Archive for David Petraeus

After politicians' sex scandals, "sometimes the smiles are so tight you can hear enamel cracking."



Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:


F. Scott Fitzgerald famously uttered “there are no second acts in American lives” but bless his heart, the besotted scribe seems blissfully unaware of the loophole large enough to taxi a C- 130 through that exists for American politicians. These people are as indomitable as a mule falling off a bridge. More oblivious than a blind tortoise humping a rock. Limber like a deboned eel.

Behavior best exemplified by their insect like ability to manufacture a sort of shame resistant exoskeleton. When scandalized, your ordinary citizen will retreat, burrowing deep into a hidey-hole and pulling the hole back in on him. Not the politician. They will hold a press conference to declare all accusations baseless, then publicly resign to spend more time with their family. Of course, nobody gets to ask the family how they feel. Sometimes the smiles are so tight you can hear enamel cracking.

Following an imprecise length of penitence, depending on the transgression, they publicly declare their self- imposed sabbaticals to be complete, and head up the comeback trail spouting enough platitudes to chagrin an evangelist. Cue the red, white and blue gospel music. All is forgiven and the practiced hypocrisy reels back out in a tail- sucking mobius loop.

Recently, a veritable gaggle of disgraced politicians have serpentined their way back into the spotlight. Surely you remember the unfortunately named Anthony Weiner, New York Congressman, caught knee deep in doo- doo for sexting six women, including a porn star. Even tried to get her to lie about the relationship, but she refused. Might be Weiner’s lasting legacy; proving porn possesses more integrity than politics.

Currently running for mayor of New York City, Weiner recently announced a 64 part plan to keep New York vibrant. And used Twitter to do it. Seriously. Dude. Do you really want to remind people of the source of your crotch shots? Verdict: unsure whether his atonement has fully ripened.

Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s return involves reclaiming his 1st District Congressional seat. The man who turned “Hike the Appalachian Trail” into a euphemism for a quick canoodle with someone not your wife, already bested a GOP primary field of 17 and faces off with Stephen Colbert’s sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in a special election May 7.

The National Republican Congressional Committee pulled all support after Sanford’s wife accused him of defying divorce settlement terms. Prompting the philanderer to take out a full- page 1,200 word ad explaining why he trespassed on his wife’s property during the Super Bowl. A candidate treatise subtitled: “Why I Trespassed.” Never good. Verdict: once again, more time in penalty box seems unavoidable.

Former CIA Director David Patraeus just nabbed a gig as visiting professor at City College of New York, presumably speaking on the dangers of having an affair with someone reasonably positioned to finagle a book deal. Verdict: commonly referred to as a soft entrance. Expect larger leap to more prestigious lily pad in not too distant future.

The results of these post- intermission silk spinning runs are undoubtedly being studied by the teeming hordes of other sideline lurkers- John Edwards, Herman Cain, Mark Foley, Gary Condit and their lugubrious ilk. Meanwhile, Larry Craig skulks, still battling that pesky restless leg syndrome. Simply seeking the solace of some anonymous airport men’s room stall.

Recipient of 7 consecutive nominations for Stand Up of the Year, Will Durst, performs his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” every Tuesday at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… or for more info.


VIDEO: FOX and Roger Ailes outed by Petraeus tape, Karl Rove or Dick Morris benched


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Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

...FOX is now on record as having become directly involved in trying to recruit a Republican candidate for president. [...]

If you listen to the audio of the conversation between FOX's McFarland and Petraeus (or read the transcript here), it becomes clear that not only does Petraeus (now the ex-CIA director due to a sex scandal) express his admiration for Roger Ailes ("I love Roger," he says), but that he is very chummy with the Darth Vader of right wing news -- and owner of FOX -- Rupert Murdoch. ... Petraeus also implies that he understood FOX attacking Obama politically, but complained that they were now being critical of Petraeus's war in Afghanistan – and the general didn't like that much. [...]

Ailes, who launched his career as a Republican propaganda maven after he met Richard Nixon when Nixon was a guest on the "Mike Douglas Show" in the '60s (which Ailes produced), has never really stopped being a political media and image strategist despite his disclaimers.  He is selling a product, and the product is not soap suds; it is the Republican brand and programming that aids it in achieving its corporate governance policies by propaganda manipulation of the electorate. [...]

In a telephone interview Monday, the wily and sharp-tongued Ailes said he did indeed ask McFarland to make the pitch to Petraeus. “It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have,” he said. “I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate.”


Now we know that the tentacles of FOX reach further than putting potential GOP presidential candidates on the network's payroll, they reach right to the top in terms of kingmaking for the Republican Party.

Please read the whole thing here.

Meanwhile, guess who got booted, at least for now? New York Magazine is reporting that Ailes is requiring producers to get permission these days before booking Karl Rove or Dick Morris.

Altogether now:


VIDEO: Rep. Barney Frank tells GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to stop using "weasel words."


Via The Daily Beast.

Rep. Barney Frank was on CNN’s State of the Union, and he didn't mince words when GOP Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison "hinted at something bad" regarding the David Petraeus scandal. She implied that the Obama administration or the FBI kept it quiet until after the election, but refused to get too specific with her accusations.


Are you suggesting there was some coverup, that the FBI are playing games? I think we ought to be explicit about this. I’m troubled by the implication of your statement and are you suggesting that something wasn’t legitimate here? Because that would trouble me.”

"' Excuse me, 'great concerns' is kind of a weasel word…"

"It seems to me frankly you’re kind of hinting at something bad, and I don’t see what that could be."

I think that if this was an investigation into David Petraeus’s bank account instead of his sex life, all of us would be paying a lot less attention to it.”


Cartoon of the Day- Poor Judgement




VIdeo- Fox's Doocy: Was Petraeus "Being Blackmailed By The White House To Toe The Company Line" On Benghazi?



VIDEO: Oops! ABC Denver mistakenly renames David Petraeus book: “All Up in My Snatch”


"All Up in My ... " what now?

AMERCIAblog has the story and much more. Good catch, John Aravosis!

Note to anyone who grabs photos from the Internets: Always double check your sources, and do your best to make sure what your posting is accurate (I've learned the hard way) and not some hoax or piece of satire.

We all do it, and when we do, it's all too cringe-worthy.


BREAKING: CIA Dir. Petraeus submits letter of resignation. He had an "extramarital affair". UPDATE: Full statement


UPDATE, via Richard Engel on MSNBC: Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell may have had access to classified information. There will be no charges filed, no investigation, per Engel, but the FBI is checking into whether the writer tried to access Petraeus emails.

UPDATE: Slate confirms that Paula Broadwell, co-author of All In: The Education of General David, was the woman with whom he had the affair.

Broadwell was on The Daily Show back in January:

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Original post:

Just now on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell read a letter of resignation from CIA Director David Petraueus citing an extra-marital affair.

Mitchell noted that he is expected to testify on the Benghazi matter.

Details coming.

UPDATE: Andrea Mitchell is reporting that he said "he has made a terrible mistake" and that the president has accepted the resignation. He says is not resigning as any kind of admission about "faults" regarding Benghazi.

UPDATE: Here's his statement, via Josh Rogin:

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.  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. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation's Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life's greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.

Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,

David H. Petraeus

Statement from the White House via the WSJ:

Statement by President Obama on the Resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus

David Petraeus has provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades. By any measure, he was one of the outstanding General officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges, and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end. As Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he has continued to serve with characteristic intellectual rigor, dedication, and patriotism. By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger.

Today, I accepted his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission, and I have the utmost confidence in Acting Director Michael Morell and the men and women of the CIA who work every day to keep our nation safe. Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time.