Obama's banana republic tactics

General David Petraeus is expected to plead guilty today for allegedly leaking classified information.  The root of General Petraeus’s current predicament can be traced to 2009, when Petraeus and the Obama regime clashed over the proposed Afghan surge.

While running for president in 2008, Obama vowed to send additional troops and refocus the military on the “good” war in Afghanistan.  By 2009, looking for a way out of campaign pledges regarding Afghanistan, Obama was consistently at odds with his uniformed military commanders over Afghan strategy.  Tensions between the regime and the military “often turned personal.”  Obama and aides “repeatedly pressed the top military advisers for an exit plan from Afghanistan that they never gave to him.”  General David Petraeus, then commander of CENTCOM, “felt shut out by the new administration” with respect to negotiations and reportedly told his staffers that the regime was “f--king with the wrong guy.”

A review conducted by General Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, provided a grim outlook on the situation in Afghanistan.  Eventually, the review was leaked to Bob Woodward, and the Obama administration, looking for a way out, felt “boxed in” by Petraeus and McChrystal. 

During the early years of the Obama administration, General Petraeus was a vocal thorn in their side.  Obama and aides wanted to ensure that David Petraeus would never be an obstacle to their leftist agenda again.

The administration found its pretext in 2012, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered the Petraeus-Broadwell affair while investigating a separate cyber-stalking matter.  While the administration has said that “Petraeus never endangered national security,” the FBI’s probe nonetheless remained open for over two years.  Jack Keane, a retired four-star general, stated, “It makes you wonder if there is another motivation to drag an investigation out this long.”  Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, worried that the probe “will linger until the president leaves office.” 

The federal government’s bullying and thuggish tactics worked.  Since General Petraeus’s resignation as CIA director in November 2012, he has “largely stayed out of the public debate over foreign policy.”  Since his resignation, any public comments by Petraeus have been largely friendly to Obama.

According to Eli Lake and Josh Rogin, “this lack of outspokenness is not surprising,” but “what does seem surprising, to many who know and have worked with Petraeus, is that the views he has been expressing are so at odds with what he has said and implied in the past.”  Lake and Rogin point out that Petraeus publicly advocated for the surge in Afghanistan in 2009 and made the case for arming Syrian moderate forces.  When asked this summer about that effort, Petraeus “demurred” and stated, “I strongly support what’s being done now.”

Perhaps General Petraeus’s newfound support for Obama’s policies can be linked to his having a federal investigation hanging over his head for two years.  Many Americans don’t believe that our own government would utilize federal agencies or trumped-up charges to destroy or silence an American citizen, a war-hero nonetheless.  However, governments across the world frequently utilize the criminal justice system to neutralize political threats.  Sadly, America is not immune to this phenomenon, and the Obama administration is comfortable using third-world tactics to destroy anyone who gets in its way.