Discussion in 'Debate and Discussion' started by BlueJackalope, Nov 9, 2012.
I bought it at first, but now I don't know. The CIA isn't really a "project."
Apparently not. From a commenter on the "Best Defense" blog:
The article was published after he was confirmed as the new director but before he officially gave up command in Afghanistan so I'd guess the letter was written talking about him being in charge over there, not at the CIA.
If only we had signatures on this here forum!
Soviet sex spies were called "swallows". Better times.
This is how the local paper reported the revelation....
Yes. They managed the rare TRIPLE entendre!
A Toronto Star editorial says that President Obama is a prude for accepting Petraeus' resignation.
Wat? His underlings in the military would probably be charged for that behavior. Falling on his sword was the honorable thing to do.
Triple? I get the double, but... explain it to me like I'm not a native speaker.
Actually, I'm only seeing a double as well.
And I speaka the english real good.
Entendre 1: his biographer was embedded with him.
Entendre 2: his biographer was in bed with him.
Entendre 3: his penis was embedded in his biographer's vagina.
So the FBI investigation was due to the biographer allegedly threatening another woman, presumably in connection to her relationship with Petraeus. That woman has been identified, but I don't care enough to dredge up whatever's reporting that aspect of it at the moment.
I'm more interested in what Diane Feinstein is concern trolling about, or what she's building a smokescreen for. It could just be an effort to claim the outrage high ground before noted idiot Peter King finishes defecating all over it to promote the lingering conspiracy theories over Benghazi and god knows what else.
I hope she's got a good plan.
The concern trolling is apparently just concern trolling, since the NYT piece says the investigation and affair information was leaked to the GOP by the FBI back in October. So any claims of "Why are we just finding out now!" is either someone not in their party's loop, or someone concern trolling about the American People being informed about something completely legal, if ethically unsound.
Plus, it's all a bit of bullshit anyways. Petraeus is taking a fall for Obama!!!11!! .. over WHAT, exactly. You take a fall by claiming responsibility for something terrible you didn't actually do. You resign when you couldn't keep your dick in your pants because you couldn't keep your dick in your pants.
edit: flipping through the trolling sites, people are trying to say that not immediately telling the public about an ongoing investigation may possibly be Treason? I know I shouldn't be surprised at how quickly people throw out the word Treason anymore, but I am. Seriously, the fuck?
Given that Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) was apparently in the loop on this investigation in October I doubt that the treason meme will stick around in the right wing rantosphere for very long. They have too few elected representatives already to start chucking them under the bus for a tenuous chance to reach toward Obama.
That was certainly my reaction, but I was trying to figure out what Feinstein's game was.
I don't think they're going to chuck people under the bus as much as ignore their existence. Benghazi should have had 30 marines is still a right wing meme, even though pretty much every elected Republican voted down State's embassy defense funding.
I'm shocked by the Treason thing because it makes no sense, but I'm entirely comfortable saying that these are people who turn giant blind eyes to things that disagree with their conspiracy theories.
Kevin Drum brought this up: why the hell is the FBI investigating what sounds like a half-dozen emails?
Depends on what the threatening emails were. I'm sure local cops would kick things up to the FBI if they felt like someone was threatening someone attached to the military.
If she was just saying "hands off my secret man on the side" I can't see much of an investigation happening. If it was a threat related to prevent exposing them, FBI turf.
Another question: this Ballon Juice posts pretty severely questions the Petreus mythos. Does anyone with knowledge of such things have any impression about whether or not it's an accurate assessment? My feeling was that the accolades he received over the COIN approach to Iraq were somewhat (though not entirely) unmerited and that COIN has basically failed in Afghanistan, but that's pretty much just a random impression from a guy who mostly doesn't pay tons of attention to military matters.
Kildorn, here is Kevin Drum's entire post. I think the questions it raises are fair ones to ask. Especially whether or not they had a warrant to obtain Broadwell's email.
From what I've read (and I'll go back and look this up later to see from where I found it, can't remember if it was the local paper's AP report or somewhere online) the emails appeared to contain classified content as well as the threats. If that's true, that's probably what got the FBI's attention moreso than any threats in the emails.
Interesting. Drum's characterization indicates that it was just nepotism: the recipient had a buddy at the FBI.
They had a warrant according to other articles (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324073504578113460852395852.html)
They investigated the gmail account and linked it to a probable person, and got a warrant to snoop her other email accounts to prove it. In doing so, they figured out she was sleeping with Petraeus. Seems legit from an investigative standpoint. And it also brings up that the affair may be the least important part of all this: aside from the second woman being a bit unstable (seriously, you're cheating on your husband with a married man, and send harassing emails to a third woman thinking she's being too flirty? What, are you concerned he may be less than loyal?!), the main problem I see is that he was keeping an anonymous email account secret from the CIA, and providing a more than appropriate level of access to your biographer.
I don't see anything wrong with the investigation as the WSJ tells it. Lady kind of brought this on them by harassing some other woman and triggering an investigation. About the only part I raise an eyebrow at is that the FBI agent got pissy at his command structure and called Eric Cantor and leaked the whole thing to him? That seems.. less than professionally sound.
The recipient had a buddy there, but the investigation wasn't just FBI dude going rogue. It was harassment/threats involving the head of the CIA as a named party (the emails were apparently talking in detail about her behavior around Petraeus, which would imply "someone with access is anonymously threatening people")
It's investigation worthy to look into why someone would be trying to proto blackmail/threaten a friend of the head of the CIA's family. Or more specifically, find out who is behind it and file that away for future blackmail use. The whole thing spiraled a bit when they connected the dots.
Like I said, the question I have is whether the FBI always investigates a half dozen harassing emails like this. If the emails had classified info in them then it makes sense; but if they were just your garden variety "stay away from muh man!" stuff then I fail to see what the hell the FBI was doing being involved, even if it did end up discovering some malfeasance.
The FBI would be involved because the target of the "stay away from muh man!" emails was the director of the fucking CIA.
The FBI would also take a swing at someone sending those sorts of things about the President. Or at least the Secret Service. The FBI isn't all sex drugs and rock and roll. It's a lot of really boring shit that involves interstate communication. If I threaten you in NJ from my home in MA, it's probably going to wind up with an FBI agent involved at some point.
edit: Drum's point about investigating emails is probably dead wrong. I'd bet the FBI spends a decent amount of time investigating a dozen harassing emails about federal officials. What he's right about is the rest of it:
The agent went off the rails when he decided to pick a random member of congress to bitch to. Not the Majority/Minority leader, but the second in command of one of the houses of congress. That seems really fucking targeted. And doing so after three months? Unless he felt it needed to be resolved immediately for national security reasons.. what the hell?
It actually screams "agent was partisan, was hoping this would be publicized before the election"
I guess it comes down to the character of the harassing emails. I haven't seen much reporting on them, other than they were "harassing." Do we know for sure they named Petreus?
The WSJ says they named Petraeus. They were basically harassing Kelley for supposedly flirting with Petraeus named directly as the target.
What amuses me/depresses me more as I keep reading: the reason this hadn't been public is that they determined there were no charges to bring after interviewing all parties involved. But they DID find classified material on the mistress's computer. And were trying to determine where it came from (not Petraeus) when this whole thing got leaked by a pissy agent who contacted congress for some reason (not sure the reason, since there was no criminal conduct so it probably would have wound up a private investigation and a private warning to the CIA director to keep it in his goddamned pants)
The only part of all this that seems out of the ordinary is the leak to congress about an investigation that found no criminal activity in the end. I was not aware that we commonly kept Congress in the loop on dead end investigations.
You're making this out to be far more conspiratorial than it needs to be,
Kildorn is right on the money that the FBI, rather a specific agent, went off the rails in alerting Cantor. Investigating internet harassment is something the FBI is charged with and is one of the reasons they have an internet crimes task force that almost exclusively deals with harassment and threats via e-mail/forums/irc/etc. The other reason is that local and state police are more than happy to play pass the buck when it comes to threatening/harassing crap on the internet.
You might think it is stupid, but all it takes to get the FBI to pay attention is to crow loud enough. They'll file you and your case away if they don't think anything will come of it, but they'll listen, so if something eventually does happen, you have case history. Even if it is just two old ladies yelling at each other about their sewing circle via e-mail (that's a real example), the FBI will listen.
