I have obtained new information that may offer some new insights into the Obama Administration’s covert action to entrap General Michael Flynn. This builds on my last piece–The Obama Administration Manufactured the Case Against General Flynn. When this story is finally told, I think we will learn that Flynn’s FARA problems may have started with a CIA officer, acting on the direction of then CIA Director Brennan, who enlisted the Israelis to ask Ratio Oil Exploration (an Israeli company) to commission their partner, INOVO BV, to hire Flynn’s company. INOVO BV, out of the blue, asked the Flynn Investigative Group aka FIG, to do a study of Turkish dissident Fethullah Gülen.
What Flynn did not know when he accepted the work is that INOVO BV apparently had operational ties to the Government of Turkey and that all communications by INOVO’s chief, Ekim Alptekin, with the Government of Turkey were being “collected” by the NSA and disseminated in U.S. intelligence channels. The FBI was monitoring these communications and used their inside knowledge to pressure Flynn into a FARA filing which they could claim was “false.”
The truth of the matter is that General Flynn did not know he was doing work for a Turkish Government cutout. A basic due diligence search would show that INOVO was partnered with an Israeli oil exploration company. No need to file under FARA given those facts. Michael Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Investigative Group, was hired by Inovo BV:
Inovo BV, the Dutch corporation, is owned by Ekim Alptekin and is the sole Turkish representative in Ratio Oil Exploration, which is the Israeli firm exploring the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea.
To appreciate the diabolical nature of this plot, let us re-read the Mueller indictment of General Flynn:
Other False Statements Regarding FLYNN’s Contacts with Foreign Governments
5. On March 7, 2017, FLYNN filed multiple documents with the Department of Justice pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) pertaining to a project performed by him and his company, the Flynn Intel Group, Inc. (“FIG”), for the principal benefit of the Republic of Turkey (“Turkey project”). In the FARA filings, FLYNN made materially false statements and omissions, including by falsely staling that (a) FIG did not know whether or the extent to which the Republic of Turkey was involved in the Turkey project, (b) the Turkey project was focused on improving U.S. business organizations’ confidence regarding doing business in Turkey, and (c) an op-ed by FLYNN published in The Hill on November 8, 2016, was written at his own initiative; and by omitting that officials from the Republic of Turkey provided supervision and direction over the Turkey project.
There was nothing that General Flynn did under the auspices of the FIG that merited the FBI drilling down on his activities. So why was he targeted? A contributing factor was the lingering resentment towards Flynn for the role DIA played when he was in charge with respect to Obama’s Syria policy. The DIA was an honest broker in a heavily politicized Washington in the summer of 2012. The DIA, under General Flynn’s leadership, accurately reported that Assad’s government was withstanding the U.S. backed rebel onslaught. The integrity of analysis demanded by Flynn earned him enemies from policymakers keen on embroiling the United States in the Syrian civil war.
Once Flynn was out of government, Brennan and his cohorts apparently kept tabs on Flynn and his activities. It appears they were keen on payback and looked for opportunities to entrap him and destroy his reputation. With the benefit of hindsight we can now understand that this was an organized set up. The first opportunity to tarnish Flynn came when he spoke at an event sponsored by RT and ended up sitting next to Vladimir Putin at dinner. This provided the circumstantial evidence to accuse him of colluding with Russia.
The next shoe to drop came courtesy of the intelligence community (i.e., the CIA), who alerted the FBI that Flynn was working for a intel cutout of the Turkish Government. What the CIA did not tell the FBI is that the Brennan’s CIA apparently had helped arrange, albeit indirectly via the Israelis, Flynn’s gig with INOVO.
When Flynn was pressured by the FBI to file documents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, he was being manipulated into a lie. The record that has emerged in the last couple of weeks, thanks to his new lawyer, Sidney Powell, shows that former FBI Chief of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, David Laufman, played a critical role in pressuring Flynn to file.
It is not clear whether Laufman understood that the relationship between Flynn and INOVO was manufactured with the help of the CIA. But the recent release of documents makes it pretty clear that Laufman was dealing in insider information and made no effort to help Flynn understand that he had been deceived by INOVO.
The CIA’s hand remained active in flooding the media with propaganda to impugn General Flynn’s character. David Corn, writing for Mother Jones (he also was instrumental in spreading the Steele Dossier around) painted Flynn in a sinister light:
. . . . The “issue” in question was no small matter. Last year, Alptekin paid $530,000 to retired Lt. General Michael Flynn to lobby on behalf of Turkish interests. At the time, Flynn was a top adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, and after Trump’s shock victory, the president-elect rewarded Flynn with the job of national security adviser. But it later emerged that Flynn had failed to register as a foreign lobbyist for this work, as required by law, and that he was under federal investigation for his secret lobbying for Alptekin.
He denied to ABC News that he and his company had represented the government of Turkey. (In his retroactive filing, Flynn noted that his work for Alptekin “could be construed to have principally benefitted the Republic of Turkey.”) Alptekin blamed the “highly politicized situation” in the United States for the “misunderstanding and misperceptions” around his company and hiring of Flynn.
Corn and Buzzfeed zeroed in on the money paid to Flynn and raised the specter of Israeli involvement, albeit indirectly. Corn wrote:
But an attachment to the filing, citing an American law firm representing Alptekin, says that “Inovo represented a private sector company in Israel that sought to export natural gas to Turkey, and it was for support of its consulting work for this client that Inovo engaged Flynn Intel Group, specifically to understand the tumultuous political climate at the time between the United States and Turkey so that Inovo could advise its client regarding its business opportunities and investment in Turkey.”
None of the money came from Turkey, according to Alptekin’s American attorneys. In an interview with a Dutch newspaper in April, Alptekin said the funds for the Flynn project came from a loan from his wife and payments from Ratio Oil Exploration, an Israeli natural gas company.
Alptekin’s troubles started last June when his Dutch company, Inovo BV, signed a deal to become the sole Turkish representative of Ratio Oil Exploration, an Israeli firm that is one of three companies with the right to drill in the Leviathan gas field beneath the eastern Mediterranean Sea. “Ratio hereby confirms that it has in place a service agreement with Inovo BV and it has granted Inovo with the rights to exclusively represent Ratio in the Republic of Turkey for exploring and managing the opportunity to export gas from Leviathan into Turkey,” according to a copy of a letter on Ratio letterhead, signed by Ratio’s chairman of the board, Ligad Rotlevy, and obtained by BuzzFeed News.
I do not think that Israeli link, i.e, Ration Oil Exploration, is a coincidence. I suspect that Ratio Oil executives now realize that were used unwittingly in this plot to go after General Flynn. They even ponied up some cash. It is understandable why some Israelis would want to get information about Fethullah Gulen in front of the U.S. Government. He is perceived in some circles as a terrorist and an enabler of drug trafficking. Others insist these are unfounded charges and that Gulen is being smeared simply for opposing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
I also think it is worth investigating whether any of that cash came courtesy of Mossad at the behest of the CIA.
Without NSA intercepts of INOVO’s principal, Ekim Alptekin, there would have been no solid case against Flynn on FARA violations. I am hopeful that his new attorney will fully expose the fraud perpetrated on Flynn by his government.