Calling General Petraeus

1119_PetraeusThe public hardly blinks an eye when powerful men and politicians are embroiled in extramarital affairs.  Extramarital affairs of public officials barely register on the scandal-o-meter.  In fact extramarital affairs are the fodder of gossip columns and make for a ratings bonanza for news network panels and late night talk shows.  Instead of the general public being aghast at such revelations, audiences are captivated by the sordid details and the injured spousal reactions.

As long as the alleged govern well and win the publicity war, most have gone historically unscathed for their personal indiscretions:  JFK, Clinton, Mark Sanford, Jesse Jackson (Sr. and/or Jr.)  Politicians are temporarily shamed then lauded, oftentimes given promotions or rewards on behalf of the egalitarian set.  Case in point, Anthony Weiner has a strong chance to become the next mayor of NYC.  Sure, he likes to post pictures of his unmentionables–but where does he stand on gun control?

That leads us to General David Petraeus.  After being caught in an extramarital scandal, not only did he resign his post as Director of the CIA, but he has also hardly been seen or heard from since.  General Petraeus did make a public appearance back in March 2013 addressing veterans and the ROTC at University of Southern California, prefacing his remarks with an almost dutiful apology for his extramarital affair.  Is it that General Petraeus adheres to a higher personal code of conduct than his civilian colleagues, or did he agree to pre-remark apologies as part of his plea agreement with the DOJ?

The colon-cleanse received by  Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell and fellow tryst, Jill Kelly, is noteworthy.  Monica Lewinsky certainly received her media cavity search, but she seemed to escape this level of scrutiny by the FBI, NSA, IRS (take your bureaucratic Polyethylene glycol of choice).  Marilyn Monroe ended up dead, so perhaps Monica should count herself lucky and stay in hiding.

Having been sidetracked by the Benghazi hearings (of which Petraeus was glaringly absent), the Boston bombings, Snowden/NSA leaks and Kim Kardashian’s baby bump, intellectual curiosity as to General Petraeus’ whereabouts have been rather hushed.  Certainly he would be in a position to confirm who gave the order to stand down in Benghazi and who called for the video coverup.

Interestingly, Jill Kelly’s name once again surfaces with the untimely death of Buzz Feed, Newsweek and Rolling Stones reporter Michael Hastings June 18th.  Hastings was supposedly investigating a story regarding Kelly around the time of his death–much to the denial of his wife, Elise Jordan, former speechwriter for Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice, who is attempting to deflect conspiracy accusations.

The FBI also denies that they were monitoring Hastings–much like they deny monitoring reporters James Rosen and Sharyl Attkisson.  The major differences being that Rosen was charged by the DOJ as a co-conspirator; Attkisson’s computer files were breached and Hastings is just plain dead.

In Hastings final message he wrote:

Subject: FBI Investigation, re: NSA

Hey (redacted names) — the Feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates.” Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit.

All the best, and hope to see you all soon.


Who would blame Hastings’ widow for denying FBI involvement?  This administration’s scandal-peppered, dubious-circumstanced death count makes the Vince Foster incident look like a 1950s pulp crime who-done-it.

The question still persists:  Where is General Petraeus and why hasn’t he been subpoenaed to answer questions about Benghazi before Congress?  Or has Benghazi turned into an eye roll and a shoulder shrug?  Benghazi certainly doesn’t make any difference to the administration, as they have told us as such as well as having redirected publicity efforts to focus on climate change and welfare benefits for illegal immigrants…

Rather does Michael Hastings’ untimely death tie into the problematic FBI/NSA surveillance of journalists–surveillance, pressure and intimidation of those who know too much and can cause grief for the administration?  The more the public is told there is “nothing to see here”, the more pungent the smell of Limburger cheese waifs westbound from D.C…

Leslie Deinhammer

Illinois PolitiChick Leslie Anne Deinhammer, writer, chaplain and proud wife of a Marine Corps veteran, writes on topics of politics, human rights and faith. Follow her at @lesliedhammer on Twitter.

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