David Petraeus and the New Style of American Politics

If you believe David Petraeus really resigned as CIA director over an extramarital affair, you probably also believe that Muhammad filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef is in prison because of a parole violation. It is much more likely that both Petraeus and Youssef herald the dawning of a new style in American politics – or else Barack Obama is the luckiest man alive.

It has already been widely noted that the timing of Petraeus’s resignation was perfect for Barack Obama: on the same day that the House Foreign Affairs Committee announced that it would be calling the CIA director to testify about the ever-widening Benghazi scandal, he abruptly resigned over an extramarital affair. Now Petraeus won’t be testifying, and one of the most important witnesses as to what really happened when jihadists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and who ordered those who would have defended Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues to “stand down,” has been removed from the scene. Petraeus had already said that he issued no such order, which makes it strongly likely that Obama himself did so; but now Petraeus won’t be around to say so one way or the other.

Obama was just as lucky that Mark Basseley Youssef, the apparent producer of the Muhammad video that Muslims blamed for their recent international orgy of riots and murders, turned out to be a marginal character with a criminal record. Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and other Obama administration officials denounced the film repeatedly and vehemently, but according to Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was killed in Benghazi, Clinton went even farther, saying of the Muhammad filmmaker: “We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted.” But there was just one insuperable obstacle to this Sharia-compliant scenario: the First Amendment -- until, lo and behold, it turned out that Youssef was on probation and that one of the conditions of his probation was that he not use the Internet. And so now he is serving a year in prison for the probation violation.

The Feds got Al Capone for tax evasion when they couldn’t make more serious charges stick, and when they couldn’t imprison Youssef for violating Sharia blasphemy laws, they got him for violating probation. Or maybe Mark Basseley Youssef really did have the bad luck to land probation officers who were unusually scrupulous. Maybe it is just a total coincidence that suddenly they decided that this probation violation was the one that they could not and would not tolerate, while untold numbers of other violators of probation still roam free today.