Michael Flynn, QAnon, and the Kraken
Michael Flynn was a high-ranking general and Donald Trump’s national security adviser, at least before he resigned, and was later prosecuted for lying to the FBI in the course of an investigation into whether he was acting as an unregistered foreign agent. So it’s a little strange that after receiving his pardon from Trump, Flynn appeared to pledge allegiance to QAnon, a wide-ranging conspiracy theory that claims Trump is secretly fighting an Underworld-style war against a cabal of Democratic pedophiles with the aid of the U.S. military. One would think that if the whole Satanic liberal conspiracy thing was true, Flynn would have been privy to some inside information.
Since then, Flynn has become a sort of QAnon celebrity. Some adherents theorize he might be the real-life identity of or at least closely connected to “Q”, the pseudonymous individual or individuals whose rambling internet posts claiming to be a high-ranking military or intelligence official inspired QAnon in the first place.
At a QAnon conference in Dallas in May, Flynn suggested that the U.S. military should stage a coup like the one which occurred in Myanmar earlier this year. (The military of Myanmar is committing ongoing genocide against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority, and the nonprofit Human Rights Watch has compiled numerous instances of human rights abuses and atrocities since it took power.) Flynn also suggested efforts to purge QAnon content from social media websites was tantamount to war, telling attendees, “We’ve been getting picked off from the social media tech titans left and right… We are fighting for an information beachhead right now.”
Flynn has taken advantage of his popularity by selling QAnon-themed merchandise emblazoned with the phrase “Digital Soldiers,” a term he used while in the military to describe cyberwarfare units that has since been understood by conspiracy theorists to refer to themselves. An Intercept investigation showed that Flynn and those close to him have cashed in via a network of conspiracy-friendly companies, defense funds, and at least one tax-exempt organization, though many of the online enterprises have since become inactive.
Former Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who had previously invigorated QAnon supporters during the time when Trump was actively contesting the 2020 election results in court by promising to unleash the “Kraken,” disappointed some at the conference by admitting no coup was coming. Instead, according to Texas Monthly, she suggested that QAnon supporters take matters into their own hands.
“There are no military tribunals that are going to solve this problem for us,” Powell told attendees, next to her own merch table. “It’s going to take every one of us rolling up their sleeves.”
In related news, the FBI warned in June that it believed QAnon supporters would likely grow more violent as they rolled up their sleeves and took matters into their own hands.