CIA Director Petraeus resigned today in light of the revelation that he’d been having an affair with a “reporter” (Paula Broadwell) who’d written a glowing bio of him (my brief review is here). Of course, the right-wingers see a conspiracy in this. But as far as I can tell, there is nothing there.
A few thoughts:
(1) The affair apparently came to light during an FBI investigation into Broadwell’s access to Petraeus’ email. For someone in his position, this is deadly as it raises the possibility of secrets being compromised.
(2) The affair itself, of course, also raises the possibility of Petraeus being personally compromised or blackmailed.
(3) More broadly, the affairs shines an unflattering light on the too-cozy relationship between reporters and Petraeus, whose press coverage has often had a hero-worship quality to it.
For all those reasons, Petraeus had to go.
Now, about Benghazi for a moment. I have no idea what people think Obama could or should have done about the situation. We can’t avoid every part of the world where violent radicals operate, nor would we want to allow them to chase our embassies and consulates out. The attack itself would be almost impossible to defend against.
Since 1998 we’ve done an effective job at hardening diplomatic posts against car and truck bombs, but the reality is that it is very, very, very difficult to defend against armed assaults. Diplomatic posts are not, and perhaps cannot, be militarized to the point necessary to prevent breaches by determined attackers. To do so would require, at a minimum, a much larger military contingent, but also cleared fields of fire, layers of obstacles, and so on. But even walls and barbed wire is easily outcome. Embassy guards are there to buy time, not defeat an armed attack.
Now, maybe we’ll get to that point in some places where posts are actually militarily defensible, but this isn’t standard practice, even in areas where terrorism is relatively common. In other words, there is likely nothing incriminating there. In short, Petraeus leaving has nothing to do with Benghazi, no matter how much the right-wingers scream about it.
That said, I do think it is worth discussing the Petraeus situation at some length as it exposes a particularly egregious example of how compromised members of the media often are in covering public figures.
I shudder to think about what Chuck Todd has done to gain access to government officials.
But he’s a man and he can’t help himself. She came on to him, what was he supposed to do, turn her down?
First, as evidenced by the last month or so, Republicans’ views are rarely tethered to reality.
Second, and I know this is harsh, Ambassador Stevens should never have been in Benghazi.
I’m amazed to what degree the conservative Benghazi commentary doesn’t realize that we essentially depend on mutual hostage-taking to defend our embassies overseas. Our embassies aren’t hardened because we wouldn’t want hardened embassies on our own soil, and we assume counterparties we have relations with wouldn’t want to put their own embassy staff at risk by attacking ours. Of course, in the case of a coup (like in Iran, where the officials in the US were the Shah’s anyway, so the local population didn’t care), those assumptions fall apart. But they’re generally sound.
I asked this earlier, but got an unclear response. Are there any legitimate (i.e. Not Wingnut Foxnews) issues here? Anything specifically controversial? Or just a terrorist attack where tragically some people died?
Benghazi, that is. Patraues betrayed his wife, that’s for sure at least – can you believe, now, there was a time where the Senate Dems had to apologize for a MoveOn ad? Oh, 2004, how I don’t miss you.
“Now, maybe we’ll get to that point in some places where posts are actually militarily defensible”
There is no point in having them that way. Diplomatic staff already are at odds with the way embassies have been turned into fortresses. They might as well be sitting next to the drone pilots stateside if they are going to do that.
The media loves a man in a uniform.
@Hill Dweller: He at the very least should not have been at a lightly protected consulate. There are many points on this that make no sense.
@redshirt: Jake Tapper was all over Carney in the presser today. He wanted to know exactly what the president was doing every minute of the raid. I want to know what the director of the CIA was doing. Security was their responsibility.
I want a biographer.
The media have lionized Petraeus embarrassingly. There were enough hints in his career that his honesty and integrity should have been at issue.
For example, there was his strange moment in the spotlight, his Sept. 2007 Congressional testimony on the surge. Petraeus was supposed to deliver a report. Instead of submitting something in writing, he showed up to talk and show a handful of Powerpoint slides. That was of course completely inadequate. It also turned out to be misleading. The most important of those slides, on the violence in Baghdad, was intentionally falsified (as I pointed out on my blog). McClatchy picked up the story, but the rest of the US media pretended it never happened.
Not the first or the last dubious thing Petraeus did as an officer. There was the pressure he laid on for a second surge in Afghanistan under Obama, for example, a really disgraceful act of insubordination. Again, the US media looked the other way. There was his earlier failure to properly oversee the weapons depot he was in charge of in Iraq during the early years of the war, weapons that went missing by the tens of thousands. Again, without repercussions for Petraeus.
@redshirt: Oh, man, I forgot about that. I know we shouldn’t let 2000-2008 disappear down the memory hole — for all kinds of reasons — but I genuinely get sick to my stomach when I try to think about that time. (Especially 2002-2005. That was the worst.)
For the love of the FSM, could we PLEEEZ get off the Benghazi thing? This is the worst of Rovian wingnut-bait! We serve no interests in even discussing it!
Look, the Ambassador was a reasonably (for Americans) respected figure among the Libyan opposition, and Benghazi was a center of power for that opposition. It was not considered to be an especially risky place, given all the other risks in that part of the world. That said, there had been talk of increasing security there, but there is always talk of increasing security, and in the absence of infinite budgets, assets are allocated to places deemed most risky. Alas, this event occurred in Benghazi, by all accounts mostly spontaneously and then building on itself, but this is how such events manifest. And we did not have — nor could we have been expected to have — sufficient resources in ALL possible places to deal with ALL possible contingencies. There aren’t enough people in the world, much less our military, to do that. And the result was tragic. It’s in some ways like a war. People sometimes die.
