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Thread: Trump Caves on Flynn’s Resignation

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    Default Trump Caves on Flynn’s Resignation

    Trump Caves on Flynn’s Resignation
    Written by Robert Parry - February 15, 2017

    The neocon-dominated U.S. foreign policy establishment won an important victory in forcing the resignation of President Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn over a flimsy complaint that he had talked to the Russian ambassador during the transition.

    The Washington Post, the neoconservatives’ media flagship, led the assault on Flynn, an unorthodox thinker who shared the neocons’ hostility toward Iran but broke with them in seeing no strategic reason to transform Russia into an implacable enemy.

    After Flynn’s resignation on Monday evening, the Post gloated over its success in achieving the first major crack in Trump’s resistance to Official Washington’s establishment. The Post cited Flynn’s “potentially illegal contacts” with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a reference to the Logan Act, a 1799 never-enforced law that forbids private citizens from negotiating with a country in dispute with the U.S. government.

    Though no one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act, it has been cited in recent decades as an excuse to attack American citizens who disagree with U.S. government policies while traveling abroad and having contacts with foreign leaders.

    Often those accusations are aimed at Americans seeking to peacefully resolve disputes when a U.S. president is eager to escalate a conflict, such as President Ronald Reagan’s denunciations of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson for visiting Cuba and House Speaker Jim Wright for exploring ways to end the Contra war in Nicaragua.

    In other words, the Logan Act is usually exploited in a McCarthyistic fashion to bait or discredit peace advocates, similarly to how it has now been used to destroy Flynn for daring to look for ways to reduce the dangerous tensions between Washington and Moscow.

    But the media-driven attacks on Flynn are particularly curious since he was the National Security Advisor-designate of an incoming administration at the time of the calls and – as such – he would be expected to make contacts with important foreign officials to begin laying the groundwork for relations with the new president.

    Whether U.S. sanctions against Russia were mentioned or not, the notion that an elected president or his designees – during a transition – can have no meaningful contact with diplomats whom they may need to deal with in a matter of weeks represents a particularly contentious interpretation of a law that has never been tested in a court of law and may well represent an unconstitutional infringement on free speech and dissent.

    An Expanding Hysteria

    Indeed, referencing the Logan Act appears to be an excuse to continue – and expand – Official Washington’s hysteria over Russia, which has become the useful villain to blame for every U.S. foreign policy debacle and even Hillary Clinton’s disastrous presidential run.

    Flynn’s more egregious offense in this case may have been to mislead Vice President Mike Pence on exactly what was discussed, but Trump’s White House has not seemed previously overly concerned with the precise accuracy of its statements.
    ...
    Flynn’s real “offense” appears to be that he favors détente with Russia rather than escalation of a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump’s idea of a rapprochement with Moscow – and a search for areas of cooperation and compromise – has been driving Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment crazy for months and the neocons, in particular, have been determined to block it.

    Though Flynn has pandered to elements of the neocon movement with his own hysterical denunciations of Iran and Islam in general, he emerged as a key architect for Trump’s plans to seek a constructive relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, the neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks have invested heavily in making Putin the all-purpose bête noire to justify a major investment in new military hardware and in pricy propaganda operations.

    The neocons and liberal hawks also hated Flynn because – as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency – he oversaw a prescient 2012 analysis that foresaw that their support for the Syrian insurgency would give rise to “a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria.”
    ...
    On Sept. 26, 2013, only weeks after the aborted U.S. bombing campaign against Syria, Carl Gershman, the neocon president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, took to the Post’s op-ed page to declare “Ukraine the biggest prize” and suggest that winning it could ultimately lead to toppling Putin inside Russia.

    Key U.S. government neocons, such as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain, then began pushing for the violent right-wing coup that – in February 2014 – ousted Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych and touched off the new Cold War with Russia.

    Amid these heightened tensions, the mainstream media in the United States and Europe joined in the full-scale Russia/Putin-bashing. All rational perspective on the underlying reality was lost, except for a handful of independent Internet journalists and foreign-policy outsiders who rejected the over-the-top propaganda.

    A Few Dissenters Too Many

    But even a few dissenters was a few dissenters too many. So, to enforce the new groupthink – holding Russia at fault for pretty much everything – a new McCarthyism emerged, deeming anyone who dared disagree a “Moscow stooge” or a “Russian propagandist.”
    ...
    This hysteria over Russia gained added strength because Democrats were so angry over Trump’s election that liberal and progressive operatives saw a chance to build a movement and raise lots of money by pushing the Trump-Putin accusations.

    This opportunism has turned much of the liberal/progressive community into a pro-New Cold War constituency willing to engage in a new breed of McCarthyism by demanding intensive investigations into alleged connections between Americans and Russians.

