02/17/17

The “Permanent State” has a Press Office

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

President Donald Trump’s controversial complaint that the intelligence community was using police-state tactics against him has been confirmed in the forced resignation of his national security adviser Michael T. Flynn. When Trump made his complaint, he was referring to leaks of potentially damaging information about him from an unverified dossier. In the Flynn case, several commentators have noted the use of surveillance techniques that are probably illegal.

A Wall Street Journal editorial wonders if “the spooks” who were listening to Flynn obeyed the law, and what legal justification they had for their eavesdropping. The paper added, “If Mr. Flynn was under U.S. intelligence surveillance, then Mr. Trump should know why, and at this point so should the American public. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation, but the Trump White House needs to know what’s going on with Mr. Flynn and U.S. spies.”

In “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn,” Eli Lake writes about the highly controversial tactic of using “government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens” against Flynn and leaking them to the press. He added, “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.”

In a column entitled, “Why you should fear the leaks that felled Mike Flynn,” John Podhoretz writes, “No joke, people—if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.” He said that “unelected bureaucrats with access to career-destroying materials clearly made the decision that what Flynn did or who Flynn was merited their intervention—and took their concerns to the press.”

Why was Flynn targeted? Lake writes that Flynn had “cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals.” Podhoretz says Flynn “had an antagonistic relationship with America’s intelligence agencies” and was their “potential adversary.”

That Flynn wanted to reform the intelligence community is true. But the more serious concern about Flynn from the perspective of the intelligence community is that he was opposed to the Obama policy, carried out by John Brennan’s CIA, of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. He had been outspoken about this since leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Flynn’s links to Russia and the conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador are minor compared to the disasters in the Middle East that Flynn was exposing. The proxy war the Obama administration waged in the Middle East produced debacles in Egypt, Libya and Syria. In Egypt, the military rescued the country from a Muslim Brotherhood takeover engineered by Obama’s CIA. Libya is still in shambles, and Syria has been lost to the Russians and Iranians. The result in Syria alone is 500,000 dead and millions of refugees.

As documented extensively by AIM’s Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, the U.S. under Obama switched sides in the war on terror, in favor of the terrorists. There were, of course, terrorists on the other side as well. In Syria, the Russian/Iranian/Syrian axis employed terrorist tactics to drive back the U.S.-supported terrorists. That produced a humanitarian disaster that is still unfolding.

Trump has inherited this disaster, and he and Flynn were trying to do something about it. But Trump’s proposal for vetting refugees from failed states has been struck down by liberal judges, and Trump has unfortunately accepted their jurisdiction in the case.

As we explained in a previous column, in a review of Flynn’s book, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency “thinks that the administration he served, headed by Barack Obama, tried to accommodate our enemies, selling out American interests in the process.” This is the world that President Trump faces and is trying to rectify.

We said at the time that “if Flynn wants to turn things around, he will have to lead a purge of the Clinton and Obama agents in the Pentagon and other agencies who have been deliberately withholding information about the nature of the threats and how our lives are in peril from an ‘enemy alliance’ that Obama has been supporting as President of the United States.”

It now appears that Flynn, or rather Trump, didn’t move fast enough, and that these special interests from the swamp have struck first, nailing Flynn’s scalp to the wall.

The media know that the Obama administration helped to produce the humanitarian disasters in countries like Syria and Libya. They ran stories about CIA arms shipments to terrorists in the region through countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But when Flynn got into a position of power and was able to do something about exposing these dirty wars, he became the target. He became a target of surveillance and was tripped up about what he said and remembered about discussions with the Russian Ambassador.

On Capitol Hill, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), seems to be one of the few legislators concerned about the illegal leaks that drove Flynn from his job. He is even quoted as saying that the leakers “belong in jail.”

The American people have a right to know whether there is a “permanent state,” as Eli Lake says, and what role it is playing. But since the major media have been complicit in the intelligence community’s assault on Flynn, there is no reason to believe the media will want to get to the bottom of this subversion of our democratic system of government. Their hands are dirty, too.

It looks like the permanent state has a press office.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

02/14/17

Kellyanne Conway Reveals The Reason That Michael Flynn Finally Had To Go [VIDEO]

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

I am sure you have heard that Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Adviser last night amidst allegations that he spoke of sanctions with the Russians before Trump took office. I have never cared for Michael Flynn. I gave him a clean slate when he came in. But after hearing what transpired, resigning was the right thing to do. I don’t know whether he resigned of his own volition or at the behest of President Trump, but he had to go. He spoke to the Russian ambassador five separate times. You can bet the intelligence agencies have that on tape. When Mike Pence asked him if he had discussed sanctions, he lied to him and Pence went forth and looked like a fool over it. The word out there is Pence was furious. Kellyanne Conway came right out and said that lying to Pence was the deciding factor here.

Michael Flynn was originally fired by Obama after serving a couple of months under him. He only lasted a couple of weeks with Trump and he probably would have been gone sooner, but Trump remained loyal to him. As recently as 2014, Flynn had gone to Russia before Trump came into the picture. The Department of Justice warned the White House that Flynn was susceptible to blackmail from the Russians. Just before Trump came into office, Obama levied sanctions on Russia. Normally, the Russians would have struck back, but did not, saying they would wait for the Trump presidency. That was after calls from Flynn, who most likely assured them that sanctions would be lifted. This whole mess is complicated. You have nine leakers involved that went to the media. These are probably a mix of White House insiders (leftovers from the Obama administration) and intelligence people.

From NBC’s Today Show:

“In the end, it was misleading the vice president that made the situation unsustainable,” Conway told TODAY’s Matt Lauer.

The incomplete information or the inability to completely recall what did or did not happen as reflected in his debriefing of particular phone calls — that really is what happened here,” she said.

Flynn’s departure comes less than a month into the job and follows revelations about information he shared with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak over American sanctions against Russia in late December, weeks before Trump took office.

“He knew he had become a lightening rod and he made that decision,” Conway said.

On TODAY, Conway was asked repeatedly why, despite reports that the Justice Department told the White House last month that Flynn had misled them and even put himself at risk for blackmail, he continued to retain the president’s full trust.

Conway said Flynn continued to be a part of daily presidential briefings as recently as Monday but “as time wore on, obviously, the situation had become unsustainable.”

She said that the president accepted Flynn’s resignation and “wishes him well, and we’re moving on,” noting three “very strong candidates” the administration is considering to replace him.

Arguably, Flynn was the worst pick of those chosen for Trump’s cabinet. I am not sad to see him go as I feel he was compromised by the Russians. I’m also not happy about it as it hurts the Trump administration deeply and exposes a very dangerous rift between Trump and the intelligence agencies. The left will also use this to accuse Trump of further connections with Russia. Trump needs to aggressively clean house in the White House and intel agencies and get rid of everyone who was ever even remotely connected to Obama. If I were him, I’d have Pompeo in my office this morning, reaming him a new one over this.

There appears to be chaos in the People’s House right now and that just can’t be allowed. The Democrats won’t care about the truth, just nailing Trump every way they can. They also don’t care that it hurts the country and puts us at risk. The media is celebrating this today and that is just despicable. Thankfully, Trump has three solid contenders to replace Flynn. Kellogg would be my choice at this point. It doesn’t matter how I feel about Flynn personally… this is a massively bad thing to happen so shortly after Trump takes office. Time to get serious and perhaps try some of that extreme vetting within our own leadership.

02/14/17

Why the CIA Wants to Destroy Flynn

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The media have figured out they can’t bring down or impeach President Trump. So they are targeting his Cabinet officials and top advisers one by one. In the case of Michael T. Flynn, the media think they have hit pay dirt. The Washington Post has led the charge, using top-secret surveillance intercepts of communications between Flynn and the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. It’s more evidence that the CIA, and perhaps the National Security Agency (NSA), are out to destroy Trump’s national security adviser.

“The knives are out for Flynn,” said one administration official quoted in the paper. The knives are computer keyboards in the hands of scribblers for a paper whose owner, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, has a business relationship with the CIA. The Post is wielding the knives provided by anonymous intelligence officials.

Nobody knows this better than the Post’s Watergate reporter, Bob Woodward, who said on Fox News that the CIA was using unverified “garbage” allegations in a campaign to destroy Trump himself. Since Trump has survived, the campaign has taken a new form against Flynn, a close adviser to Trump on foreign policy who had campaigned with him and by his side.

