Michael Flynn thinks QAnon is nonsense. We know this because pro-Trump attorney and QAnon believer Lin Wood released an audio recording of Flynn saying as much. It’s one of those rare natural advantages the good guys hold over the bad guys. Bad guys tend to squabble among themselves and stab each other in the back a lot more than good guys do, and Lin Wood is clearly stabbing Flynn in the back by releasing the audio. It is, after all, what makes them bad guys in the first place.
Remember, Flynn has publicly supported QAnon in the past. He’s even helped sell some of their paraphernalia. But before you go giving Michael Flynn credit for sanity, albeit Machiavellian and cynical sanity, he said in the same recording that he thought the origin of QAnon was with the CIA. “I think it’s a disinformation campaign,” Flynn said to Wood. “I think it’s a disinformation campaign that the CIA created. That’s what I believe.” Flynn has, in short, taken one cracked conspiracy theory and replaced it with a bigger one. So it’s not a case of Flynn proving he’s saner than the people around him, it’s Flynn proving he’s even more insane.
To be sure, the CIA has done its share of ugly things in the past, such as domestic wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, human rights violations, recruitment of Nazis and the overthrow of Chilean president Salvador Allende, just to name a few. But it is not so all-powerful an agency that it can start and populate a whole movement. For one thing, such an undertaking would require a great deal of money and the silent cooperation of hundreds of people, if not thousands of people. Such things just aren’t possible in the real world most of us live in. But idiots like Flynn never think of such things.
There is one element of additional sanity in Flynn’s insisting Q didn’t start with Trumpers. On some level Flynn must know that the QAnon movement makes Trump people look ridiculous, even in the eyes of some other Trump people. After all, QAnon people are the ones who waited for the reincarnation of John F. Kennedy Jr to declare Donald Trump president in Dealey Plaza in early November. They’re the ones who, before that, insisted Trump was going to be reinstated in August. To say nothing of their claims, their prediction record is poor.
But Flynn’s renunciation of QAnon has an even darker element than his alternative conspiracy theory or his concerns that it’s making Trump and his people look silly. Flynn thinks the QAnon movement is getting in the way of what hardcore Trump supporters should really be up to, namely mass violence. In the call, Flynn promised to send Wood an article about QAnon’s failures. Flynn referenced an article by white supremacist radio host Hal Turner who endorses the idea of mass violence against the liberal left.
The sordid mess that is Michael Flynn is a sad commentary on the kind of people that sometimes populate today’s military. While there are many fine men and women in America’s armed forces, there are no natural filters to keep people like Michael Flynn from joining up and going far. Flynn managed to become a three star (Lieutenant) General in the Army before retiring. I hope I don’t need to say how dangerous such people are, and the fact that there are still some people very much like Michael Flynn who are working inside America’s armed services is worrying indeed. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.