Newsweek 11 February 2017
Question: How did Mike Flynn get a security clearance?
A couple of weeks ago, I sued several federal agencies, including the FBI, CIA and Justice Department, to find out—not just about Flynn, the besieged White House National Security Adviser, but other top appointees in the Donald Trump administration who have dodgy foreign ties.
As I noted in my Freedom of Information complaint, “Gen. Flynn has close ties to the Russian government, has accepted money from allies of Turkish President Erdogan, and was forced to resign from the Defense Intelligence Agency for mismanagement, any one of which would raise serious concerns about granting him access to” classified information. Flynn also “inappropriately shared” classified information with foreign military officers in Afghanistan, “which would by itself warrant the denial of a security clearance for most federal employees,” says my suit, filed by National Security Counselors, a Washington, D.C. public interest law firm.
And all that documentation came long before reports Friday that Flynn had possibly conspired over the telephone with Russia’s ambassador in Washington to undermine President Barack Obama’s sanctions against Moscow for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Nixon Era Redux?
The alleged plot might sound like an over-the-top episode of House of Cards, but something like it has happened before. In the fall of 1968, Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon directed his chief of staff, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, to “monkey wrench” a secret Vietnam peace deal in the works between President Lyndon Johnson, Moscow and the U.S.-backed government of South Vietnam. Of course, ending the war, which had already cost 33,000 American lives, would’ve greatly aided the Democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey, LBJ’s vice president. So Nixon set out to scuttle the deal. He secretly dispatched Anna Chennault, a Nixon fundraiser and a member of the pro-Taiwan lobby, to tell Saigon’s ambassador in Washington to hold out for a better deal after the election, which the Republican was expected to win, according to papers unearthed by Nixon biographer John A. Farrell.