Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 


General Petraeus Punished For Making Love, Not War

General Petraeus Punished For Making Love, Not War

By Sherwood Ross
December 9, 2012

While the media may have covered the disastrous affair of CIA Director David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell in detail, it overlooked his successful effort to further militarize the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA.) “Petraeus ...leaves behind an agency that has strayed from intelligence to paramilitary activities,” reports Jeremy Scahill in The Nation. He writes the CIA has been embroiled in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) “for control of the expanding global wars being waged by the United States.” As Wikipedia notes, JSOC’s primary mission, “is believed to be identifying and destroying terrorists and terror cells worldwide.” As such, it has been known to work cooperatively at times with CIA’s Special Activities Division but lately the two agencies are said to be battling each other for supremacy.

Scahill cites several former intelligence officers to make this point. “A considerable part of the CIA budget is now no longer spying, it’s supporting paramilitaries who work closely with JSOC to kill terrorists, and to run the drone program,” he quotes retired career CIA case officer Philip Giraldi as saying. The CIA, adds Giraldi, “is a killing machine now.” (Q: When wasn’t it?) And retired Army Col. W. Patrick Lang opined Petraeus “wanted to drag them (CIA) in the covert action direction and to be a major player.”

Scahill recalled it was Petraeus as head of the U.S. Central Command in 2009 who broadened the military’s ability to operate in more countries, including Yemen, where drone strikes later “escalated dramatically.” In his first month as head of the CIA Petraeus okayed a series of drone strikes in Yemen that killed three U.S. citizens including Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, age 16. And one unnamed State Department liaison official who worked extensively with JSOC said the CIA is becoming “a miniature JSOC that purports to be an intelligence agency” and that Petraeus’s real legacy is as a “political tool,” making him, Scahill writes, “an enabler of those in the national security apparatus who want to see global mini-wars continue.”

In Yemen, last May, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), London, reported how a double U.S. drone strike there killed 12 civilians and injured 21 more in the city of Jaar. “Witnesses said the first strike targeted alleged militants meeting in a house. Civilians who had flocked to the impact site were killed in a follow-up strike,” the BIJ reported. Surely, this is war without mercy, as there is every likelihood that medical personnel rushing to aid the victims, as well as firefighters, family, and friends, are liable to be killed as well.

The Yemen strike was reminiscent of U.S. strategy in Pakistan. On at least a dozen occasions there, twin strikes killed at least 50 civilians. The civilians died, BIJ said, when they rushed to help victims of an initial attack and were hit by a second, follow-up strike. Since 2002, BIJ has recorded up to 746 people killed in U.S. strikes in Yemen. At least 117 of the dead are civilians, 24 of them children. Of course, nobody in Washington got on Petraeus’s case for these slayings.

Despite all he did to improve the CIA as an illegal killing machine, Petraeus just had to go. It was his love affair, not his refinements in the art of killing in the service of the Empire, that was the headline-grabbing scandal that doomed his career. His criminal commission of drone strikes to kill people in somebody’s else’s country without the benefit of legal authorization, much less a trial for the legally innocent victims---is regarded as unworthy of mention by our presstitute media. His fall from grace and power is sure to instruct future command officers to stick to the ugly business of making war, not love.

*************

Sherwood Ross is an American public relations consultant “for worthy causes” and anti-war blogger.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

HiveMind Public Engagement Report: NZers Want Stronger Action On Sugar

Over December 2016 and January 2017, Scoop hosted a trial community engagement exercise on the issue of Sugar and Public Health on our new HiveMind platform... Most promising was the fact that there was much agreement from across a wide range of participants from different backgrounds and perspectives on potential solutions to some of the accepted public health challenges we face around sugar. More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: Land Of The Long White Egalitarian Myth

New Zealand has earned its reputation. Its quality of life is consistently ranked among the highest in the world... New Zealanders themselves report extreme satisfaction with their lives. All of these accolades cover up another truth, however: New Zealand hasn’t been a social-democratic paradise for a long time now. More>>

Alastair Thompson: The Role Of A Free Press In Defending & Fostering Democracy

The arrival of Trump is a wake-up call – not just to the Anglosphere and the developed world - but to our entire planet: Democracy, it turns out, is much more fragile than we thought. More>>

OPENING THE ELECTION:

Related:

Lyndon Hood Satire: In Which My Computer Develops A Bug

When I arrived at the office this morning I found a message typed on my computer. It was poorly capitalised and punctuated – as if it had, for example, been written by a very determined medium-sized insect flinging itself against the keys one by one... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news