Something To Consider

I am getting tired of the Michael Flynn controversy, and I suspect you are too, but there are some aspects of this incident that need to be considered. There are two stories that I think contain important information.

The first story is from The Week, a magazine not known for its conservative leanings.

Some highlights from that story:

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

As Eli Lake of Bloomberg News put it in an important article following Flynn’s resignation,

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 do. [Bloomberg]

Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.

It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.

John Podhoretz, also not a supporter of Michael Flynn,  posted an article at The New York Post.

He stated the following:

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

The danger in this situation is not whatever relationship Michael Flynn has or had with Russia; the danger is the means that the opponents of Donald Trump will use to take down one of his appointments.

We know that former President Obama has organized a nonprofit group called Organizing for Action (OFA) for the purpose of ‘protecting the Obama legacy from President Trump.’ Aside from the fact that this is highly unusual, it is simply classless. This group may or may not be involved in what happened to Michael Flynn, but I suspect that they have a few contacts within government that they might have encouraged along the way. OFA also has a press secretary and the ear of the major media. OFA also has an office paid for with taxpayer dollars because Barack Obama is a former President. The taxpayers are paying to undermine their own government!

Be prepared for more media attacks on members of the Trump Administration.

 

 

Curiouser and Curiouser…

This story is based on two sources–an article by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air and an article by Eli Lake at the Daily Beast.

Both articles deal with the testimony of Michael Morell, who became acting Director of Central Intelligence following the surprise resignation of David Petraeus, who will be appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee today. Director Morell is expected to testify that the CIA never requested military assistance during the attack on Benghazi.

The article at the Daily Beast reports:

The CIA, however, requested none of that assistance. Neither did the State Department. None of those teams ever arrived in Benghazi.

On the evening of the attack, the military provided two kinds of support to the CIA security officers who tried to fend off an attack at the U.S. diplomatic mission and then later stood guard at a CIA base less than a mile away, which was hit in a second wave at about 5 a.m. (A U.S. military team working for the CIA was sent that evening from Tripoli, but that team did not arrive at the CIA annex until after the U.S. diplomatic mission was overrun.)

The military support included an unarmed predator drone that recorded the dramatic rescue of U.S. personnel from the diplomatic mission to the CIA base at about midnight. (Timelines differ between the Pentagon and the CIA.) The U.S. military also provided medevac support to survivors of the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department communications specialist Sean Smith, and two retired Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty.

Ed Morrissey points out:

But Morell’s explanation, as related by Lake, doesn’t make a lot of sense.  If the consulate and the CIA annex was under heavy and deliberate attack by forces using mortars and RPGs, why wouldn’t they ask for the military assistance that they knew was on standby for just this sort of contingency?  Why just ask for an unarmed surveillance drone rather than something that could potentially offer a diversion for the extraction of personnel from the consulate?  It’s difficult to imagine that the intelligence unit under fire off an on for seven hours would never have requested military assistance to save the lives of the people in the compound — not impossible, perhaps, but certainly implausible.

My hope is that there will be enough public hearings to make sense of this mess. Right now, this seems to have become a partisan accusation match. When questioned about the statements of Susan Rice on the Sunday news shows after the attack, the reply was that Condoleezza Rice was wrong when she testified that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Answers like that will not help anyone get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi. Answers like that will also prevent steps being taken to make sure the events of September 11, 2012, are never repeated.

 

 

 

 

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