Benghazi: Drip, Drip, Drip

The truth about the Benghazi debacle keeps coming out drip by drip:

1.  Paula Knows-At the beginning of the post we see the alleged mistress of David Petraeus telling an audience at a symposium in late October this bombshell:

 “A group of Delta Force operators are very…the most talented guys we have in the military. They could have come and reinforced the consulate and CIA annex that were under attack,” said Ms. Broadwell. “Now I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this, but the CIA annex had actually had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to get these prisoners back. It’s still being vetted.”

This is the first I have heard about this.  Was Petraeus sharing highly classified information with his paramour?

2.  Video Schmideo-The above detail from the mouth of Broadwell makes nonsense of the administration claim that the Mohammed video caused this.  That was a lie and the Administration knew it was a lie.

3.  Libyan Prisoners-Libyan prisoners?  What sort of involvement is the administration getting us into in Libya?  The CIA has denied this, but right now I will take the word of the alleged mistress of the former CIA Director over that of the CIA flack who issued the denial.

4.  Outraged G-Men-FBI agents investigating Petraeus and his mistress were apparently outraged that the White House was keeping Petraeus, a major security leak, on as CIA Director until after the election out of political considerations.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R. Va.) talked to an FBI whistleblower about this in late October.

5.  Fatal Attraction-Allegedly the FBI got involved with this mess when Paula Broadwell (Doesn’t that last name, in context, seem like something out of Mad magazine?)  sent threatening e-mails to another woman she suspected of also being a mistress of Petraeus.  If this story is true, we have the Administration keeping on for months a CIA Director who is leaking classified information to a psycho mistress.  Is this a government or a revival of  Monty Python’s Flying Circus?

Update:  The father of Paula Broadwell has chimed in, and his comments indicate we may be at the tip of a very big iceberg in regard to this story:


But Broadwell’s father, Paul Kranz, said that he is standing by his daughter ‘100 per cent’ – and expects more details into the affair will emerge, suggesting it was part of some cover up.

‘This is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out,’ Kranz told the New York Daily News outside his home in Bismarck, North Dakota.

‘There is a lot more that is going to come out. You wait and see. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye.’

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. The timing of all this is beyond clumsy. Three days after the election, and a week before Petraeus is to testify? Please. And what did Holder know? The stench is repulsive.

  2. 1. Likely pillow-talk obtained classifed information.

    2. This is distraction from the dastardly roles Obama, Clinton, et al played in refusing to save the ambassador and the others.

    3. They Were Expendable.

    4. “I will not lie, cheat or steal; nor tolerate those that do.” BARF

    5. Four more years of apologies, appeasements, lies (“sworn to” by the academy and the media), and surrenders.

    6. It don’t mean nothing.

  3. I’ll give you that the Administration orchestrated a delay in his resignation for purely political ends. However, I don’t see the benefit to the Administration, with regards to Benghazi, by his resignation. Doesn’t he still have to testify before Congress?

    The Benghazi story is far from being told and I’m sure it will not reflect well on the Administration (they haven’t crowed about it so there is something disqueting that they’d rather not have revealed). However, I’m not willing to read into Petreaus’ resignation at this point. It looks like a conjunction of unrelated events.

  4. The problem G-Veg is that we still do not have a lot of the pieces of the puzzle in regard to Benghazi to judge how this Petraeus resignation plays out, and we do not know, yet, what other factors may be in play as to all of this. Benghazi may be a distraction for other things that Petraeus knows that he may reveal under questioning. The other thing I can’t fathom is why keep him on as CIA Director for several months. Surely the political risk of having Petraeus resign in the summer for example would have been minimal.

  5. I think the answer lies in the exclusive focus on polls and campaigning throught his first term.

    Perhaps none of this makes sense because we are looking at it through the lens of governance rather than campaigning. Without a pesky media presence, there was no risk that keeping corrupt figures would blow up before the election and that made Holder, Napolitano, and Petreaus known quantities and their mistakes fairly harmless… Unless they weren’t under thumb that is.

