The Petraeus Puzzle

by: Shaun Appleby

Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:05:42 AM EST

It's interesting to note the subtext in the Petraeus resignation controversy, that the FBI investigation was the result of his paramour "blowing" the affair:

The F.B.I. investigation that led to the sudden resignation of David H. Petraeus as C.I.A. director on Friday began with a complaint several months ago about "harassing" e-mails sent by Paula Broadwell, Mr. Petraeus's biographer, to another woman who knows both of them, two government officials briefed on the case said Saturday.

When F.B.I. agents following up on the complaint began to examine Ms. Broadwell's e-mails, they discovered exchanges between her and Mr. Petraeus that revealed that they were having an affair, said several officials who spoke of the investigation on the condition of anonymity. They also discovered that Ms. Broadwell possessed certain classified information, one official said, but apparently concluded that it was probably not Mr. Petraeus who had given it to her and that there had been no major breach of security.

Scott Shane and Eric Schmitt - Biographer's E-Mails to Woman Led F.B.I. to Petraeus NYT 10 Nov 12

Given Paula Broadwell's biography, "...she specialized in military intelligence, spending time at the U.S. Special Operations Command and the FBI Counterterrorism Task Forces before pursuing an academic career..." according to her publisher, one assumes she knew an email containing classified information would lead to an analysis of her on-line activity and the exposure of her relationship.  Her motivations are further confounded by the unnamed officials' suggestion that "the two women seemed be competing for Mr. Petraeus's loyalty, if not his affection."  Needless to say her book "jumped from a ranking on Amazon of 76,792 on Friday to 111 by mid-Saturday."

Shaun Appleby :: The Petraeus Puzzle
In another version it is alleged that Ms Broadwell "or someone close to her" had sought access to Petraeus' Gmail account:

Associates of Petraeus had received "anonymous harassing emails" that were then traced to Broadwell, ABC's Martha Raddatz reported, suggesting she may have found their names or addresses in his e-mail.

Max Fisher - Why David Petraeus's Gmail account is a national security issue Washington Post 10 Nov 12

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar but in either scenario Ms Broadwell's activity triggers events leading to the exposure of the relationship and the demise of General Petraeus' otherwise illustrious career.  Another curiosity is the timing, it is clear that the relationship has ended, though it seems it was still ongoing at the time it attracted attention:

The computer investigation began late this spring, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Mr. Petraeus wasn't interviewed by the FBI until recently.

While Mr. Petraeus was still a general, he had email exchanges with the woman, but there wasn't a physical relationship, the person said. The affair began after Mr. Petraeus retired from the Army in August 2011 and ended months ago, the person said.

Devlin Barrett, Siobhan Gorman and Julian E Barnes - CIA Chief Resigns Over Affair WSJ 10 Nov 12

So why are we hearing about it only now?  Specifically just after the presidential election?  Well, that is a puzzle, and it has added fuel to the Right-wing controversy over the Benghazi tragedy as one would expect, given that General Petraeus was scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week:

According to the New York Times, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was only informed about Petraeus's affair at 5pm on election day, and Obama didn't learn of it until Wednesday evening. The timing is just amazing. I am not sure quite what to think.

Booman - Strange Timing of Petraeus Knee-Capping Booman Tribune 10 Nov 11

Interestingly enough, House majority leader Eric Cantor got a tip-off even earlier:

Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, said Saturday an F.B.I. employee whom his staff described as a whistle-blower told him about Mr. Petraeus's affair and a possible security breach in late October, which was after the investigation had begun.

"I was contacted by an F.B.I. employee concerned that sensitive, classified information may have been compromised and made certain Director Mueller was aware of these serious allegations and the potential risk to our national security," Mr. Cantor said in a statement.

Scott Shane and Eric Schmitt - Biographer's E-Mails to Woman Led F.B.I. to Petraeus NYT 10 Nov 12

Curiouser and curiouser; one wonders about the motivations of this "whistle-blower" under the circumstances and their political allegiances in going to the Republican leadership with the story during the election campaign.  It is also interesting to note that while a darling of the Right and an often mentioned presidential prospect General Petraeus was not above suspicion as a source of partisan administration leaks in security matters, coincidentally at just about the time the FBI started their investigation (emphasis added:)

The CIA director had lowered his media profile, stopping his practice of emailing reporters and ending once-common background interviews by the agency. That was especially the case after GOP allegations last spring that the Obama administration was leaking sensitive material to burnish its foreign policy reputation ahead of the presidential election, after a series of stories appeared about top secret operations aimed at al-Qaida in Yemen, and Iran's nuclear program. A White House-ordered investigation of those leaks continues.

Kimberley Dozier and Pete Yost - Official: Emails from paramour led to FBI probe AP via Star-Telegraph 10 Nov 12

Given the controversy over leaks it is worth reviewing the ambivalent reports which have emerged regarding the origin of the FBI investigation in the first instance:

Politico, however, hears that is likely an exaggeration and that concern over access to Petraeus' e-mail was not what initiated the investigation. McClatchy hears similar information, noting that sources say "the FBI did not investigate the author for attempting to compromise Petraeus' computer." According to this version it seems that, as Reuters hears, investigators stumbled across evidence of the affair while investigating news leaks. Although it's unclear exactly why the FBI was monitoring Petraeus' e-mail, a source tells the Washington Post, the FBI found e-mails describing the affair.

Daniel Politi - How Was Petraeus' Affair Uncovered and Did he Really Have To Resign? Slate 10 Nov 11

Puzzling, to say the least.  In fact Petraeus had earlier become embroiled in a controversy with neo-conservatives and the pro-Israel lobby with a supposed leaked story in March of 2010, perhaps the nadir of US-Israeli relations:

On Jan. 16...a team of senior military officers from the U.S. Central Command, arrived at the Pentagon to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The team had been dispatched by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus to underline his growing worries at the lack of progress in resolving the issue. The 33-slide, 45-minute PowerPoint briefing stunned Mullen. The briefers reported that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOM's mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, that Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region

Mark Perry - The Petraeus briefing: Biden's embarrassment is not the whole story Foreign Policy 13 Mar 10

This led to an alarmed back-and-forth among neo-conservatives and Petraeus which refuted the detail of the report while substantially confirming the substance and leaving the reader wondering where Mark Perry got the story from in the first instance.  Things got genuinely heated in January 2012 when Perry dropped another intelligence bombshell:

Buried deep in the archives of America's intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush's administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives -- what is commonly referred to as a "false flag" operation.

Mark Perry - False Flag Foreign Policy 13 Jan 12

Coming as it did at a sensitive time this lit up the neo-conservative pro-Israeli lobby like a skyrocket:

Foreign Policy has produced a slander so outrageous that Israel broke with its strict policy of never confirming or denying covert operations to issue a flat denial - and surprisingly, given Israel's notoriously poor public relations, it's a convincing one. On Friday, the magazine published an article by Mark Perry, a military and intelligence analyst who once served as an advisor to Yasser Arafat, that accused Mossad agents of posing as CIA agents to recruit Pakistani terrorists to commit sabotage and assassinations inside Iran. The alleged operation infuriated two successive presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Perry wrote, because it endangered American lives, undermined America's relationship with Pakistan and painted America as engaged in terrorist activity. Additionally, Perry said, it convinced many senior American officials that Israel was a liability rather than a strategic asset.

Evelyn Gordon - More About "Foreign Policy's" Israel Slurs Commentary 16 Jan 12

Serious stuff.  And what was the consensus on the sourcing? (emphasis added:)

The article's sourcing is problematic and should also raise red flags. Perry relies on two current intelligence officers, only one of whom has seen the memo alleging Israeli malfeasance. One officer-presumably the same who saw the memo and perhaps also wrote it-describes Bush's reaction, and so presumably was a briefer for the White House. Should Gen. David Petraeus, director of Central Intelligence, wish to identify that leaker, he could do so easily.  [...]

When the intelligence community allows an individual's political peccadilloes to corrupt its process, it permanently erodes its reputation and ability to conduct its mission. Should Petraeus decline to investigate, there are only three possibilities: He lacks control, he sanctioned the leaks himself, or conversely, his superiors in the White House are willing to corrupt intelligence to sanction anonymous Israel-bashing.

Michael Rubin - Did Israel Run a False Flag Operation? Commentary 16 Jan 12

It is worth noting that one of the above "false flag" pieces also mentions a number of Israeli intelligence scalps which have been taken over the years in similar circumstances:

Israel termed the report "absolute nonsense," explaining that had it been true, then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan would have been declared persona non grata in Washington rather than being a welcome visitor. Nor is that idle speculation: Those same two presidents forced the ouster of three other senior Israeli defense officials over other issues; why would they have given Dagan a pass?

Just last year, Uzi Arad was forced to resign as chairman of Israel's National Security Council due to Washington's anger over leaked information from U.S.-Israeli talks on nuclear issues. And in 2005, two senior Defense Ministry officials - director general Amos Yaron and chief of security Yehiel Horev - were forced out due to Washington's anger over Israel's agreement to upgrade Harpy drones for China, following a year in which the Pentagon boycotted Yaron entirely.

Evelyn Gordon - More About "Foreign Policy's" Israel Slurs Commentary 16 Jan 12

In this geopolitical context it is tempting to imagine a number of motivations for exploring General Petraeus' personal email activity other than the somewhat garbled narrative which has emerged so far regarding a tangential investigation of an erratic lover.  How was it that the internal counter-intelligence watchdogs at the Agency didn't catch this relationship earlier?  And how does the House majority leader get tipped-off about it by an external agency before the president is told?  And what of Ms Broadwell?  We will be watching her career with great interest.

Cross-posted at Daily Kos and Booman Tribune

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The Petraeus Puzzle | 83 comments
Cynical predictions: (2.00 / 6)
If the emerging details of this story make the Democrats look bad, it will get blown up into a multi-news-cycle scandal gleefully exploited by the GOP and its media catspaws.

If the emerging details of this story make the Republicans look bad, it will get shunted into salacious sideshow, shuffled off the news cycle quickly, and used by the GOP as an example of Obama's incompetence in office.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

On further reflection (2.00 / 4)
Eric Cantor's involvement is going to make it difficult -- to say the least -- for the Republicans to make political hay of this mess.  How can they scream about not being told when their own Majority Leader knew and said nothing?  

Also, there's this:  How can they screech that it's all a plot to stop Petraeus from spilling the beans on the administration's failures when it's beginning to look possible that it's GOP-darling Petraeus's CIA that may have screwed the Benghazi pooch?  Now that the Hero General has exited in disgrace, there are more cracks appearing in the magnificent facade:

TarheelDem at Booman Tribune:

Michael Hastings at BuzzFeed:

Granted, it's always easier to kick a man when he's down, but given the other fairy tales we've been sold over the last decade (hello, Jessica Lynch), it's worth considering, eh?  

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

My Reasoning... (2.00 / 3)
From following the back-and-forth in the diary regarding leaks over recent years, specifically the one in January 2012, is that the neo-conservatives had started to see Petraeus as a potential adversary, at least where Israeli policy is concerned.

If this is so the General's motivations are unclear; it seems he had some reasonable doubt about the regional benefits of some of Israel's policies given the 2010 leaks.  How that may have affected Republican attitudes towards him is difficult to evaluate.  The whole arc of Petraeus' political aspirations and allegiances is opaque, appropriately for a career military professional.  Nonetheless it seems obvious that, at least until fairly recently, Republicans considered him a potential asset.

[ Parent ]
Having Said That... (2.00 / 2)
I agree that Cantor's piece of the puzzle makes things problematic for House Republicans, whether by accident or design.  I notice he got it off his chest hastily as soon as the story broke, which indicates he had a contingency plan for that eventuality.  The motivations of the FBI agent are described as "he was concerned senior FBI officials were going to sweep the matter under the rug" which suggests that Cantor's knowledge was a strategic intention and may have actually precipitated the public revelation of the matter.

[ Parent ]
All of this might have a simpler explanation.. (2.00 / 4)
The Wedge is still alive. The FBI agents chomping at the bit of questioning CIA honcho Gen Petreaus might have been too much to resist. The leak to Eric Cantor might have been a sideshow to show Obama admin in poor light right before the election especially when the right wing propaganda machine was ramping up the Benghazi incident.

Yeah... (2.00 / 4)
However there are some remarkable features to this story, as it has been related by the media.  I take your point about the FBI, although they would be the appropriate agency to investigate domestic security issues at face value.  But where was the CIA's counter-intelligence desk in all of this?  They didn't pick up on the alleged email correspondence themselves; or have a close look at the Broadwell case which was apparently raising questions within the Agency at the time?  

We have a reliable report of Broadwell posting a photo taken in Petraeus' seventh floor office on Facebook at the time which caused a stir; never mind having so much access to the director.  Sure, Angleton resigned over issues of investigating his own director which suggest it is problematic for the CIA to be the public source but we are being told the FBI 'stumbled' on to Petraeus and the relationship.

'Stumbled?'  That's the part that seems incredible, that this was investigated tangentially to another unrelated matter.  The whole premise of the diary is that there is a reasonable assumption given Petraeus' widely acknowledged back-channel relationships with the media, both Left and Right, and a number of cases where he was considered in public speculation as a possible source, and that he had "had lowered his media profile" especially "after GOP allegations last spring that the Obama administration was leaking sensitive material" that the notion that the FBI 'stumbled' into his personal email account is a bit rich, to say the least.

[ Parent ]
More on Petraeus' Media Relationships (2.00 / 5)
Just one example to make the point:

[Foreign Policy blogger Tom] Ricks wasn't the only offender, of course - Petraeus more or less had journalists from many major media outlets slurping from the Pentagon's gravy train. The typical route was to have all the cash and favors funneled through a third party like the Center for a New American Security.

CNAS was a Petraeus-inspired operation from its inception in 2007, and it made its reputation promoting Petraeus' counterinsurgency plans. No problem, right? Except that it put the journalists who were covering those same plans and policies on its payroll. For instance, New York Times Pentagon correspondent Thom Shanker took money and a position from CNAS and still covered the Pentagon; Robert Kaplan, David Cloud from the Los Angeles Times, and others produced a small library's worth of hagiographies while sharing office space at CNAS with retired generals whom they'd regularly quote in their stories.

Michael Hastings - The Sins Of General David Petraeus Buzzfeed 11 Nov 12

One can see that Petraeus had a pretty cosy relationship with the media and a full Rolodex which is why I suspect his reputation as a "source" has relevance to the administration's national security leaks late last year and early this spring.

[ Parent ]
I doubt that CIA didn't know about the relationship. (2.00 / 4)
Every single official computer is subjected to monitoring. And i suspect CIA director's personal computers and his personal email accounts would be monitored too. Depending upon the security classification one is required to declare any affairs one may had beyond one's  legal marriage. If Petraeus failed to declare his affair(s) his security clearances are likely to revoked and he has little choice left  but to resign. I doubt CIA is that incompetent that it wasn't aware that their boss was having an affair. They probably concluded it wasn't compromising security.

[ Parent ]
Say What? (2.00 / 3)
Curiouser and curiouser:

Lawmakers are likely to question whether Broadwell was improperly given access to sensitive information about the attack. In a late October speech at the University of Denver, she said that the CIA annex where two of the Americans were killed "had actually taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoners" and that the attack was thought to be "an effort to get them back." U.S. officials have not made reference to that possible motive in numerous accounts of the Benghazi attack.

Karen DeYoung and Sari Horwitz - Lawmakers want probe of Petraeus investigation Washington Post 12 Nov 11

Wasn't the Benghazi incident just before or around the time we understand the FBI had already interviewed or was interviewing Broadwell and Petraeus?  Not saying Broadwell doesn't have other potential sources but she seems pretty confident and outspoken on the subject for someone already under investigation by the FBI on national security matters.

Never Mind (2.00 / 4)
She claimed she got that from Fox:

Later in her remarks, Broadwell, said some of her information had come from a Fox News report. Fox said Monday that it's "original" Oct. 26 report did mention three Libyan militia members being turned over by the CIA to Libyan authorities. That detail does not appear in the version of the story now posted online, but Fox reporter Jennifer Griffin did include it in at least one report.

"We're also told, those at the CIA annex took into custody three Libyan attackers and were forced to hand them over to the Libyan February 17th forces that came to help at the annex approximately 4:00 in the morning. They handed these three Libyans over. It is not clear from U.S. officials what happened to the libyans and whether those Libyan attackers were in fact released in in the end by the Libyans," Griffin reported.

The CIA has denied holding any prisoners at Benghazi and has vigorously disputed other aspects of Griffin's report, but it's not clear Broadwell said anything in Denver that was not previously reported by Fox. (Griffin first issued her report at about 11 A.M. Eastern Time that day. Broadwell, per a D.U. schedule, spoke after 7 P.M. Mountain Time.)

Josh Gerstein - Broadwell spoke of access to classified info Politico 12 Nov 12

False alarm.  More on the FBI investigation here.  Apparently Petraeus and Broadwell were using anonymous, purposed email accounts to communicate with each other which tends to mitigate my concerns somewhat.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

[ Parent ]
/snort (2.00 / 4)
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

It saddens me that I know to what this is in reference.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Heh (2.00 / 3)
I couldn't resist that one.

[ Parent ]
Can never understand why folks in high profile positions (2.00 / 3)
cannot keep their freakin' pants zipped.

Is there anything to preclude Patraeus from still testifying later this week?

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

Well... (2.00 / 2)
One assumes that a non-disclosure agreement with the Agency would preclude testimony on national security matters and he could, as a private citizen, plead the Fifth.  But as someone at Booman pointed out Congress could grant him immunity.  

Interestingly, though, immunity might give him the opportunity to take the rap for just about anything.  In some respects immunity could be considered a very successful "end-game" under certain scenarios, especially where anything dubious he may have done or not done as director is concerned.  We'll have to wait and see.

[ Parent ]
This story has more plot twists... (2.00 / 5)
...than my yard has dead leaves. Not sure I'm catching all the nuances, but I will pipe in on this one. Very simply, many women are attracted by power, especially if it's taboo. Everybody knows that a man in his position has a helluva lot to lose, and stands to lose it all, if an affair is discovered. This can be positively intoxicating for a woman, to be considered so "special" that a man of his stature would be willing to lay it all on the line for her. Conversely, there are few, if any, more powerful aphrodisiacs for a man than a successful, beautiful, capable, smart, professional (and yes, taboo) woman who turns into jelly at the sight of him. Combine that with the close association over time in a harsh environment, and you develop an intimacy that may not know where to stop.

This could also explain Broadwell's almost irrational jealousy at the thought that she might have competition. All of a sudden, maybe she's not all THAT special? The idea would be intolerable, and the next step might have been to buy a bag of Depends and take a road trip...

I love my country, but I think we should start seeing other people.

[ Parent ]
Both She... (2.00 / 5)
And Ms Kelley were married.  Perhaps Petraeus could retire and make a fortune lending his endorsement to a new cologne for men.  Any suggestions for a good brand name for this scent?  I'm going with Rendition.

[ Parent ]
I've also read that the FBI has yet (as of this am) to interview (2.00 / 3)
Broadwell's co-author.  Seems a bit of an oversight.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

Vernon Loeb... (2.00 / 3)
Who wrote on national security matters for the Washington Post also co-authored a book King's Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East with former CIA station chief Jack O'Connell, now deceased.

[ Parent ]
He was also responsible (2.00 / 4)
for helping to perpetuate the myth of Jessica Lynch as a going-down-fighting heroine.


If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm... (2.00 / 3)
Just in passing, from your link:

"Our sources for that story were not Pentagon sources."

Loeb described them as "some really good intelligence sources" in Washington, D.C.

W Joseph Campbell - WaPo journo on Jessica Lynch story rejoins paper 6 Jan 11

Speaking of inter-agency issues and intelligence sources, this may have nothing to do with the current Petraeus story but does hint at fractious differences between State, Justice and the Agency as recently as July (emphasis added:)

Hillary Clinton's State Department bureaucrats are interfering with current CIA operations by denying passports to agents, according to intelligence community sources. [...]

Whether Holder or Clinton is behind the State Department's action, Gen. Petraeus is the man who has the responsibility of gathering, analyzing, and passing to the president and other top intelligence consumers the information they need to function in all matters of foreign affairs and conflict. But, as one source said, Petraeus's political nature may be preventing him from insisting that the State Department issue the clearances and passports his operatives need.

Petraeus is ambitious and when his term as CIA Director ends it is highly unlikely that he would simply disappear from the political world. More likely is that he would use the CIA post as a stepping stone to a bigger position in a second Obama administration or to pursue political office on his own.

Jed Babbin - The Petraeus Passport Puzzle 16 Jul 12

I'm really having trouble evaluating Petraeus' political affiliations, which is not surprising given his history, but it seems clear that the Right has been chaffing at his apparent lack of loyalty to their cause for some time.  I think we would be missing the point to assume he is still their golden-haired boy.  And perhaps worth noting that the FBI (Justice) would be in Holder's control.

[ Parent ]
The Cantor Connection (2.00 / 4)
Which remains a curious feature of this case:

According to the Times, Cantor said he took the information, and "made certain that director Mueller"-that is Robert Mueller III, the director of the F.B.I.-"was aware of these serious allegations, and the potential risk to our national security." This is a strange way to explain his contact with the F.B.I. on this matter, because it is almost inconceivable that director Mueller was not already aware that the bureau he runs had examined the e-mail account of the director of the C.I.A., and, further, confronted him in person. Such a meeting between the bureau and head of the C.I.A. would have been extraordinary, and it is fairly unthinkable that Mueller wouldn't have been consulted. So what information was Cantor conveying when he got in touch with Mueller?

One obvious point of the call would have been to inform the F.B.I. director that Republicans on the Hill knew about Petraeus's vulnerability, and also about the investigation. If the F.B.I. had ever entertained hopes of keeping it secret, the odds of doing so were fast diminishing. The same message would have become clear to Petraeus, who was due to testify in front of a House panel next week.

Jane Meyer - A Petraeus Puzzle: Were Polics Involved? New Yorker 11 Nov 12

Indeed.  A short piece full of good questions.

Is there any possible way Cantor gets into deep doo-doo? (2.00 / 4)
Please?  Pretty please?  I'd give good money to see that smirking ass disgraced in some fashion.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Well... (2.00 / 3)
One wonders if this affair would have have been made public at all if Cantor hadn't been tipped off.  There seems to be no actual crime in Petraeus' indiscretions.  Cantor's immediate call to FBI Director Meuller is a classic move to protect himself from perceptions of impropriety and suggests he knew he had a "hot potato" fall in his lap.  I notice Republicans didn't go public with this information even in the heat of an election.

[ Parent ]
Puh-lease... (2.00 / 5)
Now it seems the FBI "whistle-blower" who tipped-off Cantor was a bit of a nincompoop:

Later, the agent became convinced - incorrectly, the official said - that the case had stalled. Because of his "worldview," as the official put it, he suspected a politically motivated cover-up to protect President Obama. The agent alerted Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who called the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, on Oct. 31 to tell him of the agent's concerns.

The official said the agent's self-described "whistle-blowing" was "a little embarrassing" but had no effect on the investigation.

Scott Shane and Charlie Savage - Motives Questioned in F.B.I. Inquiry of Petraeus E-Mails NYT 13 Nov 12

So "worldview," is what they call it now.  Seems more a Right-wing conspiracy theorist to me.  How embarrassing for Cantor.  Not to mention General Petraeus.  And everybody else in government and the media.

[ Parent ]
Well, hopefully (2.00 / 4)
Mr. Worldview Agent Shirtless has totally destroyed his career in the FBI and can do no more harm there.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
Oh FFS... (2.00 / 4)
WASHINGTON-A federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors' concerns that he had become personally involved in the case, according to officials familiar with the probe.

New details about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case suggest that even as the bureau delved into Mr. Petraeus's personal life, the agency struggled with questionable conduct by one of its own-including allegedly sending shirtless photos of himself to a woman involved in the case.

Am I the only one not getting extra-marital sexytime and/or nekkid/semi-nekkid pictures?!

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

What a Clusterf*ck (2.00 / 4)
That was the agent who got in touch with the representative whom then passed it on to Cantor's chief of staff, from your link:

That same agent, after being barred from the case, contacted a member of Congress, Washington Republican David Reichert, because he was concerned senior FBI officials were going to sweep the matter under the rug, the officials said. That information was relayed to top congressional officials, who notified FBI headquarters in Washington.

By that point, FBI agents had determined the harassing emails had been sent by Paula Broadwell, who had written a biography of Mr. Petraeus's military command.

