What did Michael Flynn do that was so bad?

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned after the FBI or NSA revealed that he talked to the Russian ambassador about economic sanctions prior to President Trump being sworn in.

Michael T. Flynn

Michael T. Flynn

He reportedly asked the Russian ambassador to ask his government hold back on retaliating against President Obama’s economic sanctions because the Trump administration would have a new policy.

President Obama’s actions, taken during his lame-duck period, could have put Russia and the USA on a path of tit-for-tat retaliation that would have made it harder from the Trump administration to improve U.S.-Russian relations later on.

De-escalating was a good thing, not a bad thing.

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I agree that General Flynn was not a good choice for the post of national security adviser.  He was evidently a brave and honorable commander in the field, but he did not function well at headquarters, for which reason he was fired by President Barack Obama as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

He thinks the West is in a war with the whole Islamic world, not just the Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda and their sympathizers.   He is a war hawk regarding Iran.  He would have been likely to get the United States into pointless wars—just not a pointless war with Russia.

I would consider his departure, in and of itself, a good thing, but for the fact that he will almost certainly be replaced by someone else just as bad or maybe worse.

The problem is that he was forced out for (1) trying to stop the slide toward military confrontation with Russia, and that the forcing out was done (2) by intelligence agencies with policy agendas different from the White House.

That is a signal to the covert Deep State agencies that he can be pushed around.

Donald Trump claims to be a strong man, but, in this case, he showed himself a coward.   He is brutal with helpless people such as refugees, but, confronted by opponents with real power, he caved in.   He demands loyalty, but does not give loyalty in return.

Trump himself is not a defender of constitutional government.  But he probably will be gone in four years, and there are constitutional ways to resist his abuses of power.

The FBI, NSA and CIA will be around for a long time.   If you believe in American freedom and democracy, you don’t want them to become an independent branch of government, more powerful than the elected legislative and executive branches

And that is true no matter who is temporarily in charge of those branches.

The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

LINKS

Michael T. Flynn Wikipedia biography.

America’s spies anonymously took down Michael Flynn | This is deeply worrying by Damon Linker for The Week.

The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn by Eli Lake for Bloomberg View.

Trump Caves on Flynn’s Resignation by Robert Parry for Consortiumnews [Added 2/16/2017[

Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire by Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern for POLITICO.   This is about efforts by the Ukrainian government to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Promoting Russian Hacking Story by Jeremy Scahill for The Intercept.

Russia, Trump and Flawed Intelligence by Masha Gessen for The New York Review of Books.   Gessen despises both Putin and Trump, so her rejection of the Russian hacking claims carries authority.

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Afterthought.  If in fact Donald Trump did knowingly let his campaign be financed by Russians or the Russian government, or if he knowingly coordinated his campaign with Russian intelligence agencies, this would be different.  These would be impeachable offenses.

But what we have is one charge after another being leaked by anonymous sources, each one more serious than the one before, but without any evidence or proof.  Let’s have a Congressional investigation, with testimony under oath, and see what, if any, basis there is to these charges.

In the meantime, let’s base our judgment on what the Trump administration actually has done rather than what it hypothetically might have done.

 

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