Donald Trump

Is Michael Flynn's Resignation a Sign of the Deep State's Power, or a Sign of Its Vulnerability?

The intelligence community is the most-entrenched bureaucracy of government. Does it answer to any president?

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Like Scott Shackford, I'm pro-leaks about government activities, especially when they serve to reveal covert actions and limit the power of the state. Revelations by the likes of William Binney, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden have all served this purpose even as they have proved catastrophic (in various degrees) to the leakers themselves.

The resignation of President Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after it became clear he lied about contact with the Russian ambassador before Trump's inauguration, is not so cut-and-dried, though. According to all reports, transcripts of calls involving Flynn showed considerable contact between Flynn and Russian state actors. Flynn was ostensibly cashiered because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence, which is a good-enough reason to can any employee. But as Eli Lake writes at Bloomberg View, that explanation is hardly convincing for an administration that is constantly bullshitting about everything from the size of the president's crowds to his business acumen. Something more is at work here, says Lake, and attention must be paid:

It's not even clear that Flynn lied. He says in his resignation letter that he did not deliberately leave out elements of his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak when he recounted them to Vice President Mike Pence. The New York Times and Washington Post reported that the transcript of the phone call reviewed over the weekend by the White House could be read different ways. One White House official with knowledge of the conversations told me that the Russian ambassador raised the sanctions to Flynn and that Flynn responded that the Trump team would be taking office in a few weeks and would review Russia policy and sanctions. That's neither illegal nor improper….

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.

Hopefully those conversations will be made public so that Americans can decide for themselves whether Flynn crossed various lines (Democrats are calling for the release). In the meantime, what we're left with is a pretty fearsome display of power by "deep state" actors in the intelligence community (IC) who were clearly threatened by Flynn, a temperamentally off would-be reformer of IC practices who had been fired by President Obama. Whether that amounts to what Lake calls "a political assassination" and Damon Linker calls a "soft coup" at The Week is open to debate. But one thing that seems pretty clear is that what we are witnessing is a clash between two major sources of power within the government—the executive branch and the IC—at war with each other. Lake again:

In normal times, the idea that U.S. officials entrusted with our most sensitive secrets would selectively disclose them to undermine the White House would alarm those worried about creeping authoritarianism. Imagine if intercepts of a call between Obama's incoming national security adviser and Iran's foreign minister leaked to the press before the nuclear negotiations began? The howls of indignation would be deafening.

Even before he took office, Donald Trump had inspired massive leaks by bureaucrats throughout the government. In any given case, the leaks might simply serve the purpose of threatened lifers who are trying to undercut a CEO-style president with no experience and little regard for conventional practices. When Trump announced plans to cut the federal work force (with regrettably large exceptions for defense-related and other personnel), the legacy media, itself an adjunct of the deep state in many ways, responded with tales of anxious and heroic government workers who might have to pound the pavement looking for new jobs.

But in the aggregate, the leaks inspired by Trump taking office serve the useful function of making visible the deep state and the permanent government in Washington that persists regardless of which party holds the White House and Congress. On the surface, that's demoralizing to those of us who are interested in shrinking the size, scope, and spending of government. It's the old "you can't fight City Hall" line extrapolated to the nth degree. Trump will almost certainly gain fuller control of government agencies once he purges Obama loyalists and folks interested in crippling his administration's ability to set its own agenda. But in the meantime, the "unprecedented" volume of leaks serve an ironic function against the people making them: They show the extent to which bureaucrats are dug in and willing to go to almost any length to maintain a status quo that is plainly not working not working for taxpayers and citizens. The government is deeply in debt due to persistent, high levels of spending, foreign policy in the 21st century has simply lurched from disaster to the next, the intel community has been exposed repeatedly for unauthorized and unaccountable surveillance, and more. Donald Trump's agenda, which veers clearly towards authoritarianism and paranoid secrecy in many ways, is forcing the deep state to make itself visible, which is a necessary (though not sufficient) step in cutting it down to size.

