Trump & Bannon aren't planning to go away after the election. Joshua Green writes in Bloomberg in an article called "Inside the Bunker" about Trump's long term plan to transform his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States (POTUS) in an Alt Right movement, whether Trump gets elected or not. He explains how Trump Staffers like Brad Parscale are using database, direct marketing driven methods to create and maintain, a network of followers that will, hopefully for the Trumpster, outlast the election. This is a less benign effort similar to what the Obama Campaign did in 2008 but with a different set of objectives.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016
I had trouble finding Trump's Gettysburg address. One article that claimed to be about it was actually the transcript of one of his Florida speeches. The second was his prepared remarks, which he referenced but didn't read straight. I was trying to avoid actually listening to him so I wouldn't throw a shoe at my TV. He tried to sound like Gingrich. He wants another contract on America. I look at his contract and some of it might be acceptable, but most is not.
- ● FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
- The best way to impose term limits is by having public, well resourced and transparent elections.
- ● SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
- This slanders Federal workers. It also is a hollow thing since the agencies wind up hiring more privateering contractors instead of permanent employees, which generates increased corruption and conflict of interest. But it sounds good to his base.
- ● THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
- This caters to the corrupt and lazy business establishment which blame regulation for their inability to squeeze more money out of unemployed and underpaid workers.
- ● FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
- This has already been tried. It doesn't work. The best way to avoid this is, counterintuitively, to reward public service and reduce the value of corporate lobbyists by increasing the power of ordinary citizens to lobby their government, to use ordinary courts to deal with disputes and to input on regulatory decisions and record grievances.
- ● FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;
- He'd have to fire his staff.
- ● SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
Disrupting our Economy
- ● FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
- For all the complaints about NAFTA withdrawing from it would disrupt our economies and probably plummet our society into a depression.
- ● SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
- So much for that.
- ● THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator
- This is presumptuous, ignores the most basic rules of due process, and would provoke the Chinese to retaliate. A trade war with China would hurt us.
- ● FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately
- This is something all our Presidents already do.
- ● FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
- Great idea, more communities to be poisoned, disrupted and then shut down when the Grifters leave town. We already are producing at a maximum.
- ● SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward
- Keystone would have served an export market for Canada. Done nothing for US jobs.
- ● SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure
- This sounds like a lot of money, but the country needs to invest nearly a billion dollars. Not the millions we contribute are nowhere near "billions".
This list is mostly symbolic, based on lies about the causality of our economic issues, and much of it would hurt the people who are screaming for it.
The Really Scary Stuff
The rest of his list is a mix of lies, unfunded promises and some really scary stuff. So I'll skip to the really scary stuff and hope I don't have to finish explaining why the rest of his garbage is demagoguery.
- ● FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
- He calls them "unconstitutional" but that his his opinion.
- ● SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States
- Which means to him and fellow Cons, putting someone who will deny the right to privacy implied by "secure in ones papers and personal effects, and key to Roe Versus Wade
- ● THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities
- That would take a statute. But essentially he's promising retaliation to cities where Democrats are a majority.
- ● FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back
- Rolling the cattle cars.
- ● FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
- War on Muslims. Applying the "bad skittles" fascist argument. Again with the cattle cars and concentration camps!
10 Legislative faux promises and Privateering
His ten legislative proposals are all things that benefit his corporate sponsors or things the GOP will not pass, because the GOP created most of them in the first place.
He claims this is a plan that would benefit the middle class: "An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy." He claims that "the largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut." Which sounds good but such tax cuts are always tied either to revenue cuts to programs that pay out to the middle class. So essentially this sounds good but it is like lead acetate -- really a poison.
When he says "The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate." he is talking about the bulk of his "middle class tax cuts" going to the top 1%, even more to the top .1% and to the billionaire classes, who really don't need it and will only hoard money and loan it at interest and use that to knock more people out of the middle class. It is a plan for destroying the middle class not helping them.
Since the GOP refuses to pass anything like this now, I doubt they'll do it for Trump. Although once he destroys the middle class they'll be willing to work for less than Chinese workers.
