Washington Post Tries to Ram Petraeus Down Our Throats Again

No. In the name of God, Thor, Zeuss, Cthulhu and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no. There are few people who personify the vapid, amoral fetid swamp of Washington politics and defense policy more than David Petraeus. Taking a huge part of the blame for propelling Petraeus from a solely military into an entirely political career is the Washington Post, which gave Petraeus a prime op-ed slot in September 2004, where he spewed wildly optimistic numbers on his accomplishments while training Iraqi troops. Petraeus further told us how victory was just around the corner, implying that if only Americans would re-elect George W. Bush, his plan would achieve full fruition. Active military personnel are not supposed to engage in politics, but Petraeus became political with that op-ed and Washington overlooked it, because that’s what Washington does and that’s what the Washington Post does.

Bush rewarded Petraeus for his role in the election by putting him in charge of US troops in Iraq. Petraeus didn’t impress his immediate superior, Admiral Fallon, who termed Petraeus an “ass-kissing little chickenshit” after their first meeting. Once in charge, Petraeus quickly established death squads. Things didn’t go all that well in Iraq, in part because everything Petraeus does fails miserably while he is busy explaining to us what a good job he is doing. By 2007, the Kagan brain-trust came up with the idea of the surge to “save” Iraq. Washington politics and defense policy prostitute Michael O’Hanlon was brought onto the job of helping to sell the surge. In the fall of 2007, an orchestrated  Washington event, complete with a sideshow purchased in the New York Times for the “General Betrayus” ad, gave us Congressional hearings that resulted in approval for the surge. Completely overlooked at that time was the inconvenient fact that a major part of the Iraq plan moving forward from that point involved a total restart of training Iraqi troops because Petraeus failed spectacularly in his previous attempt at training. But Washington and the Washington Post did not call out Petraeus for that failure, because that’s what Washington and the Washington Post do.

Petraeus was next promoted by Bush in late 2008 to Fallon’s previous position in charge of CentCom.  It was quite clear to Barack Obama once he took office that Petraeus had his sights set on becoming president, so Obama made a very interesting move when he sent Petraeus down in rank to take command in Afghanistan after Petraeus’ protege Stanley McChrystal was fired for insubordination in July of 2010. Because lying about training had worked in advancing his career in Iraq, it appears that fudging the numbers on ANSF capabilities was one of the first things Petraeus did once in charge in Afghanistan. He was caught in this by the GAO, who pointed out that criteria for ANSF readiness were being changed to increase the number of troops qualifying for the most advanced classification, but it appears that only SIGAR and I care about those lies. Washington and the Washington Post ignored those dishonest moves by Petraeus, because that’s what Washington and the Washington Post do.

After Petreaus had been in charge in Afghanistan for six months or so, political handlers stepped into the picture to try to burnish his image for a future run for president. Central figures in Vets for Freedom penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal stating that Petraeus should become the first five star general since Omar Bradley in 1950, preparing the way for him to follow Dwight Eisenhower who also was a five star general before he became president. Vets for Freedom brought us none other than Allen West in 2010, who put so much crazy into the Party of Crazy that his own party gerrymandered him into a district he could not win in 2012. The group did not appear to be active in 2012, and one of the op-ed authors, Pete Hegseth, failed very early in a Senate campaign in Minnesota in 2012 and the other, Wade Zirkle, seems fortunately for us to be fading from the scene. But the political connections for Petraeus continued, as he gave prominent desk space to the Kagan brain trust so that they could help oversee their Surge II from inside Afghanistan.

Petraeus had to have believed once he was nominated to run the CIA that his pathway to the presidency was becoming a virtual certainty. But then karma struck Petraeus in a most spectacular way. In launching his military career, Petraeus was not content with the advantage of merely graduating from West Point, so he married the West Point Commandant’s daughter. When Paula Broadwell lowered her standards, and then her pants, to engage in an affair with the man she thought that her glowing biography would help propel to the presidency, she instead brought his career and his presidential aspirations to a halt when the affair was exposed.

Remarkably, Holly Petraeus, as far as I know, did not pick up a spare bayonet and neuter David when he returned home. Even more remarkably, she didn’t pick up the telephone and engage a lawyer to separate him from his fiscal assets instead of removing his physical ones. She displayed a quiet grace and determination as the scandal unfolded. In my opinion, his every waking hour for the rest of his life should be spent begging her forgiveness.

But it appears that the Washington and Washington Post designated time for Petraeus to sit in the penalty box has been determined to be only five months.  How can these fools believe Petraeus has already paid his debt when the FBI is still investigating how Broadwell came into possession of classified documents while he ran CIA? Despite all these failures by Petraeus, both professional and personal, Washington and the Washington Post now appear to be hell-bent on bringing Petraeus and his career out of the trash heap and so he has a new op-ed. The op-ed in today’s Post is co-authored by Michael O’Hanlon who has learned nothing from his lifetime of being wrong about war and those who promote it. There is no pretense in the op-ed of staying only within military policy, the piece reads like nothing less than a listing of positions by a candidate running for office. Petraeus has failed his country and his wife in spectacular fashion, but Washington and the Washington Post are gearing up to unleash him on the world once again, possibly as president. How many more countries will the US invade, with their cultures destroyed and hundreds of thousands of them dead needlessly and violently if this man comes back into the Washington conversation?

No. Just no. Do not listen to this man, he is poison.

21 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    Who’d have thought that the admiral was such a fine judge of character and master of understatement?

  2. P J Evans says:

    I really hope that the FBI investigation finds stuff that directly incriminates Petraeus. An orange jumpsuit would look so good on him.

  3. What Constitution? says:

    Well, seeing as how the Republican Party can’t seem to locate a single non-crazy non-military guy to run against Hillary and/or articulate an electable schtick in public, it only stands to reason the Fear Machine has to find a military guy to remind everyone how Dangerous the Times are — that soap might be sellable. And if Gingrich can still find a microphone and Sanford can be running again already, none of Petraeus’ “moral quibbles” should suffice to tarnish his status in the Party, right? Everything else on the long list of Petraeus failings are — of course — the fault of those Dems who hate ‘Murika anyway. At least he isn’t orange, maybe this can get Boehner off the front page for a bit.

  4. Guy Montag says:

    “…it appears that the Washington… designated time for Petraeus to sit in the penalty box has been determined to be only five months. … Despite all these failures by Petraeus, both professional and personal, Washington… now appear to be hell-bent on bringing Petraeus and his career out of the trash heap… Washington… gearing up to unleash him on the world once again, possibly as president.”
    . . .

    Or how about President [Gen.] Stanley “Stan the Man” McChrystal?

    Although he’s got a few skeletons in the closet, the MSM won’t call him on them. He could also be a contender, although he had to spend a year in the “penalty box” before being “rehabilitated” by President Obama’s appointment to head up the Joining Forces program (over the objections of Jake Tapper and Mary Tillman). McChrystal’s very good at delivering his stump speech on the lecture circuit promoting his disingenuous memoir (e.g Carl Prine’s June 3, 2012 post “McChrystal Clear”).

    For details see my 200 page post, “The Dark Legacy of Gen. Stanley McChrystal & His Memoir “My Share of the Task”: His Betrayal of Pat Tillman, His Command of JSOC Torture, and His Failed Afghan War “Surge,” at the Feral Firefighter blog.

  5. JTMinIA says:

    @P J Evans: Whatever would make you think that the FBI finding incriminating evidence against Patraeus would lead to him being in an orange jumpsuit? Seriously. They could have video of him handing secret files to Broadwell, with the label “Top Secret” showing, and absolutely nothing would happen to him.

    Now, if he mistakenly called her “Julian [Assange]” in his sleep, that would be another matter.

  6. Jim White says:

    @Guy Montag: Thanks for that. When McChrystal was first appointed that group, I spent a lot of time on Twitter repeatedly asking them why they wanted to be represented by a war criminal.

  7. Guy Montag says:

    @Jim White: Thanks for your Tweeting efforts (I’m still resisting being assimilated by Twitter; instead I spent some time back then writing blog comments).