I hope this gives the lie to wingnut denigration of the diplomatic service. They too put their lives on the line, and sometimes they pay with them.
This Daily Show interview takes on an entirely new dimension with today’s revelation.
Pat Lang is working on his response to this, he’ll be ruthless.
The reeignation will apparently allow him to escape an appearance before a congressional committee. And it does look like the CIA had a role in Benghazi. They had a large presence in Benghazi and it looks like they may have been responsible for the security of the consulate.
@Hill Dweller: Stevens shouldn’t have been in Benghazi? He should have stayed “safe” in Tripoli, and given up all his contacts throughout the country, his ability to gather and communicate independent political intelligence back to the U.S.? Why not just send heckofajob Brownie instead?
News reports say that there is an FBI investigation underway.
Petraeus is not the target of the investigation, as I understand it, but the female reporter apparently is.
@jwb: I love the bits about running, working on the dissertation, and the bizarre call-out to hubby at the end that somehow ends up getting confused with Petraeus.
I don’t think the goopers are going to push Benghazi very hard, since the election is over. The CIA seems mostly to blame anyhow, for whatever blame is justified, as far as not actualizing better overall security for what looks like a consulate cover for a CIA operation.
After the shock wears off, I suspect we are in for a period of GOP infighting over how big their tent needs to be to win elections. They can’t do anything if they can’t get themselves elected. And I have noticed some vague signs of at least cursory introspection and an honest self appraisal at least regarding the fact they got their clocks cleaned and didn’t see it coming at all. There are those that want to double down on the conservative purity, and others that don’t. So for a while, they are going to be somewhat preoccupied with pol family matters, I think/
@jwb: Her book is called All In: The Education of General Petraeus.
Best. Title. Ever.
I laughed first, then got a bit sick after reading this comment.
Gives a whole new meaning to All In: The Education of General David Petraeusal David Petraeus, the title of his biography that Broadwell wrote.
OT but happppppeeeeeee story “Michael Vick pitbulls reunited 5 years later.”
I love happy endings.
@Felonius Monk: She looked at his classified emails. If he gave her access he’d be in trouble. If she accessed the emails without permission, she’d be in trouble. I’m sure they’ll find she inadvertently accessed the emails, which will be a lesser problem for him but still a problem. Of course, no one will or should believe that finding.
Paula Broadwell is not some “reporter’. She’s a West Point graduate and ” has served as Director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She later entered the Ph.D. program at Department of War Studies at King’s College London. She served in the United States Army and is a Major in the United States Army Reserve.”
@General Stuck: I’ll tell you what, the Fox news douche’s are on it like Rosie on a bone.
There’s a joke in there somewhere. Give me a minute…
On Benghazi, I still for the life of me cannot figure out exactly what the issue is. I mentioned before listening to Tell Me More on NPR and one of there regular Republican nitwit contributors keeps bringing up the story changing, what are they hiding, etc, and listening to NPR post election, one caller complained about the lack of compromise in Washington, and then in the next breath said the President had covered up a murder.
So what the hell is it? A Murder, that Obama didn’t call it terrorism, even though he did? At this point, trying to unravel and explain nutter theory on Benghazi is like trying to make sense of a schizophrenics ramblings. Or following the plot of Vanilla Sky. I mean, really? You were in suspended animation for 200 years living in a dream world? yeesh.
@Raven: Yeah, but that’s Jake Tapper.
Again, are there any real issues here, or this entire thing a Wingnut windstorm?
Has anybody else ever fantasized about having two biographers at once? Or is that just me?
“Going for a run” becomes the new “hiking the Appalachian Trail.”
Come on, just admit that you’re a GOPer, pushing this nonsense. Also, Paula Broadwell is not a reporter, which is an actual, specific thing. She’s an academic.
@Raven: Ooo, good find. Juicier!
Also too: “All In” is the best title, like, ever.
@Zagloba: I don’t mean Stevens should never have visited Benghazi. I’m saying he shouldn’t have been there on the 9/11 anniversary and after the tape was aired in Egypt.
I agree, though I think that chiefs of missions like Benghazi do have the power to pull the plug and bug out if they think it is too dangerous to stay. Stevens was actually beloved by many of the rebels, though it sure seems the area was not ready for poorly guarded American ambassadors to hang out.
As for the deaths of the other 3, the way I understand it, it was after the ground fighting died down, and there was a few minutes of mortar fire that one round landed on a roof top these brave souls were on. There is not much you can do about that, if the area is so unstable that that could happen without local authorities preventing it.
Ted & Hellen
The military fucking the media.
And yet that makes it even worse that she tried to access his e-mail because, unlike an ordinary reporter, she goddamned well knew better than to break security like that.
They are always on something to bark at Obama about.
@jwb: Captain Subtext’s Truth Helmet shorted out somewhere around minute three.
@Yutsano: and we’ll never know why he was there and why so many CIA staffers were there, and why of all people, no one looked after the freaking ambassador, etc. because the point of the inquest in congress next week is to derail the career of Susan Rice and make it clear that the president is too concerned with real Americans making anti Islam videos that he took he eye off the ball on the growth of radical Islam.
It made more sense before he was elected, but maybe they can make something of it..
@Raven: Well, that’s part of the problem. No one quite knows what the hell Broadwell is. Reporter? Scholar? Army Officer? Petraeus’ private publicist? Her whole body of published work is an extended exercise in conflicts of interest.
The military treated her as a “reporter” and she often portrays herself as such.
@redshirt: It’s fucking bullshit. How many dead and wounded from their horseshit lies? These dudes were in the shit and zigged when the should have zagged. It’s in their job description.
I am not minimizing the tragedy for them or their families but they knew what they signed up for.
@Hill Dweller: Ambassador Stephens went to Benghazi in the middle of the Libyan revolution.
His story is told in this State Department magazine. The article starts on page 20 of the PDF:
He dodged a car bomb then.
@Robin G.: Dark times, indeed.
I was gonna say my lowest of the low points during this period was Air Fleischers “Watch what you say” presser. But then when searching for the quote I learned he was pretty much taken out of context and it wasn’t anything bad at all, and now I feel a bit like a Wingnut. Briefly.
The wingnuts at Fox and elsewhere are going to be focused on tax matters once the lame duck session gets going. Then it will be Benghazi what?
And why didn’t the CIA clean the place?
Fox News keeping it classy:
@DPS: you need to start going on five mile runs.
I actually think the republicans are being fairly smart about Benghazi. The CIA was heavily involved thus any report released publicly will be heavily redacted. the republicans can the spend the next three years complaining the Obama administration is covering up its role in the death of an ambassador without anyone being able to publicly dispute them.
The idea that Stevens shouldn’t have been in Benghazi seems like completely 20/20 hindsight to me. Oh no, not the 9/11 anniversary, OBVIOUSLY there might be some kind of attack!
Tell me, was the ambassador stupid? Did he not know whether Benghazi was a safe place or what sort of dangers might be present there? Was he not as well-informed about the state of affairs in Libya as we blog commentors?
Couple weeks back one of the wingnut puppetmasters assured all that were Obama to be reelected (pshaw, sir, at the very suggestion) that Benghazi would be the administration’s demise. Am relieved to say I cannot recall which wingnut, but I’m sure heads were nodding across the wingnuttosphere.
The bubble, it is made of stout stuff.
@Raven: No doubt. I knew Vilerat for years on the Internet – how fucking weird!
But! If this is just a tragic deal like which happens all the time in the world, I don’t understand what the Wingnuts are harping on. I’m just wondering if there’s anything actually real in this story, at all. I mean, I know why the Wingnuts are harping on it – anything to damage Obama – but why does the story persist? Are there any legs to it, underneath the Wingnut fapping?
@Mnemosyne: Your goddamn right but the shit fall on him, not her. He’s the fucking 4 star.
Benghazi, like Solyndra will die a natural, post-campaign death. Send Rove some flowers.
@redshirt: I’m thinking more of the Ambassador and the security dudes, not so much the IT guy.
@Zagloba: Why go there on the anniversary of 9/11?
@Bernard Finel: Covert propagandist.
Everyone remember Sérgio Vieira de Mello?
@redshirt: In 2003 someone in my family posted online about doing civil disobediance in front of the FOX News headquarters. We got a visit from the FBI for that one, and a nice 45 minute Q&A in our living room about what groups we were members of, who we knew in those groups, etc etc. And a call the next day of “Don’t worry! We’re not reading your email!”
It’s easy to forget what those times were like. They actually WERE that bad.
(I figure that the FBI has moved onto more interesting online surveillance pastures in the decade since, but just in case they haven’t: Hi, guys!)
@Ben Franklin: Same thing with Solyndra. Is there anything “real” there at all, or is the only reason I know that name because of Fox News propaganda?
And to my defense/weakness – I have no real interest in researching these issues myself. I take everything the Wingnuts say as lies. Everything. I also 100% trust the Obama Administration, the State Department, the Marines, the CIA, etc, to do their jobs competently. And if there were incompetence, to root it out. I also understand that sometimes shit just happens and you’ve got to deal with that too. Alas! If we were in a McCain administration, I’d be doing a lot more digging.
I realize now this makes me a partisan hack. So be it. I think you have to be these days – for Good!
Higgs Boson's Mate
Maybe it’s because I’m growing old, but I sure don’t remember the media demanding a minute-by-minute report of Bush’s activities on 9/11.
If she was accessing CIA emails, we might hear more of this aspect of the story. Supposedly the affair was while he was stationed in Afghanistan and if that’s true, there is little reason for her to access his emails at the CIA.
@Robin G.: Creepy. I recall some story – maybe around Katrina – of government agents posing as Fox news staff, or maybe vice versa. Anyone know what I’m vaguely recalling?
Also, holding the Repub 2004 convention in NYC. Just so fucking transparent.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
Sorry, off topic – but the Darrell Hammond interview at the end of the Ed Show is a total trainwreck! Oh my God!
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
Hammond looked miserable – even more miserable than when he was on Matthews’ show a month or so ago. Hammond wanted to talk about his book and what he’s doing now and all Ed Schultz wanted to ask him about was his Clinton imitation.
Nope. That would be Jerry Sandusky’s “Touched”.
I had to check the link to see if this was sarcasm — at first I misread your comment and thought that the dogs had somehow been reunited with Vick and I wondered who’s idiot idea that was!
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: I almost never watch Ed, but it was on. Ed started asking him questions by doing his impression of Cheney. If I were Hammond I would have rolled my eyes and wondered why I was there, too.
I don’t know what Ed was thinking, but it was a train-wreck from the start – even before Hammond said anything.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Hammond does that 100% of the time. I heard Ed say Hammond would be joining him and I thought, “Hmmm, like the guy’s comedy but he’s a horrible interview.”
Even when he doesn’t have anything to sell in different forums he is awkward as all get out.
He is a horrible interview, period.
I stand corrected.
How did they get on your living room?
@eemom: LOL. You make a good counterpoint!
I’m not sure why everyone is so interested in Ben Gazarra all of a sudden.
He kicked ass in Road House but that was a long time ago.
WRT hardening an embassy compound… the strongest Embassy we have is probably the one in Baghdad (although I’m sure the one in Kabul is right up there). I had the opportunity to go there on a couple of occasions during my time in Iraq.
Its the size of a liberal-arts college campus. Surrounded by 15-foot concrete walls and with its own helipads and ECPs. Literally across the street is Union III, which was a US Army FOB, now its part of the Embassy (I’m told) which contains hundreds of soldiers.
