When President Obama was in his 75-day transition to the Presidency, he initiated correspondence with Supreme Leader Khamenei of Iran to explore, at the least, some form of what French diplomats call détente, or even entente. But Iran remained an adversary to the United States. Instead of rapprochement, the Shia theocracy was sanctioned by UN Security Council resolution 1803 on March 3, 2008. As it happens, this was prologue to l’affaire Flynn, a scandal whose events resemble those of that affaire to remember, the notorious Affaire Dreyfus. That’s Alfred Dreyfus the army officer, not Richard Dreyfuss the actor.
The first Obama term was devoured by its socialist pursuit of the Holy Grail, nationalizing the healthcare industry. The second Obama term pivoted to a no-holds-barred rush to allying with Iran. In July 2012, Obama hired Gen. Michael Flynn, a 33-year veteran and hero, to serve as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. In August 2014, Obama fired Flynn over, it is widely agreed, Flynn’s opposition to Obama’s policy of an ‘Iran deal’ at any cost.
The internal opposition removed, the Obama team, headed by John Kerry, concluded Obama’s ‘Iran deal’, the JCPOA. With Congress signaling it would not consider the JCPOA to be a treaty, the deal’s legality rested on the flimsiest of bases: UN approval and the foreign-policy equivalent of an Executive Order.
Meanwhile, Flynn was opposing the deal on TV and advising candidate Donald Trump to oppose it. Obama was clearly infuriated. So much that in the interim between Trump’s electoral victory in 2016 and taking office in 2017, Obama instructed his UN ambassador to abstain on UN Resolution 2334 — a resolution designed, with the Obama administration’s approval, to undercut Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Kerry made a gratuitous anti-Israel speech at the UN, and Obama himself announced that Israel’s territory should be cut back ‘to pre 1967 borders’.
Trump had indicated Flynn would become head of the NSA. That would make Flynn an immediate threat to the longevity of the ‘Iran deal’. So during President Trump’s inauguration ceremonials, Obama took the occasion to tell Trump of his concerns about North Korea and conflate that with advice to avoid Michael Flynn.
Much of what happened in Obama and Trump’s Oval Office meeting on January 5, 2017 is now known, and all of it is supposedly under investigation by Attorney General William Barr. On June 24, it emerged that Joe Biden had weighed in at that January 2017 meeting. Prodding Obama to ‘stitch up’ Flynn, Biden suggesting the Logan Act, a hoary chestnut, to indict Flynn. James Comey of the FBI saw nothing there, but he went along with the plan anyway. To ‘get the right people on it’, as Obama had said, Comey had his agents set a perjury trap under the guise of a friendly chat.
A few days before Biden’s role in this scandal came to light, Biden declared on national TV that he had ‘nothing to do’ with the pursuit of Flynn.
On the day we learnt of Biden’s role in this, the Federal Circuit ordered renegade judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the phony indictment. Among its numerous flaws were the withholding of crucial exculpatory evidence by Comey’s FBI and the Mueller gang, including Biden’s incriminating suggestion that the Obama administration ‘get the right people on it’.
Which brings us to that other affaire. In 1894, someone was passing French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris. The French military, smarting from their defeat in the Franco-Prussian war and their loss of Alsace, got the right people on it. Officers in military intelligence settled on an Alsatian French captain, one Alfred Dreyfus, who also happened to be of Jewish ancestry. Dreyfus was court-martialed, convicted on forged evidence, and sent to Devil’s Island penal colony.
Feelings ran high. As in our time, society split in half, in this case into ‘Dreyfusards’ and ‘anti-Dreyfusards’. Dreyfus had spent five brutal years in solitary confinement when an intelligence officer named Georges Picquart found a bordereau, a note, which implicated one Ferdinand Esterhazy as the culprit. Esterhazy underwent a two-day court martial and acquittal. At which Émile Zola wrote the immortal ‘J’Accuse’. As with the exposure of the Mueller enquiry and l’affaire Flynn, much of the media did its best to ignore the evidence of serious governmental malpractice.
In 1899, Dreyfus was repatriated from Devil’s Island for retrial. The dogged and decent Picquart demonstrated his innocence of Dreyfus but, nonetheless, Dreyfus was again convicted and sentenced to 10 years. But this was too much of an affront to the law. Eventually, he was offered a pardon, which he accepted. Restored to his rank, in World War One Dreyfus served his country with honor as Flynn has served our country with honor.
Compare the French high military command and the Obama-Biden command. Compare Judge Sullivan and generals of the French court martial. Compare the suppression of exculpatory evidence in the Obama/Biden directives and the suppression of the exculpatory evidence of the Esterhazy bordereau. And compare the Obama administration’s antipathy to Israel and the anti-Semitism of the army and courts of late 19th and early 20th century France.
History, Mark Twain, said, doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. What does it say about our time that the Obama-Biden administration’s conduct in l’affaire Flynn rhymes with the conduct of French soldiers and politicians in l’affaire Dreyfus, a textbook case of modern abuse of power?