Flynn reforms exposed intel failures, triggered Trump investigation — analyst

by WorldTribune Staff, April 18, 2019

The Mueller investigation “began on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan,” when Gen. Mike Flynn “changed the way we did intelligence against the likes of Zarqawi, bin Laden, the Taliban, and their allies,” an analyst contends.

Flynn “saw that our battlefield intelligence was too slow. We collected information from the Middle East and sent it back to Washington, where men with stars on their shoulders and others at the civilian intel agencies chewed it over, decided what to do, and sent instructions back to the war zone. By the time all that happened, the battlefield had changed,” Michael Ledeen wrote for PJ Media.

Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn speaks upon taking the directorship of the Defense Intelligence Agency on July 24, 2012. / Department of Defense photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

“Flynn short-circuited this cumbersome bureaucratic procedure and moved the whole enterprise to the war itself. The new methods were light years faster. Intel went to local analysts, new actions were ordered from men on the battlefield (Flynn famously didn’t care about rank or status) and the war shifted in our favor.”

Flynn methods “earned him a following among some who worked for or with him, but it also gained him the enmity of those who had been cut out of ‘the chain of command,’ ” noted Ledeen, a former consultant to the National Security Council and State and Defense departments.

“By the time he was made head of DIA, Flynn had a real problem with the intelligence community, first because he had marginalized them, and for another reason: Flynn was determined to do a full-scale analysis of the (many) secret missions that had not been carried out over the years, and he wanted an accounting of the considerable funds allocated for them,” Ledeen wrote.

“So there were many high-ranking intelligence officials who were out to get Flynn. You can see them at work long before there was a hint of Russiagate, when the target was not yet Donald Trump. But then things got worse for the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), when Flynn was named to head DIA. By then, the FBI was fully engaged in the anti-Flynn campaign, paying people like Stefan Halper to surveil Flynn’s behavior in Great Britain. This produced the fanciful accusation (impossible, for anyone who knew the general) that Flynn had flirted with a good-looking Russian historian. This may have been the start of the ‘collusion’ allegations.”

Intelligence officials felt even more threatened when Flynn became a top adviser to the Trump campaign, Ledeen noted.

“After the 2016 elections, the IC officials went all-out to keep him out of the White House, sometimes resorting to spreading ridiculous stories. President Obama warned Trump not to appoint Flynn as national security adviser, and Susan Rice actually warned the president-elect that Flynn might be in violation of the Logan Act, for which nobody has ever been prosecuted, and hence blackmailable by the Russians. Meanwhile, the Bureau had opened a counterintelligence investigation of Flynn’s activities. His digital communications were monitored, ‘unmasked’ at the request of Obama officials, and leaked to friendly journalists.”

The operation against Flynn “provided the model for the anti-Trump assault,” Ledeen wrote. “When the ‘collusion with Russia’ allegations drove Flynn out of office, the intel officials realized the same methods could prevail against the president. That effort has apparently ended with Mueller’s rejection of the ‘collusion’ allegations.”

Ledeen concluded: “The accusations against Flynn were fanciful from the outset, and need to be undone. If justice is to prevail for this distinguished officer, he should be pardoned at once, and then the president has the opportunity for a positive step: create a high-powered commission to investigate the many sins of the intelligence community. Flynn’s plan to audit their budgets – no such appraisal has been carried out since World War II – was worthy and important. The president should make General Flynn the chair of that committee, to restore his good name and give intelligence the kind of serious evaluation we badly need.”

Meanwhile, a former CIA analyst say U.S. intelligence agencies have become bastions for political liberals and the pro-Democrat slant has only increased under President Donald Trump.

John Gentry, in an article for the quarterly International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, slammed former CIA Director John Brenan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former deputy CIA director Michael Morell, along with former analyst Paul Pillar, for their public attacks on Trump. Gentry said the ex-intel officials broke decades-long prohibitions against publicly airing political views.

“The attacks on Trump were unprecedented for intelligence officers in their substance, tone, and volume,” Gentry wrote. “Critics went far beyond trying to correct Trump’s misstatements about U.S. intelligence; they attacked him as a human being.”

Recent books by Clapper and Michael Hayden, a former CIA and NSA director, appeared to justify political attacks on Trump based on both former officials’ claims that the president has adopted a different world view. “For senior former intelligence officials to make such blatantly partisan statements is unprecedented,” Gentry said.

Regarding Morell, a career analyst who endorsed Hillary Clinton, Gentry criticized Morell’s opinion article in the New York Times during the 2016 campaign that said his intelligence training had taught him that the nation would be safer with Clinton as president.

“Morell’s claim that his CIA career qualifies him to make political judgments about domestic issues is incorrect,” Gentry said. “He was trained and authorized to ‘make the call’ about foreign intelligence issues within the classified, internal world of the U.S. government … He did not recommend policies, including voting choices.”

“The CIA’s ethic calls for intelligence professionals to work objectively for all agency heads and presidents, regardless of their political views,” Gentry wrote.

“In the United States and elsewhere, liberals during the Cold War years often worried that unaccountable intelligence and security agencies were running amok,” Gentry noted. “Now, ‘progressives’ welcome an ideologically center-left ‘deep state,’ built in part upon policies like Obama’s as a check on Trump – and conservatives are complaining.”

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