Opinion| Steven Ahle| Author Lee Smith has claimed that the reason that Barack Obama wanted to destroy Gen Michael Flynn is because he planned on publicizing the secret provisions of the Iran deal, and that is how the Obama/Biden administration began their domestic spying program.
Barack Obama warned his successor against hiring Michael Flynn. It was Nov. 10, 2016, just two days after Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. Trump told aide Hope Hicks that he was bewildered by the president’s warning. Of all the important things Obama could have discussed with him, the outgoing commander in chief wanted to talk about Michael Flynn.
He went on to explain why Flynn became the number one target and why he was unmasked so many times before Trump’s inauguration:
The answer is that Obama saw Flynn as a threat to his legacy, which was rooted in his July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Flynn had said long before he signed on with the Trump campaign that it was a catastrophe to realign American interests with those of a terror state. And now that the candidate he’d advised was the new president-elect, Flynn was in a position to help undo the deal. To stop Flynn, the outgoing White House ran the same offense it used to sell the Iran deal—they smeared Flynn through the press as an agent of a foreign power, spied on him, and leaked classified intercepts of his conversations to reliable echo chamber allies.
In fact, as Trump prepared to take office after his 2016 upset victory, the Obama White House was focused on the Middle East. “Russia collusion” was the narrative that Hillary Clinton operatives seeded in the media and fed to the FBI to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. After the election, the Obama team took it over and used it to hobble the incoming administration.
That Obama has publicly criticized the Justice Department’s decision to withdraw its case against the retired general shows how personal the anti-Flynn campaign still is for the former president. In leaking his supposedly off-hand comments to Michael Isikoff, a journalist whose work was central in pushing the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theory, Obama was effectively taking credit for pushing the larger anti-Trump operation that grew out of the anti-Flynn campaign. While the Russia collusion story was a handy instrument for many to advance all manner of personal and political interests, for Obama the purpose of Russiagate was simple and direct: to protect the Iran deal, and secure his legacy.
Flynn not only made it clear that he wanted to undo the Iran Deal, he also broadcasted his determination to find the documents detailing the secret deals between Obama and Iran and to publicize them. With Flynn on the march, the outgoing administration was keen to shield the JCPOA. Obama diplomats consulted with their European counterparts and gave the clerical regime more sanctions relief, even after the Senate agreed with a 99 to 0 vote to renew the Iran Sanctions Act. Kerry called his Iranian counterpart to tell him not to worry.
It’s not hard to see why the previous president went after Flynn: The retired general’s determination to undo the Iran Deal was grounded in his own experience in two Middle Eastern theaters of combat, where he saw how Iran murdered Americans and threatened American interests. But why Obama would choose the Islamic Republic as a partner and encourage tactics typically employed by third-world police states remain a mystery.