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Nearly everyone commenting on the rapidly expanding Petraeus story is missing the most critical point: it is inconceivable that the FBI would get involved in an investigation that came to include the Director of Central Intelligence even peripherally without having that information go straight up to the desk of FBI Director Robert Mueller. And Mueller would undoubtedly inform Attorney General Eric Holder five seconds later, if only to cover his own behind. As this investigation implicated Petraeus in a case of adultery, at a minimum, some weeks ago, suggesting the possibility of major political fallout, there was clearly a cover-up or deliberate delaying action by either Mueller or Holder or both. Or, if the president was informed, by the White House itself to avoid a scandal just before the election. This could easily have been perceived as something that might alter the course of the election, and perhaps it would have.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: CIA, David Petraeus 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    So, why didn’t Eric Cantor, a Republican and House Majority Leader who was told about this at the end of October, go public if it had the potential to defeat Obama?

  2. @Blairburton. I think the answer is obvious; Petreaus; a well-known Republican was actually a GOP mole. the affair (covert operation – think Kevin Cosner in “No Way Out”) was designed to embarrass Obama, and swing the election to Romney. I am also confused by the “blackmail” meme. it is true intelligence (and military) officers can become blackmail targets via extra-marital affairs; but I don’t know that Petreaus was ripe for blackmail, as he resigned. I am no spook, but why abort an operation if one’s cover remains intact?

  3. Its not a love-triangle now, its a love-pentagon
    (the apex of which is the FBI agent/personal friend of the party-hostess who sent bare-chested photos of himself to her before she got wind of any ’emails’ all the while exchanging 1000s of emails — and more perhaps — with Gen Allen)

    Conspiracy theories don’t get any juicier
    (and ‘they hate us for our freedoms,’ don’t forget)

  4. Because then the press, including the writers at the this magazine, would have carped on him for playing politics with an investigation.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Hm. Maybe. But imagine this had happened in a non-election year. Whenever Petraeus resigned, there would have been a time a couple of weeks before when everything you say would have been true, but I see no reason to believe we (the people) would have been informed the moment the Attorney General got wind of it. We would have learned about it later on, perhaps when Petraeus resigned (or when he refused to). When in the process do you think it would normally come to light?

  6. JS says:

    Instinctively I want to be scandalized, if only because I vehemently dislike Obama, but, while I agree it seems like there was a cover-up, it’s really hard to see how a Petraeus scandal would have hurt Obama, much less cost him anything significant in the election.

  7. ” Since the Kelleys have been in Tampa, records show, one or both have been subjects of lawsuits nine times — including an \$11,000 judgment against them that originated in Pennsylvania. Ongoing cases, the court records show, include an indebtedness case from Chase Bank; a foreclosure case from Regions Bank; and a credit card case from FIA Card Services. ”
    Did these financial shenanigans never show up on any ‘background check’ of volunteers associating with key figures in our national security? If not, why not? So they not teach “Systems Vulnerability” at the military academies anymore?

  8. Or where the Kelly’s perhaps the “silent partner” funelling funds for the arms the CIA was channelling to the Syrian opposition forces via Benghazi? This is a mess….

  9. Brian says:

    Why have their been a million more leaks, and a billion more stories, about the sordid details of this in the last four days, than there have been in the last two months about what the heck happened in Benghazi? This is just ridiculous.

  10. Bryan says:

    The answers to these questions and many more on the next episode of Food Riots in America While Republocrat Political Elites Fly to Switzerland in Private Jets.

    In light of what is now being revealed about top “military” and “intelligence” “leadership” by the seemingly (please God) honest and moral people still working in the “national security” sector, it boggles my mind that anyone thinks a Romney victory last week would have changed anything in practical terms, any more than yet another completely meaningless public opinion poll (considering that most eligible American citizens don’t even vote in the first place.)

    And I say that as someone who, had I been forced at gunpoint to actually vote for one of the two party mascots, would have chosen Romney.

