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Michael Flynn’s Ordeal and Ours

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is scheduled to sentence General Mike Flynn on Tuesday morning, and there’s a lot at stake. To begin with, there’s the future of a fine man who transformed the way we do battlefield intelligence and the ensuing operations against our enemies in Iraq, where we won in large part because Flynn’s (and General Stan McChrystal’s) new tactics, and then in Afghanistan, again in tandem with McChrystal.

General Flynn’s radical reforms were not embraced by our top brass in the Pentagon, or by officials in the intelligence community. because he effectively relocated our warfighting decisions from Washington to the battlefield, weakening the bureaucrats and strengthening our men and women in the field. He thereby greatly increased the speed and accuracy of our operations. He also enhanced the status of lower-level officers and enlisted soldiers.

We need such trailblazers, and I hope he will be freed from the shackles that special consel Robert Mueller has attached to him. We badly need better intelligence, and General Flynn is a real rarity. Whether in or out of government, his is an invaluable voice and should be heard as widely as possible.

Second, is the importance of slapping down a corrupt justice and intelligence leadership, whose behavior in the Flynn affair should enrage and frighten all concerned citizens. It is incredible to say that after two years, we do not know what happened. We do know that Flynn’s principal FBI accusers have mostly been fired for lying, while Flynn still faces a possible jail sentence. But no CIA or NSA or NSC officials, who illegally “unmasked” Flynn to the Washington Post, have been charged with anything. Justice still refuses to release documents that might explain it all. Intolerable! Hell, we don’t even know who called whom as between McCabe and Flynn. And the bureau apparently has caused to disappear the 302 of the Strock/Pientka/Flynn conversation. And Comey’s claims change daily.

I’ve been told, I believe reliably, that General Flynn had either ordered, or intended to order, a full accounting of decades of intelligence community malfeasance. This was likely to reveal vast sums of money that were never spent to carry out the missions for which they were appropriated. This would have intensified the IC’s desire to get rid of him.

Then there is the Robyn Gritz scandal. Ms Gritz is a decorated retired FBI agent, who worked the counterterrorism beat, with laudable results. Then she found that she’d been singled out for harsh treatment. She filed a sexual discrimination suit, and the bureau—think Comey and McCabe—poured it on. Flynn, who had worked with Gritz, voluntarily wrote a letter to the court that attested to her high moral and ethical standards. No doubt the men atop the bureau feared Flynn might testify against their judgment, providing yet another motive to go after him.

In short, we need to know a lot more, but what we do know paints a very ugly picture of an FBI that makes up stories to fit their current political dreams, whether just to get rid of General Flynn, or to thwart Trump’s election, or to somehow get him out of the White House. The bureau acts as if it has a lot to hide, and I hope that Judge Sullivan knows the details, or will know them when he pronounces sentence.

I am not a lawyer, but I think the explanations for the dreadful behavior of FBI agents, Obama NSC officials, and others are political, not legal. So far as I can tell, General Flynn committed no crime either in talking to the Russian ambassador or in describing it to others, mainly the FBI agents and then Vice President Pence. I think he pleaded guilty because of the misery to which he and his family were subjected. So, paradoxically, I believe he lied when he “confessed” to lying, but not because he had lied in the first place.

Third, it is vital to unravel the Russians’ efforts to manipulate the American political system. I don’t see how you can take seriously the charges against Flynn without a full investigation of the Uranium One story and the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and various Russian individuals and entities. And it worries me that Adam Schiff, who will shortly replace Devin Nunes as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is both wildly partisan and invents stories—as when he claimed on NPR, discussing Flynn’s book, that the general was somehow pro-Russian, when the book clearly stated he considered Putin “an enemy.”

But the Russians ARE here, and they work closely with the Democrats, as they have for a long time. But none of the big shots in the swamp seems to care. Let’s hope Judge Sullivan does.