If Flynn were Turkish, he’d be in jail

If Michael Flynn were a Turkish citizen, he’d probably be sitting in a prison cell awaiting trial on terrorism charges, writes Zia Weise for Politico.

Weise referred to a speech Flynn gave in Cleveland in July 2016, just as rebel military officers occupied Turkish airports and cities, in which he praised the secular military and derided the Turkish government for taking the country “toward Islamism”.

Any Turkish citizen uttering such support for the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government would have been arrested and jailed for supporting terrorism, Weise said, referring to the detention of tens of thousands of people on the same charges for acts such as having an account at a bank affiliated with Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

But, instead of condemning Flynn, Turkey ended up making an exception, and asked him to lobby for the extradition of Gülen, who it blames for the coup attempt. Flynn was happy to make an about-turn and comply, Weise said.

Weise, in her report from Istanbul, talking to pro-government pundits as well as Ahval to understand what did the Turkish government saw in Flynn and invested in him despite his open support for the failed coup, as probably the only human being in the world who did so.