The president-elect has chosen retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his National Security Advisor. General Flynn has a decidedly checkered career in intelligence. He was fired as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency after 18 months in the post, after clashing with superiors over his “chaotic management style” and vision for the agency. In a private email which was leaked online, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he had heard from a senior official in the DIA (possibly Vincent R. Stewart, Flynn’s succesor) that Flynn was fired because he was “abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc.” According to the New York Times, Flynn exhibited a loose relationship with facts. The Times reported:
They also both exhibit a loose relationship with facts: General Flynn, for instance, has said that Shariah, or Islamic law, is spreading in the United States (it is not). His dubious assertions are so common that when he ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, subordinates came up with a name for the phenomenon: They called them “Flynn facts.”
lWC is forced to admit that a loose relationship with the truth will fit General Flynn in well in a Trump Administration. But WC suggests that may not be an appropriate job qualification.
What is much more disturbing for a proposed National Security Advisor is General Flynn’s apparent inability to discern truth from fiction. True Pundit is a notorious – infamous – fake news site. General Flynn accepted a bogus story on Hillary Clinton and tweeted it out to the world.
Critical thinking – the ability to analyze and assess information – would seem to be a useful skill for a National Security Advisor. General Flynn? Not so much.
Worse yet, General Flynn is an Islamophobe. His public persona since being fired as Director of DIA is that of an unstable Islamophobe peddling conspiracy theories and fearmongering about the threat of Islamic extremists. There’s his infamous tweet in February that “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL,” linking to a video that argues Muslims who live in Western countries are there to transform them into Middle Eastern-style autocracies. In July 2016, he retweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton wearing a hijab, claiming it was “showing disrespect for American Values and Principles.”
How bad is it to call all Muslims terrorists? Well, they constitute about 21% of the world’s population:
The world population is estimated at 7.4 billion. That means there re about 1.55 billion Muslims on the planet. According to most reports, the percentage of radicalized Muslims is less than 1%. General Flynn is wildly wrong.
WC assumes it’s also important for the National Security Advisor to keep his lips zipped; loose lips sink ships and all that. Yet General Flynn has been reprimanded not once but twice for leaking classified information to the Pakistanis. You know, the folks who were harboring Osama bin Laden. The president-elect thought this was a pretty big deal when Secretary Clinton put unclassified mail on her personal mail server; apparently, there is another standard for generals.
So there you have it: a nominee for National Security Advisor with a chaotic management style, a loose relationship with the truth, rampant Islamophobia, a blabbermouth and an inability to tell truth from fiction.
What could possibly go wrong?