  11. Blairburton – Cantor might have feared that he would look like an opportunist and bad guy for interfering in an ongoing FBI investigation. But that’s only a guess. I am not suggesting that the affair Petraeus would have turned the election and am only considering that those possibly engaged in a cover-up might have been thinking that way.

  12. I agree with JS. How would this hurt the President? I greatly enjoy the speculation on this topic, but other than the entertainment value, it all seems a little pointless.

  13. Chad says:

    Philip – Wait your explanation for why Eric Cantor participated in your expanding conspiracy is because he didn’t want to be seen as taking an adultery scandal and politicizing it? Does that fit the pattern of behavior of Republicans towards the Obama White House? or heck Republicans towards a Democratic White House in the modern era?

  14. to think the the POTUS (via the Attorney General and FBI) would risk a ‘scandal-gate’ witchhunt to protect Petraeus (GOP rising GOP star) at the expense of the his Presidency; just doesn’t make sense. I joked earlier about Kevin Costner/No Way Out; but did our host not suggest politicos not rush to judgment in terms of Benghazi? is it not prudent to get all the facts before going public with a story or making an allegation? the FBI had no way of knowing the nature of the emails. it would not be the first time a politician was targeted via baseless allegations, claims; especially those involving an affair. what if this was merely an attempt to smear Petraeus? what if the woman in question sent threatening emails because Petraeaus rejected her amorous advances? who knew what and when they knew it? is a valid question; but I just don’t see the motive or upside for the White House; in terms of the election; or even “protecting” Obama. if nothing else; Cantor did not want to appear like Romney on 09/12/12; but again, if it was an “ongoing investigation” I suspect Cantor simply wanted all the facts before commenting.

  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The FBI could not have investigated the emails without a national security warrant which must have involved a suspicion of foreign interceptance of these emails. Moreover, there was no reason for Petraeus to destroy Broadwell in his resignation letter unless the White House insisted on this language in exchange for not publishing the details of the national security breach (recall John Deutsch, Sandy Berger).

    The FBI is now investigated another general and confiscating broadwell’s computers at her home . This further corroborates a national security breach . Petraeus will keep quiet with this sword dangling over his head, but the real question is what this affair admission is actually covering up. The answer lies in the emails from Jill Kelly and Broadwell to and from Afghanistan, and where these emails went subsequently.

  16. cameyer says:

    Glen Greenwald wrote an excellent article on this from the angle of the security state gone amuk: a personal matter, not even a crime, something the FBI had no business in, starts an investigation, knowledge of an affair, etc. etc. This may end up being the biggest part of this really stupid case.

  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Reports suggest the FBI found no actual security breach or criminal conduct on Petraeus part. (Broadwell had “classified documents” on her computer? Broadwell was a reserve intel officer with clearances.) It seems like the FBI investigators were ready to let the case drop. The Shirtless Wingnut forced everyone’s hand by running to the GOP House leadership to alert them to a massive cover-up by the Obama White House, which was sweeping the Petraeus/Broadwell mess under the rug because . . . well, some Kenyan, Muslim, Socialist reason that made sense to the Shirtless Wingnut.

    So Eric Cantor, with the same genius that Republican politicos bring to running presidential campaigns, ran straight to Robert Mueller and the DNI, cleverly destroying the career of a pretty obviously Republican celebrity general with a bright political future ahead of him. Perhaps he did this guided by his interpretation of unskewed polling on the matter.

  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Are we back to the Hoover days with the FBI hoovering up emails without a court order and leaking the investigation in a partisan way?
    There is a new video that I saw that deals with this issue as a parody. Its funny but scary. The video suggest we all hide our internet traces using a VPN, but how did we get into this position as a country? Since the Patriot Act have we given up so many freedoms that our only recourse is to hide under a technology rock? That this in fact happened to our CIA Director is stunning.
    Shouldnt the FBI be vilified in this? But somehow they are not and it has become a personal tragedy rather than a governance tragedy. The media has barely covered
    the FBI side of the scandal.

    Check out the the Petraeus Broadwell Parody

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