THE STORIES from national security writers now pouring forth aren’t half of what we should be reading. However, considering people are still lauding Colin Powell after his spectacle at the United Nations selling the Iraq war, with President Obama having unloaded a campaign ad on his behalf, nothing surprises me anymore. The whole sorry affair puts new light on the policy David Petraeus championed, but also on the press he played, giving new meaning to MoveOn.org’s “General Betrayus.”
But what does it say about President Obama, DNI Clapper and the entire administration that they were close to the last to know? Well, unless you count Sen. Diane Feinstein and the crew in Congress.
Clapper was told by the Justice Department of the Petraeus investigation at about 5 p.m. on Election Day, and then called Petraeus and urged him to resign, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly. [Associated Press]
NBC’s justice correspondent Pete Williams reports the FBI and the Justice Department “doesn’t tell members of Congress… who they are investigating.” Need to know in its starkest terms.
Jill Kelly is the woman at the center of Paul Broadwell’s harassment.
High-level officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department were notified in the late summer that F.B.I. agents had uncovered what appeared to be an extramarital affair involving the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus, government officials said Sunday.
But law enforcement officials did not notify anyone outside the F.B.I. or the Justice Department until last week because the investigation was incomplete and initial concerns about possible security breaches, which would demand more immediate action, did not appear to be justified, the officials said.
Read Spencer Ackerman for a sobering mea culpa from a seduced reporter covering Petraeus.
Whether we’ll here from Tom Ricks, the man who aided Paula Broadwell’s gauzy biography is another story. Ricks was once the finest we had, but he too got suckered by coziness that comes with laudatory coverage.
Access journalism and the competition to get eyes to the web page has led our media to be wet nurses to people who don’t deserve it.
Was David Petraeus a man who gave his life to his country? Absolutely. Did he deserve the god status he was afforded. No person does.
I wonder how John McCain is feeling today? Considering he helped sell Petraeus’s surge, which was never all that, sucked in by the celebrity of the general, perhaps it would be a good idea to remember what this country is about.
Civilians are to run our wars and decide policy, not generals on the ground, whether McChrystal or Petraeus. Men and women we owe a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice, but aren’t meant to be celebrities.
If this spectacle doesn’t make you look at the media yet again then you’re part of the problem, too.
When Benghazi happened, how many people were asking questions of DCIA David Petraeus out of the gate? If you’re regular readers around here you can name at least one.
This piece has been updated.