Trump Therapy 27.1 -- Heroes
Most analyses of the leaks associated with the Flynn situation assume that they are motivated by political/ideological considerations, or animus toward Trump as a result of his attacks on the Intelligence Community. No one seems to be considering the most obvious answer -- the leaks are neither ideological or personal, but are patriotic.
Imagine that you are part of the IC -- working for the CIA, or FBI counter-intelligence, or other intelligence agency. And lets say you find out that a top administration official with access to all national security secrets appears to have been seriously compromised -- that a foreign power has information that would be very embarrassing, at the least, to that official, and that official knows it. Even assuming that the official would not respond to any overt blackmail or extortion threat, the official's actions will be informed by the knowledge that his reputation, and possibly his job, are at risk every time he makes a decision regarding that foreign power.
At that point, the IC employee would do the obvious, and kick the information upstairs with the expectation that it will be dealt with at the very highest levels of government. And it does get kicked all the way upstairs, to the Oval Office.
And nothing happens.
This means that the Oval Office is now compromised, because it has chosen to do nothing in the face of embarrassing information about a high official. Disclosure now means that not only the compromised official, but the President, would be implicated -- and that decisions made by the President would be informed by the embarrassing secret.
So what's a patriotic member of the intelligence community to do? The answer is obvious -- First eliminate the possibility that the information can be used by a foreign power by disclosing the embarrassing information to the media. And if that doesn't get results, if the White House does not acknowledge what has happened and if the cover-up continues, reveal the cover-up so that knowledge of it cannot be used by anyone to influence policy.
And that is precisely what happened here. The IC knew that Flynn had lied about his communications with Russia to people like the Vice President, and that disclosure of that information would be embarrassing to Flynn. So they made sure that Trump knew about it. And Trump did nothing -- he didn't even tell Pence. Trump was now compromised, because he was covering up what Flynn had done.
So the IC leaked to the media that Flynn had lied about his conversations with Russian officials. At that point, it was incumbent upon the administration to come clean, and admit that there was a problem, and that it was being dealt with. But rather than do that, the administration decided to withhold embarrassing information about Trump's own involvement from the public -- and thus put itself at the mercy of those who could disclose the information.
So the other shoe was dropped -- the information that was embarrassing to Trump was disclosed. By "leaking" the information about Flynn's lies, and Trump's cover-up of those lies, the IC made it impossible for that information to influence policy, or compromise the decision-making process.
Right now, it appears that Trump is in a battle with patriotic Intelligence Community members. One has to assume, since Trump was briefed on Flynn's indiscretions, that he has also been briefed about the even more serious allegations regarding his campaign staff's communications with Russia. But by "leaking" the information that there is no proof yet of actual wrongdoing by members of the campaign, Trump is being given the opportunity to save face, and to take the necessary and appropriate steps to "clean house"; to either do it himself, or support some kind of independent investigation into the whole "Russian influence on the election" thing. But instead of taking advantage of the opportunity that the IC is providing Trump to address the problem himself, Trump is doubling down on his attacks on the IC.
And thus, the leaks will continue, As long as the information about the Trump campaign's complicity in Russia's election-related actions are hidden, and as long as Trump continues to cover up that information, Russia has very significant leverage over Trump and his staff. The only choice that the Intelligence Community has is to act in the interest of national security, and that means not allowing Russia to know things about Trump that the American people do not.