Retired four-star general and former head of the CIA, David Petraeus, may be demoted for his 2012 scandal involving classified material.
The Pentagon is re-examining whether retired Army Gen. David Petraeus should be retroactively demoted for giving his biographer unauthorized access to classified information, defense officials say.
While the Army officially determined last year that Petraeus should retain the status — and pension — of a retired four-star officer, that decision is now under review by Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s office, officials said.
This is a troubling development, given that Hillary Clinton is asking to be promoted to Commander-in-Chief despite her allegedly knowledgeable mishandling of classified electronic communications.
But is it really fair to compare the two?
As a refresher, Petraeus was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The general came under investigation when FBI agents were digging into cyber-harassment of another party by Broadwell.
…• Nov. 9, 2012: Petraeus resigns from the CIA after President Obama is told the day before about the affair and the FBI investigation. Petraeus signs a form saying he has no classified material.
• April 2013: FBI seizes eight binders of classified material in a search of Petraeus’ Arlington, Va., home, where he had kept them in the unlocked drawer of a desk.
• March 3, 2015: Petraeus reaches a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for mishandling classified materials….
What were the charges that he ultimately plead guilty to? One count of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1924…basically “unlawfully and knowingly” moving classified materials the clear intention to keep those documents … at “unauthorized locations.”
Between in or about August 2011 and on or about April 5, 2013, defendant DAVID HOWELL PETRAEUS, being an employee of the United States, and by virtue of his employment, became possessed of documents and materials containing classified information of the United States, and did unlawfully and knowingly remove such documents and materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents and materials at unauthorized locations, aware that these locations were unauthorized for the storage and retention of such classified documents and materials;
All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1924.
It appears that he took classified material to share with his biographer and mistress, possibly thinking that it would help his post-military plans that may have included a presidential run. I am no legal expert, but Hillary instructing a State Department employee to remove classification markings before faxing a document since a secure fax device could not be located sounds at least as bad…if not worse.
There was no rating of the level of classification that Petraeus shared with Broadwell, so it is not evident if he share any material from the most highly classified Special Access Programs (like several dozens Clinton stashed on her bathroom server).
However, the magnitude of Clinton’s activities and the security risks both seem significantly greater. And questions remain what she did with the information after mishandling it. Given that the FBI is now considering an investigation of “pay to play” allegations between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department, we may eventually have those answers.
Petraeus was fined $100,000 and is still serving his 2-years probation as part of the deal he made to avoid jail. Why is a demotion being proposed now, which will cost him $50,000 each year from his pension and tarnish is legacy a bit more?
Is it to send a message to Petraeus to stay silent about what he may know about Benghazi? Is it a shot across the bow to Hillary Clinton, and an indication that an indictment is in the offing?
Fox News Channel contributor John Bolton thinks the later is a distinct possibility…especially because it “has to come from the White House” and it is not a course that the Pentagon would likely pursue.
So, no, it is not fair to compare Petraeus and Clinton..yet. But perhaps Clinton will be experiencing some of the justice that has been dished out so generously to the general soon!DONATE
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