Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Patraeus Affair Sucks

DCIA David Patraeus
By now, I'm sure everyone reading this will be well aware of the fact that Gen. David Patraeus, the four star general that planned and lead the surge that pacified Iraq under President Bush, and became CIA director under President Obama, was forced to resign yesterday when it became public knowledge that the FBI was accusing him of carrying out an affair with Paula Broadwell, a former Army officer who had written a hagiographic book about him "All In." What was she thinking about with that title?
"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

Lieutenant Colonel Paula Broadwell
Broadwell is/was an army reserve officer, who worked in intelligence, before she became a "journalist" and his biographer.  At least according to Wikipedia, she was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the summer of 2012; so I assume that she is still active military unless she also resigned.  She is married, and has two young sons.

Yesterday, when the affair was revealed, and Patraeus resigned, FBI officials accused her of having attempted to access Patreaus' email without authorization, although, no criminal charges are expected to be filed.

It is now being revealed that the email investigation began with an email dispute between Broadwell and some other woman close to Patraeus. The other woman complained of harassing emails by Broadwell.  Those journalists; they'll screw you one way or another (or both).

This appears to be an incredible disaster for the United States.  By all accounts (except for the loony left, who used to call him General Betray-us), Patraeus was an able commander, and to the extent that anyone can evaluate a CIA director, by whose nature much must remain secret), an able director as well.

The nature and timing of the revelations lead to several interesting questions:

1) Since the FBI has been investigating the email question since spring this year, how did this escape public notice until 3 days after the election?  Almost certainly, having this revealed before the election would have been a black mark against the Obama administration, and might have tipped a few votes.  It is reported that FBI officials are furious that he was allowed to stay in office while the case progressed:
“The decision was made to delay the resignation apparently to avoid potential embarrassment to the president before the election,” an FBI source says. “To leave him in such a sensitive position where he was vulnerable to potential blackmail for months compromised our security and is inexcusable.”
2) It is also now reported that as a result of his resignation he will not be called on the testify before the House Intelligence Committe in the Benghazi matters:
A House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer told The Daily Caller that former CIA Director David Petraeus will not testify before the committee next week. The committee, however, expects to have a CIA witness at its November 15 hearing.
Why would his having resigned make him any less able or his testimony any less necessary for an investigation of the Benghazi debacle?  He was CIA director when the event occurred.  If anything, he should be anxious to explain to the legislative overseers what occurred from his perspective.

You might recall that he denied to the press that the CIA had withheld any aid to the embattled compound.
"No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate."
This pointed the finger squarely at the Defense Department, under Leon Panetta, or the White House itself.

3) Patraeus pursued a "moderate" drone policy, limiting drone attacks to high value targets with a low risk of diplomatic blow back, which apparently angered some CIA employees:
He presided over a moderation of the CIA's controversial drone program to take into greater account diplomatic sensitivities, a shift that sometimes put him at odds with the head of the agency's Counterterrorism Center.
Was Patraeus becoming in inconvenience for the administration, opposing policies they favored, and they found this a convenient means to remove him after the election, and before he could testify as the CIA director before the House Committee?  How cynical are you?  I'm pretty cynical.

UPDATE:  Stacey McCain goes with slut shaming:
Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way, eh? Aren’t feminists who embrace the “slut” label (e.g., “Slutwalk“) all about empowerment and liberation? And if you are an empowered liberated woman, what difference does it make if you’re married or your partner is married? All those silly vows — “Forsaking all others” and so forth — are just oppressive tools by which the patriarchy subjugates women, and anyone who buys into moral ideals of marital permanence and lifelong fidelity has succumbed to what the Marxists would call “false consciousness.”

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