Editors' pickPolitics

Robert Mueller’s investigation into Michael Flynn focuses on $15M father-son kidnapping scheme

Though several articles have appeared saying that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has all the information he needs to level indictments against former national security advisor Michael Flynn, those indictments are yet to appear. At least part of the reason for the delay appears to be that Mueller is still investigating other charges, including Flynn’s scheme to grab a cleric sheltering in the United States and hand him over to one of Flynn’s autocratic clients—to be executed.

Under the alleged proposal, Mr. Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million for delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, according to people with knowledge of discussions Mr. Flynn had with Turkish representatives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pressed the U.S. to extradite him, views the cleric as a political enemy.

Which sounds very much like high dollar kidnapping with government assist. Because it is. And the payoff for this caper included Flynn’s son, meaning that Flynn’s concerns that junior might be caught up in Mueller’s investigations seem well-founded.

One person familiar with the alleged discussions about Mr. Gulen said Mr. Flynn also was prepared to use his influence in the White House to further the legal extradition of the cleric, who lives in Pennsylvania.

It wasn’t until March of this year that Flynn finally signed up as a foreign lobbyist for Erdoğan, but that didn’t keep him from lobbying. In addition to using his influence with Trump, Flynn was working with other officials to get Gülen out of the country. And he was not exactly subtle about his goal.

On the morning of the 2016 election, readers of The Hill were faced with an editorial by Michael Flynn. The subject wasn’t Donald Trump. It wasn’t Russia. It was all about grabbing a Muslim cleric currently in the United States and handing him off to Turkish dictator Recep Erdoğan.

The primary bone of contention between the U.S. and Turkey is Fethullah Gülen, a shady Islamic mullah residing in Pennsylvania whom former President Clinton once called his “friend” in a well circulated video.

Flynn produced no evidence against Gülen, but compared him to the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood, with whom Gülen has no connection.

To professionals in the intelligence community, the stamp of terror is all over Mullah Gülen’s statements in the tradition of Qutb and al Bana. Gülen’s vast global network has all the right markings to fit the description of a dangerous sleeper terror network. From Turkey’s point of view, Washington is harboring Turkey’s Osama bin Laden.

If that sounds scary, it was supposed to. The point of Flynn’s piece was to justify taking Gülen out of the country and handing him over to Erdoğan. The truth is that Erdoğan suspects Gülen of supporting an attempted coup that was launched after Erdoğan first began to purge Turkey of opponents.  And like everything else evil in the world, Flynn traced Gülen’s presence in the US back to one controlling force.

Incidentally, Cosmos Foundation is a major donor to Clinton Foundation. No wonder Bill Clinton calls Mullah Gülen “his friend.” It is now no secret that Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s close aide and confidante, worked for 12 years as the associate editor for a journal published by the London-based Institute of Minority Muslim Affairs. This institute has promoted the thoughts of radical Muslim thinkers such as Qutb, al Bana and others.

Flynn’s put Gülen, Clinton, Abedin, and Muslims in general all in a nice box, trying it up with a racist bow to justify what amounted to kidnapping, and ultimately murder, for hire. 

The original op-ed provided little information as to why Flynn had taken such a deep and detailed interest in Gulen, or in Turkey for that matter. An italicized bio note at the bottom of the piece read as follows. “Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (ret.) is the former director of Defense Intelligence Agency and the author of New York Times Bestseller ‘The Field of Fight.’”

Which is a bit different from the credit that now appears on that editorial.

Editor’s Note: On March 8, 2017, four months after this article was published, General Flynn filed documents with the Federal government indicating that he earned $530,000 last fall for consulting work that might have aided the government of Turkey.

All of which means that Mueller has plenty to investigate—including a meeting between Flynn and Erdoğan’s son-in-law after Flynn was named as national security advisor, in which the pair plotted the kidnapping of Gülen.

Mr. Gulen’s removal was discussed as “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away,” according to Mr. Woolsey, who said he attended the meeting at the request of one of Mr. Flynn’s business associates.

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