[FoRK] Conservatives planned to impeach Trump all along

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at jarbox.org
Wed Feb 15 23:08:49 PST 2017

> On Feb 15, 2017, at 9:02 AM, Joseph S. Barrera III <joe at barrera.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 8:44 AM, J. Andrew Rogers <andrew at jarbox.org> wrote:
>> Whatever is going on, it isn’t what is being speculated in the media.
> ​So what, in your opinion, *is* going on?

It is probably helpful to explain the source of my skepticism first.

The IC organizations are split into two groups: military and civilian intelligence (8 of each, IIRC). These are structurally and operationally different. The civilian intelligence agencies (e.g. CIA, FBI) are political, in large part because the leadership is installed by political party leadership, and do some work for their political benefactors. The military intelligence agencies (e.g. DIA, NSA, NRO) work for the military, and are somewhat shielded from changes in political administration. As a rule, the only output of the “intelligence community” you should consider taking at face value are those that include both military and civilian intelligence — different incentives, different masters, and they don’t agree on much naturally. This is an institutional view and doesn’t necessarily reflect on individuals; I have friends on both sides of the IC.

When you read the news and the organizations pushing an angle are military XOR civilian, the between-the-lines read is as follows: If it is military IC pushing an angle, they are either (1) trawling for defense funding or (2) the issue may be inconvenient for the goals of the political administration. If it is the civilian IC pushing an angle, it is almost always for the benefit of their political masters in some way. 

The angle in the current brouhaha is the product of CIA and FBI, both civilian IC, so even without speculating about the end, one can presume it is constructed for political purposes and not what it claims. 

This brings us to Flynn — a Democrat — who became the leader of the military IC under Obama. Flynn made it his mission to aggressively reduce the prodigious waste, fraud, and deadwood in the IC, which made him extremely unpopular within the Beltway. His public skepticism of the US foreign policy in the Middle East was the catalyst the Beltway antibodies needed to expel him. Kill the gravy train, become a persona non grata. But within the military IC there are still many who agreed with his perspective on the many changes that need to happen to US intelligence. Obama didn’t put him there because he was incompetent, and he is respected by people in both parties. Flynn is as clean of a guy as you will find in the IC.

When I first heard that Flynn, who I mostly like, was working with Trump I was like “wtf?!”. But in hindsight it makes some sense; Trump probably promised him that he could clean out and clean up the IC as he had intended under Obama, Flynn's mission is not political per se and he is not a strong partisan ideologue as far as I’ve been able to tell.  

So back to the original question: I have no idea. :-)  What is presented in the news doesn’t make sense at a really fundamental level, the inferences are not credible if you know how the system works. While it would make sense that Flynn represents a known threat to the Beltway pig trough, which might be reason enough to reduce his influence, I don’t think that by itself is sufficient to explain what is going on. To my mind, the scope and nature suggests a much broader and increasingly open war between factions within the US government. Flynn may have been a constructive foil to bring them out.

I am pretty sure I am living in a bizarro alt timeline.


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