Who Broke General Flynn Upon a Wheel?

On July 1, 1967, The Times of London published an article by its editor, William Rees-Mogg, titled “Who Breaks a Butterfly upon a Wheel?” The editorial decried the severe sentence handed out to the Rolling Stones’ frontman, (now Sir) Michael Philip Jagger, for a minor drug infraction. Rees-Mogg’s editorial turned public opinion in the rock singer’s favor and furthered the cause of his ultimately successful sentencing appeal.

It was also tragically prophetic.

Rees-Mogg’s editorial’s title originated in Alexander Pope’s 1735 “Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot.” The wheel in question is a Catherine wheel, upon which torture victims were tied and “their long bones broken by an iron bar.” By placing a butterfly upon the wheel to be tortured, Pope, as was his wont, coined a pithy phrase depicting a quite likely unhinged individual using “superabundant effort in the accomplishment of a small matter.”

Flash forward 232 years later, Rees-Mogg answered Pope’s question of “Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?” The British justice system.

Surveying the time, effort, and expense that the British justice system employed to target, arrest, prosecute, and exorbitantly sentence Jagger, Rees-Mogg believed the famous defendant inequitably received more severe treatment than would a less famous member of the public.

While the majority of conservatives were celebrating Jagger’s comeuppance, Rees-Mogg ominously warned that the legal system’s inequitable application of the law would do more than the counterculture ever could to erode the public’s respect for law and order, and its faith in British justice.

Fifty-three years later, in light of the latest revelations in his case, Americans can now answer the question, “Who broke General Flynn upon a wheel?” Barack Obama’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s partisan crew, all with an assist by—or is it the orchestration of?—the Central Intelligence Agency.

Whether the perpetrators were Trump-deranged or just cynically using the unhinged resistance and their collusion media cohorts to help cover their tracks, they unleashed the awful power of the federal leviathan upon a decorated three-star general.

Flynn’s transgression? He had the ear and the back of the incoming president and he had earned the ire of the departing president. He knew where the bodies were buried.

He had to be ruined.

So the perpetrators dusted off the unconstitutional (and never before applied) Logan Act of 1799; recorded him; cranked up the smear machine with their media co-conspirators; unmasked him; illegally leaked the transcript; deliberately devised a perjury trap; manufactured an indictment; threatened his son; and—voila!—another “disgraced” American hero deep-sixed by the deep state.

These craven bastards’ vile apologists claim it happens every day. No it doesn’t.

What happens every day is these craven bastards and their vile apologists lying through their bleached teeth. And the frequency of their sins doesn’t excuse their illegitimacy, let alone comfort anyone they’ve railroaded. (Misery loves company, but it would prefer not to be miserable in the first place.)

Despite their venal duplicity, the truth will out—in drips, in torrents . . . inevitably. Yes, the culpable will continue to dissemble and deflect.

Perhaps, they’ll be indicted. Perhaps, they’ll be jailed. Perhaps, they’ll live happily ever after, raking in big bucks, signing books, and singing the blues for progressive audiences from sea to slimy social media sea.

It matters little. Their damage is done. They’re the answer to the first question of “Who broke General Flynn upon a wheel?” But they’ve also unwittingly posed a question they can’t answer. Only you can.

What happens when the party of law and order no longer trusts the American justice system?

For that, our regressive malefactors, we love you. Of course we do.

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

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