I am always wary of conspiracy theories. Left or right, they have proliferated during my lifetime, and I don’t find the vast majority of them convincing.
I’ve written about this before (in particular here), and I haven’t changed my mind. So today, when reading article after article that posit a host of conspiracies about what’s behind the fall of Michael Flynn, I have continued to be wary.
On the other hand, there is something very fishy about the Flynn resignation story as it’s been presented to us minus the conspiracy theories. And that’s the sort of muddy soil in which conspiracy theories grow best. As I wrote at the outset:
You can read about the Flynn brouhaha here—and read about it and read about it and read about it, because it is being covered as though it’s another Watergate or worse. But I doubt you’ll get much clarity on it, although I encourage you to try.
I did. I’ve been reading about this for about two hours, and it still feels unusually murky.
That’s not my usual reaction to what I read. I may not always fully understand something, but from the start, this tale was accompanied by an unusual number of warning bells of all shapes and sizes.
So I present the following articles that set forth various conspiracy theories, and although I’m not exactly endorsing any one of them, I’m giving them somewhat more credence than usual, because I think that something is very very wrong here:
(1) Adam Kredo writes a piece with this theme:
The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.
(2) Eli Lake at Bloomberg writes:
But that’s all these allegations are at this point: unanswered questions. It’s possible that Flynn has more ties to Russia that he had kept from the public and his colleagues. It’s also possible that a group of national security bureaucrats and former Obama officials are selectively leaking highly sensitive law enforcement information to undermine the elected government.
Flynn was a fat target for the national security state. He has cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals.
He was also a fat target for Democrats…
(3) Here’s Allahpundit’s take on the article I linked in #1.
(4) Thomas Lifson at American Thinker points out what the CIA did:
Make no mistake: we have just witnessed an operation by members of the CIA to take out a high official of our own government. An agency widely believed to have brought down democratically elected governments overseas is now practicing the same dark arts in domestic American politics. Almost certainly, its new head, Mike Pompeo, was not consulted.
Senator Chuck Schumer, of all people, laid out on January 2 what was going to happen to the Trump administration if it dared take on the deep state – the permanent bureaucracy that has contempt for the will of the voters and feels entitled to run the government for its own benefit…
Note that the law was broken by whoever leaked the transcripts to the media. Not only is the crime underlying the “scandal” being ignored, but the criminals are being hailed.
But that’s been going on for a long, long time, and as recently as Snowden. Going back to Pentagon Papers days, Daniel Ellsberg expected to be charged with a crime for going to the press rather than Congress, and was well on his way towards being prosecuted but allegations of government misconduct in his prosecution put the kibosh on that. Regarding Watergate, newspaper informant “Deep Throat” was ultimately revealed years later as having been FBI associate director Mark Felt, who was hailed as a hero but may have been settling a few petty scores instead [emphasis mine]:
Instead of seeking out prosecutors at the Justice Department, or the House Judiciary Committee charged with investigating presidential wrongdoing, [Felt] methodically leaked information to Woodward and Bernstein to guide their investigation while keeping his own identity and involvement safely concealed.
Some conservatives who worked for Nixon, such as Pat Buchanan and G. Gordon Liddy, castigated Felt and asserted their belief that Nixon was unfairly hounded from office.
…by an FBI operative, working with the WaPo and reporters who were later regarded as heroes.