Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | 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

 

Werewolf: Pitch Perfect

Among his other blessings, Pope Francis has been a gift to the world of marketing studies. There can be few other examples where a leader has transformed the perception of an enterprise so thoroughly, but without making any discernible change to its core principles. More>>

ALSO:

US Politics: The Democrats Try To Engage With America (Again)

Venues are being rebooked to accommodate the thousands of people coming to listen to Vermont Senator, avowed socialist, and presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders talk about the redistribution of wealth. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Deal Over Iran’s Phantom Nukes (And Nuking Greece’s Future)

How could Iran continue to be expected to do all the military heavy lifting in the battle against Islamic State, while still being economically sanctioned and isolated for the threat that Teheran allegedly poses to the region? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 56 Out Now: Pope, Secret Evidence, Point Break, Democrats, Pigeons

Hi and welcome to the 56th edition of Werewolf, in which our cover story this month analyses the remarkable change of global public opinion towards the Papacy that Pope Francis has wrought - especially so, given the depths of unpopularity to which the Vatican had sunk during the reign of his predecessor… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Crisis In Greece

Greece, as the cradle of democracy, is getting no brownie points for actually practicing it. The decision by the Greek government to go back to the people for a mandate for the bailout terms being proposed by the Eurozone seems entirely appropriate. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news