The funny part is, there are also a bunch of Saddam-era high-rise apartments next to Union III which were said to be used for spotting indirect fire into the embassy compound. The Embassy was hit once while I was there – by a rocket from the other side of the Tigris River. The rocket left a mark on the housing unit it struck, but no serious damage. The place is built like a fort.
The Embassy itself is garrisoned by US Marines and private security who seem to handle the gates, towers, and entry/egress.
It will be interesting to see if we retain this uber-Embassy given that our relations with Iraq have declined considerably since the withdrawl of troops in 2011. The personnel who are there now are on diplomatic status, as there is no SOFA, which greatly limits their ability to move within Iraq. Needless to say, it is still a hardship posting.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Yeah, Darrell Hammond was never a good speaker to begin with, but Ed wanted to have some fun about the election to close out the week and Hammond wanted to talk about abuse and addiction! Fun!
@Corner Stone: Why is Hammond on “The Ed Show”.
I type those words but they have no meaning to me.
LOL – no it really is a happy story with a happy ending. I still despair at the amount of dogs that had to be destroyed as they were not able to be rehabilitated but we can take joy at the fact that most of them found good homes with owners that taught them how to be good doggies, yes you are, who is a good doggie, you are, yes we know you are a good doggie….
@MikeJ:In 1971 I drove my sis up to Canada to be with her boyfriend who split the draft. About 6 months later he came back and was at my parents house. The feds kicked down the door with drawn weapons as my family, with 2 infants, sat at the dinner table.
@redshirt: Just a guess but Hammond was a long time supermage (or some other dorkus splendiforous gamer term) when it came to making fun of political figures. And Hammond has a book out and the presidential election just finished.
So, IMO, I think Ed knew Hammond was a tough interview and just tried to go with Darrll’s stengths and let him round out some time about the book.
DH is an absolute trainwreck of an interview. I’ve seen him several times and he never takes a question and builds on it, he always cuts to the smallest part and then lets it hang on dead air. He’s fucking murder for a TV interviewer.
I looked at the pics of the Petraeus family in the link that Bernard provided.
I’m feeling a little heartache for Dolly Petraeus. She is a slightly dowdy, middle-aged woman. She probably would have been called “cute” when she was 20, but was never a great beauty like Broadwell. I imagine she made a lot of personal sacrifices in her life to further his career. She deserved better.
@Raven: Dude, you are rockin’ this thread.
Raven rocks every thread.
@redshirt: no. There is nothing to SolyAndra unless you believe that businesses only fail due to fraud. It does appear that the funds were not actually stolen, or embezzled, or used outside the business. The business failed and if no one had visited the factory for a photo op at the factory, no one would care. Having to listen to Linda McMahons ads on it for months made me glad to have this administration in charge of the stimulus. If the best they can claim is that the stimulus all went to cronies who made off with hundreds of millions in a quickly put together spending bill of hundreds of billions, I believe that this might be the most honest administration in terms of handling the public money in living memory.
Louisiana probably bleeds that much out of the purse in a year with a much smaller budget. New York State with its budget filled with “non-profit grants” to organizations of dubious value to anyone except relatives of legislators who run those things waste as much. If this were the Reagan administration, billions of that would be unaccounted for and it would take years for 60 minutes to even start an investigation.
@Corner Stone: It’s my birthday tomorrow and we just had din with old friends. Life’s good, I never thought I’d be around this long.
Me too. Except mine would probably fucking title it, “Are You In?”
Richard Engel seemed to imply the FBI’s investigation, which had to be requested by someone in the CIA, was some sort of revenge by someone in the Agency. Apparently, Petraeus ruffled some feathers by bringing in his own people.
@Raven: Fuckin’ Federales.
They’ve got to enforce the law though, no matter if it’s stupid laws.
I’m sure we’ll have many similar scenes in Colorado and Washington in the years to come.
@Raven: Holy fuck.
@Baud: No I meant I’m actually agreeing with some of what he’s posting. That makes it rockin’ this time.
Otherwise it would be more of his usually suckassness and random woofing.
@redshirt: My old man called me, I was down in Champaign and this was in Chicago. He said, “mike had a lb of weed in his car, should I throw it away”. I said HELL NO, leave it where it is, I’ll be there tomorrow! I was.
Fuck Piers Morgan. He’s doing nothing but concern-trolling everything about this story. “That just doesn’t hold up, does it?” The fucker tries to sound so damned Leave It To Beaver-esque. FSM, I hate his smug, brit, phone-hacking ass.
[accidentally posted this in a dead thread, so…]Moar election leftovers: Per the CA secretary of state website, as of 5:30 today Ami Bera holds an 1,800-vote lead over Lundgren in the CA 7th District House race. Fingers crossed, this would be a great pickup.
@Suffern ACE: That’s what I thought.
It’s ironic, really – these Wingnuts are the best enforcers of good government that has ever existed! The entire Obama Admin knows the smallest slip will result in a Fox News Rage! And so you keep your game sharp, always.
IC wut you did dere.
@MikeJ: It’s pretty hard to tell the agents standing on your doorstep to fuck off. They’re fairly intimidating.
@Raven: LOL. Damn right.
But seriously, talk about states rights. What are the Federales gonna do about CO and WA? Who blinks first?
We need a Front Pager on this, stat. Weed talk!
Today’s line in the sand WRT the top tax rate is Obama’s new calling card to the Republicans. I think it’s printed on DU sheet.
@Raven: Yeesh. What charmers.
@Robin G.: Shit, I was livin in a house with another dude that was resisting the draft. They came to “interview” him and we stood out in the street and bounced the frisbee of their car. Of course I had been home for a year and I didn’t give a flying fuck about them. I’ve actually been able to read their reports on coming to our house for VVAW meetings thanks to the FOIA.
What they’ve been doing in California, which is to serially demonstrate their displeasure at states undercutting federal law.
You people are so naive. I like Obama’s style. Cheney and Enron waited a few months to go after Gray Davis. Obama teaches the master of COIN how it’s really done.
I keep hearing people repeat BS like, “Well, the Feds have better things to do than bust someone with an ounce.”
Yeah, right. How about they stakeout a place and bust like 10 people and then crucify the shit out of them as an example?
At the end of the day you still have an arrest on your record, and burning through tons of cash is nothing new for people in the War on Drugs.
@trollhattan: Probably, but it’s different. CO is full legalization. CA has been pretending it’s medical marijuana, when they’ve pretty much been running full legalization. You could crack CA for that alone.
CO will be an entirely different matter. Example – say I open a weed bar near some ski resort. There’s no export to speak of – you smoke on premises only. No large scale sales – consumption only. The weed is grown on site, and there’s a lot of it. What do the Feds do? It’s tricky.
Now, someone setting up a greenhouse and running trucks across the country will have less of a case.
@srv: Obama played the long game? Had Maj Broadwell assigned to write the biography of P4 and then hold it til he wanted to stake that fucker?
That, my friend, is some nasty shit indeed. I like it.
@Corner Stone: I think you’re wrong – the dude with an ounce is safe in many states these days. In MA – which just legalized Medical Marijuana – it’s a misdemeanor for possession of an ounce or under. That’s a major change right there.
@Corner Stone: They ran marathons together, I actually bought the book.
@nancydarling: Well, Dowdy McFrumpalot also happens to be a tireless advocate of veterans’ affairs and the mother of General Sexytime’s kids. Meanwhile, Paula “All In? Just checking!” Broadwell has arms that make Michelle’s look like Kathy Bates’ AND she’s over there with The General in Afghanistan with IEDs exploding all around them together yet they pick THIS time to fall in LOVE….
It disgusts me. Can’t The Man Called Petraeus just whack off to Two Corporals One Cup like this rest of us?
11-dimensional naked Twister.
This could get interesting. I don’t honestly know how committed Holder or Obama are to criminalization of pot. I know for a fact that the goopers’ commitment to states’ rights will go completely out the window at that point.
So, with the Petraeus stuff, is Broadwell an active or reserve duty Army major with a security clearance? Because that changes things a lot compared to being a civilian reporter. Also, the FBI’s involved instead of (or in addition to) the CIA’s own security people. Weird shit: that means criminal investigation? When it comes to cooperating, intelligence agencies are like five-year-olds in a sandbox with too few toys.
@redshirt: Limited resources. You research the right because there is ample reason to believe they are bullshitting you. I imagine if Obama started bullshitting a lot, you’d start doing your due diligence.
Until you do the mental gymnastics to be in deep denial about what the Dems are doing, you aren’t a partisan hack.
I see what you mean:
@ericblair: Maybe the second term will change their minds on some of this horseshit.
@sharl: Oh yea, he REALLY REALLY dislikes DP. Really.
Yeah, I just don’t know what they think about it. Do they actually think people should be getting busted for pot, or was it something that they thought was a political loser, or didn’t have the time or resources to fight Congress on, or what. I confess I can’t read Obama’s mind. Hope they back off: hey, people have spoken, states’ rights, right?
“Of course, the right-wingers see a conspiracy in this.”
I would be concerned about their mental health if they didn’t see a conspiracy in this. I would hate to see their personal worlds collapse. That’s tough, even for assholes.
@gex: That’s what I tell myself too. However, I realized if I ever met Mirror Universe redshirt who’s a raging Wingnut, well, we’d share viewpoints almost completely, in an opposite sense.
@redshirt: I may be. But it’s not a mistake that the Feds have been burning people all over the US for possession, even when the states didn’t bother.
I hope this is the start of a rational decision making change for our nation.
I have NO clue what the wingnuts are talking about when they screech about Benghazi. The latest thing I heard is that Obama sat in his cushy situation room just chilling and watched on live camera as everyone was murdered? It’s like there some magic radio signal that gets sent to wingnuts while they sleep so they can have their coordinated talking points every day.
Villago Delenda Est
Alternate title, which the publisher thought might be a bit over the top: Balls deep: The education of David Petraeus.
@redshirt: I know WA has already promised to fight the Feds on this tooth and nail. And the argument up here is economic: it’s better to regulate and tax what so many are doing anyway rather than keep it as an underground economy. Not to mention making sure the weed that’s out there is safe for consumption.
I wonder if BC legalises now. My understanding is they have some primo stuff up north.
@ericblair: I don’t know. I know all these vets that got fucked up all the time in the Nam and now they are all fucking wingnutty. I’ve been totally clean for 20 years but I know goddamn well herb is better for people than booze.
@ericblair: I sure hope so. 18 states now have medical marijuana laws, and yet marijuana is still on the Class 1 schedule of prohibited substances, making it near impossible to conduct medical trials on it’s effects.
Obama deals in reality – this is a reality: Marijuana will be legalized in the USA. Let’s just get to it and spare many people the suffering of being pawns in the Drug War.
@Raven: “You magnificent bastard, I read your book!”
Rachel saying the Dem won Gov. in Washington.
@Corner Stone: I might be ignorant on this, but do the Feds really get involved in possession cases? Dude with an ounce type deals? I’ve always assumed they only get involved in dealing/distribution/growing. It was the random cop or state trooper who was gonna bust hippies for having some commercial swag dust and a bag of seeds.
Listening to this National Review douche on PBS tapdancing around the subject of voter suppression. Lots of flop sweat.
