Mathew Mackie

Michael Flynn Gone, but How He Went Should Not Be Forgotten

Yes, we all cheered when one of the Trumps handed in his resignation, but the manner of Michael Flynn’s exit speaks of a rather bleak and easy to imagine future.


There he lay: our first victim; obscured by gun smoke, face down in the acrid, main-street-bustled mud of Pollsville. Tongues collectively clicked at the remains of this vote rustler, one of several who had descended on our town, one of those awful men (and one woman) who spat sarsaparilla on the pristine, taffeta-petticoat idealism we held of adult government. As Michael Flynn bled from the bullet wound in the back of his head, we threw our Stetson asunder. Score one for the good guys. We got one. Ring the bell, cue the music.

Well, allow me to add a trite, colonial “yeah-nah” to that “yee-haw.”

By all accounts, Michael Flynn, The Man With No Job, would have been a terrible National Security Adviser. He wanted to jail Hillary Clinton; he openly panned his prospective position, stating that he could “care less” if offered the job by Trump; in an interview with The Washington Post, he called Islam “an ideology based on a religion” rather than a religion; he also posted this actual video, on his actual Twitter:

As the undertaker measures him for a pine box, it matters not.

General Michael Thomas Flynn—a man who, according to his own Twitter page, believes in his own ideological oxymoron of “American Exceptionalism“—is gone and the world seemingly dodged a bullet. Huzzah. But I contend that the way the bullet was ceremonially planted in the back of his head and by whom is the lasting issue here.

It’s claimed that Flynn made a promise to the Russian ambassador that he’d ease sanctions made by the Obama administration. It’s also claimed that he lied to VP Mike Pence about doing so. The pickle here is that, regardless of whether he did what is claimed (and who’s to say he didn’t?), the immediate and anonymous leaking of this information to the media (as opposed to, say, Congress, as is the usual route of investigation of wrongdoing) represents a worrying precedent.


Primarily, because it worked.

Proving that at some time even the hands of the Tangerine doomsday clock can tell us what time it is, Donald is bang on. Without a trace of hyperbole, you could say that Flynn’s ousting was a low range political assassination. Like manslaughter, it was murder without the moral guilt, because he was a bad man, unsuitable for the position—his removal enabled by the murky moral mantra of “the greater good.” Ostensibly, this was the removal of a Presidential employee who was outside the control of the President. So, as Trump tweeted: a good leak is still a leak. While the tap may only give us some sparse drips, it’ll eventually reach our necks if left un-“plugged.”

As Michael Flynn bled from the bullet wound in the back of his head, we threw our Stetson asunder. But the way the bullet was ceremonially planted in the back of his head and by whom is the lasting issue here.

In Australia, the back-dealing of political underlings for the advancement of aims which the people didn’t vote for is commonplace. But the checks and balances that aren’t in the mail in Australia matter less, because, let’s be honest, Australians matter less. Australia might be the lucky country, but Australians are still the ineffectual dweeby neighbor from three fences over, even in their own backyard. Their power is measured by their allegiances with nations more powerful than them. However, in the U.S., the most powerful nation in the world (™), it does matter—especially in the fractious state of security affairs.

Accountability is crucial.

Yes, the USS Trump has dropped anchor through the White House roof, pinning the leg of the shrieking eagle of democracy under the weight of the chain. And yes, a lot of people are pissed off. But is this the correct way to manage it? Are we ready for this shade of full disclosure?

Much like the middle tween, trusted with the car for the first time, I don’t think we’re ready for that kind of combustible responsibility. While it may seem to be the ultimate form of government—the fox finally investigating the chicken coop, hooray Dixie—I fear it’ll be handled in the same fashion we handle any perceived Trump issue: with pitchforks drawn and torches alight.

Also on The Big Smoke

This further reinforces why Trump is correct in his tweet.

As the geopolitical steaks are flambéed and the U.S. deals with other countries that aren’t managed by Trump’s bezzie bestie, Vladdles, what happens then? Will the oil oozing out of these leaks hiss and draw flame on the international barbecue? Okay, what then? A landscape where clandestine information is freely available, its distribution based on the moral compass of whoever comes across it? Isn’t that just WikiLeaks—an institution by design that is anti-establishment?

So, if the establishment turns anti-establishment, we’ll have a self-maintaining ecosystem of vigilante force managing a free democratic process in the name of that process, sans the most important part of said process, democracy; our right to be heard.

Knowing that we’ll just lose our shit at the drop of a headline, the administration will act rashly, looking to lop off heads in the name of drag racing the ire to limit damage. Great, right? Well, yes, it is supposed to be a government for the people, but considering the only meaningful exchange the two disparate partisan forces was a fist into the face of another, I’m not entirely sure that cheering for the end of Flynn is a good thing, as the enabling of this tactic could merely embolden the intelligence community to continue long after the Trump regime is consigned to the history books.




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