Watch "Edward Snowden v 1.0: NSA Whistleblower William Binney Tells All"

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  1. Wow! Great article. You hit it on the head.

    1. So that’s how a properly shitted-up comment section looks.

  2. Donald Trump’s agenda, which veers clearly towards authoritarianism and paranoid secrecy in many ways, is forcing the deep state to make itself visible, which is a necessar (though not sufficient) step in cutting it down to size.

    I said something similar yesterday, and I am slightly optimistic that putting a spotlight on the deep state will help lessen it’s power and influence.

    1. I don’t believe you said anything near to this. Your comments were basically: “Trump bad, this good”

    2. This spotlight hasn’t illuminated anything. The article is full of questions and provides little in the way of answers. There has been no first step taken to ‘smaller government’ other than the firing of one of Trump’s crackpot advisers.

      1. I think the desire for ‘smaller government’ in the present context is rather quaint, rather like the earnest Berners’ desire for actual social democracy. What’s going on right now is a factional struggle between elements of the ruling class, neither of which has the slightest interest in anything but war, empire, power, control, surveillance, and maybe a little plutocratic icing. On the one hand, the Deep State has most of the guns and trained murderers. On the other, Trump and company actually have a reliable prole base, which the Deep State doesn’t have. While the Trumpoid prole base probably cannot project power, they can make a lot of trouble. The Deep State is going to attempt to acquire a prole base through people like the Clintons, McCain, Obama, NYT, WaPo, and other pseudo-leftish spellbinders, but their prole base won’t be reliable for obvious reasons. The actual Left, which is yet another prole group, won’t join them, and is politically weak in terms of money, connections, and numbers, but they too can make a lot of trouble (Occupy, Black Lives Matter). I find the Russia fables hard to believe, but they may be in the mix, too. I can’t see ‘smaller government’ coming out of this.

  3. According to Chris Cuomo this morning on CNN. Trump is attempting to distract attention by talking about the “illegal” leak of the Flynn investigation – the source of the leak isn’t important, it’s the substance of the leak that is the real story.

    Funny – I seem to recall last year there were some leaks about Trump’s e-mails (IIRC, it may have been one of the other candidates who had their campaign manager’s e-mail account hacked but I’m not sure) and the source of the leaks was all that mattered to CNN, they said the substance of the leaked e-mails was not important and suggested it might even be illegal to be reporting the contents of the e-mails.

    1. You mean the DNC chairman, John Podesta?

    2. According to Chris Cuomo an insufferable douchebag this morning on CNN.

      FTFY.

      1. He really climbed the list fast, huh? 6 Months ago I had no idea who the hell he was. Now he is like the Chuck Schumer of fake news casters. I.e. he is such a big pile of shit asshole that it’s sometimes difficult to comprehend that he really exists.

    3. Holy Fuck. 1000% This!! Fucking hypocrits…

    4. The “leaks” have been highly selective. Until we see the original transcripts in their entirety, or hear the recordings, we cannot be assured that what we are being told is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.
      A lot of people have some ‘splainin’ to do here.

  4. If you want a revealing conversation with your left-wing friends and acquaintances ask them if they’re okay with an unaccountable state security apparatus sabotaging a democratically elected government if its a government they don’t like.

    For all their blustering about Trump’s supposed authoritarianism the state security apparatus is a much greater threat to liberty as its the closest thing we have to a Praetorian Guard.

    There is zero evidence Team Trump collaborated with Russian intelligence and while Flynn should be investigated as a matter of course on the face of it he’s guilty of nothing more than lying to his boss and embarrassing him. It really is mostly a housekeeping matter.

    1. And since the FBI informed the President of this pickle, did the President fully inform his Vice-President, or was he relying upon Flynn to bring Pence up-to-speed?
      “What we have here is a failure to communicate”?

  5. Flynn wasn’t the real target, Trump is. Check out CNN’s webpage today and you’ll understand.

    1. I think Flynn was the appetizer, and Trump is the entree.

      Feel free to use that line, but please do credit me.