He claims he'd "Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years." His claim that "it is revenue neutral" might be true in the short term, but shifting incentives to the private sector, privateering, shifts the revenues from energy and infrastructure to the pirates. And most our infrastructure and energy repair and upgrade needs that require public sustainment need to be directed in the public interest, or instead of lifting "all boats" they will simply aggravate our already oppressive economic inequality and boost it to new levels of misery.
"School Choice" "Redirects education dollars" in a fashion that gives some parents privileged access to public money, while denying the same right to others. Seeking to establish a "right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice" winds up starving public schools and denying resources based on income. His promise to "end common core" claims to offer to "bring education supervision [back] to local communities" but it won't do so as the centralization it legitimately criticized is generated by State power not Federal power. Trump claims he'll "expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable" but he's planning to cut funding for these efforts -- so he's lying.
Likewise Trump means it when he promises to "Fully repeals Obamacare" but when he promises to "replace it with Health Savings Accounts" and "the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines" is a give-away to upper middle class and wealthy citizens but is at the expense of blue collar workers as is letting "states manage Medicaid funds" which they do presently under regulations that prevent them from stealing them. Trump's plan would continue the trend to deny healthcare to the working poor and tradesmen. Ironically, most of whom are eating up this proposal as if it will help them. Trump would also protect snake oil salesmen like himself: "Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA" Trump seems to think that cutting the red tape on the "over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval" will speed "the approval of life-saving medications." But either the FDA vets those drugs or people will find the unvetted medications life destroying.
Health Savings accounts and the like do nothing for folks making low wages or with unsteady jobs. Most people can't afford them, and most small employers won't be able to afford them even for themselves. His "reforms" are simply a return to the status quo ante and a means for denying access to health care.
His proposal to "Allow Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes" is a give away to the upper middle class and the wealthy. It will do nothing for blue collar workers and most tradesmen. It sounds nice to "incentivize employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families" but these programs don't deliver to low-income families and are actually more costly than simple single payer approaches.
Trump claims he can "Fully-fund the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall" -- Which can only be enforced if Trump invades Mexico; "establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation" -- which also would divide mixed families and create the usual problems of injustice, along with his "5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations" -- I suppose the private prison system would like this. We already have "penalties for overstaying" and deny "open jobs" to undocumented or poorly documented aliens. These laws, without enforcing penalties on those who hire undocumented workers or put in the infrastructure to document workers better -- are worse than useless. They are designed to establish a pool of cheap labor either by driving more people underground or through prison camps.
And Trump pretty much threatened to wage war on Mexico in his Gettysburg Address.
He wants to do yet another round of "Reduc[ing] surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars." So much for decriminalization, treatment and rehabilitation. The more people we put behind bars the more it costs us, short term and long term. This sounds good to Sheriffs, however, as they need the funds.
Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values.
We presently spend more money than any two or three of our largest rivals combined.
Repeats Newt Gingrich's fake reforms to "Enact new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics." These do little good without the power to enforce them, transparency and public financing of the electoral process.
Malice towards everyone -- Channeling Jeff Davis
I didn't want to do a point by point critique. But I couldn't help myself and someone needs to do it. And this is just the stuff his handlers wanted him to say. Daily Mail notes:
Trump "aired more grievances against the journalism profession and the parade of women who have accused him of unwanted kissing and groping years – and in some cases decades – ago" and said "after the election, he plans to sue them." Quoting Trump:
'Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never,' Trump declared. 'All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.'
Trump is also promising to persecute the Democrats for allegedly starting fist fights. So we'll be arrested and beaten up for letting Trump thugs arrest us and beat us up at his rallies. What makes this a bit dicey is that if Trump wins he'll also have the FBI, IRS, Secret Service, and his minions in local police, going after US!
His comments warning he won't accept the electoral outcome unless he wins, and promising insurrection, rebellion and retaliation, are more reminiscent of Jefferson Davis in 1860 than Abraham Lincoln in 1862 or 1863 when he gave the Gettysburg address. The Southerners invaded the North every year from 1862 to 1864. The last time they did so they tried to attack Washington and nearly shot Abraham Lincoln at the battle of Fort Stevens. Despite that Lincoln called for "malice towards none." Trump reeks of malice.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Watching this election made me pull out my copy of "The Origins of Totalitarianism" by Hannah Arendt.
