Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Political Downfall of General David Petraeus: From War Hero to Possible Jailbird?


As a postscript headline to my January 14th Global Research article below, America’s most famous general turned CIA Director David Petraeus worked out a plea bargain deal with the Justice Department. He admitted to leaking classified documents to his biographer turned lover Paula Broadwell. Rather than face the further humiliation of a high profile public trial, the Bilderberg member opted for the easier way out of his latest lowbrow scandal. The New York Times is reporting that Petraeus will plead guilty to a mere misdemeanor charge of “one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.”

Justice Department spokesperson Marc Raimondi disclosed:

The plea agreement and corresponding statement of facts, both signed by the defendant, indicate that he will plead guilty to the one-count criminal Information.

The fact that the head of the CIA as the one man entrusted to hold US secrets secret, allowed pillow talk to share America’s most classified national secrets with his mistress, Betray-Us Petraeus is guilty of as serious a breach to our national security as there ever was. Yet the most celebrated military commander of his generation could at most possibly serve up to just one year in prison. Of course with buddies in such high places like Senators John McCain and Diane Feinstein, we know how that song ends. While gulag America is busily rounding up and torturing innocent US citizens who suddenly disappear inside secret CIA-like black holes across the nation, having earned his stripes as a card carrying elitist, Petraeus will most likely do no time at all behind bars… another telling blight on the American justice system.

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In recent days all the most hawkish protectors of US global hegemony and American Empire status quo, prominent politicians like Senators Feinstein and McCain, are circling their wagons in a defensive rush to the rescue of the former military rock star, onetime presidential hopeful General David Petraeus. Last Friday the FBI recommended to the Justice Department that it should proceed with plans to file criminal charges against Petraeus that could turn the most famous so called US war hero of the modern era into a convicted felon. On last Sunday’s CNN’s “State of the Nation, Senator Feinstein stated:

This man has suffered enough in my view. It’s done. It’s over…. David Petraeus is the four-star general of our generation and a very brilliant man.

What the chair of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee is objecting to is the Justice Department announcement that it may charge the former CIA Director Petraeus with passing classified information onto his lover at the time Paula Broadwell. Despite the retired general’s dubious contention claiming he’s an innocent man and never did give his former mistress access to top secret documents, the FBI maintains that it found classified evidence of secret files on her confiscated computer after raiding her North Carolina home in search of potential criminality and intelligence leaks that may have breached national security.

The White House leaks information and mostly disinformation to the press constantly at will whenever it so desires. Then it turns around and hypocritically arrests journalists for unwillingness to breach confidentiality of their sources protected by the First Amendment, or indicts whistleblowers under the Espionage Act for complying with the 1989 Whistleblower Act designed to protect them for their brave acts of public service. Just another double standard by which this administration has become infamous.

Also appearing on Sunday’s CNN news platform, Senator McCain raged against the machine for the Petraeus story to be slipped to the New York Times last Friday. McCain went on to defend his war buddyPetraeus venting, “No American deserves such callous treatment, let alone one of America’s finest military leaders whose selfless service and sacrifice have inspired young Americans in uniform and likely saved many of their lives,” referring to Petraeus’ inflated accolades as “the savior of Iraq War” for his 2009 surge. His constant escort Senator Lindsey Graham chimed in calling the investigation of their war hero “outrageous,” and both senators charged that it has been “grievously mishandled.”

We all recall the media circus of November 2012 when just two days after President Obama won his second term in office, CIA Director Petraeus was forced to resign his post after news of his torrid affair went public. Paula Broadwell was a major in the Army Reserves at the time she was given unlimited private access to the general while he was stationed overseas commanding from the Afghanistan warfront and continued stateside after he resigned from the Army to head the CIA. Idolizing her man while she was all into him writing his All In biography, Paula was eager to share her insider’s secrets with the rest of the world while making the media talk show circuit zealously touting both Petraeus and her book.

At one point just a couple weeks prior to her and her man’s sudden fall from grace, while on her book tour speaking at the University of Denver, Ms. Broadwell enthusiastically shared her privy info that only she could have learned from her intimacy with the CIA director himself. She made the bold claim that the Benghazi attack on 9/11/12 where Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were murdered came as the result of the CIA’s detainment of several local al Qaeda affiliated leaders. She maintained the attackers of the Benghazi compound were acting on either an attempt to rescue their fellow militiamen or deliver violent retribution to America for adducting their leaders.

