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To Be 'In Like Flynn’ Takes An Actor's Talent
By Yoichi Shimatsu
| Anyone who still gives credence to the news media would
automatically assume that retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn is a traitor
out to make a quick buck in the service of foreign governments. His public
image is of a “gun for hire”, ready to sell America’s military secrets for
a few dollars more. Toward the end of the presidential campaign and after
the inauguration, the general also alienated many in the Trump team with
his abrasiveness and reckless attitude, as he confessed in his memorable
“I've always operated outside my lane; I'm not sure what lane is mine anymore.”
White line fever is deemed improper etiquette in the “no passing” slow lane of the White House, and so Flynn was pulled over and his license revoked. Yet, to be fair to the general, a review of his military career reveals a positive side to his aggressive behavior, showing him to be a master of complex intelligence analysis and innovative tactician unconstrained by timid conventions. These exceptional personal qualities led to his 2012 appointment as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at a time when the U.S. military was ordered to draw down troop levels in Afghanistan.
In a race against the clock, the general urged the Pentagon to cut the time-lag between military intelligence from the field and hard-hitting offensive operations aimed at shattering the morale of Taliban supporters and expanding the consensus for peace. The underlying problem, however, was that Flynn would have excelled in the Napoleonic wars when generals were expected to win battles instead of the Obama era when top priority was put on keeping an appearance of orderliness in political relations with NATO partners, the Pakistanis and Congress. The ammo for Obama’s PR-based pacification program is an opioid palliative not a belt of bullets.
Draw or Win?
To comprehend special counselor Robert Mueller’s obsession with discrediting Flynn, one has to first consider political philosophy. The conflict between Flynn and his commander-in-chief Barack Obama arose from their different interpretations of Clausewitz’s maxim: “War is an extension of politics by other means”.
For the Obama White House, Afghanistan and Iraq were holding actions aimed at maintaining a balance based on compromise between the interests of local politicians, NATO, UN and Congress. The other priority was to hold down casualties that make for shocking media image like the bloody scenes from the Vietnam war.
Flynn, in contrast, was highly critical of restraints on combat, which were emboldening adversaries, thereby nullifying support for a political settlement. In the general’s opinion, the best path to peace is to win the war. Therefore less than two years after his DIA appointment, Flynn was stripped of his position and pressured to resign by President Obama.
Round Up the Usual Suspects
Most other officers would have knuckled under the White House pressure and swallowed the disappointment at a local bar, but Mike Flynn is a fighter ready with an arsenal of nonconventional tactics. Instead of retiring to the farm, he reorganized his allies under a consultancy firm called Flynn Intel Group. Cleverly, he crafted its business image as a mercenary operation ready to rent out its influence at the Pentagon to the highest bidder. (I admit that on my first take to being completely taken in by his disguise, and wrote him off as a shameless crook and traitor to boot, before a closer examination of his career led to a 180-degree reversal of my opinion of him, as a versatile and clever tactician).
His consultancy firm, a “militia” of old allies from the Pentagon, was apparently a false front for “non-official” counter-proliferation operations. His first moves showed utter genius, in tapping and rounding up “all the usual suspects” involved in illicit transfers of sensitive weapons technologies to send them against even worse international outlaws. It takes a thief to catch a thief, and Flynn deputized an unlikely posse.
To clients, Flynn Intel was a signboard advertising military secrets for sale, although in reality it was flypaper. His client list included Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, the UAE and Japan, those familiar high bidders for insider intelligence and advanced military technology.
Blocking the Arab Bomb
During his tenure as DIA chief, Flynn was well aware of the long-term threat posed by a nuclear station being built in Abu Dhabi, UAE, by the South Korean KEPCO corporation and its subcontractors. The UAE contract had no provision for waste management of spent fuel, which means the emirate could stockpile spent fuel for reprocessing into plutonium and enriched uranium, ingredients for an Arab bomb.
In Turkey, meanwhile three different nuclear projects, involving Rosatom, Mitsubishi-AREVA, and Westinghouse-Toshiba, all of which at Ankara’s insistence do not dispose of used fuel rods, bad faith right from the start. There’s also a cloud of evasion over the use of MOX fuel, a method to boost the plutonium content. Meanwhile,
Egypt also resumed its long-postponed planning to build a massive nuclear-power sector, a program that had been halted by the Arab Spring subversion. Obama, a trusting ally of the Islamic powers, did nothing to impede or investigate these barely covert nuclear armament initiatives.
In response to the Arab nuclear push, Flynn boldly pushed for an alternative that would include a waste-disposal plan. His proposal to install 60 Russian-built reactors for a regional electricity grid for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states was led by the IronBridge Group, headed by Flynn ally Admiral (ret.) Michael Hewitt. Its advisors included U.S. Navy nuclear chief Frank “Skip” Bowman, Marine Corps general James “Hoss” Cartwright (not a cowboy from the Ponderosa ranch), and Keith Alexander from the NSA. Hardly a bunch of pro-Kremlin crooks.
The Russian Factor
Russia was chosen as the tech provider because its Siberian region provides one of very few sites with capacity to store spent nuclear fuel, thereby heading off waste recycling for warhead production on the Arabian Peninsula. Flynn’s counter-proliferation project accounts for his links with Moscow, which the pro-ISIS Obama-Clinton faction so strongly condemns.
Contrary to the hysteria from Russiagate, the Russian Federation is one of the postwar Big Five nuclear powers, the only countries permitted under international law to produce and possess nuclear weapons. Any other nation that acquires nuclear-warhead capability is doing so illegally. Whatever the divisive issues among the Five, counter-proliferation is their common responsibility.
Due to the Afghan debacle, Flynn has been a vocal critic of “radical Islam”’; whereas the Obama Democrats and their operatives inside the FBI have been soft on ISIS, the Arab nuclear-weapons capability and continuing Iranian ambitions. (This aspect of the nuclear proliferation issue provides a flashlight beam into the objectives of the Awan brothers computer-monitoring inside the US House of Representatives.) In contrast, Russia has acted as a strong ally of traditional American interests.
Mueller’s Inappropriate Legal Stance
Enter Robert Mueller, then a senior partner of Boston-based Wilmer Hale lobbying group and law firm. Mueller was the attorney for the IronBridge-Flynn Intel project. Amid the counter-proliferation operation, Mueller did not urge either Admiral Hewitt or Gen. Flynn to register themselves under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), presumably because adding their names to that federal register would have tipped off and panicked their Arab clients who had been assured of the non-state nature of the nuclear-energy project.
Mueller is, of course, aware of the security issues related to the IronBridge project, which makes him guilty of duplicity in sequestered Flynn, in an obvious attempt to silence him from disclosing the role of mystery-shrouded Wilmer Hale.
Given Mueller’s involvement in FARA violations (he was after all the lead lawyer) and his current attempt to discredit Flynn, the Russiagate probe should be terminated immediately. The White House should replace it with an investigation of whether Mueller and Obama’s allies leaked sensitive information to parties linked with Arab state players to sabotage Flynn’s anti-proliferation efforts.
Virtues and Vices of Deception
As Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’ explains in variety of military situations, deception is a fundamental element of strategy. Brilliantly, through the sheer force of his character, Flynn used guile to involve other nuclear nations to become involved in his counter-proliferation stratagems. In contrast, Mueller’s duplicity is aimed at silencing Flynn in order to cover up the questionable role of his former law firm Wilmer Hale.
The summoning and sequestering of Gen. Flynn summarizes the troubled first year of the Trump administration: a dirty campaign of cover=-ups and sabotage by cowardly politicians, dubious FBI-CIA officials, and dishonest media moguls against a grassroots populist electorate and honorable military officers striving to reverse the rapid decline of national prestige while countering security threats left by Obama.
