…from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: The Flynn story refuses to go away, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. He is by no means the first to cash in on his former high government position experience. But for those in the top security slots, it seems to be open season for them marketing their influence, based on all the classified information they had access to.
This is way past any defense of the right to pursue one’s private retirement employment endeavors. No one has posed this yet, so I will be the first. CIA people in certain slots are routinely polygraphed to assure they have not been bad boys, and these are people way down the line. We hear this even extends to post-retirement for some specialties.
It is time to get onto the table that all of these top people who market their past government experience ALSO need to be subjected to similar polygraphing, with the national security concerns far outweighing any right to privacy.
They are paid six-figure retirements under the theory of that being their reward for their government service, but we see now that is viewed as just the starting point — just start up money for building a second career in influence pedaling. One of the things I applauded Trump on was his call to ban all Congresscritters from being lobbyists for foreign governments.
Another uncovered aspect to this is all the top-tier group of law, PR and speaker firms that act as intermediaries in these transactions, which give cover to the newly retired hustlers that they remain within the letter of the law.
And if push comes to shove, they have the added protection of, “I relied on my very experienced legal counsel”, which is usually a ticket that protects one from a “malicious intent” charge.
Than can actually fly if you can show that it is the norm in Washington. But the catch comes not in whether the structure is kosher or not, but if the facts submitted have been “jiggled” to fit the proper format. That would then put the intermediaries in the crosshairs of a conspiracy case, which bottom line, is what most of these post-retirement hustles are, as they are conspiring to get around the laws.
VT has said this before and will keep saying it. These huge fees are not paid for “open source” Intel or analysis. That is just the cover for what is being purchased, but none of it ever goes on paper. The customers want top-quality classified Intel, getting it from someone who appears to be above suspicion.
That is what too many of these retirees are marketing, as they are not naive; and most have been watching how this game is played and have planned to get their piece of the action way before they retire. Flynn’s real risk, besides the layer of smoke being blown, is his deal with the Turks, who have run huge espionage operations in the US, and to not overpay… Jim W. Dean ]
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– First published … April 02, 2107 –
Michael Flynn, who was recently forced out of his job as US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on the first of two financial disclosure forms released by the administration.
According to documents released by the White House on Saturday, the former official listed speaking engagements to Russian entities, including the Kremlin-funded RT TV and Volga-Dnepr Airlines. A financial disclosure form signed by Flynn on March 31 revealed this information.
An initial form was submitted to the Office of Government Ethics and the White House in February and just days before Flynn was ousted from his post amid controversy over his contacts with Russia’s ambassador.
However, the process of review and revision of the first form in consultation with the White House Counsel’s Office and the Office of Government Ethics was suspended when he resigned.
In those documents, he noted that he received fees through a speaker’s bureau, but he did not state the names of the organizations that paid to have him as a speaker. In recent days, officials at the White House asked him to finish the process and advised him to itemize each organization that paid him.
Early in March, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, disclosed new documents showing that Flynn had also been paid in 2015 for speeches in Washington by Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Kaspersky Government Security Solutions.
The disclosure forms show that Flynn earned at least $1.3 million in the past year, including more than $827,000 through his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group.
- Trump blames NSA, FBI for Flynn ouster
- ‘Flynn testimony can expose US deep state’
- Trump’s top aide under attack for Russia ties
Flynn was forced to resign in February from his position as Trump’s first national security adviser after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador to the US in late December.
The conversation, which took place before Trump’s inauguration, centered around lifting then-President Barack Obama’s sanctions against Russia. Any discussion of sanctions at that time would have amounted to a breach of US law banning private citizens from engaging in foreign policy.
The FBI, as well as the Senate and House intelligence committees, are investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and any possible ties between Trump’s associates and Moscow.
Flynn has been in discussions with congressional investigators on receiving immunity from “unfair prosecution” in exchange for agreeing to testify about ongoing probes into possible contacts between Trump’s election campaign and Russia.