Saturday, November 10, 2012

NY Times & Washington Post Reveal Reason For FBI Probe In Petraeus Affair

According to their websites, Petraeus' paramour, Paula Broadwell, sent threatening emails to another woman, who went to the FBI. Very foolish. Too bad other "news" outlets couldn't find that out. (Of course, Newsmax isn't actually a news site.)

E-Mails From Biographer to a Third Party Led to Petraeus NYT-

FBI probe of Petraeus triggered by e-mail threats from biographer, officials say -WP

Petraeus Defeated By Outmoded Sexual Mores, Secret Police

There are a number of ironies in the career downfall of CIA boss General David Petraeus. A darling of the establishment, top man in the imperialist enforcement apparatus of military and "intelligence" agencies, a man credited with victory in Iraq (tamping down the insurgency enough to hand the mess over to a Shiite semi-dictatorship), tweaking the war in Afghanistan with a nouveau "hearts and minds" strategy of "protecting civilians" (minimizing their casualties at NATO's hands, a good idea on practical political and military grounds, not to mention moral ones, which doesn't really matter to these guys even though they pay it lip service) and until a few days ago heading the CIA, which is waging more and more aggressive "paramilitary" operations; his services are now irrationally lost to the system. This has occasioned moaning and hand-wringing among politicians and commentators. (Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, opined that he should have stayed on, for example.)

The secret police state that is America today has chewed up a top apparatchik in its maw. The FBI was spying on emails between him and his lover. No one in the establishment questions the propriety of this. As a result, his career was finished.

Why? The potential for blackmail, we're told. But the reason that potential exists is because of the repressive, antiquated, unrealistic official sexual mores of the establishment culture. Lifelong monogamy strikes me as unrealistic. What man really is turned on by the same woman for decades? It's absurd. And sexual desire by its nature has innumerable objects. We are naturally attracted to more than one other person. Too bad the establishment rejected the sexual revolution of the counterculture. I suppose there is poetic justice in the fact that the repressive mores and oppressive secret police state they impose on others should bite themselves in the ass for once. Petraeus was one of their superstar apparatchiks. It's irrational to toss him overboard for this- he certainly can't be blackmailed over it now!

Leave it to the right wing tabloids of New York City to have their cake and eat it too, moralistically tut-tutting while pruriently wallowing in the "scandal." Australian billionaire reactionary media mogul Rupert Murdoch's NY Post (a rag with a special place in his heart, which is why he keeps it going year after year, even though it loses millions of dollars a year) screamed on p. 1 Saturday, Nov. 10, "CLOAK AND SHAG HER" "CIA boss Petraeus quits over affair." The Post cites the demented right wing website Newsmax as saying an FBI source (so many arch reactionaries inside the secret police! they leak to Newsmax!) says the FBI had been intercepting Petraeus' emails since spring "after it mistook one exchange with his girlfriend as a reference to corruption." Wait, so why did it start spying on his emails? Adding to the confusion, the Post asserts that the affair "prompted an FBI investigation over fears that Broadwell had accessed the general's e-mail, possibly gaining access to classified information." But how did the FBI find out about the affair? And why is it investigating people for sexual affairs? What made them think she had accessed his emails? Why didn't they go to Petraeus at that point?

You know what I think? I think this is a case of the FBI-CIA rivalry rearing its head. They've been feuding ever since the CIA was created. J. Edgar Hoover despised the CIA from the beginning.

The paramour, Paula Broadwell, is a West Point grad who hung out with Petraeus in Afghanistan and authored a hagiography of him. (She was merely following in the footsteps of establishment "journalism" which similarly lionized him.) She claims to have served from 2003-6 as liaison officer with "the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force." (NY Post. The Post apparently doesn't know there's more than one such task force, set up in major cities with police departments. Also what agency was on the other side of the liaison?)

On to the other New York City tab, the NY Daily News (owned by Canadian Jewish real estate mogul Mortimer B. Zuckerman). Same day (Saturday), p. 1 "Gen. Betrray U.S." across the top. Oh please, so he's a traitor? Really, Mort? (That's a low blow especially from an ardent Zionist like Zuckerman, about whom it's not a stretch to say Israel comes first.) Then splayed down the page are the words "Caught In the Act." The C-I-A in those words are in big red letters- clever, huh? What creative geniuses work at these mass propaganda sheets! Inside another clever headline: "KISS & INTEL." Man, what imagination at work! On their website, the top headline today reads

'SEX UNDER THE DESK' MISTRESS: Spotted just feet from CIA director David Petraeus' wife before affair was revealed

See what I mean about titillating the readers while simultaneous acting morally offended?

Amid all the hand-wringing by the politicians and pundits over the loss of services of this professional warrior, I predict there will be nary a word questioning the secret police surveillance state, the destructive rivalries between different organs of the repression apparatus (aka "the intelligence community") or the hypocritical, unworkable, puritanical sexual mores they officially adhere to- in a popular culture drenched with blatant sexual titillation and invitations to promiscuity. (I have no problems with honest promiscuity, as opposed to "cheating:" i.e. pledging monogamy while secretly betraying the pledge. One should not deceive one's mates, lovers, soulmates. Especially since sexual diseases are an issue, not to mention trust and emotional fealty, which is connected to sex for many, especially for women.)

