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25 January 2016


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A good lawyer can surely delay proceedings until the case no longer has political relevance, the media has moved on, and it can be plea bargained or pardoned into insignificance.

Trey N

I, for one, would certainly like to see a detailed list of those "unique things." Considering how the "intelligence [sic] community" has gone after similar perpetrators like a pack of rabid dogs, what were the unique things that caused them to back off so in this particular case?



A similar public expose would destroy Clinton. pl



What matters is the political effect. pl


I wonder what were the unique things that Holder alludes to that allowed Petraeus to skate? Is it similar to the lack of prosecution of Wall St because Holder believed it would collapse the financial system to expose the fraud?



Having thought this over in the context of the Des Moines fandango I think you are essentially correct. Obama wants her to continue his "perfection" of the Union and will suppress the investigation long enough to get her elected. IMO that means that she will be the wholly owned property of the FBI. J. Edgar will be back. pl

Bill H

Aha, Colonel Lang, so you are coming around to my point of view that all of this goes down the memory hole.

robt willmann

Although it is hard for one to trust anything that Eric Holder says, "practical" reasons may exist as to why the case against Petraeus was not pushed harder and felony charges filed.

There was something very odd about the way the whole case got started and developed, with this Jill Kelley, the Army groupie in Tampa, Florida, and e-mails. It looks suspiciously like what is euphemistically called "parallel construction". An agency -- usually the NSA -- illegally acquires and collects the content of domestic e-mails and telephone calls, and then gives a tip to law enforcement that Mr. 'X' is doing something and here is where you need to look. The law enforcement agency then creates a false reason about how it got the investigation started and how it developed that looks "legal", and it commits fraud on the court by using that fake story in presenting the case.

This is also likely because out of the same e-mail story, General John Allen resigned / retired. He had been the top commander in Afghanistan and was probably going to become the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. Both Petraeus and Allen were knocked out of the box through the same e-mail event.

What Paula Broadwell's real role was is not clear. The factual basis for Petraeus's plea agreement reveals that she recorded at least some (maybe all?) of her telephone conversations with him, and pushed him about the black notebooks that eventually did him in.


The Washington Post article reveals that she had more than 100 photographs she had taken of "highly classified information" from the notebooks she cajoled Petraeus into giving her. The factual basis of the plea agreement says that no classified information from the notebooks appeared in Broadwell's book about Petraeus. The Wash. Post article says that no classified information was in the biography and that Petraeus had vetted the book before its publication. So, why did Broadwell want to look at the black notebooks so badly? Why did she photograph some of their contents? Sure, it reflects negatively on her, but the one thing it does do is to clearly incriminate Petraeus, and removes any "she said, he said" argument about whether he ever gave her the notebooks.

One can only speculate, but the government may not have wanted to run the risk that "parallel construction" would be exposed in open court, and that Paula Broadwell might be seen as something more than an innocent journalist.

Green Zone Cafe

The WaPo story suggests one "unique thing": "The plea agreement, while helping Petraeus avoid the prospect of prison, probably has ended whatever ambition he had to become president."

Again, how could they prosecute Petraeus and not Clinton? The reason why Petraeus was difficult to prosecute at the felony level was because it did not reach felony level - disclosure to one "journalist" who also had a TS/SCI security clearance.

So it was a misdemeanor - and prosecutors regularly exercise their discretion not to prosecute misdemeanors. Petraeus, whatever you think of him, had a long record of service and had even been shot in the chest in the Army. By the time they decided to bring charges against him, he had already resigned in disgrace.

If they don't prosecute Clinton, it is completely political.


It just means that not all are equal in the eyes of the law. Rightly or wrongly, he is considered a "Hero Scholar-Warrior"...moving back to the future of the Louis XV not yet XVI area.

The Beaver

@ Jack

Been wondering about that since last week:
1. Could be about the mishap of Benghazi; the plaid shirt men were more involved in running arms than providing intel to Foggy Bottom security dept.


2. the fact that the WH was aware that Petraeus' boys were sending arms from Gaddhafi's depot to Syria via Croatia since the beginning of 2012, after the big reunion of the 100+ Syria Friends in Paris in November 2011. The neocons like the former mayor of NYC ( the MEK fan), Sen McCain et al. were there also


A very smart analysis.


the uniqueness is due to the one on one nature of Petraeus's case. As the article stated, Lt. Col. Broadwell had the appropriate security clearances but Petraeus was hanged on her failure to have a "need to know." Of course, she did need the info as a timeline template for her book. The Washpo article also explains Broadwell was immune to being charged b/c she had acquire journalist credentials and status.

On a side note, anybody remember Kicullen, the COIN advisor to Petraeus from the land of Oz?
Lone wolf attacks will soon morph into guerrilla war inside Europe - ex-Pentagon adviser

Old Microbiologist

Ah, but do not fall into the BS line. These crimes were committed while on active duty. Voluntary sex with a subordinate is rape under the UCMJ. Then you have conduct unbecoming and Acts clauses. Then we have dereliction of duty, failure to obey orders in time of war (SOPs and regulations). You can stack them up and all are felony level and some carry the death penalty in time of war. Also, it is important to remember flag officers receive full pay for life and can be recalled for a courts martial. Some of these were not included in the plea and have no statute of limitations so he could still be prosecuted using the UCMJ. Perhaps Trump might do that?


Old Microbiologist

"... it is important to remember flag officers receive full pay for life and can be recalled for a courts martial." GOs do not receive "full pay for life." Their retired pay is computed by law like everyone else's and is usually less than "full pay" unless they served more than 30 years under the pay law of 2007. Five star generals and admirals received full pay for life but that was because they remained on active duty for life. they are all long gone. Any retired US military person is subject to recall to active duty so long as he/she lives and remains on the retired list. pl


I finished re-reading his book "Out of the Mountains" last month. It was an interesting read. Obviously a smart guy, I liked his idea about 'competitive control' of populations, and the description of cities as living systems. His efforts with Caerus in building 'resilient' communities world-wide is admirable.
I guess the link to the COIN strategy makes me wonder about the guy a little.
I'll read his book 'The Accidental Guerrilla' if I can find it at a used book store.
I used the SST search function to see if he was mentioned here on this fine site and indeed he is, I'll have to read up on him tonite after work.

Old Microbiologist

If they don't prosecute Clinton then it means the rule of law in America has ceased to exist. This is tantamount to telling every citizen it is fine and dandy to break any law you want. The fish always rots from the head.

Old Microbiologist

I stand corrected. Yes, I am on the list and was reminded a few years back about being held to standards as defined under the UCMJ even while on the retired roles. I believe every retired office received that letter. I changed my anti-Obama rhetoric to only things he has admitted or as rhetorical what if someone called him such and such rather than just saying it. My point is he can and still should be, recalled for trial for those offenses he didn't plead out of.

Green Zone Cafe

Sure you can stack charges against anyone nowadays in America, not just in the military. Don't you know, it's a free country? What was that book by Harvey Silverglate "You commit three felonies a day" - showing how the reach of the criminal law had spread so that we're all breaking the law all the time.

Since Broadwell was a reservist not on active duty and not a subordinate, I think a fraterization prosecution would be tough. When you're off duty in the reserves, you're off duty.

I agree with you, the rule of law is dead in the USA - the failure to prosecute the Wall Street mortgage securities fraudsters showed that.

I always give credit to GW Bush for one thing - his DOJ prosecuted the Enron guys even though they were Texas cronies of Bush.


Except that an ordinary citizen with no political connections gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. No breaks.

But....the politically well connected elites are exempt from the law.

That is the current state of the rule of law. So Hillary not being indicted is to be expected.



As you know, adultery is a crime equivalent to a felony under UCMJ although it is seldom prosecuted. pl


Kilcullen has some surprising ideas and opinions (from the wiki):

"In an interview with Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent in 2008, Kilcullen called the decision to invade Iraq "fucking stupid" and suggested that if policy-makers apply his manual's lessons, similar wars can be avoided in the future. "The biggest stupid idea," Kilcullen said, "was to invade Iraq in the first place."[27] Kilcullen didn't deny saying it, but rather that "I can categorically state that the word ‘fucking’ was said off the record".[3] Kilcullen explained his comment the next day:[28]
[I]n my view, the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was an extremely serious strategic error. But the task of the moment is not to cry over spilt milk, rather to help clean it up: a task in which the surge, the comprehensive counterinsurgency approach, and our troops on the ground are admirably succeeding."


'Drone use[edit]
Kilcullen argues that targeted killings with drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan is a mistake. "These strikes are totally counter-productive. It is a strategic error to personalize the conflict in this way, it’ll strengthen the enemy and weaken our friends. How can one expect the civilian population to support us if we kill their families and destroy their homes."["


Contrast and compare.
" ...federal prosecutors filed a superseding indictment adding nine more felony counts, which increased Swartz's maximum criminal exposure to 50 years of imprisonment and $1 million in fines"(Wikipedia).
The crime was downloading multiple Academic Journal articles from JSTOR at MIT to his laptop using a batch file (had he done so one at a time he would have been legal). JSTOR and MIT wanted no part in the prosecution but the feds wanted blood for breach of copyright infringement.

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