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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn- Cliff notes to "General Chaos"

The New Yorker article (Feb 27, 2017), "General Chaos", by Nicolas Schmidle, gives insight into how Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn became a Donald Trump cult follower ("You don't just sprinkle magic dust on someone and 'poof' they become a three star general"). Yet, what I took away from the well written chronological history about Flynn and his downfall, was just how infused the "magic dust general" became into the network that ultimately consumed his ego - ie, "intelligence". 
Image result for magic dust graphic
Lt General Flynn told Nicolas Schmidle that he didn't become a three star general because somebody sprinkled magic dust on his career. Well, in fact, Lt. Gen. Flynn studied his way to the top, but then became consumed by all he learned and lost his perspective on reality.  Nevertheless, Lt. Gen. Flynn had to have been directed to go to Moscow and sit with Vladimir Putin in public. The question left unanswered is this:
Who set Flynn up and directed him to do this? The answer is as clandestine as the espionage involved in the world's vast covert networks.

Certainly, Schmidle wrote ample evidence about how Flynn lived his life as a risk taker. In fact, by the end of the chronicle, it's obvious how Flynn's risk taking instincts blinded him to the consequences of making decisions based on gut instincts and disregard for good advice. (This might explain Flynn's bonding with Donald Trump, who demonstrated the same behaviors.)

Interesting, how Flynn reminded Schmidle about his status as a "three star general". Yet, this distinctive rank made me angry to realize how the three star Lt. Gen. Flynn, became subject to Russian flattery by allowing President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative, to co-opt his integrity and reputation. It's possible the "magic dust" described by Flynn was a metaphor, like a toxin to his judgmental abilities. 

In other words, "how does a three star general find himself at a photographed dinner meeting, sitting at the same table with Russian President Vladimir Putin?" Moreover, why did Lt. Gen. Flynn find himself in the compromising position of publicly giving the speaker of the evening, a Russian propagandists, a standing ovation, after the dinner program, with Putin watching?  Recalling how the Donald Trump propagandist Kellyanne Conway told a news interviewer that "just one dinner when a person happens to be seated at the same table" doesn't carry any significance. Well, in fact, yes it does! Vladimir Putin chooses his dinner company very carefully. It's even more disturbing to realize, from Schmidle's article, how Vladimir Putin apparently made Lt. Gen. Flynn feel obligated to give the dinner speaker a standing ovation, because he was in the photo lens of the Russian president.  

Taaaadaaaa!  Co-opt 101- "gotcha!".

After this particularly well photographed dinner meeting in Russia, you might say Lt. Gen. Flynn's "Russian goose" became rancid. Nevertheless, he appeared to go into some kind of a political trance that caused him to make a hypnotic decision to follow Donald Trump and to help him to be elected president.  But, it was all downhill from there. Yet, what we don't know is what was said that caused Donald Trump to realize how Lt. Gen. Flynn was, in fact, dispensable. Schmidle never gets to that detailed level of Flynn's downfall.

"The end for Flynn came rather abruptly," wrote Schmidle.  

"In a White House characterized by chaos and conflict—a Byzantine court led by a reality-television star, family members, and a circle of ideologues and loyalists—Flynn was finished."

This jilting by the cult leader was even more mystifying when Flynn's friends described him as a soldier who followed orders. (Exactly! It's what I've been saying all along.  But, only one cult leader can give orders to the three star general who was infected by magic dust. That directive could only be given by Donald Trump.)  

Flynn's military rise to the rank of three star general was likely supported by his obsession to learn and internalize the nuances of the vast government intelligence networks. It's almost like his incessant studies of intelligence briefings were burned into his brain and stunted his analytical neurons.  Eventually, it became his ambition to rule over all he learned during his consumption of daunting intelligence documents.  Obviously, the ability to read and understand long government reports was an attractive characteristic to Donald Trump, who reportedly finds reading long narratives to be cumbersome or, even worse, not understandable.  Trump and Flynn seemed to share a classic "ying and yang" attraction to one another. So, what went so terribly wrong?  Schmidle doesn't go that far. Yet, in leaving this causation unanswered, the reader is led to believe that the reason Flynn lost his influence and his job must have been very sinister.

Schmidle described how Flynn was let go. Somewhere along the short period of time when Flynn was employed as the National Security Council director, the word "blackmail" entered into the media. He was asked to resign "By protocol, Flynn would have spent his final moments in the White House being 'read out' of each program he was involved in, a process that involved signing multiple confidentiality forms. At around 11:30 PM, he walked out of the White House and called his wife."  Schmidle described the exit scene like Flynn was a very lonely man, at that moment. He probably still is - even his name carries toxic elements.
Apparently, the intelligence community that Flynn immersed himself to be an expert in, were the same ones that took him out.

While pondering the insight Schmidle provided into his report about the fall of "General Chaos", the reader learned a lot about the overwhelming influence of the world's intelligence networks. These clandestine systems thrive on espionage by spying on friends, foes, innocents and the guilty, without regard for consequences.  Each network of spies has one master. When in Russia, the ruler of espionage is Vladimir Putin.  In America, the espionage is now controlled by Donald Trump.

Obviously, Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn discussed more than pleasantry about the weather during the photographed dinner when he felt obliged to join a standing ovation for the dinner speaker, while Vladimir Putin was his table partner. Somehow, this experience and whatever followed made Lt. Gen. Flynn subject to blackmail.  

"This story is bigger than Mike Flynn," said a senior military intelligence official to Schmidle.  "Who told Mike to go do this?"

Therefore, in my Cliff notes summery, the answer to that specific question ie 'who told Mike to do this?', could very well be the impeachable Donald Trump moment. To get to the answer of that question might also put Lt. Gen. Flynn in the position of being tried for treason. But, it's also the spot where Republicans don't want to go, because they might, finally, have to say out loud what's being whispered in the Congress. "What did Donald Trump know (about Russia) and when did he know it?" "General Chaos" knows the answer, but he will have to take the ultimate risk to himself, to reveal the answer. In fact, Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn is his own version of the notorious "deep throat"- the man who turned on the Nixon administration. Will he do it? 

Although Donald Trump might temporarily protect Flynn from ultimate exposure, because he can, the fact is, the story about who "told Mike to do this" will never go away.  Eventually, the truth will be revealed. Unfortunately, it will take someone with real courage to blow through the "magic dust" of those blinded, inside the Donald Trump Republican cult.

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