David Petraeus' Peckergate
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Editor, The Konformist
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All In, by Paula Broadwell
General Petraeus: "The Spy Who Loved Him"
It's absurd to think the FBI just found out about CIA Director Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell, his biographer. The timing is too convenient.
The FBI knew about the affair some time ago and, under strict orders, kept their mouths shut until just after Election Day. If they hadn't, the scandal would have blown up during Obama's campaign run.
During the period the FBI knew about Petraeus' affair, they also knew he was completely vulnerable to blackmail. In FBI and CIA circles, to have done nothing about it is considered treasonous. Putting a gag on these FBI people had to been done by the White House.
The latest word is that Petraeus will not testify before Congress about what really happened in Benghazi. He "may be called" on the carpet at a future time, which could mean never.
His absence will help conceal details of the Chris Stevens murder and the build-up of US-sponsored terrorists in the Benghazi sector of Libya.
In fact, Petraeus' initial statements to Congress, behind closed doors on September 14, led legislators to believe that absurd film trailer was the cause of the "uprising" at the house where Stevens was attacked and killed. Was the General's ridiculous declaration made under orders from the White House, who had the blackmail goods on him?
Then, finally, on October 26th, Petraeus, perhaps fed up at how he was being used by the White House to provide cover for the president, stated: "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need [in Bengazi]. Claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate."
In this whole scenario, we would be looking at a potential case of double blackmail. First by the White House, who knew of the affair sometime ago, and second, by whoever might have wrung CIA and military secrets out of Petraeus because they knew about his affair with Broadwell.
What does that make Paula Broadwell. In intelligence parlance, she would be a classic "honey trap."
By circumstance, by accident, or on purpose?
She has a long military background. A graduate of West Point, she directed counter-terrorism studies at Tufts University. She worked with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. She is no innocent.
She very well knew that, during the time of their extended affair, Petraeus was vulnerable to any number of blackmail vectors. This did not make her waver.
She knew this wasn't just some fling with a lieutenant colonel or even a run-of-the-mill general. Petraeus was head of all forces in the Afghanistan war. Then he was CIA director.
There are a lot of ways to write a biography that don't involve sleeping with the subject and opening him up to blackmail at a very high level.
People from both sides of the aisle in Washington are expressing deep sorrow that an American hero had to resign. What nonsense. They're building cover for Petraeus. They're intentionally avoiding the question of what compromises he may have agreed to during his peak military service and intelligence directorship.
In Afghanistan, Petraeus was Obama's choice to replace Stanley McChrystal, the general who blew his career during a Rolling Stone interview in which his men took pot shots at the president.
It is quite fair to ask whether Petraeus served as Obama's man in Afghanistan under the unspoken but implied threat that, if there were any kerfuffles, any deviations, any criticisms of the White House Afghan policy, Petraeus' affair would become public knowledge.
Despite claims by a friend that the affair with Broadwell began after Petraeus assumed leadership of the CIA, there is a strong possibility it started earlier, when Broadwell was "embedded" with the general in Afghanistan.
Was Paula Broadwell covertly working for the White House during her affair with Petraeus? Was she working for somebody else? Did she start out as an agent? Was she drawn into becoming one because she, too, as a married woman, was open to blackmail?
The public and the mainstream press, playing the part of "oh isn't this too bad but of course nothing really serious or weird or compromising could have happened here," doesn't want to know how the spy game is actually played. They'd rather watch Jeopardy and pop Zoloft.
"Two people, both married, couldn't resist a great passion. It happens. All of us make mistakes. We understand. Even great men can succumb. And she was obviously smitten. What a shame."
Petraeus, the man, is now a legitimate target for serious questions. If he entered into the affair, knowing full well the blackmail it opened him up to, what is he all about? Where have his loyalties resided?
Some starry-eyed people will think asking about this is "impolite," because, after all, "the man is an American hero." Nonsense.
Then we have questions about Petraeus' potential political career. The press went after him with all sorts of questions about what he might do in the 2012 election. The idea was out there. Could he run for president against Obama? Could he become the next Eisenhower?
If he had decided to make the move, he would have had a formidable number of supporters. But he adamantly said no. Was this a genuine expression of disinterest, or was Petraeus already compromised and under the thumb of the White House?
"All right, David, you're gone from Afghanistan now. You've retired from the Army. The hero returns. Don't get any ideas about running for president. You know what we know about you. By the way, the director of Central Intelligence is open. How would you like that job?"
