By Ben Barrack
Perhaps it’s time for David Petraeus to become a whistleblower.
With each star awarded to a Military General, comes a greater responsibility to put the interest of his country above himself. In theory, the maximum amount of selflessness relative to a general’s deference to country is achieved with the fourth shoulder star, a distinction given to David Petraeus in 2007.
As the controversy over the altering of the Benghazi talking points has been unfolding, more has been learned about Petraeus’ unwillingness to play along with the Obama administration’s agenda, though he was willing to play a long to a point. We now know, thanks to emails released by the White House, that Petraeus essentially bowed out of the game-playing, one day before Susan Rice lied on five Sunday talk shows on September 16th.
Via My Fox DC (AP):
Petraeus apparently was displeased by the removal of so much of the material his analysts initially had proposed for release. The talking points were sent to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to prepare her for an appearance on news shows on Sunday, Sept. 16, and also to members of the House Intelligence Committee.
“No mention of the cable to Cairo, either?” Petraeus wrote after receiving Morell’s edited version, developed after an intense back-and-forth among Obama administration officials. “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this, then.”
Petreaus’ email comes at the end of extensive back-and-forth between officials at the CIA, White House, State Department and other agencies weighing in on a public explanation for the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Consider that on Thursday, September 13th, in a closed-door briefing with the House Intelligence Committee, then Director Petraeus appeared willing to accept a narrative that included a protest in Benghazi but that the protesters had links to Al-Qaeda.
Via ABC News:
The attack that killed four Americans in the Libyan consulate began as a spontaneous protest against the film “The Innocence of Muslims,” but Islamic militants who may have links to Al Qaeda used the opportunity to launch an attack, CIA Director David Petreaus told the House Intelligence Committee today according to one lawmaker who attended a closed-door briefing.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intel committee, said Petraeus laid out “a chronological order exactly what we felt happened, how it happened, and where we’re going in the future.”
“In the Benghazi area, in the beginning we feel that it was spontaneous – the protest- because it went on for two or three hours, which is very relevant because if it was something that was planned, then they could have come and attacked right away,” Ruppersberger, D-Md., said following the hour-long briefing by Petraeus. “At this point it looks as if there was a spontaneous situation that occurred and that as a result of that, the extreme groups that were probably connected to al Qaeda took advantage of that situation and then the attack started.”
Based on the fact that we now know the CIA – as well as the State Department – knew within hours of the attack that there was no protest and Ansar al-Sharia / al-Qaeda were involved, we’re left to conclude that Petraeus was willing to compromise the truth while his deputy, the State Department, and the White House were all willing to sell it – in total – down the river.
It appears that on Saturday, September 15th, Petraeus’ deputy – Mike Morell – was the one left representing the CIA because Petraeus wouldn’t sign on. In hindsight, the White House and State Department welcomed Morell’s input and rejected Petraeus’s. Why?
Perhaps the proof of what narrative the White House signed on to can be found in the fact that Petraeus’ resigned over his extra-marital one day after the election; the affair was made public one day after that. Morell, who had been a team player, became interim CIA Director. We already know that the FBI – Eric Holder’s FBI – was well aware of the affair long before the election.
The boom appeared to be lowered on Petraeus once doing so could not cause electoral night damage.
Speaking of Petraeus’ affair, let’s go back to an extremely prescient analysis by Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.) from November 9th, the day after Petraeus’ resignation and two days after the election.
Based on what has been revealed by the emails released by the White House this week, it can be said with virtual certainty that Peters was spot-on here:
Petraeus may have been willing to cede some truth to the administration on September 14th and 15th but he was unwilling to cede all of it.
Among other things, that demonstrates a conscience, which should be telling him to do what Greg Hicks – someone with far fewer stripes – did.
Petraeus should do what is commanded by the culmination of his four stars.
He should become a whistleblower, for his country.