Petraeus prostration: Benghazi blowback?
Pretty funny. CIA director David Petraeus, responsible for countless civilian deaths in his lawless drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal territories, resigns in contrition saying, "I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair." (NYT, Nov. 9) After reading numerous accounts, we still can't figure out exactly how this came to light, but it seems to have originated in an FBI investigation of harassing e-mails apparently sent to an unnamed third party by Petraeus' paramour and biographer Paula Broadwell. After the Benghazi blow-out in the presidential debate last month, we were left wondering how the CIA could not have known for two weeks after the fact that the consulate attack was an armed ("terrorist") attack and not just a rowdy demonstration. Now we are left wondering how the director of the CI goddam A could not have known that the FBI was reading his e-mail. And it appears that, at least in the minds of the paranoid, there may be a link between these two apparent lapses...
CBS News and Washington Times report that Petraeus had been scheduled to testify next week before the House and Senate intelligence committees on the Benghazi affair, and House Homeland Security Committee chair Peter King (R-NY) isn't letting him off the hook just becase he's no longer big cheese at the CIA: "I strongly believe that Gen. Petreaus has to testify, if not this week, then the following week or sometime very soon because it's not the CIA director who has to testify, it's the person who was involved at the time of Benghazi. And that was David Petreaus."
But it's Daily Caller that saves the really juicy quote (spoken by King in a DC area radio interview) for posterity:
King expressed skepticism about the circumstances and timing of Petraeus' resignation.
"The main issue is: Why was the investigation launched in the first place?" King asked. "There's more here. This story does not add up. There is something missing in the entire story. I don't see any good explanation coming out of this. There’s no way you can defend what the White House and the administration is saying. It just doesn’t make sense, and that’s the point I’m making."
The congressman, who is also a member of the House intelligence committee, said it was "really hard to believe" that President Barack Obama was unaware of the investigation into Petraeus' behavior until this week, as the White House has claimed.
"I mean think of the consequences of monitoring the e-mails of the CIA Director by the FBI—almost a competitive agency, in a way—and not telling the President about it, not telling the Congress about it. And then suddenly, on the night of or day or two after the Election, whichever time-frame we want to use, it becomes so important that it’s disclosed and Petraeus is out the door."
So, did the FBI (answerable to Obama's buddy Holder at the Justice Department) arrange this whole thing just to shut down Petraeus' congressional testimony? If so, it may backfire. Charles Krauthammer gloats: "Now that the [Benghazi] story is attached to a sex scandal, it will become a story that will be pursued by the media as was not pursued before." (Examiner.com, Nov. 10)
But the real conspiranoids go one better. The always breathless Global Research postulates that the US ambassador killed in the attack, Chris Stevens, was "murdered" because he had been running a clandestine operation out of Benghazi to arm the Syrian rebels. The conspiranoid screed links to an Oct. 19 report on Business Insider claiming that back in March 2011 "Stevens became the official US liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group." However, Business Insider's own hyperlinked source for this claim, ABC News, only says he was named liaison to the Libyan opposition—with no mention of al-Qaeda or Abdelhakim Belhadj or his Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. (See how blogging is like a game of "telephone"?) The Telegraph on Nov. 27, 2011 (also cited by Business Insider) reported (without mentioning Stevens) that Belhadj had been sent by Libya's revolutionary authorities to Istanbul to meet with leaders of the Free Syrian Army (without mentioning that any arms deals actually came out of it). The Telegraph on Nov. 2 of this year (cited directly by Global Research) also informs us that the two armed men killed in the consulate attack, originally reported to be Navy SEALs, were actually former SEALs who were under contract to the CIA, not the State Department. The implication seems to be that they were there for covert action, not to protect the consulate.
Global Research's own contribution to the theory is the notion that Stevens was intentionally "murdered" on account of these shenanigans. But what doesn't make a lick of sense is why a Libyan jihadist militia would want to kill Stevens because he was conniving with Libyan jihadist militias to arm jihadist militias in Syria. As usual, the conspiranoids, for all their obsession with minutia (if not quite accuracy), can be blind to the most obvious yawning gaps in their theories.
Still, it's all food for thought. We ourselves noted at the time of Petraeus' transfer to the CIA last year that it seemed timed to oversee the Libyan insurrectionary project, and read it as a tilt back to the neocon "regime change" agenda.
So, was there more to the Benghazi affair than meets the eye? And was the Petraeus revelation instrumented by the Obama administration to shut him up?
Sound off, readers...