Foreign Policy

The Deep State's 'Political Assassination' of Michael Flynn Was an Epic Abuse of Power (Reason Podcast)

Q&A with Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake.


"Libertarians, in particular, should be really worried" about having a class of people with secret knowledge about our foreign policy than isn't available to "the average American," says Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake. "These are the classic dangers of statism."

In our latest podcast, Lake—a self-described "big neocon, Putin-hating, war hawk on Russia"—talks about his recent column, "The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn," which argues that the mandarins of the national security state misused their access to sensitive information to undermine a member of a democratically elected government.

Click below to listen to the conversation—and subscribe to our podcast at iTunes so you'll never miss an episode.

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  1. LOL. Flynn got ousted because he LIED to Pence. This means: Pence and Priebus are quietly but firmly in control here. The coup is imminent.

  2. I hope Trump’s team gets the goods on Brennan so they can squash him like the little bug that he is. I would enjoy seeing him go to prison.

    1. So, one of the deep state’s inside players was squeezed….with the connivance of the carnival barking serial prevaricating crony-capitalist in chief. If Trump thought that Flynn got hosed, why did he fire him?

      1. Flynn die lie to Pence. Doing that will get you fired pretty much anywhere.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that Brennan is illegally leaking classified info for malicious political purposes. It’s only a matter of time until he fucks up. And when he does, I think he’s going to be pretty sorry. All Trump does is win at almost everything.

        1. Multiple bankruptcies, multiple marriages, Apprentice ratings tanking year after year, failing to stop an Indian casino from being built in the Catskills because he feared it would interfere with his Atlantic City flops, and being fined a quarter mill by the state of NY in connection therewith, losing libel suit after libel suit, getting his ass handed to him by the courts on his EO, failing to get what he wanted with his Scottish golf / hotel project, and failing to win the popular vote against one of the most corrupt, vile, and unlikeable candidates ever picked by one of the two parties of state.

          If that is winning, who needs losing?

          1. Yeah he’s just a Billionaire and president, what a bum. TDS

            1. Lol. And a hot wife.

              Oh no he lost popular vote!

              This was kind of an odd post. Tv celeb, billionaire and potus, good troll

          2. That court thing their reasoning was pretty weak

          3. Hey Mike, maybe your blood sugar is a little low. Go get your self a Trumpburger and have yourself a Trumptastic day in Trumpmerica. M’kay?

      2. DID lie

  3. Flynn is an idiot of monumental proportions: 2 days after the inauguration he is saber-rattling with Iran – and they respond by threatening to nuke Tel Aviv. So how many Jews are going to emigrate to Israel now? Everybody hates him, even his allies. His son is just as stupid – retweeting Comet Pizza hysteria. What morons.

    1. Looks like this is going to be a Tulpa filled day……..

  4. Flynn’s agenda was to crush the intel agencies and under cover of a terror attack crisis, and replace them with an even more expansive police state. However he failed to realize that the FBI/CIA are the ones who create the terror attacks in the first place, so by spending months discrediting the agencies, he takes away their power and makes them not want to help him or Trump. So now Trump is high and dry – where’s a terror attack when you need one? Trump must be furious. Of course, they have only their own massive derpitude to blame.

    The deep state saved our ass here. Libertarians should be rejoicing – this shows we need not be so dependent on our ‘protectors’. And yes, the average American is starting to see it too. Let’s take advantage of it, not look a gift horse in the mouth.

    1. You should write a novel.

      1. He’s an insane person and an attention whore. Don’t bother.

        1. They’ll listen to you some day. Don’t give up.

        2. Don’t a bunch of novelists fit that description?


      2. Maybe one documenting the dramatic history of the rise and fall of prog rock.

  5. If they’re willing to abuse their power like this publicly, who the fuck knows what they’ve done behind the scenes that we don’t even know about.

    1. That band that you don’t like, but the radio keeps playing…it’s a conspiracy by the Deep State!

      (to be fair, I take this all very seriously, but ALSO blame them for Nickelback)

  6. How can Lake be such a Russophobe (and I believe he is), while at the same time defend Trump who openly flirts with Russia? I mean, if there’s reason you hate Russia, why don’t those same reasons apply to Trump? For example, if you think Russia is bad because Putin is despotic, then it seems to me that Trump/Bannon/Flynn could be criticized for the same reason, and we should be grateful that our intel is warning us about it.

    1. Maybe he likes democracy? Weird, but there’s no accounting for taste.

  7. Flynn was friendly to Russia (like Trump) but was very anti-Iran. Here’s the problem: Russia and Iran are allies! Flynn really thought that he could break them apart and then join with Netanyahu to form the axis of the alt-righteous (TrumPutinBibi) and nuke the middle east. He really is that stupid. Though he gets a point for ambition.

  8. The government can’t go after the leakers. Why? Because the American people will come out by the millions to say to Trump and The Generals: “Don’t even think about it!”

  9. #NoBanNoWall

  10. I don’t understand the Flynn thing. He called a Russian ambassador and lied to Pence about it? Is there more because that sounds like it.

  11. This reminds me of the DNC e-mail leak. The leak was only effective because a politician was flat out lying to the American public, and even if I have issues with how the leak became public, I find it hard to get outraged that someone’s career was destroyed by the public learning the truth.

  12. I had never hear or read Lake’s stuff so I was interested in the podcast. For fucks sake, Nick, could you kindly allow your guest to finish an uninterrupted thought? Your opinion is worthwhile but I read/watch that often.I learned some things and liked that he’s not a total neocon statist but it was a insufferable fragmented, interview.

  13. This podcast is fucking stupid. Lake is making the claim that Flynn was the victim of a political assassination by the “Deep State.” But Flynn didn’t work for the deep state. He worked for Trump. The deep state didn’t fire Flynn, Trump did. Yes, the deep state reported on some questionable activity by Flynn, but this doesn’t mean that Trump had to fire the guy. If Trump thought this was all bullshit, then why didn’t he say so and keep him on? Either there is something more to this, or Trump is a total pussy for caving in. It’s also ridiculous to suggest that contact between Flynn and foreign governments shouldn’t be reported. As a private citizen, that’s exactly the kind of shit I want to see reported. I don’t want journalists to sit on this kind of information just because it offends Lake’s delicate sensibilities. Lake is essentially trying to make a victim out of Flynn, and I don’t buy it. If you are the NSA, then everything is fair game. If Flynn didn’t engage in any questionable activity, there’s an easy solution — stay in your office and release the transcripts to clear your name. Easy to do for a guy in his position . . . unless of course you don’t want the transcripts to be read.

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  16. I wondered why this Zio trash would be featured on Reason. Quelle surprise. Gillespie the ?libertarian? has a column alongside him at The Daily (Standard) Beast, that neocon rag that serves as Commentary for the Millennials.

    What? next, Gillespie? Recruiting for Lehava? The Jewish Defense League?


    Raimondo says it best. Reason and all the ?Koch-topus? apparatus do nothing for ending statism because imperialism is but an afterthought for them.

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