One of Donald Trump’s picks for his White House staff, Lt. General Matt Flynn, once shared secret intelligence that was not meant to leave his hands, and the results were an investigation that almost ended Flynn’s career. Unfortunately, he was allowed to continue at his post despite his frequent and blatant disregard for the law. One would assume such behavior would also disqualify someone from holding public office, especially one that has the power to influence nearly every decision made by the president.
Trump has chosen Flynn for the position of National Security Advisor, yet Flynn famously was investigated for passing classified information through channels he should not have used. New documents have surfaced that revealed the investigation, which took place in 2010 after an order from the head of U.S. Central Command. That organization is responsible for military operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East, and while the documents don’t say when the case was first opened, it is clear the commanding officer at the time was none other Marine General James Mattis. According to the documents, the information passed by Flynn was highly sensitive data regarding the activities of the intelligence community.
This was not the only instance of Flynn breaking the law against sharing classified information. He also shared top-secret information with the leaders of Pakistan, yet despite the clear violation, he managed to avoid investigation in that instance. Pakistan was the location where Osama bin Laden was sheltered for more than six years before he was given up by the Pakistani government and killed by Navy Seals.
The information that Flynn passed to Pakistan involved the intelligence community’s ability to monitor the Haqqani network, which is a group of insurgents who have repeatedly attacked forces from the United States operating within Afghanistan. This came after the news that the Pakistani government paid a bounty of $200,000 to the Haqqani network in exchange for their destruction of a CIA field station in the Middle East.
In 2014, Flynn was removed from his position as a general. The move was the direct result of his strange behavior while working with the Defense Intelligence Agency. While Flynn may have earned a great deal of respect for his ability to interpret and coordinate battlefield communications, it was clear that he would be unable to deal with working in the nation’s capitol. The ex-general frequently either broke or ignored rules and regulations simply because he found them to be stupid or unnecessary. He even forced technicians at the Pentagon to install an internet connection in his office, despite the fact it was completely against the rules to do so.
It should raise some alarms to Americans that the same party that wanted to ‘lock up’ Hillary Clinton because of her perceived crimes is willing to install a National Security Advisor that has done far more to hurt the intelligence community. Trump has already made it fairly clear with his other cabinet choices that job qualifications aren’t important to him. He continually makes choices for department heads that almost seem to actively disagree with whatever they are being made responsible for. One of the only qualifications that Trump seems to look for is a familiarity with Russian politicians and figureheads. If that is the case, Trump may very well have chosen Flynn for National Security Advisor simply because the ex-general once shared a meal with Putin.
There is no doubt that Flynn is a bad choice for National Security Advisor, especially when his track record for making horrible decisions is taken into account. Specifically, the fact he seems to not care about the rules limiting what information can and can’t be shared is particularly alarming.