      1. Would Pence then cap it off as the pi?ce de r?sistance?

  6. Trump will almost certainly gain fuller control of government agencies once he purges Obama loyalists

    LOL!

    What’s going on here is that they are quietly transitioning Trump out so that Pence can take over and run a more conventional government. Flynn’s ouster for lying to Pence is proof that Pence is quietly in control.

    1. That’s exactly what I’m afraid of. I’ve never quite been able to trust Pence, was very surprised Trump picked him, thought he would know better. Let’s hope it’s not true.

      1. I’ve had doubt about Pence ever since his mini-cave on the Religious Freedom issue in IN.

  7. My concern is that it looks like the deep state may have scuttled Flynn because of his reluctance to focus on starting a new Cold War. Flynn has characterized Russia as an adversary rather than an enemy. That runs counter to new Washington beltway consensus. I’m sure the Obamabots were happy to stick their finger in the eye of one of Trump’s people. But, they certainly seemed to have had the support of the “all-war-all-the-time” wing of the GOP.

    1. I think the deep state took out Flynn over his position on Obama’s Iran deal, which Flynn criticized and said he would undo.

  8. My concern is that it looks like the deep state may have scuttled Flynn because of his reluctance to focus on starting a new Cold War. Flynn has characterized Russia as an adversary rather than an enemy. That runs counter to new Washington beltway consensus. I’m sure the Obamabots were happy to stick their finger in the eye of one of Trump’s people. But, they certainly seemed to have had the support of the “all-war-all-the-time” wing of the GOP.

    1. You’re definitely right. And as I said below, a lot of this also has to do with the Islamonazis being the left’s best friends.

  9. Flynn’s strategy was to discredit the intelligence community while instigating terror attacks around the world – and to use the resulting crisis to justify an even more expansive police state. What he didn’t realize is that he undermined the CIA and FBI – the very groups that create terrorism in the first place. It was a feat of monumental stupidity. Now the intelligence agencies are trying to quietly retrench and resume business as usual. But it may already be too late – who’s going to fall for their next claim of ‘terrorists try to infiltrate refugee stream’? Flynn’s ouster was both a vindication of the deep state even as it spells its undoing. It’s all very funny.

  10. I’m so old, I remember when the scum on the left despised the Cold War and constantly carped about how we should have more talks and diplomacy with the (then) Soviet Union.

    Now that all these decades later we have an administration that agrees with them on that, those same lefty lowlifes hate the fact that we’re talking to Russia and they want the Cold War back again. What complete and total scum.

    I suspect the real reason why is because the left loves the Islamonazi terrorists, and they’re absolutely terrified of the idea of the U.S. and Russia establishing closer ties to oppose their throat-cutting friends.

    1. Aw snap. You nailed it!

      1. Yes Weigel, you’re one of the very people I’m referring to. Guys like you and Shackford are so sick and fucked up you love the very creeps that just want to cut your dumb-ass gay throats.

        1. SHUT UP U STUPID LIB FAGTARD GAYS WERE DYIN 4 UR SINS

    2. Except, I have little doubt you can find John McCain’s and his little mini-me Lindsay’s all over this.

      1. John, “take selfies with Sunni Islamist fighters and bomb-bomb Iran” McCain? Yes, he’s broadly ISIS-leaning just like the left.

    3. Now that all these decades later we have an administration that agrees with them on that, those same lefty lowlifes hate the fact that we’re talking to Russia and they want the Cold War back again.

      Probably has more to do with principals > principles. It’s Trump, so they’ll oppose whatever he does no matter what because he has the wrong letter after his name. He could take the exact opposite tack WRT Russia tomorrow and they’d be calling for more diplomacy and communication. Just look at their flip flop on free trade.

      1. Bingo. I had a conversation with a progtard colleague who was, in the beginning of the conversation, concerned that Trump was a Russian pawn, but by the end was concerned about Trump starting WWIII with Russia. I asked him why Putin’s pawn would start a nuclear war with Russia, since that probably isn’t in Russia’s interest. Much sputtering ensued. You can’t have it both ways.

    4. Not to mention the fact that Russia has a massive re-conversion to Russian Orthodoxy, religious and cultural, in the works, with which Putin is clearly aligned, defending traditional Christian morality and marriage, and suppressing the gay agenda. Western Christians love it, but leftists hate it. Their atheist communist “mother country” has morphed into Mother Church, so they must try to destroy it.

      1. Sincere question: Do that many western Christians love the Russian state?

        I’m deeply biased in how I view Russia, and a badly lapsed Catholic and all, but I don’t see Russia as a great beacon of Christendom in a dark world.

    5. “I’m so old, I remember when the scum on the left despised the Cold War and constantly carped about how we should have more talks and diplomacy with the (then) Soviet Union.”

      That was before FX started airing “The Americans”. Now both sides believe there are thousands of commie slimeballs living among us, just lying in wait. Maybe that’s why they felt the need to fuck up a classic and remake “Red Dawn”.

  11. Flynn’s strategy was to stage a series of terrorist threats against JCCs across the country to panic Jews into emigrating to Israel (similar strategies have been used successfully against Jews in Europe for years). Yet 2 days after the inauguration he is saber rattling with Iran – who respond with threats to nuke Jerusalem. So who’s going to emigrate now? He is an idiot of historical proportions.

    1. daijal, You seem to know all the strategies. You are, no doubt, a CIA analyst!

  12. 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.

    Seems like incentive for elected overlords to curtail that monitoring.

    1. I initially thought this was mass surveillance, but it was targeted at the communications of foreign officials. I think even libertarian-leaning officials would think long and hard before trying to restrict that. The larger point is that any such recordings should be considered state secrets, and leaking them should be punished. Leaking them for political influence should be punished especially harshly, since it is an assault on democracy as well on the rights of offended individual.

  13. TrumPutin’s strategy was to institute a travel ban against muslims to instigate violence in the middle east and use that as a pretext to nuke them to disrupt oil supplies to boost prices for Tillerson’s interests in the US and Russia. How’s that plan working out for you, my darling anarch0-frankentrumpkencucks-in-denial?

  14. I think we are making them out to be more powerful than they really are. The agencies arent monolithic blobs that move as one.

    If flynn didnt talk to them and lie then they wouldnt have had this to begin with

    If they are trying to get rid of trump as part of some big plan why tip hand. Now he can be more guarded

    Same deal with the dnc. The emails wouldnt have mattered which they didnt really if the dems werent assholes

  15. I suspect it is individuals or small groups within agencies with axe to grind

  16. OT: The trolls have finally motivated me to try getting Chrome/Reasonable on my iPhone.

  17. By the way, the leaker was almost certainly either James Clapper or John Brennan. Brennan is my most likely guess.

    1. I thought the previous ‘Russian hacked the election” leaks were one of them (since it explains why the Post and Co went after it so hard, if it wasn’t just some random agent), so that could be. One or both of them is certainly busy poisoning the well. Though I’d say Clapper because he already got away with stuff and probably believes he’s untouchable.

  18. If Trump really wants to protect the country from terrorism, he needs to vet the people who this country sent over to foreign lands and trained in tactical snipery. They are far more dangerous than a refugee from Somalia or other middle eastern country.

    1. Thanks for proving my point, Weigel. I know this is what you scum in the JournoList really believe: they’re the good guys and we’re the bad guys.

      1. I am not Weigel you idiot. How can I possibly each one of your own personal arch-enemies? Does that thought ever occur to you people?

  19. They show the extent to which bureaucrats are dug in and willing to go to almost any length to maintain a status quo that is plainly not working.

    Credit where credit is due, Nick Well done.

  20. I’m running on a platform to utterly abolish safe spaces for trolls. Can I count on your vote?

  21. I think these guys are all under control of the potboiler spy novelists who need more semi-plausible scenarios to write a ton more fictional books for us to consume while flying from airport to airport.

  22. “I happily announce my retirement and hand the presidency to Mike Pence. He will make a great president.”

    Get ready for this tweet – any day now. It’s a huge vindication of America and our people AND our government. I am proud of you!

  23. With judges legislating from the bench, congress more worried about their own selves more so than the people, and Presidents applying more and more unilateral power is it any wonder that we have a “permanent government” which is morphing into a police state and going after elected officials (let’s be real, the target is the President)? I was worried the Republic would fall (it’s been over 200 years) but it occurs to me that the government that I look at now isn’t the Republic the founding fathers gave to us, and which Franklin warned “if we can keep it”. Perhaps this one will fall and be replaced by a Constitutional Republic based upon a balance of power and guaranteed God given individual rights?

    1. Perhaps this one will fall and be replaced by a Constitutional Republic based upon a balance of power and guaranteed God given individual rights?

      I wouldn’t bet on it. When/ if this government collapses it won’t be replaced by that. I suspect we’ll probably go full commie.

      1. Agreed.

        A society that values individual rights is a society that understands individual rights.

        Our society CLEARLY does not understand individual rights.

  24. Trump was frightened for his business empire – he knew he was under assault from all sides. That’s why he ran for the presidency – to consolidate power and protect his legacy. He can be expected to become more erratic and hysterical and desperate as his regime crumbles around him. The key is to reassure him that he can keep his buildings. In addition to firing Flynn, the deep state also rejected Flynn’s associate for a security clearance. This shows that they have a steady hand on the wheel of the ‘ship of state’. It’s all very reassuring.

  25. An adversarial relationship between the intel community and Trump is probably best. Trump can go on the warpath and cut the IC down to size while they threaten to expose anything crazy he does. On the flipside, if they become allies, I expect some major civil liberty violations including expanded surveillance and collection.

    The Flynn thing could boil down to a one-sentance mention of Russian sanctions during the call for all we know, in which Flynn forgot. Or maybe he outright lied. It seems like small potatoes either way compared to private email servers, IRS targetting conservative groups, Climate Change “science”, etc.

    1. It’s de facto checks and balances, baby! As an average schmo, I think I’m more comfortable with that than with the WH and IC in cahoots with each other.

    2. I was thinking this as well… a bit of a silver lining to the whole thing. Trump thin-skinned-ness leads him to lash out and counter-attack his attackers regardless of potential negative consequences to him.

      I picture Trump and the IC like old-timey wooden naval battleships circling each other and blasting cannon holes in eachother’s sides… it’s a pleasant visual for government.

  26. As a millenial, I am very encouraged by Flynn’s ouster. It shows that Trump’s fascist ideology is crumbling. We will no longer have to subsidize healthcare for our frumpled uncle trumpkins, or pay for their stupid wall to fulfill some sick, sadistic fantasy of rounding people up by the millions on fake charges of ‘voter fraud’ and holding them indefinitely in prisons, and we will not be asked to subsidize the dead end factory jobs of the Trumpkins. It’s all very reassuring and gratifying. I’m proud to be an American. Let this be as a light to the rest of the world: Depose your despots!

    1. As a millenial

      Jesus Christ, you make Ozzie Osborne and Keith Richards look like pikers if you’re already this fucked up.

      1. Don’t hate me cuz I’m young n beautiful. 🙂

  27. As a millenial I’m relieved that Flynn’s scheme to boost the price of oil by disrupting supplies from the middle east with the brilliant plan to “bomb the hell out of them!’ has been exposed and quashed. I don’t want to pay more for oil, and I bet even the Trumpkencucks would agree.

    #FreeAddictionMyth

  28. Can we stop using the authoritarian name so much? It is becoming meaningless like facist.

    Trumps law and order is clearly trending towards authoritarian type action (remains to to be seen)

    Others so far not so much and the first amendmet issue of press or flag burning at this point appears more to be bluster.

    Stuff one does not like is not necessarily authoritarian. If it is used to describe everything it loses it meaning just like everyone having a college degree or getting a trophy

    1. Obama was not a good potus imo but he is no where near FDR who was probably the sorst and closest to an authoritarian (still not a hitler castro, mao, stalin level)

      1. Nah, Wilson

    2. Others so far not so much and the first amendmet issue of press or flag burning at this point appears more to be bluster.

      I would prefer to not have to wait until *after* the laws stripping people’s liberties away are in place to oppose them. The problem is not that we call too many things authoritarian, it’s that so much authoritarianism has become normalized.

      1. I agree. But you would need some semblance or indication that those laws are going to be put in place. What evidence do we have so far? Trump has actually not done a whole lot that is worth while.

        The problem is the electorate doesn’t really care.

  29. The intelligence community is the most-entrenched bureaucracy of government. Does it answer to any president?

    Nope. Pretty sure they do what they want.

  30. I’m honestly frightened for the stupid old frankentrumpkencucks. They were about to overdose on oxy when Trump came along and promised to make all their dreams come true. Now they are watching them crumble one after another, right before their eyes. I’m sorry my darling trumpkencucks. Don’t give up yet – there is still hope that Hillary will go to jail. Though, you probably shouldn’t support Petraus in that case. Oh sweeties. Don’t give up! Everything will be fine I promise!

  31. The abyss is exquisitely cross-contaminated.

    A scale this obvious probably harbors ill winds for the republic. Opportunities for malfeasance abound.

    Spook battles rattling the foundation of free society indicate something unseen is being routed… the political matrix likely contains a raging Leftist doppelganger with muscular tentacles arching far into the bureaucratic deeps.

  32. I’m just glad that Flynn is gone and I actually like the government infighting/sabotage. I hope that sort of thing becomes a trend.

    1. “I actually like the government infighting/sabotage”

      Ceaseless infighting can also be exploited by nasty rogues.

    2. If both sides were similarly powerful, it would be nice. As it stands, the side that is more sympathetic to the interests of Americans seems to be disadvantaged. If the Chicoms landed troops in DC, the fact that Washington is too distracted to bother us doesn’t mean I want them to be defeated.

  33. I have to laugh that the Trumpkins have to pretend to love Israel and sending billions to subsidize their universal healthcare system for muslims and rabbis who do nothing all day, as they work their asses off and lose their own healthcare subsidies. And how Trump was completely bitch-slapped by the media and judiciary and appointed Jews to all the top banking positions. It’s just too rich.

    Now tell us again how much you love Israel, you stupid trumpkins:

  34. Donald Trump’s agenda, which veers clearly towards authoritarianism and paranoid secrecy in many ways, is forcing the deep state to make itself visible, which is a necessar [sic] (though not sufficient) step in cutting it down to size.

    Only if people actually give a shit. Unfortunately, very few people do, and those that do care will be dismissed by the Deep State’s allies in the media as Trumpkins and Rethuglikkkan partisans. Nothing will change.

    1. Blame the JOOoooOOOsss!

  35. The intelligence community is the most-entrenched bureaucracy of government. Does it answer to any president?

    Why the fuck would Trump be secretive and paranoid? I have no goddamn idea why…

  36. Rand Paul seems to be the only one who gets what is going on here. Democrats know there’s nothing in this that is going to bring the administration down. They don’t care. They’ve paid up the right people in the media to make it look like they have. Both traditional and social media is completely dominated by attacks, overwhelmed even.

    This is all about miring the administration for two years (in the hopes of recapturing Congress) as hard as they possibly can. It’s delay tactics in order to cut the number of active days the administration has to enact its goals. I guarantee you they’ve got a tally somewhere and are ticking off the days until mid-term elections in 2018. They’re brainstorming ways to distort all reality around them so hard that they can obstruct more thoroughly with a Congressional majority.

    1. The Cabinet is mired. Intelligence is clearly still filled with Obama loyalists, and he’s puppeteering from a mansion a couple of miles away. Congress is going to be mired by childish protests, sit-ins, procedural tricks. The media will spin it all as brave resistance to a tyrant. Their greatest hope is that Trump will do something they can trip him up further with. They’ve got paid agitators and boots on the ground committing acts of violence in the hopes of provoking a response that they can call a fascist action.

