Stringer Bell (played by Idris Elba) was the 2nd in Command of Avon Barksdale’s criminal organization in the fictional TV series, “The Wire.” Unquestionably one of the top-five television series of all time. Watching the current situation of retired Lt. General Michael Flynn play out. There’s a number of things he could have learned from Stringer and here’s six of them:
- Assume You’re Under Surveillance: Stringer knew the police were out to get him. That’s why he made sure people didn’t talk business on their phones. In an era where what they mostly had was pay phones and pagers. They didn’t send clearly worded messages that screamed “guilty.” Stringer developed a code where even if you were looking at the message you needed clocks and maps to schedule a meet where then you handled your business in person. Stringer was never taped having a secret meeting with “the Greek” like Flynn has been with Russians.
- Get Rid of Your Loose Ends: You think Stringer would have left Carter Page and George Papadopoulos running around snitching. Stringer Bell put out a hit on Avon’s nephew D’Angelo without Avon’s knowledge, because of what he knew and might one day say. In the Barksdale crew, if you weren’t willing to bet your life that someone wasn’t snitching, they had to get got!
- Exercise Patience: Stringer took the long view. When Omar was ripping off their stashes and had the Barksdale leaders in hiding. He offered a truce to end the situation, planning to get back at Omar later. Avon’s pride wanted immediate action but they couldn’t find Omar while he was literally killing their profits and crew. Flynn started implementing his get rich schemes, eleven minutes into the Trump Administration according to newly uncovered text messages. Eleven minutes… really Flynn?
- Never Be Flashy: Stringer had a penthouse apartment that almost nobody ever got to go to or knew where it was. He was quiet, he didn’t dress loudly. He simply fit in. Flynn attended State Dinners with Vladimir Putin, posing for pictures that have been repeatedly shown on network news. While Flynn was at rallies shouting, “Lock her up.” Stringer would have been at home, studying economic theory about inelastic goods.
- Use Cut Outs to Do Your Dirty Work: Stringer didn’t do his own hits, he rarely carried a gun. That’s what Chris and Snoop were for. They gave him distance and deniability. Flynn personally attended multiple meetings with low-level Russians, sometimes documenting the deeds. Flynn worked as an unregistered agent for Turkey, hired among other things to coordinate a kidnapping for $15 million. I don’t know what kind of pensions retired General’s get but were times really that hard?
- Don’t Make the Wrong Enemies (or Friends): Stringer Bell ran afoul of the deadly combination of Omar and Brother Mouzone. Stringer’s boss and alleged friend Avon Barksdale gave his location up to a couple of brothers with a skill set that nobody wanted to mess with. As Stringed discovered, they couldn’t be swayed by money, it was justice they desired. Flynn has crossed paths with Robert Mueller with a different skill set, one Flynn wished had never been focused on him. Flynn is selling out his boss Donald Trump and before it’s over, Trump will come for him.
Although Flynn was once the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He apparently didn’t acquire any of the street smarts to navigate the madness of Trump world. He’d have been better served to have watched a few episodes of The Wire. Michael Flynn may feel he doesn’t deserve to be in the situation he finds himself in. But as Snoop from the wire could have told him, “Deserve got nothin’ to do with it.
Flynn’s best response to his predicament might be similar that of State Senator Clay Davis, “Shiiiiiiiiiiiit!”