Here is what she wrote about Trump's followers:
“The mob is primarily a group in which the residue of all classes are represented. This makes it easy to mistake the mob for the people, which also comprises all strata of the people. While the people in all great revolutions fight for true representation, the mob will always shout for the “strong man,” the “great leader.” For the mob hates society from which it is excluded, as well as Parliament where it is not represented.” [Origins]
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
A friend of mine noted that "Trump rose on GOP's 3 pillars" [Trumps 3 Pillars]:
- xenophobia(build wall)&
- Islamophobia(Muslim ban).
"Anybody who sez otherwise is full of sh!t",
....and I have to agree. But that is only part of what is going on. If you go to one of the Conservative Websites designed to recruit students. They will tell you that the "four pillars of Conservatism" are:
- 1 liberty / freedom
- 2 tradition & order
- 3 rule of law
- 4 belief in God
- Source: https://home.isi.org/pillars-modern-american-conservatism
This sounds nice, except the constitution explicitly prohibits inserting religion into politics, since it is generally divisive and there is no true catholic and orthodox religion unless authorities resort to authoritarianism and impose it; or religious authorities have the wisdom to stay out of areas where their knowledge fails to be helpful.
But nobody can argue with concepts like liberty and freedom. Nothing is wrong with tradition & order, except that imposing it on others means abrogating or infringing on personal liberty and freedom, and tradition is something that has to have some flexibility or it becomes a source for oppression.
So essentially liberty/freedom are in potential conflict with tradition/order -- so these pillars have to balance or they bring down the table they are supporting.
Us Progressives argue that tradition should not be restraining on improving personal and public welfare. They'd agree on Items one and three, but argue with rigid adherence to authority. Tradition should guide us not bind us.
And of course there are religious progressives and religious conservatives. So on the whole most people are fine with all four traditions and just differ on the degree to which they feel bound by #2. Progressives included!
Progressives believe that "order" should not be an excuse to infringe on people's private behavior. We are the conservatives on matters of personal liberty, mostly.
So in theory conservatives would be environmentalists, conserving the traditions of public access to parks and recreation, our harmony with nature, and man's role as Gardner of the planet tending to God's creation. Conservation of Nature is a conservative value.
In theory conserving the public good would be a conservative principle. The bible enjoins conservatives to look out for "widow's and orphans" to help one's "brother", and to contribute to the public welfare. Under a conservative regime paying tithes would be mandatory and public welfare would be administered through the churches. In our secular society it is too much for Churches, who have no one to enforce their tithes. So those advocating dismantling the welfare state are not conservatives. They look for other excuses to nullify the constitutionality of such programs -- saying the Church should do them. But upholding that tithes should not be mandatory. Thus defenestrating Churches from doing that role.
I point that out because there is nothing conservative about building giant walls, abrogating treaties, or doing away with public welfare, privatizing public services and education, or turning over our resources to rich people. All that is not conservatism.
The Confidence Scheme
So what it is is that modern conservatism is a confidence scheme. Read the offered link and you'd think that conservatism is all about liberty and tradition, upholding the constitution and establishing order over criminals and terrorists seeking to invade and trouble the country.
But the sales of conservatism are aimed at convincing people that a particular religious ideology, a particular tradition and peculiar ideas of who, what, how and why we get and keep order in our society. Modern conservatives complain about Donald Trump, but he's only pushing ideas that the GOP has developed and used over the past 50 years in order to win elections by stoking fear, paranoia and anger. I could go into detail but I won't. I have other things I need to be doing right now.
Besides, I wrote on this 2 years ago, talking about Lee Atwater:
People should read my article and it's references
But of course the 4 pillars are the bait in a confidence scheme!
Unfortunately, the reality, the "switch" of the conservative confidence game is that the only thing conservatives are actually conserving is wealth.
Their economic distress is diverted, using scapegoating, to bigotry. Part of the con! Sell them on "conservatism" hook them with hate!