  6. Do you think the Roman citizen on the dole cared about the shenanigans of the emperor and his cronies in far off places? The deaths of the four may be criminally negligent and grotesque but Obama voters don’t care in any meaningful way. They care about the dole or about bureaucratic jobs dispensing the dole.

    In other words, this is not going to be a political game changer although Obama’s poll numbers may briefly go down a few points (46% vs 49%).

  7. Poor analogy Rozin. Only a small minority of the Roman people were ever on the Dole, almost entirely located in the City of Rome, and by the Empire the mob in Rome had lost any political significance in any case.

    Oh, Benghazi alone won’t cause Obama that much of a problem, although his attempted cover up might. However, if Obama’s second term follows the usual pattern it will be the first of many scandals. Tie that in with a bad economy, and ever increasing, and clearly unsustainable deficits, and I think the draining of Obama’s support will continue apace.

  8. A lot of hand wringing leading to naught except maybe the loss of an underling job or two. The general public doesn’t care. The GOP doesn’t have the courage or fortitude to take it where it needs to go.

    Net result: Noise and flashing lights to entertain conservatives.

  9. I agree that the GOP lacks the intestinal fortitude for a fight and I’d add that even where thay have gone to battle, it feels inept…

    Why is that? I wonder if part of the problem isn’t that the GOP doesn’t want to take really significant shots at this Imperial Presidency because they want to preserve those unconstitutional powers wrested from Congress for when they re-take the Executive Branch.

    Let me state it differently:

    The Constitution places the Legislative Branch in the steongest position, resting the most significant powers of government in its hands. The Executive Branch is made equal to the Legislative Branch through its power to appoint judges and Justices.

    Over the last 20 years or so, we have seen Congress diminish and the Executive assume greater authority. Boehner said the pther day “we (meaning Congress) need to be led. And Congress after Congress has sat back and let the Executive direct them. In essence, Congress has turned the Balance of Powers on its head, treating the president like he is a Prime Minister and our system as though it was designed to be parliamentarian.

    Why? I fear that the answer is because both parties have concluded that this is as it should be and that striking back and taking back Legislative authority would cut them off from those same unlawful tools when they assume the power of President. Thus, their concern between presidential elections is solely to set the groundwork for their party’s attempt to win the Presidential election, not to govern themselves.

  10. It is hard to claim the high ground with dirty hands. We need to get our house straight and reclaim a solid, constitutional basis for governance before we can articulate a constitutionally sound plan for reclaiming America.

    As long as we are willing to say or do anything o get power, our party will lack the legitimacy and Providence to win. God does not empower the bad unless it is to correct the reclaimable. He will not restore His providence to us until we are behaving rightly.

  11. “He will not restore His providence to us until we are behaving rightly.”

    It is always good to act rightly in the eyes of God. I would not take that as either a necessary factor, or a dispositive factor, for political success, as the ways of God are often inscrutable when it comes to secular matters. As Lincoln said, “The Almighty has His own purposes.”

  12. Mr McClarey,

    I didn’t want to clutter up a post with the factoids you added. You are making the point not disputing it. The Roman citizens in Rome on the dole played little part in the Roman empire. It was the provincials not on the dole who took over both militarily as emperors and bureaucratically as with the rapid expansion of the equestrian class in the 3rd and 4th centuries.

    However, the dole is national in the US and Europe and rapidly growing. It started out in the inner cities but the Left realized that was a loser particularly after Reagan. So now we have the (unmentionable) percentage either on the dole or bureaucratically dispensing it. NV and CA have very high unemployment yet happily voted for Obama. CA even got rid of the few Repubs left in the state because they are so happy with the job the Dems are doing. Europe has had chronically high unemployment for decades but is staunchly socialist. (And why is it you salute the House post office scandal rather than Hillarycare and tax hikes as the reason for Repub majorities? Absent the post office scandal what difference would it have made?)

  13. Here is an aspect of the e-mail investigation that I don’t understand: Why did the FBI continue looking into it at all?

    Donald linked (in #5 above) to a Slate article, which had linked to a Washington Post article. The Washington Post article says, law enforcement officials interviewed “said the e-mails were ‘threatening and harassing’ but not specific enough to warrant criminal charges.”

    So, the initial anonymous emails (from Broadwell to Kelley) that were brought to the attention of the FBI were not enough to warrant criminal charges. Why, then, was an investigation carried out, using FBI resources to dig through the anonymous account, tracing it back to Broadwell?

    Did a judge sign off on a warrant allowing that? Which judge? Based on what evidence?

    And, once it was traced back to Broadwell – still assuming that there was nothing warranting criminal charges – why go through all of Broadwell’s personal, private email that exposed the Petraeus link?

    If the original anonymous emails weren’t threatening enough for criminal charges, how did this investigation continue from the get-go?

    I’m not trying to claim that there is a hidden agenda behind the email investigation … yet. I really don’t understand how it went from “not enough to warrant criminal charges” to “let’s go through Broadwell’s personal, private email account”.

    Maybe someone with a good understanding of how investigations of cyberstalking work can explain it to me?

  14. “So, the initial anonymous emails (from Broadwell to Kelley) that were brought to the attention of the FBI were not enough to warrant criminal charges. Why, then, was an investigation carried out, using FBI resources to dig through the anonymous account, tracing it back to Broadwell?

    Did a judge sign off on a warrant allowing that? Which judge? Based on what evidence?”

    The standard is fairly low for a warrant requiring a low threshold of probable cause.

  15. “The Roman citizens in Rome on the dole played little part in the Roman empire.”
    That is because Italy under the Empire as a whole contributed few men to the Roman legions. The greatest role played by the mob of Rome in Roman affairs coincided with the advent of the dole in the late second century and the first century before Christ when the Roman poor formed the “head-count” armies of Marius, prior to that time they had been considered to be too poor to be enlisted, and took boisterous, and often murderous, part in elections in Rome. After the military dictatorship of Augustus was firmly established the elections still took place but they were meaningless since Augustus controlled the legions and thus the state. None of this history fits very well with the jeremiads launched against “bread and circuses” by modern day conservatives since the fall of the Republic had virtually nothing to do with the dole and everything thing to do with the competition of aristocrats which led to endless civil wars and the breakdown of the old Republican order.

    Our modern welfare states are a different matter altogether and we live in a time when they are manifestly breaking down for lack of funds. Rather than marking the beginning of a new order, Obama and his expansion of the welfare state is the last gasp of a reactionary societal model that is nearing its end.

  16. The standard is fairly low for a warrant requiring a low threshold of probable cause.

    Thanks, Donald. That answers a question I had. So, even though it was clear that the harassment and threats were not criminal, some judge decided to allow the FBI to search a private email account.

    If the threshold is that low, then what’s to stop the FBI/local law enforcement searching someone’s email account for a “harassing” comment in a blog comment? Nothing criminal, mind you; just “harassing”.

  17. “So, even though it was clear that the harassment and threats were not criminal,”

    No it was not clear to the Judge or a warrant would not have been issued. Here we have an anonymous individual making threats to an innocent third party. It would not take much for a judge under these circumstances to agree that the FBI should be allowed to investigate futher to determine the identity of the anonymous person and whether they posed a danger to the third party. If charges were pressed the Defendant could attempt to challenge the warrant on any number of grounds including lack of probable cause.

  18. Well, I understand what you’re saying, but I think there’s more to the story than that.

    The Washington Post story says that “three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the episode” determined the threats weren’t specific enough for criminal charges. So, why ask for a warrant?

    As your update indicates, we’re at the tip of the iceberg.

    Thanks for indulging my questions, and for a very informative (and entertaining) blog.

