By Michael McGrady
Author’s note: The below version of this op-ed was published prior to the realization that General Flynn was told to hand in his resignation to the President.
Normally, it is not characteristic of me to speak foul of people charged with supporting the mission of our country’s national security; however, today is a special occasion, I must sadly report.
Michael Flynn served his country admirably as one of the many well-respected leaders of the Defense Department. In fact, he was viewed with high regarded by superiors and subordinates when he led entities like the Defense Intelligence Agency. We all owe him a lot for serving our country in these many capacities, during his noteworthy career in public and military service.
Nevertheless, even roses have thorns – and can draw blood.
Lieutenant General Flynn is a victim of not only circumstance but of his own design. To begin, intentional or not, in his short role as the Trump Administration’s senior national security advisor, he communicated misinformation to Vice President Michael Pence. Such an act cannot go unpunished.
For the longest time, cases such as this (military greats falling from grace for acts of pure stupidity) should provide the American people the 30,000-foot view that all people in government need to be held accountable.
In the initial stages of the Administration’s transition of power, President Trump tried to make a “dream-team” of national security experts that understood how the field works. Flynn was the guy and we cannot deny this. In the end, as we have seen, even the cream of the crop gets complacent to their roles in the food chain of American government.
Flynn, in his resignation, indicated, that, “Throughout my over thirty-three years of honorable military service, and my tenure as the National Security Advisor, I have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the President of the United States.” Honored he should be.
Despite all of this, though, Flynn’s resignation is indicative of the importance of maintaining the status quo of national security application. He acted in a capacity that is not acceptable, though very rare, is punishable by harsh reprimands. Knowingly speaking to foreign actors on matters of such levels like sanction removal can also spell delinquent state of affairs.
Foreign policy is not a game. Even to what seems to be littlest mistakes, like the actions of Flynn communicating with the Russian Ambassador in such a manner, can spell out disastrous ramifications for international relationships, U.S. Foreign Service personnel, and our armed forces.
“I am… extremely honored to have served President Trump, who in just three weeks, has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world,” Flynn further laid out in his resignation. Reality caught up to us, sadly.
Flynn was a good egg and he will be missed, I am sure. In the end, though, the Administration’s mission is to put “America First.” In an attempt to sound less crass about it, Flynn’s resignation is a step in the right direction to achieve such a goal.
God’s speed, General. I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your service to the American people.
Originally published in The Daily Caller.