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December 06, 2016

Opinion: David Petraeus Is Not Fit to be Secretary of State, Nor to Serve in Any Capacity in an Administration

I didn't have strong feelings about this one way or the other, but The Federalist's Christine Brim has pushed me into the #NeverPetraeus camp.

Petraeus's positions have been identical to Clinton’s for years, possibly up to the moment last week when he entered Trump Tower for his meeting with the President-Elect. Petraeus as Secretary of State is Hillary Clinton in a better pantsuit.

And that's why Petraeus is not just a bad choice for Secretary of State--he's a bad choice for any other cabinet position. He brings too much baggage, a damaged brand, and a long history of lying. He lied to the FBI and CIA about his handling of classified documents; he lied to his wife about his mistress; he lied to Congress about Benghazi. Why should Trump's transition team assume he’s telling them the truth now?


Petraeus's first impulse is to silence any criticism of Islam that could upset his Middle East clients. When he was commander of CENTCOM, those clients were the Islamic nations in the CENTCOM region. Not much changed when he joined the global financial firm KKR in 2013, as a "door opener" to Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and everyone else he had previously courted in his official government role.

But then in December 2015, Trump suggested a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. Petraeus's Muslim clients went ballistic...

Petraeus's op-ed reached CAIR-levels of outrage, scolding "those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims," "those who demonize and denigrate Islam," and "demonizing a religious faith and its adherents." A bravura finger-wagging performance, the op-ed also served as a timely audition for a future Clinton administration, with Petraeus warning "It is precisely because the danger of Islamist extremism is so great that politicians here and abroad who toy with anti-Muslim bigotry must consider the effects of their rhetoric."


As Catherine Herridge of FOX News reported, House Intelligence Committee members claimed then-CIA Director Petraeus misled them when he testified on September 14, 2012, two days after the Benghazi attack. Petraeus blamed the attack on a spontaneous protest against the internet video, though the Obama administration knew that it was a planned terrorist attack. Petraeus also claimed that the mortar rounds landing at the Annex in Benghazi could not be evidence that terrorism was involved, when intelligence experts had reported just the opposite. He was under investigation at the time by the FBI for his earlier mishandling of classified information, which created concerns that his testimony was influenced by the Administration.

Definitely read the whole thing. Petraeus is a Hard Nope for me, with a bonus GFY added.

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posted by Ace at 12:15 PM

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