Skip to comments.Petraeus vs. Clinton. Do Sexual Affairs Threaten National Security?
Posted on 11/12/2012 6:44:41 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The sudden departure of a compromised CIA director hasnt been an episode of Showtimes espionage drama Homeland, but it could be.
The story of David Petraeuss resignation is evolving, and we may know more soon enough. But for now, he is said to have resigned because he committed marital infidelity in a way that could have exposed the U.S. to harm. Greta van Susteren of Fox News says his jobs as a general and CIA director made him very vulnerable to blackmail from those with very bad intentions against the United States.
Fair enough, but many commentators took an entirely different line 15 years ago when President Bill Clinton, who had access to all of our nations secrets, was caught having an affair with an intern named Monica Lewinsky. The Starr Report, released in September 1998, revealed that Clinton told Lewinsky that he suspected that a foreign embassy was tapping his telephones, and he proposed cover stories if they were ever questioned about their relationship.
When she left the White House, Lewinsky got a cushy Pentagon job, complete with a security clearance. Later, after Lewinsky threatened to expose the relationship, Clinton accepted her demand for a well-paying job in Manhattan and then asked a friend, Vernon Jordan, to make the contacts. Lewinsky told her then-confidante Linda Tripp that the president owed her something special: I dont want to have to work for this position. I just want it to be given to me. But none of this brought down Clinton, who was acquitted by the Senate in a impeachment trial for having committed perjury before a federal judge.
Foreign governments must be chuckling at the thought that the worlds superpower has been consumed with the Petraeus scandal. Former Financial Times editor Eamonn Fingleton points out on the Forbes website: Similarly mission critical officials in other nations are not similarly vulnerable. This applies in spades in East Asia. Whether we are talking about China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, or any other nations of the Confucian world, a mans sexual behavior is within large limits not a national security issue. It is simply taken for granted that boys will be boys. In addition, governments in most of those nations unlike the U.S. government spy on their officials and usually know all there is about them. Other nations also often know about the personal vulnerabilities of U.S. officials long before our own government does.
Its pretty clear that unless there were other factors involved, Petraeus could have kept his job if he had simply alerted someone at the CIA. Justice Department officials have concluded that there will no charges against Petraeus or his mistress, Paula Broadwell, and that there was no breach of national security.
Petraeus could have gone to the CIAs security chief and said, Im having an affair with an American citizen. And that would have been the end of it, former undercover CIA officer Bob Baer told Politico. As long as such relationships are reported, they almost never lead to action by the CIA. After all, the agency is filled with people who travel frequently, are skilled in the arts of subterfuge, and share little about their work life with their family.
But the fact of the matter is that Petraeus did try to keep his affair a secret, and he thus exposed himself to blackmail. He also apparently managed to anger his mistress enough that she sent threatening e-mails to a State Department employee she suspected of competing for his affections. A sticky wicket indeed.
The Code of Federal Regulations (Title 32, Chapter 1, Part 147) makes clear that sexual behavior is a security concern. A person may lose a security clearance for personal conduct or concealment of information that may increase an individuals vulnerability to coercion, exploitation, or duress, such as engaging in activities which, if known, may affect the persons personal, professional, or community standing or render the person susceptible to blackmail. In August 1995, that regulation was strengthened by Executive Order 12968. It stated that individuals eligible for access to classified material must have a record of strength of character, truthfulness, honesty, reliability, discretion and sound judgment, as well as freedom from conflicting allegiances and potential for coercion. The man who issued that Executive Order was none other than President Bill Clinton. A mere three months later he began his affair with Monica Lewinsky, a chatty 22-year-old who eventually spilled the beans to eleven other people.
I think it was proper for General Petraues to resign his position, even based only on the facts we know. But we need a national debate on a consistent standard that we hold our high officials to. Is it the Petraeus standard, by which officials with access to secrets must adhere to a zero-tolerance policy? Or is it the Clinton standard, by which egregious breaches of security go unpunished?
John Fund is a national-affairs columnist for NRO and a co-author of the newly released Whos Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk (Encounter Books).
Yes, they do.
They also show us how untrustworthy a lot of our “leaders” are.
When we do not have moral leaders, we have a security concern.
