November 15, 2012
The head of the CIA, Gen. David Petraeus – who is credited with making the surge in Iraq work and who made major changes in the way the war in Afghanistan was being fought – was scheduled to speak before the House committee investigating the attack on the Benghazi consulate this week.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Capitol Building. The FBI released information it had been sitting on for months about a sexual affair that Petraeus had with his young, attractive biographer.
The amazing thing is that so many people don't seem to think that it is odd for the FBI just to happen to release this information about Petraeus, forcing him to resign after the election but before he is scheduled to testify. Talk about timing; the window there was tiny.
Petraeus, by the way, went to Benghazi and did his own investigation of what happened.
He had earlier said that no one in the CIA told CIA operatives to stand down and not go help the Americans at the consulate who were under attack by a vastly superior and better armed force.
The CIA operatives disobeyed orders and went to help, but the question is, whose orders did they disobey. There is only one person in the government who can overrule the head of the CIA when it comes to commanding his own men, and that would be the president.
So Petraeus first said that he didn't tell his men not to go help the consulate when it was under attack. Then he initiated his own investigation of the attack. Remember, the FBI was not allowed onsite until three weeks after the attack, and then only for a day. For three weeks the site was not secured. A CNN reporter found Ambassador Chris Stevens' journal, which said Stevens had been worried about having enough security. Later another reporter found emails that had been printed out.
So the site was safe enough for reporters and any Libyan who wandered past, but was too dangerous for the FBI with an armed security force to investigate for longer than a few hours three weeks after the attack.
It seems likely that President Barack Hussein Obama was not too excited about the head of the CIA going and doing his own investigation.
Remember, sexual scandals are no stranger to Obama's political career.
Obama was given a pass into the Senate because the child custody documents for his opponent, Jack Ryan, which had been sealed by the court, were released. The documents included testimony that Ryan liked to frequent bizarre sex clubs and had asked his wife to perform sex acts in public.
Ryan, who was considered a shoo-in to win the Senate seat, withdrew – paving the way for Obama.
It was highly unusual for the judge to decide to release the custody files against the wishes of both parents who said it would not be in the best interest of their child to make these allegations public.
Before the records were released Obama was not given much chance of winning; after they were released and Ryan withdrew it was a cakewalk.
Now Obama is caught in another bad situation. It is difficult to see how his lies about Benghazi are not going to create controversy, though Obama has successfully pushed any investigation past the election. But Obama finds himself in a tight spot, and suddenly another sex scandal emerges that vanquishes another opponent.
At first it seemed Petraeus was going to testify but his testimony would be delayed. Now they are saying that there may be no need for Petraeus to testify because the acting director has all the information.
But, of course, the acting director didn't say that no one in the CIA gave the order to stand down, and he didn't investigate Benghazi on his own as Petraeus did. He also is not a retired four-star general and genuine war hero.
, , ,
Here's one of the scary things about Obama reelection for those who are not big fans of the president. He has four years now where he can do whatever he wants.
If he wants to hunker down and work 16-hour days trying to get his policies through Congress he could do that. Nobody is quite sure what his policies are, but he could develop some and then try to work with Congress. That doesn't seem likely, but it is certainly a possibility.
Or he could decide that he is never going to be a decent golfer if he just plays once a week and start playing 18 holes a day. He and Michelle could decide to throw huge parties every Friday night and have the top bands in the world playing for parties at the White House every week.
Obama was one of the few players on his high school basketball team who couldn't dunk. Now he has access to the best trainers in the world. Maybe he will decide he is going to devote eight hours a day to working on his leaping ability so before he leaves office he will be able to dunk.
I will be surprised if this four-year term doesn't involve an around-the-world tour where he is gone from the White House for a month or months.
Obama was not a very hard worker in the Illinois state Senate, or in the US Senate, and he doesn't seem to have overworked himself in his first term. With his second term, he could decide to go back to Chicago and hang out with his old buddies.
Wait a second, he would have trouble doing that. Tony Rezko, who helped him buy his house in Chicago, is in prison, and so is former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who Obama used to brag about getting elected.
But then he is president of the United States and can pardon criminals, so maybe he could.
, , ,
Obama is going to be negotiating with the Republicans to try and avoid the financial cliff, but early reports indicate he is going to negotiate the same way he has in the past.
Those who are supposed to know say that Obama plans to tell the Republicans what he wants and he expects them to agree.
The Republicans cannot agree to a tax increase. They have repeatedly said they would not, and they know from recent elections that it will be political suicide for most of them to agree to raise taxes.
Obama was reelected so there is no reason for him to change his stripes, but what he doesn't seem to realize is that every single member of the House Republican leadership was also just elected. They each have as much a mandate in their districts as he does in the country.
, , ,
Obama's reelection was brutally disappointing, but the truth is that the Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. Republican voter turnout was dismal. Mitt Romney won the independents by 5 points, which in most cases would mean that Romney would win. But the voter turnout among Republicans was so low compared to Democrats that Romney still lost.
Romney did lose, but switch over a couple hundred thousand votes in key states and you have a whole different ball game. But it's too late to switch those votes.
It turns out what his primary opponents kept saying about Romney was true. He couldn't energize the base and get mainstream Republicans out to vote for him. Of course, all last year he had fellow Republicans painting him as an uncaring rich guy, and once he won the Republican nomination that job was passed over to Democrats and you had many more months of the same....continued on page 2