John Guandolo outlines his disagreement with Trump advisors on CT policy – plus my take

CJR: There is a fierce debate going on among counter-jihad activists right now over what the Trump administration’s official counterterrorism policy towards Islamic jihad should be. One positive development is the likely end of the disastrous Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) policy that de-linked Islam from terrorism and led to both domestic and foreign policy which placed Muslims “feelings” above the safety of our own people. Now the debate is focused on whether ISIS is Islamic. I have no doubt that both Lt General H. R. McMaster and Dr. Sebastian Gorka know that it is. I believe that they are using disinformation strategy to de-legitimize the enemy and gain Muslim allies. However, I believe that now is the time to make clear that Islamic doctrine is the enemy threat doctrine and Muslims who are not following that doctrine to the letter are technically apostates. Muslim reformers must acknowledge this. The Muslims we wish to ally with understand this very well and will not be “driven to radicalize” by an official U. S. policy that states the truth.

I would not impune the character and motives of Lt General H. R. McMaster or Dr. Sebastian Gorka as John Guandolo does in the following article but I do agree with his position that there is only one Islamic doctrine. I would just point out that Muslim belief and practice of that doctrine varies. I see no problem allying with Muslim reformers as long as we are all clear on what Islamic doctrine actually says. There needs to be a complete overhaul of CT training as well as public education on the matter so that we can begin to “orient on the enemy”.

I will continue to post opposing views on this important debate and encourage respectful comments. Perhaps Dr. Gorka should invite John Guandolo to the White House for a friendly chat over coffee like he did with that self-important, weasel attack dog Michael S. Smith II. That would probably be a much more productive meeting!

***

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“Unfit for Duty” by John Guandolo at Understanding the Threat, Feb. 26, 2017:

The New York Times, Guardian, and CNN all report Lt General McMaster told members of the National Security Council Thursday he felt “radical Islamic terrorism” was an unhelpful way to describe terrorism because becoming a terrorist is actually “un-Islamic” in the first place.

In a talk he gave at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in May 2016, LtGen McMaster said, “There is a cycle going on where groups like ISIL, who use this irreligious ideology, you know, this perverted interpretation of religion to justify violence, they depend on ignorance and the ability to recruit vulnerable segments of populations to foment hatred, then use that hatred to justify violence against innocents.”

This is incoherent and factually wrong.  LtGen McMaster wrote a book entitled “Dereliction of Duty.”  He may want to look in the mirror to see if he is doing the same thing in this war he accused President Johnson of doing in Vietnam.

100% of all Islamic doctrine, from elementary, junior high, and high school Islamic text books as well as the highest authorities in Islamic jurisprudence, to include Al Azhar University in Egypt, all clearly and doctrinally state Islam is a “complete way of life (social, cultural, political, military, religious)” governed by sharia (Islamic Law).  100% of all sharia mandates jihad until the world is under Islamic rule, and 100% of sharia only defines “jihad” as warfare against non-Muslims.

“The duty of the Muslim citizen is to be loyal to the Islamic state.”

What Islam is All About  (most widely used junior high text book in U.S. Islamic schools)

The violence Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Boston bombers, the attackers in Paris, the Fort Lauderdale shooter, and all the jihadis we have faced over the past 20 years quote authoritative Islamic doctrine in support of what they do.  Al Qaeda and ISIS have never misquoted sharia in furtherance of their actions.

In the last 15 years it has been made clear – the more muslims study Islam and sharia, the more likely they are to support and participate in jihad.

So the questions remains…what the hell is Lieutenant General McMaster talking about because he is not talking truthfully about a real and present danger to these United States?  He is doing exactly what our enemy wants him to do – creating an imaginary target for us to chase while our real enemy prepares to defeat us.

Nearly 16 years after 9/11, the Global Islamic Movement has taken down nations, expanded its power, and defeated the United States in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because leaders like McMaster decided they were too busy to stop and learn the enemy threat doctrine – Sharia – and instead have been given a counterfactual understanding of our enemy by Islamic advisors who are all batting for the other team.

The President’s Counterterrorism advisor, Sebastian Gorka, is “over the moon” LtGen McMaster is the new National Security Advisor.  However, Gorka’s lack of honesty about the Islamic threat raises much more serious questions.

Some have been lulled into believing he is on the right track because he uttered the word “jihad” but defeating this enemy takes more than pretending to know what you are talking about.

Speaking at CPAC this past weekend, Gorka stated:  “Zuhdi (Jasser) knows it better than anybody because he understands that this isn’t about poverty or lack of education. It’s about people who are fighting for the soul of Islam – not a war with Islam, but a war inside Islam; as King Abdullah, as General Sisi has said, for which version is going to win.”

Utter nonsense.  There is one version of Islam and one Sharia.  To say otherwise is to be factually wrong, but also dangerous when national strategies are being built off that utter nonsense.

When one’s duties include national security responsibilities, one has a professional duty to know the enemy or do due diligence to know the enemy.  To fail to do so makes one professionally negligent in one’s duties.  When people die (Ft Lauderdale, Boston, Orlando, Ft Hood…) because a person is unprofessional in his/her duties it is called “criminal negligence” and doctors and lawyers go to jail for such behavior.

Several years ago at a town hall presentation hosted by Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL, Sebastian Gorka stated “99.9% of muslims do not support terrorism (jihad)” despite a mountain of evidence and polling data proving this comment untrue, and the fact the entire purpose of Islam is to wage jihad until the world is dominated by Islamic rule (sharia).

Dr. Gorka also writes in his book, Defeating Jihad, we are not at war with Islam (p.129) but our enemy is “the ideology of takfiri jihad” (p.123).

No muslim jihadi who fought on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else, nor any of the jihadis who have died in Europe in the United States attacking us nor the jihadis we have arrested have said they are “takfiri jihadis.”  They have said they are “Muslims” waging “Jihad in the cause of Allah” to “establish a caliphate under sharia.”

This is what Islamic doctrine commands them to do.

erdogan-moderate-islam-capture

On page 144 of his book, Gorka ends with the call for the United States to spend billions of dollars supporting “Muslim reformers” in their “ideological war to delegitimize the message of holy war against the infidel and bolster modern interpretations of Islam.”  This demonstrates Sebastian Gorka is either completely free of any clue of Islamic doctrine or is intentionally lying about what Islam actually teaches.
Since these ideas and strategies to use “moderate Muslims” to ensure the “other version” of Islam wins are based in fantasy not reality, these policies will necessarily fail – and have failed the United States for 15 years.
Is that Dr. Gorka’s intention?  Does he not know that strategies to win a war must be based in the reality of who the enemy is?  Why would Sebastian Gorka put forth such and idea when he knows what he is saying is untrue?
Is it possible Dr. Gorka has remained strategically incoherent for 15 years during this global war?  Is he working on behalf of some outside entity to intentionally mislead the President of the United States, or is he is simply putting his paycheck ahead of the American people and his duty.
The United States will lose this war against the Global Islamic Movement if we do not clearly define the enemy and target the enemy.  We cannot hit a target we do not identify and cannot defeat an enemy we do not target.
Our warfighting doctrine calls for an analysis of our enemy based on how the enemy defines itself.  We begin our analysis there.  Something we have not done since 9/11/01.  If we did, our entire national security apparatus, including our military, would have been studying and teaching authoritative sharia and more of our soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen would be alive today because of it.
Keeping LtGen McMaster and Sebastian Gorka in their current positions will ensure America remains strategically incoherent and will guarantee our defeat in this war against the Global Islamic Movement.
As always, this war will be won or lost at the local level because our federal government is still failing us.

Michael Flynn and the revenge of the bureaucrats

Michael Flynn and his son Michael G. Flynn (left) (Associated Press/File)

Michael Flynn and his son Michael G. Flynn (left) (Associated Press/File)

The Washington Times, , February 15, 2017:

The resignation of White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Monday was the result of a coordinated effort by current and former U.S. intelligence officials to undermine the Trump administration using the disclosure of highly classified communications intercepts.

President Trump voiced his displeasure in a tweet Wednesday stating that misuse of the intercepts was un-American.

“The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!” the president stated.

Mr. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former Defense Intelligence Agency director, was let go after admitting he did not fully explain to Vice President Mike Pence and other officials the content of telephone conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak late last year when Mr. Trump was president-elect.

According to a White House national security official, the intelligence bureaucrats went after Mr. Flynn not because of his contacts with the Russian ambassador. The real concern was his plan to reform U.S. intelligence agencies that during the Obama administration became mired in political correctness and lost much of their effectiveness, the official said.

The anti-Flynn campaign was launched prior to Inauguration Day and targeted not just the national security adviser but also at least one of his aides.

The National Security Council’s staff specialist for Africa, retired Marine intelligence officer Robin Townely, had his request for “top secret, sensitive compartmented information” clearance rejected by the CIA. Under current rules, the NSC can issue top-secret clearances. But the higher SCI-level clearance must be approved by the CIA. The White House official said the denial was unjust and an indirect political attack on Mr. Flynn.

Yet it was just such SCI-level information that was shared with reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post and other news outlets in disclosing details of Mr. Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls to Mr. Kislyak.

Chris Farrell, a former counterintelligence official and director of investigations and research at Judicial Watch, called the disclosures “reckless endangerment of national intelligence sources and methods to advance a political smear job.”

 

Mr. Flynn is a critic of U.S. intelligence agencies and was planning to oversee a major overhaul of the spy agencies — something that upset entrenched intelligence officials concerned about protecting bureaucratic rice bowls.

In 2010, then-Gen. Flynn co-authored a landmark report, “Fixing Intel,” calling for sweeping reforms after criticizing intelligence as misaligned with the objectives in the Afghanistan War.

“Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy, Having focused the overwhelming majority of its collection efforts and analytical brainpower on insurgent groups, the vast intelligence apparatus is unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate and the people they seek to persuade,” the report said.

General Flynn and Colonel Mustard: Let’s Piece Together Clues About the Leak

hith-checkpoint_charlie_sign-sized-770x415xcPJ MEDIA, BY CHARLIE MARTIN, FEBRUARY 16, 2017:

The most recent big scandal is LTG Michael Flynn’s resignation from the position of national security advisor — and just as an aside, I’ve heard at least three media people claim he’d resigned as director of the NSA, and no, being NSA isn’t the same as being DIRNSA. The Trump administration promptly complained about the leaks, to the mass amusement of the usual suspects.

But — is that amusement justified? Or is this more interesting than the usual suspects believe? Let’s give it a look.

There’s a phrase that comes up over and over when talking about classification of intelligence information: “sources and methods.” In fact, it comes up so often that it’s become one of those buzzword cliches that runs past — sourzeznmethdz — without people really hearing or thinking about it. So, just for once, let’s think about it.

Obviously, it breaks down into sources and methods: sources are where the information comes from, and methods are how we illicitly obtained the information. (Strictly it isn’t always illicit, since we derive useful intelligence from newspapers, but it’s also not interesting to know the CIA reads Russian newspapers.)

Now, we have a big scandal that is based on leaked reports of phone calls between LTG Flynn and the Russian ambassador, which apparently came from intercepts of the phone calls. But let’s look at this through the “sources and methods” lens for a minute: we have an overt leak that our intelligence services have intercepted communications of the Russian ambassador (a source) by “wire tapping” or something similar their phone calls (a method). What’s more, the other party to the call was LTG Michael Flynn. Technically, Flynn in this case is a United States Person (“U.S. Person”) under 50 USC 1801. Here’s the definition:

(i)“United States person” means a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in section 1101(a)(20) of title 8), … .

Here’s a link to all of 50 US Code Subchapter I, which contains the whole section on FISA courts. I won’t go through the whole thing, but the gist is that there must be a FISA Court order to allow an intercept of a U.S. Person’s communications; if a U.S. Person’s communications are intercepted by accident, by law the U.S. Person’s communications must be “minimized” in such a way that information identifying the U.S. Person isn’t stored or disseminated except under some special conditions.

It looks like that rule was, shall we say, applied less than diligently here with these leaks.

But let’s go back to “sources and methods” — what we have here is “communications intelligence,” COMINT. This isn’t super sensitive — as a friend pointed out, it’s not like it’s a big secret the U.S. is listening to the Russians — but it still meets the qualifications to be something like CONFIDENTIAL and special compartmented intelligence: CONFIDENTIAL//SI. (You can read more details, if you’re interested, in my pieces on Hillary’s Air Gap Problem, on how It’s Not Classified because It’s Marked; It’s Marked because It’s Classified, and on L’Affaire Snowden and Computer Security.)

But the point for now is simply that this stuff must be classified at least CONFIDENTIAL//SI, which puts it under the Espionage Act; revealing it without authorization is a violation of 18 USC 793 (and some other sections. Again, the link is to the containing chapter). This is the same chapter that would have been used to indict Hillary Clinton if she hadn’t had friends in high places.

Finally, let’s ask the question that should be on every critical thinker’s mind at all times: Cui bono? Who benefits? Add to that: who could have been involved?

Probably not the Trump people (plus they wouldn’t have known to have access to it). Not the Russians. Decisions involving this kind of material are made in the executive branch (CIA, FBI, NSA are all in the executive branch). What’s more, very few people are going to have need to know on this stuff, even if it’s only CONFIDENTIAL: we don’t want to let the Russians know exactly what conversations we’ve actually intercepted.

The final piece of the puzzle here is that we know these calls were intercepted before the inauguration. Which means they were authorized during the Obama administration.

So now, like Colonel Mustard with a lead pipe in the library, pieces have come together: this has to have been authorized under the Obama administration, by someone pretty high up (or else they wouldn’t have access to the compartmented information), and leaked by someone pretty high up, also, almost certainly, either a civil service permanent employee held over from the Obama administration or a political appointee very high in the intelligence community. One who was pretty confident they also have friends in high places.

Why? It seems it must have been to make trouble for the incoming Trump administration.

This is going to get a lot more interesting.

(Last-minute update: It may be getting interesting.)

UTT Throwback Thursday: Flynn, The Shadow Government & America’s Second Civil War

Understanding the Threat, Feb. 16, 2017:

Today’s UTT Throwback Thursday looks all the way back to…Monday, when UTT identified the threat of the Shadow Government and the penetration of America’s national security and governmental decision-making apparatus by jihadi, hard-left/Marxist, and other enemies.

flynn3

The resignation of General Michael Flynn is another salvo in America’s Second Civil War, which is now underway in earnest.  This was a victory for our enemies and, if harsh action is not taken immediately, our enemies will be emboldened to be more aggressive.

The battle lines in America’s Second Civil War have been drawn between the enemies of liberty and principles upon which our fore-fathers built this nation, against those willing to stand and defend all that is right and just about the original ideals of this land we call America as detailed in the Declaration of Independence.

Those involved in General Flynn’s resignation, especially the media and individuals in the intelligence community who illegally leaked highly classified material, lied and are continuing to lie about the contacts between General Flynn and the Russians, among other details.  They did this and are continuing their efforts to intentionally thwart the orders of the President of the United States, as did the judges ruling against the law on President Trump’s Executive Order regarding closing immigration from seven hostile nations.

The hard-left/Marxists and Jihadis are working together to destroy the American government and society and both have overtly stated so.  They are being directly aided by many media outlets and reporters as well as by establishment Republicans who seem to want to maintain status quo rather than defend the Republic and adhere to their sworn oaths to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Those involved and supporting such subversive activities should be identified and fired and, where possible, prosecuted.  Judges ruling against U.S. law and the Constitution, including those on the Supreme Court, should be impeached.

President Trump faces a true and imminently dangerous threat to the Republic, and comparisons to Lincoln’s leadership burdens during America’s first Civil War are not unfounded.

For several years, UTT has been briefing and teaching leaders in law enforcement and government about the flourishing operational and strategic relationship between the international hard-left/Marxist movement and the Jihadi Movement.

obama

From the ground level in Ferguson and Dallas to the hundreds of George Soros funded organizations internationally seeking to financially bring down the United States, to the Global Islamic Movement using these organizations and individuals as tools to build their caliphate under sharia, the Flynn resignation is a major pivot point for the enemy.  It shows them they can defeat the United States from the inside out.

Now we have a likely prospect for the President’s new National Security Advisor in Admiral Harward. Does he strategically understand the magnitude of the threats facing the Republic, and does he have the stomach for what must be done to achieve victory?

UTT reaffirms this war will be won or lost at the local level.  Courageous sheriffs and pastors who will speak the truth, prepare their communities, and root out the threats facing our Constitutional Republic county by county is the second major step towards victory.

The first is training and education.  UTT stands ready to help your community.

Out Like Flynn

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The America Spectator, by Scott McKay, February 15, 2017:

“House Atreides took control of Arrakis 63 standard days into the year 10,191. It was known that the Harkonnens, the former rulers of Arrakis, would leave many suicide troops behind. Atreides patrols were doubled.”
— From the 1984 David Lynch movie Dune, as adapted from the Fran Herbert novel.

You’ve got to read, if you haven’t yet, the piece by Adam Kredo in the Washington Free Beacon about the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Michael Flynn on Monday.

Kredo weaves together the statements of several confidential sources to create an alarming tapestry that views not unlike the classic 1980s sci-fi film referenced above — it seems reasonably clear that leftovers from the Obama administration are actively sabotaging the new president.

