Even in the post-election season, a blogger can't wander away from the internet for a couple of days, as I recently did. Time to catch up with the exploding tale of the David Petraeus resignation.
First and foremost: Of all the parapolitical interpretations I've seen, Robert Parry's still seems the most persuasive.
Parry thinks that the Obama administration used this scandal -- which other presidents might have been swept under the proverbial rug -- as a means of ridding himself of a neo-con who worked in secret against Obama's interests.
We'll have more on that...
You probably know by now about the other
other woman, Jill Kelly. The Paula-Jill catfight has the advantage of instantly deep-sixing all "honeytrap" speculation. Of course, even honeytrappers can fall in love. Besides, the "catfight" was rather civilized
and may not have the significance most presume.
is of interest:
A senior law enforcement official in Washington said on Tuesday that F.B.I. investigators looking into Ms. Kelley’s complaint about anonymous e-mails she had received examined all of her e-mails as a routine step.
“When you get involved in a cybercase like this, you have to look at everything,” the official said, suggesting that Ms. Kelley may not have considered that possibility when she filed the complaint. “The real question is why someone decided to open this can of worms.”
The official would not describe the content of the e-mails between General Allen and Ms. Kelley or say specifically why F.B.I. officials decided to pass them on to the Defense Department. “Generally, the nature of the e-mails warranted providing them to D.O.D.,” he said.
Under military law, adultery can be a crime.
I presume that when Petraeus retired, military law stopped applying. And does the FBI often investigate adultery in the military? Isn't that an internal DOD matter?
I agree: The real question is why someone decided to open this can of worms.
Early on, we heard that the FBI was concerned about a possible leak of classified information. In that light, the following (from this CNN story
) seems of interest...
Also, a video has surfaced of a speech by Broadwell in which she suggested the Libya attack on September 11 was targeting a secret prison at the Benghazi consulate annex, raising unverified concerns about possible security leaks.
"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," said Broadwell in a speech last month at the University of Denver.
A senior intelligence official told CNN on Monday, "These detention claims are categorically not true. Nobody was ever held at the annex before, during, or after the attacks."
Broadwell's source for that previously unpublished bit of information remains unclear, and there's no evidence so far that it came from Petraeus.
told that woman something
Let's take a few steps back. Why has the right remained so fixated on Benghazi, even though the average citizen wisely refused to go mad over the issue? I've long thought that a clue can be found in this Craig Unger piece
. Unger intimates that leaders of the Republican party had received information from an intelligence source about Benghazi, and that this information was somewhat at odds with the story being told by the Obama administration. Unger does not divulge (and may not know) the name of this source, but it is fair to presume that he or she either serves in the spook community or has a relationship with someone who does.
Question 1: Did the same source speak to Broadwell?
Question 2: Was Petraeus the source? Was he chatting up not just Paula Broadwell, but also Karl Rove and crew?
Question 3: If Petraeus was not a direct source for the Republicans, could he have been an indirect
Odd thought: Perhaps Paula Broadwell was the one who went running to the GOP head honchos. That's quite possible. Right now, however, my main suspicion runs in another direction.
Petraeus is best buds with neocon writer Max Boot. During the campaign, Boot functioned as a Romney adviser
. Remember all those stories about how Romney had surrounded himself with Dubya's merry band of war-lovers? Boot was a key part of that crew.
The Boot connection strengthens both Craig Unger's story and Bob Parry's. It seems quite possible that Boot was the source who told the Rove/Romney crew to keep pushing the betrayed-in-Benghazi meme. Moreover, it seems quite possible that Boot got his
information from David Petraeus.
Put yourself in Obama's shoes. If your CIA Director is good friends with the key foreign policy adviser to the guy running against you -- well, yeah, that's something to worry about.
This segment from the Boot bio
on Right Web is worth noting:
Boot has also criticized the Obama administration’s handling of foreign affairs, implying that it has not done enough to bolster “liberal” forces in regions impacted by the “Arab Spring.” After the September 2012 attacks on U.S. embassies spurred by the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, Boot wrote that the “attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo … make clear that the provision of further IMF loans and loan forgiveness by the U.S. must be made conditional on Mohamed Morsi’s government doing more to control Islamist militants. In the longer term, such attacks show the need for the U.S. to do more to aid secular liberal groups in their struggle for power so that the Muslim Brotherhood does not develop a hammerhold on Egypt’s government, which it can then use to whip up hysteria over alleged wrongs done to Islam. Beyond that, the U.S. government must do everything possible–including the unleashing if necessary of Special Operations Forces and covert CIA operatives–to hunt down the perpetrators of the Libyan attack.”
Along with like-minded writers like Charles Krauthammer, Boot holds privileged perches in the U.S. news media and foreign policy communities. He is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and his writings often appear in other major U.S. media outlets. Boot also writes frequently for William Kristol’s Weekly Standard and has participated in neoconservative advocacy initiatives like the Project for the New American Century.
Boot has been a leading agitator for a U.S. attack on Iran, writing op-eds and appearing in public forums to argue that “the only credible option for significantly delaying the Iranian nuclear program would be a bombing campaign,” as he put in a 2011 opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times. In a January 2012 blog post for the neoconservative Commentary magazine, Boot cited a heavily criticized Foreign Affairs article by Matthew Kroenig championing a bombing campaign against Iran, to argue: “If the U.S. is truly determined to prevent [a nuclear Iran]—and if we’re not, we should be—the most effective option is to use force. Obviously, air strikes carry risks of their own, but those risks have to be measured against the risk of letting Iran go nuclear.”
Although my attitude toward Obama remains cynical, I don't think he wants war with Iran. The Democratic party won't tolerate an attack. Obama knows that military action will serve only to make him the most hated president in history.
Yet make no mistake about it: War with Iran is the ultimate goal of the neocons. Everything they do and say must be seen in that light. Moreover, they probably would prefer to push a Democrat into launching such a foolish and ruinous endeavor. Better to damage Team Blue than Team Red.
I doubt that the neocons really care about their ginned-up Benghazi charges. Libya is simply a cudgel for the right-wingers to use against the administration. That said, I would not be terribly surprised to learn there really is an as-yet-untold factor -- a secret something
-- lurking behind the Benghazi story. Paula Broadwell may have offered a pointer in the right direction.