A number of people, including Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, are being considered for Hillary Clinton’s old job, Secretary of State. One of these people happens to be Former General David Petraeus. Now, there is extreme irony here … perhaps more than anything that has come before during this train wreck of a campaign/election. Remember how we have been hearing for more than a year that Ms. Clinton should be prosecuted and sent to prison for her poor judgement in using her private email server? Yes, we have heard this on a daily basis for nearly a year-and-a-half now. Well, here is the irony … David Petraeus did far worse, did so with intent, and for personal gain. And now Trump is considering him for Secretary of State!
I have not written of the Petraeus scandal before because it is sad when a man gets confused and tries to think with the wrong body part. However, in light of the fact that he could well play a very important role in next year’s administration, I think we need to refresh our memories. Former four-star general Petraeus, who became Director of the CIA in 2011, carried on an extra-marital affair with one Paula Broadwell, who had been retained to write Petraeus’ biography some years before. Long story short, Petraeus gave his mistress, Broadwell, access to eight notebooks with top-secret and code information. She had made copies of over 300 documents marked “secret.” When confronted by the FBI in 2012, Petraeus lied and denied, until evidence mounted and it was no longer deniable.
FBI Director James Comey, when asked if Trump’s statement that Petraeus got in trouble for ‘a lot less’ than what Hillary Clinton did was true, responded: “No, it’s the reverse.” He went on to say …
“In that [Petraeus’] case, you had vast quantities of highly classified information, including special sensitive compartmented information. That’s the reference to code words. [A] vast quantity of it, not only shared with someone without authority to have it, but we found it in a search warrant hidden under the insulation in his attic, and then he lied to us about it during the investigation. So you have obstruction of justice, you have intentional misconduct and a vast quantity of information. He admitted he knew that was the wrong thing to do. That is a perfect illustration of the kind of cases that get prosecuted. In my mind, it illustrates importantly the distinction to this [Clinton] case.”
Even at that, Petraeus was charged only a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials. He was given a two-year probationary period and a fine of $100,000. Petraeus tendered his resignation from the CIA as of November, 2012. And now, a mere four years later, he is being considered for what is arguably the most important cabinet position in the United States. Good Grief, Donald Trump!!! The man thinks his brain is in his nether regions, as you yourself do, and you want him to be your chief foreign affairs advisor??? Oh, but wait … I guess he does have experience in affairs!
Jokes aside, this is a very serious issue. According to the U.S. government website, the duties of Secretary of State are as follows:
- Serves as the President’s principal adviser on U.S. foreign policy;
- Conducts negotiations relating to U.S. foreign affairs;
- Grants and issues passports to American citizens and exequaturs to foreign consuls in the United States;
- Advises the President on the appointment of U.S. ambassadors, ministers, consuls, and other diplomatic representatives;
- Advises the President regarding the acceptance, recall, and dismissal of the representatives of foreign governments;
- Personally participates in or directs U.S. representatives to international conferences, organizations, and agencies;
- Negotiates, interprets, and terminates treaties and agreements;
- Ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries;
- Supervises the administration of U.S. immigration laws abroad;
- Provides information to American citizens regarding the political, economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian conditions in foreign countries;
- Informs the Congress and American citizens on the conduct of U.S. foreign relations;
- Promotes beneficial economic intercourse between the United States and other countries;
- Administers the Department of State;
- Supervises the Foreign Service of the United States.
As Secretary of State, Mr. Petraeus would have access to highly classified information, with which he has already proven he cannot be trusted. He would be our liaison between the president and heads of state in other nations. He would need to be respectable and respectful. He would need to be capable of thought processes that take place within the organ inside his head, not his …
Trump is considering others for this position also, and while I never thought I would say it, Mitt Romney, though lacking the experience and qualifications for the position, might well be the lesser of all evils. David Petraeus definitely is not. Fortunately, cabinet positions, like Supreme Court Justices, must be confirmed by the Senate, and I cannot imagine any likelihood that the Senate would confirm Petraeus. But then … I’ve been wrong before.