An article featured in Politico Magazine blasts Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn for becoming Donald “Trump’s National Security Alter Ego,” adding that unnamed individuals who have known the former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) director since childhood are concerned that he will be “branded a radical” like the GOP presidential nominee.
The article suggests Flynn fell off as “one of the most respected intelligence officers of his generation,” adding, “Now he’s Donald Trump’s national security alter ego, goading a crowd to lock Hillary Clinton up. What happened?”
Meanwhile, Politico itself acknowledges that Flynn was forced into an early retirement for questioning President Barack Obama’s determination that al Qaeda was close to being defeated, which the general thought was a premature assessment.
The article notes:
For Mike Flynn, by then the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, that narrative of a rapidly declining terrorism threat did not comport with the intelligence that routinely crossed his desk. In 2012, the National Intelligence Council had even crafted a draft National Intelligence Estimate that was supposed to represent the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, which reportedly concluded that Al Qaeda was no longer a threat to the United States. Flynn and a number of other senior intelligence officials had successfully pushed back hard against that conclusion as grossly premature…
“I read the Presidential Daily Briefs and the minutes of the National Security Council’s deputies meetings, and it was very, very clear to me that reporting on the terrorism threat that came up the intelligence community’s chain of command was very different from what was being presented at the top levels of government,” Flynn told me. “That intelligence made it very clear that Al Qaeda and its affiliates were not on the run, but were in fact rapidly expanding. The number of terrorist attacks were on the rise, and Iraq was starting to burn again. So that was Obama’s big lie—that the enemy was on the run, and we were beating these guys.”
Although the the article concedes the general was right about criticizing the Obama administration’s claim that al Qaeda was near defeat, his sin of joining the Trump campaign appears to eclipse his past.
“In his mind, Clinton ‘did real damage to the country’ and has dodged all accountability with her use of an unclassified email server to conduct government business, and the Obama administration perpetrated a ‘big lie’ in insisting that the enemy, Islamist terrorists, is on the run. ‘So when Republican presidential candidates reached out and asked for my advice and help, I thought I had something to offer because of my strong belief that the country is going in the wrong direction,'” reports Politico, questioning the general’s position.
Politico criticizes Flynn for leading the chants of passionate supporters during his speech endorsing Trump, saying “Lock her up! Damn right! Exactly right!” He was referring to Clinton, who many Americans believe should be incarcerated for mishandling classified information using a private server, despite the FBI’s decision not to press charges.
The author of the article is identified as James Kitfield, senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress and former senior correspondent for National Journal who has covered defense, national security, and foreign policy issues from Washington, D.C., for more than two decades.