General Petraeus, national security, and national hypocrisy

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 1/11/15

General David Petraeus is back in the news, no longer as the mastermind of the Iraq “surge” 8 years ago and then director of our war and spying efforts, but as a potential felon (CBS News: “Former CIA Chief David Petraeus may face criminal charges,” 1/10/15). Oh, the irony: in the video there (at 1:31), Paula Broadwell says the interviews with her were motivated in part by his concern over his legacy.

I haven’t been a very big fan of Petraeus for a while. On 11/19/12, I posted this in “Justice and other themes”:

Online comment on Susan Estrich, “Gen. Petraeus loses big time … but so does the nation,” 11/15/12:

As befits a friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Susan Estrich doesn’t want to see a connection between personal behavior and national reputation. Petraeus has made the US and the CIA look bad, and may or not have revealed intelligence secrets to unauthorized people. It’s nice he’s a gentleman, but I doubt that is on the job description for general or CIA director. Neither is being a playboy a great background for elective office, as he could have intuited from the fall of president Nicholas Sarkozy of France and president Silvio Berlusconi of Italy. These references are not random, since Petraeus was rumored to be planning to run for US president.

You’d think I’d admire David Petraeus, with his PhD from Princeton, as I do Joe Sestak (PhD Harvard) and Tom Wolf (PhD MIT).

But something about him made me nervous. Maybe it was his rumored political ambitions….

continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester


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Filed under Nathaniel Smith, National govt & politics

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