Clinton was elected President, and by that virtue alone was not required to go through the security clearance process. I believe that also extends to the elected members of Congress. Otherwise Patrick Leahy would have had his clearance pulled and possibly jailed for leaking classified information to a reporter when he was a representative. I’m sure there are other examples as well.
I could be completely off base as well.
On a radio show last Friday Vince Flynn said the Israelis somehow got a tap of one of Clinton’s oval office sex phone calls. Said they brought the tape to a WH Meeting and said they thought Bill would like to have it back.
Obama has "very bad intentions against the United States".
Uh....John, what if the president and attorney general were the ones doing the blackmailing? Surely, you aren’t such a babe in the woods that it din’t occur to you that this is the way the Chicago Democrat mafia frequently does business.
Do sexual affairs threaten National Security?
Ask Hillary Clinton.
Michelle Bachman wanted an investigation into her lesbian affair with Huma Abedin the Muslim girlfriend and she got crucified for it.
Yet we have the FBI investigating the affair of a Hero who works for the CIA for getting a chunk of a female reserve soldier in a straight relationship.One they knew of for months, but did not publish until the General was about to go before a Congressional Committee.
But their #1 target was the homosexuals in the government and military whom they could turn on a dime - and did. I have been told by folks who should know, that since the fall of the USSR numerous cases have been found where that has occurred.
It used to work against Americans because of our prudery in such things and it was inevitable you lost your job. See if this sort of thing works in France?
Obama? Is not a leader of men.
Instead of being beyond reproach and a good example and role model, he is a marxo-muslim saboteur with every social ill known to mankind.
By the time America wakes up, and rubs her eyes, he will have had his way.
Anybody who has ever had to get any level of security clearance knows that they dig into this kind of stuff hard.
“Honey Pot” agents are a particular favorite tactic of the Russians and Israelis in particular.
Not if they involve Democrats or Democrat appointees.
Does the term “honey pot” mean anything? Like former DC mayor Marion Barry famously said in his own defense, “The b***h set me up!”
This succeeded in getting him acquitted, except for one charge of possession, by virtue of “jury nullification” when the case came to trial in 1990.
That was a sting operation by the FBI, but what happened in General Petraeus’ situation was a trap set probably a long time ago by the “unofficial” machinations of David Axelrod, well known for using similar tactics to discredit or remove other potential whistleblowers or even rivals.
When the history of this era is finally written, David Axelrod shall loom large in the manner of Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop or Paul Joseph Goebbels, as an evil master of political intrigue and outright criminal activity, for which neither was held accountable until the political and governmental protections they once held were stripped away.
Darned straight the Current Regime was well aware of the pickle into which they themselves had placed General Petraeus. That may very well have been the basis of the charges hurled a while back by some of the more fervent partisans of this Current Regime, calling him “General Betray-Us”, as if that were some clever witticism. Notice that this was quickly hushed up, as the Current Regime had a much more serious purpose in mind for the General, and they just pulled it out with their perversion of the purposes of the CIA.
Discredited and disgraced, this effectively nullifies whatever testimony General Petraeus may have given to the House committee investigating Benghazi. As a civilian and former leader of the CIA, he is prohibited by law from testifying about classified information he may have learned as head of the CIA. For that matter, he is equally as prohibited from discussing classified information he may have been aware of while a General in the Army.
“Yes, they do.”
I don’t think so...
According to the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, approximately 50 percent married women and 60 percent of married men will have an extramarital affair at some time in their marriage. And since it is unlikely that the people having affairs are married to each other in every case, the current statistics on the percentage of married couples who cheat on each other means that someone is having an affair in nearly 80 percent of marriages.
Of course it’s not right, but that’s the way it is. This is why the public didn’t make a big deal out of the Clinton mess. Marriage is not what it once was. Hell, more than half of the marriages today end in divorce.
Why would we expect our leaders to be more moral than the rest of us?
I think you have the scenario about Petraeus described quite well. People have forgotten that Obama used the ‘dirt’ technique to out and remove a Republican opponent for Illinois Senator. No doubt Axelrod a la Alinsky was involved at that time. I’m very surprised that Axelrod and his Soviet tainted family background has not been completely exposed. I suspect Axelrod was involved with the incident in Moscow in the 1980s when a USA business man was told at a dinner party that a person named Barack Obama of a white mother would become POTUSA.
Yes, a HUGE double standard DOES exist!
Because they're supposed to be "leading" or is that "leading from behind"?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.