Devlin Barret, Evan Perez and Siobhan Gorman - FBI Agent in Petraeus Case Under Scrutiny WSJ 13 Nov 12

Notice he was also the one who "launched" the investigation "a friend of Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman who received harassing, anonymous emails that led to the probe" and "sent shirtless pictures of himself to Ms. Kelley."  Good Lord, it's like a petting zoo.

[ Parent ]
ewwww (2.00 / 4)
Don't expect me to pet any of 'em with anything other than a brickbat on a ten-foot pole.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
Holy Crap (2.00 / 3)
Now it seems Kelley was having an e-romance with Marine General John R Allen, the four-star commander of US forces and the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan:

The FBI notified the Defense Department on Sunday of "potentially inappropriate communications" between Allen and Kelley, and turned over to Pentagon lawyers 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails exchanged by the two from 2010 to 2012.

Mike Allen - Gen. John Allen ensnared in Petraeus drama Politico 13 Nov 12

Busy girl.

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, it looks like investigation was based on the word (2.00 / 4)
"Sweatheart."  And Kelley is friends with Mrs. General Allen so there may not be any there there.

But I do need trading cards to keep up with the players.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I'm with Happy. (2.00 / 4)
Oh, FFS.

The one thing I think is commonly shared is that we would all rather not know. When the story broke I was sitting here in Sana'a Yemen at the house of a colleague who worked for Gen. Petraeus. David and his wife are both southern Republicans - but definitively not Tea Partiers - and we shared a "what the hell business is it of ours and why do we have to know these things?" response. David and April are disappointed Petraeus will not be able to run for President in 2016.

And now we have to hear about all these shirtless shenanigans. Can I just have a moist towelette to wash my hands after reading all that? Ew, ew, TMI, TMI.

[And, yes, it's Yemen I didn't want to mention previously. Having planned a trip here before and having it go all car-bomby and embassy-rioty right when I was supposed to be packing to go it seemed much the wiser choice to keep it quiet until things were more settled. But now that I've been all over the media and on national television with Governor Abdul Ghani Jameel at Sana'a University today I suppose any potential bad actors that have to find me by reading the Motley Moose are probably too far out of the country to be a problem at this point. ;~)

Lovely people, for the record. The lecture at the university today was to show students here a path forward with cybersecurity skills they can use to create longterm careers for themselves while helping their country create the stability it and they need. Will diary this up at some point soon.]

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
what a great bunch of folks. (2.00 / 5)
If a dropout like me can make anything of myself who is to say that these folks cannot become anything they want?

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Chris (2.00 / 4)
are you in Yemen doing good works? Please tell me more about this. I suppose you have already written about it, but my year of drooling and accidentally setting stuff on fire precluded me from any meaningful comprehension.

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain

[ Parent ]
I am in Doha now, which qualifies less as good works (2.00 / 3)
on the grand scale of things.

Spent a week in Sana'a meeting with folks about securing the nation's critical infrastructure. Gave a lecture at Sana'a University on the topic and how it provides paths for the students to create high-value careers doing good in the world and improves the stability of their country.

It was a wonderful time that I am planning on repeating every three months for the next year. The country is in a position to improve its position internally and externally, despite many views to the contrary. I am writing a piece for Foreign Policy on the topic, will cross-post here as editorial rules allow.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Qatar (2.00 / 3)
seems to be one bright spot in the region.

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain

[ Parent ]
It is certainly very plugged into the world (2.00 / 2)
Very diverse, very modern. More luxury vehicles per square inch than any place on earth.

Off to a Bedouin tent in the desert for a dinner. Will be an interesting evening, particularly as I need to crawl off into a corner and have a conference call with a few dozen folks to kick off the PACS working group.

Technology don't fail me now!

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
FWIW: Technology sucks. (2.00 / 2)
Finally did get into the meeting, no thanks to technology but rather the cellphone of a kind Qatari airforce officer.

Neat wandering barefoot in the desert at night talking to folks hither and yon, though.

(Sana'a is still way cooler...)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I am glad to see that food (2.00 / 3)
making it's way to your mouth with your right hand. I am sure you know to never ever eat or touch anything with the left:~o

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain

[ Parent ]
Sure, (2.00 / 3)
Still had a moment of involuntary Fail with a cup of coffee for a moment. It is hard to keep the cultural deltas in mind all the time when talking animatedly, but folks are more tolerant than the worst might expect. A look and a point was enough, and everyone loves enthusiasm.


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Good boy! (2.00 / 3)

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain

[ Parent ]
Woof! (2.00 / 2)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
So even in the desert (2.00 / 2)
Things go better with Coke, eh?

Looks like a fine old time you were having there.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but the printing on the cans was all messed up. (2.00 / 2)
The text didn't come through well, the letters are just squiggly lines...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
;) (2.00 / 3)
Yemeni Translator:

In America, we always karate chop our backpacks. We are insane.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
ROFLMA! (2.00 / 3)
Oh, you are a twisted wonderful man.


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
What I want to know (2.00 / 5)
is who exactly are all of these ridiculous nincompoops who ran to buy the bio once they realized he was boffing the biographer.

Maybe it's how this has publicized her background as a machine gun model.

Eeeeeee-gads is all Strum can muster when contemplating this question.  

The future is unwritten

The whole thing is weird. (2.00 / 4)
...and getting weirder.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
I blame Obama. (2.00 / 4)

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Of course (2.00 / 1)
Also, Obama's fault:


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
LOL (2.00 / 4)

The image appeared during Monday's evening news broadcast. The book's actual title, co-written with Washington Post editor Vernon Loeb, is "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

"It was a regrettable and an embarrassing error," KMGH-TV News Director Jeff Harris said in a statement. "We are mortified this appeared during our 5 p.m. news broadcast. The editor pulled the image of the book cover from the Internet without realizing it had been doctored.  We sincerely regret the error and have corrected the story to avoid any recurrence of its broadcast. We are following up internally as well to avoid a repeat of this inexcusable oversight."

Harris told TPM he only received one email in response to the graphic. "I watched the piece. I didn't see it," he said. The network is responding to the story "on the platform it's blowing up on, which is digital," Harris added. He said the station is considering addressing the graphic on-air.

David Taintor - ABC Affiliate: 'All Up In My Snatch' Petraeus Book Graphic A 'Mistake' TPM 13 Nov 12

Live by the Internet, die by the Internet.  Great moments in American journalism.

[ Parent ]
That's simply beautiful (2.00 / 3)
There should be a grass roots campaign to do this to all copies in Barnes and Noble.  

Arm the people with black markers and set the pranksters loose!

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
Ahhh, now it is clear (2.00 / 3)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

Heh (2.00 / 3)
Needs more Glenn Beck blackboard:

A military officer who is a former member of Petraeus's staff said Kelley was a "self-appointed" go-between for Central Command officers with Lebanese and other Middle Eastern government officials. She was a fixture at social and charity events involving Central Command officials in Tampa.

Carol D Leonnig, Ernesto Londono and Julie Tate - Jill Kelley: Tampa woman who was hostess to the military Washington Post 14 Nov 12\

Somehow all the news in the last day or so seems to distract or misdirect from the Petraeus story and why a thoroughly mundane cyber-stalking case was even opened by the FBI in the first place.

[ Parent ]
The Whistle-blower (2.00 / 2)
Turns out to have known Representative Reichert from time spent in Seattle, probably during the 1999 WTO protests, and Ms Kelley from social events when he moved to the Tampa field office:

Two former law enforcement colleagues said Mr. Humphries was a solid agent with experience in counterterrorism, conservative political views and a reputation for aggressiveness. [...]

In regard to his client speaking with Mr. Cantor, Mr. Berger declined to address the issue, saying only that his client "had followed F.B.I. protocols."

"No one tries to become a whistle-blower," he said. "Consistent with F.B.I. policy, he referred it to the proper component."

A law enforcement official said that disclosing a confidential investigation even to members of Congress could violate F.B.I. rules. But the official said Mr. Humphries's conduct was under review and that he had not been suspended or punished in any way.

Michael S Schmidt, Scott Shane and Alain Delaqueriere - Veteran F.B.I. Agent Helped Start Petraeus E-Mail Inquiry NYT 14 Nov 12

I'm having a little difficulty accepting that Ms Kelley had no inkling what her threatening emails were in reference to and how potentially damaging the investigation could be under the circumstances.  As for Agent Humphries his political aspirations may prove to have had a bearing on his enthusiasm in seeing the case pursued, never mind his over-enthusiasm in leaking it to a conservative Republican in Congress.

heh. ya think? (2.00 / 2)
...I'm having a little difficulty...

I'm having a lot.  Also, heard Cantor on NPR today, "...blah, blah, blah...did not want to politicize...put National Security first..."


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
It's Puzzling... (2.00 / 2)
Now it seems the Broadwell emails to Kelley mentioned Petraeus, if Fox is to be believed, which makes the whole investigation narrative a bit hard to fathom:

In early June, Kelley reportedly received the first of as many as five emails sent from different anonymous accounts alleging that she was up to no good. One of those mentioned Petraeus by name. Kelley had contacted Humphries later in June or in early July about the emails, which began the agency's investigation of the matter.

Catherine Herridge, Jennifer Griffin and AP - FBI agent under review for conduct in Petraeus scandal is counterterrorism veteran Fox 15 Nov 12

So the FBI, and probably Agent Humphries, would have known that from the beginning?  There seems to be a bit of confusion over how these matters are reported in the media.

[ Parent ]
Is our intelligence community on the bring of being exposed (2.00 / 3)
as one big social cluB?

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
Don't Send, Don't Reply (2.00 / 2)
It's turning into one big episode of the Kardashians with the cast of 24:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta this week ordered a review of military ethics, according to a Pentagon release.

David Taintor - Panetta Orders Review Of Military Ethics TPM 16 Nov 12

We're even getting moral advice from our erstwhile enemies:

"From a Pashtun point of view, Petraeus should be shot by relatives from his mistress's family," the Taliban official explained.

"From a sharia point of view, he should be stoned to death."

Petraeus Scandal Amuses Taliban AFP via Huffington Post 15 Nov 12

But it seems we dodged a bullet, of sorts:

...she volunteered her secret purpose to at least six new acquaintances at the [Aspen Security Forum in July 2012]. That evening, over drinks, she told a small group that she had been arguing with her mentor about the direction of her career. Republican moneymen, she said, had approached her about a Senate run in North Carolina. She was tempted.

Barton Gellman - Spyfall Time 15 Nov 12

And why not?  Seems to me these trashy insights into the highest levels of our national security apparatus is the first step back from the psychosis which has gripped America since 9/11; our cultural obsession with the mythology of intelligence devolves into reality TV mockery.

[ Parent ]
Our Man in Tampa (2.00 / 2)
This is the guy who brought down Petraeus?:

The FBI agent who initiated the investigation that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus said Thursday a shirtless photograph of him found in the email of Tampa socialite Jill Kelley "was a tongue-in-cheek joke" sent to dozens of friends and acquaintances and was meant to be self-effacing, not sexual.

The picture, which was sent to a reporter at The Seattle Times in 2010, was taken following a "hard workout" with the SWAT team at MacDill Air Force Base. He's posed between a pair of target dummies that have a remarkable likeness to the buff agent. The caption on the photo, which was sent from a personal email account, reads, "Which One's Fred?"

Preston Rudie - Petraeus Sex Scandal: Shirtless photo of FBI agent Frederick Humphries silly, not scandalous Seattle Times 15 Nov 12

Honestly, this would be hilarious if these people weren't making a pool-party out of our national security and exploiting the inner workings of the intelligence community for their own personal gain and partisan motives:

In Tampa, he and his wife also dipped into the party circuit that featured CENTCOM brass. In an October 2008 email to friends and acquaintances, including a Seattle Times reporter, he said they had just had "a phenomenal evening at a private residence on Davis Island with MG Jay Hood (former commander at GTMO; now Chief of Staff, CENTCOM) and General Petraeus. Also in attendance, Former Governor Bob Martinez, Mayors, who's who in Tampa and the State of Florida."

Preston Rudie - Petraeus Sex Scandal: Shirtless photo of FBI agent Frederick Humphries silly, not scandalous Seattle Times 15 Nov 12

This is your democracy America, revel in it.

