Which Washington Crimes Matter Most?

Michael Flynn participated in mass murder and destruction in Afghanistan and Iraq, advocated for torture, and manufactured false cases for war against Iran. He and anyone who appointed him to office and kept him there should be removed from and disqualified for public service. (Though I still appreciate his blurting out the obvious regarding the counterproductive results of drone murders.)

Many would say that prosecuting Al Capone for tax fraud was a good move if he couldn’t be prosecuted for murder. But what if Al Capone had been funding an orphanage on the side, and the state had prosecuted him for that? Or what if the state hadn’t prosecuted him, but a rival gang had taken him out? Are all take-downs of major criminals good ones? Do they all deter the right activities by up-and-coming criminals?

Michael Flynn was not removed by public demand, by representative action in Congress, by public impeachment proceedings, or by criminal prosecution (though that may follow). He was removed by an unaccountable gang of spies and killers, and for the offense of seeking friendlier relations with the world’s other major nuclear-armed government.

Now, in a certain sense, he was taken down for other related offenses, just as Bill Clinton was not technically impeached for sex. Flynn lied. He may have committed perjury. He may have obstructed justice. He supposedly made himself susceptible to blackmail, although the logic of Russia wishing to reveal its own secret and punish those who help it seems weak. Flynn also dealt with a foreign government on behalf of an election campaign.

Some of these are very serious charges. If you removed all liars from the U.S. government, you’d suddenly have room in their empty offices to house all the homeless, but even the selective punishment of lying has a certain merit. And electoral campaign dealings with foreign governments has a nasty history including Nixon’s sabotaging of peace in Vietnam, Reagan’s sabotaging of the release of U.S. hostages in Iran, etc.

But what did Flynn supposedly talk about with the Russian ambassador, before or after the election? Nobody accuses him of trying to keep a war going or people locked up. He’s accused of talking about removing sanctions, possibly including sanctions used to punish Russia for things it did not do. The notion that Russia was the aggressor in Ukraine or invaded Ukraine and conquered Crimea on the model of the U.S. invasion of Baghdad is simply false. The idea that Russia hacked Democratic Party emails and gave them to WikiLeaks is a claim for which we have not been shown credible, non-ludicrous evidence. Despite somebody leaking it every time Donald Trump blows his nose, nobody has yet leaked actual evidence of this supposed Russian crime.

Then there’s what members of the U.S. public tell you that it’s obvious Flynn simply must also have talked about. Supposedly he must have arranged for Russia to steal the U.S. election for Trump, either by informing the U.S. public of the crimes and abuses of the Democratic Party in its members own words, which supposedly swayed huge numbers of voters — though there’s no evidence Russia did this or that it had this impact, and a better informed electorate is a stronger democracy, not one that has been “attacked” — or by somehow directly altering vote counts or manipulating our minds or something. If anything along these lines were proven it would be serious indeed, although it would be one of a great many fatal flaws in the U.S. electoral system alongside legalized bribery, corporate media, the electoral college, gerrymandering, unverifiable counting, open intimidation, purging of rolls, etc.

And then, finally, there’s what journalists and members of the public will tell you Flynn’s offense consists of, once it’s been established that Russia is evil. He was friendly with Russia. His colleagues in the White House love Russia. They’ve visited Russia. They’ve met with other U.S. business tycoons in Russia. They’re planning business deals with Russians. And so on. Now, I’m opposed to corrupt business deals, if they are corrupt, anywhere. And if Russian fossil fuels, like Canadian and U.S. fossil fuels, don’t stay in the ground, we’re all going to die. But the U.S. media treats U.S. business deals in other countries as ordinary respectable plundering. Any association with anything Russia has become a sign of high treason.

Coincidentally or not, that is exactly what weapons profiteers say they want. Is what they want good for us? Is there a legitimate reason to be taking their route toward punishing people in power, when other routes stand wide open with plush red carpets unrolled from massive golden doorways?

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  • Carl_Herman

    Strong, David; thank you.

    Yeah, without the Big Picture of US rogue state empire of ongoing lie-started and obvious Wars of Aggression, it’s difficult to interpret the hits of the relatively small gang-bangers. This said, the infighting is allowing choice to the players, with my own experience of working with literally thousands of Members of Congress that ~90% are (or want to be) good people. If this working assumption is accurate, then perhaps an “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment is coming.