    From the neocon side, The Washington Post has gone so far as to promote baseless accusations from an anonymous group called PropOrNot that 200 Internet sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other important independent news sources, are guilty of spreading Russian propaganda. Congress approved a new $160 million bureaucracy to combat such “propaganda.”
    ...
    The so-called permanent government of Washington and its complicit mainstream media – what some call the Deep State – have taught Trump a lesson and have learned a lesson, too. They now can be expected to redouble their march toward war and more war, ironically with progressives and leftists in tow.
    ...
    More: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives...s-resignation/
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
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    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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  3. #2

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    I haven't really been keeping up with this. So, tell me what I have wrong about this.

    Flynn was named to become a Trump Admin. National Security Adviser. During the transition he spoke with a Russian ambassador. He may or may not have discussed sanctions on Russia. A bru-ha-ha was made over this by neo-cons and liberal hawks. Now Flynn is out.

    Does that sum it up?

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    I haven't really been keeping up with this. So, tell me what I have wrong about this.

    Flynn was named to become a Trump Admin. National Security Adviser. During the transition he spoke with a Russian ambassador. He may or may not have discussed sanctions on Russia. A bru-ha-ha was made over this by neo-cons and liberal hawks. Now Flynn is out.

    Does that sum it up?
    The main point is that they believe he undermined the effect of the sanctions.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPUd View Post
    The main point is that they believe he undermined the effect of the sanctions.
    Isn't the main point of it that he was a private citizen engaging in diplomatic relations, which is apparently illegal?
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  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPUd View Post
    The main point is that they believe he undermined the effect of the sanctions.
    How would simply talking about it have undermined it? Was there some kind of "nobody shall ever talk to a Russkie evar!" sanction in place?

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    Isn't the main point of it that he was a private citizen engaging in diplomatic relations, which is apparently illegal?
    It's illegal for me to talk to a Russkie?

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    How would simply talking about it have undermined it? Was there some kind of "nobody shall ever talk to a Russkie evar!" sanction in place?
    If a head of state threatens another: do X, Y or we'll bomb the $#@! out of you, and the next man up tells them don't worry, he's just bluffing, it undermines that threat.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPUd View Post
    If a head of state threatens another: do X, Y or we'll bomb the $#@! out of you, and the next man up tells them don't worry, he's just bluffing, it undermines that threat.
    OK. So basically, from scuttle-butt, because no actual transcripts have been made public, he supposedly told this ambassador that they (ambassadors) would be let back in under the next administration? Thus undermining the then, but soon to be gone, presidents directive?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    OK. So basically, from scuttle-butt, because no actual transcripts have been made public, he supposedly told this ambassador that they (ambassadors) would be let back in under the next administration? Thus undermining the then, but soon to be gone, presidents directive?
    Yeah, not nearly as dramatic as a threat of war, but that's what the hell is being raised about.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPUd View Post
    Yeah, not nearly as dramatic as a threat of war, but that's what the hell is being raised about.
    SMDH. Seems "much ado about nothing" to me. Signaling to the Russkies that the next administration might be open to negotiation seems like a good thing.

    "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." - Thomas Jefferson

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    SMDH. Seems "much ado about nothing" to me. Signaling to the Russkies that the next administration might be open to negotiation seems like a good thing.

    "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." - Thomas Jefferson
    The molehill is now a mountain. The narrative that the media seems to have settled on is that Flynn did not give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to Pence.
    Last edited by Brian4Liberty; 02-16-2017 at 06:22 PM.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  13. #12

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    Trumps words from the press conference:
    The thing is he didn't tell our vice president properly, and then he said he didn't remember, so either way, it wasn't very satisfactory to me. And I have somebody that I think will be outstanding for the position, and that also helps, I think, in the making of my decision, but he didn't tell the vice president of the United States the facts, and then he didn't remember, and that just wasn't acceptable to me. Yes?
    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/16/click...onference.html
    Last edited by robert68; 02-16-2017 at 06:31 PM.

  14. #13

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    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/u...=tw-share&_r=1

    Flynn’s Downfall Sprang From ‘Eroding Level of Trust’

    [...]Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, revealed that Mr. Trump had known about concerns that Mr. Flynn lied for more than two weeks before demanding his resignation on Monday night. But Vice President Mike Pence was kept in the dark and did not learn that Mr. Flynn had misled him about his Russia contacts until reading news accounts late last week.

    Mr. Spicer described a deliberative process in which a new president took his time deciding what to do with Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star general who played a major role in his campaign. The issue, Mr. Spicer said, was not about legality but credibility.

    “The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for General Flynn’s resignation,” he said.

    But other aides privately said that Mr. Trump, while annoyed at Mr. Flynn, might not have pushed him out had the situation not attracted such attention from the news media. Instead, according to three people close to Mr. Trump, the president made the decision to cast aside Mr. Flynn in a flash, the catalyst being a news alert of a coming article about the matter.

    “Yeah, it’s time,” Mr. Trump told one of his advisers. [...]

    The issue traced back to a call last December between Mr. Flynn, then on tap to become Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. President Barack Obama was imposing new sanctions on Russia and expelling 35 diplomats after the election meddling. [...]

    The Obama advisers grew suspicious that perhaps there had been a secret deal between the incoming team and Moscow, which could violate the rarely enforced, two-century-old Logan Act barring private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in disputes with the United States.

