And that's why you don't give diaries full of classified material to your jealous lover. http://t.co/YkDUW4HdhT
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 3, 2015
From the NYTimes article:
David H. Petraeus, the best-known military commander of his generation, has reached a plea deal with the Justice Department and admitted providing his highly classified journals to a mistress when he was the director of the C.I.A.
Mr. Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, a misdemeanor. He is eligible for up to one year in prison but prosecutors will recommend two years of probation and a $40,000 fine…
…[T]he deal also ends two years of uncertainty and allows Mr. Petraeus to focus on his lucrative post-government career as a partner in a private equity firm and a worldwide speaker on national security issues. Even while under investigation, he has advised the White House on Iraq and terrorism issues….
“The broader nation needs his advice, and I think it’s been evidence that people still want to hear from him,” said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. “People are forgiving and know he made a mistake. But he’s also a national hero and a national resource.”
Mr. Petraeus’s friends and allies have been highly critical of the Justice Department for keeping the investigation open so long. Republicans in Congress accused Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., of using the investigation to silence Mr. Petraeus. On the other side, some investigators were privately critical of the Justice Department for not moving more aggressively against Mr. Petraeus, particularly when Mr. Holder has led a crackdown on government officials who reveal secrets to journalists…
Hey, remember when Chelsea Manning’s defenders were lectured about how her crimes were so much worse than even Snowden’s, because members of the military need to be held to a higher standard? Of course, Manning was just a grunt, not a four-star general.
From the Washington Post:
… Among the secret materials contained in the “black books” was information on identities of covert operatives, the coalition war strategy and notes about Petraeus’ discussions with President Barack Obama and the National Security Council, prosecutors said.
Those binders were later seized by the FBI in a search of Petraeus’ Arlington, Virginia, home, where he had kept them in the unlocked drawer of a desk in a ground-floor study.
Prosecutors said that after resigning from the CIA, Petraeus signed a form falsely attesting he had no classified material. He also lied to FBI agents in denying he supplied the information to Broadwell, according to court documents…
Leaving aside the easy jokes on thinking with the wrong head: This wasn’t about sexual appetites. This was about a Very Important Man’s desire to make sure that his hot younger amanuensis correctly reported every detail of his Very Important Career. The extracurricular nookie may have been the sizzle, but plain old asexual vanity/narcissism was the steak.
… If he manages to avoid prison, Petraeus will receive far more lenient punishment than that meted out to others convicted of leaking secrets.
In 2012, former CIA officer John Kiriakou pleaded guilty to intentionally disclosing the identity of a covert agent to a reporter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Petraeus, then CIA director, hailed the conviction.
“Oaths do matter, and there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws that protect our fellow officers and enable American intelligence agencies to operate with the requisite degree of secrecy,” he said at the time…
Sen. John McCain, a longtime supporter of Petraeus, said it is time to consider the issues raised by the ex-general’s extramarital affair closed.
“At a time of grave security challenges around the world, I hope that Gen. Petraeus will continue to provide his outstanding service and leadership to our nation, as he has throughout his distinguished career,” the Arizona Republican said…
RT @JesselynRadack: Tom Drake @Thomas_Drake1 had to sacrifice job, life savings, retirement to get misdemeanor. Petraeus had to get laid.
— Tim Shorrock (@TimothyS) March 3, 2015
On #Petraeus, @JohnKiriakou says, "I spent two years in prison; he gets two years probation." https://t.co/vd0wBTwNTP pic.twitter.com/epPFSYWlHD
— Peter Maass (@maassp) March 3, 2015
A 22-year-old was recently sentenced to two years in prison for lying to agents, just like Petraeus did. http://t.co/FkqpCOiLsf
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) March 3, 2015
Re-upping Stephen Kim story after Petraeus plea. Petraeus leaks trove, gets wrist slap, Kim leaks little, gets jail. https://t.co/JvhUWQVhoM
— Peter Maass (@maassp) March 3, 2015
QOTD: “Snowden wud entertain returning to #US for kind of plea Gen. #Petraeus rec'd," sed his atty .@JesselynRadack http://t.co/W1cK65QCGH
— Thomas Drake (@Thomas_Drake1) March 3, 2015
Nice thing abt Petraeus plea deal is EVERY SINGLE LEAKER from this now on will be able to say, "Well, more sensitive secrets were probation"
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) March 3, 2015
John McCain doesn’t think that a little adultery and falsehood to the FBI should interfere with a “hero”‘s career? Well, there’s a shock and a half.