[ Parent ]
What's Up at MacDill AFB? (2.00 / 5)
This is getting a little creepy.  CENTCOM is located at MacDill AFB near Tampa, Florida.  This is the facility Broadwell's emails to Kelley accused her of "parading" around.  It turns out she had free access to the base:

The officials said Ms. Kelley was no longer permitted to enter MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa "with a wave," as she has for years as a regular volunteer and visitor to ranking officers there. Now she has to get approval and sign in at the visitor's gate, the official said.

Michael S Schmidt, Scott Shane and Alain Delaqueriere - Veteran F.B.I. Agent Helped Start Petraeus E-Mail Inquiry NYT 14 Nov 12

Not only that Ms Kelley was "honorary ambassador" to CENTCOM:

Kelley was also given the title of "honorary ambassador" by the U.S. Central Command, according to a defense official. The title is, "meaningless" and holds no power and is given for recognition of specific work, according the official.

The title is nothing more than a certificate given by CENTCOM's Coalition Coordination Center, a group of military representatives from different countries which are working with the United States on terrorism issues. That group, led by a low-level U.S. military officer, recommended Kelley for the title.

Jill Dougherty - Jill Kelley, honorary consul CNN 14 Nov 12

So we have Generals' Petraeus and Allen, Lt Colonel Broadwell and now Ms Kelley all coming and going at the same locality and working, or dabbling, in counterterrorism.  What about our intrepid 'shirtless' FBI whistle-blower?:

Two former law enforcement colleagues said Mr. Humphries was a solid agent with experience in counterterrorism. [...]

In May 2010, after he had moved to the Tampa field office, Mr. Humphries fatally shot a knife-wielding man near a gate of MacDill Air Force base.

Michael S Schmidt, Scott Shane and Alain Delaqueriere - Veteran F.B.I. Agent Helped Start Petraeus E-Mail Inquiry NYT 14 Nov 12

In fact, Agent Humphries, veteran counterterrorism investigator is claimed to have met Ms Kelley at an FBI community event:

Kelley and Humphries met when she attended the bureau's Citizens' Academy, an FBI program aimed at showing members of the public at least some of what the FBI does and how it works, Berger said. The academy lasted from Sept. 13 to Nov. 30, 2011, the AP learned.

Catherine Herridge, Jennifer Griffin and AP - FBI agent under review for conduct in Petraeus scandal is counterterrorism veteran Fox 15 Nov 12

Turns out, however, that the agent involved in the shooting in 2010, later identified as Humphries, was also connected to MacDill:

By 2010, Humphries had been assigned to the FBI's Tampa office and was its liaison to MacDill, home to the military's Central Command.

Catherine Herridge, Jennifer Griffin and AP - FBI agent under review for conduct in Petraeus scandal is counterterrorism veteran Fox 15 Nov 12

The shooting in 2010 occurred when the perpetrator was attempting to leave the base by the Dale Mabry gate.  And though most of the contemporary accounts of the shooting describe the agent as being "off-duty" there is this:

FBI spokesman Dave Couvertier said Thursday the agent, whose name won't be released, was on base as part of his regular duties.

Tamara Lush - Army veteran fatally shot at MacDill AFB in Tampa Victoria Advocate 19 May 10

Though we are being told that Ms Kelley and Agent Humphries met elsewhere it seems MacDill was the locus of a lot of goings on for most of the participants in this little drama.  Colour me sceptical.

wow (2.00 / 4)
...enter MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa "with a wave"

wtf?  I was once in a GOV with Maj Gen Yeager at Edwards AFB.  We stopped at the fucking gate, and this was pre-9/11.  

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

I have come to call (2.00 / 5)
these women 'general groupies'.

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain

Hard to Imagine... (2.00 / 4)
These people are all Republicans.

[ Parent ]
What's sexier than a guy who (2.00 / 4)
can pick up a phone and send 10,000 people to their deaths?

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
Meanwhile (2.00 / 6)
John McCain demonstrates his passion to pursue the truth of Benghazi, no matter where it leads him:


Most of the Republican members of a Senate committee investigating the terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, skipped an classified briefing by administration officials on the incident Wednesday, CNN has learned.

The missing lawmakers included Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who at the time of the top-secret briefing held a press conference in the Capitol to call for the creation of a Watergate-type special Congressional committee to investigate how and why the attack took place.

In a rare display of journalism, CNN actually dared to press the American Hero on the reasons for his absence:

When CNN approached McCain in a Capitol hallway Thursday morning, the senator refused to comment about why he missed the briefing, which was conducted by top diplomatic, military and counter-terrorism officials. Instead, McCain got testy when pressed to say why he wasn't there.

"I have no comment about my schedule and I'm not going to comment on how I spend my time to the media," McCain said.

Asked why he wouldn't comment, McCain grew agitated: "Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?"

When CNN noted that McCain had missed a key meeting on a subject the senator has been intensely upset about, McCain said, "I'm upset that you keep badgering me."

Sounds like someone needs his blankie and a good nap.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

"Old Man Yells at Cloud" (2.00 / 8)

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
Come to think of it (2.00 / 5)
The real story here is that the media actually called out McGrumpy on his hypocrisy.  Maybe it's just a one-off because it was such good theater, but wouldn't it be great if this is a sign that the media might begin to push back on the bullshit spewing from the Republicans?

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
Anderson Cooper tweeted the hypocrisy in the form of a question (2.00 / 5)
last night.  I don't watch CNN so I'm not sure how the interview went.

"Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?"

Entitled prick!

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
That's a quote (2.00 / 4)
From Cranky McSame.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
Why I {heart} Twitter (2.00 / 5)
AlisaJass 9:09pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Why so grumpy .@SenJohnMcCain? You no longer have to sit alone at the #BitterAssholeBeaten by Barack table. Now .@MittRomney will join u! Oh

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Good point. (2.00 / 5)
As a corollary, perhaps the main tributary into McCain's Riviere de Butthurte is the overall lack of media attention he receives these days.  No more golden boy treatment, no more bbq's out at Johnny's spread in Sedona.  There was a time when he'd have gotten the kid gloves (or even a pass) on a snafu like this.  It wasn't that the media was harsh with him.  No, they were perfectly and basically normal.  It's the very function of their profession to solicit information with which to report as completely and accurately as possible.  John McCain's legacy has been irreparably tarnished by pallin' around with terrorists idiots.  He's a twice failed Presidential candidate, and the scabby husk of a once respected Senator.  He's irrelevant, and can't get any attention unless he's angry/cloud.  The blast ring from his crankynova suggests to me that he knows all this.  

