Petraeus Scandal Means Media Can No Longer Ignore Benghazi


The bar for scandals has been getting pretty high. When I was a kid, a president was forced from office because he tried to cover up illegal behavior by his subordinates. As Nixon put it, “mistakes were made” and they proved to be the end of him. He richly deserved it.

Twenty-five years later, we countenanced a president who committed felony perjury because it was “just about sex” and the Dow Jones was up. Until now, most of the legacy media showed little interest in the Obama administration’s apparently deliberate attempt to obscure the nature of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. We must be a kinder and gentler nation today. “Mistakes,” at least by Democrats, seem much easier to forgive.

The Benghazi scandal, until very recently, seemed to be a prime example of the mainstream’s media determination to see no evil when it might harm a favored president. In a rare moment that was both memorable and lucid, Joe Biden struck upon one of the few positive themes of the Obama campaign. “General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.” Those nasty old terrorists are on the run. The president’s amazing name and Jedi-like powers of persuasion (“this is not the jihad you are looking for”) had brought about the Arab Spring. We’re safe now. We are now post-9/11.

But the theme threatened to unravel on, of all days, September 11, 2012 with the organized attack on our consulate in Benghazi. Within 24 hours, the CIA station in Libya and other sources close to the attack seem to have known what really happened. Nevertheless, the administration – whether deliberately or from confirmation bias – set out to create the impression that this was not an organized attack by Islamic terrorists who were supposed to no longer exist. They suggested it was simply a protest against a “despicable” on-line video denigrating the Prophet that got out of hand. In a creepy display of moral equivalence, the President’s surrogates suggested that there was no excuse for the (nonexistent) protesters or the blasphemous filmmaker.  Even CIA Director David Petraeus appears to have supported the cover story in a briefing on Capitol Hill several days after the attack.

As that story unraveled and questions began to arise regarding the failure of the administration to come to the aid of the besieged consulate, it finally conceded that there was no protest. It turns out to have been those terrorists again. In Watergate terms, this was a “modified limited hangout.” Admit some of the truth within a haze of misdirection and hope no one notices. The mainstream media was too eager to comply.

But everything may have changed last Friday. It was then that we learned that a couple of our most decorated military commanders and at least one of their female acquaintances have been acting like the cast of the HBO series “Girls.” Petraeus turns out to have been having an affair with his biographer.  The biographer, herself married with two small children, allegedly had come to see a female friend of the Petraeus family as a romantic rival and began to send her threatening e-mails. Our current commander in Afghanistan, a man known as the “warrior monk,” is being investigated for sending an inordinately large number of “inappropriate” e-mails to the aforementioned friend and suspected rival. Insert your own bad pun.

It turns out that even the best of us are fallen beings.

Sex and lies and videotape and terrorists. This is something that simply cannot be ignored and it deepens the Benghazi plot. Officials in the Justice Department apparently knew that the Director of the CIA was compromised in this way since last summer but did not tell the President until after the election.  Even if that is true, it does not make the matter much better. Shouldn’t the President of the United States – even one engaged in the critical business of keeping his job – know that the government’s top intelligence official is ripe for blackmail?

It may get worse. Petraeus knew that his philandering had been exposed at the time that he briefed Congress. But he apparently still thought that he might be able to keep his job. Could that have affected a briefing that was apparently at odds with the facts on the ground? You want to think not, but the question is unavoidable.

Many are struck by the fact that the revelation of the affair and ensuing resignation seems to have come in a sweet spot for the administration – after the election and before Petraeus was scheduled to testify before a congressional oversight committee.  That testimony was cancelled and Petraeus himself apparently thinks he need not testify.

He’s fooling himself.  Members on both sides of the aisle are making it quite clear that he will testify whether he wants to or not. Resignation does not absolve one of responsibility.

Mistakes were made. It remains to be seen just what they were and what the consequences will be.

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  • Chezwick

    Patraeus is only half of it….the REAL reason the media can go after Benghazi now is that the election is over and protecting Obama is no longer priority-1.