A quick excerpt or two…

The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.

The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.

Kredo’s piece isn’t the only one pointing to Iran as the real enemy of interest here rather than Russia. It’s worth watching Obama’s fundraising for his presidential library and other “philanthropic” activities with interest in the identities of his benefactors.

And there’s more…

“It’s actually Ben Rhodes, NIAC, and the Iranian mullahs who are celebrating today,” said one veteran foreign policy insider who is close to Flynn and the White House. “They know that the number one target is Iran… [and] they all knew their little sacred agreement with Iran was going to go off the books. So they got rid of Flynn before any of the [secret] agreements even surfaced.”

Flynn had been preparing to publicize many of the details about the nuclear deal that had been intentionally hidden by the Obama administration as part of its effort to garner support for the deal, these sources said.

Flynn is now “gone before anybody can see what happened” with these secret agreements, said the second insider close to Flynn and the White House.

Sources in and out of the White House are concerned that the campaign against Flynn will be extended to other prominent figures in the Trump administration.

Read the whole thing. It’s well worth your time.

But let’s understand what actually happened here. Yes, Mike Flynn had a conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Dec. 29 regarding American policy toward that country. Yes, there is an ancient and little-known piece of legislation, the Logan Act, which makes it illegal for private citizens to conduct foreign policy, and yes, that law was put forth to justify accusations Flynn had committed a crime in his conversation with Kislyak.

But as a national security advisor designate it’s hardly realistic to have considered Flynn a private citizen, and he wasn’t going to be charged with anything for that conversation. Which gives rise to the mistake which ultimately cost him his job — pressed about the conversation, Flynn told Vice President Mike Pence that he and Kislyak did not discuss the lifting of Obama administration sanctions against Russia, which was apparently true. What Flynn had discussed, per an interview he did with the Daily Caller before he was forced out, was the status of the 35 Russian diplomats Obama had expelled from the country. He contends Kislyak raised the issue and was told it would be reviewed after the inauguration — but he made no promises to the Russian.

The expulsions were considered part of the sanctions, and therefore Flynn’s representation to Pence would go down as inaccurate — and the resulting media scandal following Pence’s reliance on Flynn’s statements to pass the adviser’s contention on in a TV interview ultimately made Flynn too hot to handle.

But this goes far beyond the Beltway scandal machine which is now running at top gear after largely idling for the past eight years spitting out its first Trump administration victim. What blew Flynn out of the water were leaks from the intelligence community — his conversation with Kislyak was recorded by the FBI, pursuant to a FISA warrant which had to come from the highest levels, possibly high enough to have reached Obama himself, and then a transcript was provided to the media in order to refute Flynn’s contention he hadn’t discussed the sanctions.

Mike Walsh called this troubling pattern a “rolling coup attempt, organized by elements of the intelligence community, particularly CIA and NSA, abetted by Obama-era holdovers in the understaffed Justice Department (Sally Yates, take a bow) and the lickspittles of the leftist media, all of whom have signed on with the ‘Resistance’ in order to overturn the results of the November election.”

He’s not wrong. He goes further and is also not wrong…

Welcome to the Deep State, the democracy-sapping embeds at the heart of our democracy who have not taken the expulsion of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party lightly. They realize that the Trump administration poses a mortal threat to their hegemony, and so have enlisted an army of Democrats, some Republicans, the “neverTrumpumpkin” conservative die-hards, leftist thugs, Black Lives Matter and anybody else they can blackmail, browbeat or enlist. They mean business.

What to do if you’re Trump? Fight.

It’s not enough to send Sean Spicer out to complain about the leaks, or to back his press conference statements up with early-morning tweets.

He must fight.

Trump clearly has not taken the sound advice of any executive engaged in a hostile takeover of a large organization — which is to fire everyone. There should be no holdovers from the Obama administration left in the federal government beyond what the law forces on the president.

Which includes the CIA, NSA, and other agencies clearly infested with Harkonnens seeking to impose the same fate on Trump and his administration which befell Duke Leto Atreides.

Trump went to Langley and spoke about inaugural crowds, and received warm applause from some of the same people concocting schemes to destroy his presidency. That was a mistake, and it must be recognized as such. Trump is late in drumming Obama’s people out of the government, and those people are now a cancer on his administration. He must clean out the intelligence community and the rest of the deep state, and he must drain the swamp in Washington. And he’s in a race against time in doing so.

All new administrations, particularly those taking over from predecessors in the opposite party, will struggle to find loyal servants within the bowels of the federal government. But no administration has politicized the bureaucracy and the intelligence community the way Obama did, and the government has never been so corrupted as it is now. The political assassination of Mike Flynn proves that, and Flynn will certainly not be the last. This administration is in a death struggle with the deep state, and only one will survive.

The Latest Rundown on the Mike Flynn Deep State Hit Job

mike-flynn_-hit_-job_-run_-down_-sized-770x415xc-1PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 15, 2017:

Obama officials and the establishment media continue to wave the scalp of resigned National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and trying to squeeze every last drop of anti-Trump controversy out of the matter.

As I had said privately, Flynn was not long for remaining as NSA. It’s not because he’s a bad guy, and accusations that he was compromised by Russian intelligence are absurd as the Trump dossier Buzzfeed published last month. It’s just that Flynn wasn’t ready for prime time. Hopefully his replacement will be.

So here’s the latest.

The New York Times published a report last night claiming “Trump associates” had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence, which the media in turn breathlessly hyped.

Trying to spin this as definitive proof that Trump was involved in “hacking the election,” they failed to recognize the NYT report proved no such thing:

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

OK, there goes that theory.

The other big story last night from Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon was that the hit job on Flynn was driven by former Obama officials concerned about protecting the disastrous Iran deal:

A third source who serves as a congressional adviser and was involved in the 2015 fight over the Iran deal told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration feared that Flynn would expose the secret agreements with Iran.

“The Obama administration knew that Flynn was going to release the secret documents around the Iran deal, which would blow up their myth that it was a good deal that rolled back Iran,” the source said. “So in December the Obama NSC started going to work with their favorite reporters, selectively leaking damaging and incomplete information about Flynn.”

“After Trump was inaugurated some of those people stayed in and some began working from the outside, and they cooperated to keep undermining Trump,” the source said, detailing a series of leaks from within the White House in the past weeks targeting Flynn. “Last night’s resignation was their first major win, but unless the Trump people get serious about cleaning house, it won’t be the last.”

It’s curious then that the architects of the Iran deal are enthusiastic about the front runner to replace Flynn, former Vice Admiral Robert Harward, including former Obama NSC spox Tommy Vietor:

And the Iran deal must be preserved at all costs:

Our former PJ Media colleague Richard Pollock had the last interview with Flynn before his resignation reporting on what was actually discussed during that phone call with the Russian ambassador:

Flynn insisted that he crossed no lines in his telephone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak: “If I did, believe me, the FBI would be down my throat, my clearances would be pulled. There were no lines crossed.”

Flynn said there was a brief discussion of the 35 Russian diplomats who were being expelled by Obama in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 campaign.

“It wasn’t about sanctions. It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out,” Flynn said. “So that’s what it turned out to be. It was basically, ‘Look, I know this happened. We’ll review everything.’ I never said anything such as, ‘We’re going to review sanctions,’ or anything like that.”

It’s important to recall what Flynn was accused of doing:

There has yet to be any evidence that anything in Flynn’s discussion with the Russian ambassador was illegal.

The heavy breathing by the media about supposed Logan Act violations is totally overwrought, as there has never been a successful Logan Act prosecution in two centuries.

But it bears recalling that in 2008 as the Bush admin was trying to negotiate on the Iran nuclear program, those efforts were scuttled by the Obama campaign without any complaint from the media or calls for Logan Act prosecutions.

As our own Michael Ledeen reported here at PJ Media back in 2014:

During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.

It is remarkable that invocations of the Logan Act (e.g. the letter from 47 Senate Republicans to the Iranian leader in 2015) only occurs when it is targeting Republicans.

Another issue coming out of the Flynn affair is the politicization of intelligence.

House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is demanding to know what Flynn’s conversations were being wiretapped. As one of the congressional “Big 8” if there were a covert program targeting Flynn, he would be one of the few to know.

“Any intelligence agency cannot listen to Americans’ phone calls,” Nunes told reporters Tuesday night. “If there’s inadvertent collection that you know is overseas there’s a whole process in place for that.”

He explained, “It’s pretty clear that’s not the case, so then they could have been listening to someone else and inadvertently picked up an American. If that happens, there’s a whole process in place to where they have to immediately get rid of the information unless it’s like high level national security issue and then someone would have to unmask the name — someone at the highest levels.”

