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09 January 2015


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He gave her access to classified files. pl



And what do you think happens here if you cross the politicians? pl


Well, let's face it, George Catlett Marshall was an extraordinary man. We aren't likely to see his like for another two or three hundred years, worse luck for us. Same with (FD) Roosevelt. What we have now are pygmies. Well, LBJ had some heft to him, but it's been all downhill since Nixon. All the general officers visible to the general public are at best time-servers and at worst deeply corrupt. I think Frank Zinni was at least competent, but none of his contemporaries. OK, I'm probably too pessimistic, but since my disillusionment with Colin Powell my pendulum has swung the other way.


What the Obama administration has been using is the Espionage Act of 1914, a grossly excessive charge. They probably don't want to use such a strong charge against one of their own, even though he is said to have committed far worse offenses than the whistleblowers they are trying to put in prison for fifty years. I expect Holder is trying to avoid embarrassment at being so hypocritical and applying such an obvious double standard, although he is probably the only high administration official who is worried about feeling embarrassed. Most of them have no sense of shame.



It was a sad day for the US and the world when FDR decided to keep GCM by his side in DC rather than let him command in D-Day as had been agreed upon. If GCM had commanded the invasion he would surely have been president later. pl



It is my guess that the BHO Admin. will not prosecute Petraeus ot Cartwright for anything. This is rank hypocrisy in the context of their prosecution of so many for the same offense. pl



"Attorney General Eric Holder, who will ultimately decide whether to seek an indictment against Petraeus, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that what many characterize as leaks are "frequently inaccurate."" There you go... pl



It is a sad state of affairs when AG Holder will go after a small town cop but a CIA head who damaged or country is off limits.



Yes the AG of the US should focus on really important cases like George Zimmerman and Officer Wilson. High government officials, they never commit "important" crimes.


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McCain and his office wife must be pleased. PL


And here I was looking forward to the CIA and DOJ ripping each other apart in a "can't they both lose?" sort of moment.

Petraeus is a sallow little man who made COIN into the new Crossfit of the military, but considering the sins on Holder's shoulders (including covering up the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry) I was hoping some of the sudden desire for sunshine would get spread around.

William R. Cumming

A more interesting case and stronger legally IMO would be to try the lover!

robt willmann

Something is missing from the New York Times article of 9 January 2015 referenced above.

The news angle of the story is that the FBI and some Justice Department lawyers have recommended that felony charges be filed against former CIA director and four-star Gen. David Petraeus for giving Paula Broadwell "access to his CIA e-mail account and other highly classified information."

Hmm...one wonders whether the law libraries at the Department of Justice and at the office of the in-house lawyers at the FBI have the following sections from Title 18, United States Code--

18 U.S.C. 371

"If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor."

18 U.S.C. 2

"(a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.

(b) Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal."

Section 371 is the ubiquitous federal conspiracy law, which is in almost every indictment, because the applicable rules of evidence are so loose you can drive an 18-wheeler truck through it all. Section 2 is aiding and abetting, which in Texas is called the law of parties.

Why does the NY Times article not also quote an anonymous source saying that the Justice Department is investigating to decide whether Ms. Broadwell might or might not have criminal liability as a co-conspirator or as aiding and abetting as to "having access to his CIA e-mail account and other highly classified information", or whether she might have liability directly as a "principal" by accessing or possessing classified information that she was not supposed to have?

As Green Zone Cafe said above, Ms. Broadwell apparently had security clearances of some sort. I have not been involved in matters of what is "classified" and the ins and outs of "clearances", but it seems as if in addition to a clearance, there are policies (as opposed to laws by Congress?) about access to certain subject areas, and "special compartmented information", and "special access programs", and so forth. I assume that the CIA director automatically has all clearances and total access (but then again, maybe not!); however, one would think that Ms. Broadwell's clearance and access was not as broad as Petraeus had.

