(Washington, D.C.) May 1st, 2014 – The US intelligence community was in an uproar on Wednesday when General Mike Flynn, the leader of the largest and most effective intelligence agency in the world, abruptly announced his retirement. Rumors swirled that the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency was stepping down in the aftermath of a Petraeus-like sex scandal, or that he was forced out by firmly entrenched bureaucrats in his own agency who bristled at his “always out front” leadership philosophy. None of this speculation turned out to be true, however. In a bombshell revelation, anonymous sources close to the White House revealed that the real reason Flynn is retiring, and why many other generals will soon follow suit, is because President Obama is set to repeal the Bush-era American Service Members’ Protection Act (ASMPA).
The ASMPA legislation, often cynically referred to as “The Hague Invasion Act,” authorizes the use of force to prevent prosecutions of active duty US service members by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands. To date, no member of the US military has ever been tried by the ICC… but that may be about to change. President Obama’s move means any sovereign nation can present charges against any member of the US military, and the United States will be bound by international law to hand the suspect over to the ICC for trial. If found guilty, punishment up to the death penalty at the hands of a NATO firing squad. The news of the appeal of ASMPA is sure to further depress a military already rocked by looming manpower and budget cuts, and overly obsessed with thoughtless and unnecessary changes to its uniform policy, but that seems of little concern to a second-term Obama administration intent on undoing everything done during the Bush years.
Sources say that repeal of the ASMPA played heavily in General Flynn’s plans to retire. “Flynn was the J2 (chief intelligence officer) of JSOC and was the head of the DIA. He knows that he’d be the #1 guy on the list for prosecution if it went through,” a DIA operative informed us. “He’s getting out while the getting is good. I feel sorry for everyone else in uniform right now… .” However, a source close to the White House source firmly disagreed with that assertion. “This story is fundamentally untrue. First of all, General Flynn is not #1 on the list of prosecutions,” outgoing White House spokesman Jay Carney said, rolling his eyes. “He’s kidding himself to think that he’s even in the top 5. Look, let me run them down for you: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Petraeus, McChrystal… and THEN Flynn. Maybe.”
Some on the far right believe that the removal of the provision that keeps US service members out of the hands of the international criminal court is a move to intimidate senior “Bush-friendly” US officers like Flynn into retirement, paving the way for a younger, more Obama-loyal group of officers to assume control of the US military. For example, in a surprising move, Flynn will be replaced by General Mary Legere, who is seen by many as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid. For his part, Flynn seems to be looking forward to retirement, and sources say he will be joining his friend and former boss General Stanley McChrystal as a professor in Yale University’s Grand Strategy program.