“So in this case it would be General Flynn and then how did that happen. Then if they did that, then how does all that get out to the public which is another leak of classified information,” Nunes added. “I’m pretty sure the FBI didn’t have a warrant on Michael Flynn.”

Former House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King says the intelligence disclosures to the press were clearly illegal.

No wonder then that many in the media are warning about the implications of former Obama officials leaking highly classified signals intelligence intercepts involving U.S. persons.

Eli Lake at Bloomberg:

There is another component to this story as well — as Trump himself just tweeted. It’s very rare that reporters are ever told about government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens, let alone senior U.S. officials. The last story like this to hit Washington was in 2009 when Jeff Stein, then of CQ, reported on intercepted phone calls between a senior Aipac lobbyist and Jane Harman, who at the time was a Democratic member of Congress.

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.

In the past it was considered scandalous for senior U.S. officials to even request the identities of U.S. officials incidentally monitored by the government (normally they are redacted from intelligence reports). John Bolton’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was derailed in 2006 after the NSA confirmed he had made 10 such requests when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control in George W. Bush’s first term. The fact that the intercepts of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak appear to have been widely distributed inside the government is a red flag.

Damon Linker at The Week:

Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. “Finally,” they say, “someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!” It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously.

And John Podheretz at the New York Post:

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

But still, there are some who are loving them some deep state totalitarian tactics:

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Report: Obama Loyalists, Led by Ben Rhodes, Orchestrated Flynn Ouster

 

US-Russian steps vs Iran await new NSC chief

flynnout_eng
DEBKAfile, February 14, 2016

Michael Flynn’s abrupt resignation as National Security Adviser Monday night, Feb. 13, was a crippling blow to Donald Trump’s foreign policy strategy, less than a month after he entered the White House. Flynn was the architect and prime mover of the president’s plans for close cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was brought down by misinforming Vice President Mike Pence – and very likely the president too – on the content of the conversation he held with the Russian ambassador before Trump’s inauguration.

Although retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg takes over as acting NSA, the White House is urgently considering a permanent replacement to fill Flynn’s large shoes. Former CIA Director David Petraeus’ name has come up, but his indiscretions over state secrets still count against him. Vice Admiral Robert Harward, a former Navy SEAL, is a strong contender, although more may emerge.

Even before picking his next national security adviser, Trump will need to determine how to proceed with his détente with Putin, the highly sensitive details of which were managed personally and confidentially by Mike Flynn as the centerpiece of the new administration’s foreign policy.

His contacts with Moscow were under heavy fire from the president’s friends and foes alike, both before and after the November election. It was defended stalwartly by Trump himself, Pence and Flynn. However, neither the president nor the vice president can tell exactly what Flynn promised the Russians and to what deals he committed them. Therefore, his successor will be required to start building Washington’s ties with Moscow from scratch.

While Flynn’s departure has caused havoc in the Trump administration, it is a catastrophe for the Middle East, because a core objective of the US-Russian partnership, which he shaped as a model for other regions, was to have been to clip Iran’s wings and cut down its standing down as premier Middle East power conferred by Barack Obama.

(How the Flynn mechanism was to work plus detailed analysis of the fallout from his departure will be covered exclusively in the coming issue of DEBKA Weekly out next Friday).

Flynn alone was privy to arrangements concluded with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman, President Putin in Moscow, Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisis in Cairo and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Some of his output began taking shape on the day he stepped down, when Syrian rebel groups led by Jordanian special operations officers attacked Syrian army positions in the southern town of Daraa. This was the start of an operation to drive Syrian government forces and their Iranian and Hizballah allies from the lands bordering on Jordan and Israel.

In Cairo, too, President Michel Aoun of Lebanon and his host, El-Sisi were hashing out a plan for the Egyptian army and Gulf forces to go into action against Hizballah in Syria and Lebanon.
Wednesday, Feb. 15, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to visit the White House for his first meeting with Trump as president. They too were scheduled to discuss US operations against Hizballah and the role Israel would play.

In the coming hours, Trump will have to decide whether to go ahead with these initiatives in the absence of Flynn and his detailed knowledge of how they should go forward, or simply put them on hold until his successor is in place and has time for a full study of their complicated ins and outs. At the same time, a different national security adviser in the White house might have different plans to those laid out by his predecessor.

Three candidates emerge to replace Flynn as national security adviser

Vice-Admiral Bob Harward, Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, Jr. and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus.

Vice-Admiral Bob Harward, Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, Jr. and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus.

Fox News, February 14, 2017:

President Trump’s embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night and three names have emerged as possible replacements.

Vice Adm. Bob Harward is one name that has come up to replace Flynn as national security adviser, and the leading candidate to get the job, a senior official told Fox News.

Harward is a U.S. Navy SEAL, but also has a previous relationship with Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Harward was the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command under Mattis and was also the deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.

He also served on the National Security Council for President George W. Bush and commissioned the National Counter Terrorism Center.

White House sources described Harward as the “toughest guy in the SEALs” and a “real rock.”

A senior administration official added that if Howard is the choice to replace Flynn, he could be in place by the end of the week.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. has been floated as a permanent replacement for Flynn. Trump named him the acting national security adviser after Flynn resigned.

Kellogg is a decorated U.S. Army veteran, having served from 1967 to 2003. He earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device and the Air Medal with “V” device during his time in the Vietnam War.

Kellogg was chief operating officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, the interim governing body following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. He previously worked as executive vice president of research and technology for Virginia-based information technology firm CACI International, which works as a contractor for defense, intelligence and homeland security agencies.

Another name floated as a possible replacement for Flynn is retired Gen. David Petraeus.

Trump routinely dropped Petraeus’ name during his election campaign. Trump said that Petraeus was punished more severely for leaking classified documents to his mistress than Hillary Clinton was punished for setting up a private email server during his time as Secretary of State.

READ: MICHAEL FLYNN’S LETTER OF RESIGNATION AS NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

Petraeus was briefly considered for the secretary of state job, but was passed up because of his rocky tenure as CIA chief and the possibility that he wouldn’t be confirmed in the Senate because of those issues.

According to the Washington Examiner, Bush’s former national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Tom Bossert, a former national security aide under Bush have been considered a Flynn’s replacement. The paper added that Adm. James Stavridis, a dean at Tufts University, is also on the table.

Flynn’s resignation ended speculation about his fate following reports he had misled Vice President Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia.

Flynn conceded that discussions of sanctions may have come up during several calls with the Russian ambassador during the transition period leading up to Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

He acknowledged that he gave “incomplete information” about those discussions to Pence who, apparently relying on information from the national security adviser, initially said Flynn had not discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy.

Whoever emerges as Trump’s choice will take the helm of the National Security Council at a time when the young administration is grappling with a series of national security challenges, including North Korea’s reported ballistic missile launch. The president, who was joined at his Mar-a-Lago estate by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend, voiced solidarity with Japan.

The White House is also dealing with fallout from the rocky rollout of Trump’s immigration executive order, which has been blocked by the courts. The order was intended to suspend the nation’s refugee program and bar citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Also see:

Petraeus would be a disaster — a stalwart of the old establishment in an administration that said it would “drain the swamp.”

In May 2016, he published what was essentially an anti Trump screed, saying that proposals to restrict immigration from Muslim countries that are hotspots of jihad terror shouldn’t even be made, so as to avoid offending Muslims.

He was in favor of using al Qaeda jihadis to defeat the Islamic State, which would give us a region full of al-Qaeda jihadis with American weapons and materiel who hate the United States and want to destroy it. (This is essentially what we have now in Syria, where Obama armed “moderates” who were really al-Qaeda jihadis.)

When he headed up the international coalition in Afghanistan, he said that Florida pastor Terry Jones’ plan to burn the Qur’an was “hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible.” He warned that the Qur’an-burning would endanger American troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere. He issued a statement saying that he hoped “the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the holy Quran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people.”

I opposed the Qur’an-burning, but not for the reasons Petraeus did. I don’t like the burning of books. And I’d rather that the contents of the Qur’an, and the ways that jihadists use those contents to justify violence, be known. However, Jones was free to do what he wanted to do. Petraeus would have done better to have told the Afghans that in America we have freedom of speech and expression, and that we put up with speech and expression that we dislike without trying to kill the speaker.

He has never shown evidence of having a clue about the jihad threat.

Flynn Resignation Raises Tough Questions for FBI, Intel Services

Michael Flynn

Breitbart, by Joel Pollak, February 14, 2017:

The resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Monday evening raises troubling questions about the role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the intelligence services.

Flynn ostensibly resigned because he provided Vice President Mike Pence with “incomplete information” about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador, which turned out to include a discussion of recent sanctions, contrary to his earlier denials. Trust is crucial; the resignation was warranted.

