Petraeus: The Long Knives of November

Petraeus: The Long Knives of November:

Let’s end by putting ourselves in the ill-fitting shoes of General David Petraeus. Although he certainly earned some of his stars for valor at press manipulation and self-flattery, he also provided the following services to the Bush and Obama administrations: he served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan; he devised a cover strategy for Iraqi withdrawal that saw President Obama through his reelection campaign; in Afghanistan he kept the Taliban out of Kabul long enough to suggest that, during the voting, the administration could talk up peace with honor; as CIA director, he presumably had a hand in finding bin Laden and bringing his rubout to a campaign spot near you; and in the Benghazi firestorm, he lent his considerable credibility to the wobbly administration cover story that the attack was spontaneous and unavoidable—all in the service of reelection politics.

Despite these efforts for the Obama team, General Petraeus now gets to look at pictures of his mistress on the front page of the New York Times; to hear that having a girlfriend made him “vulnerable to blackmail,” and to see his reputation dragged through the mud of the Tidal Basin, as though he had jumped in with Congressman Wilbur Mills and the Argentine Firecracker. Nor, in the fashion of Soviet show trials, does he ever get to respond to any of the allegations before they are blithely published or aired on television. “From Cy Young to sayonara,” as Graig Nettles said of similar politics on the New York Yankees.

If that isn’t enough gall to swallow in one sitting, General Petraeus also gets to time his public disgrace so that it happens in the same week that President Obama is celebrated on front pages around the world for his election triumph, his historic mandate, his charming family, his professional team, his brilliant handling of Iraq and Afghanistan, his killing of bin Laden, and his leadership in the Arab Spring.


Source: NYTimes eXaminer

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