In the eyes of the key senior leadership of the Obama administration, Michael Flynn posed and still does⏤a real and viable existential threat to the presidency and the legacy of Barack Hussein Obama.
It was after the Russia Collusion ordeal story surfaced, in May 2017, when most of us learned that Barack Obama had warned President-elect Trump, without explanation, against hiring Michael Flynn. It was Nov. 10, 2016, just two days after Donald Trump won the 2016 Election. From that meeting, Trump told staff aide Hope Hicks that he was bewildered by the Obama’s warning. Of all the important things Obama could have discussed with him, the outgoing commander in chief wanted to talk about Michael Flynn.
Of course, this raised many questions as to why Obama was so focused on Flynn. As we are well aware now, two weeks ago the Justice Department filed to withdraw charges against the retired three-star general Mike Flynn, for making false statements to the FBI in a January 24th 2017, interview regarding a phone call with a Russian diplomat.
The circumstances surrounding the call and subsequent FBI interview have given rise to a vast conspiracy theory that was weaponized to imprison a decorated war hero and a strategic thinker whose battlefield innovations saved countless American lives. There is no evidence that Flynn “colluded” with Russia, and the evidence that Flynn did NOT make false statements to the FBI had been buried by the bureau, including current Director Christopher Wray for more than three years.
The single biggest question is this:
If the Obama administration was not alarmed by Flynn’s nonexistent ties to Russia, why was Flynn Obama’s number one target? Why and who ordered Obama officials to intercept Flynn’s phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak?
The answer is Obama.
Why? Because Obama saw Flynn as the signal biggest threat to his legacy⏤which was rooted in a number of Flynn’s positions on Obama national security policies from radical Islamic Terrorism, Benghazi, weapons transfers to Syrian rebels, to the massive abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). However, the single gravest concern for Obama was Flynn’s inside knowledge of Obama’s July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran⏤the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
It should be known that Flynn had said long before he signed on with the Trump campaign that it was a horrific catastrophe for America to realign its interests with those of the world’s number one terror state. Remember that as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), General Flynn was fully aware, and he would have access to virtually all U.S. intelligence on Iran’s nuclear programs and how that was developed. He also had access to all the backdoor policy meetings and procedures and the supporting intelligence from the entire intelligence community that the Obama administration was working with Iran.
So, come February 2016, Michael Flynn signed on with the Trump campaign and the Obama administration began to worry. By November 2016, with Flynn being named national security advisor, Flynn was in a position to help undo the Obama era policies including the Iran nuclear deal. To stop Flynn, the outgoing leadership of the Obama White House ran the same offense it used to sell the Iran deal—they smeared Flynn through the mainstream media as an agent of a foreign power, they spied on him, and they leaked illegally obtained classified communications intercepts of his conversations to reliable mainstream media and political pundits and allies.
Fast forward to March 2017, after seeing evidence of the Obama administration’s surveillance of Trump campaign associates and transition team members, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), co-chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, said it had nothing to do with Russia, the FBI’s ongoing Russia investigation, or similar Russia probes conducted by other congressional committees. Nunes’ contention was difficult to make sense of at the time. After all, wasn’t everything about Russia?
And as Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) Chair of the House Intelligence Committee said, “… more than circumstantial evidence of collusion?” Certainly, that is what the Obama administration and the mainstream media had you believe.
In fact, as Trump prepared to take office on January 20th, 2017, the Obama White House was focused on the Middle East. “Russia collusion” was the Hillary Clinton narrative that Obama operatives seeded in the media and fed to the FBI to obtain a FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign and transition team. After the November election, the Obama team took over effort and used it to incumber the incoming administration. While the Russia collusion story was a handy instrument for many to advance all manner of personal and political interests, for Obama the purpose of Russiagate was simple and direct: to protect the Iran deal, and secure his legacy.
Obama and his foreign policy team were hardly the only people in Washington who had their knives out for Michael Flynn. Nearly everyone did, especially the FBI. As former director of the DIA, the Pentagon’s spy service, and a career intelligence officer, Flynn knew how and where to find the documentary evidence of the FBI’s illegal spying operation buried in the agency’s classified files—and the FBI had reason to be terrified of the new president’s anger.
Furthermore, the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) as a whole, was against the former spy chief, who was promising to conduct a Beltway-wide audit that would force each of the agencies to justify their missions. To make matters worse for the leadership of those agencies, it was known by many of us that Flynn was going to make the entire senior IC staff to hand in their resignations, and then explain and detail why their work was vital to national security. Flynn knew the intelligence community well enough to know that thousands of higher-level bureaucrats would not make the cut.
General Flynn had enemies at the very top of the intelligence community bureaucracy. In 2014, he had been fired as DIA head by Obama, albeit for political reasons.
Under oath in February 2014, he told the truth in testimony to a Senate committee that ISIS was not, as the President Obama had said, a “JV team.” Flynn made it known they were a serious threat to American citizens and interests and were getting stronger.
That embarrassed former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers who, following his testimony summoned Flynn to the Pentagon and told him he was done. Why? after all he was telling the truth about the threat to America.
You see, Flynn’s warnings that ISIS and radical Islamic extremists were regrouping and on the rise were an inconvenient truth that the Obama administration did not want to hear. It was an administration that did not want any bad news, particularly that was factual and coming from a former senior intelligence official fired by Obama. Flynn’s prophetic warnings would play out exactly as he had warned shortly after he was fired.
For Flynn, his firing appeared to be an end to one of the most remarkable careers in recent American intelligence history. He had made his name during the Bush administration’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where soldiers in the field desperately needed intelligence, often collected by other combat units. But there was a clog in the pipeline⏤the Beltway’s intelligence bureaucracy, which had a stranglehold over the distribution of intelligence.
