Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

"Colin Powell says Flynn is a 'fucking lunatic,' and having worked with Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bolton, Colin Powell knows fucking lunatics," one observer wrote on Twitter. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

"Colin Powell says Flynn is a 'fucking lunatic,' and having worked with Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bolton, Colin Powell knows fucking lunatics," one observer wrote on Twitter. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Trump Taps 'Master Assassin,' 'Right-Wing Nutty' as National Security Advisor

Amid a wave of controversial new appointments by President-elect Donald Trump, this may be the scariest

Lauren McCauley

An Islamophobic "master assassin" once described by former Secretary of State Colin Powell as a "right-wing nutty" (and worse) has been appointed by President-elect Donald Trump to the post of national security adviser, placing Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in one of the administration's most powerful roles in shaping military and foreign policy.

Flynn formerly ran the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) before being ousted in 2014 for reportedly clashing with other intelligence offices and, according to Powell, being "abusive with staff" and "work[ing] against policy."

However, Flynn himself wrote an op-ed in the New York Post this summer, titled "The military fired me for calling our enemies radical jihadis." The former DIA chief detailed his view of the "global war"—which he says "runs from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela," and throughout the Middle East—and his aggressive plan for combating "the vicious enemy we [are] facing."

Throughout the piece, he denounced the Muslim world as "an epic failure, desperately needing economic, cultural, and educational reform of the sort that has led to the superiority of the West."

On Thursday, the New York Times likened Flynn's frequent espousal of Islamophobic ideas to the views of the president-elect.

"Mr. Trump and General Flynn both see themselves as brash outsiders who hustled their way to the big time," the Times reported. "They both post on Twitter often about their own successes, and they have both at times crossed the line into outright Islamophobia." 

What's more, the Times added: "They also both exhibit a loose relationship with facts: General Flynn, for instance, has said that Shariah, or Islamic law, is spreading in the United States (it is not). His dubious assertions are so common that when he ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, subordinates came up with a name for the phenomenon: They called them 'Flynn facts.'"

In addition to his outlandish and bigoted behavior, Flynn's relationship with the autocratic regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also drawn scrutiny in light of his appointment.

Though not a lobbyist himself, his firm, Flynn Intel Group, is registered as a lobbying organization whose client list includes Turkish businessman Kamil Ekim Alptekin, who told The Intercept on Thursday "that one of his companies, Inovo BV, paid Flynn's company 'tens of thousands of dollars' for analysis on world affairs."

Notably, Flynn penned an op-ed on election day calling for renewed U.S. support for the "strongman president," as the Intercept put it, as well as extradition of the U.S.-based cleric and Erdogan's political rival, Fethullah Gülen.

Though Flynn has said he would "sever" his relationship with his company should he "return to government service," critics point out that he's already sat in on classified national security briefings with Trump while working for foreign clients. "This is profoundly troubling and should be disqualifying," said former ethics adviser to President Barack Obama Norm Eisen.

Compounded by the suite of other controversial appointments made by Donald Trump, Flynn's ascension to power is troubling for many, particularly in light of the fact that the post requires no confirmation hearing. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

Common Dreams Logo