This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 18, 2016:
On Thursday Donald Trump not only announced his appointment of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security advisor, but he also advised of a significant shift in Washington’s view of Islamic terrorism under his incoming administration.
What is Flynn’s background? A 33-year career Army soldier, he focused the last decade of his career on intelligence gathering, serving as director of intelligence for the U.S. Central Command, director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, director of intelligence for the International Security Assistance Force, and, finally, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was forced to retire a year earlier than planned by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (who, incidentally, just announced his retirement when President Obama leaves office in January). Flynn apparently got sideways with Clapper over the issue of Islamist terrorism.
Upon retiring in 2014, Flynn joined with his son in running the Flynn Intel Group, which, according to its mission statement, “focus[es] on all-source intelligence support to global challenges for the purpose of predicting, preventing, and when required, mitigating current and emerging risks to our clients.”
During the presidential election campaign, Flynn consulted on national security matters not only with Trump but also with presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz. In February of this year, Trump asked him serve as an official advisor to his campaign, and then in July he was reported to be on Trump’s short list of candidates to be his running mate.
A glimpse into Flynn’s worldview on the issue of national security and the threat posed by Islamist terrorism can be gleamed from the flyleaf of his new book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, which was released in July:
Ten years ago we found evidence that al-Qaeda was far more organized and adept than we had previously given them credit for. It took us nearly that long to locate and execute their leader, Osama bin Laden, and we are far from finished. Al-Qaeda has morphed into a much more dangerous, menacing threat: ISIS.
A war is being waged against us by radical Islamists, and, as current events demonstrate, they are only getting stronger. This book aims to inform the American people of the grave danger we face in the war on terror ― and will continue to face ― until our government takes decisive action against the terrorists that want nothing more than to destroy us and our way of life.
Such strong views are responsible for Flynn’s early departure under Clapper. Again, from the book:
A year before he was scheduled to retire, Flynn was sacked as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency for, among other things, telling a Congressional Committee that the American people are in more danger than we were just a few years ago. Why? …
Because our government has concealed the actions of terrorists like bin Laden and groups like ISIS, and the role of Iran in the rise of radical Islam, we don’t fully understand the enormity of the threat they pose against us.
As Trump’s national security advisor, a position that doesn’t require the consent of Congress, Flynn will sometimes outrank his yet-unnamed secretary of state and secretary of defense in influence on policy positions and strategic actions. The White House explains that the NSA oversees the National Security Council’s staff and is responsible “for coordinating the Administration’s foreign policy, intelligence and military efforts.” In short, while “the buck stops here” on the president’s desk, right next to him will be seated Lt. General Michael Flynn.
He will take the place of President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the left-wing policy wonk from the Brookings Institute who most notably soiled her reputation by lying about the cause of the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans on September 11, 2012. She infamously claimed that the deadly attack was not a premeditated assault but rather, as she told the believing press, a “spontaneous reaction” to “a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world.”
Tom Fitton, head of Judicial Watch, obtained documents from the State Department in March 2015 that contained damning evidence that “top aides for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton … knew from the outset that the Benghazi mission compound was under attack by armed assailants tied to a terrorist group.” There was, of course, no way that Rice couldn’t have known about the facts at the time she made her claim.
It is safe to conclude that Flynn will be bringing a heavy concentrated dose of reality about Islamist terrorism and its threat to the country’s national security to the Trump administration in his role as national security advisor.