      Trump wasn’t kidding when he said he was going to “drain the swamp.” I don’t know if he was prepared for just how hard the swamp fights back. It likes being slime. It likes having unelected, unaccountable power propelled by the unlimited rocket fuel of tax dollars and the magic of inflation.

      1. So the next guy who comes along and says, “Only I can fix it” – the only people dumb enough to believe it will have already overdosed on oxy.

  37. Trump’s mistake was going after everyone – muslims, illegals, jews, women, and all other vulnerable minorities – it didn’t really matter which. In fact, he would often say things like, “X is killing us – but some are good people” and “Y is raping us but they have a beautiful country.” As a great man once explained: “Pick one scapegoat and bash it relentlessly.” Don’t make exceptions!

  38. Flynn conducted diplomacy with Russia as a private citizen. That’s a felony and he resigned (or was fired), says Trump, because he lied about it. I don’t know what the catchphrase du jour “deep state” has to do with that. Sounds like you’re making excuses for the most flagrantly incompetent administration in history. Any idiot knows by now not to hitch himself to this wagon.

    1. What are you basing this claim as the most incompetent admin on? Also from yesterday you never delved into what he should be impeached for? You lost get over it.

      1. I know I sound like a hypocrite. When James Clapper retained his position all the way until the end of the Obama administration after blatantly lying to the American public and Congress, something that should have landed him in prison, I said nothing.

        And I realize it makes no sense to simultaneously claim that the administration is extremely incompetent, but that Putin is also such a genius to have gained control of two countries. He’s simultaneously a genius and a supreme idiot for picking Trump. I know that if I were to pick an operative to carry out my orders, Mr. Bean is the one I’d go with.

        I say all of this and… actually, I forgot where I was going with that. Carry on.

        1. Can you provide the when and how this went about? The picking

          1. Obviously Putin understands America better than it understands itself. All those polls predicting my candidate would win couldn’t have been asking the right people. The media got everything wrong about the populace it reports on. Academics got everything wrong. Celebrities got everything wrong. Maybe we (Democrats) just don’t understand everything as well as we claim. Or maybe we figured that if we told a big enough lie often enough we could keep the evil one from destroying Obama’s legacy.

            1. But putin knew all this and somehow trump would flip 6 states obama won twice?

              Lol ok

        2. So in summary, the written equivalent of cecotrope as usual. Thanks.

    2. How about Barack Obama in July 2008? He wasn’t even a nominee let alone a president-elect when he traveled the globe from Europe to the Middle East meeting with world leaders of every stripe discussing substantive policy and he did so ? rightly ? without any mention by anyone of the obsolete and useless Logan. Do you think he was just fucking backpacking on a trip of leisure?

      Nobody has EVER been prosecuted under the Logan. Ever. Well, there was one farmer way back in 1803 was indicted but the indictment was never pursued.

      There’s a reason it has never been used ? it is unconstitutional. First ? it violates the 1st Amendment ? you know ? that thing called freedom of speech and all that stuff.

      The court in Waldron v. British Petroleum Co. said in 1964 that the law was “likely unconstitutional due to the vagueness of the terms “defeat” and “measures.” Beyond that passing reference by a New York district court there’s no judicial rulings regarding the Logan Act.

      Oh yeah ? its also unconstitutionally vague.

      Even in a hypothetical world where it would be constitutional, it shouldn’t be applied to Flynn who wasn’t exactly a “private citizen” but rather a public official as an official member of the presidential transition team and designee to be the National Secretary Advisor (not to mention a retired Lieutenant General). We should WANT the transition team to start building relationships.

      1. Well, he was fired… The Grapefruit in Chief seems to think it was a big enough deal.

  39. Wow this board is starting to remind me of the good old days of the Liberty Forum. FUCKIN JOOO000oooOOOOS!!!!1111!!!!!!11!!

  40. Part of the question I have about this is. If this was a transcript from one of these Agencies that isn’t the FBI, naming a U.S. Person by name in any sort of product would be a gross violation of not only internal regulations, but federal law. I know organizations like this will give themselves permission to do whatever all the time, but even still, there would be an extensive paper-trail leading to just a handful of individuals that handle FISA court approved [insert rubber stamp comment here] targets. That’s not even delving into the fact that potentially classified information was allowed into the wild, Manning rotted in prison for releasing information that (save for some of the HUMINT source information) was mostly either innocuous ops chatter that was released years after it would have been relevant, or embarrassingly honest State Department cables. His crimes pale in comparison to weaponizing and politicizing intelligence information.

  41. I think Nick is right about the tensions between the executive and the bureaucracy. I would add, however, that this is nothing new. This tension always exists, in every administration (really, in every government). The bureaucracy will always assert its own claims and interests, as long as it is given the leeway to do so. It’s this last point that I think is most salient. I interpret this less as the rise of an anti-Trump bureaucracy than I do the result of an inexperienced executive not knowing how to properly discipline the troops. Chaos on one side is simply reflecting chaos on the other. I find the irony delicious, however, that Trump was all for leaks when they involved the DNC and HRC, yet is indignant when he is the victim. I also find it somewhat disingenuous that the Trump administration hyperventilates about “illegal” leaks, when the content of these leaks is pretty benign. No state secrets or anything. I can’t wait until the leaks are really substantive, and about Trump personally rather than one of his team.

  42. You might not be able to “fight” City Hall, but those who reside within can’t stay inside forever.

  43. No. It’s an indication that the President Trump Administration is not fully up to speed against a very well organized and funded fanatical opposition yet. In the early days of any revolution – the Menshevik- Bolsheviks, the Iranians in 1979, and others, the outcome largely hinged on the leaders in place at that time and their ability to recognize the strength and insanity of their opponents. The challenge for President Trump is to attack them full on 100% right now. Crush them. Crush them all. I realize that Reason Mag libertarians are on the fence with this – torn between their own hatred of President Trump and their hatred of the ancien regime. But at some point even the radical libertarians will be called on to choose sides. Either the Reason Maggers can be on the right side of history or they can be tossed in the dustbin. Their call.

  44. I think The Don was bamboozled on this one,but he can admit his mistake & ask him back(privately,of course).

  45. After reading much of what passes for news, I would have to say that Flynn’s resignation is a severe blow to the deep state, the establishment, what ever it is called today.

    My analysis is that if this guy was head of the DIA, and nothing was noted or found to warrant any negative action against him, but now there is, then our intelligence agencies are a colossal failure.

    Much the same can be said now that The WSJ is saying that top shelf intel is being held back from the President because they think the situation room in the White House is direct conduit to the Kremlin.

    So way to go boys and girls, if what you think is correct, then the Russians were able to pull off the election of one of their own into our Presidency. And you could not , or is it would not release the information to stop it.
    So why should we believe you now?

    But you, the intel crowd, do have the soap opera mentality and the attention span of nearly all American citizens working for you.
    And that is probably as powerful as any WMD. Or Russian soy ship lingering off the coast.

  46. Bentley . true that Ashley `s blurb is good… last week I got Lotus Esprit sincere getting a check for $5815 this-last/five weeks and-even more than, ten/k lass-month . without a doubt it is the easiest work I’ve ever done . I began this seven months/ago and almost immediately started earning minimum $77… per-hour . more tips here.
    ======== ____________ http://www.4dayjobs.com

  47. The resignation of President Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after it became clear he lied about contact with the Russian ambassador before Trump’s inauguration, is not so cut-and-dried, though. According to all reports, transcripts of calls involving Flynn showed considerable contact between Flynn and Russian state actors. Flynn was ostensibly cashiered because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence, which is a good-enough reason to can any employee. But as Eli Lake writes at Bloomberg View, that explanation is hardly convincing for an administration that is constantly bullshitting about everything from the size of the president’s ???? ??? ??? ?? ???????? ????? ???? crowds to his business acumen. Something more is at work here, says Lake, and attention must be paid:

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