HAH. Now he’s doing the same for that Heritage video. Funny as hell.
Douthat is going to be on soon, I think.
OT: Jay Inslee(D) was just declared the winner in the Washington Governor’s race.
Yeah, there’s a little more to the California crackdown than that:
Some of these dispensary owners are telling you sob stories about the big bad DEA cruelly cracking down on them for no reason when they literally have mattresses stuffed full of cash in their houses
I know a DEA agent so am curious to ask him what he’s heard, next time I see him. My presumption is they’re not going to shrug their shoulders and say “these states say it’s okay, so we don’t have to pay them any mind.”
But one never knows when the house of absurd drug law cards will finally tumble. It’s more than a little like ghey marriage.
@redshirt: I saw it on Discovery Channel, so it has to be true. Or maybe it was H2. Or the Science channel.
Shit, I don’t know anymore.
Also, that big scary crackdown by the government in San Diego back in July? Never happened — it was a hoax.
@redshirt: Also, too. Let me just make a friendly suggestion. Don’t be owning no damned Corgi in your house if you choose to possess a little MJ.
@Corner Stone: Not to mention intimidate everyone else in the state. It’s like a hate crime perpetrated by the FBI and DEA – burning stashes on people’s lawns.
Anything like this?
DEA? You guys are clueless. Federal DA’s have shut down 300 dispenceries in California in the last 18 months.
DEA is irrelevant. IT’s like Holder has a hard on.
Better for taxpayers and citizens, sure. But one of the biggest driving forces against legalization here in California were the pot growers in Humbold County, because they know that legalization will cut into their profits and quality investigations will reveal that what they’re selling ain’t exactly what they’re claiming it is.
People who are in favor of legalization need to keep in mind that, for the most part, the people who are currently growing and selling it in large quantities are not your allies. They want it to stay illegal, because they make more money that way, and they will screw you over to keep their massive profit margins.
@Hill Dweller: Sweet. I would be physically ill if that lying fucker McKenna had won. Protip asshole: don’t stab your boss in the back by filing a lawsuit on the state’s behalf without consulting het.
Apparently so, yes. When you have convicted drug dealers as silent partners in dispensaries, the secret economy continues. Who knew?
@Mnemosyne: Exactly. Not that I blame the folks making money, but that’s not the law either. We all must abide the law, no matter how stupid. If we don’t like the laws, we must change them.
This is happening, people! All across this great country on Tuesday progressive ideas spread to the people, by the people. Good times! Not just the end of the insane Drug War, but gay rights, taxation, use of the military, and every other plank that separates the reasonable Dems these days with the whackjob Repukes.
This is based on? Link please.
FWIW, an excerpt from DOJ’s 2009 medical marijuana guidance:
@Corner Stone: Win!
@Raven: OT, but are you responsible for the Paul Broun/Charles Darwin stunt?
@Raven: Yes, that’s right. I’ve spent most of my career overseas in development assistance and the militarization of American embassies and USAID facilities is widely disliked by both staff and host country counterparts. In fact, the result has been that many staff meet outside of the fortresses in order to get any business done.
The US has to stop being the global policeman and we have to radically change our national security = oil de facto policy.
Ok, I’ll give this a shot. From what I understand so far, this is why the Benghazi incident is so irresistible to the right, and why it may continue to be so:
1) People were actually murdered. This makes it an inherently more serious — and, in some ways, more legitimate — topic (contra, say, Solyndra).
2) The CIA was involved on the ground, and other covert or semi-covert agencies/organizations (e.g., NSA, JSOC) may have had assets involved as well. Therefore, certain (possibly crucial) information about the incident simply will not be released, for perfectly obvious national security reasons (e.g., not revealing the communication protocols used for requesting drone air support, or whatevers). This makes it much, much easier to spin conspiracy theories, since the government really isn’t telling us everything. Ever noticed how many old-school conspiracy theories revolve around the CIA’s involvement in something? And this effect is force-multiplied (if you will) by the unfortunate nature of #4, (below).
3) In the first 24 hours or so, there appears to have been some legitimate confusion in public statements about what had happened and who the perpetrators were; some of this was unavoidable “fog of war” ambiguity about the facts at hand, of course, and some of it may have been inter-departmental communication breakdown and/or conflicting decisions about media messaging — but there was more than enough wiggle room in the first flurry of public statements to give certain people an impression of something being purposefully “hidden”.
4) Did I mention the CIA was involved on the ground? In my personal opinion, this implies that it was quite likely that a pooch was, indeed, screwed in some manner (not necessarily during this particular incident, but in their current operations in Libya in general). Laughably bad human intel? Snafu’d logistics for security arrangements? Sophomoric translation failures? Who knows, it’s the CIA! We may find out about it in thirty or fifty years, once the principals have retired/passed on (and if the files are ever declassified), but almost certainly not until then. So in a way the conspiracy theorists may be, in fact, correct — there is a cover up! — but it’s probably just to hide the Agency’s historically consistent incompetence and general venality, and not for any more necessarily nefarious reason (if incompetence and venality isn’t nefarious enough for you!).
Did I miss anything?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me the whole Benghazi bullshit-mongering freak brigade had pretty much disappeared from view since the events of last Tuesday. You know, almost like it never WAS anything other than a pathetic wingnut attempt to hurl some shit around hoping it stuck to something in the waning days of the election.
Which is why it is extremely important that we resurrect the matter and subject it to rigorous scrutiny and analysis on this blog right here and now, such that we can then report our conclusions to the innertoobz community at large and hopefully put the matter to rest once and for all. Wait, what?
Yep — if you read the LA Times article I linked to, a whole lot of the people sobbing about how their “perfectly legal” dispensary was closed down are the same people who had literal mattresses full of cash in their houses because they weren’t reporting how much money they were making.
