David Petraeus is resigning as head of the CIA because he had an affair. Perhaps it’s not as simple, but if it is – why does an affair mean he has to resign?
It puzzles me.
UPDATED: Chuck Todd on MSNBC just answered my question. The CIA culture has a zero tolerance policy on stuff like this for field agents. Given that, and because he’s an honorable man, Petraeus probably refused to exempt himself from the rule.
This Sunday morning, I made myself watch Meet the Press, because the entire show was to be an interview with Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan. David Gregory – whom I usually find offensive – did a superb job. He started out, as all celebrity journalists do, with the old tired Tim Russert tactic of starting every follow-on question with “but! but!”. But Petraeus, with his quiet and patient intelligence, wore him down and finally Gregory got past himself and a fine fine interview ensued. Watch it here. And it wasn’t until the interview wrapped up that I realized there had been no commercial interruptions.
There are many of us who worship at the altar of Sunday morning television, a questionable activity to be sure. Like myself, I know quite a few people – mostly blog friends – who’d been looking forward to the arrival of Christiane Amanpour on ABC at the anchor desk. Her first show was a disappointment – it was the same show it had always been. And I sincerely hope she eventually puts her own stamp on it. So it’s ironic to find myself entranced at Meet the Press. Now – if Gregory and NBC can hold onto this tone, a serious one, we will all be better informed. Which, after all, is the point.
Petraeus used the phrase “The Long War” which has been creeping in lately. I expect we’ll be hearing more of that phrase, as we head into our tenth year in Afghanistan, where today is the 310th day of the ninth year of our presence in that sorry and beautiful land.
Made the acquaintance today of Outofcentralasianow, who examined a recent bit of testimony by General Petraeus. The General said:
“The reality is that it’s hard, but we are [in Afghanistan] for a very, very important reason, we can’t forget that,” he added. “We’re in Afghanistan to ensure that it cannot once again be a sanctuary for the kinds of attacks that were carried out on 9/11.”
CentralAsia found this to be a rather remarkable (stupid, my word) comment on why we’re there. He wrote:
Is that a stupid statement? There’s no other land anywhere from which to plan another “9/11″ anywhere in the world? Wern’t the ringleaders based in Germany? Wern’t some in the U.S. training to become pilots?
Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attackers, did his training right down the road from me here in South Florida. This ‘sanctuary’ line is bogus. If it was ever valid, it no longer is. And CentralAsia is exactly right. Denying them Afghanistan does not deny them a place to train.
A Cheney (Liz) yesterday:
- I worry though when we capture these leaders that we no longer have the option of using any of the enhanced interrogation techniques because the president took those off the table. When you’ve got people in captivity we’d like our CIA officials in particular to have the capacity to do more than just ask the terrorists to please tell us what they want.
The Commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia today:
- Asked about whether the U.S. ought to torture Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy commander of the Taliban, recently captured in Pakistan said “I have always been on record, in fact since 2003, with the concept of living our values.” Every time the U.S. took what he called “expedient measures” around the Geneva Conventions, those deviations just “turned around and bitten us on our backside.” The effect of torture at Abu Ghraib is “non-biodegradable,” he continued, and boasted that as commander of the 101st Airborne in Iraq, he ordered his men to ignore any instruction to use techniques outside the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. Besides, the non-torture techniques that manual has long instructed? “That works,” he said. “That is our experience.”
I betcha ole Liz would like to see Dave stood up in front of a court martial for disobeying orders in a time of war.