Image Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn

The few, the unelected, the shadowy coup against Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn

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OPINION. Lt. Gen. Flynn was removed by the few, the unelected. Who will be the next lamb to the slaughter? And at what cost to democracy?

Michael Flynn, the 25th National Security Adviser to the United States Government, resigned this Monday, on the 24th day of his tenure. His resignation was tendered amidst allegations of unsanctioned Russian ties, and after seemingly having lost the President’s confidence. It was, as it always is, a matter of perception. The perception of being useful to the administration, gave way to the perception of being a liability.

Flynn’s resignation does little good for the Trump administration. The investigations, perceptions, and allegations of Russian ties will not fade. Flynn fell on his sword for no other reason – it was the right thing to do. He sacrificed for what he loves most – the United States of America. And the country is better off for it. It is better for his sacrifice, better without him as top security adviser to the President.

Yet, beyond the public spectacle, and the over emotionally vested opposition to the Trump administration, a secret war of covert power is raging throughout Washington. Lt. Gen. Flynn was the first casualty of the Trump administration in this war.

Flynn fell

because an unelected few decided that he needed to.

Mike Flynn did not fall from grace because of the public’s self-righteous assault against what they deemed loathsome, the perception of a hateful bigot. He didn’t fall because he once famously raged on Twitter that “fear of Muslims is RATIONAL”. He didn’t fall because of any lack of experience or intellect.

Lt. Gen. Flynn fell because a few unelected wield the power to make it so. The power of the anonymous. The power of the cloak-and-dagger crowd. Men and women that move throughout the hallways on the fourth and fifth floor of Langley and through the dungeon like rooms at Fort Meade. In this war, Flynn was Trump’s first fighting man – and the first casualty. More will follow. Most of which will be in the shadows, with little to no fanfare. With no glee from the self-righteous of the left. Without embarrassment to the President.

Flynn fell because these unelected few decided that he needed to. They leaked highly sensitive information to their media co-conspirators, making journalists agents in the further corruption of American democratic ideals. Trump critics won’t see anything wrong with that, just as both left and right saw nothing wrong with WikiLeaks when its bidding aligned with their viewpoints.

Politics aside, these unaccountable members of the U.S. intelligence community targeted a senior aide to their President, and leaked classified phone intercepts, bits of information in an unverified and unsubstantiated fashion, in an irresponsible manner. This was done, not for the benefit of the country, but out of fear as to what Flynn might bring towards them. Flynn, considered too ideologically driven, and too independent for the intelligence community’s liking, stood in the way of a quest to control both the outcome and stream of information leading to the President.

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.

– Eli Lake, Bloomberg News

Cautionary warnings must not be lost due to blind hatred from the left of the current administration. Excusing the actions of a police state, as long as it means that Trump and his kin are removed from power, undermines all faith and trust in the Republic.

As things played out for Flynn, proper procedures were never allowed to play in. The court of public opinion was expertly controlled and twirled by the unelected few through media outlets, a form of entertainment for the resistance. It is the job of the US Congress to investigate the President, and those that work underneath him, on behalf of the American people. If Congress had resisted to carry out its obligation, which there were no indications of it refuting, then the American people would have been obliged to act. But it should somberly act on informed and correct principles, through phone calls, protests, and ultimately – at the voting booth.

Instead, the general public allowed for the unaccountable few within the dark chambers of the intelligence community to circumvent the system, and work to destroy a man.

The now acting National Security Adviser to the President, retired US Army General Keith Kellogg, likely struck a deal with those unnamed few. A deal struck long before the demise of Flynn was a done deal. A deal that more than likely entailed he would tow the line until a suitable permanent replacement could be vetted and confirmed. Vetted, not just by the Trump administration, but by the true powers of the intelligence community. The unelected few.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.

― Mahatma Gandhi

This week President Trump asked retired US Navy Vice Admiral Robert “Bob” Harward to replace Flynn. Vice Admiral Harward turned it down. Harward officially declined the job based on “personal and financial reasons,” a savvy choice no doubt based on what happened to Flynn.

Vice Admiral Harward would have been an excellent choice. Harward served under the command of then USMC General, now SecDef, James Mattis as deputy commander of the US Central Command (USCENTCOM), and as deputy commander of the Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM). In addition to his affiliation with the SecDef, Harward is a well qualified and experienced Navy SEAL with 38 years of experience in the Navy. When asked to fill the advisory position, the Vice Admiral held the position of a Chief Executive at the Lockheed Martin group out of United Arab Emirates, a position and status that one does not gain if not politically competent, with the proper level of ambition and aspiration.

The Vice Admiral is undoubtedly a man that learned a lesson given, a lesson also experienced by CIA director and former US Army General David Petraeus, yet another victim of the few.

But with Harward out of the running, the question remains – who will be the next lamb to the slaughter? Who will be the next to warrant the approval or rage of the few unelected?

John Sjoholm, Middle East Bureau Chief, Lima Charlie News

John Sjoholm is Lima Charlie’s Middle East Bureau Chief, and founder of the consulting organization Erudite Group. He is a seasoned Middle East connoisseur, with a past in the Swedish Army’s Special Forces branch and the Security Contracting industry. He studied religion and languages in Sana’a, Yemen, and Cairo, Egypt. He lived and operated extensively in the Middle East between 2005-2012 as part of regional stabilizing projects, and currently resides in Jordan. Follow John on Twitter @JohnSjoholmLC

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