One of America’s most favorite general officers is in hot water. Ho hum, right? Not so fast. Like many before him, his career has ended because of his sexual misdeeds. David Petraeus is finished. The most striking feature of his demise is not so much his alleged extramarital affair. Rather, it is the timeline in which this event’s revelation has come to light that seems to generate more questions than it does answers. Closure is not an accurate verb to describe this event. Rather, it is looking more like sabotage.
It is most troubling that Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Petraeus’s resignation comes just after the 6 November election, yet just prior to his forthcoming congressional testimony in the Benghazi debacle. The Washington Post has reported that the FBI “investigators first interviewed Petraeus about two weeks ago.” That’s funny. Two weeks ago was precisely when Director Petraeus had claimed his agency’s immunity regarding the 11 September 2012 Benghazi terrorist assault and assassination. So, why did Petraeus wait until the end of the election to resign, consequently revealing what had likely already been known about his affair? Simply stated: damage control. For whom, you ask? For everyone.
Although much evidence may never become known as to the actual events that brought the CIA Chief down, I’m going to offer what in its skeletal form appears to be a conspiracy theory. Here it goes:
On or about 24 October 2012 it was revealed by Reuters, and eventually USA Today, that the e-mails sent to the White House Situation Room did reveal the nature and character of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2012. That very same article documented White House spokesperson Jay Carney’s attempt to deflect blame toward the Intelligence Community. As this is a common tactic during the post mortem phase of national crises, Director Petraeus had taken the appropriate step of ensuring that his agency was insulated from blame that did not fall squarely on their shoulders; effectively, the blame was tossed back to the Executive branch. At almost this exact time, the FBI had “discovered” Petraeus’s affair. So far, all of this is known to be true.
When attempting to fill in the blanks left by imperfect information it is useful to have an intelligence analyst available to perform the task. Well, here I am. So, here comes the fictional element that strives to lessen the gap in knowledge. The FBI informs Petraeus that they’re aware of his affair. They inform him that since it is less than two weeks from the election and the President is already taking hits on the Benghazi incident he should remain silent. He is told that if he resigns after the election the details of the affair (audio, video, pictures?) will be limited. This would account for the period of two weeks until the Election Day, when Petraeus had reportedly informed Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that he had cheated on his wife.
Conspiratorial per se? Perhaps. Something just seems woefully deficient in this story. Maybe that something is the truth. As the well-known epitaph is written at the entryway to CIA headquarters, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”