David Petraeus accepting the James Madison Medal at Princeton, 2010
Two weeks ago, I wondered whether CIA Director Petraeus was politicizing the intelligence after a source told Fox News on September 27 that three days after the Benghazi assault, Petraeus briefed the House Intelligence Committee that "Benghazi was an out-of-control demonstration prompted by the YouTube video. According to the source, this was `shocking' to some members who were present and saw the same intelligence pointing toward a terrorist attack."
Knowing Petraeus' sensitivities to the faux-stimulus of what he has called in Senate testimony "Arab anger," such politicization, or, perhaps better, such Arabizing of the intelligence would likely come naturally to him. No stranger to politicking, Petraeus as CENTCOM commander engaged in what was described as an "unprecedented" political push in early 2010 on behalf of Islam's Israel-centered demonology in order to enhance Americas's military standing in Iraq and Afghanistan. This dovetailed neatly with his perhaps surprising take on Gitmo -- close it, its "existence has been used by the enemy against us" -- and his really shocking take on Hezbollah: “Hezbollah’s justifications for existence will become void,” Petraeus told the Al Hayat as reported in the Lebanese Daily Star, “if the Palestinian cause is resolved.” Given this Arabist sensibility (and don't forget one of his thesis directors at Princeton was Stephen Walt of Walt & Mearsheimer), it's no stretch to imagine the man taking up cry of Islamic video-rage as well.
Now, with so many of the adminstration's bald lies about Benghazi being exposed, PJ Tatler's Bryan Preston is asking not whether Petraeus was politicizing the intell, but whether he is "among the sources of the Benghazi deception."
In a post called "You Know Who Still Hasn't Called Benghazi a Terrorist Attack?" Preston reprises some of Petraeus' appeasement of Koran Rage back in Afghanistan. Preston also notes that several senators sent a letter on October 9 to Petraeus, DNI Clapper and White House CT advisor John Brennan asking for a specific timeline on the Benghazi intelligence They haven't received an answer.
Which isn't to say Petraeus hasn't been busy of late. Two weeks ago (September 27), the Daily Princetonian published a story suggesting that the CIA director was interested in becoming president of Princeton -- this after the current president anounced her retirement on the weekend of September 23. Petraeus' response as reported by the college paper?
I think I’ve made my respect and admiration for the great faculty and student body of Princeton University very clear, and I will reiterate that now,” Petraeus said in the statement. “As it currently stands, however, I am living the dream here at CIA.”
You don't need a CIA decoder ring to read that as he wants it. Further, with Benghazi's Big Lies crashing around him, I would even interpret the strangely jarring phrase "living the dream here at the CIA" as: Get me out of here. But I wonder how Benghazi-gate will look on his resume?