So who knows who else besides the biographer/fuckbuddy has seen them. Not Petraeus! Obviously well qualified to be in charge of a major spy agency.
I wouldn’t join any club that would have me etc etc. I’d rather watch a Marx Brothers movie.
I was always consistent with both Manning AND Snowjob – throw them under the jail.
As for Petraeus’ mistress. my recollection was that the info leak stopped at her, so no harm, no foul. He got embarrassed and got his hand slapped appropriately. It really isn’t the same thing.
Well, not sure if that is a good guideline. I mean…yes…he told his mistress but she didn’t tell anyone else, so, we’ll just let it slide? What kind of policy is that? We won’t prosecute you unless the person you tell important state secrets to tells somebody else?
Which means one of two things, the leak actually stopped with her or she’s a far better spy than the other two idiots you mentioned.
That the leak stopped with her (if it actually did) is just plain dumb luck. She could have been an agent for a foreign intelligence service. Plus the idiot had unsecured intelligence sitting around his residence. Can we be certain that no foreign agencies gained access that information. For all we know, Putin could have wall papered his bathroom with copies of those documents.
He was prosecuted and pled guilty.
I’m sure we all know Chelsea was not a grunt.
@Botsplainer: As to Manning, as to Snowden, as to Petraeus, I do not pretend to know what is the proper resolution to any of these situations. But I also do not pretend that they are the same by any but the most superficial ways.
@Botsplainer: I was about to say the same thing. Unlike Manning and Snowden, there were no ramifications resulting from Petreus’ action.
@Morzer: Didn’t hurt Pres. McCain’s career none.
@Botsplainer: Also Petraeus had the best lawyers in DC.
Done. We’ll even put it in the Constitution.
I’d say that what Petraeus did deserves more severe punishment. He was CIA Director, fer Pete’s sake. He should have ‘untrustworthy liar and hypocrite’ tattooed to his forehead.
ETA: I know, too long for such a small space.
Now can we call him Betray-us?
Still too soon?
Larry Summers, liberal economist (WaPo)
True. And since the records of Griftwald and Radack are so stellar as to what they’ve accomplished on behalf of actual clients, well…
@Baud: President McCain will try Snowden at gitmo.
He was CIA Director, fer Pete’s sake
No-one could possibly have expected that the fox would manage the hen-house so poorly. He had assured us himself of his excellent management skills.
“The broader nation needs his advice, and I think it’s been evidence that people still want to hear from him,” said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. “…he’s also a national hero and a national resource.”
Petraeus is a brilliant strategist and geopolitical analyst and role-model of leadership and integrity. He has told us so himself, and who is better-placed to know!
Imagine what shape Iraq might be in today, if Petraeus had put as much effort into fighting a war as he put into managing his reputation, impressing journalists, and boffing biographers.
All I can say is just imagine what the prison sentence would have been for a gay Hispanic man who gave state secrets to his gay lover? I’m just sayin’….
@Zinsky: The color of justice is green in this country.
Should have had the book thrown at him. He should have volunteered for jail time to show no one is above the law.
Just reinforces that the rich and powerful live in their own world, where rules work differeffently.
Men of a certain age tend to be weak, horny goats when it comes to young, pretty women. There is a reason why I don’t have one on one meetings without my office door being open or being in a glass-walled conference room.
Not that I’m worried about my conduct, but a spurious claim that I did something would be way to easy to accept.
I remember being lectured that I should view Manning as a national hero.
HAHAHAHAHAAHA…. Funny man, you make joke…
ETA: that should have been exhibitionism.
No one turns the worm like you do, DCL.
How about the sentence for a gay Jewish man who used his Brazilian lover as an stolen info courier?
@Botsplainer: There’s a hole in your head, it’s leaking out….
O’Hanlon was one of Bush’s ‘bots, wasn’t he? Just saying.
1. Driftglass is a national treasure (support his site: http://driftglass.blogspot.com/) if @Baud: and when you can.
2. Martha Stewart must be wondering why she is not in the “Club.” She prison for just misleading the FBI about the tips her broker was giving her.
3. In the Village, it is OK to leak if you are self-promoting yourself to the top of The Village Heap, tilt the the country toward war, and create hysteria that sanctions torture. To leak to stop such things is “treason.”
4. The fact is we are a quasi-oligarchy, and have been since Reagan’s election.
@brantl: He was a favorite of the pro-Iraq War liberal hawks. Tom Friedman was constantly quoting him in his “six more months” [email protected]Baud: Gee, Larry Summers seems to have had a “Road to Damascus” conversion here. Robert Rubin must be asking him when they meet up: “Who are you and what have you done to the real Larry Summers?”
Game, set, match. Good one.
I could in no way inflict that sight on anybody – some things seen could never be unseen.
I am reminded of the time a bailiff walked into a conference room to find one married judge doing another married judge, the woman judge being married to another judge. Her husband, at that time, was president of the term and thus responsible for judicial assignments-plus, he was the son of a judge (as was the errant male judge – and his brother was a judge as well).
They begged for, and received, a solemn vow of silence on the discovery, which meant that 10 minutes after he left that half the courthouse knew. The entire lower tier of local judiciary (23 people, plus support staff) erupted into factions and subfactions of people taking sides and being mad at each other over the sides taken – it took quiet personal and pointed intervention from the next trial judge level AND the Court of Appeals to get them settled down. Two divorces resulted, she moved away (she got elected solely on his last name, and decided a whole change in order).
The thing was glorious and never hit the paper.
I’m a middle-aged guy, and I gotta say, this is yet more proof of what a drooling bunch of morons we generally are when offered younger nookie.
By the way, if you’ve read up on it, the biographer is apparently a real piece of work, the kind of crazy ex-girlfriend type we all pretend we grew too mature for after high school or maybe college. She sounds flaky enough that he had to know it right away. Yet he risked everything and broke the law to get it on with her.
One of the more powerful guys in the world, reduced to that….
I knew they weren’t wearing anything under their robes.
Crazy is fun for a long weekend, just don’t let her know your name.
The discoverer didn’t share that detail, and it would have been gauche to ask.
The proprieties of outstanding gossip will be observed.
@MomSense: Not at all. He did betray us.
Although, I tend to agree with some of the points that the classified material was contained, I would still like the judge to give him some jail time.
“There is a club. And you’re not in it”. Isn’t that from George Carlin?
@Alex S.: It was a famous rant Carlin did.
Dude needs to be stripped of his rank and tossed in jail.
Possibly, but Driftglass has made use of it for some time and generally in the same context as Carlin. Given his attention to the tangled ways of Chicago government and the Village, he certainly has many illustrations of why there is a Club, and why you (and I) are not in it. Nor for that matter are Stephen Kim or John Kiriakou.
Different version of justice for the rich and connected versus the unrich and unconnected? I am shocked, shocked….
In other news, grass is green and water is wet.
That is the sad part. The even sadder part is I don’t think I know a single man in the entire world totally immune. Partially? Sure. Mostly? Yeah, I know lots of them guys too. Totally? Face it, we all got 2 balls who have more influence over the head that does all our talking than the head that does all our thinking ever will.
@Groucho48: What he means is, we’ll only prosecute you if your motives are political. And if you’re a helpless nobody. Because that’s what gives authoritarian prickears a hardon. Mercy and flowers to the powerful, draconian, destroying punishments to any who dare challenge then.
@Baud: you, mean, like Manning had? Your system is manifestly incapable of delivering trials like that anymore, if ever it was.
Lance Armstrong disagrees!
What was unfair about Manning’s trial?
And Snowden would have the highest profile lawyers in what would be a high profile case. His trial would be about as fair as you can get.
@Baud: One hung low.
@Baud: The one he lost still has more influence over him than his brain!
@raven: What did Joe rant about today?
@Baud: a) the treatment leading up to it. b) the sentence.
Kinda like asking, after “a fair trial and then up a rope”, “what was unfair about the that?” The answer is “everything”.
The treatment is a fair point, but I wouldn’t call that part of the trial. I don’t think the sentence was unfair, although reasonable people might have reasonably given her a lighter sentence.
The trial itself was fair, as far as I’m aware.
A good thought — but it may be worth recalling how John Deutch ended his career as DCI, and how severely he was punished for his transgressions.
You know, I think if you ask her she has a pretty damn good idea why she was convicted of something that a very large number of her male contemporaries do as a normal part of their day to day work practices.
Idiots. Why would they not just get a room somewhere else?
What’s that din? CIA torturers giving the Nelson Muntz bray to Petraeus.
For that reason, for certain “vibes”, I invoke a seldom used “double attendance” rule even with the open door, glass room policy in place.
I may be a middle aged goat, but I ain’t dead…
Doubtful we’ll ever know the complete list of charges which were dropped in the plea deal.
Because the guy, as the son of a judge and brother of another, thought himself bulletproof. Plus, his wife was a homemaker and he had a zillion kids in pretty expensive activities – for example, his high school daughter was in a college/Olympic training level fencing program and traveled extensively. For that reason, he tended to squeeze a nickle until Jefferson screamed, and got the reputation of being a cheap shit.
I can’t see him springing for a room with a bed, not with all those empty conference rooms being available after about 2 PM.
I think the President referred to the plan to arm Syrian rebels as a “fantasy” especially since some of them turned out to be IS. He didn’t reveal whose plan it was.
@OzarkHillbilly: not all of us
It’s not exactly news that a different standard of justice, or more precisely differing applications of the penalties provided for under the law, applies to those with resources and connects versus those who don’t. In the past year the three illustrations of this phenomenon that I most clearly recall are…
That little shit Ethan Couch, who got ten years probation for killing four people in a drunk driving accident but who (according to his attorneys) suffered from that disabling condition known as affluenza. Chief symptom is total disregard for the welfare of anyone other than oneself.
Robert H. Richards IV, the du Pont heir who was sentenced to probation and a suspended sentence of eight years after confessing to and being convicted of raping his three year old daughter, because the sentencing judge felt the “Defendant will not fare well in Level 5 [prison] setting”. News flash, yer honor: there aren’t many people who thrive in the joint but then again those people aren’t du Pont heirs, are they now? Also too, not exactly a surprise that a du Pont heir would get some slack from a Delaware judge – but no time at all for child rape?
Local homeboy and Colts owner Jim Irsay, pulled over for driving 10 mph in a 35 mph zone and then charged with four felonies for OWI and having in his vehicle a shitload of prescription drugs he wasn’t supposed to have. Not to mention the $29,000 in cash he happened to have with him – saves having to stop at an ATM all the time, amirite? Poor Jim was immediately whisked off to a residential rehab program and ended up pleading guilty to operating while intoxicated and being sentenced to…one year probation. Oh yes, plus a six game suspension and $500,000 fine, the black sorrow and pity of it. The four felony charges just sort of…went away, and no further mention of the $29k – makes you wonder whatever happened to it. Also makes one wonder what would happen to you or I if arrested under similar circumstances, and I bet it wouldn’t include a media chorus of “poor (you), maybe now he/she will get the help he/she needs”.
That whole concept of equal justice under the law is so 19th century.
Said Dred Scott to no one, ever!