That said, the sanctions were largely bogus, and were applied not just to punish Russia for spying on the U.S. (both countries clearly spy on each other), but to substantiate the Democratic Party’s sore-loser conspiracy theory that Russia was responsible for electing Donald Trump.

There is no concrete evidence to support that theory, and there is no evidence (yet) that Flynn did anything but discuss sanctions in the most general terms. He did not break the Logan Act, nor any other law, apparently.

Whether Flynn deliberately concealed the contents of his conversation from Vice President Pence, or merely forgot what had been said, he was “caught” because the Department of Justice had been eavesdropping on the conversation. And one of the officials responsible for ordering the eavesdropping was none other than Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who forced President Trump to fire her when she defied her duty to enforce his executive order on immigration, however, controversial.

Four possibilities emerge. One, which the media and the Democrats (largely one and the same) clearly believe, is that Flynn really was a potential Russian plant, perhaps indicating much deeper Russian penetration of the campaign and administration.

A second possibility is that things really are what they seem, on the surface, to be. Russia’s unusual response to the sanctions — declining to retaliate — was so bizarre that it warranted investigation, which then raised legitimate suspicions about Flynn.

The remaining possibilities are more worrying. The third explanation is that President Obama deliberately, and cleverly, used the bogus sanctions as a “blue dye” test to expose which strings Russia might try to pull to relieve them. Flynn, with a prior relationship with the Russian government, may have been a natural, innocuous point of contact — or perhaps something more.

The fourth and most worrying explanation is that the government was not merely monitoring the communications of Russian diplomats, but of the Trump transition team itself. The fact that the contents of Flynn’s phone conversation — highly sensitive intelligence — were leaked to the media suggests that someone with access to that information also has a political axe to grind.

Democrats are clamoring for a deeper investigation of Russian ties to Trump. But the more serious question is whether our nation’s intelligence services were involved in what amounts to political espionage against the newly-elected government.

We know that there are hundreds and perhaps thousands of federal bureaucrats already using shadow communications systems. How far does that “shadow government” go?

The FBI, CIA and other agencies ought to reassure Congress, or come clean.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Also see:

Flynn Out as National Security Advisor, Admits Telling VP ‘Incomplete’ Story of Russia Contacts

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, FEBRUARY 13, 2017:

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s national security advisor, Michael Flynn, stepped down late Monday after only three weeks on the job in the wake of reports that he had discussed sanctions with Russia’s ambassador and could be vulnerable to Kremlin blackmail.

Trump named Flynn’s retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr., as the acting national security advisor. Kellogg is a former director of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Gen. David Petraeus, who was at one point a candidate for secretary of State, is reportedly visiting the White House on Tuesday. The former CENTCOM commander and CIA director testified on Capitol Hill at the beginning of the month that “we especially need Muslim allies” and that Trump’s travel ban could be counterproductive. “Our Muslim country partners are the ones who are on the front lines and it is, again, a struggle within their civilization, even more than it is between our civilizations — and we don’t want to heighten the differences between those civilizations,” Petraeus told the House Armed Services Committee.

National security advisor is not a position that requires Senate confirmation, so Trump can fill the position as quickly as he likes.

Flynn, a retired three-star Army general and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, campaigned for Trump and spoke at the Republican National Convention. On Dec. 29, after the president-elect appointed Flynn as the incoming national security advisor, then-President Obama levied additional sanctions on Russia in response to the intelligence community finding that the Kremlin waged an influence operation, including hacking, against the U.S. presidential election. That same day, Flynn spoke with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn claimed he and Kislyak exchanged holiday greetings and didn’t talk about sanctions, but soon after their conversation Russian President Vladimir Putin raised eyebrows by announcing he wouldn’t retaliate for Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats. Vice President Mike Pence also publicly denied that sanctions were discussed on the call.

The Washington Post and New York Times both reported that Flynn did talk sanctions with the Russian envoy, information reportedly gleaned from intelligence services’ transcripts. The Post reported today that Sally Yates, the acting attorney general recently fired by Trump for refusing to defend his travel ban, had warned the White House while still at the Justice Department that Flynn was not telling the truth about his conversations with Russian officials and was vulnerable to Kremlin blackmail.

In a statement released by the White House, Flynn said that during the transition he “held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors” to “facilitate a smooth transition and begin to build the necessary relationships between the president, his advisors and foreign leaders.”

“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology,” Flynn said.

“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way. I am also extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.”

Flynn further declared Trump’s administration would “go down in history as one of the greatest presidencies in U.S. history.”

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC earlier Monday that Flynn “does enjoy the full confidence of the president.”

“General Flynn has said he can’t recall and that he had about 30 phone calls with, I guess, leaders at the time and since then, 70, I’m told, with different leaders,” Conway said. “And I’ll just leave his comments at that.”

“You’re asking me what did he talk about with people when I wasn’t on the phone. So the only way for me to answer that is to tell you what he has said, which is that he can’t recall. And what he informed the vice president at the time, through a conversation, was that he had not, the vice president went out on TV, as you know, in January, and repeated that based on the conversation he had with General Flynn,” Conway added before admonishing the network for covering the Flynn story.

Republican lawmakers tread carefully around the story during the day, as well. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told CNN Monday afternoon that he was sure Trump was “trying to find out what General Flynn told the vice president, what really General Flynn’s recollections were.”

“He wasn’t privy to those conversations either, so he’s probably gathering the facts. I’ve always thought that telling the truth is the best policy,” Johnson said. “…It’s really not my role to advise and consent on this particular position, so I’ll leave that up to the president. He’ll get to the bottom of it, and he’ll make his determination.”

Democrats began the day, though, going for the kill. “This comes on the heels of a troubled past, when he was the head of the DIA,” House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told MSNBC. “But if this is someone who can’t remember whether he discussed with the Russian ambassador sanctions that the president placed on Russia that very day, that really strains credulity. It’s very hard to believe. And we need a national security adviser that the president can trust, that the American people can trust.”

Schiff said Flynn’s contacts should be within the scope of the Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russia’s covert influence operations in the United States.

“Certainly, if there were contacts between Flynn as a chief surrogate for the Trump campaign and the Kremlin during the campaign, that’s well within our purview,” he said. “If those contacts continued after, and, indeed, the subject of sanctions was raised and then Flynn was misleading about it, that ought to be something that has to be investigated.”

The CIA really is out to get General Flynn

gettyimages-623849086PJ MEDIA, BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN, FEBRUARY 13, 2017

How come no-one is accusing NSA Director Michael Flynn of taking bribes from Turkey’s dictator Recep Erdogan? Not long ago, they did. Last November 18, Commentary Magazine’s Noah Rothman called Flynn a “dubious choice” for the National Security Council because his consulting company had a Turkish client, adding that Flynn’s views on Turkey raised a “conflict of interest.” Flynn had published an article in The Hill on Nov. 8 warning that America’s dalliance with the messianic Turkish Islamist and alleged coup plotter Fetullah Guelen might undermine the country’s relationship with NATO, at a time when Russia was giving Turkey the full court press.

On Dec. 2, I wrote in Asia Times that Commentary’s Rothman probably was stooging for a CIA disinformation campaign against Flynn. Not only did Flynn propose to deep-six Guelen, a longstanding friend of the CIA, but he had blown the whistle on CIA incompetence in Syria. Flynn’s Defense Intelligence Agency produced a now-notorious 2012 report warning that chaos in Syria’s civil war enabled the rise of a new Caliphate movement, namely ISIS. For full back ground, see Brad Hoff’s July 2016 essay in Foreign Policy Journal: Flynn humiliated the bungling CIA and exposed the incompetence and deception of the Obama Administration, and got fired for it. If anyone doubts the depth of CIA incompetence in Syria, I recommended an account that appeared this month in the London Financial Times.

In November, Flynn warned that the U.S. stood to lose its Turkish ally, to the benefit of Russia–and got attacked as a Turkish agent. That doesn’t square with the current round of disinformation, which paints Flynn as pro-Russian. Flynn’s detractors rely on a fake-news media which forgets the story it spun a couple of months ago when it contradicts the story it is spinning today.

I don’t know why Flynn talked to the Russian ambassador about the incoming Trump Administration’s prospective policy on sanctions, or what transpired in the White House regarding mis-statements that Flynn may or may not have made about such discussions. Senior officials speak to their counterparts in other countries all the time, and for obvious reasons do not want these conversations to become public. The intelligence community, though, was taping Flynn’s discussions, and the transcripts (of whose existence we are told but whose contents we have not seen) were used to embarrass him.

A couple of observations are in order.

First, the allegation of various Democrats that Flynn violated the 1799 Logan Act is silly. No-one ever has been prosecuted under the Logan Act. It forbids US citizens from communicating with foreign governments “with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.” Flynn reportedly was talking about prospective policies of an administration that would take office in a matter of days; it is absurd to construe such discussions, whatever they may have contained, as an intent to undermine disputes with the United States.

Second, two narratives are running simultaneously in the media which appear to support each other, but actually consist of entirely independent bubbles of hot air. One is that Flynn misspoke about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, an allegation I cannot evaluate but find neither important nor interesting. The second is that the “Intelligence Community pushes back against a White House it considers leaky, untruthful and penetrated by the Kremlin,” as retired intelligence officer John Schindler alleged today in The Observer. Not a single fact is presented in Schindler’s account nor in several similar accounts circulating in the media. What leaks? Penetrated by whom? Sen. Joseph McCarthy could do better than that.

Third, the CIA has gone out of its way to sandbag Flynn at the National Security Council. As Politico reports: “On Friday, one of Flynn’s closest deputies on the NSC, senior director for Africa Robin Townley, was informed that the Central Intelligence Agency had rejected his request for an elite security clearance required for service on the NSC, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.” Townley held precisely the same security clearance at the Department of Defense for seventeen years, yet he was blackballed without explanation. At DoD, Townley had a stellar reputation as a Middle East and Africa expert, and the denial of his clearance is hard to explain except as bureaucratic backstabbing.

Fourth, Gen. Flynn is the hardest of hardliners with respect to Russia within the Trump camp. In his 2016 book Field of Fight (co-authored with PJ Media’s Michael Ledeen), Flynn warned of “an international alliance of evil movements and countries that is working to destroy us….The war is on. We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.” The unsubstantiated allegation that he presides over a “leaky” National Security Council tilting towards Russia makes no sense. The only leaks of which we know are politically-motivated reports coming from the intelligence community designed to disrupt the normal workings of a democratic government–something that raises grave Constitutional issues.

Flynn is the one senior US intelligence officer with the guts to blow the whistle on a series of catastrophic intelligence and operational failures. The available facts point to the conclusion that elements of the humiliated (and perhaps soon-to-be-unemployed) intelligence community is trying to exact vengeance against a principled and patriotic officer. When the Turkish smear against Flynn came out in November, I smelled a rat. The present affair stinks like a dumpster full of dead rats.

Here’s What Trump Administration Officials Think Of The Muslim Brotherhood

Daily Caller, by Chuck Ross, February 9, 2017:

The Trump administration is reportedly weighing whether to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization along with ISIS, al-Qaeda and dozens of other groups.

The internal deliberations were reported earlier this week by The New York Times. Critics have come out against the designation, claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood, despite having some jihad-minded offshoots, is the best firewall available to the U.S. in its fight against violent terrorist groups in the Middle East.

Politico reported on Wednesday that CIA officials urged against the terror designation in a briefing prepared last month.

It is still unclear how the Trump administration would go about enacting any terror designation for the Muslim Brotherhood. An executive order enacting a designation may not meet legal standards. Trump could order the State Department to explore the Muslim Brotherhood’s status.

However any terror designation would unfold, several players in the Trump administration have been heavily critical of the Muslim Brotherhood. And at least one, CIA director Mike Pompeo, has explicitly endorsed the terror designation.

The White House declined a request for comment on the status of any terror designation plan. During a Wednesday press conference, White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to elaborate but also did not deny that discussions about the terror designation are taking place.

Mike Pompeo, CIA director

Pompeo’s past stance on the Muslim Brotherhood would appear to conflict with his new agency’s position, as stated in the brief the CIA compiled last month.

Mike Pompeo at January 12, 2017 Senate confirmation hearing (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Mike Pompeo at January 12, 2017 Senate confirmation hearing (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

As a member of Congress from Kansas, Pompeo supported a proposed bill which would have designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group. The bill also linked the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim activist group in the U.S., to the Muslim Brotherhood.

A similar bill was reintroduced last month by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

CAIR and other groups like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) were named unindicted co-conspirators in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) case. HLF officials were found guilty of funneling money to Hamas, the terror group that was founded by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. CAIR has come out against designating the Brotherhood a terror organization.

Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist

Bannon, the former chairman of Breitbart News, has long spoken out against radical Islam and the threat posed by jihadis. Breitbart is perhaps the largest news outlet in America focusing on the issue.

And as The Washington Post recently revealed, Bannon submitted a film proposal in 2007 that referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as “the foundation of modern terrorism.”

Stephen Bannon (REUTERS)

Stephen Bannon (REUTERS)

The film, which Bannon was to direct, was entitled “Destroying the Great Satan: The Rise of Islamic Fascism in America.”

Bannon has also discussed the Muslim Brotherhood extensively on a radio show he hosted while still with Breitbart. After Bannon emerged as a Trump campaign adviser, liberal groups, including Media Matters, accused him of making false claims about Muslim Brotherhood’s links to various public figures.

Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Trump

Gorka, a counterterrorism expert and former Breitbart News editor, has commented extensively on the Muslim Brotherhood.

His now-defunct website has Muslim Brotherhood labeled under its “Terrorism” section.

One link on the website is to a 2014 speech he gave at the U.S. Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

In it, Gorka tied to ideological underpinnings of modern terrorist groups to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded by Egyptian scholar Hassan al-Banna in 1928.

“We must understand al-Qaeda, not as something that was created by Osama bin Laden simply on the foundations of the Arab mujahedeen movement. Rather, it is the product of decades of ideological evolution that started with the Muslim Brotherhood,” Gorka said.

“I am afraid of al-Qaeda’s soft jihadi colleagues, those who will not use violence — organizations such as The Muslim Brotherhood — that use legal tools, economic tools and lawfare as a weapon to undermine our constitutional order,” he added.

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Last year Gorka wrote a piece going after CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America, two prominent activist groups that were founded by Muslim Brotherhood members.

“Both CAIR and ISNA will be fully aware of the significance of November 14th, seeing as both organizations were declared by a federal court to be unindicted co-conspirators of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood terror group, in the largest terrorist financing trial in US history,” he wrote, referring to the Holy Land Foundation case.

He also asserted that Muslim members “of Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood” have a “supremacist understanding” of Islam.

Gorka spoke most extensively about the Muslim Brotherhood in an interview last year with Frank Gaffney, the head of the Center for Security Policy and a vocal critic of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“What we face today and have done since 9/11…is really a totalitarian ideology that has deep roots going back to the Muslim Brotherhood, to the disillusion of the caliphate originally in the 20th century and that we have to understand that this ideology has various expressions,” said Gorka.

Frank Gaffney, former Donald Trump and Ted Cruz adviser (The Daily Caller)

Frank Gaffney, former Donald Trump and Ted Cruz adviser (The Daily Caller)

He also suggested comparing the U.S. Constitution “to the founding charter of the Muslim Brotherhood, or Hamas, or…any of the organizations associated with front groups connected to the Brotherhood.”

“They define themselves against individual liberty, against freedom and democracy,” he said.

Asked to describe the Muslim Brotherhood, Gorka called it “a many faceted thing.”

“The Brotherhood represents itself in different ways to different audiences,” he said. To diplomats, Brotherhood members claim to support democracy.

“Unfortunately, people who don’t crack open a history book don’t understand that this organization has killed prime ministers, killed heads of state, blown up civilians, murdered all kinds of individuals who resist them,” Gorka said.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is an overt political organization in the Middle East, banned in many countries, and also a covert and underground subversive organization with an international network.”

He went on to say that groups like al-Qaeda, Hamas and Brotherhood-linked political groups like CAIR are “all fathered…all sired by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

He said that the Muslim Brotherhood in U.S. uses “agents of influence” like CAIR and ISNA to shape U.S. policy.

Gorka’s wife, Katie, supports designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

In 2014, Gorka, who is serving in a transition role at the Department of Homeland Security, asked in an article at Family Security Matters: “Given the Brotherhood’s long history of violence, including assassinations and attempted assassinations of Egyptian leaders, the question is why were they not designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) long before now?”

KT McFarland, deputy national security adviser

In a 2011 radio interview, McFarland, who served as Pentagon spokeswoman during the Ronald Reagan administration, said that the Muslim Brotherhood has not, despite their long-standing claims, renounced violence.

In an interview on WMAL, the host noted that the Muslim Brotherhood has said it has disavowed violence.

“Well they haven’t,” McFarland interjected.

“The Muslim Brotherhood was the godfather of al-Qaeda. The number 2 guy in al-Qaeda was Muslim Brotherhood,” she added.

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McFarland then said that she frequently visited the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website. That version preached unity and cooperation with non-Muslims, she said. But the Arabic version espoused a more radical worldview, she claimed.

