Gen. Michael Flynn’s company just got caught making a secret propaganda film featuring a former Turkish military intelligence officer to promote his Turkish paymasters’ goals to slander a cleric who lives in Pennsylvania as the scapegoat for a coup last summer.
President Erdogan of Turkey is obsessed with moderate Sunni cleric Fethullah Gulen, and blames him without proof for a coup attempt last summer. Just last week, reports emerged that Special Counsel Mueller is closely investigating Flynn’s time as a secret Turkish agent, which coincided with his time on the Trump campaign ending just before being designated National Security Advisor by the Trump Transition team.
Never before seen footage emerged today in a report by the Wall Street Journal (embedded below), which shows that Flynn’s Iranian-American business partner Bijan Kian hired former CNN and Vice reporters to produce a hit piece against the cleric, but tried very overtly to keep the Flynn Intel Group’s fingerprints off of the propaganda film. The Journalwrote:
Flynn Intel Group hired professionals to shoot the documentary and then worked to conceal its role in producing the film, according to David Enders, a former VICE News correspondent hired to work on the project. The Wall Street Journal reviewed footage prepared for the unfinished documentary, which was shelved last November, two days before Mr. Flynn was officially asked to become the president’s national security adviser.
Mr. Enders and Rudi Bakhtiar, a former CNN anchor hired to be the on-camera face for the film, said the disclosure in March about Mr. Flynn’s work as a foreign agent came as a shock.
“Bijan said they did not want to be connected to this in any way,” Mr. Enders said. “He said: ‘We don’t want anyone to know the Flynn Intel Group has anything to do with this.’ ” Mr. Enders said Mr. Kian didn’t explain his reasons. Mr. Enders said Mr. Kian told him to bring the equipment in piece-by-piece so the hotel staff wouldn’t know they were filming. “It was very hush-hush,” Mr. Enders said. “They were like Keystone Kops.”
Flynn’s propaganda film included a former high-ranking Turkish intelligence officer, who told a tale of being harmed by Gulen, a pro-Western moderate Sunni cleric that was an ally of Turkey’s autocrat Recep Erdogan. The Journal wrote:
As Ms. Bakhtiar prepared for the interviews, Mr. Kian greeted the men she would be talking to, which included Ismail Hakki Pekin, the general who once served as head of Turkey’s military intelligence branch, and Nedim Sener, a well-known Turkish journalist.
Trump’s failed National Security Advisor was fired in February, after only 24 days on the job, and soon thereafter admitted to being a secret agent working to promote a political narrative to benefit Turkey’s dictator.
General Flynn was reportedly plotting with Turkish government officials in September 2016 and as recently as during the Trump Transition to unlawfully extradite Gulen, but former CIA Director James Woolsey blew the whistle on his outrageous plans.
Last week, the plot thickened when reports indicated that a Turkish-Iranian national and gold trader, Reza Zarrab, accused of violating US sanctions against Iran, may have cut a plea bargain to cooperate with federal prosecutors. NBC News suspects that Zarrab’s plea on the eve of a trial looming next Monday may be somehow related to General Flynn’s secret mission for Turkey:
Attorney Danny Cevallos, a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, says that given the relationship between Erdogan and Zarrab and the allegations of an improper relationship between Flynn and the Turkish government, Zarrab’s decision to cooperate with federal prosecutors is a significant development.
“You can fill in the gaps that federal investigators are looking for any relation between Erdogan and Flynn,” Cevallos said. “So, to the extent that Zarrab has any connection or knowledge of that, it is very important that they’re flipping him.”
Cevallos said that based on his experience and what he’s read about the case, Zarrab’s release from federal jail to federal custody is entirely consistent with someone who is cooperating.
Zarrab is a billionaire in Turkey and his co-defendant is the CEO of a state-run Turkish Bank who was arrested visiting the United States earlier this year, prompting the US Attorney’s office in New York’s Southern District to file a new indictment for both men. But jury selection began this Monday without Zarrab.
General Flynn’s role in the Trump campaign was as often prominent as it was murky.
The former NSA chief was known for starting the infamous “lock her up” chants at the Republican National Convention.
Flynn was also connected with GOP operative Peter W. Smith, who spent the campaign surreptitiously seeking Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russia hackers, and trying to validate material they had obtained. Smith later committed suicide under mysterious circumstances.
Special Counsel Mueller’s probe has its hands full digging into the numerous overt and covert operations conducted by General Flynn, and although he hasn’t been indicted yet, reports indicate that there’s more than enough material in the hands of prosecutors to charge him with a long list of grave national security crimes.