I guess we'll hear from some feminists who will see this as a powerful man "exploiting" a "vulnerable" woman. Nonsense. This isn't a starry-eyed intern manipulated by a clever Clinton. This woman is a mature adult (married with children), with a career, who obviously was willing to make love with a man she admired and considered a "mentor" (media accounts say).

Tell you one thing: if I were in the CIA, I'd be pissed at the FBI. But Petraeus was an outsider, so I guess they don't care so much. Still, they should.

FROM  11/10/12

Friday, November 09, 2012

Iranian Regime Murders Blogger In Captivity

The Iranian theocratic regime has just beaten to death a 35 year old blogger, Sattar Beheshti, in prison, according to Reporters Without Borders. He was being persecuted for blogging things the regime didn’t like, which it considered a Threat To National Security. (The standard excuse of all governments when they persecute people, along with Threating Public Order.) The BBC reports that this is the 17th prisoner beaten to death in the regime’s prisons in 9 years.

Whatever one thinks of the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program, the regime itself is repressive, and totalitarian in its ideology. Recall the violent repression of the protests against the last, fixed election, which reelected President Ahmadinejad. (Ahmadinejad is more and more impotent these days. He can’t even make personnel appointments or keep his own people out of prison! His final term ends in Spring 2013. Yet we keep hearing references to “Iranian threats to wipe Israel off the map” which apparently refer to his past inane spoutings, despite the fact that he doesn’t call the shots.) It would be a blessing for the Iranian people to be free of it. (What’s the U.S. plan, to impose the now erstwhile terrorist MEK on Iran?) Nevertheless, the Iranian regime and Israel are obviously enemies- especially since Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas, anti-Israeli organizations.

Coincidentally, the U.S. announced sanctions against more Iranian Government targets, including the communications minister and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance [i.e. Propaganda and Indoctrination]. Ironically, unnamed U.S. Treasury and State Department officials told the New York Times that these officials are culpable for censoring news media, jamming satellite broadcast, disrupting Internet activities, and “intimidating and detaining journalists” in the NY Times’ words. [“Iran Fired onMilitary Drone In First Such Attack, U.S. Says,” 11/8/12.] Except for the first of those, the U.S. does all of that too. In fact, it goes farther than these particulars against Iran, killing journalists, especially ones from Aljazeera (in Kabul and Baghdad), but also from Reuters, a Spanish journalist killed in the U.S. Army attack on a Baghdad hotel, and others.* (The Baghdad hotel was well known as a location for journalists, as we know from a former NSA worker interviewed on Democracy Now.) [However, the theocratic regime of Iran has killed at least one journalist in custody; odd that it wasn’t mentioned by the U.S. officials and NYT.]

One Aljazeera employee was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for several years while he was interrogated on Aljazeera’s inner workings, and promised to be released only if he’d be a U.S. spy inside Aljazeera.  

*On the matter of intimidation of journalists, leaving aside whether Julian Assange qualifies as a journalist, increasingly the U.S. is trying to obtain journalists’ confidential sources via Grand Jury inquisitions, and seems to be inching closer to using the so-called  Espionage Act against reporters who report whistleblower-obtained secrets. The secrets the high officials choose to plant anonymously in organs such as the NY Times are treated differently, of course, those officials are free to keep committing the same “crime” of divulging “classified information” with impunity. And in a lawsuit brought against the Carl Levin-authored and Obama-signed provision of the most recent Military Money Act allowing imprisonment without charges of U.S. citizens labeled “terrorists” in military gulags for indefinite periods, journalists and others made the point that they were intimidated in their work by this. The Federal District Judge agreed, but of course the Obama regime is appealing. So different from Bush! Lucky thing Romney lost, too!

Friday, November 02, 2012

After "Super Storm Sandy," NOW Will They Stop Denying Global Warming?

Doesn't look like it. Broadcast media focused unrelentingly on the trivia of each moment's damage, hardship, and chicken soup poured on by politicians. Only mention I heard of the bigger picture was from scientists on Bloomberg's radio (figures, as he isn't in the denialist camp), and even that was a tiny fraction of airtime. Thus we are at the mercy of media oligarchs' personal attitude. Apparently the consensus within the corporate elite is to go along with the position of the fossil fuel extraction industry. (As always, fanatical noisemakers for hire are readily available to shout down reason.)

In brief, global warming makes hurricanes worse because hurricanes derive their energy from ocean heat, and the oceans are warming. Secondly, since the level of the oceans have been rising due to ice melting from glaciers and the poles (especially the north), that means higher surge levels and more flooding.

But just as no massacre shakes the ironclad two-party consensus against gun control, it seems no natural calamity can shake the climate change denialist consensus. Or not so much a consensus, but just that those who no better have no stomach for a fight with the fanatics of the Right.