Monday, November 12, 2012

CIA Petraeus' Affair: What Questions Still Need Answering In Spite of BS Story Lines?

updated 14 Nov 2012

From Denny:  Any time we witness a fall from grace of a very public figure we all wince.  Maybe it's a case of TMI.

Maybe it's because our thoughts swiftly fly to the embarrassed wife and children in sympathetic support.  Maybe we have been betrayed in a similar fashion and don't enjoy the reminder.  Or just maybe we were the thoughtless wonders who did the hurting.

Whatever the case this is always a sad event.  When you add the intelligence community component it could too easily evolve into a national security disaster.  Move over, Wiki Leaks, the old-fashioned honeypot trap works in any century as an easy way to extract sensitive information.

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It does make us all wonder if the public persona of Gen. Petraeus, heralded as a really good guy, quite shrewd in both long-term vision and strategic planning, did not hide perhaps a cunning selfish person?  Or is he just the usual and pathetic middle-aged guy not sure what to do with himself as he gets older and so enjoyed the excessive attention of a younger woman?  As the story continues unfolding it sure looks like both are true.

Petraeus has a doctorate and has been a four-star general.  That rockets him into a mighty small group of special people.  And it breeds arrogance to the tenth power.  The fact that the DI James Clapper even had to inform Petraeus he should step down speaks to the issue of fantasy thinking and arrogance so common to people with too much power.  

Clapper was correct in his judgment of the situation and his decision.  Kudos to him for demanding the obvious Petraeus could not see his way clear to do on his own.  What did Petraeus think Clapper would do?  Protect him like his buddies at the Pentagon cover for each other when they get caught with the extra girlfriends?  

In light of this affair it does answer as to why so many of his Pentagon folk refused to come work with him over at CIA.  Part of it is the enmity of the two groups.  The real answer may be they all knew of the affair and figured it would blow up in Petraeus' face in due time just like it did.  When that happened they knew their jobs would evaporate when Petraeus' did.

I do wonder if Petraeus is a really selfish cad.  This affair with Paula Broadwell has gone on for some time as he met her in 2006.  She was "embedded" with his outfit in Afghanistan from July 2010 to July 2011, granted unrivaled access to him for her book.  It really makes you wonder who was zooming whom from these two sharks.

APTOPIX Petraeus Resigns

Of course, Petraeus is busy with his public psy-ops operation to vindicate himself, gaming the time period of the affair as only just since he retired from the military.  Uh, "Do ya think?" that move has anything to do with the fact that in the military adultery is against military law, considered a crime, and he would lose his well paid pension?  So far Petraeus has phoned his Pentagon buddies to start talking up the press to talk good about him.  So far they have stepped up to defend this wisdom deficit cad who thought he was actually worthy of being the top spymaster.

OK, I never thought Petraeus would last a full four years on the job.  To be a really great spymaster it's necessary to check your ego at the door.  Has anyone ever heard of a general who knew how to be humble?  Exactly.  It didn't help any that he was increasingly turning the CIA into yet another military organization, something career CIA did not favor.  The world was wary of his moves as well.

I questioned whether he could transition from the top of the Pentagon to invisibility.  Generals like to get noticed and they like to be in command.  The intelligence community contains shifting disparate groups of unruly and cunning yard cats - not obedience trained attack dogs as only which Petraeus understood.  Petraeus got outflanked by the yard cats who not only won the battle but the war.  Even the average CIA secretary is more adept at manipulation and politics than the Pentagon brass believe themselves to be as legends in their own minds.

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Now Petraeus and Broadwell are both running a con game on the public, on the President, the DI, Congress and the FBI investigators.  There are far too many questions yet to be addressed.  Petraeus and the cover-up folks in management at the FBI and Eric Cantor in Congress all want to kill this story quickly as they are exposed for criminal wrong-doing.

Let's start with the obvious questions:  What the hell was Paula Broadwell doing emailing threats to Jill Kelley, a "friend" of the Petraeus family?  Did Jill Kelley have an affair with Petraeus and Broadwell was jealous?  Did Broadwell find an email to Kelley and realized it was the same way Petraeus talked to her and so figured Kelley was a rival?

