DID PETRAEUS BETRAY US? AND ARE WE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HIM?
The David Petraeus clown car extravaganza that's entertaining the country these days serves the useful purpose of distracting people from taking a hard look at the nature of the national security state we've become. Comically hoist by his own petard, former General Petraeus is arguably just another of our war criminals who will never be held to account.
Some say the FBI never should have been looking at his email in the first place. Glenn Greenwald articulated this argument clearly as clearly as anyone on DemocracyNOW, where he complained that:
"the FBI, based on really no evidence of any actual crime, engaged in this massive surveillance effort of, first, obtaining all kinds of intimate and private information about two women, one of whom complained, one of whom was the target of the complaint, Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley; learned the locations and email accounts of Paula Broadwell, who was the subject of this fairly innocuous complaint; read through all of her emails; learned the identity of her anonymous lover, David Petraeus; likely read--certainly read through all of her emails, probably read through his; and then, in the process, as well, learned about an affair between the complainant, Jill Kelley--or not an affair, but inappropriate communications, as they're calling it, and the four-star general in Afghanistan, General Allen; and then obtained 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails between them, as well.
This mangles the seminal moment in this sequence of event, which was when Jill Kelley complained to her FBI friend. At that moment, apparently, all that was known was that there were harassing, anonymous emails to Kelley, referencing the Director of the CIA, whom she knew, and referencing information about the CIA director that was supposedly confidential. At that seminal moment, the sketchy evidence was that someone had breached CIA security, and maybe it was trivial or even a false impression, but no professional FBI agent could responsibly let that go.
When the CIA Director Seems Compromised"
As we know now, the FBI agent didn't responsibly follow it up, either, and all sorts of other people behaved ridiculously as well, but the core possibility of a threat to the CIA had to be pursued, and it was. What apparently distracted Greenwald from this clear and compelling genesis of the investigation is his over-riding concern with the abuses of the American surveillance state. But that is a different issue, as well as a more important one.
Another blurring factor in the unfolding farce is the lingering image of Saint Petraeus that Paula Broadwell among others buffed so well: