Tags: NSA/Surveillance | Russia | Ukraine | Michael Flynn | Vladimir Putin | Edward Snowden

Gen. Flynn: Obama Knew of Crimea Danger Before Invasion

Image: Gen. Flynn: Obama Knew of Crimea Danger Before Invasion

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 08:15 AM

The White House knew that Russian troops were planning to invade Ukraine for several days before they stormed into Crimea, according to the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was scheduled to tell NPR on Friday that the Obama administration had been alerted to Russian troop movements showing that they were on the verge of infiltrating the strife-torn country.

"I think for easily seven to 10 days leading up to the Russian troops as we see them now in the Crimea, we were providing very solid reporting," he said.

"We move from one level of a condition of warning, which I would just describe as sort of moderate to one where we believe things are imminent."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressly denied that Russian troops have taken over Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine that is home to Russia’s fleet in the Black Sea. He maintains that the soldiers who are not wearing identification are local militia protecting their homeland.

The invasion came a week after pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from Ukraine after a series of deadly clashes in Kiev with pro-Western protesters.

In his interview on NPR’s "Morning Edition" with David Greene, Flynn hit back against claims that U.S. intelligence agencies had been caught off guard by the Kremlin invasion.

The U.S. Army lieutenant general revealed that U.S. intelligence gatherers are keeping a close watch on "some of the naval activities up around the key bases" in the Black Sea.

"We saw what has been referred to as an exercise inside of Russia, and we're paying very close attention to any additional activities of some of their key military forces," Flynn said.

Flynn also discussed the intelligence community’s concerns about fugitive Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a treasure trove of classified information and now has temporary asylum in Moscow to avoid U.S. treason charges.

Flynn said that intelligence officials are closely examining the possible answers to such questions as, "What kinds of information did he touch, did he take. What do we know?"

According to NPR, Flynn said the biggest fear by U.S. officials is that he could have escaped with sensitive information about intelligence and operational capabilities, technology, weapons systems and war plans.

"Does that knowledge get into the hands of our adversaries?" Flynn said. "In this case, of course, Russia. We have to assume the worst case and then begin to make recommendations to our leadership about how do we mitigate some of the risks for what has been compromised."

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The White House knew that Russian troops were planning to invade Ukraine for several days before they stormed into Crimea, according to the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Michael Flynn,Vladimir Putin,Edward Snowden
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2014-15-07
Friday, 07 Mar 2014 08:15 AM
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