    The Obama officials asked the F.B.I. if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no, according to one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. The topic of sanctions came up, they were told, but there was no deal.[...]

    The topic came up again after Mr. Trump and his team moved into the White House. At his first full briefing on Jan. 23, Mr. Spicer said that Mr. Flynn’s conversation had touched on only four subjects, none of them sanctions. That caught the attention of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department.

    Sally Q. Yates, an Obama appointee held over as acting attorney general until Mr. Trump’s choice was confirmed, concluded that the disparity between what was said on the call and what Mr. Flynn had evidently told the vice president and others about it might make the new national security adviser vulnerable to blackmail. When foreign governments hold information that could prove embarrassing, it is considered a potential leverage point.

    Soon after the Jan. 23 briefing, James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, sent agents to interview Mr. Flynn. If he told the agents what he said publicly for more than a week after that interview — that his conversations with the ambassador had been innocuous and did not involve sanctions — then he could face legal trouble. If the authorities concluded that he knowingly lied to the F.B.I., it could expose him to a felony charge.[...]

    Ms. Yates, with the support of Mr. Comey, reached out to Donald F. McGahn II, the new White House counsel, on Jan. 26 to give him what Mr. Spicer called a “heads up” about the discrepancy.

    Mr. Trump was told “immediately,” Mr. Spicer said, and directed Mr. McGahn to look into the matter. After an “extensive review” that lasted several days, Mr. McGahn concluded that nothing in the conversation had violated federal law, Mr. Spicer said.

    But the president then set out to determine whether he could still trust Mr. Flynn. Mr. Spicer said Mr. Flynn stuck to his original account, making matters worse.

    “We got to a point not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue, with the level of trust between the president and General Flynn had eroded to the point where he felt he had to make a change,” Mr. Spicer said. “The president was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the vice president and others.”[...]

    By that point, Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mr. Flynn had grown more awkward. One person close to the president, who asked to remain anonymous to describe private discussions, said Mr. Trump had been “uncomfortable” with Mr. Flynn for weeks. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had expressed concern about Mr. Flynn’s appointment even before the inauguration, according to another person briefed on the discussions.[...]

    Another key figure with growing concerns about Mr. Flynn was Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist whom Mr. Flynn perceived as a rival for control over national security. Mr. Trump began asking Mr. Mattis about two weeks ago for suggestions of possible replacements for Mr. Flynn. The defense secretary recommended retired Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward. Mr. Bannon reached out to Mr. Harward last week, two senior officials said.

    The situation escalated late Thursday when word reached the White House that The Washington Post was reporting that the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s call showed that he had discussed sanctions, contrary to his assurances to Mr. Pence and others.

    White House officials confronted Mr. Flynn, who only then said that it was possible they had come up, but that he did not remember. “His story remained the same until that night,” Mr. Spicer said. “That’s when his response changed.”

    That was also when Mr. Pence first learned that the Justice Department had proof that Mr. Flynn had not told the truth and had warned the White House two weeks earlier, according to Marc Lotter, his spokesman.[...]

    Another person who speaks frequently with him said Mr. Pence went “ballistic,” or at least what qualifies as ballistic for the coolheaded vice president.

    Mr. Pence, Mr. Priebus and Mr. Bannon urged Mr. Trump to fire the national security adviser, according to officials, but the president could not bring himself to do it, in part for fear of losing face.[...]

    When the matter came to overshadow the president’s glitch-free meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and word arrived of another Post article on Ms. Yates’s warning to the White House, Mr. Trump ordered an end to the situation. “He made a determination late in the day,” Mr. Spicer said, “and he executed on it.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...c-isis/516930/

    [...]Like the president, some at the conference were troubled by the deluge of government leaks that they blamed in part for Flynn’s troubles. “There’s also growing frustration [with] all the leaks,” the retired officer who’d served on the NSC said. “Is it the bureaucracy fighting back against the president, or is it an internecine war being waged among the president’s advisers for primacy? In either case, it’s not a good thing.”[...]
    re: Australia phone call leaks- http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...all-to-pm.html

    “We are offended, but as long as these people [refugees] get off Manus and Nauru, that’s the main thing. I’m confident the deal will be honored; this is part of the process. Trump is trying to get the message out that he hates the deal but can’t do anything about it.”

    According to the paper, some in Canberra are speculating that White House adviser Steve Bannon leaked details about the call so Trump can say he grudgingly accepted a deal that goes against the spirit of his immigration order.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/vid..._out_next.html

    Roger Stone: Flynn A "Pearl Harbor" For Trump Supporters
    Well said, well said.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    It's illegal for me to talk to a Russkie?
    heh
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  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    I haven't really been keeping up with this. So, tell me what I have wrong about this.

    Flynn was named to become a Trump Admin. National Security Adviser. During the transition he spoke with a Russian ambassador. He may or may not have discussed sanctions on Russia. A bru-ha-ha was made over this by neo-cons and liberal hawks. Now Flynn is out.

    Does that sum it up?


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  17. #16

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    https://twitter.com/justinamash/stat...80556198776834






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