Visit ArabTopics.com

Foreign Correspondent: Michael Flynn’s Forgotten Turkish Connection

Before Russiagate, the former national security advisor was an operative for Turkey, tilting foreign policy against the Kurds.

-by Reese Erlich
@ReeseErlich

Trump’s Justice Department wants to drop all charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn despite his having admitted to being guilty. Twice. The judge in his case has so far refused to knuckle under and is investigating whether Flynn’s conviction should stand.

In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about a secret phone call with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Lost in the hubbub over Russiagate, however, was Flynn’s slimy role as a lobbyist for Turkey. A Turkish businessman paid Flynn $530,000 in 2016 to push pro-Turkey, anti-Kurd policies in hopes of influencing the Trump Administration.

The American public has mostly forgotten about Flynn’s Turkey connections, says Steven A. Cook, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in  Washington, D.C.

“There’s more going on with Turkey than people may realize,” Cook tells me.

Flynn’s money-driven opportunism is just one example of the operations of Washington’s foreign policy lobbyists. As a candidate, Donald Trump correctly criticized the Washington swamp, but as President, instead of draining it, he has shoveled in more muck.

I’ve dipped my toe into the swamp on occasion by attending conferences and press events populated by Washington’s elite. I’ve rubbed elbows with the likes of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Chaney’s former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Believe me, these folks are just as evil in person as they appear on TV.

Washington swamp creatures are easily identified by their black pinstriped suits, wingtip oxfords, and red power ties. Two kinds of people attend these events: those in power and those hoping to seize it.

Washington is crawling with former diplomats, intelligence officers, and business executives eager to influence policy and make a buck. And so enters former army Lieutenant General Michael Thomas Flynn, poster boy for the military-industrial complex.

Flynn's checkered past

Flynn, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, came to Washington  during the Obama Administration as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was forced to resign for insubordination in 2014, whereupon he joined the Washington swamp by forming the Flynn Intel Group.

In 2016, Flynn hitched his wagon to candidate Donald Trump, giving a fiery speech at the Republican National Convention in which he echoed the call to “lock up” Hillary Clinton for her handling of State Department emails.

Behind the scenes, however, Flynn was engaged in offenses for which he could be locked up. The Flynn Intel Group signed a contract totaling $600,000 with a Turkish businessman who had close ties to authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan wanted Washington to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a political opponent living in Pennsylvania since 1999. Gulen is a rival political Islamist who had a falling out with Erdoğan.

The Turkish president accuses Gulen of organizing the unsuccessful July 2016 coup. At the time Flynn spoke favorably about the military trying to overthrow Erdoğan. He also criticized Turkey for allowing terrorists to cross the border into Syria.

But after receiving the contract to help Turkey, he did a 180-degree turn and supported Erdoğan’s policies.

“Flynn believes whatever is good for Flynn is good for America,” Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network, tells me. “The minute they put money in his bank account, he became pro-Turkey. That was the shocking part.”

Kidnapping

In September 2016, Flynn arranged a meeting between former U.S. officials and Turkish leaders, including the country’s foreign minister, energy minister, and Erdoğan’s son-in- law.

Participants at the meeting talked about kidnapping Gulen and bringing him to Turkey. Former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, who attended the meeting, said they discussed “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away.”

In December, Flynn wrote an op-ed for the influential Washington publication The Hill in which he compared Gulen to both Osama bin Laden and Ayatollah Khomeini. According to analyst Cook, the op-ed could have been written in Ankara: “It was all Turkey’s talking points.”

Flynn didn’t bother to tell The Hill editors that he was a paid lobbyist for Turkey.

Flynn became part of Trump’s transition team after November 2016, and he used the position to push anti-Kurdish policies. At that time, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were on the verge of taking control of the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqa, Syria.

He told the Obama Administration not to provide arms to the SDF and implemented that policy when Trump came to power in 2017.

But Flynn’s stint as National Security Advisor lasted for only three weeks. He was forced to resign after revelations of his phone call to the Russian ambassador. In March, Flynn registered as a foreign agent for Turkey.

