Home Commentary The 'Permanent State' has a Press Office

The ‘Permanent State’ has a Press Office

February 16, 2017 at 6:53 am 13 Commentary

President Donald Trump’s controversial complaint that the intelligence community was using police-state tactics against him has been confirmed in the forced resignation of his national security adviser Michael T. Flynn. When Trump made his complaint, he was referring to leaks of potentially damaging information about him from an unverified dossier. In the Flynn case, several commentators have noted the use of surveillance techniques that are probably illegal.

A Wall Street Journal editorial wonders if “the spooks” who were listening to Flynn obeyed the law, and what legal justification they had for their eavesdropping. The paper added, “If Mr. Flynn was under U.S. intelligence surveillance, then Mr. Trump should know why, and at this point so should the American public. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation, but the Trump White House needs to know what’s going on with Mr. Flynn and U.S. spies.”

In “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn,” Eli Lake writes about the highly controversial tactic of using “government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens” against Flynn and leaking them to the press. He added, “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.”

In a column entitled, “Why you should fear the leaks that felled Mike Flynn,” John Podhoretz writes, “No joke, people—if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.” He said that “unelected bureaucrats with access to career-destroying materials clearly made the decision that what Flynn did or who Flynn was merited their intervention—and took their concerns to the press.”

Why was Flynn targeted? Lake writes that Flynn had “cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals.” Podhoretz says Flynn “had an antagonistic relationship with America’s intelligence agencies” and was their “potential adversary.”

That Flynn wanted to reform the intelligence community is true. But the more serious concern about Flynn from the perspective of the intelligence community is that he was opposed to the Obama policy, carried out by John Brennan’s CIA, of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. He had been outspoken about this since leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Flynn’s links to Russia and the conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador are minor compared to the disasters in the Middle East that Flynn was exposing. The proxy war the Obama administration waged in the Middle East produced debacles in Egypt, Libya and Syria. In Egypt, the military rescued the country from a Muslim Brotherhood takeover engineered by Obama’s CIA. Libya is still in shambles, and Syria has been lost to the Russians and Iranians. The result in Syria alone is 500,000 dead and millions of refugees.

As documented extensively by AIM’s Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, the U.S. under Obama switched sides in the war on terror, in favor of the terrorists. There were, of course, terrorists on the other side as well. In Syria, the Russian/Iranian/Syrian axis employed terrorist tactics to drive back the U.S.-supported terrorists. That produced a humanitarian disaster that is still unfolding.

Trump has inherited this disaster, and he and Flynn were trying to do something about it. But Trump’s proposal for vetting refugees from failed states has been struck down by liberal judges, and Trump has unfortunately accepted their jurisdiction in the case.

As we explained in a previous column, in a review of Flynn’s book, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency “thinks that the administration he served, headed by Barack Obama, tried to accommodate our enemies, selling out American interests in the process.” This is the world that President Trump faces and is trying to rectify.

We said at the time that “if Flynn wants to turn things around, he will have to lead a purge of the Clinton and Obama agents in the Pentagon and other agencies who have been deliberately withholding information about the nature of the threats and how our lives are in peril from an ‘enemy alliance’ that Obama has been supporting as President of the United States.”

It now appears that Flynn, or rather Trump, didn’t move fast enough, and that these special interests from the swamp have struck first, nailing Flynn’s scalp to the wall.

The media know that the Obama administration helped to produce the humanitarian disasters in countries like Syria and Libya. They ran stories about CIA arms shipments to terrorists in the region through countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But when Flynn got into a position of power and was able to do something about exposing these dirty wars, he became the target. He became a target of surveillance and was tripped up about what he said and remembered about discussions with the Russian Ambassador.

On Capitol Hill, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), seems to be one of the few legislators concerned about the illegal leaks that drove Flynn from his job. He is even quoted as saying that the leakers “belong in jail.”

The American people have a right to know whether there is a “permanent state,” as Eli Lake says, and what role it is playing. But since the major media have been complicit in the intelligence community’s assault on Flynn, there is no reason to believe the media will want to get to the bottom of this subversion of our democratic system of government. Their hands are dirty, too.

It looks like the permanent state has a press office.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.

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  1. baitfish February 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

    The time for using a scalpel to remove these traitors is over. It’s time fire up the chainsaws.

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    • Gunflint Roseberg February 16, 2017 at 10:26 am

      AMEN to that baitfish…Obozo left Liberal spies from his old Admin..The Traitor’s must be found quartered, then hanged for the rest of their traitor pals to see.

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    • captjellico February 16, 2017 at 11:07 am

      I thought the election of President Trump could help to prevent a brewing civil war. But it is beginning to look, more and more, that a second American civil war is inevitable.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 16, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      And it unfortunately looks like all the Traitors in the intell community will be on the side of the enemy..

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  2. backpacker February 16, 2017 at 8:55 am

    The Attorney General has to convene a Grand Jury, as very few people had access to the information that was released on Flynn. These traitors then need to be put in prison, as they committed felonies under statutory law.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      IMO if they get found guilty of being traitors, they should be HUNG publicly..

      As a visual example of what happens to ALL traitors.

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  3. caligal February 16, 2017 at 9:23 am

    WOW!!! Although terrifying it’s FINALLY been put down on paper–the whole puzzle for all the world to see what I’ve been saying ever since Benghazi–that Hussein Bozo single handedly blew up the Mid East, supported in every way the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamic terrorist and is THE worst traitor this country has EVER seen. THIS is what Comey was afraid to expose because if he had it meant also exposing Billary’s complicit role in an election year and also what Bozo is willing to kill for to keep secret. Now they will try in every way to keep Jeff Sessions from touching this. Beware the long arm of Hussein Bozo–he will bring down this government as it’s always been his goal. America wake up and demand these people be exposed and go to prison.

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    • zeitgeist February 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      It appears that the Wall Street Journal has come around to the fact that “what goes around comes around” and that they themselves are in danger from the intelligence community. Even an idiot can be correct some of the time, reference schumer’s quote:“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Hopefully more MSM come to the realization of the danger to them by the purported “permanent state”.

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  4. Donald Hoffart February 16, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Too bad they didn’t start investigating and vetting 24 years ago, then maybe we wouldn’t have had to elect a non-politician to come in and clean house. They should really be searching out the snakes left in our Government by the Clinton and Obama Administrations. Sounds as though the real risk to America is the intelligence community that is supposed to be protecting US rather than the self serving politicians who have been running America down the tubes for their own benefit. When Trump said he was going to drain the DC swamp he opened a huge can of worms (really snakes).

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  5. TBurr4Duluth February 16, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I’m with Baitfish. We need to put strong leaders at the top of each spy agency and clean house. Not sure what Boy Scout Trump can find to fill this position as whoever he puts up is going to be scrutinized and destroyed if possible. I’ve never been more afraid of my country than I am now. Let’s find who leaked this info and prosecute to the maximum penalties. That will at least slow down the leaks. So, does anybody think the NSA collecting all this info is a good idea anymore?

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 16, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      That’s why Trump should have given pinks slips to EVERYONE in the intel community. THEN Installed new heads at each branch who’s first order of business would be to hire new folk.. THAT WAY we wouldn’t have had to worry about traitors lying in the midst..

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  6. columba February 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    So we now have our own Secret Police — and ours isn’t even being run by our own government, but by a foreign agency, i.e., Soros, Obama, and their shadow government. Everyone is now in danger. What interesting times we live in.

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  7. AlaskaMan February 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Satan, Soros, Clinton, Obama, Muslem Brotherhood

    These aliens must be defeated

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