Nov 13 2012

Desperate Housewives of the Defense Department: Up Date

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I’ve been a little busy with the on going disaster that was left by Hurricane Sandy, but not too busy to have missed the latest MSM obsession the soap opera of the “Petraeus Affair.” As it turns out this little episode was brought to us by a sex obsessed, “shirtless, Tea Party sympathizing FBI agent” and an out of control surveillance state. Like Atrios, I am not surprised that the PTB and the MSM will not recognize the real problem here, the surveillance state that the Bush/Obama regimes have created:

Even with this happening, I don’t expect the people who rule us to suddenly realize that the FBI trolling through emails looking for unapproved sexytime might be a problem.

Jane Mayer, in The New Yorker, “puzzles” about the politics of the “affair:”

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. [..]

But what, exactly, was this F.B.I. employee trying to expose? Was he blowing the whistle on his bosses? If so, why? Was he dissatisfied with their apparent exoneration of Petraeus? Given that this drama was playing out in the final days of a very heated Presidential campaign, and he was taking a potentially scandalous story to the Republican leadership in Congress, was there a political motive?

It doesn’t break my heart to see him go. I always thought putting ex-military men in charge of the civilian CIA was a bad idea that would just get us into more foreign wars. Echidne, writing on her blog, points out that Petraeus is not exactly a “flaming liberal” and cites this passage from an article in The Washington Post:

Since his first combat tour in Iraq in 2003, Petraeus had cultivated a cadre of a few dozen loyal staff officers, many of whom had doctoral degrees from top universities and taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Usually, he personally selected these men and women to serve on his staff.

In Afghanistan, the retinue grew as people drawn to his fame and eager to launch their own careers took up positions for him in Kabul. “He didn’t seek out these people, but he also didn’t turn them away,” said an officer who spent 40 months working for Petraeus in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Prominent members of conservative, Washington-based defense think tanks were given permanent office space at his headquarters and access to military aircraft to tour the battlefield. They provided advice to field commanders that sometimes conflicted with orders the commanders were getting from their immediate bosses.

Some of Petraeus’s staff officers said he and the American mission in Afghanistan benefited from the broader array of viewpoints, but others complained that the outsiders were a distraction, the price of his growing fame.

Of course no one in the MSM is asking why this was done without a warrant, since Jill Kelley’s complaint was about harassing e-mails about her association with Gen. Petraeus. But, hey, they’re keeping us safe from those terrorists.

I find that rather amusing, since former CIA Director and retired Army general, David Petraeus is one of the right wing’s “hope” for a shot at the White House in 2016 was brought down with the very same “tool”, unfettered surveillance, that the right wingers claim is keeping America safe.  Whatever the motivation was, I also have a sneaking suspicion since the right wing media is  wondering why the President even accepted his resignation and portraying Petraeus as a “victim,” wondering why the President even accepted his resignation that he’ll be back in the near future with his right wing halo all polished.

Up Date: Apparently someone at the New York Times is reading Atrios’ comments:

The F.B.I. investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A. and now threatens to tarnish the reputation of the top American commander in Afghanistan underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about: that in policing the Web for crime, espionage and sabotage, government investigators will unavoidably invade the private lives of Americans. [..]

For privacy advocates, the case sets off alarms.

“There should be an investigation not of the personal behavior of General Petraeus and General Allen but of what surveillance powers the F.B.I. used to look into their private lives,” Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in an interview. “This is a textbook example of the blurring of lines between the private and the public.” [..]

But the events of the last few days have shown how law enforcement investigators who plunge into the private territories of cyberspace looking for one thing can find something else altogether, with astonishingly destructive results. [..]

But some commentators have renewed an argument that a puritanical American culture overreacts to sexual transgressions that have little relevance to job performance. “Most Americans were dismayed that General Petraeus resigned,” said Mr. Romero of the A.C.L.U.

Am I “dismayed” over Petraeus’ resignation? No, since I don’t think he should be in charge of the CIA in the first place. I am dismayed that about the surveillance state that caused it and loss of our right to privacy that conservatives hypocritically opine when they complain about “big government.”

1 comment

  1. TMC

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