2017-02-15 08:36:07 UTC
The ousting of Mike Flynn takes us down the road to a police state
by Justin Raimondo, February 15, 2017
Let's be clear about how and why former National Security Advisor Mike
Flynn was ousted from his post: a cabal of current and former members
of the "intelligence community", fanatically opposed to Donald Trump's
stated desire to "get along with the Russians", leaked the top secret
transcript of Flynn's conversation with Russian ambassador Sergay
Kislyak. Although we don't yet know exactly what transpired - as of
this writing, BuzzFeed hasn't gotten their hot little hands on the
transcript - there was apparently some discussion of lifting sanctions
on Russia, which is something the cabal and its collaborators in
Congress and the media are determined to prevent at all costs.
Flynn was in the crosshairs of the War Party because he's the most
prominent of those around Trump who advocated for detente with Russia.
Also, his somewhat loopy belief that Islam, per se, is a pernicious
political ideology rather than a religion, made him a natural enemy of
the pro-Saudi faction within the intelligence community, which had
long worked with Riyadh to, among other things, overthrow the
government of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
Flynn's alleged "crime" - supposedly lying to Vice President Pence
about the content of the call - wasn't a crime at all: James Clapper,
Obama's director of national intelligence, blatantly lied under oath
to Congress and yet kept his position. What this non-scandal is all
about is an attempt to criminalize the view that we have no real
quarrel with Russia, that our common interests override any bumps
along the road to detente. If you don't go along with a new cold war
with Russia then, ipso facto, you're a "Russian agent" who needs to be
investigated. This is what the neocon-liberal alliance is now pushing,
and the first victim of this hate campaign is Flynn. He won't be the
Democrats are now calling for an investigation into Flynn's "Russia
links", in typical McCarthyite fashion, but what's really called for
is an investigation into the media's links to the "intelligence
community" - which leaked the transcript of Trump's conversations with
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexican President
Enrique Nieto as well as the transcript of Flynn's conversation with
the Russian ambassador. As Trump tweeted this [Tuesday] morning:
"The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out
of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N. Korea
These leaks are clearly illegal: plenty of civilians have been
prosecuted and jailed for much less. But legality is not something
that worries the CIA and the national security bureaucracy, because
they're above the law. And you don't bother with legality when you're
engaged in an attempted coup.
The Flynn resignation is just the beginning. As one Politico writer
put it, it won't stop there. They'll move on to new targets, and they
won't rest until they've bagged their real target: the President of
the United States.
Hillary Clinton's main campaign theme - that Trump is essentially a
Russian agent, a kind of Manchurian candidate - is being given new
life by this latest non-scandal. The anti-Trumpers in the GOP are now
uniting with the Democrats in calling for an "investigation", i.e. a
fishing expedition, into Flynn's "links" to the Kremlin. All that's
missing from this scenario is Sen. Joe McCarthy demanding to know "Are
you or have you ever been...?"
While our deranged "liberals" are screaming that we mustn't
"normalize" Trump, the real danger is that we're normalizing the
illegal and unethical methods of his most determined - and powerful -
opponents. Until and unless the Trump administration acts quickly and
decisively to rid the nation of out-of-control intelligence agencies
that are aggressively intervening in our domestic politics, we will
soon resemble one of those Third World nations where coups are
It looks to me like the White House is wired and that the nation's law
enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are treating administration
officials as if they were ISIS jihadis. It's an outrage, and what's
even more outrageous is that ostensible "liberals" are cheering the
And so it is left to the unlikeliest people, such as Rep. Devin Nunes
(R-California), who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence, to lead the pushback:
"I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better
have a good answer. The big problem I see here is that you have an
American citizen who had his phone calls recorded."
He added: "Where are all the privacy groups screaming now?"
Eli Lake, a journalist I rarely agree with, put it well:
"Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the
most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason.
Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by
the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy
reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states
If this keeps up, that's just where we're headed.
Since when does law enforcement reveal the content of intercepts to
the media? These are some of the most jealously guarded secrets held
by intelligence officials, and yet now they're being spread far and
wide in the interests of a Deep State clique that has a political
agenda of its own.
By sacrificing Flynn on the altar of political expediency, and caving
in to our out-of-control spooks, Donald Trump has just answered the
question posed above with a resounding yes.
What he'll discover, however, is that this kind of expediency is bound
to backfire. His enemies, instead of being appeased, will be
emboldened. As Lake writes:
"In the end, it was Trump's decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this
he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. Nunes told
me Monday night that this will not end well. "First it's Flynn, next
it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it
will be Reince Priebus," he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the
appetizer. Trump is the entree."
This isn't about Mike Flynn. It isn't even about Trump. It's about
the future of our republic. Will we allow rogue national security
officials to run rampant and utilize police state methods to advance
their policy goals? If the answer is yes, then we're doomed.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that
my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest,
and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I've written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here
is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming
the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with
an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J.
Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI