WASHINGTON, January 31, 2016 — Gen. David H. Petraeus received good news last Friday. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the Pentagon would not reduce the rank of the military man whose “surge” strategy decimated insurgent forces in Iraq and crafted the bright idea of turning spy drones into missile-firing, terrorist-killing machines.
Over the last several weeks, a trial balloon was floated in the media suggesting the general’s past indiscretions—an extramarital affair with his biographer and giving her access to top-secret CIA histories recounting his Middle East exploits—might bust him from a four-star general to the three-star variety.
That trial balloon was probably meant for the eyes of Petraeus alone. If the top secret information Petraeus shared with his mistress-biographer included a blow-by-blow account of events that transpired in Benghazi and the CIA’s secret annex, that would explain firing a shot across his bow.
It is at this point in the story that loyalists of President Obama and Hillary Clinton will smell a conspiracy straight from hell; that is, from belly of the vast, right-wing conspiracy.
But no one can call Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer-Prize winner from the journalistic far left, a fire-breathing, right-wing whack job.
According to a 2014 piece Hersh wrote for the London Review of Books, the U.S., British, Saudi, Qatari and Turkish governments were “responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria … Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer.”
Hersh adds that our Benghazi “consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms … it had no real political role.”
Threatening to take the hard-won stars from Petraeus’ shoulder boards could be the Obama Administration’s way of pressuring him to keep his mouth shut regarding: 1) his inside knowledge of the White House deceptive cover story that an American-made video sparked the 2012 assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi; and 2) the failure of the president’s secret operation to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which cost U.S. taxpayers around $500 million and produced only four or five fighters, according to U.S. Central Command’s Gen. Lloyd Austin.
The rise of the Islamic State, first in Syria and then in Iraq, caught the Western World and the Obama Administration by surprise. Obama initially dismissed ISIS as a “JV team.”
According to a report issued by Amnesty International, ISIS “has abducted, summarily killed, tortured and raped people across Iraqi and Syrian territory. Their military campaign has relentlessly targeted civilians with small arms, artillery, huge numbers of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and possibly with chemical weapons.”
The report goes on to say ISIS “also gained access to weapons from other sources—notably captured or sale of Syrian military stocks and arms supplied to armed opposition groups in Syria by countries including Turkey, the Gulf States, and the U.S.A.,” (emphasis added).
That raises certain questions that Hillary Clinton, who has her own problems associated with the handling of “top secret” information, would rather avoid.
In its Saturday editorial supporting the nomination of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, the New York Times says, “She was the secretary President Obama needed and wanted: someone who knew leaders around the world, who brought star power as well as expertise to the table.”
Here’s the question: Was the cover story that an anti-Islamic video sparked a Libyan mob to attack our consulate in Benghazi—a lie Hillary told around the world and to the families of the murdered Americans—meant to cover up a disastrous CIA operation that ended up arming ISIS, fueling the expansion of its terror in Syria, Iraq, Europe and the U.S.?
That is a question Gen. Petraeus can answer. But it will cost him some “star power.”