Friday, November 16, 2012

Don't Expect Much From Petraeus Testimony

     Today is the day that the now disgraced former Director of Central Intelligence, David Petraeus, will testify about the Benghazi affair. It has been made clear that there will be no talk of the other more salacious affair that has come to light in recent days. The testimony will proceed behind closed doors, for reasons that aren't exactly clear. Many on the right are hoping for a bombshell testimony from Mr. Petraeus, that at most will lead to the removal of Barrack Obama as President, and at the least will neuter the President's second term.
     I hate to put a crimp in any one's optimism, but I highly doubt either of the two aforementioned scenarios will come to fruition. Acting Director of Central Intelligence, John McLaughlin, has already held the administration's line on Benghazi, and I don't expect the former director to do any different. Many on the right think General Petraeus will recant his previous statements, made shortly after the attacks, that they were a spontaneous riot in reaction to an anti-Muslim YouTube video. It seems that the administration's story now is that when they said the attacks were in response to the video, they were telling the truth based on the intelligence they had at the time. I would be very surprised if the former CIA Director made any testimony to dispute this story. Especially in light of the fact that it would have been his agency that provided the bulk of the "faulty" intelligence.
     Another reason I don't think David Petraeus will stray to far off the administrations plantation, is he doesn't want his personal life to be thrown into anymore turmoil. He knows, I would venture to say better than most, the power that the administration has to instruct the FBI to conduct searches of his and his family's homes. The image of the FBI carrying boxes and computers out of the former Director's house would destroy any shreds of a reputation that he has left. The administration also has both the ability and the inclination to alter or eliminate completely the former General's pension. He knows that as bad as things may be for him and his family at this time, the administration can easily make his current problems seem like a few ants at a picnic in comparison.
     With the administration controlling most of the levers of power, I wouldn't expect the Benghazi affair to result in anything more than a few resignations and some hand-wringing about changing procedures to avoid a repeat of such an event in the future. This may sound cynical, but I've learned not to expect much truth and justice in the new American way that exists in the age of Obama.

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