Thursday, February 16, 2017

The real issue with Flynn and the Russains is rogue US intelligence agents

The real issue with Michael Flynn's from resignation Homeland Security is not a possible violation of the Login Act (a law that has never been charged). Rather what is emerging as a shadow government made of Obama operatives left behind by Obama when he left office. The idea that rogue intelligence officers working for the US intelligence department forwarded highly sensitive (and a possibly classified conversation) to the press, for the sole purpose of destabilizing a new Presidents Administration, smells of a criminal conspiracy. This is not the same as someone hacking into someones email account by guessing the password. This is US intelligence officers using information gleamed using highly invasive NSA technology to be used for Homeland Security, that is strictly controlled to preserve the peoples constitutional rights (the use of such information requires a court order), for a political assassination.

It is presumed that Flynn was recorded by US intelligence that was monitoring telephone calls to the Russian government. The law as I understand it says, that once the phone call was captured, the intelligence operators must get a court order to continue any investigation becasue it involved a US citizen. However, some rogue US intelligence officer bypassed this constitutional barrier, pretty much doing what Eric Snowden has been convicted of; the release of classified and/or sensitive intelligence information without permission.

As of now only the FBI, Trump and probably the person that leaked it to the press, have a transcript, however, some that have seen the transcript say Obama's sanctions against Russia were mentioned, but not discussed; something along the lines of the Russian saying he wanted to talk about what the Trump Administration was going to do about the Obama sanctions and Flynn told told the Russian that was something he would have to take up with Trump. So it's false news that any law was violated. Where Flynn screwed up is he told Vice President Mike Pence the subject of the sanctions never came up in the phone call with the Russians, resulting in Pence defending Flynn based on Flynn's denials. However  it turned out Flynn lied to Pence (or the very least was not forth coming) and left Pence hanging with his lack of candor. If the Trump Presidency is to succeed, all of his cabinet and advisers have to be on the same page. As a supervisor I often explained that I would do whatever I could to back my officers up when mistakes that are made, as long as they were honest mistakes. But there are two things that are in their best interest; 1) be completely honest (ie don't make me look stupid defending you) and 2) let me hear about it first from you; I don't like surprises. Flynn broke both rules, which pretty much showed him not to be the team player he needed to be and Trump said so much. So the issue was not so much a violation of decorum or even the law, Flynn made Pence look bad as Flynn violated an expected level of trust, so he had to go. 

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