Frankly, the half-assed “sorta legal” experiment in California has failed, because the dispensary system is being exploited by the same people who were selling it illegally. At this point, either it all has to be illegal, or it has to be legalized and heavily regulated like tobacco and alcohol.
Democrat Partisan Asshole
@Raven: Nothing like a nice run after going through his SIPR and CIA mail, no doubt. He’s a fucking dead man walking if half this shit is true.
Democrat Partisan Asshole
@srv: I can’t come to any other conclusion either. I want that fucker’s ass gone, as in fired, as in now, and if Issa’s got to be the guy who causes it, I’m OK with that at this point. He’s gone way beyond any reasonable law enforcement duties at this point WRT California medical marijuana law.
@Democrat Partisan Asshole:
He serves at the pleasure of the POTUS.
@eemom: Has it disappeared already? I haven’t really been checking lately. I was expecting to stay in their forebrains for a while longer, before it sank back down into their zeitgeist (to nuzzle comfortably between the forged birth certificate and Obamaphones).
No, they’ll just persecute the Dispensaries so that the legit MM’s are hard pressed to find their medicine. They claim they aren’t after the patient, but the end is the same.
Democrat Partisan Asshole
@Corner Stone: Then Obama can fire his ass, and now that the election is done, he should.
I have two major issues with Obama, and this is one of them.
Republicans cry themselves to sleep at night, hugging close to their chest their sweet teddy bear named “Benghazi”, and in their dreams Benghazi Bear saves them from mean old Principal Obama.
Washington and Colorado await DOJ’s response…..
Yeah, I feel really sorry for the poor, persecuted dispensary owner who had $700,000 in cash hidden in his house when the feds dropped by. You’d think it was illegal to hide profits when you’re purportedly running a nonprofit with the way he got arrested and all, but the feds should have known that dispensary owners don’t have to follow all of those silly “rules” and “laws.”
Yeah, cuz yer all heart.
Hey, I’m not the one complaining that the feds closed down seven dispensaries just because a convicted drug dealer owned them and was not reporting the income from them.
When does your “Free John M. Walker” t-shirt arrive?
@Baud: Washington state has more 0.1% races than anywhere else I know of.
The senator is nicknamed ‘landslide’.
Of course, all the ones I know of have truned out well for the democrats, so maybe there are King Co. shenanigans.
@Corner Stone: Would it be the case that Holder is being a hardass on MM dispensaries because anything less than that and the rightwing will restart a ‘soft on crime’ attack?
They already do it on not enforcing DOMA, but that is not quite the same.
@catclub: I dislike arguments predicating a “yeah but what would the rightwing do” defense.
I’m just spitballing, because I don’t have any stats or data, but I have to somehow believe that people’s attitudes toward an ounce of pot to relieve suffering could not have dictated the kinds of responses we saw from DoJ.
@Corner Stone: I agree that planning on a defensive crouch is hopeless, but up above, they were talking about Solyndra as an example that ‘Obama is making sure to stay double clean, because Fox will be all over any scandals.’
Another example, Obama has done very little ‘urban renewal’ infrastructure projects, and the fact that they would be seen as ‘the blacks are getting all the goods’ plays a part in that.
he was in Chicago when Harold Washington was mayor, and the key difference was that Harold could not ( to anywhere near the extent that a white mayor would and did) pay off his supporters with patronage jobs.
The Obama administration has done far more Immigration raids and deportations than Bush ever did. The Obama administration kept the GOP secdef to start off, as well as the GOP guy Bernanke. So I think there is some defensive crouch in what they have done, why not on MM dispensaries?
Another viewpoint is: Obama has to decide that he is going to let NOTHING get in the way of 1)healthcare bill 2)fixing the economy
and that means allowing no extraneous targets for distraction.
It explains why judgeships have not been pushed, and a lot of the other things he has done vis a vis drones and civil liberties.
This is a dangerous argument to try to make. Or I will say, this should be a dangerous argument to try to make.
@Corner Stone: I already think that ‘It explains why’ is going too far. But ‘no distractions’ is clearly part of the Obama MO. I am pretty sure that Obama has heard the term ‘heightened scrutiny’ in Con Law classes, and knows it applies to him and his administration.
Remember the treatment that Congressman Weiner got for doing something that was in bad taste but not really bad?
Why not let his district decide what to do about him?
The woman fired from Dept of Agriculture after the breitbart tape came out?
Talked to a friend about Petraeus’ resignation. He pointed out that the person replacing him, Michael Morell, spent decades as a field officer. If Morell gets the Directorship permanently, he’ll be the first field officer to run the agency since forever.
I think that would be a good thing. Most CIA Directors are political appointees, not spook agency careerists, and their focus is more on political maneuvering and strategy than on what works best for intelligence work.
‘Course, a lot depends on how Morell does during the Congressional hearing. If he handles that well, the job could be his for the asking.
Had me at “embedded.”
Both Sides Do It
The fake scandal “Petraeus outed his affair to avoid testifying about Libya” has to be referred to as Bang-ghazi, right? It just has to be.
FSO brat here – I wish. But the African embassy bombings by al-Qaeda in the late nineties didn’t get the State Department any respect from wingnuts, or much more recognition in the general public, so I don’t think this’ll change that image much.
I’m an asshole for even thinking this, but watching the entire freakout over Benghazi, Rick’s line “they got a lucky break; yesterday, they were just two German couriers, today, they’re the honored dead” came to mind. If they hadn’t died in an attack the right thought they could blame on Obama, the righties would still be sneering about what a bunch of faggy bureaucrats they are, which is what they’ll be back to doing in a year or so once the dust has settled.
