If retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn were a rank-and-file intelligence analyst, military officer or congressional aide, his career would be in ruins. But instead, he’s getting a promotion.
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming White House national security adviser is on the hot seat once again after The Washington Post reported Wednesday on a secret military investigation that concluded that Flynn “inappropriately shared” classified information with foreign military officers but did not act “knowingly” and did no damage to national security.
The report also disclosed that Flynn mentioned sensitive information to Pakistan about secret U.S. intelligence abilities being used to monitor the Haqqani network, an insurgent group responsible for repeated attacks on American forces in Afghanistan. (Some Pakistani intelligence officials have been accused of actively aiding the network.)
But these are just two of the security breaches that Flynn has been involved with. In fact, his career has involved multiple violations of rules intended to protect national security—exposing both his own hypocrisy and the double standards of a system which overlooks security breaches for high-ranking officials while punishing everyday workers.
CONTINUES TO RUN COMPANY
Flynn continued to run a company that was lobbying on behalf of foreign clients, even as he received classified intelligence briefings during the presidential campaign. It’s an action that could have left him susceptible to foreign influence as he was being provided secret information.
“Once he was receiving classified information again, by not cutting off ties to his company or disclosing these ties in the first place, he was exposing himself impermissible levels of foreign influence and raising doubts about his candor and trustworthiness,” said Bradley Moss, an attorney who specializes in national security law.
PROHIBITED INTERNET CONNECTION
In another incident, Flynn had technicians install an internet connection in his office at the Department of Defense, even though this was prohibited.
“I’ve never seen a more egregious or consequential security violation short of actual espionage,” Hennessey said.
Throughout the presidential campaign, Flynn’s campaign-trail rhetoric emphasized that Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival, should face criminal consequences for her use of a private email server while Secretary of State.