Sunday, November 11, 2012

Editorial: More bad judgment from Barry

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of  the Senate Intelligence Committee, appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace today.


Among the things discussed was the resignation of David Petraeus, CIA Director, over an affair. 

WALLACE: Let's talk about the FBI. By law, they are supposed to inform your committee of any development of significance to the intelligence community. This clearly passed that threshold.
Is it true that you received no advance word of this? And are you going to investigate the FBI's decision not to tell you about an investigation that has been going on for at least weeks?

FEINSTEIN: The answer is yes. And yes. We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt.
The way I found out, I came back to Washington, Thursday night, Friday morning, the director told me there were a number of calls from press about this. I called David Petraeus. And as a matter of fact I had had an appointment with him, at 3:00 that afternoon, and, that was canceled.
And, so, then, when these questions came up, I obviously took the action myself, to try to find out and then, informed my vice chairman, and I talked to the director twice. This is very hard stuff.

WALLACE: And are you going to investigate why the FBI didn't notify you before?

FEINSTEIN: Yes, absolutely. I mean, this is something they -- that could have had an effect on national security. I think we should have been told. There is a way to do it. And that is, just to inform the chair and the vice chairman of both committees, to -- this has happened before, not with precise, same things, but, none of the four of us have ever breached that confidentiality.

 Somehow the press knew before the FBI notified the Senate Intelligence Committee Chair?  How does that happen?

If it's important enough, a risk of compromising national security, for Petraeus to resign, then the Intelligence Committee should have been informed.

Like Ruth, we're scratching our heads over the "Sex? Really just sex?" aspect of it.

But we're also aware that Petraeus was made CIA Director by US President Barack Obama.  April 24, 2011, Barack declared:

     I’m also very pleased that Leon [Panetta]’s work at the CIA will be carried on by one of our leading strategic thinkers and one of the finest military officers of our time, General David Petraeus.  This is the second time in a year that I’ve asked General Petraeus to take on a demanding assignment.  And I know this one carries a special sacrifice for him and his wife Holly.  After nearly 40 years in uniform, including leading American and coalition forces in some of the most challenging military missions since 9/11, David Petraeus will retire from the Army that he loves to become the next CIA director, effective early September, pending Senate confirmation.
      As a lifelong consumer of intelligence, he knows that intelligence must be timely, accurate, and acted upon quickly.  He understands that staying a step ahead of nimble adversaries requires sharing and coordinating information, including with my director of national intelligence, Jim Clapper.
      And even as he and the CIA confront a full range of threats, David’s extraordinary knowledge of the Middle East and Afghanistan uniquely positions him to lead the agency in its effort to defeat al Qaeda.
      In short, just as General Petraeus changed the way that our military fights and wins wars in the 21st century, I have no doubt that Director Petraeus will guide our intelligence professionals as they continue to adapt and innovate in an ever changing world.

 In September, Petraeus assumed leadership of the CIA.  If Petraeus was a security risk, then that should have been noted during the nomination.

You don't have to dig too deep, for example, to have heard the long rumors about Petraeus's 'fun' in Iraq with civilian, non-Iraqi women.

If an affair can compromise someone on national security matters, Petraeus should never have been nominated.

Equally true, it's cute the way this resignation comes down three days after the election, three days after Barack's national security re-election campaign ended.

And, as Kimberly Wilder (On the Wilder Side) notes, a week before he was to testify to Congress:

David Petreaus was supposed to testify to a Congressional Committee about the CIA response in the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya and the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The genuine topics of concern are the issues that Petreaus may have feared would be raised at the upcoming Congressional hearing: Where was the CIA before the incident? Why did the CIA respond when they did? Whey did they not respond faster? There were reports that the incident may have been a demonstration…What were the CIA’s thoughts or plans regarding a potential demonstration? What is the information flow between the CIA and the Obama administration? What is the information flow between the CIA and Congress (And, does that flow allow for enough Congressional oversight)? What was the relationship between the US, the CIA, and Muammar Gaddafi? In what various ways did the US support for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi affect the people who killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens [and Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty]?
Please try to think about these important topics before Thursday. And, think of ways that Congress and the American people can force Petreaus to testify anyway. (Maybe they need a subpoena, now that he is a civilian?)

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