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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.Published in