    As I was watching Fox's stellar coverage of this entire spectacle, I had a thought: The libs who are hungry for details will obviously get a lot more of them on Fox than they'd get elsewhere, if for no other reason than Fox has aggressively been pursuing the story from the beginning, has established inside sources and has become a conduit for the leaking of information. Perhaps, just perhaps, in watching how well Fox reports the hard news (the 6 and 7PM hours), some of these libs might end up becoming regular viewers, adding to the strength of the network….and who knows, in so doing, they might even be sufficiently influenced into a gradual re-evaluation of their liberal proclivities.

    Just a thought.

    • Stern

      Nah, they'll just keep calling for Fox to be closed down, as I've seen some of them do.

    • steve

      Dream on … Leftists and sober re-evaluation have the same relationship as Islam and honor.

  • crackerjack

    Come on folks, get real. This is the media dream mix of Desperate Houswives, Fatal Attraction with a classical casting of dirty old men and disgruntled women. Ben Gazi? Now who was that again? The gardner or the cook? Lmao.

    • Mary Sue

      oh so you deny that Obama screwed the pooch when he failed to send aid to Gondor (and let the Ambassador DIE)?!

      • crackerjack

        No Mary Sue, I'm not denying anything because there is nothing to deney or confirm untill all facts are on the table.

        But to expect the media to pick up on the details of a house hearing committee in the middle of what could well become the sex scandal of the decade is being naive, to say the least. Benghazi wasn't much of a scoop as yet but now its dead horse. Sex gets the headlines, house hearing committees get a few lines between commercials at best. Check todays press to confirm.

        • Mary Sue

          so you're pretending that what happened in Benghazi wasn't serious. Gotcha.

          • trickyblain

            It's serious business. And mistakes happen and political enemies then go all 20-20 hindsight. Nobody is perfect in their jobs; the difference is that when they make a mistake, people can died If Obama increased security and no attack happened, Republicans would have admonished him for lavish overspending.

            Bush made mistakes ("mission accomplished," way too few troops initially, failure to uncover WMDs et. al.). Lots of people died as a result. In fact, it's impossible to name a president who was not – directly or indirectly – responsible for wasted lives. Not an excuse, but a simple, cold reality.

          • Mary Sue

            Bush didn't deliberatly deny aid in order to perpetrate and perpetuate the fraud that "Al Qaida is OVER".

          • trickyblain

            I'm sure he didn't. And there are no substantiated facts that Obama did either. Only a bunch of noise.

          • fiddler

            What if it is proven beyond doubt (a dream for a compromised media) that Obama knew they needed support and didn't supply any. This is markedly different from Bush! Intentional lack of support so as not to distract from the election is in a class by itself!

          • trickyblain

            What if a monkey flew out of my butt?

            Substantiated facts, fiddler. No more noise.

        • Chezwick

          You're projecting your own warped values and priorities. Government negligence that resulted in the deaths of four Americans ever-so-slightly trumps a salacious sex scandal in importance….except in the little minds of little people such as yourself.

          • crackerjack

            You're missing the point again Chezwick. This article claims that the Patraeus scandal will promote awareness of the Benghazi affair in the press while in reality, the very opposite will be the case. Patraeus' sex affair is set to dominate the press for weeks, if not months to come, while Benghazi will slip of into public oblivion.

          • Chezwick

            Well, right now, I see 3 Republican Senators holding a press conference, demanding the establishment of a Watergate-type, select-committee to investigate what happened in Benghazi. Not a word about Patreous….(except that he's agreed to testify).

            I agree with Rick Esenberg. The sex scandal will feed into and highlight the Benghazi attack….and it will subsequently disappear from the headlines loooong before Beghazi does.

        • Looking4Sanity

          You're a few peanuts and a free prize short of a full box, Crackerjack-off.

  • pierce

    This whole scenario reeks of corruption, and an attempt to cover it up, plain and simple. This could be Watergate all over again, but much more serious. Impeachment or resignation, take your pick. A far fetched scenario, there has been something about Obama, ever since he came to the presidency, that has been suspect, and now his director of the CIA resigns, covering up ineptness on the part of Obama. Wake up America, wake up.

  • Martha

    Let's get real… The date is 2012, not 1952, hardly anyone is going to bat an eye over a love affair between a military superstar and a groupie, even when they both sport Harvard and beyond degrees. Blackmail is simply not on the agenda. What bothers most people is the access to classified material that that groupie or groupies might have had and how alcove chatter and slip of the tongues might have swayed the course of events.

  • Asher

    People want to know why the 4 brave Americans died in Benghazi…..This is the big issue…why weren't they protected, or everything done that was humanly possible by the government…Do they value the lives of their representatives so little that they allow the lawlessness and murders to continue in the future? I hope Petreaus lets the truth Fly! Sex, Lies, and Emails….enough of the Cover up!

  • fdcampbell

    My hope is that this scandal keeps the the government's criminal response to Benghazi in the spotlight, however indirectly.
    Sex scandals seem to hold the media's attention much more than news of real import.

  • EthanP

    I've been watching the MSM and they seem to act as if Bengazi never happened. They will protect this POTUS to the death!

  • Maxie

    The Petraeus 'scandal' is the old magicians trick of diverting attention away from the real action. In this case the massive voting fraud which got our little mini-Marx re-elected.

    • Looking4Sanity

      That is not a major component of the cover up. It's only another distraction from a much more serious issue. Obama's actions in all of this amount to nothing less than ordering the murder of 3 American patriots and one US Ambassador for his own personal benefit. Obama is a psychopath.

      • Maxie

        More specifically a narci$$i$t who is path0l0gically incapable of making ANY decision which might have negative blowback potential and put him a position to be (horrors!) criticized.

  • Guest

    This will not mean the media has to cover Benghazi. What it means is that now they have a way to pretend they are covering Benghazi just by loading up on their favorite stuff: sex and bashing the military.

    • Looking4Sanity

      Congratulations to you for understanding "the game".

  • Bartemais

    It is interesting that there is so much info detail that is coming out in the media about General Petraeus, and yet as regards Benghazi, all is confusion and lack of detail. Very interesting.

  • http://weroinnm.wordpress.com/ weroinnm

    Impeach Obama for Treason – Tancredo on Benghazi, Libya!
    http://teapartyorg.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id
    “Food For Thought”

    Semper Fi!

    Jake

    • pagegl

      Would that it happens, but I doubt it will. There is no way the Democratic controlled Senate will vote to convict and the Republicans in the House don't have the cojones to pass an article of impeachment.

  • Looking4Sanity

    Virtually ignored in this latest attempt at distraction is that POTUS Obama swore to put an end to "extraordinary rendition" and now we find out that 3 Libyans were being held captive inside the CIA annex!

    The REASON our "embassy" was attacked was that the Libyans wanted their people back. It had NOTHING to do with a video. The fact that the Administration KNEW all of this makes this POTUS guilty of HIGH CRIMES and Misdemeanors by CAUSING the deaths of four Americans and then lying about it repeatedly.

    I would not be much surprised if General Betrayus turns up dead in the near future…just like Vince Foster.

    • davarino

      Oh good, I thought Vince was forgotten forever. Incredible how people on the left die when they get a conscience, and people who benefit dont even shed a tear.

      • Looking4Sanity

        Not only do they not shed a tear, my friend…they lie through their teeth and make vulgar comments OVER THE COFFINS of the patriots they got killed!

      • Mary Sue

        I remembered Vince Foster! Mainly because of a parody song from Limbaugh's show years ago that got stuck in my head forever. The "Oh Whitewater" one.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      I think as the Generals see that they have been played Obama might wake up in the White
      House surrounded by tanks and someone looking like Petraeus shouting viva Zapata,
      gringo's out……………………………….William

      • Looking4Sanity

        With all due respect, I think you overestimate the general's intelligence AND his connections. I'm pretty sure Betrayus is a product of the Peter Principle.