I am no fan of Petraeus. This situation regarding him and Marine Gen. John Allen was two years ago. Gen. Allen retired from the military in February 2013, after the matter was publicized and he was cleared by the Defense Dept. IG. And it takes two more years to get to a decision time on whether Petraeus (but not also Broadwell?) should be charged in court with a crime? What is the New York Times -- and possibly the Justice Dept. -- up to?

If anybody thinks that an FBI field agent in Florida just went and investigated the CIA Director and former four-star general Petraeus, and went into e-mails by him and another four-star general and commander of all forces in Afghanistan, John Allen, then I own a bridge by Brooklyn, New York, that I know you will buy from me.

One thing is certain about that Petraeus / Broadwell / Jill Kelley / Gen. Allen affair and another thing is very likely.

The first is that it was a political takedown of two very high-ranking U.S. government officials, a stunning event, but the media limited its "reporting" to the fact that the two men must have had a "stirring in their loins", as Edgar Rice Burroughs might say.

The second is that the whole thing had the rotten odor of "parallel construction", the euphemism for law enforcement getting information from the content of domestic communications that the NSA and others have illegally collected, and then pretending they developed their investigation by other means, thereby lying to prosecutors, the courts, and defense lawyers about the true process of the source and details of the investigation--



As Col. Lang mentioned, today on a Sunday CNN program, attorney general Eric Holder was asked about Petraeus--


And also on CNN was the neocon Senator Dianne Feinstein, saying that "this man [Petraeus] has suffered enough", and also letting us know that "she [Paula Broadwell] had access to classified data by her own classification, so it's murky"--


Speaking of the CIA, the issue of inexperienced people in the military and intelligence community will not go away. We now find out that president Obama has appointed David Cohen to be deputy director of the CIA--


It looks as if Mr. Cohen has never been out in the field trying to develop informants nor has he gone through the tedious process of analyzing intelligence. He went to law school, was a law clerk for a federal judge, worked at a law firm in Washington, D.C., and then was hired at the Treasury Department in 1999.


Be sure you are sitting down when reading his biography above, as he was "involved in crafting legislation that formed the basis of Title III of the USA [Anti-] Patriot Act, the 2001 update [!] to the Bank Secrecy Act...."

William R. Cumming

Thanks for this excellent comment. The Director CIA may have access to all programs, functions, and activities of the CIA but not to all programs, functions, and activities in which the CIA participates but are not "owned" by the CIA.

And General Petraeus will not be tried IMO!

Former CIA Director was fined for having classified CIA information on his home computer. To try Petraeus might just create an American Dreyfus Affair [pre-WWI France] and Petraeus is one who knows and has benefited from the corruption of elites in the USA. Those elites are working 24/7/365 to make sure the sinews of the DEEP STATE of which the IC is a part don't understand it or have knowledge of it.


Yes, but it is still a sad state of affairs.

William R. Cumming

As to the Patriot Act wrote this quick and dirty piece in fall2001! That Act has been both amended and extended several times.

The U.S.A. Patriot Act, Pub.L 107-56, October 26, 2001

The U.S.A. Patriot Act consists of ten titles (Over 130 pages of the U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News). The full title of the Act is "Uniting and Strengthening America By Providing Appropriate Tools Required To Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" (USA Patriot Act) of 2001.

The titles are instructive and are as follows:

Title I Enhancing Domestic Security Against Terrorism
Title II Enhancing Surveillance Procedure
Title III International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act of 2001
Title IV Protecting the Border
Title V Removing Obstacles to Investigating Terrorism
Title VI Providing for Victims of Terrorism, Public Safety Officers, and Their Families
Title VII Increased Information Sharing for Critical Infrastructure Protection
Title VIII Strengthening the Criminal Laws Against Terrorism
Title IX Improved Intelligence
Title X Miscellaneous

Much of this statute had been in the "wish list" of the Department of Justice even prior to September 11, 2001. Some portions seem not to relate to the war on terrorism. For example, the so-called "Gratuity Act," which dates back to the Civil War was the basis of the prosecution for former Secretary of Agriculture Espy, and is found in Title 31 (Money & Finance) of the United States Code, is restated, amended, and updated to reflect case law (DOJ losses). See Section 329.

