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Petraeus vs. Clinton. Do Sexual Affairs Threaten National Security?
National Review ^ | 11/13/2012 | John Fund

Posted on 11/12/2012 6:44:41 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The sudden departure of a compromised CIA director hasn’t been an episode of Showtime’s espionage drama Homeland, but it could be.

The story of David Petraeus’s 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 nation’s 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 don’t 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 world’s 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 man’s 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.

It’s 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 CIA’s security chief and said, ‘I’m 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 individual’s vulnerability to coercion, exploitation, or duress, such as engaging in activities which, if known, may affect the person’s 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 Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk (Encounter Books).

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: clinton; nationalsecurity; petraeus

1 posted on 11/12/2012 6:44:46 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes, they do.

They also show us how untrustworthy a lot of our “leaders” are.

2 posted on 11/12/2012 6:47:43 AM PST by GeronL (
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To: SeekAndFind

When we do not have moral leaders, we have a security concern.

3 posted on 11/12/2012 6:49:39 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.

4 posted on 11/12/2012 6:49:48 AM PST by cidrasm
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To: SeekAndFind

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.

5 posted on 11/12/2012 6:52:45 AM PST by DManA
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To: SeekAndFind
My problem with affair outing is that it stinks of blackmail and somebody trying to be discredited before they are suppose to go before a senate panel. Also it is so funny how the media is putting this on the front pages but Benghazi is barely a blip on the radar screen prior to the election.
6 posted on 11/12/2012 6:53:51 AM PST by THE_RAIDER
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To: SeekAndFind
“very vulnerable to blackmail from those with very bad intentions against the United States.”

Obama has "very bad intentions against the United States".

7 posted on 11/12/2012 6:54:32 AM PST by Feckless (I was trained by the US << This Tagline Censored by FR >> ain't that irOnic?)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.

8 posted on 11/12/2012 7:07:06 AM PST by txrefugee
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To: SeekAndFind

9 posted on 11/12/2012 7:13:40 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.

10 posted on 11/12/2012 7:23:34 AM PST by Venturer
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To: SeekAndFind
foreign espionage agencies have always used sexual deviation as targets to obtain informants.

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.

11 posted on 11/12/2012 7:24:57 AM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: elpadre
foreign espionage agencies have always used sexual deviation as targets to obtain informants.

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?

12 posted on 11/12/2012 7:45:40 AM PST by AndyJackson
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To: Feckless

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.

13 posted on 11/12/2012 7:50:29 AM PST by himno hero (hadnuff)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.

14 posted on 11/12/2012 7:52:09 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind
Petraeus vs. Clinton. Do Sexual Affairs Threaten National Security?

Not if they involve Democrats or Democrat appointees.

15 posted on 11/12/2012 7:53:46 AM PST by Colonel_Flagg ("Don't be afraid to see what you see." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: txrefugee

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.

16 posted on 11/12/2012 7:54:02 AM PST by alloysteel (Bronco Bama - the cowboy who whooped up and widened the stampede.)
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To: GeronL

“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?

17 posted on 11/12/2012 8:29:21 AM PST by babygene
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To: alloysteel

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.

18 posted on 11/12/2012 9:18:27 AM PST by noinfringers2
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To: SeekAndFind
Clapper told Petraeus to resign yet with Clinton the entire Dem institution said "It's just about sex".

Yes, a HUGE double standard DOES exist!

19 posted on 11/12/2012 9:52:18 AM PST by what's up
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To: babygene
Why would we expect our leaders to be more moral than the rest of us?

Because they're supposed to be "leading" or is that "leading from behind"?

20 posted on 11/12/2012 9:54:43 AM PST by what's up
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To: cidrasm

Neither Presidents Clinton or Obama would be able to get a security clearance. Anyone else see a pattern here?

21 posted on 11/12/2012 9:58:45 AM PST by phormer phrog phlyer
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To: SeekAndFind
Petraeus vs. Clinton. Do Sexual Affairs Threaten National Security?

No - Petraeus vs. HILLARY.

CIA Director vs. Secretary of State - nothing less.

Step back, look a the overall story being promoted - an affair with a four-star general and head of the CIA that is outed by a bitch fight with another woman having an affair with the same guy that gets outed by an investigation by the FBI over threats between the cats?

WTH? This is made in Hollywood for daytime TV soap operas.

Now think - what type of person watches daytime soap operas AND thinks about things with the emotional sophistication of a thirteen year old girl?

Hillary's "Army," that's who.

So why target them in particular?

Because Petraeus has the goods on Hillary over Benghazi, and Hillary is afraid she can't stop him from talking. So if she can't shut him up, she's got to discredit him. But she only has to concern herself with her brain-dead zombies, so she needs to give them a hate scenario. Now let's see, what kind of hate scenario works with females with the emotional maturity of sleezy, foul-mouthed, thirteen year old girls?

How about a cat fight between two women screwing the same guy behind his wife's back?

In HillaryWorld, this automatically makes the guy a sleazebag who they could never trust, who lies when he breathes, who receives ten minutes of hate a day just for existing and who - especially - will be immediately spit upon by thirty million Hillary zombies the moment he DARES try to shift the blame for his sordid, ugly, rotten, male life onto their queen.

I'm telling ya, this is how it works. Hillary's GOT to hold on to these females, and if - and when - they find out she's been murdering ambassadors and committing treason, it's going to give them pause. Probably not a long pause, lasting only between sips of latte, but still, it's a crack in the armor of their loyalty stupidity that Hillary can't risk.

Thus, the cover story. And it even has the perfect title for the soap opera, which you can read on Drudge right now: "Stay Away From My Guy."

Hillary's Fingerprints are ALL over this.

22 posted on 11/12/2012 7:22:58 PM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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