michael flynn’s fall tells a much bigger story

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“i was one very lucky kid,” wrote retired lt. gen. michael flynn in a 2016 memoir about his bumpy childhood in a working-class rhode island family. “i was one of those nasty tough kids, hell-bent on breaking rules for the adrenaline rush and hardwired just enough to not care about the consequences,” he wrote. flynn described how he was arrested but given probation after “some serious and unlawful activity.” but he added: “i would always retain my strong impulse to challenge authority and to think and act on my own whenever possible.” flynn’s luck has run out in recent months. he was fired as national security adviser for misleading colleagues about his questionable discussions last december with russian ambassador sergey kislyak. now he’s under investigation by the pentagon’s inspector general for failing to get approval for payments he received from russian and turkish sources, despite a clear warning in 2014 that such approval was required.the puzzle is why flynn, who had a reputation as a meticulous tactical intelligence officer during his army career, was so careless when he left the military. the story is a personal tragedy for flynn, but it illustrates a......

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