Of course as CIA director, Petraeus was working closely with Hillary Clinton using her State Department as cover for the highly illegal arms smuggling operation that was shipping much of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s rather large arsenal of chemical weapons and surface-to-air missiles from the port of Benghazi through Turkey to aid the US backed al Qaeda fighting the US proxy war in Syria against President Assad’s forces.

Because back in January 2009 upon coming to power Obama signed Executive Order 13491 explicitly prohibiting the detainment of foreign nationals, Broadwell’s need to shine as the darling insider biographer inadvertently revealed that the CIA under Obama had simply continued its widespread practice of rounding up detainees throughout the Middle East and North Africa and engaging in unlawful acts of torture that they’d been ordered by the Bush administration to cease. Of course once confronted with Broadwell’s allegations after their adulterous scandal broke, the CIA as a rogue government agency that lies for a living emphatically denied any violation of Obama’s executive order. But clearly Paula Broadwell both incriminated her lover and his agency while at the same time incriminated Petraeus himself in passing CIA secrets off to his concubine. How else could she have known about the CIA detaining Libyans as that entire illicit Benghazi affair was as top secret as it gets?

That the Obama administration likely authorized the Benghazi detainment against his own order only shows why he is so quick to sweep the CIA torture history under the rug, calling for Americans to look forward rather than backward. CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou is still in prison for blowing the lid off CIA torture for going public exposing the unlawful practice under the Bush regime. Kiriakou maintainsthat torture under Obama’s watch has only submerged deep enough underground to not be noticed but still goes on. This also explains Obama’s recent choice to not hold those guilty criminals in both the Bush-Cheney administration as well as the sadistic perpetrators within the CIA and military accountable for inflicting such inhumane treatment as waterboarding on mostly innocent foreign nationals in our name. On top of all that, torture proved ineffective in producing any results.

In September 2012 at least 35 CIA personnel were reported to be overseeing the gun smuggling shipments in the largest CIA operation in North Africa from their Benghazi annex located just a mile away from the ambassador’s compound. In an August 2013 report CNN interviewed anonymous CIA operatives stationed in Benghazi at the time of the attack. They all admitted that every month they must submit to lie detector tests to ensure they do not spill the beans on what really happened in Benghazi. They also alluded to being under the strictest order to remain silent about their Libyan role or face threats from the Obama administration that they and their families would be harmed if their loose lips dared to sink Obama and Hillary’s deepest, darkest secrets ships. Ships that would forever sink his presidential legacy to the bottom of the heap alongside Nixon’s, and permanently shatter her political aspirations of a presidential future.

Petraeus has kept his silence as well, and swiftly rewarded. Within a week after Petraeus’ CIA resignation, his wife Holly victimized by her husband’s extramarital affair, was suddenly being rewarded a promotion to a newly created job just for her by President Obama himself, earning nearly $200,000 a year to compliment her husband’s $220,000 intact pension (despite his violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice for adultery which by law would preclude him from collecting any pension at all or retiring at his four-star general’s rank). The ever-close time proximity alone between the scandal breaking and his wife’s new cushy job raises questions of it being hush money.

Of course as a bi-coastal professor at City University of New York, Harvard and USC, Petraeus is peddling the environment killer fracking these days with his course syllabus entitled “The Coming North American Decade.” He also holds a prominent position in the elitist New York investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, and is a faithful annual Bilderberg and Council on Foreign Relations member, so the Petraeus household is still raking in millions as an established elitist family. “Mums” been the word on Petraeus keeping his mouth shut, no spillage of secrets that could have brought down Barack and Hillary, despite his taking the fall for them for his illicit affair, which was definitely not the actual reason he went down.

Petraeus’ penchant for outsourcing CIA to private paramilitary subcontractors similar to how he outsourced the US military largely replaced by the multitude of paramilitary mercenary-type civilian contractors also had lots to do with his downfall. By March 2011 more Americans were employed by private civilian contractors like KBR, Blackwater and DynCorp (155,000) in Iraq and Afghanistan than Americans serving in military uniform (145,000).  By March 2010, 27,000 armed private security contractors were in Iraq and Afghanistan. Largely under the radar this last decade, General Petraeus changed how the US fights its modern wars. Because civilian contractors earn five to ten times or more than US soldiers, resentment and conflict have been a natural outcome. Complete lack of transparency and accountability have led to obscene wasteful misappropriation of taxpayer dollars as well as mercenary war crime atrocities – an all too familiar theme with both our military but especially civilian Department of Defense contractors, Blackwater the most notorious of all.

General Petraeus was in bed with these shady unscrupulous defense contractors, raising a growing concern from critics both inside and outside the beltway. We can in large part thank King David for the myriad of problems arising from blurred roles and boundaries as well as lack of oversight.

A case in point raising a few eyebrows is the cozy embedded relationship Petraeus had while Afghanistan War commander with married think tank couple Fred and Kimberly Kagan. They represent the hawkish power interests of the core Republicans in Congress. The general had them set up with offices in Afghanistan for almost a year at government expense, giving them free access to both him and his field commanders. As influential policymakers, they directly implemented change in how the military was waging war. They had been instrumental in both designing and backing Petraeus’ surges on both fronts, advocating a long term military presence in both nations.

Petraeus stretched the envelope like never before in promoting the corrupt, self-serving merger, blurring and obscuring all boundaries between the US armed forces, private civilian contractors that made $138 billion in Iraq alone, $39.5 going to top earner KBR (the former Halliburton subsidiary that Cheney CEO’d), and private think tanks. The current spreading malignancy that is the Empire’s military industrial complex, characterized by rampant waste, cronyism, fraud and grossest unaccountability, has never been more evident or extreme in its destructive power to destroy the planet. And the most famous general of them all has been its chief ring-leading, cheerleading war architect.

After Betray-us Petraeus was such an instrumental proponent in transforming the US military through outsourcing in addition to how America fights wars with the failed dogma of his authored Counterinsurgency manual (COIN), upon taking command of the CIA, he began arrogantly doing the same thing there and quickly made enemies. His micromanaging military style contrasted with the series of laissez faire CIA directors like Petraeus’ predecessor Leon Panetta. The CIA was used to operating freely.

Retired Navy Seal Brandon Webb and retired Green Beret Jack Murphy in their book Benghazi: The Definitive Report lay bold claim that disloyal deputies and bodyguards serving under General Petraeus leaked his affair to the CIA that then arranged circumstances for the affair to be investigated by the FBI. Jack Murphy told the Daily Mail, “It’s almost like they wanted him not just to resign but they wanted him kicked out of the political game for at least a number of years.”

Though numerous holes and loose ends make their report anything but “definitive,” their contention that professional spies who already did not trust their new boss might learn of his improper sexual liaison is a no-brainer. In fact the spy agency likely knew of his affair while he was still a general in Afghanistan, and that prior to Obama even selecting him as the next CIA chief, Obama knew too. It’s an insult to Americans’ intelligence to buy the official lie that the president never knew about it until after his reelection.

The CIA has a long tradition as an independent rogue element unto itself within the US government, very used to operating under little or no oversight with complete impunity and a bottomless deep pocket engaging in terrorism to wreak havoc all over the earth. Any time an outsider from the rival military is appointed its new director, a backlash amongst powerful senior intelligence officials is to be expected. And when the new boss treats seasoned CIA officers just like military subordinates, cutting them out of their sanctified intelligence gathering domain of control and outsourcing them with paramilitary operations that included prioritizing drone warfare, for every action, especially in the form of unwanted change imposed by a ruthless outsider, there is a counter-reaction. Obama selecting a war commander fresh from fighting two wars to CIA director to fight those and other low intensity wars with drones was also a direct move toward militarization of the CIA.

Ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi stated that “former military officers are generally not liked at the CIA.” Despite acting as though he was there to learn his first days at Langley, it didn’t take long for Petraeus’ egotistical arrogance to quickly start rubbing the CIA rank and file the wrong way. His response to counterterrorism was to push drones and to utilize paramilitary contractors, replacing the way historic CIA operations of clandestine services were delivered. Ex-CIA officer Giraldi states, “Petraeus was particularly resented because he was perceived as moving forward with the paramilitarization of the agency.” Operating drones took up much of the budget at the expense of job layoffs. Senior staff were being pushed out to make room for younger remote controlled drone pilots and outsourced work to non-CIA contractors. Additionally, the general’s overbearing military style of micromanagement was neither welcomed nor trusted within the CIA halls of Langley, Virginia.

Petraeus would bristle every time others voiced a differing opinion or dare disagree. The megalomaniac had become so full of himself, consumed with his own power, for decades always getting his way no questions asked, his pompous, military brand of toxic leadership grated against the CIA’s bureaucratic culture of autonomy and independence. No longer having his trusted warrior-scholars nor his longtime nurse-maid aides catering to his every narcissistic whim, Petraeus suddenly found himself as a CIA civilian in a very different cultural environment, unsettled and uncomfortable as a fish out of water, outside his old familiar elements he’d grown so accustomed to over the previous 37 years. Observers at the CIA stated that he often ate alone. Reports of those close to him claim that he had changed, growing more distant from both family and friends. His inner crowd dwindled to very few confidantes.

Waging Empire wars for most of the last decade, he and his wife were rarely even together for any length of time. Holly Petraeus lamented how little of it they did have between them. She wished that he’d spent more time with his family, hoping his military retirement would afford him that opportunity. But the intimacy she’d been longing for that they once shared was already long gone.

Because David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell shared so much in common, both as fellow West Pointers (he from the Class of 1974 directly behind me and she from the Class of 1995) and Army officers as well sharing their passion for power and politics, throw in their mutual addiction as fitness fanatics and the familiar cliché scenario of the older gent plowing and sowing his seeds with the younger, attractive, adoring female, and you have the anatomy of their adulterous affair. Their increasing amount of alone time together that began in Afghanistan would only continue stateside. Spending time with his admiring mistress who idolized him helped Petraeus adjust to the culture shock of his new life as a civilian. With his “men-opausal” change of life from general to CIA director accompanied, soothed and stimulated by their romantic trysts, they probably wished she could continue writing his biography forever. But all good things must pass, and once the book was completed and published, their increased time apart had Paula’s radar nets spreading to places like Tampa, honing in on any and all real or imagined threats, specifically another young, attractive social climber similarly enraptured by the aphrodisiac of power – Jill Kelley. And the rest is history.

Just as it was all too obvious to those in the know in Afghanistan, the Petraeus-Broadwell romance had to be supplying both intrigue and fodder for the spy world gossip mill. And since Petraeus was alienating himself from those who thrive on the “information is power” game, a growing army of the CIA rank and file increasingly viewed their new director and his reckless indiscretions as a potential risk and breach of national security, in the end an expendable liability. The CIA could have just as easily tipped off the FBI, but hey, let’s leave it at jealous, catty, threatening anonymous emails from Paula that make for such juicier soap opera plot. Sleeping with his biographer was merely the front used to oust the unwelcomed intruder encroaching and making unwanted changes on unfriendly CIA turf.

Professor, writer and astute geopolitical analyst James Petras presented a convincing argument against the notion that one lone wolf, low level FBI agent in Frederick Humphries Jr., a known Islam-aphobic rogue with pro-Zionist leanings handed over his “evidence” to bring down two of the most powerful figures in US foreign policy. CIA Director Petraeus and CENTCOM and Afghan war commander General John Allen (Annapolis Class of 1976) were Empire militarists who embraced jihadist mercenaries in proxy wars like Libya and Syria and rightwing Islamic regimes in efforts to topple mostly secular Middle Eastern governments. We also know the FBI agent presented the damaging goods to recently voted-out-of-office, pro-Zionist ex-powerful Congressman Eric Cantor, who in turn submitted the dirt to FBI Director Mueller with the express order to act on the investigation or face his own Congressional inquisition.

What we also know is Petraeus saw Israel as a geopolitical liability to Empire aims in the Middle East in dealing with Arab states since the US is merged hip deep in Israeli shit. It slipped out in a Petraeus email a couple years ago that brought all kinds of Zionist heat down on him to have to beg Max Boot from the Council on Foreign Relations to smooth over the ruffled Jewish feathers.  The exclusive power of the Israeli lobby to dictate US global policy to the extent of potentially causing the downfall of America’s most powerful military leaders plausibly falls within the realm of possibilities if not probabilities.

