Mike Flynn is the former general whom Barack Obama had already removed, the speaker who led the “Lock her up!” chants against Hillary Clinton from the stage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Now Donald Trump has sacked him as well. Additionally, Flynn himself risks ending up behind the same bars he wished on others as he is accused of having conspired with the Russian ambassador before the inauguration and then lying about it. This confirms once more the information exchange (not to say complicity with the Kremlin) that was involved in Trump’s election success; success built on embarrassing anti-Clinton revelations handed over to WikiLeaks.
In order to understand the importance of Flynn’s removal (disguised as a resignation) from the office of National Security Advisor at the record speed of only 20 days following his appointment, we must go back to 1947. In that year, Harry Truman created the office in order to have a trusted adviser by his side 24 hours a day in times of crisis.
The nuclear age and the Cold War had begun a few months before. The constant looming threat of an atomic attack called for an experienced and balanced collaborator in the West Wing of the White House; someone not subject to Congressional examination and vote, to ideological influence or career ambitions. That seat has been occupied by progressively more imposing personalities, such as the most famous of all, Henry Kissinger, “Super K.” Nobody in the Cabinet or in the security adviser team surrounding the commander in chief of the most powerful army in the world is more important than the man or woman who serves as the national security advisor.
Now we have proof that Trump chose a completely unreliable man, an irresponsible individual who called the Russian ambassador in Washington seven times during the Christmas holidays in 2016 in order to reassure Putin about the sanctions. He had no authority to do such a thing, but he clearly acted out of gratitude for the Kremlin hackers’ help. Flynn, an expert in strategic security, was too stupid to know – or too arrogant to care – that the counterintelligence division of the FBI legally monitors all direct communication with foreign diplomats.
Whether because of his stupidity, dishonesty, or ideological resentment caused by Obama offending his vanity, it is for the best that Mike Flynn is no longer the man who whispers in the president’s ear and guides him in times of great international crises. Trump already displays enough “emotional instability” as 35 psychiatrists and clinical psychologists wrote yesterday in an open letter. He does not need another mentally unbalanced man to stand by his side 24/7, one step away from the nuclear football, the suitcase containing the nuclear launch codes.