    If you get a chance, take a look at my blog. I (of course) think it would be worth your time given your past interest in Tillman, JSOC, McChrystal, etc. In particular, my post “Never Shall I Fail My Comrades” has been extensively revised and expanded since I released the draft version back in December (I just sent an email yesterday to [email protected] on the subject).

  8. Frank33 says:

    We should not listen to P4! How can you say that?

    P4 is a legend, a gift from God, a true American leader in war and peace. And the New York Times agrees. It is a tragedy, to lose this victorious General, greater than Julius Caesar, greater than Generalissimo Franco. A CIA spy says so.

    “It’s a personal tragedy, of course, but it’s also a tragedy for the country,” said Bruce Riedel, a C.I.A. veteran and a presidential adviser.

    P4 has his very own General Minnie Me, press agent, named General Keane. Be afraid, be very afraid. We have not heard the last of this serial murderer.

    Jack Keane, the former vice chief of staff of the Army and a mentor to Mr. Petraeus, said he believed Mr. Petraeus would eventually be rehabilitated: “We have not heard the last of Dave Petraeus, possibly even in a public service role.”

  9. mzchief says:

    OT– @CFR_org pimps CIA Amazon sales of a PNAC -er and torture apologist (24:44) named “Max Boot” (☚ see video linked therein):

    RT @maxboot: Amazon has dropped the price of the #invisiblearmies Kindle down to just $10.19… in case you haven’t bought it yet:…
    10:30 AM – 8 Apr 13 · Details

  10. Greg Bean (@GregLBean) says:

    Excellent post, had me laughing a number of times. I especially loved your repetition of, “because that’s what Washington and the Washington Post do.” though “ass-kissing little chicken-shit” is wonderfully hilarious.

    There’s nothing that shits a hard headed warrior more than having the world laughing at him. Harharhar.

    Thanks, made my day.

  11. CTuttle says:

    Aloha, Jim…! A most excellent post…! Let’s hope that “ass-kissing little chicken-shit” gains the same prominence as Franks’ “F*cking stupidest man on the planet” appellation for Feith…! ;-)

  12. guabin says:

    Priceless. Only a short while ago FAIR had a post, ‘Keeping the Government’s Secrets’ that details the shameless, incestuous relationship between the media and the régime du jour, though not nearly as acerbic and hilarious.

    Nothing has changed. And, with a mainly disengaged and increasingly financially repressed populace, nothing will change. Failure of failed public officials will always be career enhancing and wealth generating, especially for a ‘warrior-intellectual’.

  13. What Constitution? says:

    Although the question is fair and it is rational, asking “How can these fools believe Petraeus has already paid his debt when the FBI is still investigating how Broadwell came into possession of classified documents while he ran CIA?” at the end of this post was tongue in cheek, right? By a parity of reasoning, we should have been expecting something to come of the “investigation” of torture that hung around for a couple of years before being taken out in the Friday trash?

    Reminiscent of Neil Young’s wry introduction to one of his ballads on Four Way Street: “This one starts out kind of slow, then fizzles out altogether.” That’s how the Petraeus investigation”s “outstanding issues” will go….

  14. Rob J. Pettering says:

    It’s David Ignatius at The Post. Over the years Petraeus has carefully cultivated him, Joe Klein of Time, Tom Ricks of Foreign Policy and a few female reporters here and there, if you will. I got so furious I wrote the Post editors – not that they care – and challenged them to give us the real story of Petraeus. The sex affairs are the little guy’s cover to deeds much more nefarious, although lying, cheating and deceiving your wife whose family is responsible for your big career is damned sleazy.

    Obama probably knew he and the woman were having the affair while he was the commander in Afghanistan. (Google “David and Paula” in Foreign Policy.) He could not and would not name him to head the Joint Chiefs. Obama owed his general for taking a demotion to command the Afghan War after he canned McChrystal. He probably knew P-4 would hang himself at the CIA. One for Mr. Obama.

  15. Rob J. Pettering says:

    If you watched “House of Cards,” the really terrific Netflix original series, the evil character who plays a congressman makes reference to the five months. For my part, Petraeus can do whatever he wants = as long as it does not involve my tax money. He should have no connections with The Pentagon or any other government agency. If some state is ignorant enough to elect this corrupt man to represent them, so be it.

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