Sunday, November 11, 2012

Petraeus: Fact, Reality, Delusion and the Nation

There will be attempts over the coming days--tiresome, repetitive, attempts, filled with the manifest forms and registers of false outrage--to link the recent revelations regarding Gen. Petraeus to the events in Benghazi.

We have already seen their familiar beginnings--starting from a predetermined conclusion, then working backward in massive leaps, filling yawning gaps of fact and logic with rage and delusion.

Many conservatives, still stunned in mid-paranoid-style by the results of the election, now see a faint thread dangling which they hope to grab, to continue their flight into factlessness--the very flight that contributed significantly to their loss, which left them surrounded by a bubble of false belief until the very end of the election, when the hard truth of data and reality came rushing in.

Benghazi was a tragedy. During the prior Administration, there were 12 such tragedies at American embassies--tragedies that, curiously, did not evoke the same passionate call to rage that we see among some today.

There are many opinions, and there will be many opinions regarding General Petraeus and his acts. There is no doubt that he has served his nation as he has been asked, over many years.

Conservatives, now attempting to hoist Petraeus, the general's general, as the object through which they can protest Obama's victory, given that his actions were known by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in October, must twist themselves and their usual conspiracy theories into a form of petard that would be objectionable to their most favored, more classically-themed artists and theoreticians.

This appears to be a personal matter between Petraeus and Broadwell. Given his position, he has taken his decision--perhaps arguable, but given that position, a reasonable one.

The Republican Majority Leader knew of this a month ago--long before the President. The director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was informed by the FBI on Tuesday, who recommended to Petraeus that he resign. On Thursday, Petraeus met with the President. The President was not told by the FBI, as Petraeus himself wanted to inform the President of his decision.

Both Sen. Diane Feinstein (D), the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee have both stated that Petraeus can and will still testify before Congress, should that be necessary. His resignation in no way prevents this--in any way whatsoever.

The election is over. Now it is time to let go of election's animus--and for these families, and our families to get on with the work of repair, restoration and fulfillment of the Union.