The Washington Post Writer Behind Flynn Leaks Warns In New Spy Thriller About ‘Deep Fakes’
The Washington Post columnist and novelist David Ignatius, who broke the story on Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s phone conversation with former Russia Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, discussed his new spy thriller “The Paladin,” whose main character’s life is turned upside down by a ‘deep fake’ media campaign, which interestingly resembles circumstances surrounding what happened to Flynn.
What makes the premise of the book so interesting is that it appears to closely mirror – in a way – what happened to Flynn. It was, of course, Igantius’ column that was used by senior Obama Administration officials to illegally target Trump’s first national security advisor. In a January, 2017 column written by Ignatius, he outed the contents of Flynn’s private phone conversation with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The leak, itself, is criminal. However, no one has ever been punished for the one obvious crime committed during the former FBI’s Russia hoax investigation.
Interestingly, Ignatius’ new novel involves a CIA operations officer Michael Dunne, who is tasked with infiltrating an Italian news organization but whose life is turned upside down by a ‘deep fake.’ A ‘deep fake’ is disinformation that appears to be reality. Basically, it’s described “as synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness.”
If I was a betting person, I’d say Ignatius, who understands the spy world better than most, based Dunne loosely on Flynn.
“The book really unthreads in the second half in his pursuit of the people that tried to take him down, the technologies that they used to take his life apart both digitally, so I hope there are elements to readers that feel like just like we’ve been living through, in the sense of being so vulnerable, our privacy being exposed,” said Ignatius on John J. Miller’s podcast, The Bookmonger. “Somebody could destroy any of us, the way my hero Michael Dunn is destroyed.”
Who would understand this concept better than Ignatius? Unlike Dunne, however, in Flynn’s case, senior Obama Administration officials manipulated real information, made up lies, unmasked his name illegally and leaked highly classified information in an effort to stain him publicly. They did so, and even admitted in recent declassified FBI handwritten notes that they were attempting to get him fired or criminally charged.
The sad reality is that those former senior officials, who only Ignatius knows, used him as a springboard to target the Trump campaign.
Effectively, Ignatius’ platform spurred the events that have turned Flynn’s life upside down and have aided in dividing our nation. I’m not blaming the messenger necessarily, but everyone involved in helping spread the lies bears some responsibility.
Moreover, our nation has paid a price and in the end the weapon of choice was a pen and paper.