Ever since the September 11 attack on our consulate and CIA station in Benghazi, “the dog in the night-time” of the scandal the media did its best to bury during the election campaign has been David Petraeus, the Iraq War commander turned spook-in-almost-chief. Throughout the orgy of misinformation, disinformation, finger-pointing, blame-shifting and general confusion, Petraeus remained adamantly silent, a hostage to fortune somewhere within the bowels of the CIA building in Langley. The one man who could have cut through the administration’s fog machine said nothing substantive as ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were laid to rest.
And now, just a couple of days after the election that returned Barack Hussein Obama II to executive power in Washington, he’s gone — resigned in the wake of an affair that likely occurred more than a year ago, apparently with his biographer, Paula Broadwell — who herself is under FBI investigation, reportedly for trying to access the general’s classified emails. Further, Petraeus will now not testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Benghazi next week.
And that, if Congress acquiesces and does not immediately subpoena Petraeus and either compel him to testify or force the administration to again assert executive privilege (as it did with Attorney General Eric Holder in the Fast and Furious mess), will be that — we’ll never know, and Obama will do his best to completely bury, what happened in Benghazi.
More details no doubt will dribble out over the coming days and weeks, but here’s what we can reasonably surmise. Although the official story is that the affair was uncovered by the FBI’s investigation into the emails, nevertheless it appears from the wording of Petraeus’s resignation letter that the affair began some time after July 2011; he became CIA director fourteen months ago. Therefore — unless he concealed that information from his vetters, which is highly unlikely given everything we know about the man — the Obama administration had to have known about the relationship from the start. Which means that, in effect, Petraeus confessed to his own “honey trap” and handed Valerie Jarrett, the Javert of Obama’s White House, a termination card, effective whenever she and the president cared to play it. And play it they did, right after the election and just before his testimony on the Hill. Well played, indeed.
On the other hand, if the affair began before Petraeus was being considered for the CIA post, and he didn’t reveal it, his reputation will never recover. As Ronald Kessler notes:
The investigation began last spring, but the FBI then pored over his emails when he was stationed in Afghanistan.
The woman who was having an affair with Petraeus is a journalist who had been writing about him.
Given his top secret clearance and the fact that Petraeus is married, the FBI continued to investigate and intercept Petraeus’ email exchanges with the woman. The emails include sexually explicit references to such items as sex under a desk.
Such a relationship is a breach of top secret security requirements and could have compromised Petraeus.
At some point after Petraeus was sworn in as CIA director on Sept. 6, 2011, the woman broke up with him. However, Petraeus continued to pursue her, sending her thousands of emails over the last several months, raising even more questions about his judgment.
So, one way or the other, we can begin to understand the silence emanating from the Langley Home for Lost Boys over the past several months. Right from the start, the Agency was fingered by the White House and by Hillary Clinton’s State Department as the fall guy for the Benghazi fiasco, especially once they understood that their “hateful video” legend wasn’t going to fly, and once leakers within the Agency began slipping the embarrassing details of what happened that night to their favorite journalist mouthpieces.