- 1 No liberty unless white
- 2/3 order & law = authoritarianism
- 4 belief in God unless Muslim.
So essentially the "4 Pillars of conservatism" translate to nativism and authoritarianism.
Trump is the creation of Lee Atwater, Reince Priebus and the GOP
I have a lot more to say, but I need to work on some other things right now.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
- Maybe when the battle is over I can pity the man
- Whose Armies marched into my country
- Raped and pillaged across my lands
- But for now I must steel my heart.
- I look at the army arrayed on this hill
- Proud flying banners young naive soldiers
- Brave, they don't know how brave, till they die
- And already I can see them in the places they will lie.
- I see them where they are standing, and I see them where they lie
- Bent and broken things and blood every where.
- They call this romantic, but for this grizzled hair I've had it.
- I feel no glory, only shame. I sigh.
- Maybe when the battle is over and the dead are buried
- And this man and his armies are running, defeated and hurried.
- I'll be able to try and understand his anger and his hate.
- But I am standing with my army and the hour is drawing late.
- And I must sound the horn to charge.
- And now I go to my fate.
- By Christopher H. Holte, channeling someone elses memories
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Review of Scientific American Article
This article in Scientific American is comprehensive and deals with the subject really well. I think anyone who is savvy on the subject would agree with their thesis that:
"Slowing the rise in human numbers is essential for the planet--but it doesn't require population control"
It is worth reading though I have a few critiques on some of the points.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
- The dead don't care
- Whether death came from a firing squad
- Or from the air.
- The dying don't care
- Whether their enemies are religious
- Or mindlessly shooting targets from a drone
- The dead don't care
- Whether the bombs that killed them:
- Are stamped "made in the USA,"
- Home Grown,
- Or made in China.
- This old game
- Is neither fun
- nor Good for anyone
- Or the least bit fair.
- I hear the old ones
- The fat, gray haired ones
- In stuffed shirts,
- Wearing uniform ties
- and gray coats
- Presenting their bombs in brief cases
- As footnotes in floods of paper
- Drowning the dead in words.
- In rhetoric
- About fanatic religion
- And rebels
- And no fly zones.
- and pointing fingers
- At each other
- Like bombs of misunderstanding
- Or wands of curses and imprecations
- As if those words were the jet planes
- RPGs and drones,
- Rocks being thrown
- Delivering up death.
- They point
- As if they were speaking spells
- and they weren't all of them liars
- And guilty instead.
- Each revealing his own guilt
- With three fingers.
- These old Greybacks
- Hominid standing gorillas
- Send children to fight their battles
- While playing at rhetoric
- And objectifying the dead.
- The dead are ISIL and rebels
- Are Shia and Sunna
- Yazidi, Christian and Jews
- Tossed in makeshift trenches
- In ecumenical horror
- With lime thrown in to reduce the stench.
- All the While the greybacks pontificate from the bench
- And partisans rant and rage
- At who is at fault
- and who built this cage?
- That is tearing people apart
- And throwing the pieces in graves
- Where they bury their own pretenses
- To civilization.
- Remember the three fingered thing
- When you point.
- Bombs of misdirection
- Lies piled upon lies
- And meaningless facts
- Piled in manilla stacks
- On bureaucratic tables!
- Pooh pooh, the food won't reach you
- We bombed the convoy
- So your benefactors can number among the dead!
- We send you our bureaucratic condolences instead!
- Our cordon will kill the rebels
- And their families, children, relatives, neighbors, friends
- And enemies
- In deadly efficiency
- The machine of war has been unleashed
- In all its efficient confusion
- Assumptions leading to contusions
- Well meaning horror
- Generating even more misery
- As folks use bullets to stop bullets
- And bombs to stop bombs.
- How much better to escalate?
- Than to build mountains
- Of mindless hate?
- "I want revenge because I am scared of you."
- And you want revenge on me too!
- We have harmed one another
- What else can we do?
- We fight near magiddo
- Yet another Armageddon!
- And centuries of antichrists
- 3 fingers accuse me too.
- And my ancestors.