Was Kelley annoying Petraeus and so he asked Broadwell to get her to go away so his fingerprints would not be on it?  Or was it that Petraeus had moved on away from Broadwell and was pursuing Kelley?  This area has yet to be investigated as it goes to obsession.  Obsession then often turns into the selling of information for revenge in these kinds of cases.

Paula Broadwell, writer tied to CIA director's resignation

What was the real reason the upper management in the FBI took the FBI agent friend of Jill Kelley off the investigation?  It sure looks like those middle management guys are trying to sully a good agent in order to hide their wrong-doing.  Is it character assassination of this FBI agent friend of Kelley or is it he really is guilty of sending shirtless photos of himself to Kelley many months before her complaint to the FBI about what turned out to be harassing emails from Broadwell?  After all, this story was kept quiet for months before finally notifying Petraeus' bosses:  DI Clapper, Sec of Defense Panetta and the President.

The obvious is that the FBI guys were helping to cover-up an extramarital affair but when they investigated further they found something far more serious, deciding it was time to get out of the cover-up business and bring in the DI.  Oh, and because the disgruntled FBI agent went to Eric Cantor that might have been their cue to get clean with the news.  Why didn't Cantor tell the DI or the White House?  What is his part in all of this mess?  Cantor is known for skirting the law on insider trading.  What other laws has he been breaking?

Some more questions:  How did Paula Broadwell come to know so much classified information about what happened about the American ambassador killing in Benghazi, Libya?  Why was she sharing it in her speeches so publicly? Why didn't Petraeus tell her not to share classified information?  Was Broadwell collecting information from him to blackmail him and others in power in order to secure a high level job or extortion monies?  Was she selling information to foreign nationals?

How much have the American taxpayers paid for this extramarital affair?  Broadwell was in Afghanistan for a full year in July 2010 to July 2011.  Who footed the bill for her time there?  Who paid for her air flights?  Why did she think she could get quite demanding and throw her weight around with Petraeus' aides during her time in Afghanistan?  Did she believe she had complete control of the situation and Petraeus?

How is it that an untested writer or novelist suddenly had unprecedented access to a top general during a time of war and for a full year?  Why did she abandon her children and husband for a full year?   She could have conducted much of her interviewing by email or Skype.  There was no need to live with Petraeus for a year in a foreign country.  No one is questioning any of this?

More obvious questioning:  How do any of us know whether or not if she was compromised by foreign agents in Afghanistan or here in America?  Broadwell was known to loudly telegraph she was sleeping with Petraeus and had access to the CIA.  She told everyone she could.

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Paula Broadwell in a speech last month at the University of Denver:  "I don't know if a lot of you have heard this, but the CIA annex had actually taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to get these prisoners back."   The CIA denies this claim.

Broadwell was well versed enough in national security and the intelligence community to know you don't read the CIA director's classified information on his computer.  Where was she that she learned what she did?  What she snooping in his office?  Did she copy info off his computer on to a flash drive?  Did Petraeus bring his laptop with classified information with him to their trysts?  Did Petraeus pillow talk with her about classified information?  Keep in mind that Broadwell did not have a security clearance from the CIA.

I don't see anyone asking these tough questions.  Instead too many people, primarily Republicans, are quick to try to kill this story.  It's time to get the whole truth.  I want to make sure Broadwell is not a snitch taking money for selling national security or sensitive information to the Russians, the Chinese and/or the Israelis.

Washington is full of diplomats who are really just diplomats.  Washington is also full of spies masquerading as diplomats.  Washington is also full of greedy people willing to sell information to the highest bidder.  Who is Paula Broadwell and what was she selling and for what reason?

What was Petraeus really doing in Benghazi recently when he said he was investigating the murder of the ambassador?  Was he attempting to cover up his affair with Broadwell?  Was there some other CIA operation he had botched and personally handled the cover-up?  And how stupid is Petraeus to think he could ever work in a government or trusted position ever again?  This investigation is far from over.

WASHINGTON - JUNE 23:  U.S. President Barack Obama walks with Gen. David Petraeus, who will succeed Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan; and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, to make a  statement in the Rose Garden of the White House June 23, 2010 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal was relieved as top commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan by Obama due to disparaging comments he made of members of the Obama administration which were published in Rolling Stone magazine.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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