In 2019, a federal jury convicted Flynn’s business associate, Bijan Kian, on two felonies: conspiracy to violate lobbying laws and failure to register as a foreign agent for Turkey. Flynn was scheduled to testify against Kian but changed his story at the last minute, causing problems for the prosecution. The judge later tossed the verdict, saying the prosecution didn’t prove its case.

As part of an overall deal with federal prosecutors, Flynn was never charged in connection with his lobbying for Turkey. It seems unlikely that he ever will.

Corrupt world

Flynn’s activities are just one example of the corrupt world of foreign lobbying. Recently, the New York Times exposed how defense contractor Raytheon pressured the Trump Administration to sell sophisticated weapons to Saudi Arabia, which were then used to slaughter civilians in Yemen.

The Yemen war, which began in 2015, has killed an estimated 100,000 people and displaced 80 percent of the population. Saudi air bombardment of hospitals, schools, and other civilian targets helped create one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. US arms manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have profited handsomely from the slaughter.

Until recently, Raytheon’s vice president for government relations was a former career army officer named Mark Esper. Today Esper is Secretary of Defense.

Crawling into bed with lobbyists is bipartisan activity. The Obama Administration sold $10 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and its allies. Trump has openly boasted that US arms sales provide corporate profits and jobs at home.

“Trump has been more forthcoming praising U.S. relations with Saudis because they want to buy more weapons,” Kurdish activist Xulam tells me. “He doesn't care what Saudis do with the weapons.”

Analyst Cook says the entire system of foreign lobbying needs major reform. “It’s a scandal that needs to be cleaned up,” he says. “It’s legalized foreign influence peddling.”

Source: 
Down With Tyranny

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Please Stop the Ride 22
The Infectious Myth 21
Lockdown Skeptics 21
Sam Husseini 31
Dr. Andrew Kaufman 3
Swiss Propaganda Research 18
Off Guardian 68
Cory Morningstar 10
James Bovard 40
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 422
Pass Blue 370
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 17
John Pilger 425
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 3358
FEE 5409
Marine Le Pen 403
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 1221
Mohamed Omar 404
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 19
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 143
Vetenskapsradion Historia 196
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 261
Les Crises 3917
Richard Falk 219
Ian Sinclair 136
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 12609
Kafila 651
Gail Malone 45
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 11324
Vanessa Beeley 214
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 6084
Paul Craig Roberts 2546
News Junkie Post 73
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 6121
Sir Ken Robinson 25
Stephan Kinsella 118
Liberty Blitzkrieg 884
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 4127
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 102
David D. Friedman 165
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1541
Tom Dispatch 629
Levant Report 18
The Saker 5104
The Barnes Review 598
John Friend 535
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 162
New Eastern Outlook 4890
School Sucks Project 1826
Giza Death Star 2178
Andrew Gavin Marshall 28
Red Ice Radio 684
GMWatch 2587
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 35
Jay's Analysis 1175
Le 4ème singe 91
Jacob Cohen 220
Agora Vox 19459
Cercle Des Volontaires 455
Panamza 2599
Fairewinds 121
Project Censored 1250
Spy Culture 626
Conspiracy Archive 84
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 647
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 1054
Independent Science News 90
The Anti Media 6877
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 317
The Mind renewed 460
Natural Society 2627
Yanis Varoufakis 1140
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 166
Porkins Policy Review 456
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 646
Libyan War Truth 363
DeadLine Live 1916
Kevin Ryan 68
BSNEWS 2127
Aaron Franz 269
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 123
Dr. Bruce Levine 160
Peter B Collins 1789
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 11943
Climate Audit 227
Donna Laframboise 509
Judith Curry 1190
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2728
Syria Report 84
Human Rights Investigation 94
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 13586
Laura Wells Solutions 50
Video Rebel's Blog 482
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 22921
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3393
Northerntruthseeker 2884
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4880
AntiWar.com Blog 3412
AntiWar.com Original Content 7662
Corbett Report 2661
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1297
Webster Tarpley Website 1154

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public