Wednesday, 6 February 2013

WhoWhatWhy and WikiLeaks: Petraeus downfall began years ago

Documents show General David Petraeus may have been targeted for take-down by competing U.S. interests years before scandal broke

NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --, in its first partnership with WikiLeaks, reports exclusively today on previously unknown documents and the deeper story they tell about the stunning downfall of former CIA Director David Petraeus .

The combined documents and research suggest the ambitious Petraeus may have been targeted for take-down by competing interests in the U.S. military/intelligence hierarchy—years before his abrupt downfall last year in a headline-making adultery scandal. The Petraeus rise was meteoric by most standards, and he was even being named as a potential opponent of President Obama in 2012 before the scandal destroyed his career.

Douglas Lucas and his co-author, WhoWhatWhy editor-in-chief Russ Baker , reporting and providing analysis based on documents obtained by the whistleblowing organization, report that nearly two years before the known period of his extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell—and while still working for the Pentagon—General Petraeus was accompanied to at least one of his frequent dinners at the DC home of Abdulwahab al-Hajri , then Yemen's ambassador to the U.S., by a woman whose very presence raised concerns.

At the time, Yemen was the subject of a raging turf battle between U.S. government factions—a battle candidly discussed in the documents being posted by WikiLeaks and analyzed today by The documents are internal memos from the private intelligence firm Stratfor.

At issue in the turf battle was how to proceed against radical Islamists threatening Yemen, a strategic spot in Persian Gulf shipping lanes and of interest in regional and international energy market calculations. When the memos were written, Stratfor was analyzing Yemen on a custom basis for the Texas-based oil concerns National Oilwell Varco and Hunt Oil.

At the embassy dinners, confidential matters of policy were discussed. The documents show that Yemeni diplomats in DC speculated the woman accompanying Petraeus was his mistress, and that this information was shared with Americans plugged into Washington security circles. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that Petraeus's activities in that period, and his accompaniment by a woman or women not his wife, may have been closely monitored by rival interests.

While the documents do not reveal whether Petraeus's companion was Broadwell, they imply either that she was, or that he may have given more women than previously thought unusual access to sensitive policy meetings.

Whatever the particulars, the documents strongly suggest that the removal of Director Petraeus may not have been simply a matter of an embarrassing sexual escapade. They direct our attention to the precise role of Broadwell, to her background as a military intelligence reservist, and to ongoing struggles for primacy between the military and the CIA.

As the article shows, earlier reports and the current consensus on the Petraeus-Broadwell matter do not represent the final word. What becomes clear is the need for a journalistic commitment to long-term investigative reporting, even after transient scandals fade from the limelight.

The full article can be found at , a non-profit, nonpartisan investigative news site.

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