  19. With respect Don, I do not agree with your assessment if by your statement you mean that God does not extend or withhold his favor from peoples in accordance with His Plan.

    Perhaps I misread you though.

    Certainly Washington believed that Providence was visited upon the nation at her inception. Given the extraordinary turns of events, it is not difficult to see the hand of God in the twists of history that brought our Republic into being.

    If you mean that we can’t see whoch events are providential and which are not, I entirely agree. But, that we can’t see His actions hardly indicates that they are not present.

    Again, the Old Testament repeats he tale of God showering Grace on a people while the acknowledge Him and then withdrawing His blessings when they set Him aside. I see the same pattern over the last 2000 years in the West.

  20. I tend to take a rather Job-like view of the purposes and actions of God G-Veg:

    “42 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,

    2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

    3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

    4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

    5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

    6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

    That God has His purposes I am sure. That in studying History I find these purposes often obscure to me, I am also sure. When it comes to God faith is always my guide when my discernment fails me.

  21. Donald is right again. However, in spite of all its inaccuracy, I like how The Message translation renders this section of Sacred Scripture:

    42 1-6 Job answered God:

    “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
        Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
    You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
        ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
    I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
        made small talk about wonders way over my head.
    You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
        Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
    I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
        now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
    I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
        I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

  22. However, the dole is national in the US and Europe and rapidly growing.

    Federal welfare expenditure can be categorized as follows (approximately):

    44% cash pensions for the elderly and disabled
    24% medical benefits for the elderly and disabled
    9% medical benefits for the generally impecunious
    5% financing of nursing home care
    5% temporary unemployment compensation
    13% various

    The burgeoning of this sort of expenditure is driven by demographic factors and some of the unfortunate effects of poorly structured programs on the way the medical sector does business. These problems can be addressed, but first someone has to be willing to tell the public that first-dollar coverage of medical expenses is not economically sustainable.

    It is really the last category above which is socially problematic, and, no, it was not ‘growing rapidly’ until the advent of the current administration. The most problematic programs (public housing and cash doles for women with bastard children) are a good deal less consequential than was the case a generation ago (enrollment in TANF was at one point one-third in number enrolled in its predecessor program 15 years ago, in spite of the increase in population in the interim).

  23. G.K. Chesterton said ”once abolish the God and the government becomes god.” I am not the first to note that many in the West have replaced God with government. Certainly putting one’s faith in government is as much a violation of the First Commandment as putting faith in wealth or intellect or strength is. I am suggesting that the Bible contains ample evidence that a people is as beholden to God as any individual and that individually or collectively, we rebel against God at our own peril.

    The Psalms affirm the idea that there is a relationship between a people’s faithfulness and God’s Providence. (E.g. see Ps. 5, 33, and 67) This was true in the beginning for we see in Genesis, God making covenants with Abraham to give him a blessed people – not only to bless him individually if he followed God’s commands but that his progeny would benefit from his faithfulness. In Gen. 39, we see this promise continued in Joseph. God blesses the people because of Joseph’s faithfulness.

    It isn’t just a tangential concept either. It is an idea at the center of the salvation story. God is explicit in the connection between a people’s faithfulness and His blessings in Deuteronomy 7:13 and in Deut. 8 the consequences of forgetting Him. In the New Testament we see Providence bestowed in abundance on the fledgling church because of their faithfulness.

    In Acts 2: 46-47 we are told that “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” because of the behavior of the Church. This fits Christ’s promise in Matthew 6:33 that if we seek “first the kingdom of God” he will provide everything we need, echoing Zechariah 3:7-9. Again and again in the Bible we are told that, if a people follows God’s laws they will be blessed. (Jeremiah 7:5-7) We are even told that we can reclaim His favor by turning from sin – as a people mind ye – for “if then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7-14) The whole point of Jonah is precisely this and Ninevah avoids Sodom’s fate by turning from evil as a community.

    All I’m saying is that we cannot, as a people, directly push God away and still expect everything to be OK. It doesn’t work that way.

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