Reports on Flynn pardon leave out elephant in the room: Israeli interference in US policy

Donald Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Mike Flynn yesterday, and leading media left out a large part of the basis of Flynn’s conviction: Israeli interference in U.S. foreign policy. They said that Flynn got charged for what he did for Russia. There’s no mention of Israel.

First a look back at Flynn’s downfall. In late December 2016, during the transition, President Obama issued sanctions against Russia for election interference. That same day the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak contacted Flynn, and Flynn called the team in Mar-a-Lago then called the ambassador back, and asked him not to escalate the situation. The next day Vladimir Putin said Russia wasn’t going to retaliate.

Flynn lied about these contacts to the FBI; and he got charged.

There’s a second false statement in the same plea document. Flynn actually contacted Kislyak six days before the sanctions matter (on Dec. 22, 2016) to ask Russia to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. President Obama was planning to allow the resolution to pass, and Israeli officials contacted the Trump team, and Jared Kushner then initiated a “blitz” of calls by several officials to call foreign countries to step in. The blitz failed.

Flynn later lied to the FBI about contacting the Russian ambassador over the UN resolution.

US UN ambassador Samantha Power right after the UN Security Council vote on Resolution 2334, which passed 14-0, with Power abstaining.

NPR’s Ryan Lucas covered the Flynn pardon and left out the Israel lie.

Flynn lied to the agents about his conversations with Kislyak, saying he didn’t urge Moscow not to respond to sanctions the Obama administration imposed on Russia in retaliation for the Kremlin’s election interference.

On the PBS News Hour, Yamiche Alcindor said that Flynn pled guilty to lying twice and left out Israel. It’s all about Russian interference.

So, Michael Flynn pled guilty twice to lying to the FBI… about… his conversations with the Russian diplomat, the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

He was talking to that Russian diplomat about the Obama administration imposing sanctions on Russia as a result of Russia meddling in the 2016 election. He was trying to raise the idea that President Trump would have a closer relationship with Russia.

The New York Times has the same selective focus, all about Russian interests. Charlie Savage writes:

“Flynn lied to the F.B.I. about his communications with the Russians — efforts which undermined U.S. foreign policy after sanctions were imposed on Russia for interfering in our elections,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee…

It came to light that Mr. Flynn was lying to his colleagues about conversations he had in December 2016 with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak. In the calls, Mr. Flynn urged Moscow not to escalate in response to sanctions imposed by the departing Obama administration over Russia’s covert election interference to help Mr. Trump, and raised the possibility that the incoming Trump administration would work more closely with Russia.

OK: I’m aware that the Mueller investigation was into Russian interference in the election, not Israeli interference.

But Israeli interference in U.S. policy-making has been far more effective than Russian interference. Jared Kushner’s “blitz” shows that the Israel lobby is really imbedded in our governance. And that pattern continues to the very end of the Trump administration with one gift after another the dying White House is making to Benjamin Netanyahu, surely because of all the money that Sheldon Adelson gives the Republican Party. And the media can’t ever talk about the elephant in the room.

On last night’s News Hour, it was stated that Biden was ending Trump’s “isolationism” and was going to work closely with American allies. “America first… meant America alone,” Biden said Tuesday, blasting Trump. “We find ourselves in a position where our alliances are being frayed.”

There is one alliance that has not been at all frayed, it’s just been strengthened for four years, to a shameful degree. And our media are afraid to talk about it.

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