    If this moment comes, the criminals will be isolated and removed from power.

    Until this moment comes (assuming the “Emperor’s New Clothes” status), we’ll have more tragic-comic theater pretending to be “leadership.”

    At least I can’t complain of boredom.

  • jo6pac

    This from the lame stream press and I’m surprised that Bill M. has drank the cool aid.

    http://commons.commondreams.org/t/we-must-know-the-truth/37929/9

    Thanks DA for the facts.
    Yes Carl it isn’t boring in the beltway;-)

  • LeseMajeste

    Looks like war with Russia is back on the front burner. So when those mushroom clouds start appearing on the horizon, hope those Hillary supporters are happy.

    Speaking of Hillary, why isn’t she being investigated for selling access to her Top Secret SD emails for a donation to the Clinton Global Initiative slush fund, which only uses 10% of its donations towards the
    actual charity, which is another story, but not here in Dumbfuckistan, AKA the USA.

  • No More Neos

    “The dilemma facing the United States… is encapsulated in the differing perspectives of two former leading exponents of geopolitical strategy, Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

    In a lecture given in 2016, Kissinger said that the “long-term interests of both countries (US and Russia) calls for a world that transforms the contemporary turbulence and flux into a new equilibrium which is increasingly multi-polar and globalized. Russia should be seen as an essential element of any global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.”

    The “erosion of US military-technical advantages” by contrast alarms Brzezinski. Such erosion spells the end of America’s global rule. To Brzezinski, that is highly undesirable, as the result, he argues, would “most probably” be “global chaos.”

    To understand that conceptual framework that led to the US led TPP and TTIP one has to go back to 1904. In that year, the Director of the London School of Economics, Sir Halford Mackinder gave a lengthy presentation to the Royal Geographical Society. In that seminal lecture Mackinder set out the framework of the future world.

    At its centre was a unitary landmass that he described as the “world island.” The “heartland” of that land mass was, in Mackinder’s terminology, ‘Europe-Asia’, what we would nowadays call Eurasia. Who rules the heartland, he argued, rules the world island, and who commands the world island commands the world.

    Other land masses, including Australia and the United States, were relegated to the status of “outlying islands.”

    It has taken a century, but that vision is now being turned into reality. During that intervening century there were two great wars that had a devastating impact on Russia and China; colonial exploitation; and the ruthless pursuit of political, economic and military advantage. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 there was, for a relatively brief period, a sole superpower, the United States.

    That the United States intended to retain its dominance was made abundantly clear in the 2000 Department of Defence (US) strategy paper, Joint Vision 2020. That document described the strategic objective as “full spectrum dominance”, by which it meant control of land, sea, air, space and cyber space to the exclusion of all others.

    Peter Dale Scott described that objective as “arguably insane” but it has underpinned US foreign policy for that last several decades. By way of dramatic contrast, the text of China’s policies on Asia and the Pacific’s security cooperation released on 11 January 2017 represents the antithetical approach to geopolitical relations.

    It was a necessary corollary of the full spectrum dominance strategy that the rise of any competing power(s) had to be opposed by all possible means. This has resulted in the bombing of recalcitrant countries; regime change often involving assassinations; invasions and occupations of countries; and economic dominance strategies that manifested themselves in agreements such as the TPP and the TTIP.

    Kissinger and Brzezinski differ in their proposed solutions. Whereas Kissinger sees an alliance with Russia as advantageous, Brzezinski would prefer siding with China. Both men therefore effectively argue for a divide and rule strategy, with the desired end result being the retention of US global dominance, albeit tempered by the necessity of co-operation with one or other of the world’s global superpowers.

    That ambition does not equate with the geopolitical realities of which the reemergence of China and the enormous potential of the OBOR and its associated economic and financial strategies to fundamentally reorder the geopolitical structure as foreseen by Mackinder more than 100 years ago.”

    http://journal-neo.org/2017/02/10/one-belt-one-road-a-new-geopolitical-paradigm/

    Now that Trump, who’s had Kissinger as his close advisor, has done an about face toward co-operations with China and the now anti-Russian stance of not recognizing Crimea as part of Russia, we see Brzezinski’s vision immediately moving forward directly after Flynn’s departure.

    http://journal-neo.org/2017/02/15/trump-s-u-turn-promises-co-operation-with-china/
    http://theduran.com/crimea-our-land-russia-tells-us-will-not-given-back-ukraine/

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