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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:48 AM

A PETRAEUS PUZZLE: WERE POLITICS INVOLVED? by Jane Mayer


Posted by Jane Mayer


The director of the C.I.A. has resigned over an extra-marital affair two days after a Presidential election in which the Agency’s role in Libya was of burning concern—what is really going on here?

There seem to be some potentially fascinating political aspects of this story that have yet to be explored. Why, for instance, did this news explode publicly when it did? Both the New York Times and the Washington Post report that the F.B.I. had found, after months of investigation, that neither retired General David Petraeus, now the former director of the C.I.A., nor the woman with whom he was evidently involved, his biographer Paula Broadwell, had broken any laws. Congressional intelligence officials reportedly want to know why they were not informed earlier that the F.B.I. was investigating Petraeus. But what I am wondering is why, if the F.B.I. had indeed concluded that they had no criminal case, this matter was brought to anyone’s attention at all.

The investigation apparently began when another woman Petraeus knew—the A.P. identified her as Jill Kelley, a Florida woman with connections to the military—complained about harassing e-mails, which turned out to have been from Broadwell. It’s not yet clear how directly the e-mails involved Petraeus. As an official told the Wall Street Journal, “This investigation wasn’t about the C.I.A. director, it was about what looked like a cyber crime.” In this case, like any other, the official went on, “There are strict rules, there is a wall, about sharing information on ongoing criminal investigations.”

According to the Times, approximately two weeks ago, F.B.I. investigators confronted Petraeus personally about the matter. After talking to him, they were satisfied that there were no breaches of national security or other crimes involved. It was then, the Times reports, that Petraeus certainly became aware of the investigation, if he had not known of it before. Interestingly, he did not offer his resignation at once, raising the question of whether he would have resigned at all if he hadn’t been asked to when the issue was about to become public. With the election two weeks away, and the C.I.A.’s potential intelligence failures in the fatal ambush of American’s diplomats in Libya a campaign issue, Petraeus surely recognized that if he resigned, the scandal would shake the Obama Administration, perhaps giving more fodder to its Republican critics in what appeared to be an extremely close election.

-snip-


Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/11/david-petraeus-paula-broadwell-were-politics-involved.html#ixzz2C1mkTNyk

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Reply A PETRAEUS PUZZLE: WERE POLITICS INVOLVED? by Jane Mayer (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
leveymg Nov 2012 #1
wishlist Nov 2012 #2

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:58 AM

1. I like Jane M's intelligence reporting. She's smart enough to make all this seem almost simple. ;-)

She also asks the right questions about what we don't know, but should find out. Except, she doesn't get to the overarching issue of policy - what the Ambassador and CIA station really do appear to have been doing in Benghazi - arms and terrorist smuggling to Syria.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:59 AM

2. I disagree with idea that earlier disclosure would've hurt Obama

This author and others who are thinking that earlier disclosure would have hurt Obama and helped Repubs seem to have it backwards in my opinion, especially when you know that Eric Cantor knew over a week before the election and Repubs would have pushed this to be public knowledge earlier if they had thought it would help Repubs. Instead they were protecting a fellow Repub so that criticism of Petraeus wouldn't eclipse media attention about Benghazi. Even though Repubs were getting no media or voter traction from Benghazi, they definitely wouldn't have gotten any benefit from focus shifting to Petraeus and his misbehavior with implications that his job performance might be at least partly to blame for Benghazi.

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