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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Charges against Petraeus?

Woah! I was just about to hit the sack when this caused my bleary eyes to widen...
The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against David H. Petraeus, contending that he provided classified information to a lover while he was director of the C.I.A., officials said, leaving Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to decide whether to seek an indictment that could send the pre-eminent military officer of his generation to prison.

The Justice Department investigation stems from an affair Mr. Petraeus had with Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer who was writing his biography, and focuses on whether he gave her access to his C.I.A. email account and other highly classified information.

F.B.I. agents discovered classified documents on her computer after Mr. Petraeus resigned from the C.I.A. in 2012 when the affair became public.
This next part is important...
Mr. Holder was expected to decide by the end of last year whether to bring charges against Mr. Petraeus, but he has not indicated how he plans to proceed. The delay has frustrated some Justice Department and F.B.I. officials and investigators who have questioned whether Mr. Petraeus has received special treatment at a time Mr. Holder has led a crackdown on government officials who reveal secrets to journalists.
Damn straight. Chelsea Manning got the book tossed at her, so why should Petraeus walk away without a problem?

There may be an ulterior motive here. As noted in a previous post, the Republicans have been making serious noises about backing a Petraeus presidential bid. How serious? So serious that Roger Ailes considered quitting Fox News to devote himself to the effort.

Similar rumors are still floating around. Last year, there were suggestions that he might run as a Democrat -- for Vice President, with Hillary topping the ticket!  (That story may have been an invention designed to lessen Hillary's popularity with the left.)

So, what kind of material did Broadwell see? I wonder if it concerned Benghazi.

As everyone knows, the right-wingers went into rage-gasm over the comments made by Susan Rice after the Benghazi attack. That whole "controversy" reeked of pre-planning and coordination, of course. Rice got her information entirely from the CIA, the agency that Petraeus headed at the time. Yet the Fox Newsers never criticized Petraeus; instead, they went after Rice, simply because she believed the information that Petraeus gave her.

I am sure that Team Obama understands this sequence of events very well. Holder's action -- should he take any -- may be construed as revenge for that particular piece of ratfuckery.
I see it somewhat differently, Joseph. Petraeus is in a situation similar to that of Eisenhour in the early 50s: he is a potential political threat based in either party. Worse, he is a serious threat to the Established Order Of Things.

Powerful forces seem determined to make the next election Jeb/Hillary. It's a guaranteed win/win for the 1% and they are bound to have it; heads they win and tails you lose. Petraeus threatens that locked in victory, and that can't be allowed. That's why the threat of prosecution is being held over his head.

If the general keeps his mouth shut and his head down, he can spend the rest of his life serving in lucrative do-nothing jobs on the boards of directors of military industrial complex corporations. Go political and go to jail and lose it all.

Given Hillary and Bill's lifelong contempt for all things military, it seems unlikely she would choose Petraeus for a running mate, although some might argue she would pick the ghost of Erwin Rommel if she thought it would give her a leg up on the prize.

Off-topic (?) footnote: Hilz and Jeb could both be sunk by the ongoing Epstein situation. Jeb was Florida governor in 2005 when Jeffrey Epstein was first charged with sex with a 14 year old. Charlie Crist, Jeb's successor was his attorney general, and together they negotiated with Dershowitz, Roy Black and Ken Starr the special deal for Epstein. (reportedly). If the smoking gun can be found on this one, Jeb is history.
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