As Petraeus-gate unfolds, the plot thickens and widens. Who did what and when and who knew what and when will become the first order of political business following the November 6 elections. How history repeats itself in the United States! Assuredly, there are now no White House tape recorders available to deliver a semi-varnished truth as to what actually transpired. That does not necessarily imply that the ghost of Tricky Dick is entirely absent from the political market-place.
1. David Petraeus has a clear interest in establishing a very specific time-line with respect to his adulterous affair with Paula Broadwell. So the fact that he is pushing this time-line does not necessarily imply that he is telling the unvarnished truth. When did the affair begin?
According to Petraeus, the affair began after he joined the CIA in September 2011. This boundary line is truly significant. For, if the affair began during those six lengthy ’embedded’ trips by Paula Broadwell to Petraeus’s camp in Afghanistan while he led the counter-insurgency, General Petraeus is in big trouble.
First, his adultery as a military officer would constitute a breach of the U.S. criminal military code, exposing him to a potential court martial and one year in military detention. Second, the fact that he must have lied to the FBI during questioning prior to his nomination to the CIA Directorship becomes a matter for review. I do not know whether such questioning takes place under oath. If it does, then a lying Petraeus would be exposed to perjury proceedings.
In any event, Davoid Petraeus should be summoned before a Congressional committee and required to answer this question under oath. If he pleads the Fifth, then we know the truth. If he lies under oath, then he confronts the real risk of a perjury indictmentand all that might conceivably follow.
2. An unnamed FBI agent should now be named. When Jill Kelley received threatening email messages, she first turned to a friend who is an FBI agent. That agent referred her complaint to a cyber crimes unit, thus opening the investigation that would snare the Director of the CIA.
The FBI agent in question, allegedly became obsessed with the slowness of the investigation, suspicious perhaps of an FBI cover-up. In any event, his supervisors prohibited the agent from any further role in the investigation. It now is known that this same agent had sent shirtless photographs of himself to Jill Kelley well before the email investigation began. A public inquiry should explore the relationship between this FBI agent and the woman whom he was trying to protect. It should also examine why the agent was shut out from the investigation and on whose orders.
3. What is General John R. Allen’s role in the unfolding plot? Four-star Marine General John Allen is now ensnared in the investigation. The FBI investigation has recovered some 20,000 to 30,000 ‘potentially inappropriate’ e-mails between Allen and Jill Kerrey. Allen succeeded Petraeus as the top allied commander in Afghanistan in July 2011. Is there something in the Afghanistan waters that leads Godless Generals to breach the Seventh Commandment?
4. Was an FBI cover-up subsequently exposed by the unnamed FBI whistle-blower? Some of Petraeus’s closest advisers now claim that Petraeus intended to remain as Director of the CIA as long as the affair remained secret. This explains the long-lag between Summer of 2012, when the FBI became aware of the affair and November 8, when the CIA Director eventually resigned. Attorney General, Eric Holder almost certainly was informed about the affair by the FBI in the late summer of 2012. And he is close to President Obama.
At some point the shirtless Tampa FBI agent, frustrated by the absence of any foreseeable FBI action, reached out to Representative Dave Reichert (Republican: Washington). Reichert, seriously worried about a potential breach of national security, passed the information along to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Republican: Virginia). Cantor relayed the information to FBI Director, Robert Mueller, a widely revered strait-arrow.
Shortly afterwards, the game was up for Petraeus.
5. However, mischief may still be afoot, Watson. One enormous question still must be answered: What did President Barack Obama know about all this, and when? That, my dear doctor, is the $64,000 question!