I am still trying to figure it out, considering that there is so much that we do not know, and the situation is changing faster than a traffic light from yellow to red. There are two things at work here – the Trump White House, and sabotage from Obama operatives.
For the moment – putting aside Obama’s involvement – my main concern is the reason given for Flynn’s dismissal – his lack of candor with Mike Pence. I can’t imagine that with so many slings and arrows being hurled at the administration, a better solution couldn’t have been found – perhaps a day in the hot tubs at Esalen Institute. Being naked in hot water overlooking the Pacific Ocean has a very humbling and calming effect on the soul.
Any friction within the organization needed to be kept among the principles. And, because it was not kept quiet, I hope there is not something greater going on.
If there is not something else happening behind the scenes, then I am concerned that personalities are interfering with the business of government – something they can little afford – especially now. – Again, I am not privy to their conversations.
I have no problem that Flynn spoke with the Ruskies soon after the election. This is a new administration, that had clearly stated that it was not happy with the present U.S. policy with Russia; and one can only assume the administration wanted to get a head start on dealing with them.
A quick start could only benefit the United States. It doesn’t appear that any nefarious deals (concrete policy decisions) were made. Of course, we don’t know, but for the moment that is an assumption that we are making. Obviously no policy implementations could be made, as Trump had not yet assumed the Presidency when Flynn was talking to Russia.
This is not unprecedented. Eisenhower visited Korea after being elected, but before being inaugurated. He was in a rush to settle the Korean War, which he considered ill handled by Truman. My personalfeeling is that Flynn was acting with Trump’s approval – which I find perfectly fine and commendable.
What they didn’t anticipate was Obama operatives within the government, both those who have had access to top secret intelligence for many years, and those who – while never before having had clearance to view raw Top Secret Signals Intelligence – suddenly had access. This access was bequeathed upon them only a few days before Obama left office, which is very suspicious to say the least. From a larger perspective, this is the more serious issue, which is why Flynn never should have been dismissed – and, unless Flynn really committed a serious crime, Trump needed to circle the wagons with his team, as this is only the first attack.
It could be surmised that Obama wanted knowledge of Trump’s activities, which he could not have if certain people loyal to him didn’t have access to raw Signals Intelligence.
My gut says that Trump didn’t think strategically after the acting Attorney General mutinied. And, he failed to keep Pence abreast about his communications with Russia, even if he wasn’t planning to create policy, but merely have Flynn do some fact finding / advance work. Based upon the low level impact of the communications, I surmise that Flynn took it upon himself to deny the conversations – probably feeling that in due time Pence would be brought in when real decisions would be made. Possibly, in his mind, he was being loyal to his boss, and treating this as a Need To Know activity.
Flynn really should have immediately gone back to Trump and asked for a tripartite meeting before answering Pence, finding out of it was Trump’s intention to keep Pence in the dark, or was his not being informed just an oversight. Considering Flynn was a three Star General, basically an executive, and having been in government before, he should have known better.
But – stranger things have happened. Roosevelt never informed Truman abut the development of the Atomic Bomb. Truman only found out about it after Roosevelt died and he took over as President. This event doesn’t rises to that level of secrecy.
I imagine we will eventually know the whole story. Meanwhile, I believe Obama is having a good laugh – with friends still in the government.