1. The case of David Petraeus
Today's Nederlog is about the
case of David Petraeus. Also, I have replaced the P.S. on my eyes by a
table with links to material about ME/CFS
1. The case of David Petraeus
I don't usually write about military men or matters, but
this is not so much about the military as it is about incompetence and
corruption in very high places.
To start with, here is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia
article on the man, copied and pasted today
as high as one can get in the U.S. - at least in public eyes.
(Personally, I think human civilization is about human individuals and
their chances, and about art and science, but that is a minority view I
won't insist on, here and now.)
David Howell Petraeus
(pronunciation: /pɨˈtreɪ.əs/; born November 7,
1952) is a retired American military officer and
public official. He served as Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011,
until his resignation on
November 9, 2012.Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA,
Petraeus was a highly decorated four-star general, serving over 37 years in
the United States Army. His last
assignments in the Army were as commander of the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan
(USFOR-A) from July 4, 2010, to July 18, 2011. His other four-star assignments include serving as the
10th Commander, U.S. Central Command
(USCENTCOM) from October 13, 2008, to June 30, 2010, and as Commanding
Force - Iraq (MNF-I) from February 10, 2007, to September 16, 2008.
As commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.
His case is that he fell deeply, and he brought it about himself, and
that it illustrates, by implication, quite a lot about those who rise
to positions of eminence in the US and Europe.
I quote again from the same article:
I do hope these quotations make
my point that this is about corruption and incompetence
in very high places:
Click image to go to original (*)
The corruption should be obvious from the fact that he
endangered US national security, something for which supposedly lesser
men, like Bradley
Manning, have been severely maltreated for by men acting under
Petraeus's command, while the incompetence should be obvious from the fact that he and his lady love cum biographer used a gmail
account - or, if they didn't, could be traced easily anyway, because "Petraeus and Broadwell apparently used a trick, known
to terrorists and teenagers alike, to conceal their email traffic, one
of the law enforcement officials said."
If teenagers use
the trick, almost anyone could have found out, and could have
blackmailed the randy four star general, which could have endangered
What this case shows, in the first place, is that one can rise very
high in the military, and indeed in political institutions, while being
fundamentally corrupt and incompetent.
In fact, that was my main motivation to be interested in the Petraeus
case, also because I think this is far more common than is widely
believed. As it happens, I think myself that people who have real
talent are rarely in the military or in political or bureaucratic
("civil servant") functions, precisely because these functions tend to
be extremely boring - for really talented people, to be sure.
But there is a lot more that is interesting about this case, and I
provide just a list of points, based on the above quotations:
Having a liking for Ionesco, Dürrenmatt,
and the Theatre
of the Absurd, I also like to quote the following partial sum up of
- First quoted paragraph
- How is it possible that a
man as flawed - morally and intellectually, as I explained - as is
David Petraeus could rise so very high?
- Second quoted paragraph
- "Petraeus began an affair with Paula Broadwell, principal author of his
biography": That sounds very
stupid - and the woman is around 40, and clearly is neither a great
beauty nor a great wit.
- "his biography All In: The
Education of General David Petraeus": After the fact this seems an allusion (as Jon
Stewart also seems to have recognized): "All In" what? And "Education"
in which subject?
- "when he was no longer an active duty military officer": That hardly lessens the danger of him being
blackmailed - the more so, as by then he was director of the CIA.
- "Broadwell had been sending harassing emails to a
longstanding family friend of the Petraeuses, Jill
Kelley": Lovely woman is
Ms. Broadwell (who is also married)! Ms. Kelley, also married, is said
to have "a platonic relation" with Petraeus, and also a possibly not so
platonic relation with another U.S. active general, Petraeus's
- "messages were left in a draft folder which were
then read when the other person logged into the same account": While both knew the US secret services are and were
tracing and storing all emails they can get?!
- "Although US Attorney General Eric
Holder was aware early on that the FBI had discovered an affair":
What prevented him telling his Commander in Chief the same day?! Is
president Obama perhaps a mere sock puppet? Or regarded and treated as
such by his nominal inferiors?
- "it was not until November 6, 2012, that Petraeus'
nominal superior, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, was advised": And what prevented that Petraeus' superior was not
told much sooner?
being briefed on November 8, President Obama summoned Petraeus to the
White House": As said,
president Obama - Commander in Chief! - apparently seems to be mostly
irrelevant in the eyes of his nominal inferiors. He seems not to have
been notified for months.
- "Obama accepted the resignation on November 9": So it took him a day to make up his mind?
Anyway...if you want to know
more about this great servant and protector of humanity, with all of
the above distinctions, don't miss the
image to go to original (*)
There I found about the only bit
that did not seem thoroughly and frighteningly absurd
in this whole
Petraeus and his
family are devastated over the affair, especially Mrs. Petraeus, who
"is not exactly pleased right now," after 38 years of marriage, said
Steve Boylan, a friend and former Petraeus spokesman who spoke to him
over the weekend.
She has every right to be.
"Furious would be an
understatement," Boylan told ABC's "Good Morning America."
And then you should realize that her husband must be the best and the
brightest of the best and the brightest that ruled the US military and
secret service since 9/11/2001!
You - if you are a European or American citizen - can
sleep quietly tonight!
David Petraeus or his likes - not as good as he is, or they would or
been where he was, or so his former superior officers thought, but (or
so one may hope) possibly almost as good, and almost as
noble, as honest, as humanitarian,
as brave, and as distinguished as David Petraeus is - are looking after
your and my safety
and the interests of The Free West, and of the citizens of the home of
A Knight Grand Cross with Swords
of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)! The Bearer of the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order
of the Date Palm! Distinguished with the Romanian Chief of Defense
Honor Emblem! A man with the Army Superior
Unit Award! Honored with the Cross
of Merit of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, 1st Grade!
Also the proud bearer of the Order
of National Security
Merit, Tong-il Security Medal (Korea), no less! Also with the Defense Superior Service Medal
(with Oak Leaf Cluster)!
How did I put it? O, yes:
(*) On Nov 19, 2012 I have replaced the
quotations from Wikipedia by images, that when clicked move one's
browser to the originals. My reason is to avoid having the many links
in the Wikipedia quotations also on my site.
(that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: