Remember when Mike Flynn's nasty son Michael Flynn, Jr. was fired from the Trump transition for spreading Pizzagate conspiracy theories? John Amato wondered back then why Junior was the only one to be fired, since Flynn, Sr. was at least as bad on the conspiracy theory front.
Now that Flynn is desperately seeking no jail time, it seems like a good time to revisit just how dangerous he was in his few days as National Security Advisor, how malevolent he is to national discourse, and how undeserving he is of a sentence with no jail time.
As I noted earlier this week, Flynn knows how to play the right-wing conspiracy theory game quite well. He even did it in his sentencing report, calling out the right wing's straw men Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe as Deep Staters who failed to inform a career military man, former Director of National Intelligence, and National Security Adviser that he should not lie to the FBI.
Even the Mueller team scoffed at that, telling the judge he should not minimize Flynn's lies.
In addition to jail time, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn needs to be reintroduced to reality. The Washington Post did a deep dive into Flynn's descent into conspiracy theories and hallucinations of terrorists behind every door, finding that Flynn has slid into lazy rivers of racism, bitterness, hatred, and fear.
According to the report, a friend and long-time advisor to Flynn told reporters "Flynn felt compelled to abandon the tradition of cautious neutrality to save his country. The friend, who like many interviewed for this article agreed to speak only without being named to protect their relationships with Flynn, said the general came to view Obama as head of a worldwide crime cartel supporting jihadist ideas."
Let that sink in for a minute, and let it sink in with the knowledge you now have about Flynn's association with the Russians, his lobbying for the Turks, and his ambition to put together a deal to sell nuclear weapons to the Saudis. Then tell me again how President Barack Obama is the head of a worldwide crime cartel. This kind of nonsense is the sort of thing you'd imagine the KGB brainwashing boys to do back in the 50s, yet here we are in the 21st century with the then-NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR believing this crap.
When he was moved over to the Defense Intelligence Agency, things got weird. He came in with a sterling reputation as a guy who shook up intelligence operations, but it was soon obvious he'd gone off kilter somewhere.
But soon after Flynn’s arrival, the officer said, “he started doing weird things, like bring his unsecured BlackBerry into the secure space, and he became unabashed about his beliefs. In meetings, he sounded like he was reading Breitbart and Alex Jones and random bloggers, alt-right stuff, and he’d just say, ‘Well, I heard this . . .’ ”
“We saw a serious cognitive erosion,” another agency staffer said, “like he couldn’t inhibit himself from saying things, like the filters were off.”
Well. That's disturbing, indeed, especially for a guy involved in intelligence operations. It almost sounds like he was consuming some seriously toxic propaganda, spoon-fed to him through the Internet.
There is one overriding theme in all of this: Mike Flynn is a deeply paranoid Islamophobe, and Islamophobia guides and informs every decision he makes. In today's filings requested by the judge considering his sentence, FBI agent Peter Strzok observed that every conversation he had was eventually turned toward terrorism. Flynn was obsessed with it, as if he'd been possessed by the very fear terrorists hope to instill in their victims.
When he decided to go to Moscow in 2013 to speak to officers at Russia’s military intelligence agency, some top advisers told their boss the move was naive, even dangerous. Flynn insisted that the battle against Islamist terrorism made it urgent to seek common ground with the Russians.
I again keep coming back to the idea that he is, at this point, compromised or obsessed. One or the other, or possibly both.
After he was fired from the DIA, Flynn descended farther into the land of conspiracy theories, fear, and Islamophobia.
At lunch one day in the Pentagon dining room, Flynn, visiting former colleagues, loudly complained that Obama and his aides had run him out of DIA because they weren’t willing to fight the terrorists, said an official who witnessed the moment.
“Everyone knows who he is,” the official said, “and there he was, in the Pentagon dining room, ranting and raving, totally unhinged.”
There is much, much more evidence that Mike Flynn has either been compromised, has a cognitive issue, or is losing his mind. You should read the whole article. But the one thing that stands out to me is how his son's paranoia took him farther down the rabbit hole. Instead of being the father, he followed Flynn, Jr. right down into the hellscape of paranoia, hate, and delusion.
And yes, he even told friends Pizzagate was real:
As his son’s rhetoric became more radical, the father, too, ratcheted up his attacks on the forces he blamed for destroying America. The father told a crowd that Obama “didn’t grow up as an American.” Two friends said Flynn told them he agreed with his son about Pizzagate.
In the runup to Flynn's sentencing, let's not forget that he's no hero. He. is. no. hero. He might have a career of military service, he might have also served well at some point, but he is not a hero now, even if he gave Robert Mueller Putin's personal phone number and turned over wiretaps of conversations with Vladimir and Trump (I exaggerate, of course).
Michael Flynn did not just lie about a conversation with a Russian ambassador. That was the lesser charge. Michael Flynn may have collaborated with an adversary of the United States to get Donald Trump elected. Michael Flynn worked on a deal to deliver nuclear weapons to the Saudis. Michael Flynn was trying to cause a United States resident who had been granted asylum to be deported, because he was Muslim and because Turkey would pay a lot for his head.
These are things Michael Flynn did, in service of his own fear, greed, paranoia, and ambition.
Lock. Him. Up.