"Oh no," people say. "This kind of thing would never happen."
Really? What kind of world do you think Washington is? The Peace Corp with martini lunches? The Unitarian Church with occasional brandies and cigars?
Remember Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's famous remark when she was asked about the devastation the US was wreaking in Iraq through its economic sanctions?
May 12, 1996, 60 Minutes. Lesley Stahl says: "We have heard that half a million [Iraqi] children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"
Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price---we think the price is worth it."
Now that's the real world of Washington, once the PR people get out of the way.
Blackmail of a famous general, a director of the CIA? That's nothing.
A famous general falling under the power of blackmail? A general who knows some of the deep dark secrets about Dope Inc., the trillion-dollar opium growing operation in Afghanistan, a general whose troops have helped to restore the planting of the poppies there? A general who knows about the longed-for oil pipeline running through Afghanistan and the various persons whom it will benefit?
Could Petraeus have been a target for all manner of blackmail mounted by numerous parties?
Is the Pope Catholic?
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com.
Done in by the PATRIOT Act
The Grand Irony of the Petraeus Sex Scandal
There is a delicious irony to the story of the crash-and-burn career of Four-Star General and later (at least briefly) CIA Director David Petraeus.
The man who was elevated to the ethereal ranks of a General Eisenhower or Robert E. Lee by swooning corporate myth makers like the Philadelphia Inquirer's Trudy Rubin, the Washington Post's David Iglesias, and the NY Times' Michael Gordon, was never really that brilliant. It wasn't his "surge" after all that quieted things down (temporarily) in Iraq; rather it was a deal to pay off the insurgents with cash to stand down until the US could gracefully pull out without the departing troops having to be shoot their way down to Kuwait in full retreat. As for his allegedly "brilliant" counterinsurgency policy of "winning hearts and minds," we have already seen how well that has worked in Iraq, which is now basically a client state of Iran, and the writing is already on the wall in Afghanistan, where the US is almost universally loathed, with US forces spending most of their time looking out for Afghan soldiers who might turn their guns on their supposed ally and "mentor" American troops.
For a real measure of Gen. Petraeus, go to Admiral William Fallon -- that rare military leader who had the guts to tell President Bush and Cheney he would not allow an attack on Iran "on his watch," thereby quite possibly saving us all from being at war with Iran years ago. Fallon, who at the time in 2007 was head of Centcom, the military command region covering the entire Middle East, once reportedly called, Petraeus, who was being put in charge of the Iraq theater, an "ass-licking little chicken-shit" -- to his face.
Anyhow, what makes the epic collapse of this consummate political general's career so exquisite is that it was the post-9-11 spying capabilities of the FBI that allowed its agents to slip unannounced into the email of the General's paramour, Paula Broadwell (a name that could have been selected by Ian Fleming!), and possibly into the general's own email too, there to find the evidence, allegedly in the form of X-rated letters, of a covert adulterous relationship underway.
We now know that the FBI was alerted to this breach of decorum (if the illicit romance began while Petraeus was on active duty in Afghanistan, he could be prosecuted under the same rules that have led to the prosecution of many lower ranking offers: bringing ill-repute upon the military) and lack of judgement on the part of the head of the nation's spooks, by a second woman, Jill Kelley, who was a volunteer military liaison and family friend of the Petraeus clan. Kelley's closeness to Petraeus allegedly caused the jealous Broadwell to allegedly send threatening emails to her imagined rival, including one that told her to "stay away from my guy!"
It seems likely Kelley, in asking the FBI to put a halt to the threatening emails, would have been quick to point out that Broadwell was having an affair with Petraeus. In any event, once the FBI successfully go the telecom company she was using to allow them into Broadwell's email, that would have been clear, and it would have been easy work to move on to the general's own cache of love letters (in which he may have been referred to by Broadwell by what she told The Daily Show's John Stewart was his childhood nickname: "Peaches").
The CIA chief was thus done in by the Patriot Act and other assorted violations of the First and Fourth Amendments, all backed by Gen. Petraeus and his political promoters in Congress and the White House, as well as in the corporate media.
Of course, while we can enjoy this payback, and speculate on how it must be giving the shivers to many a philandering White House staffer and member of Congress, it should also be a warning to us all that the FBI, the CIA, and the myriad other intelligence agencies littering the US landscape, these days have virtually limitless ability to monitor our every email message, tweet and phone call.
Maybe we should invite the now humbled Petreaeus to become the poster child for a renewed battle to restore the Bill of Rights.