Flynn described the problem in a 2010 article titled “Fixing Intel” which was a blueprint for making intelligence relevant in both regionally and on an international basis for America. For Flynn, moving up through levels of hierarchy was slow and impeded the intelligence process and responsiveness. Flynn’s solution was to cut a large part of Washington out of the process. The way Flynn saw it, American forces in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan needed that information to accomplish their mission, and they needed it in a responsive and rapid manner.
What made Flynn revolutionary was that he utilized those intelligence experts who served in Iraq under him in 2007-08 and in Afghanistan in 2010-11. It is not just enough to have intelligence⏤you needed expertise to understand where it was coming from and what it meant. Flynn wanted to ensure we knew the environment, the culture, and the people we were engaging.
Influential senior officers like Generals David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal credited Flynn for developing critical intelligence that helped defeat al-Qaida in Iraq. In 2012, after being named Director of DIA, within a year, he secured access for a team of DIA analysts to scour through the documents that had been captured during the 2011 operation to kill Osama bin Laden.
Unfortunately, that database was unorganized with truly little work completed on it since it was first captured. Perhaps for a reason. The CIA had done machine word searches to identify immediate threats, but they did not study it for future trends or strategic insight. To Fix that, Flynn arranged for a team from United States Central Command (CENTCOM) from Tampa, Florida, to go Washington. The subject of their investigation was a potentially sensitive one primarily investigating ties between al-Qaida and Iran. While the CIA, NSA, and others were looking for immediate threats. Flynn and DIA wanted to know everything to get a full picture.
As the CENTCOM team was preparing to travel to Washington, they were shut down. The fact was, CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Adviser Susan Rice pulled the plug on Flynn’s effort, again by design.
Why? Simple, the Obama administration was clearing the decks in order to implement his big foreign policy idea—the Iran nuclear deal. But there was a problem. As it turned out, evidence validated, something we knew as far back as 2004, that Tehran had been coordinating with al-Qaeda. And it was this information about al-Qaeda’s ties to Iran that Flynn wanted his CENTCOM team to get out. Intelligence that the bin Laden database included documents about Iran’s role, influence, and acknowledgment of enabling al-Qaeda operatives to pass through Iran as long as al-Qaeda did its dirty work against the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, some of the intelligence validated in letters provided evidence that al-Qaeda was working on chemical and biological weapons in Iran with Tehran’s help. That evidence and knowledge would certainly make it harder to convince American lawmakers in legitimizing and supporting Obama’s Iran’s nuclear program.
Furthermore, after decades of anti-Iran campaigning, Republicans were expected to oppose Obama’s deal, but they did not have the numbers to stop it in the U.S. Senate. Equally, what concerned Obama was his own party. Certainly, senior Democrats on Capitol Hill were uneasy about the deal, as were large numbers of Jewish voters—more than half of whom identify as Democrats. Any valid evidence that Iran was in bed with al-Qaeda would surely kill any effort for the Iran nuclear deal support in the Senate. Hence, Flynn and his team were the obstacle that needed to be removed and the intelligence stopped.
In 2012, about the time Flynn had been named as Director of DIA, the Obama administration began secret negotiations with Iran. At the same time, the administration called off a multi-agency task force targeting the billion-dollar criminal enterprise run by Iran’s Lebanese ally, Hezbollah. The administration told Congress that the nuclear deal would not grant Iran access to the U.S. financial system. Of course, as we learned in 2018, a year after Trump became President, a Senate intelligence committee report showed how the Obama White House lied to the public and was secretly trying to grant Iran that access.
Why? Because there was a secret deal made regarding verification procedures, and then secretly shipping $1.7 billion in cash to Iran to distribute to its terror proxies across the region.
Obama did not hide his larger goal that he was establishing a geopolitical equilibrium between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran. You see the geo-political realignment was a “great strategic opportunity” for a “a new regional framework that accommodates the security needs of Iranians and Americans. Obama believed that elevating your enemy to the same level as your ally means that your enemy is no longer your enemy, and your ally is no longer your ally. Having access to this intelligence, Flynn knew all of this, as well⏤and that made him a big problem for Obama.
From the beginning, Flynn not only made it clear that he wanted to undo the Iran Deal and was determined to find the Obama era documents detailing the secret deals between Obama and Iran, and to publicize them. With Flynn out to undo the despicable Iran nuclear deal, among other illegal aspects of Obama policies, the outgoing administration was keen to shield and do whatever necessary to protect, foremost the JCPOA. Obama’s diplomats consulted with their European counterparts and gave the Tehran regime increased sanctions relief, even after the Senate agreed in a 99-to-0 vote to renew the Iran Sanctions Act.
Little known to most, to counter anything a Trump administration might do, the Obama administration secretly agreed to let Russia export more than 100-tons of uranium to Iran—estimated to be enough to produce more than 10 high-yield nuclear weapons.
The Obama administration’s goal was to complicate any effort to tear up the Iran deal. What Obama was attempting to do before he left office was to give Iran an insurance policy against Trump. Again, Flynn was well aware of that blueprint and plan. But in fact, to make matters worse, in June 2015, a month before the deal was struck in Vienna, Michael Flynn was on Capitol Hill testifying about Iran and the deeply flawed deal on the table.
Despite Flynn being out of the Obama administration, he was still being called to testify on the Hill as a retired senior intelligence officer⏤this irked the Obama administration to no end. But at the same time, it was setting the stage for 2016 and the presidential election.
We will discuss in Part II – how Donald Trump and retired General Michael Flynn came together.