        • WilliamJamesWard

          It will hold our interest and I know that it is and attention grabber that if anything
          will entertain and by the way Peter Principle, that's rather dating, and to think I
          read that when it came out and no longer remember when…………William

          • WilliamJamesWard

            1969………….w

          • Looking4Sanity

            There was a time in this world when age was respected as a badge of honor. I make no apologies for it, to be sure. I'm still young enough to hump a rifle and pack through the brush if need be, and that is all that is relevant to me at this point. If I can impart some bit of wisdom along the way, so much the better. Seriously…if I were Betrayus, I'd be watching my caboose. I'm also pretty sure he is just smart enough to know that much. I hope he's smart enough to tell the truth in those hearings. That would be his best life insurance even though they are closed hearings.

          • Maxie

            HIS best life insurance?! Are you kidding? If he doesn't do what he's told think of the 'accident' that might happen to a family member. We're dealing a Maf!a-like entity here under Don Obmuerta.

          • Looking4Sanity

            No. I'm not kidding. He was at risk the moment he associated himself with these people. As long as they have leverage, he'll never be rid of them. The longer they stay in "control" of him, the more likely he is to get his ticket punched. By spilling the beans, he is removing a logical reason to whack him. The damage will have been done. Killing him then would be counter-productive. One might even say detrimental.

  • BLJ

    You saw a segment of the tool,er, I mean Obama's press conference today. A reporter from Fox news asked him about the families of the 4 dead Americans.

    Of course Mr. Teleprompter ummed and ahhed his way to not answering the question and then had the audacity to say that they had done everything they could to assist them that fateful night.

    What a lying sack of dung. He knew exactly what was going and did nothing about. Impeach this bum!

  • Jim_C

    Why, it's so patriotic, to wish so hard that President Obama was negligent! And not at all the height of cynicism to exploit the deaths of 4 people serving the country, because it was an October surprise that didn't work out for ya.

    I won't forget the people who called the ambassador a tool who deserved what he got on this website. Yep, conservative pretend patriots, right here on this board. Go back, search the archives. Only now, those same dimwitted burdens to humanity are outraged–outraged! I say–at his death. And they demand answers! Because if they don't get any, they'll continue to make sh!t up!

    The hope: Obama, upon hearing of the attack, yawned, grabbed the remote and said "Ah, let 'em die. What do you want from me? Wake me up when you've got it figured out!" That's the hope.

    Good luck with that.

    Because something tells me that no matter how much comes out about the tragedy, the facts ain't gonna matter much.

    • Maxie

      "Why, it's so patriotic, to wish so hard that President Obama was negligent!"
      Negligent means allowing something to happen through carelessness. OBumble wasn't careless he was deliberate: a ly!ng arr0gant, self-absorbed, inc0mpetent, indifferent to the suffereing and de@th of those for whom, as POTUS he's responsible to protect. Gr0w up.

      • Jim_C

        Nice! Got proof? Got an inside track to the administration? Can't wait to hear about the deliberate indifference to death!

        Or just making sh!t up?

        Come on, Maxie–you're the "grown up." That must mean you have something substantial, as opposed to wishful thinking based on sour grapes. Which would be…childish. Craven. Un-American.

        • Maxie

          Sorry Jim_C the burden is on those who fabricated the cover-up now under investigation. Far too many unanswered questions and falsehoods ("It wasn't an AQ attack it was a spontaneous riot over an obscure film"; help wasn't even asked for" etc.). Petraeus is the sap 'fall guy' takiing the hit for Obumble. Lay-off the kool-aide.

        • flowerknife_us

          Obama got that" 3AM "call and chose to go back to bed. Too bad he woke up in the morning and found most of them still fighting for their lives. Do you think he skipped Breakfast that morning or was he unconcerned about heartburn and ate away?

          Americans died and Obama lied. Living the dreams of his Father.

  • Mike in Va

    From Dan Greenfield's article :FBI Dedicated Enormous Resources to Taking Down Petraeus":

    "Marc Armbinder at The Week looks into just how much the FBI had to do to get to the point where Petraeus would resign and the media would spend weeks gleefully tearing through his personal life while burying Benghazigate beneath a mountain of their own sleaze."

