An Admiral and Two Generals
Well, I have to hand it to the Obama administration. Obama reelected on Tuesday, they are already getting a start on the scandals that tend to plague most second term Presidents. The resignation of CIA Director, retired General David Petraeus, over an alleged affair, a week before he was to testify before a Senate committee on Benghazi, brings to three the number of high-ranking officers connected with Benghazi, or its aftermath, who have seen their careers abruptly cut short.
Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette was relieved of his command of the Stennis strike group in the Mediterranean in late October. Such a removal is unprecedented. The Navy denies that the removal was in regard to Benghazi, and indeed the Stennis was in the Pacific on 9/11/12. However the Navy has issued a fairly cryptic statement that the removal was for “inappropriate leadership judgment” during the deployment of the Stennis to the Middle East and has stressed that this does not involve any improper personal conduct by the Admiral. All very mysterious.
The Combatant Commander of Africa Command on 9/11/12, General Carter F. Ham abruptly retired on October 18. Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz reported that in an interview he had with General Ham in Libya that the General told him that in regard to the Benghazi attach he had never been asked to provide military assistance. The internet is ablaze with rumors that General Ham attempted to send assistance to Benghazi during the attack and was told to stand down. Thus far the General has remained mum.
In regard to General Petraeus there are many questions. Allegedly the affair came to light months ago when the FBI caught his alleged paramour attempting to access his e-mails. One might be curious as to why the FBI was involved in this and the answer is quite simple. The FBI and the CIA have been at war with each other since the creation of the CIA’s predecessor the OSS in World War II and routinely keep track of the higher-ups in each organization. (Yeah, I know: our tax dollars at work.) Apparently the affair has been known for at least several months, and I find it hard to believe that both the CIA and the FBI did not know of the affair before Petraeus was onfirmed as CIA Director, the background checks for such a position being extremely comprehensive. This all raises the question as to why the affair triggers a resignation now. His wife Holly works for the White House and unless she was in the dark on the affair, and considering how gossipy the military community tends to be I find that hard to believe, presumably the affair was known at the White House.
Petraeus is up to his arm pits in Benghazi, having denied that it was the CIA that failed to provide military assistance to the two brave Seals, Ty Woods and Greg Doherty, who died heroically leading the defense at Benghazi. Now that he is retired, his deputy Mike Morell will testify next week. Eventually I assume Petraeus will also testify, he has indicated post resignation that he is eager to testify, but now the story in much of the Mainstream Media will be pertaining to his affair rather than to his testimony.
Perhaps it is merely my naturally suspicious attorney mind, but all of this stinks to high heaven as far as I am concerned. I am reminded of the old military maxim: Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
Update: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reminds us that the resignation of Petraeus was not the only development in the Benghazi story yesterday:
New Pentagon details show that the first U.S. military unit arrived in Libya more than 15 hours after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was over, and four Americans, including the ambassador, were dead.
A Defense Department timeline obtained by The Associated Press underscores how far the military response lagged behind the Sept. 11 attack, due largely to the long distances the commando teams had to travel to get to Libya.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his top military adviser were notified of the attack about 50 minutes after it began and were about to head into a previously scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama. The meeting quickly turned into a discussion of potential responses to the unfolding situation in Benghazi, where militants had surrounded the consulate and set it on fire. The first wave of the attack at the consulate lasted less than two hours. …
But there have been persistent questions about whether the Pentagon should have moved more rapidly to get troops into Libya or had units closer to the area as the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America approached. In particular, there was at least a 19-hour gap between the time when Panetta first ordered military units to prepare to deploy – between midnight and 2 a.m. local time in Tripoli – and the time a Marine anti-terrorism team landed in Tripoli, which was just before 9 p.m.