Patraeus Resignation Smells Funny

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What could be so bad and threatening that a “national hero” like General David Patraeus would admit to the horribly embarrassing and personal extra-marital affair just to divert attention and thus exit the game relatively intact? (Sometimes admitting to something terribly personal can provide a kind of vaccine against further probes). Speculation buzzes through cyberspace.

Seems right-wingers feel it is a way to avoid having to testify over CIA failures in Benghazi in September. Possible. I wonder whether that horse is indeed cold after Republican beatings. And I am a bit skeptical that Benghazi was anything resembling what it was portrayed. For example, how did American-made Stingers get to Syria? Ambassador Stevens was the architect of the Benghazi uprising and he seemed rather keen to spread “democracy” beyond Libya. Did that include exporting democracy?

This is a little more interesting:

“As for how the affair came to light, the Congressional official said that ‘it was portrayed to us that the F.B.I. was investigating something else and came upon him. My impression is that the F.B.I. stumbled across this.’”

What is the “else”? Would be interesting to know. Sometimes just an affair — which under intel protocol is a serious (because blackmailable) matter — is enough. Sometimes not.

This from October 2011 is rather interesting — and prescient?

“The Petraeus record is not pretty.

“It is a strategic and military failure. The issue is critical. For if Gen. Petraeus’ policies are backfiring and, God forbid, there is another domestic terror attack committed by Muslims, like the Times Square bomber, angered by U.S. murder in the Muslim world since 9/11, the present U.S. “counter-terror” strategy will be largely responsible.”

Despite the press maintaining its propaganda front, the US Syria policy is falling apart. Hillary Clinton’s efforts to create a new Syrian opposition in Doha were a disaster — she argued for a reasonable guaranteed quota of women revolutionaries among the jihadist beards and was shown the door, women’s studies major enthusiasts being relatively rare amongst the jihadists. CIA efforts to assist the insurgents have proven not only a failure, but an embarrassment, as the oft-repeated line that US aid is “falling into the wrong hands” in Syria is looking evermore threadbare — seems there are no other hands, despite US desperate efforts to create them out of whole cloth.

What is the full story behind the Patraeus mystery? I do not know. But there sure is a funny smell in the air…

10:50 pm on November 9, 2012