Having a relative or friend in the bureau is going to ensure the investigation is taken seriously - right or wrong - and finding out the director of the CIA is involved is going to guarantee the investigation will actually get seen all the way through. That some partisan asshole saw fit to use it to his party's advantage, if that is what happened, isn't surprising - it's the FBI, after all. Instead of focusing on whether or not the FBI should be investigating internet harassment at all, especially if spurned lover e-mails are the only impetus, the real focus should be on discovering who notified Cantor, why they did, and on guaranteeing they never work in American law enforcement or government again.
It's hard to say without specific evidence being cited. I would argue that blaming Petraeus for "Thousands dead and billions wasted. Careers promoted and destroyed in ways that will affect national security deliberations for decades." is pretty high-flying rhetoric.
The short version: in Iraq, a number of opportunities (most notably the majority of Sunni tribes to break decisively with Al Qaeda towards a post US Iraq position) came up around when he was making a pitch for command with his plan. His plan was not viewed by most people outside of the PR bubble as anything but a coherent exit strategy linked to events on the ground. It is not the adaptation of forcing your will in war to more subtle levers that COIN is generally presented as, and in fact I'm not even sure if it's the right term outside of the technical sphere because it's so weighted with political and historical connotations.That said, it would be a mistake to downplay the importance of his leadership in terms of inspiring confidence in the strategic vision of the leadership as well as putting forth a useful collaborative model for working with former enemies and quasi-allies. While far from the perfect approach by the reckoning of armchair generals and army self-criticism alike, it was the best approach with a chance of being executed that was available at the time.
Unsurprisingly, without the same opportunities there was a limit to what he could do in Afghanistan. It's unclear to me that there is a winning strategy there or even a plausible "good" exit strategy given the Pakistan factor. I don't blame Petraeus for the narrow priorities of the Obama administration, and I think he has done a reasonable job within those constraints.
So yes, there's truth to the descriptions that place him as an ambitious man who views the media as another component in his strategy. Petraeus is also a general who is willing to accept shit sandwiches and handle them as calmly and professionally as he is able. He is not, in my view, guilty of a central fallacy in his perception of the wars in the manner of upper command in Vietnam, and that's kind of a big deal given the shoes he was filling.
So hubris, perhaps, but nothing that I can think of merits the sort of scorn that post heaps on him.I don't know what BJ's agenda is besides providing hyperbolically acidic analysis, but that post does not impress me with the rigor of its argument. Finel himself is no dummy, but I don't understand the way he allots responsibility between commander-in-chief and the general in many of his briefer writings. I added one of his FA articles from 2010 to Zotero explaining his view of COIN, and frankly I'm not sure that "focus on warlord strongholds" represents much more than a hedge position towards the intra-academic war strategy discourse rather than a significantly different alternative in practical terms.
Jeffd: In a less specific sense, it's not surprising that views diverge about the "Petraeus: really good at this job or overrated?" question. That sort of thing comes up a lot when people discuss senior officers and is often very hard to resolve without decades of subsequent history-writing (and sometimes with it). The officer in question being a well-established PR master adds another layer of uncertainty (but could equally be read as a facet of competence.)
Now you are thinking with portals. Or filthy Anglo-style rudeness.
The National Posts says that the FBI knew of the affair for months until a whistleblower went to Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in late October.
Doesn't whistleblowing imply fire underlying the smoke? This seems more like straightforward leaking with political overtones, along with Cantor not being able to work an angle that wasn't going to blow up in his face. The article is informative but that headline is decidedly unhelpful. I guess I just don't see the national security angle that the FBI also didn't see after its investigation.
It gets weirder
On Entertainment Tonight they already speculated about a Hollywood movie in the works and who would make a good Petraeus.
If my biographer had guns like that I'd probably cheat too.
This case reads more and more like a cheesy daytime soap rather than a political story. I mean there is a general are two generals, his jealous lover, a corrupt law enforcement officer who's obsessed with his case and the chaste woman all the other characters are in love with but can never have, plus everyone is rich. All it's missing is an attractive surgeon...
Ahh there we are.
EDIT: turns out there is another top general implicated in this soap opera web already.
Aren't the second and third things nearly the same in this context? This is a 2.5x entendre, at best! extarbags, I am disappoint.
8 minutes in - push-up contest with Jon Stewart.
Entendre 4: his biographer was embedded in his bed.
Entendre 5: he was embedded in an affair.
Entendre 6: entendres 1-5 are embedded in that newspaper headline.
Entendre 7: entendres 1-6 are embedded in this thread.
Separate names with a comma.