    Obama's running dogs in the media are already ignoring Benghazi. Instead of focusing on the president's dereliction of duty and lying, the media is focusing on what David Petraeus and John Allen are doing (or not doing) with their penises.

  • truebearing

    Nice job at self-parody. The height of cynicism is your warped, hypocritical comment. It is obvious that you hope the truth doesn't come out about an incident where the Commander-In-Chief callously refused to help Americans being attacked by Islamists. Your self-righteous posturing is pathetic, especially coming from someone of such conspicuous moral turpitude.

    • truebearing

      Reply to little jimmyc

  • truebearing

    Petraeus must make a choice that will define him in history: tell the truth and prove himself to be a man of integrity, or become General Betrayus, as the Left used to call him, only this time the name will be appropriate… and it will stick.

    • Jim_C

      When feckless losers on the left were calling this man "Betrayus" during the Bush Administration, I shouted them down. I want no part of people like that. That will now happen for your side.

      Mark my words, because I've proven you wrong time afte rtime and will do so again, now–WHEN Petraeus fails to give the evidence against his Commander-in-Chief (which we must admit, as a man of honor and a lifelong Republican, he has NO motivation to do, having already shamed himself in his personal life)–that will mark the true beginning of the Republican party's Night of the Long Knives.

      People of principle still remain in the Republican Party and among conservatives, and they will have to reckon with the unprincipled, paranoid hysterics, like yourself, whose frivolous speculation and inane predictions have flown in the face of facts and reality since Obama took office the first time.

      Watch…and try to learn.

  • Jim

    Hankypanky will be the diversion that keeps the public from focusing on the crime of the cover up of Benghazi

    The President abandoned his own ambassador to the terrorist murderers

    The MSM abandoned the news to cover over the presidents crime.
    The MSM is the co conspirator.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Love it Jim, MSM co-conspirator…………Jim C, did you get that?……………..William

      • trickyblain

        The co-co conspirator is Vince Foster. The co-co-co conspirator is Dracula.

      • Jim_C

        Yeah I did–"The MSM: Conservative's Excuse For Everything."

        Funny…Benghazi was reported on. It was the subject of many "lamestream" stories.

        It just wasn't made the subject of feckless, cynical speculation by people without a principled bone in their body.

  • Len_Powder

    What kind of people voted for Obama? The kind that could care less that 4 Americans were brutally murdered in Benghazi while the President and His Men watched it in real time; the kind that said the country is on the wrong track and the economy is a mess, but voted for Obama anyway; the kind that are hoping that Petraeus will perjure himself in order to protect their false Messiah; the kind that vote 2, 3, or 4 times for Obama and register Mickey Mouse, the Lone Ranger and Adolf Hitler as Democratic voters. They are also the kind that react virulently against even the slightest criticism of their Fuhrer and insist that hurricanes are the offspring of Mother Global Warming. In short, they are insane!

    • Jim_C

      It's funny, when that story first broke, the people here were talking about how anyone stupid enough to be part of Obama's foreign policy deserved what they got. And the criticism was based on that–"coincidentally" in time for the presidential foreign policy debate.

      Now, those same people are just oh-so concerned about the same people they called suckers.

      I ask you: What kind of treacherous, unprincipled pond scum would shift their focus in that way?

  • Slummin With Val

    I would have had an affair in order to get out of there too.
    http://slumminwithval.blogspot.com/2012/11/living

  • Ken Palmer

    Lest we forget, the 4 Americqns died at the hands of Islamic terroorists. We have not, as yet, paid
    enough attention to that "detail." What needs to be seriously considered is that such terrorists make a
    practice of torturing their victims before killing them, and we may be very sure that all 4 were tortured
    before they died. Whether or not that is provable, it is a matter that should be aired before the hearings
    begin. It's unlikely it can be proven because of the strong probability our CIC ordered either cremations
    or immediate burials after the bodies arrived in the U.S. If either of the latter occurred, it will be
    strong evidence that torture was applied and later concealed by Obama. Of course, Cutter or Jarrett will
    find a way to cover that up.