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09 January 2015


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Looks like P finally pissed off a lot of the wrong people.

He always was a mediocre man who nonetheless managed to attract a lot of fans (Tom Ricks etc.)in the pressitude.

His first job in Iraq was to train Iraqi police units. It was a massive failure and the units had to be dissolved. He then stole the COIN idea from some others and "wrote the manual" (which he didn't). He propagandized COIN even when the main written premise for COIN, a legitimate local government, was not existing neither in Iraq nor Afghanistan. He endorsed the torture parts of COIN and was responsible for it (like McCrystal) when some of it happened under his command.
He publicly endorsed, as a General, Bush in the Washington Post shortly before Bush's second term election. That itself was, in my view, a breach of his duty and oath. He even furthered talk of himself being a (republican) candidate for president.
He ambushed Obama shortly after his election with demanding 80,000 (according to WSJ) additional soldiers for Afghanistan with the only alternative being 40,000 more.
Obama set him up as CIA chief to get him out of his way. The NSA or Brennan's CIA-connections took a look at his computer activities and found the communications with his darling in saved but not send Google mails.

Betrayus should have been fired for a lot of reasons. His affair and "leaking" are obviously only pushed by the civil government to teach a lesson to other uppity people in the Pentagon.



We are in agreement about this man. pl


Colonel I've never understood how either he or Odierno rose so high. I've met rather a lot of American Officers and they were high calibre human beings. I'm no expert either on Petraeus or Odierno but from what I've read and heard and looking at their results they've always struck me as downright mediocre.




Unfortunately the general officer caste is largely allowed to pick those who will replace them. As a result there has been a drift toward anti-intellectualism among generals and the rise of those who skilled at internal political manipulation within the senior ranks. Occasionally the president intervenes to promote someone that he thinks is a great talent, but that is unusual. the situation was much different in the old army when people like Fox Connor ruled the roost in a small army. Then, in WW2 we had George Marshall who had personally been selected by FDR over the opposition of many. We are not so lucky now. pl

Allen Thomson

Is there a lawyer in the house who could opine what law Petraeus could be charged with breaking? Perhaps 18 USC 793(f)?

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,

(1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or

(2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

John Minnerath


"the general officer caste"
What an excellent name for what we have now.

Swami Bhut Jolokia

PL, in the civilian system someone charged with a crime is entitled to a Federal Public Defender, if they cannot afford an attorney. This is different from the Armed Services, I think, where a defendant would automatically get defense counsel. I believe in some cases serving members have also retained civilian counsel--I vaguely remember this in the context of some sexual assault cases a few years ago. What's not clear is if the Services paid for those outside counsel.



To receive the service of the federal public defender one must be penniless. He is not and would have to pay for his defense until his money or that of donors ran out. A decision to retain civilian counsel in a court-martial is a personal one. military counsel would still be available. pl


Allen Thompson

He is clearly vulnerable under the Espionage Act of 1917. I am a witness now in such a case. pl


I am frankly disgusted that a Justice Department that gives top Wall Street bankers a "stay out of jail for free" card despite their drug money laundering and gambling away of citizens' hard-earned bank deposits, while demanding instant bailout to cover their gambling losses, is now promoting a clear political vendetta against someone who got into an ego conflict with The One. Justice must be equal for all, and this is just one more sick reminder that we are living under a tyranny of Wall Street fat cats who buy Congress and the White House with other peoples money and expect to be treated with the kind of immunity granted to monarchs in the Dark Ages, when sovereign infallibility was the accepted rule. Before going after Petraeus (who is not my favorite general), frog march Jamie Dimon off to Federal Prison. If you can't touch Jamie, then you have no credibility in my humble opinion.


Some accounts report that he gave Ms. Broadwell access to his C.I.A. email account. If so, that is much more serious than giving her classified information.

And remember that this all came about because a Tampa socialite had been getting threatening emails, which were traced by the FBI to Ms. Broadwell's computer. Apparently, she was jealous of the socialite's access to Gen Petraeus. The FBI then found the classified material on her computer.
It has been reported that he is refusing a plea bargain deal-and has denied giving her classified. Not a
smart move, as the DOJ/FBI have likely traced the material. And not sure that the military could even try him- question of jurisdiction, as he was not on active duty, and the offenses were presumably related to his C.I.A. position.

Hank Foresman

Pat, I am no great fan of Dave Petraeus. He and I were Captains at Fort Stewart Georgia in the 1980s. There was no question at the time that he was already marked for bigger and better things in life. He was selected to be Major General John Galvin's AdC. While I did not know him well it was clear he was anything but medicore.
Dave Petraeus is very smart, curious, and surrounded himself with good people. There were many in the Army who did not want to see him do well, they were scare of his brains, one of those is the current CSA the Big Bald Bully.
Whether Dave Petraeus should be charged and tried as a common criminal or recalled and face a court martial I have no position one way or the other.


Hank Foresman

Cleverness is not an excuse for wrong doing. There are a lot of clever but nevertheless bad people. pl


Disagree with this being due to a 'clear political agenda.' The head of the C.I.A. giving access to a person- even with clearances (of which she didn't have for that level) to his email account is a serious offense- and a very rash act. Anybody that has a USG email account, classified or not, is strictly warned NOT to give anyone else access. For him to have done that is truly stunning. We may never learn what classified information was leaked out and to whom.


My legal training informs me that, sure it is possible. This is a broad law. But I'm hard pressed to see how this would be "gross negligence" given it willful behavior. But that argument, willful behavior, rising to the level of "gross negligence" has been used--successfully--before . But I am not sold. Also, I like to know more about case and the statue and how sucessful might a defense be that this was not meant to injure the US'. That is an element of 18 USC 793 (a)....I would like to see the conference notes, if any, right before the statute was passed to get an idea of the thrust, Congressional intention, in passing this. But if they want a catch all statute to go after I would put my money on this one, the CFAA:


a catch all if there ever was one. Case law would support they could get him on this one. Which is not to automatically say they WOULD get on this.


As predicted, Petreaus turns out to be a highly intelligent and hard working narcissist, skilled at self promotion and totally unscrupulous with zero morals or empathy and a sense of entitlement a mile wide.

As predicted, he had his "what in the world was he thinking?" moment giving his lover access to his email account in a clumsy attempt to avoid communications security monitoring systems.

What we should be worrying about is all the other Gen. Petreaus clones still on active duty. Start by looking at Petreaus former closest subordinates as only narcissists will put up with working for another one.

Generals picking their replacements???? What madness is this??


I have wondered about the implications of a general officer corps consisting entirely of those who never served in combat at company-grade level. As I recall (others correct me if I am wrong), Petraeous is an example as he never found himself in a real combat situation except for one or two minor incidents where he was out at field meetings in Iraq.

Can such officers really understand what it is like for those out at the edge doing the fighting?


Walrus -

Unless things have radically changed since the 60s/70s, general officer selection boards in the USMC consisted of a group of general officers. Internal to the Corps politics and long-time personal grudges could influence outcomes - especially selection from colonel to brigadier general.



One of my former assistants was on CNN a few minutes ago talking out of both sides of his face as is typical of him. On the one hand he says that it is terrible that someone would give this hyper-ambitious trollop classified information en bloc, but at the same time my former friend says that someone as august as Petraeus would not do such a thing, so someone else must have done it. OK Let the DoJ and the FBI find someone else at CIA who gave her the material. Other men are on trial for what Petraeus is accused of. I suspect that the Obama Administration prefers to prosecute the little people. pl



Amen - same for the Army and I will bet that walrus does not really know how the system works in Kangarooland. pl

Duncan Kinder

I don't like Petraeus, but criminally prosecuting him is an entirely different matter.

First, as to his having violated some law, there is good authority to the effect that any American, on average, commits three felonies a day.

Second, there are serious objections to prosecuting any high government official for what appears to some sort of political / policy payback.

Now, I don't know enough about what Petraeus has allegedly done. If you can show that he has done something morally despicable which has caused material harm, then you have answered my objections.


Duncan Kinder

if Petraeus is not to be prosecuted for giving away government secrets, then nobody should be prosecuted for that. pl

Green Zone Cafe

At the time Paula Broadwell was MAJ, MI, USAR. Presumably with a TS/SCI clearance. Not as if she was Anna Chapman.

This is just a Washington game, a public shaming and burning as part of the inside game for reasons unknown to the public. If they seriously thought Petraeus was worth prosecuting, he'd have been arrested on a warrant by the FBI.

Harper is right, if they didn't go after the Wall Street fraudsters, how dare they inflate this infraction?


In Kangarooland the politicians have the politicians and the senior public servants have more say. For an up and comer to cross one of them is a career limiting move.


Yes, I speed. Usually about 75 on the freeway, along with everyone else. There is a world of difference between that and the Head of the CIA giving his mistress access to his office computer, and all that it might access.

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