Is it any wonder given what has taken place over the last four years that the Obama administration is closing out 2012 mired in massive scandals?
First, there is Benghazi-gate, where four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, were murdered by terrorists at the U.S. Consulate in Libya. The Obama administration knew it was a terrorist attack, yet it seems to have lied to the American people repeatedly, falsely blaming the incident on an Internet video.
I have little doubt that the cover-up was meant to help protect the president’s re-election chances. Mission accomplished there. Today (thanks largely to a compliant press) we know precious little about why the Obama administration refused to provide security on 9/11 in Benghazi and elsewhere, why they told Navy SEALs to stand down and not assist, or who is responsible for the whole sordid mess, including the scheme to deceive the American people. Obama keeps denying while JW investigates.
And now, another new (and related) scandal has emerged, ensnaring the nation’s top spy, retired four-star General David Petraeus. General Petraeus was forced to resign after news leaked of his long-term extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, a writer and military analyst who penned a Petraeus biography.
This scandal, which is mushrooming by the minute, also ensnared the top commander in Afghanistan, four-star General John Allen. General Allen reportedly exchanged inappropriate emails with Jill Kelley, the woman whose complaint to the FBI about harassing emails eventually led to the FBI’s uncovering of the Petraeus affair.
Now, I know it’s tempting to get caught up in the salacious nature of the details. But given the sensitive nature of Petraeus’ position, and the all-too-convenient timing of the revelation, coming both after the election and just days before Petraeus was scheduled to testify on Benghazi, this scandal is about much more than sexual shenanigans.
Investigators have already searched and removed files from Broadwell’s home. And the press has focused on a speech Broadwell gave at the University of Denver last month, during which she referenced a secret prison in Libya, raising concerns she had access to classified information. “I had access to everything, it was my experience not to leak it, not to violate my mentor, if you will,” Broadwell said.
Reports also indicate that the emails turned over to the FBI from Jill Kelley include information about the CIA director’s movements, information not available to the public for obvious reasons.
Nonetheless, President Obama said in a press conference on Wednesday that he has “no evidence” classified information was leaked to Broadwell. This is hardly reassuring considering the numerous leaks flowing from the federal government on his watch.
In my experience, public officials caught in sex scandals usually have abused their public office in some way to advance their personal relationships.
Regarding the timing of the announcement of Petraeus’ forced resignation, evidently Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the affair in late summer, but his Department of Justice only got around to telling Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Election Day. Clapper then reportedly told the president.
What took so long? Is it believable that Eric Holder, the most unethical and politically driven attorney general in a generation, would withhold news of an investigation of the CIA director from the White House for four months, until the very night of the election?
Charles Krauthammer has a theory that he expressed on Fox News. Krauthammer believes the Obama administration may have led Petraeus to believe the scandal could be kept quiet and that he might even keep his job in exchange for toeing the administration line on Benghazi when he was called before Congress to testify in the matter on September 13, 2012.
General Petraeus had a second chance to testify to Congress, albeit behind closed doors. While many feared that the Petraeus resignation would take his testimony off of the table, the former CIA director did testify. As if to remind General Petraeus of the risks of truth telling, the CIA announced a new inquiry into Petraeus’ conduct.
As I say, this scandal seems to run much deeper than a relationship between Petraeus and Broadwell. The whole thing is a mess and it shows, at a minimum, that Obama and his appointees are incapable of running a government that is ethical and trustworthy. At this point, we shouldn’t trust any Obama agency to “investigate” anything. This crisis of confidence is roiling Washington and is bound to launch a thousand congressional hearings that will shed more heat than light.