Section 411 provides new definitions of terrorism so as to affect the admissibility of persons seeking admission as legal resident aliens or seeking citizenship. For example, solicitation of funds for terrorist activity becomes a new absolute bar to temporary or permanent immigration. Additionally, a broadened definition of "terrorist organization" and association with them triggers immigration bans. By implication, authority for new investigation and tracking systems are authorized to enforce such restrictions. See also the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, Pub.L 107-173, May 14, 2002.

Section 412 of the U.S.A. Patriot Act concerns mandatory detention of suspected terrorist and has been the subject of many articles in the press.

Title VI involving victim compensation has been extensively discussed in the news, particularly the requirement to reduce awards from the DOJ supervised fund by the amount of life insurance and pensions.

Numerous amendments to the United States Code (Title 18-Crime) are contained in this new statute. For example, section 817 expands the prohibitions on possession or use of certain biologic agents. See also the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, Pub.L. 107-188, June 12, 2002. Section 1013 of the U.S.A. Patriot Act lists extensive Senate findings on bioterrorism issues. While Congressional findings do not make substantive law, they are useful in construing Congressional intent. On this basis, one could conclude from the Senate findings that the entire public health system requires reconstruction to effectively deal with bioterrorism.

Section 1005 of the Act is called the "First Responder Assistance Act" and authorizes so-called "Terrorism Prevention Grants." These grants would fund equipment, technical assistance, materials, and training. DOJ has already published grant application procedures. If there is a permanent appropriation, as opposed to a Continuing Resolution, for FY 2003, this would be the largest federal first responder grant program ever. FEMA also provides grants for similar objectives through its EMPG function, as well as grants through the United States Fire Administration to the fire community. The dollar amounts of these latter programs are much smaller. It remains to be seen whether the First Responder community will receive more grant money from DOJ, DHS, or DOD. If one includes the medical community, then HHS may also rival these organizations in total outlays for First Responders.

Perhaps confusingly, section 1014-Grant Program for State and Local Domestic Preparedness authorizes a grant to each state to prepare for and respond to terrorist acts involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD's) and biological, nuclear, radiological, chemical, and explosive devices.

Section 1012 requires a security risk determination to be made for all persons with HAZMAT transportation licenses. Since no investigatory or adjudication standards are included in the statute, presumably this is left entirely to the discretion of the Executive Branch.

Section 1016 concerns Critical Infrastructure Protection. The statute funds the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (successor to the former Defense Nuclear Agency) for certain functions now being transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security.

Interestingly, sections 224 and 303 contain mandatory review or sunset provisions. By December 31, 2005, certain portions of the statute, but not all, will expire (unless of course extended by new Congressional action). Foreign Intelligence Investigations (a term of art) started before that date will be allowed to continue. Other saving provisions may have to result from legal interpretations.

There is a key new provision giving immunity from suit in Section 225 to persons who cooperate with the government on so-called FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) wiretaps. Of course, under current Supreme Court case law there can be no immunity for violations of an individual's Constitutional protected rights.

This statute will probably see numerous technical amendments in the 108th Congress convening in January 2003. The statute has been cited in numerous court filings, but its real significance awaits final judicial construction, which may take years.

N.B. Few published federal judicial decisions since 9/11 have turned on the Patriot Act

Charles Dekle


In addition to quoting Feinstein as to how much General Petraeus has "suffered" an article in The guardian also attributes a joint quote to Senator McCain and well know southern belle, that old lady from South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham:
"McCain and his ally on the Senate armed services committee, Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, issued a joint statement over the weekend denouncing the official leakers who described federal prosecutors’ decision-making to the Times.

“It is a shameful continuation of a pattern in which leaks by unnamed sources have marred this investigation in contravention to fundamental fairness,” said both Petraeus defenders.""

The article also points out that the General and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, are very close. So my best guess is that there will be no prosecution.


Charlie Wilson

Screw government secrets. I'd walk on my tongue for a few hours with that chick. More power to P. The memories of her toned body and eyes looking at him in adoration should keep him going for some time.

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