Author Topic: Worst. Spy. Ever.  (Read 794 times)

Alty

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Worst. Spy. Ever.
« on: November 11, 2012, 07:53:22 pm »
http://www.smh.com.au/world/obsessed-by-his-own-image-the-downfall-of-general-petraeus-20121112-296xt.html

Link because of the fail.

All I really have to say about this, and I'm sure it's been said and thought elsewhere, is who the fuck cares if this guy is screwing around? And then it struck me: he didn't resign because he had an affair, he resigned because when you're the Big Man at the CIA you should DAMN WELL BE ABLE TO KEEP A FUCKING SECRET!

My questions is, why do these articles play up the illicit nature of the affair instead of his incompetence as a spy? It's like this guy is Tiger Woods or something. Children will puke up their Wheaties because General Petraeus is a human being?

Also, you can tell the reporter in that article is in la-la land right here:
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She was a fellow West Point graduate, a counter-terrorism expert, a fitness champion and a tall, striking brunette two decades his junior who had modelled for a machine gun manufacturer.

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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2012, 08:26:54 pm »
He made a terrible judgement call by having an affair in the first place, because the built-in problem with an affair is that it involves another person.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 12:01:52 am »
I"m fairly sure this was known about prior to the election, and now serves as a handy excuse to put someone else at the head of the CIA. The timing goes beyond coincidence....
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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 08:23:52 am »
Sounds about right, Tel.

Petraues has a lot of supporters on the Hill...getting rid of him without due cause was always going to be pretty hard, and he is known to have Republican sympathies and Presidential aspirations.  Giving work experience to a potential future rival obviously wasn't going to go down well among the Democrats (lets be honest, Petraues is no Robert Gates), so a way to quietly retire him was needed. 

It does make me wonder who will succeed him though.  I don't see a lot of contenders...maybe an internal promotion?  It's unusual, but not unheard of, and getting a Company man in charge may mitigate the militarization and Pentagon influence on the Agency.
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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 12:00:24 am »
Hmm....so this means that Petraeus won't have to testify about Benghazi, right?

I'm sure that's just a coincidence.
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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 12:04:33 am »
Hmm....so this means that Petraeus won't have to testify about Benghazi, right?

I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

Amazing how that works.

Also, the last of two Bush-era heroes is gone (not stating that he deserves that title, just that he has it).
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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 05:29:16 pm »
I knew I had heard the name Paula Broadwell before:

http://registan.net/2011/01/13/the-unforgivable-horror-of-village-razing/

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Tom Ricks ran a guest-post today by Paula Broadwell, a former adviser to General Petraeus and current PhD candidate at King’s College London, who is touring the war on a research trip. It is, in a word, abhorrent.

Start with the title: “Travels with Paula (I): A time to build.” It’s so… hopeful. So upbeat. The soldiers and Marines are building a glorious new future! The photos and story, however, tell a different story.

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Translated from obnoxious mil-speak, she is describing the village being intimidated by the Taliban, who are chased away by soldiers, then “cleared” by special forces, and leveled by massive aerial bombardment, apparently with no casualties. Nowhere in this account is there a sense that the villagers felt any ill-will toward the Americans beforehand—rather, Broadwell explicitly describes the village as being victimized by the Taliban first, then being completely obliterated by the Americans. In other words, rather than actually clearing the village—not just chasing away the Taliban but cleaning up the bombs and munitions left over—the soldiers got lazy and decided to destroy the entire settlement… “to give the men confidence.” This sounds bad enough—like a nightmare from before there was a Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibited the collective punishment and expulsion of civilians from conflict zones—but it gets worse.

Immediately after, the soldiers are told to rebuild the villages. The American commander had a neat idea, I guess, in that he’d like the villagers to participate in some way in the rebuilding of their village. But look at what he does:

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    Flynn also wanted a true GIRoA solution, demanding that all the Afghans from the village work this issue together, led by their malik. His concern was that the Afghans would run away with CERP funding and no homes would be rebuilt with the funds they had handed over. The build and compensation initiatives required careful oversight.

They wound up vetting all supplicants through the district governor, which basically means whoever paid him off got whatever land they wanted and any poor people in the village lost their homes forever. Broadwell then profiles a “doubter” (as she calls him) from the village, “Mohammed,” who complains that the destruction of this village ruined his life. Rather than expressing regret at the destruction of his home, Broadwell writes him off as engaging in theatrics, because reacting negatively to losing your entire home and all your possessions is for pussies (obviously).

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Basically, she thinks they should stop their bitching and appreciate the earnest efforts the U.S. is making to repair some of the damage they did by burning everything to the ground to begin with. Not only that, she is basically arching her eyebrows and wondering why those whiny Afghans don’t thank the Americans for their largess in rebuilding a village they destroyed for the sake of their own safety and—don’t forget—”momentum.”

