whole ugly thing, but you’ve put your finger on the thing I can’t make sense of. The best I can come up with is Mike Pence really is that incompetent a political actor, and that’s just not satisfying.

    Was it really just the old pre-Trump mindset of submission to every expression of disapproval from the left? That explains Jeff Sessions, I guess. Mike Pence too?

    • #4
  5. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Mim526: Surely a seasoned politician like Pence could have found a way to smooth things over after he was embarrassed on national TV repeating an inaccurate statement regarding Flynn’s contacts with Russia as incoming NSA? He’s such a master at the calm answer, I’ve found myself thinking “It didn’t have to be this way” on the subject of Flynn’s departure.

    That’s what bothers me the most. Well, what really enrages me is the whole ugly thing, but you’ve put your finger on the thing I can’t make sense of. The best I can come up with is Mike Pence really is that incompetent a political actor, and that’s just not satisfying.

    Was it really just the old pre-Trump mindset of submission to every expression of disapproval from the left? That explains Jeff Sessions, I guess. Mike Pence too?

    I’m going with very human self-preservation and inability to fully exit the traditional GOP coach to barrel at mach speed on the Trump Express.  Plus knowing part of his role was to anchor the ship.  (Planes, trains, ships…automobiles coming right up.)  I’m willing to cut him huge slack given the pressure cooker then, but man I wish he could have stepped past himself and stepped up at that moment.  My read on POTUS then was he really, sincerely did not want Flynn to leave but felt his hand (and Presidency) forced, not least by Mike Pence’s (likely verbalized) need to protect his own good name I think.

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