At the heart of the story are secret surveillance intercepts of conversations whose disclosure is itself a violation of the law. In fact, these illegal disclosures to the press are far more serious than anything Flynn is accused of doing. But don’t think the media are going to investigate themselves for these illegalities. If they bring down Flynn, they will have wounded Trump. The sharks will smell blood in the water.

Remember that the FBI is said to have reviewed the intercepts and determined there was nothing illicit in what was discussed. That finding hasn’t stopped the CIA and the Post from continuing a campaign to sink Flynn. The so-called sensational news angle is that Flynn forgot what he told the Russian Ambassador and Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

The real explanation for the assault, as we have explained in several columns, is that Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and a retired Lieutenant General, doesn’t trust the CIA. And the CIA clearly doesn’t trust him.

Meanwhile, in a newsworthy development that went mostly unreported here in the United States, Trump’s new director of the CIA, former Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), traveled to Saudi Arabia to give a top Saudi official a CIA award for “counter-terrorism” named after a discredited former CIA director. The Saudi official was given the “George Tenet Medal” in recognition of his “excellent intelligence performance, in the domain of counter-terrorism and his unbound contribution to realize world security and peace.” Tenet is known for his embarrassing and false “slam dunk” comments about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S. invasion.

Pompeo’s tribute to the Saudi official, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, is astounding considering the evidence of the Saudi role in facilitating jihadist terrorism in Syria, a debacle that has helped to produce 500,000 dead and refugees streaming into Europe and the United States. Bin Nayef serves as Minister of Interior.

Rather than focus on Flynn, the media should be asking what Pompeo is doing paying tribute to a Saudi official whose regime is neck-deep in a conflict that has produced a major humanitarian catastrophe. And why is the CIA giving an award named after a director who failed in the intelligence mission of the agency he led?

Under these circumstances, if President Trump fires or forces the resignation of Flynn, it will be a huge victory for the CIA’s failed policies in the Middle East. These are policies Trump promised to reverse.

The assault on Flynn began on January 12, when Post columnist David Ignatius reported, “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about ‘disputes’ with the United States. Was its spirit violated?”

With subsequent stories and various Trump administration comments, a “scandal” has been created, with Flynn’s fate hanging in the balance.

Despite the FBI clearing Flynn, the issue is now whether Flynn talked about sanctions and to whom. He apparently first denied this, and later acknowledged that the subject may have come up. With multiple Obama-created foreign policy problems on his plate, it may be the case that he gave some misleading information to Vice President Mike Pence.

The real issue, as Flynn has talked about publicly since he left the DIA in 2014, is the evidence of a U.S. role under Barack Obama and his CIA director John Brennan in facilitating an increase of radical Islam in the Middle East. He has cited the evidence contained in a DIA document, declassified and publicly released by Judicial Watch.

While Flynn has been critical of the agency for carrying out the Obama/Brennan policy of supporting Islamists in the Middle East, he writes in his book, The Field of Fight, about how the Russian intelligence services have also been involved in supporting radical Islam. This proxy war has damaged mostly Europe and the United States, and lies behind President Trump’s desire to curb immigration from Middle Eastern countries racked by Islamist violence.

Rather than clean house at the agency, Pompeo reportedly jumped on the bandwagon against Flynn, with the CIA or some other anonymous intelligence community insider leaking information that the agency had denied a security clearance for one of Flynn’s associates on the National Security Council. “One of the sources said the rejection was approved by Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s CIA director, and that it infuriated Flynn and his allies,” Politico reported.

This is truly amazing since Obama’s CIA director himself should never have received a security clearance, and his policies were incompetent, if not anti-American. Brennan was a close friend and confidant to George Tenet and had served as CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, where he reportedly converted to Islam. As CIA director, Brennan told a congressional forum that even voting communist, as he once did, was not a bar to employment at the agency. Brennan admitted voting communist when attending Catholic Fordham University in 1976. He was also involved  in the cover-up of the Benghazi massacre of four Americans.

In his new book, iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age, Bill Gertz explains how the CIA has become “politicized,” dominated by a “liberal culture,” and resistant to probes of communist moles within.

Having had a pro-communist with Muslim sympathies once reach the top position of CIA director, it’s no wonder that the agency wants to get rid of Flynn. The CIA has a lot of baggage that needs to be exposed and swept away. The real mystery is why Pompeo decided to continue with the business-as-usual mentality and has not followed through on the President’s pledge to “drain the swamp.”


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.