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
Keepers: "The blast ring from his crankynova" (2.00 / 5)
Riviere de Butthurte
the scabby husk of a once respected Senator
can't get any attention unless he's angry/cloud.

So stealing ALL of those

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
great minds ... (2.00 / 5)
tbogg 6:40pm via Web

I think the night nurse is going to have trouble getting John McCain to go to bed tonight. #NotTheBossOfMe #NoNapAndCranky

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
McCain's deflated response after the briefing (2.00 / 4)
I'm a little worried about his health.

Howard Dean is my guy. (in a strictly nonsexual fashion)

[ Parent ]
Oh, my (2.00 / 4)
If that isn't a man who's seen another cherished hope (HA!) smashed into shards in the muck, I don't know what is.

Maybe it's time to retire, Crashie McFlyboy.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, back at the Benghazi ranch (2.00 / 5)
A quick run through the major media news homepages indicates that the Benghazi SCANDAL!!!!! is not getting the WATERGATE OMG!!!! play the GOP had been hoping for.  CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC -- they all have the Israeli rush to war as their headline story.  The Benghazi thing is subordinating to the deliciously salacious details of the women involved in the Petraeus downfall, with more and more attention falling upon the darkly coifed head of That Kelley Woman.

Only Fox tries to keep up the Obama Offensive, and even it can't flog enough juice from Benghazi to lead with it; no, its current Headline of That One's Doom is "Cost of ObamaCare: Jobs Lost" -- a pretty good sign it's read the graffiti on McCain's wall.

Oh, and I hadn't actually read the Lying Evil Terrorist-Loving talking points that the GOPsters are so incensed over till today, courtesy of ABC:

The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the United States Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against United States diplomatic posts in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations. This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated. The investigation is ongoing, and the United States government is working with Libyan authorities to bring justice to those responsible for the death of United States citizens.

That's it?  That's what the troglodytes are hanging their pointy little hats on?

There's really only one possible reaction:


If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

I was talking to my mom the other day (2.00 / 5)
and she has a theory about what happened in Benghazi. Well actually, we both pontificated about what might have happened. Warning, we both have creative and wild imaginations.

Tin hats all around folks...

Ok. We think that Ambassador Stevens got a tip that there was an opportunity to take out some of the leaders of the al Quaeda in Lybia. He then took a couple of CIA agents with him to the consulate and soon discovered it was a trap.

The despicable behavior and politicization by the republican leadership regarding this tragedy AND the release of CIA operations from the House and Senate may lead to public beheadings (I hope:~P). Valerie Plame anyone? It would seem that they have stepped in a whole pile of top secret, classified shit which they can't seem to wipe off their shoes.

There is a skit that SNL that aired back in 1991 (season 16 episode 12)  where the press corp was asking the dumbest questions about Desert Storm. For example: 'what are our troop movement and where are they going now?). I am paraphrasing and wish like hell I could find the clip as it is hilarious. I think it is appropriate for our current situation.

I do think the administration came out too early with the information regarding the attack. To comment and give the press vultures ongoing information about operations and the tragedy may have not been the best move.

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain

Oops (2.00 / 6)
I didn't really talk about the subject at hand. Oh well...

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain

[ Parent ]
And this differs from the typical Moose thread how? (2.00 / 5)
* snerk *

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
OT: fucking assholes (2.00 / 4)
Ancient hunters and gatherers etched vivid petroglyphs on cliffs in the Eastern Sierra that withstood winds, flash floods and earthquakes for more than 3,500 years. Thieves needed only a few hours to cut them down and haul them away.

Federal authorities say at least four petroglyphs have been taken from the site. A fifth was defaced with deep saw cuts on three sides. A sixth had been removed and broken during the theft, then propped against a boulder near a visitor parking lot.

Dozens of other petroglyphs were scarred by hammer strikes and saw cuts.

"The individuals who did this were not surgeons, they were smashing and grabbing," U.S. Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Greg Haverstock said last week as he examined the damage. "This was the worst act of vandalism ever seen" on the 750,000 acres of public land managed by the BLM field office in Bishop.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

Tangential to the topic (2.00 / 4)
From the comments thread under today's CNN story about how the infamous talking points on Benghazi were changed to take out reference to al Qaeda:

El Flaco

All of the global media corporations in the world have been in a secret socialist conspiracy to hide the Shining Light of Conservatism for five generations. They do this because they are evil and want good people to suffer. (It used to be a Communist conspiracy, but then the Soviet Union collapsed and overnight it became transformed into a socialist conspiracy. No Conservative apparently noticed the change.)

All of the polls, all of the scientists, all of the PhDs, and all universities have joined in that world-wide socialist conspiracy since 1932. Their goal is persuade voters that Liberalism is good when they know it is evil.

Scientists are all liars. They fake scientific results and poll findings. They have been doing this since FDR was President. They will do anything evil for tenure and government grants. They fake their experiments so the results agree with Liberalism. Sometimes 'the government' orders them to produce certain results, like the Global Warming Hoax.

All government statistics have been faked and changed to make "Liberals" in government look good, and they cannot be believed. This is because government is evil and all government employees are evil when a Democrat is in the White House. All government employees lie to make Obama look good.

(Escape Clause: However, if those same government agencies produce statistics that make Conservatives look good, then they can be believed and trusted.)

If it's from PBS/NBC/ABC/MSNBC/ABC/CNN it's a lie. They do not print news. They simply try to sway elections by printing false news. They have been doing this since Hitler invaded Poland because they hate America.

God is a Conservative Free-Market Republican. So is Jesus. So is the Holy Ghost. So were the apostles. So were the early followers of Jesus. So was the first Pope. So was Martin Luther.

Mormonism is not Christianity unless the Republican nominee is a Mormon, in which case Mormonism is just another Protestant denomination, like Presbyterians or Baptists.

Does that sound sane to anyone?

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

Wow (2.00 / 3)
As I was reading the post, I kept wondering if this is snark. It would seem so and pretty damn good snark at that.

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain

[ Parent ]
Oh, yes (2.00 / 2)
Given other comments under that name in that thread, it is most def Moose-worthy snark.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
The Petraeus Puzzle | 83 comments

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