Thus, the treachery of Robert Mueller versus the brilliance of Michael Flynn is a central drama in this transition for American policy.
Rather than allowing the Mueller probe to cause further damage to national security, Donald Trump should issue a presidential pardon for Gen. Flynn as quickly as possible. Leading congressional Democrats should be censured by the White House for the serious harm done by their partisan witch hunt, which has exposed intelligence operations in counter-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Michael Flynn’s robust “private” venture into anti-proliferation was aimed at remedying the serious lapse of a dozen years on this most crucial security front after the setback for the CIA counter-proliferation program. In 2003, caught in a deliberate lie about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Dick Cheney’s attorney Scooter Libby “outed” the CIA’s most effective field agent Valerie Plame. The scandal led to the exposure of the CIA front company Brewster Jennings, which housed the top-secret counter-proliferation bureau.
This treachery led to nuclear proliferation on a worldwide scale. Fulfilling promises made at the 2007 Bush-Abe summit at Camp David, George W. Bush’s minions unlawfully removed weapons-grade plutonium from the PANTEX facility run by the Department of Energy in Amarillo, Texas. Illegal shipments in 2008 were made to Israel and Japan, an operation that also involved the Houston police murder of CIA contractor Roland Carnaby, who was monitoring suspected radioactive shipments out of that port.
This Bush collaboration with weapons production at Fukushima continued in cooperation with GE-Hitachi under Obama’s Energy secretaries Stephen Chu and Ernest Monitz. As a literal blowback from this illegal transfer to the TEPCO nuclear plant for further enrichment in MOX fuel rods, the Toshiba-Westinghouse built Reactor 3 exploded in mid-March 2011, along with nuclear disasters at two secret weapons sites hidden below ground at nearby conventional civilian power plants. As a result, the North Pacific and Arctic regions have been highly contaminated with radioactivity, which also accounts for a slew of secondary disasters across the U.S.
The absence of counter-proliferation efforts also enabled shipments of sensitive technologies out of the Donetsk region of Ukraine (by non-state insurgents on both sides of that conflict inside one of the world’s biggest arms production regions). These shipments happened to coincide with the upgrade of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Today, with Michael Flynn sidelined, clandestine Arab nuclear efforts have a green light to proceed unchallenged.
Compounding this disorganization and chaos , it was a serious error for Ambassador Nicky Haley to call a boycott of the UN proceedings for an anti-nuclear weapons treaty. Haley is connected with nuclear rogue India and also a descendent of Sikhs, a cult that worships weapons for their killing power. President Trump should have overruled her boycott plan and instead abstained from voting, with the proviso that the U.S. ultimately opposes nuclear weapons and aims to reduce the world’s nuclear arsenals, thereby cutting the ground out from under the proliferators. That sensible position would have strengthened anti-proliferation action by the Pentagon and whatever new authority is created to take the investigative lead.
Onto the Fast Track
Pyonyang's bold challenge to the USA is a clear signal for a robust nonproliferation program that prevents and shuts down nuclear development by all but the Big Five powers.
To fast track counter-proliferation, never mind the slower lanes, Michael Flynn should be encouraged to lead a covert program to train and deploy the next generation assigned to interdict the nuclear outlaws. On the other side of the political aisle, Valerie Plame should be appointed as U.S. representative to the IAEA, that promoter of nuclear power and muzzled watchdog headed by its paymaster director Yukiya Amano, the Energizer bunny for global proliferation. In short, the Trump administration needs to establish a comprehensive policy to lead the world community in preventing and stopping the next radioactive catastrophe.
Science journalist Yoichi Shimatsu has conducted a dozen field visits inside the Fukushima exclusion zone where he found evidence of clandestine nuclear-weapons production. His investigation of the Bush-Abe secret agreement to divert weapons-grade from the PANTEX plant in Amarillo, Texas, is discussed in “Secret U.S.-Israeli nuclear weapons transfers led to the Fukushima blasts” http://rense.com/general94/secbb.htm