What a lovely woman.

In fact, I insist you read everything Registan has on this woman, who Foust seems to have made something of a personal project.  Foust is no angel himself, but in this case, I think he had does some rather valuable work.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 06:48:28 pm »
The New York Times lists two possible replacements - John Brennan, an Obama adviser, and Micheal Morrell, Petraeus's deputy. Thoughts?
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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 06:52:55 pm »
Brennan's a lunatic.  He'll be seeing cyber-plots and conspiracies every time a CIA server burps.

Morell is a more likely choice for Obama, given the "return to the Pacific" so-called "grand strategy" - he was Division Chief for both South America and the Asia-Pacific region, and this is his second time as Acting Director of the CIA.  Of course, given the Company reputation in South America, it's worth asking exactly what he was doing during his time down there, and whether the rumours of destabilization of countries there might be something he has played a role in.

Then again, maybe he's being made Acting Director because that's as high as anyone wants him to go.  Also worth considering.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cain

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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 11:20:13 pm »
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/15/us-usa-generals-idUSBRE8AD0GT20121115

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A computer used by Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with CIA Director David Petraeus led to his resignation, contained substantial classified information that should have been stored under more secure conditions, law enforcement and national security officials said on Wednesday.

The contents and amount of the classified material – and questions about how Broadwell got it – are significant enough to warrant a continuing investigation, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment publicly.

On the other hand, Broadwell's got a background in counterinsurgency and political science - meaning she's probably got about as much classified information on her computer as I do.  Which is to say, more than average, but not enough to suggest she was hoarding intelligence to sell to the Chinese or something.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have issued a statement on the appropriate punishment for General Petraues:

http://www.emirates247.com/news/region/petraeus-sex-scandal-amuses-taliban-2012-11-15-1.483340

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"From a Pashtun point of view, Petraeus should be shot by relatives from his mistress's family," the Taliban official explained.

"From a Shariah point of view, he should be stoned to death."

See?  Who says the Taliban aren't open to other customs and traditions?
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cain

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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2012, 02:28:06 pm »
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/one-interesting-thing-about-paula-broadwells-petraeus-biography-20121121

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So over the weekend I read All In, Paula Broadwell's slobberific biography of General David Petraeus. It was nothing special, just a typically crappy piece of fawning, noncritical journalism, full of passages like the following:

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    At Petraeus's change of command in Baghdad in the summer of 2008, Secretary Gates claimed that "history [would] regard Petraeus as one of the nation's great battle captains . . ." Petraeus's success on the battlefield, his status as a military intellectual and his will to succeed allowed him to shape not only doctrine but also organizational design, training, education and leadership development in the Army and, in many respects, the broader military . . .

You can pretty much guess the rest of the plot from there. Every environment Petraeus enters is instantly bettered by his majestic personage. We see him passing through destroyed hamlets in Afghanistan, the weight of the world on his rugged shoulders, scratching his figurative chin as he worries which strategies to choose "so that villagers could once again live in peace and prosperity."

We see Petraeus giving stirring speeches, working past midnight until aides tear him away from his desk, and stoically receiving compliments from grateful colleagues (Gates later tells him: "You have stepped forward as the indispensable soldier/scholar of this era . . .").

The book is so one-sided that it is almost supernaturally dull, and I was forgetting about it just minutes after I put it down.

Then it hit me – it was an interesting book, after all! Because if you read All In carefully, the book's tone will remind you of pretty much any other authorized bio of any major figure in business or politics (particularly in business), and it will most particularly remind you of almost any Time or Newsweek famous-statesperson profile.

Which means: it's impossible to tell the difference between the tone of a reporter who we now know was literally sucking the dick of her subject and the tone of just about any other modern American reporter who is given access to a powerful person for a biography or feature-length profile.

 :lulz:  I was wondering how long it would take someone to notice this.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 04:57:41 pm »
 :lulz:

Also, "almost supernaturally dull"  :lol:
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2012, 02:32:46 pm »
:lulz:

Also, "almost supernaturally dull"  :lol:

See also: Twilight.
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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2012, 05:36:27 pm »
No- twilight was interesting in that people apparently find creepy stalkerish behavior acceptable when fictionalised.
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Re: Worst. Spy. Ever.
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2012, 05:46:36 pm »
No- twilight was interesting in that people apparently find creepy stalkerish behavior acceptable when fictionalised.

Teenage girls, mostly.

Gotta love how they're being socially conditioned to believe that some guy you barely know slipping into your bedroom at night and watching you sleep all night is somehow "romantic." 
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