Last summer, I posted a column suggesting the Russia Hoax was aimed at Flynn.
I am more and more coming around to the opinion of David Goldman and Michael Ledeen.
The Russia hoax was aimed at Michael Flynn and his role as a Trump advisor.
It was all about General Flynn. I think it began on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, when Flynn changed the way we did intelligence against the likes of Zarqawi, bin Laden, the Taliban, and their allies.
General Flynn saw that our battlefield intelligence was too slow. We collected information from the Middle East and sent it back to Washington, where men with stars on their shoulders and others at the civilian intel agencies chewed it over, decided what to do, and sent instructions back to the war zone. By the time all that happened, the battlefield had changed. Flynn short-circuited this cumbersome bureaucratic procedure and moved the whole enterprise to the war itself. The new methods were light years faster. Intel went to local analysts, new actions were ordered from men on the battlefield (Flynn famously didn’t care about rank or status) and the war shifted in our favor.
It is, however, on a different theory and by Angelo Codevilla.
Senior intelligence officials were the key element in the war on Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency. CIA used meetings that it manufactured as factual bases for lies about campaign advisors seeking Russian information to smear Hillary Clinton. Intelligence began formal investigation and surveillance without probable cause. Agents gained authorization to electronically surveil Trump and his campaign and defended their bureaucratic interests, sidelining Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and denying or delaying Trump appointments and security clearances.
They feared that Flynn was going to convince Trump that the CIA was a rogue agency and should be dismantled.
Functions currently performed by CIA should be sheared down. Data infrastructure and consultant networks should be eliminated. Bipartisan opposition to the Intelligence threat should use fierce resistance and lobbying from Intelligence as evidence of why cuts are in the national interest.
CIA must be disestablished. Its functions should be returned to the Departments of State, Defense, and Treasury. FBI must be restricted to law enforcement. At home, the Agencies are partisan institutions illegitimately focused on setting national policy. Abroad, Agencies untied to specific operational concerns are inherently dangerous and low-value.
Intelligence must return to its natural place as servant, not master, of government. Congress should amend the 1947 National Security Act. The President should broaden intelligence perspectives, including briefs from State, Defense, and Treasury, and abolish CIA’s “covert action.” State should be made responsible for political influence and the armed services for military and paramilitary affairs.
Codevilla makes a powerful case that CIA has lost it usefulness.
The CIA’s bias is not mere incompetence. For more than a decade—during which, thanks to the treason of its own Aldrich Ames, the entire U.S. agent network in Moscow was under KGB control—CIA analysts still passed the “take” from that network to the president because, according to the Inspector General’s report, the analysts thought that the president should be acting as if these reports were true. This is the same CIA that insisted for years that the GDP of East Germany—where whole families used to have to share a single tea bag and bananas were luxuries—was equal to that of West Germany, and that the Soviet Union’s ratio of military spending to GDP was the same as America’s. It was at least five times ours. All of this is to say that, as regards strategic intelligence, CIA is usually worse than useless.
He makes a pretty good case. He also suggests that the FBI has been corrupted and needs to go back to police work.
Once upon a time, FBI foreign counterintelligence officers were cops first. Like all good cops, they knew the difference between the people on whose behalf they worked, and those who threaten them. They had graduated from places like Fordham, a Catholic, blue-collar university in the Bronx. Like T.V.’s Sergeant Joe Friday, they wore white shirts and said yes, sir, yes, ma’am. Unlike CIA case officers, FBI officers mixed with the kinds of people they investigated, and often went undercover themselves. The FBI jailed Capone and dismantled the Mafia. Because it used to take counterintelligence seriously, it was able to neutralize Soviet subversion in the USA. The old joke was that, in any meeting of the U.S. Communist Party or of its front groups, a majority of attendees were FBI agents. The only U.S. Intelligence penetration of the Kremlin was the FBI’s recruitment of a U.S. labor activist whom high-level Soviets trusted. In the late 1970s, that began to change. Director William Webster (1978-87) refused to back up the officers who had infiltrated and surveilled the New Left’s collaboration with the Soviets against America in the Vietnam War.
Another pretty good case. He was an insider for years. His advice should be taken seriously.