- We survive on grace
- In hopes of atonement
- But not merit.
- The dead can't point fingers
- Only the living can do that
- Their fingers have been severed
- And tossed in trenches
- By guilty survivors
- Who will point at one another
- And say
- "This is your fault"
- That they were buried to day
- And the three fingered principle
- Says yes it is ours
- I can only look on in horror
- As once again mixed intentions
- Spin out in insanity.
- The Accuser does his job
- Hoping someone will stop him
- The Satan is a prosecutor doing his job
- With a jury of angels
- None of us humans can lie to.
- It is just facts.
- Bones in the ground
- That tell a story of injury and fear
- Hunger and privation
- And cannibal violence done by man
- Human graybacks mindlessly fighting
- Over resources and power
- Using fear.
- The dead don't accuse us
- But their spirits do
- Each was a person
- Not a skeleton
- A friend maybe
- Or a lover
- Someone to get to know
- Objectified in death
- Only the suffering is left
- In echos and waves of hurt and fear
- In us, their relations.
- That three fingered thing
- Is also our hope for salvation.
- When we no longer feel
- For what we have done
- We are numb
- And we are dying.
- It is the living who suffer
- And we are fools
- Because we see these things
- Time and again
- Yet we keep pointing at ourselves
- Instead of pointing all our fingers
- In outstretched hands
- And clearing the rubble.
Christopher H. Holte
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
I've been trying to figure out Trump's foreign policy. Key to my confusion is listening to Donald Trump. So I turned to Michael Flynn to try to resolve it. His views seem to have "evolved" from when he was still in the military to the present moment. Not too long ago he conceded that the rise of ISIS/Al Qaeda was the responsibility of George W. Bush and the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. At one time he was in charge of our Defense Intelligence Agency. During that time he was in charge of interrogations. He was in charge of "torture lite" while in the military, he did shut down the amateur hour "torture heavy" efforts. Now he says;
"I felt the country was at such risk and I was advising five of the candidates running for president. They all reached out to me … Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Ben Carson Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump. … They would ask me about national security, what’s happening in the world, my thoughts on particular issues." CNN_Flynn
Trump firt went to Russia while still:
"in the military [while director of the Defense Intelligence Agency]. I went there on a fully approved trip. I had a great trip. I was the first U.S. officer ever allowed inside the headquarters of the GRU [Russian intelligence]. I was able to brief their entire staff. I gave them a leadership OPD. [Professional development class on leadership] and talked a lot about the way the world’s unfolding." CNN_Flynn
He admits that:
"We were working closely with them on the Iranian nuclear deal." CNN_Flynn
Ultimately with Russian and Chinese cooperation we got a Nuclear Deal. Thanks to Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry's efforts. He, like Kerry, doesn't want to give them any credit for making such a deal for partisan reasons.
Bullying the Arabs
Flynn talks about demanding respect in return for continual aid from the USA. He maintains that we have to demand a relationship with Arab (and NATO) members:
"to be one based on respect and acknowledging that there is a cost for not doing that. There is a cost." CNN_Flynn
In that first part it sounds like he is talking about mutual respect. But he's talking about "respect" mafia style. He literally contradicts himself later in the same interview:
"you can put a different set of demands on these guys. Our conversations have been too polite. Our conversations have been political conversations with political people who try to be politically correct and not with people who can say, okay, what is it we want to have going forward? CNN_Flynn
Flynn is closer to Trump's views than Pence is. Like with Bush signing the Status of Forces agreement they blame Obama for, they criticize our involvement and then call for more involvement. Both seem to want to send in more troops, but bully the Arab states to pay for them. Maybe they want to invade Saudi Arabia next.
Why was he fired?
But I wrote this article as a vehicle for answering the question of why Flynn was fired. The answer is that apparently Flynn had his own ideas about Military Strategy. The Wasington Post reports:
"In 2010, Flynn rankled many of his counterparts in the intelligence community when he published an article that was sharply critical of the information that spy agencies were assembling in Afghanistan. The effort was so focused on tracking insurgents that U.S. military and diplomatic leaders got little to help them understand the political, economic and cultural issues driving the insurgency." [Washington Post]
The reality is that the article illustrated Flynn's frustration with fighting an insurgency that it was obvious the senior brass wanted no part of. The Washington Post reported:
"Flynn clashed with other high-ranking officials, including Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael G. Vickers. Officials said Flynn had opposed Vickers’ efforts to make significant cuts to large intelligence centers established to support the U.S. military’s regional overseas commands. A former CIA operative, Vickers has sought to model the DIA’s training and overseas presence more closely on its civilian counterpart, according to current and former U.S. officials." [Washington Post]
Flynn wanted the DIA to be more involved in the conflict. Not less.
Business Insider shared the "water cooler" arguments:
"Flynn attempted to push DIA analyses and operators into the field and other high-intensity operations. This ran counter to how the DIA saw itself, leading many to believe that Flynn's vision for the agency was disruptive." BI Article
He wanted to make DIA more like the Joint Special Ops Forces he'd run before coming there.
"Flynn's critics also maintained that his management style was chaotic and that his aggressive push for changes often did not include an adequate follow-through." BI Article
If you are going to integrate field battalion level Intelligence with Brigade level and Division level intelligence, then you institute policies to do so with the collaboration and cooperation of the people involved. Flynn wrote an article on the subject, but he doesn't seem to have followed through with his talk. And since he was the man in charge, it was his job to develop a plan and execute. He had taken over an intel operation that was using "Torture Heavy" techniques strait out of the Inquisition or the Russian playbook. He would implement less heavy handed "torture lite" techniques that met the Geneva Conventions (barely). He'd take credit for the "new" methods.
"Flynn previously served as a senior intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command. During this time he was credited with creating innovative interrogation techniques leading to significant breakthroughs in counterterrorism operations in Iraq and Afghanistan." BI Article
I'm not sure what he actually did. But I can guess that he stopped the heavy handed methods and had his interrogators applying more FBI style questioning methods. I'm not sure he stopped the extreme isolation and sensory deprivation techniques, but I know Obama ordered him to.
Michael Flynn seems to have been actually booted for not respecting the chain of command, assuming that the Obama Administration and joint chiefs, had "no strategy" and for pushing for changes that would have required more boots on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, than anyone wanted to put there. His 2010 report "Fixing Intel" pushed for better intelligence integration, and more focus on understanding the local politics and culture. However, the strategy that the administration is pursuing is to pull out of direct action in Iraq and Afghanistan not to send in more Troops and DIA agents.
Calling Out Islamic Extremism
Of course he says he was booted for calling out Islamic Extremism. In a Washington Times Article:
“As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him,” Gen. Flynn said. “The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.” [Washington Times]
After saying that, he then contradicts himself! Saying we need:
"Iraq-style boots on the ground operation and the same type of coalition Mr. Bush assembled for Iraq is needed to defeat the Islamic State. He stressed the importance of giving Arab nations a leading role in the conflict, but he said Western troops would have to do much of the heavy lifting." [Washington Times]
Essentially he seems to want us to re-invade the Middle East!
Which is of course exactly the strategy he criticized when talking about President George Washington Bush! So the problem isn't that Obama and the Joint Chiefs don't have a clear strategy it is that he has his own ideas and doesn't like any strategy they might come up with. But essentially has no strategy that would reduce the human carnage of folks from the United States.
He also hints at the real problem with our efforts against ISIS:
“if we catch them financing, if they funnel money to IS, that’s when sanctions and other actions have to kick in.” [Washington Times]
He blames Obama for financing ISIL, but he neglects that our real problem is that our Sunni Allies are often on both sides, or ambivalent, about stopping ISIL, that the rebels against Assad are often half in the ISIL camp and that this is a thorny diplomatic subject due to the oil regime. The strategy he seems to want to pursue is to enlist Russia and Assad to help us attack ISIL, while bullying the Sunni Arab Gulf States. I'm sure that would work as well as invading Iraq or toppling Qaddafi. Meanwhile Trump talks about simply stealing the Oil.
- 2010 Report "Fixing Intel: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/AfghanistanMGFlynn_Jan2010.pdf