Monday, 12 November 2012

More beans yet to spill

There are just too many signs that the full story of the Petraeus resignation has not yet been told. Although having an affair that conceivably could subject one to blackmail obviously is grounds to losing your job as the nation’s top spymaster, the seamier details of what exactly happened suggest that many elements of the scandal remain hidden.

Teddy Partridge at firedoglake summarizes the mysterious Dianne Feinstein flipflops, starting with the Senator’s unusual initial statement that she wished Obama had NOT accepted Petaeus’s resignation. As Partridge points out, openly questioning her party’s president means either that she was completely in the dark about what was happening (a protocol goof by the White House), or that she was not told the full story (ditto, but maybe she then got the full story by this very public signal), or that she is just now grasping the political implications of a late-October national security blow-up during a tight presidential race (hard to believe).

Then, too, the actual facts of the case remain completely fuzzy. So Horndog Dave was banging Paula Broadwell, his official hagiographer, while talking to her about how great he is (the fantasy scenarios waiting to be hypothesized here are juicy), and that is a serious breach of judgment if said lady-friend were to threaten to tell his wife or his boss unless-you-give-me-X. Okay. But why did she send threatening messages to Jill Kelley, and what did the messages say? Why would she do that unless she is an absurd bimbo or thinks she is among people so powerful nothing can touch her? If the latter, what experiences have led her to think that?

And who is Jill Kelley? Is she a prior Petraeus bangee? So far, everyone says, Perish the thought! She likes to call herself ‘ambassador’ but is not one. In fact, she does not work for the State Department. In fact, she does not work for the U.S. government at all. WTF? AP said today she is an ‘unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base’. That’s the dangerous rival that Broadwell decided to pester? Could this whole thing be as banal as an adolescent facedown over b/f access or unauthorized eyelash-batting?

The FBI is understandably sensitive to trolling in officials’ sexual escapades given how J. Edgar notoriously turned the whole Bureau into a perv patrol for his own nefarious ends. But news of the dirty little secret seems to have been kept very close to a very few chests. That makes sense in rumor-hungry Washington, and yet someone decided that the situation that was not dangerous to national security in July or August was so in October. Who was that and why?

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