« Petraeus Agonistes | Main | New Post On The Athenaeum »

10 November 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

r whitman

Let me take a different position. Every now and then this country needs an egotistical, devious, underhanded, glory hound SOB to get things done. I do not care how things happened in Iraq, Petraeus made it possible for the US to leave without the word "defeat" in the exit description. Its also happening in Afganistan. He lent respectability to the "cut and run" plan going on now even though he did a CYA in Congressional testimony.

I do not believe this is all about zipper problems. There is something else happening. Stay tuned.

The Twisted Genius

Apparently the bitch be crazy. Let this be a lesson to the rest of the narcissistic slicky boys out there... and there are plenty of them.


The Beaver


"The collapse of the dazzling career of CIA Director David H. Petraeus was triggered when a woman with whom he was having an affair sent threatening e-mails to another woman close to him, according to three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the episode.

The recipient of the e-mails was so frightened that she went to the FBI for protection and help tracking down the sender, according to the officials. The FBI investigation traced the threats to Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and a Petraeus biographer, and uncovered explicit e-mails between Broadwell and Petraeus, the officials said."................................................................................................
"They said investigators thought they were dealing with a routine harassment case until they discovered the e-mails were traced to a private e-mail account belonging to Petraeus".

So did Broadwell hack DP's personal e-mail to threaten the other woman?



I have consulted Basilisk and others who have taken life style polygraph examinations at CIA in the "modern era." They tell me that they don't ask sex questions anymore. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Hey! I passed mine! Therefore I have withdrawn my paragraph about a polygraph. That does not mean that i have lost faith in the effectiveness of the machine in the hands of good operators, but... This also explains how another high official of the IC still in place got there. A former assistant of mine who once worked at NSA in the bad old days told me that on a routine five year poly he was asked if he had homosexual tendencies. He said that he paused a moment and then asked if the examiner meant from time to time or "raging." This witticism, indicative of a good intel man, got him three more days on the box. pl


It appears that instinctive gallantry to protect the little woman has dissolved with the gender revolution. It does strike me, based on the superficial evidence, that it would be a rash man who would climb into bed with the Major without having first secreted a stiletto under the pillow.

Still, it is prudent not to generalize. There are predatory women AND exploitative, abusive men - in every sphere. So let's take it case by case.

The Beaver

After reading the article and reviewing some of her tweets, she sounds like the character from Fatal Attraction. She like the spotlight on top of that. One thing that aroused my curiosity is when I read: "Did not bother me to go to Afghanistan to do my research , I will be with my buddies and I can speak ARABIC" :( or something along that line if IRC .


Charles is right to a point. My observation is that they use "framing" taught in neurolinguistics, but natural to a narcissist,

You simply dream up an altered reality in your head where your lie is actually true and hold that thought. Its quite easy when you have practiced it.


"I have not committed adultery" - (She is my "real" wife, not the fake one I'm legaly married to)

"I didnt have sex with that woman" - (oral ain't sex)

"Of course I trust you" - (to protect your own interests)
Narcissists "calibrate" their persona to their audience by doing this. One of them broke down once in front of me crying: "I don't know what people want me to become!" This one had come on to me playing the California girl. To others she played the savvy business women, then there was the hardened yachtswoman and about Seven other characters she could roll out.

Petreaus would have quite a few "characters" in there, especially ones that Congress would like to see. The best clue to their behaviour is their treatment of their subordinates and competitors. They discard used people very quickly and knife perceived competitors (current and future) as well.

The only thing that works is absolute flattery and total submission as in the old Royal Navy Promotion joke:

When asked who Britains Three most famous Admirals were
the officer candidate replied: "Sir Walter Raleigh, Viscount Nelson and I've forgotten your name Sir".


Lets hope none of your relatives have to serve under one.

The Twisted Genius


I don't know why the CI field attracts so many sour, humorless souls. There are some outstanding exceptions, as I'm sure you've found, but very few. I'm not surprised that the lifestyle poly no longer includes questions about sex. From what I've heard some CIA bases in Iraq and Afghanistan (and some SOF bases) were more akin to Payton Place than anything I've ever experienced.


The Beaver

Ironically, I created the progran in Arabic at WP where she learned some of the language. That was long before her time there. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Stephen Walt thought that Obama escalated in Afghanistan to ensure future Democratic Presidential candiates in US could be immune on "soft on defense" charge by the Republicans.

The Beaver


I realise that Arabic is taught at WP ( more so after the remark of CBS Wallace after 9/11)
However, except for the few Tajiki Arabic people, I doubt the Afghans speak Arabic.


The Beaver

Yes, her remark is nonsensical. As TTG observed, the bitch be crazy. pl

Hard Hearted Empath

I think the problem comes when people think that using the polygraph is CI. It's not. It's CE/Security. Big diffference.

Since c. 1975 however, the IC has essentially seen CI as CE/Security (the FBI view). In fact, CI rightly understood is an offensive discipline aimed at disrupting and deceiving the target's intelligence service(s) and thereby confusing, manipulating, influencing the decionsmakers in the targeted government.

A good recent example of classic CI: Iran's use of Curveball and Chalabi to manipulate U.S. intelligence and threby influence U.S. policy toward Iraq.

Willaim R. Cumming

Probably skipped over due to other more important topics at the time, what do PL and commenters believe justified the appointment of Petraeus when nominated? And how tough was his questioning by the Committee?
Anyone know his PhD thesis topic?


Don't imagine that passing a polygraph test (if he indeed took one) when he became D/CIA means anything substantive. Polygraphs are not accurate, having high false positive as well as false negative rates.

As far as I can see, they have precisely two uses - first, to make bureaucrats happy because they did "something" that has an easily measured metric attached, and second as a psychological tool to pressure someone you suspect of a crime into confessing.

FB Ali

I wouldn't write off the smoothie general. After all, "redemption" is a well-established rite in the US. And there's all this 'rich guy' money (and its Rovian managers) looking for another horse to back.

What are the odds that CIAtus Interruptus Petraeus (per Clifford K) is the 2016 Republican candidate?


Cut and run? You believe that drivel? We were on the road to defeat the day Proconsul L. Paul Bremmer made half a million enemies for the US by firing (and refusing to hire any member) the Iraqi army, thus destroying the one national institution in the country.

Do you really think no other general officer could have done a better job if they were in command?


Peter Hug

Do you have any personal experience of the polygraph? pl



He adapted to his audiences so completely and kept looking for feedback so desperately before he had speech training. And had a reputation as coming across better dealing one on one. And did surround himself with people who did not bring him bad news. On the other hand, he would ascribe problems to himself and did not fire people.



When do we get to see the movie? Or maybe a reality TV show? It seems to me that this story originated with Icarus and has been repeated endlessly.

agin' cajun

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this gem from the past. Or maybe someone has.

Fallon told Petraeus [in March] that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little chickensh*t” and added, “I hate people like that”, the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.



Redemption and forgiven are certainly possible. Yet while Rove and company have a good chunk of the $400 million or so they blew on Romney I would doubt anyone would back Patraeus as a political candidate given all that would come out in a political campaign. Some other position perhaps but any hope he had of elected office, outside of Congress, is gone now.


Sadly in this reality show when people die they don't get up again after the cameras stop rolling.

The Twisted Genius

The Daily Beast/Newsweek published "General David Petraeus’s Rules for Living" by Paula Broadwell on 5 November. Of the twelve rules, two of them are appropriate to the present situation - there is an exception to every rule and we all will make mistakes. I bet Petraeus would like to add a thirteenth rule - never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself. I wonder what think tank he'll land on to begin his road to his inevitable public rehabilitation.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad