What an intrigue, what a scandal, the Petraeus affair. The twists and turns read like the screenplay for a day-time soap opera. Presumably, we are all transfixed by all the sordid sexual components of the story and will ignore the main points. The Army now wants assurance that Petraeus did not have extramarital sex before he retired from the military – they frown upon such sexual peccadilloes and might have to bring charges against him. [http://gma.yahoo.com/petraeus-affair-military-prosecute-adulterers-103804132.html] And they are now also looking into the sex lives of other top military men, just in case anyone else had consensual sex with an adult outside his marital bed. [http://abcnews.go.com/WNN/video/gen-john-allen-investigated-connection-petraeus-emails-17705525]
Oh, please. This is the same military that, in response to the allegations of the rapes of young Japanese women by our brave boys stationed in Okinawa, Japan (rapes which have occurred regularly over decades) imposes a curfew on the military base. That’s some tough action. [http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/world/asia/curfew-imposed-on-american-troops-in-japan.html] This is the same military reluctant to look into the rapes and sexual assaults committed by our servicemen against other American servicemen and women, an estimated 19,000 of which took place in 2010 alone. [http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/07/opinion/speier-military-rape/index.html]
But they won’t tolerate a guy who cheats on his wife with a willing adult paramour.
Lots of questions here – why was the FBI digging through the emails of the head of the CIA? Just because some well-heeled military hanger-on complained about “harassing emails”? Really? That was enough to get the FBI involved rather than a couple of local cops? (It furthermore appears that the “harassment” was more along the lines of 5th-grade girls writing nasty notes to one another; “Stay away from my man”, etc. Hardly death threats or the like.) Why did the FBI continue to read his emails even after it became apparent that they were looking into Petraeus’ personal email account? And continued to, long after it was obvious that no military secrets had been exchanged between the two. And they never told the President? But they, or an FBI whistle blower, took the bull by the horns and told a Republican Congressman about it, but neither the FBI nor this Congressman went to Obama or his attorney general. Sounds more like a CIA/FBI turf war than anyone actually concerned with “state security”. Now the FBI, in a belated attempt to make their investigation look like it actually had something to do with national security, has gone to the ridiculous and over-the-top lengths of searching the house of the “other woman”. [http://news.yahoo.com/fbi-agents-search-house-petraeus-former-mistress-035806862.html]
Is it really possible that Obama had no idea that this was coming? Or perhaps he knew and lied about the whole reason for the Benghazi attack from the start and was protecting the CIA – but I’ll get to that in a moment. Certainly it is patently obvious that the attack had nothing to do with an anti-Muslim film, which doesn’t even seem to exist in any form but a short advertising trailer. It would be interesting to know the truth about what and when Obama knew, however. When John Kennedy was President, trying to rein in the CIA got him assassinated. It is awful to think that we might now have a president and a Congress in collusion with the CIA’s covert and illegal operations. Oh, and here’s another question: even if it turned out that Obama knew before the election, would the Republicans impeach him? (That would be pretty dumb, considering he is poised to give them all their budget items on a silver platter, wreck social security and medicare so as to spare the wealthy, not to mention the fact that he paid for a pass up front by refusing to consider charges against Bush as soon as he took office himself. But “smart” is no longer what Congress is known for.)
Okay, that’s enough of that. I can’t stand it any more.
The whole thing is bizarre, unless you consider the real reason that Petraeus had to fall on his sword: they did not want him to testify on the Benghazi attack in which Ambassador Stevens was killed. Guess we’ll never know much about “Ambassador” Stevens’ little CIA/State Dept front-group in Libya and Syria now. And that is the main story here – they did not want Petraeus to testify. I pointed out before how strange that is in itself: does having an affair so sully a man’s mind that he can no longer recall with accuracy the events, over which he had direct knowledge and purview, of a couple of months ago? It turns out that his mistress, if that is what she was to him, talked to a group of people about the Benghazi attack recently; according to Broadwell, the attack happened because the CIA was involved in imprisoning some members of the Libyan militia.
The mistress of former CIA Director David Petraeus publicly discussed sensitive and previously unknown details about the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
In an Oct. 26 alumni symposium at the University of Denver, Paula Broadwell said that the CIA annex at the Benghazi consulate came under assault on Sept. 11 because it had earlier “taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. It’s still being vetted.” (That information was not part of the CIA’s timeline of the Benghazi assault, though Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin did mention it on air. Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reports that the CIA has denied any such detention.) “I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this,” Broadwell prefaced her remarks by saying.
It was a surprising disclosure, given the deep classification of the CIA’s detention policies — and the enormous political stakes surrounding the Benghazi assault. But in many ways, it was only natural for Broadwell, given her evolution from Petraeus protegee to biographer to paramour and unofficial spokesperson.[…]
Other sources claim that it was not just Libyans being held by the CIA in Benghazi. [http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/12/petraeus-mistress-may-have-revealed-classified-information-at-denver-speech/]
Of course, the CIA has dismissed these stories, because they technically aren’t allowed to do such things any more. Which means you are supposed to believe they aren’t. [http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/12/paula-broadwell-claims-about-benghazi-attack-dismissed-as-baseless-by-cia/]
Who else knows what was going on in Benghazi? Stevens would, but he is, interestingly and irrevocably, dead. Hillary Clinton should, as Stevens was one of her employees, she is the head of the State Dept., and she has even said that she “takes responsibility”. However, it turns out that Hillary won’t testify regarding Benghazi either. She’s going to be in Australia drumming up more money for the military pivot-to-Asia (because, yeah, that’s the primary job of the American diplomat).
She will attend the annual Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations in Perth before travelling to Adelaide.
Ms Clinton will be accompanied by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for the AUSMIN talks, to be held on Wednesday.
Although long expected, the visit comes just after the US presidential election and amid speculation that neither Ms Clinton or Mr Panetta will seek a second term of the Obama administration.
AUSMIN is the highest level forum for Australia and US consultation on foreign policy, defence and strategic issues. On the Australian side will be Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Foreign Minister Bob Carr.
Ms Clinton arrives in Perth on Sunday.
She will meet Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Senator Carr, and visit the new United States and Asia Centre.
After AUSMIN Ms Clinton will travel to Adelaide to meet Australian business leaders and visit Techport Australia, the nation’s largest and most advanced shipbuilding facility and home of the navy’s air warfare destroyer project.[…]
It seems that no-one in Congress thought she would have anything of interest to say during the main hearings, as she was not even asked to testify there, and although she was asked to be present during another hearing in front of the House Foreign Affairs Comm. on the same topic, she just told Congress to stuff it. She’ll be goddamned if she has to testify to those pikers about the lack of security for one of her ambassadors. No actual realio-trulio Libyans will testify either, despite the fact that the lack of security keeps being blamed on the Libyans (rather than the British mercenary group which was hired for the purpose).
From Friday’s State Dept. press briefing:
MS. NULAND: Matt, they’ve asked for closed hearings, closed briefings; that’s what we’re complying with.
QUESTION: The Secretary won’t appear before any of these committees?
MS. NULAND: The Secretary has not been asked to appear. They’ve asked for the individuals that are coming.
QUESTION: Would she be willing to fly back from Australia to appear?
MS. NULAND: Again, she has not been asked to appear. She was asked to appear at House Foreign Affairs next week, and we have written back to the Chairman to say that she’ll be on travel next week.
QUESTION: Are you aware that any Libyans will be called to the hearings to be talked to?
MS. NULAND: That sounds like a question for the Hill. I’m not aware of any panels other than the government panels.
QUESTION: But you have not been asked to facilitate any visas or anything like this for –
MS. NULAND: To my knowledge, no.
QUESTION: — maybe some Libyan officials?
MS. NULAND: No.[…]
So the three people who might know the truth about CIA operations in Libya have, for one reason or another, had the burden of having to testify on the matter lifted from their shoulders. Stevens may have paid the ultimate price just to keep this little black ops a secret.
As a side note, this article appeared yesterday, regarding Australia’s intention to privatize pretty much everything in the country. At first glance, it may appear to be completely unrelated, but I suspect it is relevant in the larger scheme of things. Everywhere one of the Clintons travels around the globe, privatization follows as surely as flame follows the path of an arsonist. I do not find this announcement to be coincidence at all. I also suspect we are supposed to be so enthralled by Petraeus’ personal life that we will ignore the plans of the wealthy oligarchy coming to fruition all over the planet.
Infrastructure Australia calls for privatisation of public assets.
By James Cogan
12 November 2012
A report issued last month by Infrastructure Australia, a statutory body established in 2008 to give policy advice to the federal government, demanded the sell-off of a vast swathe of publicly-owned infrastructure assets. These assets have an estimated value of between $195 and $219 billion, and could be sold on the stock market for between $116 and $140 billion. Their privatisation would provide a bonanza for the major banks and corporate investors, while triggering substantial job cuts and higher costs of living for working people.
Since the 1980s, under the pressures of financial deregulation and ever more closely integrated globalised production methods, Labor and Coalition governments at both the federal and state level have sold off numerous public assets. The list includes banks, telecommunication providers, airlines, airports, ports, railways and bus companies. The major freeways in most cities were constructed as partnerships with private corporations, and continue to operate as toll-roads.
Infrastructure Australia, however, identified four “asset classes” where there is still substantial public ownership: energy, water, transport and plantation forestry. These areas, the report stressed, had already been corporatised and restructured along “free market” and “user pays” lines, and therefore have the potential to generate attractive profits for private investors. With governments “facing increasing pressure on their budgets” and under pressure to “protect their financial position and credit rating and minimise borrowing costs”, the report stated that privatisations could improve their fiscal position.
The federal Labor government has signalled its agreement with the agenda outlined by Infrastructure Australia. In upcoming meetings with his state counterparts, Treasurer Wayne Swan is expected to push for wholesale privatisation by offering to transfer to the states all the corporate tax that will be collected from any publicly-owned companies sold off—partially compensating them for the loss of annual dividend payments. […]