Piece of shit John Kiriakou crawled out for this too. Absolutely amazes me how the left fawns over him as some heroic whistleblower. The guy disclosed the torture program not because he thought it was wrong but because he wanted to sell his book bragging how awesome it is and how we should do it more often. He was the go-to guy for the media for a while if you wanted an on-the-record soundbite about how waterboarding gets shit done.
@Baud: Keep fucking that chicken.
And hotel rooms show up on credit card statements…
An astute rebuttal. You’ve given me much to think about.
@Baud: When the before and after are so egregious, the formal “fairness” of the trial itself is beside the point. More than that, it is mere window-dressing that serves to disguise and to legitimate profound injustice.
More equal for some than for others, certainly…
Before and after weren’t not so egregious here as to affect the fairness of the trial, at least as far as I’m aware. I don’t that fairness is besides the point at all.
I am disgusted by this. This is “justice” in 21st century America — there are two separate lines.
Does anyone doubt that if this had been Colin Powell, his ass would be arrested and in jail?
I trust his first bullet point on those $100,000 or so speeches will be “Don’t share classified information with your girlfriend.”
“In 2012, former CIA officer John Kiriakou pleaded guilty to intentionally disclosing the identity of a covert agent to a reporter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Petraeus, then CIA director, hailed the conviction.”
His mistake was not being of higher rank, at least I think. Maybe it was not getting laid? Not being on the teevee Sunday morning? Not that any of these guys are heroes, but widely varying sentences for seemingly similar violations suggests the courts are not impartial.
It continues to impress me that no one in politics has made a peep about the fact that those Susan Rice talking points that caused such an uproar were the ones she’d gotten from the CIA… in other words, from Petraeus. Not his worst offense, but still.
@Baud: Let’s see: we’re going to effectively torture you in solitary confinement, then lock you up for 35yrs, but in the middle of all that, for a few glorious days, the justice system will operate in technical fairness, thus legitimizing the whole process, from arrest to death in prison. Don’t you see a problem with this?
@PIGL: IMO you summarized that particular arc of “justice” rather well. Thanks!
I’ve never actually seen that claim, though there is definitely a large subset of Snowden groupies who make an argument that Manning’s bulk leaking was criminal while Snowden’s “responsible journalist” bulk leaking was A-OK. Personally I think both belong in jail but if they must be compared, as to whose “crimes were so much worse”, I have far more sympathy for Manning.
Per Digby, here’s what he actually did:
His ass should be in the slammer. He had no purpose but self-aggrandizement, no good purpose at all. Explain that, Botsplainer.
Colin Powell was the man who attempted to bury the Mai Lai Massacre, I don’t think you can say he didn’t get a pass, a major pass, at least once.
SCI is Secret Compartmented Information, i.e. stuff you do not have access to even with a TSU clearance. Stuff you talk about only with other people with that specific need-to-know and that specific clearance, i.e. they know the identifying number and codeword. If a hypothetical friend had worked once in a four-letter-acronym Bureau, that friend might have been cleared for information that the Director of the Bureau didn’t have access to. It is stuff that a lot of people would die, or important channels of access to other countries’ secrets would be closed, or both, if it were known. SCI is compartmented for reasons.
Then this lying narcissistic shitweasel takes a hoard of it home to treat as a piñata for his girlfriend so she can burnish his biography. My friend is not impressed.
The people paying him for speeches presumably know that he’s a dishonest fabulist whose reputation is built on no foundation other than his manipulation of the press, and whatever he speechifies will be what he thinks they want to hear. But he tells them what they want to hear so they don’t care.
@sm*t cl*de: And he still has his clearance!
Now can we call him Betray-us?
Still too soon?
We most certainly can, and now we can know we were totally justified it calling him that since the beginning.
He who laughs last…
Howard Beale IV
In spades, as it were.
What’s more surprising is that as an (ex-)officer (?), doesn’t Petraeus still fall under some rules under the UCMJ?
This just a case that proves “rank has its privileges.”
@Botsplainer: The very definition of arbitrary and capricious, and why no one should let you near a job in public service that functions in an adjudicative capacity.