Ben Friedman, a research fellow in defense and homeland security studies at America’s best think tank, the Cato Institute, explains to readers how the fast exit of Michael Flynn from the Trump administration could be the best possible outcome. Flynn was a hawk on Iran, and no American voting for Donald Trump was voting to put boots on the ground in yet another Middle Eastern boondoggle war. Friedman writes:
Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor is good news, mostly because it makes it slightly less likely that the Trump administration will blunder into a foolish war, especially with Iran. It won’t be the end of the scandal though, as it is hard to believe that the President was totally unaware of Flynn’s actions.
Flynn’s fall is surprising only for its speed. Since he gained prominence as a Joint Special Operations Command intelligence officer in Iraq for helping to develop the “find, fix, and finish” method of seizing or killing suspected insurgents and terrorists, Flynn has, to put it mildly, showed a deficit of the sound judgment needed in a National Security Advisor.
As head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn apparently pushed analysts to hype Iran’s malign influence and to find evidence that it had a hand in the 2011 Benghazi attack, feuded with senior staff, demonstrated hostility to dissent, favored conspiracy theories, and got fired for some combination of those things and generally poor management.
He wrote an overwrought book with Michael Ledeen which includes various dubious and unsubstantiated claims, especially about Iran, including that it is allied against the United States with jihadists, North Korea, China, Russia, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
Read more here.
Benjamin H. Friedman discusses leaks in the Trump administration on BBC Radio
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