Though an Iraq and Afghanistan war criminal many times over during his near four decade long military career, technically Petraeus never violated any criminal laws indulging in an extramarital affair. Since his extracurricular activity with Broadwell overseas was common knowledge to those around him, it’s virtually impossible for Obama not to have known about Petraeus’ adultery prior to selecting him as CIA director in July 2011. The salacious truth would have certainly been uncovered even without a thorough, comprehensive background check. Obama may well have chosen to cast Petraeus aside into the hidden shroud of CIA secrecy as an effective ploy to keep the war hero out of the limelight long enough for Obama to get reelected. The question then becomes if he already knew about the affair, is the most secretive president in US history cunning and devious enough to purposely set Petraeus up for a later timed public exposure once Obama secured his second term in office? In one fell swoop it would be a win-win for Barack Obama in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 to eliminate their stiffest, most formidable competition…food for thought. And somebody out there knows the truth.

With Hillary providing the State Department cover in Benghazi for Petraeus’ CIA arms smuggling operation, making King David the CIA chief may have been the perfect masterful stroke to first set him up and then forever eliminate him as a Republican presidential rival. By bringing him on board to participate in their internationally illegal gun running operation from Libya through Turkey to fight against Assad in Syria, in order to protect themselves, all three – Obama, Hillary and Petraeus – would be sworn to secrecy. That’s why Petraeus has kept his mouth shut and Obama and Hillary have gone to such great lengths to silence the truth from ever coming out about Benghazi. As sinister psychopaths, their political lives and legacies depend on it. So with the damaging goods on Petraeus already secured, regardless of their covert Benghazi operation with or without the added complication of the ambassador and three other dead Americans, Obama and Hillary would have Petraeus’ power checkmated by simply exposing his affair at the optimally strategic time right after the November 2012 election as true cloak and dagger politics in twenty-first century America.

From February 2012 when the FBI allegedly began gathering Petraeus’ dirty laundry through intercepted emails, it’s extremely unlikely that the FBI director meeting weekly with Obama would either not know about the affair himself or choose to withhold that information from the president. It’s far more likely that the adultery was uncovered PRIOR to Petraeus even taking his new job. But ironically it was not his actual affair that did him in. It was far more plausible an increasing number of CIA personnel that the general was pissing off were responsible for bringing down King David. Busily outsourcing their work to privatized paramilitary contractors was the likely clincher, causing CIA with or without the CENTCOM groupie from Florida to invite rival FBI to look closer at his personal affairs.

In any event, fortunately for us, Petraeus will never become the third West Pointer to reach the White House. But as America’s most famous living general, as the shrewd opportunist he is, King David has nonetheless been cashing in on his fame, or more fittingly his infamy, earning millions with cushy creampuff university jobs and as a high profile figurehead to an elitist investment firm.

The David Petraeuses of the world are sadly the sycophantic type of leader who invariably ends up at the highest echelons of elitist power in America, be it in the military, politics, academia, legal or corporate world. And that’s because the psychopathic system that reeks of rotten moral decay is one and the same in all these intertwined and twisted worlds… a world where blind ambition means selling your soul to the devil, throwing your own mother under a bus and kissing the ass off those in power above you. Because those in power have played the game so zealously, simple law of attraction has them imbuing power through promotion to those deemed just like them. Few righteous souls with any moral integrity, character or conscience would ever enter this soulless world by choice because they’d refuse to play the game, and refusing to play the game is tantamount to suicide in their psychopathic world. It’s why I as a West Point cadet and officer clashed so much with the system and why people like Petraeus thrive so much in it.

David Petraeus may be the poster boy of our morally bankrupt system gone wrong, be it West Point, the Army or the United States of America, cranking out a methodically trained amoral, blindly ambitious, coldhearted, imperialistic, bureaucratic, ass-kissing politician-general for its leadership that systematically rises to the very pinnacle of this country’s power pyramid. And of course this case in point explains and richly illustrates more than anything else why the state of our world is so sadly and currently in such a heap of shit.

That’s why as a CFR-Bilderberg elitist, the war criminal will never see one day in jail nor ever be brought to trial as a potentially convicted felon. We all know that there exists two systems of justice in the United States, one for the privileged rich who simply buy their get-out-of-jail cards and the other system that will unjustly hang the rest of us for simply looking the wrong way or insisting on the truth be told. Though for sensationalism effect, all the mainstream press are currently reporting that Mr. Petraeus’ future hangs precariously in outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder’s hands, we the little people who know too well how the (in)justice system in America works, and therefore we already know the outcome. So the mainstream press can spare us the drama.


Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing and has a blog site at http://empireexposed. blogspot. com/. He is also a regular contributor to Global Research and a syndicated columnist at Veterans Today.