“They’ve got the crossed scimitars, and they say ‘be prepared, be ready,’” said McFarland of the site.

Michael Flynn, national security adviser

Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, famously broke with the Obama administration regarding the threat posed by Islamic terrorists. He spoke out after leaving his DIA post in 2014, accusing Obama of failing to curtail ISIS. He has also said that U.S. foreign policy is too politically correct regarding the threat of radical Islam.

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn at Trump Tower (REUTERS)

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn at Trump Tower (REUTERS)

Flynn has not said much publicly about the Muslim Brotherhood. But he has sung the praises of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian general who took power after the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in 2013.

“He took his religion on. He took this ideology on,” Flynn said of el-Sisi during a speech in July.

As Trump’s top adviser on national security issues, Flynn would have significant input on any decision regarding designation.

Rex Tillerson, secretary of state

As secretary of state, Tillerson would also have a prominent role in deciding whether the Muslim Brotherhood should wear the label of “terror group.”

The former Exxon Mobil CEO had said nothing in public about the Muslim Brotherhood until last month, during his Senate confirmation.

Rex Tillerson at Senate confirmation hearing (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Rex Tillerson at Senate confirmation hearing (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

During the hearing, Tillerson lumped the Muslim Brotherhood in with groups like al-Qeada.

In his opening statement, he said that the U.S. government must “increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and certain elements within Iran.”

Media Covers Fake Mike Flynn Story, Ignores Bombshell on Secret Obama/Iran Meetings

(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

PJ Media, by David Steinberg, January 25, 2017:

If mainstream media truly wishes to repair its image with the general public, these outlets must recognize they do not merely suffer from a “bubble” reinforced by overwhelmingly liberal staffing, or from supposedly insufficient outreach to working class communities.

The mainstream’s issues are apparent in their content choices, suggesting an intractable problem. Following decades of allowing the Democratic Party to select the day’s narrative, they possess no measure of professional competence for objectively judging the importance of information.

The media’s remarkably different responses to the following two stories offer a definitive example:

1. Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser, made a series of phone calls and texts to Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak on December 29, 2016. On that day, then-President Barack Obama had revealed that he was issuing sanctions against Russia for its supposed hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

2. Per the Washington Free Beacon: “Two high-level Iranian government backers, including a former Islamic Republic official and another accused of lobbying on Tehran’s behalf, were hosted at the Obama White House for more than 30 meetings with top officials at key junctures in the former administration’s contested diplomacy with Iran …

“Sources familiar with the nature of the meetings told the Washington Free Beacon that both Parsi and Mousavian helped the White House craft its pro-Iran messaging and talking points that helped lead to the nuclear agreement with Iran. These efforts were part of a larger pro-Iran deal ‘echo chamber’ led by senior Obama administration officials who were tasked with misleading Congress about the nature of the deal …”

Just about every mainstream outlet has covered the Michael Flynn story with multiple articles: Newsweek, CNN, Daily Beast, CBS News, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and others — a thorough search returns dozens of high-profile sources that published highly trafficked pieces.

Several pundits demanded answers, pointing to the calls as further evidence of Donald Trump having aligned himself with Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial regime, and having allowed Putin to direct elements of his campaign and his coming presidency. Later, these same outlets announced that an “FBI investigation” into Flynn’s calls and texts had commenced.

But this week, we learn the hysteria about Flynn and the FBI appears to have been unwarranted. The outlets which had previously inflated the story have since backed down.

As you read their follow-up stories below, note the cause of their initial hysteria: you know of the Mike Flynn story simply due to journalistic ineptitude — specifically, the journalists’ ignorance of diplomatic practices — combined with their predetermined acceptance of the Trump/Russia narrative.

Yesterday, per NBC News:

FBI Finds Nothing Amiss in Flynn-Russia Eavesdrop: Official

The FBI eavesdropped on telephone calls between President Donald Trump’s national security adviser and the Russian ambassador but found nothing improper, a U.S. intelligence official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said late Monday that there was never a formal “investigation” of the calls in December between retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn and Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador in Washington.

According to the source, who was confirming a Washington Post report earlier Monday, intelligence officials merely listened inas part of routine eavesdropping on Kislyak.

The former official, who requested anonymity to speak about sensitive information, said it was not uncommon for diplomats or other U.S. officials to garner such attention to if they are recorded talking to foreign counterparts. Rarely anything comes of this, however, because U.S. officials have wide latitude in how they communicate as part of their jobs.

And this is how the Washington Post article referenced above described the calls:

The FBI’s counterintelligence agents listen to calls all the time that do not pertain to any open investigation, current and former law enforcement officials said. Often, said one former official, “they’re just monitoring the other [foreign official] side of the call.”

Both Flynn, a former head of the Pentagon’s intelligence agency, and Kislyak, a seasoned diplomat, are probably aware that Kislyak’s phone calls and texts are being monitored, current and former officials said. That would make it highly unlikely, the individuals said, that the men would allow their calls to be conduits of illegal coordination.

Has the damage been done, however? When you hear “Mike Flynn,” do you immediately consider him through the lens of this story?

Objectively, you should not, and further, you should not trust anything you have heard regarding Mike Flynn that traces to those outlets. They have shown both incompetence on the subject and vulnerability to a cynical Democratic Party narrative intended to damage Donald Trump’s presidency.

Re-watch the Clinton-Trump debates: Clinton pulls focus towards Russia to minimize coverage of the scandalous content of John Podesta’s emails. Further, following Trump’s victory, President Obama announced the aforementioned sanctions against Russia, knowing such sanctions brought no tangible punishment to Putin — then-President Elect Trump could rescind them within a month’s time. Obama’s motivations bear no rational explanation beyond continuing the narrative of Trump as an illegitimate president and pawn of Vladimir Putin.

Obama was successful — these outlets proved to have been primed to run with later information, such as the Mike Flynn story, to further the Trump/Russia narrative.

Now, return to yesterday’s exclusive story from Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon:

Seyed Mousavian, a former Iranian diplomat and head of its national security council, was hosted at the White House at least three times, while Trita Parsi, a pro-Iran advocate long accused of hiding his ties to the Iranian government, met with Obama administration officials some 33 times, according to recently updated visitor logs.

The implications of this story, considering Obama adviser Ben Rhodes later opened up about the extent of the Obama administration’s duplicity with the public on the Iranian nuclear deal, are objectively relevant to anything else an America voter may read or believe regarding our national security. The Obama administration was surreptitiously welcoming counsel from two enemies of the state while crafting a treaty supposedly intended to prevent that enemy — a genocidal regime with a messianic bent — from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Here’s how that Ben Rhodes article described how Obama misled America (link is to David Reaboi of The Federalist):

In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. ‘ We created an echo chamber,’ [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘ They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.’

Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once. Ned Price, Rhodes’s assistant, gave me a primer on how it’s done. The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums … “But then there are sort of these force multipliers,” he said, adding, “We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them—”

“I can name them,” I said, ticking off a few names of prominent Washington reporters and columnists who often tweet in sync with White House messaging.

Price laughed. ‘I’ll say, “Hey, look, some people are spinning this narrative that this is a sign of American weakness,”’ he continued, “but—”

“In fact it’s a sign of strength!” I said, chuckling.

These same “often-clueless” reporters the Obama administration was “ventriloquizing” were just utilized as gleeful political pawns yet again. Mike Flynn’s brief calls and texts with the Russian ambassador should have immediately been dismissed as common diplomatic activity; they weren’t, in service of a cynical political end sought by not just the Democratic Party, but by the media outlets themselves.

However, the Obama White House meetings with Mousavian and Parsi — dozens of meetings — can not rationally be attributed as common diplomatic contact. Even after Ben Rhodes spilled his secrets — and not due to the weight of guilt, but due to pride in his work — we still do not know the extent of the Obama administration’s deceitful behavior during the passage of a bill that holds ramifications for global stability.

To summarize, the information uncovered by Adam Kredo is real news.

The Flynn story has been exposed as nothing notable beyond its potential as a political club; it was fake news.

As of this moment, not a single mainstream outlet has picked up the Adam Kredo story.

PJ Media and other “new media” outlets have, though.

As the mainstream continues to humiliate itself in an attempt to maintain a monopoly on information exiting Washington, D.C., the general public — and certainly, the voters — has developed an awareness that the mainstream’s status as gatekeeper has always been artificial. It certainly never had anything to do with competence.

Gaffney: The ‘Big Lie’ Is Back

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by Frank Gaffney, November 22, 2016:

In 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to use “some old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” against those whose exercise of free speech “we abhor.”

At the time, she had in mind specifically perpetrators of what the OIC, the Muslim Brotherhood, other Islamic supremacists and their enablers on the Left call “defamation of Islam.” But the same playbook – in the tradition of Mrs. Clinton’s mentor, Saul Alinsky – is now being followed with a vengeance against what is abhorred by the cabal best described as the Red-Green Axis.

Much in evidence among such “old-fashioned techniques” now being employed is what’s known as “the Big Lie.” It entails the endless repetition of outrageous falsehoods to defame, and ultimately silence, one’s political opponents.

Three good men Donald Trump has selected for key strategic and national security positions are currently getting the Big Lie treatment: his White House Counsel Steve Bannon, Attorney General-designate Senator Jeff Sessions, and incoming National Security Advisor Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. They are being relentlessly vilified as “racists,” “bigots” and “haters.”

I feel these able public servants’ pain. Indeed, I know what it’s like to be subjected to the Big Lie. For years, the Islamists and their allies on the hard Left – notably, the discredited (for example, here and here) Southern Poverty Law Center – have used character assassination and vitriol against me (for example, here, here and here) to protect what they otherwise cannot defend: the totalitarian program its adherents call Sharia. The false assertion last week that I had been asked to serve on the Trump transition team sent these rogues into fresh paroxysms of hateful denunciation, repeated like a mantra by their media echo chamber (for example, here, here, here and here).

I am hardly alone in being diagnosed by such charlatans with the made-up condition of “Islamophobia.” Indeed, I am proud to be included in the company of men and women being pilloried for what Islamic supremacists and their enablers would have us believe is “defamation of Islam.” In fact, it is simply informed, astute and courageous truth-telling about the global jihad movement and threat it poses. Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions and Mike Flynn are under assault for doing the same in this and other contexts.

It seems that critics are particularly unhinged by the clarity of these three men and the president they will serve about the fact that Islamic supremacism is not simply a menace overseas. The Red-Green types are determined to prevent Donald Trump from operationalizing the plan of action he described in a major address on the topic on August 15, 2016. Among its highlights are the following:

Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam. All actions should be oriented around this goal….Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam….

In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law. Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country….

Finally, we will pursue aggressive criminal or immigration charges against anyone who lends material support to terrorism. Similar to the effort to take down the mafia, this will be the understood mission of every federal investigator and prosecutor in the country. To accomplish a goal, you must state a mission: the support networks for Radical Islam in this country will be stripped out and removed one by one. Immigration officers will also have their powers restored: those who are guests in our country that are preaching hate will be asked to return home. (Emphasis added)

In short, the Red-Green Axis is having conniptions because the American people have now chosen to lead them a president and an administration that will not just be sensible about this threat. It is also determined to do the job Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their minions have adamantly shirked: protecting us against, rather than accommodating, Sharia. So the Big Lie and “other techniques of shaming and peer pressure” are now being applied with abandon to outstanding public servants in the hope of reducing their effectiveness and that of the presidency they will serve.

The transparent falsity and political agenda being served by such lies should, instead, discredit their perpetrators. For that to happen, however, the so-called “mainstream press” will have to stop lionizing the Big Liars and uncritically promoting their handiwork.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration. He is President of the Center for Security Policy.

Top Intel Official: Al Qaeda Worked on WMD in Iran

713_missile

New evidence of the bin Laden-Iran connection.

Weekly Standard, by Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, July 12, 2016:

Al Qaeda operatives based in Iran worked on chemical and biological weapons, according to a letter written to Osama bin Laden that is described in a new book by a top former U.S. intelligence official.

The letter was captured by a U.S. military sensitive site exploitation team during the raid on bin Laden’s Abbottabad headquarters in May 2011. It is described in Field of Fight, out Tuesday from Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Michael Ledeen of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“One letter to bin Laden reveals that al Qaeda was working on chemical and biological weapons in Iran,” Flynn writes.

Flynn’s claim, if true, significantly advances what we know about al Qaeda’s activity in Iran. The book was cleared by the intelligence community’s classification review process. And U.S. intelligence sources familiar with the bin Laden documents tell us the disclosure on al Qaeda’s WMD work is accurate.

Flynn notes that only a small subset of bin Laden’s files have been released to the public. The “Defense Intelligence Agency’s numerous summaries and analyses of the files remain classified,” too, Flynn writes. “But even the public peek gives us considerable insight into the capabilities of this very dangerous global organization.”

It’s not just al Qaeda.

“There’s a lot of information on Iran in the files and computer discs captured at the Pakistan hideout of Osama bin Laden,” Flynn writes in the introduction. The authors note that the relationship between Iran and al Qaeda “has always been strained” and “[s]ometimes bin Laden himself would erupt angrily at the Iranians.” Previously released documents and other evidence show that al Qaeda kidnapped an Iranian diplomat in order to force a hostage exchange and bin Laden was very concerned about the Iranians’ ability to track his family members.

And yet the book makes clear that Flynn believes there is much more to the al Qaeda-Iran relationship than the public has been told. And that’s not an accident. Obama administration “censors have been busy,” Flynn writes, blocking the release of the bin Laden documents to the public and, in some cases, to analysts inside the U.S. intelligence community. “Some of it—a tiny fraction—has been declassified and released, but the bulk of it is still under official seal. Those of us who have read bin Laden’s material know how important it is…”

Not surprisingly, Obama administration officials bristle at Flynn’s characterization of their lack of transparency and lack of urgency on jihadists and their state sponsors. “Mike Flynn, in true Kremlin form, has been peddling these baseless conspiracy theories for years. Anyone who thinks Iran was or is in bed with al Qaeda doesn’t know much about either,” an Obama administration official told THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

It’s an odd line of attack, given the fact that the Obama administration has repeatedly accused Iran of directly aiding al Qaeda. The Treasury and State Departments publicly accused the Iranian regime of allowing al Qaeda to operate inside Iran in: July 2011, December 2011, February 2012,July 2012,October 2012, May 2013, January 2014, February 2014, April 2014, and August 2014. In addition, in congressional testimony in February 2012, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the relationship as a “marriage of convenience.”

Asked about the administration’s own repeated statements pointing to the Iranian regime’s deal with al Qaeda, the administration official who dismissed Flynn’s claim as a “baseless conspiracy” theory declined to comment further.

The Flynn/Ledeen claim about al Qaeda’s WMD work in Iran comes with an interesting wrinkle. The authors preface their disclosure of al Qaeda’s work on “chemical and biological weapons in Iran” by suggesting that the revelation was included in documents already public.

But the only document released to date that seems to touch on the subject is a March 28, 2007, letter to an al Qaeda operative known as “Hafiz Sultan.” The letter, which discussed the possibility of Iran-based al Qaeda operatives using chlorine gas on Kurdish leaders and includes a likely reference to Atiyah ‘Abd-al-Rahman, was released by the administration via the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point in May 2012. President Obama’s Treasury Department has claimed that Rahman was appointed by Osama bin Laden “to serve as al Qaeda’s emissary in Iran, a position which allowed him to travel in and out of Iran with the permission of Iranian officials.” It is not, however, addressed to bin Laden and it does not include a reference to biological weapons.

And while the U.S. Treasury and State Department have repeatedly sanctioned al Qaeda’s operatives inside Iran and offered rewards for information on their activities, as noted, statements from Treasury and the State Department do not mention al Qaeda’s “chemical and biological weapons” work inside Iran.

The takeaway: It does not appear that the al Qaeda document referenced by Flynn has been released by the U.S. government.

Flynn and others who have seen the documents say there are more explosive revelations in the bin Laden files kept from the public. Those already released give us a hint. One document, released in 2015, is a letter presumably written by Osama bin Laden to the “Honorable brother Karim.” The recipient of the October 18, 2007, missive, “Karim,” was likely an al Qaeda veteran known Abu Ayyub al Masri, who led al Qaeda in the Iraq (AQI) at the time.

Bin Laden chastised the AQI leader for threatening to attack Iran. The al Qaeda master offered a number of reasons why this didn’t make sense. “You did not consult with us on that serious issue that affects the general welfare of all of us,” bin Laden wrote. “We expected you would consult with us for these important matters, for as you are aware, Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel, and communication, as well as the matter of hostages.”

That language from bin Laden sounds a lot like the language the Obama administration used in July 2011, when a statement from the U.S. Treasury noted that the network in Iran “serves as the core pipeline through which Al Qaeda moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia.”

David Cohen, who was then a top Treasury official and is now the number two official at the CIA, told us back then: “There is an agreement between the Iranian government and al Qaeda to allow this network to operate. There’s no dispute in the intelligence community on this.”

Why, then, is the Obama administration attempting to dismiss the cooperative relationship between Iran and al Qaeda as a “baseless conspiracy?” Good question.

And it’s one that releasing the rest of the documents could help answer.

Note: Flynn’s co-author Michael Ledeen is a colleague of Thomas Joscelyn at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.