Well, the second letter here is interesting.
umm first thing to think of… going to take over an agency that doesn’t like you and is fucking expert at getting to secrets.
don’t have any secrects worth exposing.
hubris, and I feel for the wife and any kids. “daddy had to quit ’cause he was cheating on mom” justs plain fucking sucks.
Both Sides Do It
Klosterman acquits himself very well, calling out the probable motivation for the letter being that there is some group of people he wants to read it in the paper.
That is pretty beyond nuts, though, if it’s the same affair.
Their “job descriptions” also included communicating their status to higher authority and to request emergency aid during a seven hour military action. Their superiors were counted on to provide aid in such desperate situations, particularly in the form of US Air Force aerial gunship (C-130) armed with mini-guns and cannon. Such relief may have come too late for the ambassador, but they certainly could have eliminated the the jihadist mortar crew (attacking the CIA compound) from the face of the earth.
Americans don’t leave Americans. In war, we typically go to extremes to rescue our wounded, and even our fallen brothers and sisters. That is, until we got president “corpsman” installed as our leader. With his unique knowledge of the military, how could this thing have happened? To borrow a slogan from another wise man, seems to me that events in Benghazi, coming when they did just before an election, were just “inconvenient truths”. Or bumps in the road. Pick any slogan you like. God, I would sure hate to have to die for this administration. Talk about forgotten on the spot.
I hear you, my brother. Damn.
As an FSO brat, whose parent has gone to a couple conflict zones like present day Libya, I can confirm that opinion as far as the staff’s concerned.
God damn, what do people think spooks and diplomats DO for a living? Or should do? Lock themselves up in a fortress behind an army of Blackwater guards and wait until the day every country they’re operating in looks like England or France? Leave that job to the visiting politicians, they do it better than any State or CIA employee could.
You’re not wrong.
I attribute it to their still being in shock after Tuesday night, and still completely focused on the election (and things like how Obama stole it or how it proves that insert-least-favorite-demographic-here totally shouldn’t be allowed to vote).
My money says they’ll come back to it.
So tell us, with your obviously vast knowledge of weaponry, how you attack a mortar crew using the immense firepower of a C-130 without simultaneously killing all of the Americans in the nearby compound?
You can take your toys out to the sandbox to run the scenarios and get back to us tomorrow, if you like. Don’t forget to explain how the nearest C-130 would magically cover 3,000 miles to Benghazi in time to make any difference.
BTW, Snopes.com has started reviewing the rumors about Benghazi. The whole “Obama watched the attack live for 7 hours!” bullshit is completely debunked — the video footage wasn’t even sent from Libya until weeks after the attack.
The other claims are currently undetermined, but it’s not looking good for the wingnuts. If anything, it’s starting to look as though existing interagency conflicts between the CIA and the military may have led the military to refuse to assist the CIA when asked.
Though I do find it fascinating that the wingnut complainers are apparently completely unaware that the two former SEALs who were killed traveled from the CIA compound to the consulate, evacuated the consulate staff, and returned to the CIA compound, where they were killed by mortar fire when that second location came under attack. So much for “the consulate staff were calling for help and nobody came!”
I’d believe that. Inter-agency fights and political inquisitions have been beating the crap out of the CIA for at least twenty years.
The Moar You Know
@tony petres: The closest gunship was over two thousand miles away. One hour to brief, one hour to get it in the air, top speed 350 miles an hour. The attackers were long gone before the hypothetical gunship could have ever gotten there.
Try again. The “AC-130 waiting to help” bullshit’s been debunked a million ways fom Sunday.
“CIA Director Petraeus resigned today in light of the revelation that he’d been having an affair with a “reporter” (Paula Broadwell) who’d written a glowing bio of him (my brief review is here).”
You said it was “an inch short.” Is there that much detail?
Let’s focus on the positives here. This drives one more Republican and a plausible 2016 presidential nominee out of public life. We should break out the champaign. Now if only we can do the same to a half dozen Republican senators and governors, we’ll be in good shape.
@tony petres: Fuck off and die in a firefight.
Beyond the obtuse bit of buffoonery there, it seems like you’re making the prima facie argument that we should review our diplomatic engagements for troubled environments.
I think we can all agree on that. Common ground!
One comment on Benghazi; I’ve been in firefights in Afghanistan with air support twenty minutes away and it doesn’t always matter. And this was as recent as this summer. In Afghanistan we have for better or worse set the bar for the use of the sort of firepower that people are imagining quite high. And I really doubt that it would be significantly different in Libya. And thats of course leaving off the fact that it wasn’t available. That these jobs require a certain amount of risk or you might as well be sitting home playing Call of Duty. That defense is much harder to play than offense. If there is anything at all I suspect it would be the CIA as I’ve seen entirely to many alphabet soup agencies come in playing cowboy with a glib attitude and shallow understanding if the reality on the ground. There is little reason to suspect that Libya would be different. And the only reason this seems like it might be anything at all to anyone whom doesn’t believe patently insane crap like wingnuts is that we have made life so safe and sheltered, not a bad thing per se, that to many people have the illusion of greater control and safety than actually exists. Of course flip side of that is all the people that invent dangers like going into any city means robbery, rape, or death but thats another story.
Howard Beale IV
Don’t forget that Petraeus wrote the forward to a Dominionist Tome.
Howard Beale IV
Don’t forget that Petraeus wrote the forward to a Dominionist Tome.
Howard Beale IV
Don’t forget that Petraeus wrote the forward to a Dominionist Tome.
Howard Beale IV
Don’t forget that Petraeus wrote the forward to a Dominionist Tome.
Howard Beale IV
@Howard Beale IV: I’m getting the vague sense you want us to know that Petraeus wrote something for a something.
Howard Beale IV
@Corner Stone: Feet of clay.
You wrote his biography “it was an inch short of hagiography.” Now we know precisely which inch of Petraus was lacking.