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Hullabaloo


Friday, November 09, 2012

 
Say adios to The Man Called Petraeus

by digby

I have written reams about The Man Called Petraeus over the years. He's a Village idol and right wing avatar who turns middle aged white men and the women who love them into giggling One Direction fans.

I dug this one up randomly:

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Oracle Speaks

by digby

Oooh. The excitement is palpable. The Man Called Petraeus is just about to speak! All morning, I've been watching the breathless coverage of the handsome General with all those medals on his chest walking in and standing around and then sitting down and then shuffling papers, just holding my breath wondering, "what's he going to say?" (I only wish they'd provided a countdown clock so I knew just how much longer I had to wait!)

Thankfully, we've had team coverage of his entrance and his sitting and standing with lots and lots of speculation that he's going to say that the surge is succeeding. But how could they know? TMCP is a man of unique virtue and goodness who will speak from the heart and tell the truth like his most similar predecessor General George Washington, who could not tell a lie. So I don't care what they say. I'm going to sit back and listen to what the Great Man has to say.

And then I will make a sacrifice in thanks for his leadership and Godly attributes. A goat perhaps?
Andrea Mitchell broke down like Walter Cronkite when he announced that JFK was dead as she made the announcement. "This is very sad ..." As if the anyone should care about the resignation of  the CIA chief, much less one who resigns over something as parochial as an affair. This guy has some hold on these people.

The Right is taking this especially hard, as you might imagine. They put a huge amount of stock in him for years as a symbol of all that is pure and good in America. You can imagine that the people who impeached a president over an affair are having a hard time reconciling their alleged morals with their love of  the newly revealed TMCP.

Take a look at this breathless Hot Air tick-tock from this morning:

A total bombshell, breaking right now on Fox. Catherine Herridge says the only explanation given so far is “personal reasons,” but notes that he met personally with Obama yesterday and wonders if it may have had to do with the CIA releasing that timeline on Benghazi last week. That was my gut instinct too — either this is fallout from Benghazi or there really is something personal going on.

Why would an affair mean that he couldn’t run the CIA anymore? Was he being blackmailed? Or is there more to it than this? Stand by for updates.

Update: His statement:
“Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA,” Petraeus said in a statement to CIA staff. “After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”

If you’d have asked me to list 100 possible reasons why David Petraeus would eventually quit public service, having an affair would have been number 100. If it made the list at all.

Update: NBC says deputy CIA director Mike Morrell is likely to be named interim director, and may well end up being elevated to permanent status.

Update: As for the timing, I assume Petraeus intended to do this for awhile but held off until after the election so that it wouldn’t end up influencing the vote. The media spotlight on the campaign would have only drawn more attention to his predicament and magnified the embarrassment.

Which makes me wonder: If he did fear being blackmailed, why didn’t some potential blackmailer use the campaign as leverage, threatening to push this out there before the big vote if he didn’t pay up?

Update: I’m seriously shocked. The last thing I’d expect from him is a breakdown in personal discipline.

Update: For what it’s worth, Andrea Mitchell and MSNBC are hearing that Petraeus’s resignation really doesn’t have anything to do with Benghazi.

Update: I’m already getting e-mails speculating that the administration wanted him out over Benghazi and that they were the ones who forced his hand by threatening to expose his affair if he didn’t quit. I don’t follow the logic there. If that were true, the ultimatum would have been that he could either resign and keep the affair secret to avoid disgrace or have the affair exposed and then inevitably be pressured to resign anyway. Makes no sense for him to resign before the affair’s been revealed and then admit to it in his resignation.

Besides, would the White House really dare try to strongarm David Petraeus, of all people, that way? He’s probably the most widely esteemed member of Obama’s administration. If they used sleazy tactics to try to force him out, they’d live in mortal terror of him revealing the blackmail attempt and using it to turn the public against O. Just makes no sense to me.

Update: Reader “Flip” makes a nice catch. Petraeus’s resignation letter says, “After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.” But Petraeus has actually been married for more than 38 years; the wedding was on July 6, 1974. In other words, if you read the resignation letter carefully, he’s telling you that this happened sometime between July 2011 and July 2012, not recently. Why didn’t he resign sooner? Or, on the flip side, why didn’t he try to hang on longer if he’d held on this long already?

Update: Hmmmmmmmm:
@markknollerSenate Intelligence Committee says Petraeus will not testify at next week’s closed hearing on the events in Benghazi.
Again, though — if this was actually engineered by the administration to force him out, why wouldn’t Petraeus reveal that publicly? After all of his service, he deserves better than to be blackmailed, even if he’s guilty of a major lapse in judgment.

I don't know if it will happen, but this has all the markings of a major conspiracy theory --- with the Villagers all on board to defend their man. Stay tuned. We may not have heard the last of The Man Called Petraeus.


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