U.S. Top Military Brass Under Siege as Corruption and Sex Scandals Roll Out

What are the consequences going to be from the unfolding scandals now rocking the U.S. military command structure?  It is clear that morale and confidence are going to take a big hit.  Consider a few points:

—General William E. Ward, U.S. Commander of AFRICOM was blasted by the Department of Defense Inspector General for numerous offenses, including “misconduct related to official and unofficial travel”, misused a Government vehicle by allowing his spouse to use a hardened vehicle”, “wasted Government resources”, and much more. Gen. Ward served with AFRICOM from its activation in October 2007 until his departure on March 9, 2011.  His travel documents show that he took 79 trips from April 30, 2008 and March 9, 2011, for an astounding 389 days of Temporary Duty, including 273 days in the Continental U.S.  The question here is:  Who was minding the store?  AFRICOM had just been created, with 54 countries under its area, when the revolutions and upheavals of the Arab Spring exploded on December 18, 2010.  To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunesia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen;  civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain and Syria; major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan; and minor protests have occurred in Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara. Meanwhile Gen. Ward was traveling around with his wife, much of the time in D.C. having a great time.  This is the background to the Benghazi attack which claimed the lives of four Americans. One would think that during this critical time in North Africa that there would have been plenty for Gen. Ward to attend to. Like at his command post.

—Gen. David Petraeus. No need to go into his military record here.  Our new CIA director was embroiled in a steamy relationship with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.  Were they an item while she was traveling with him in Afghanistan?  The twisted story of the relationships and actions of the individuals who have been caught up in this scandal reads like a cheap porn-spy novel, and it gets stranger every day.  He must also have had a lot of extra time on his hands while CIA Director, because he took the time to write a letter to the Judge supporting Natalie Khawam (Jill Kelley’s twin sister – you know, she’s the one who went to the FBI complaining about threatening emails from Paula Broadwell) who was involved in a bitter child custody fight.  Here’s something weird:  cops in D.C. say that a jogger found Paula Broadwell’s drivers license in Rock Creek Park!  Huh?  The things that turn up in Washington D.C. parks.  Usually it’s dead bodies, like Chandra Levy, whose remains were found in the very same park in May of 2002.  But all this stuff serves to obscure the big story that popped out just before the election:  What happened at Benghazi?  Did Petraeus cover something up for Obama?  Did he agree to hold his resignation until after the election?  It is more than interesting that two of the most powerful figures in America, Gen. Petraeus of the CIA, and Christopher Kubasik, CEO of Lockheed, the biggest defense contractor,  resigned almost on the same day, both because of sex scandals.  What are the odds of that? Don’t ask me, go to Vegas for that one.

—Gen John Allen.  Now things really get weird.  Gen. Allen took over in Afghanistan in July, 2011.  He also turns out to be a “friend” of Jill Kelley.  Wow!  Jill and Natalie sure had a lot of “friends” among the highest ranking Brass in the U.S. military forces.  What the hell were they up to?  Were these two twin sisters (both from Lebanon) running some kind of a dating service to introduce middle eastern women to American military officers?  Jill Kelley and Gen. Allen were exchanging 20-30,000 emails?  Are you kidding me?  Who’s running the war?  To send that volume of stuff, the guy must be tweeting her while he’s shaving, in conferences, while planning attacks, pushing buttons to launch drones, talking to the President, tweeting every second of the day like some drooling punk at Starbucks.  It’s unimaginable, but the men-folk want to know how he does it. Forget about having one girl friend, a guy with those skills could be running 100 chicks at one time.  Thumbs, do your stuff!

I know, I know, I’ve gone over the cliff on this one.  But consider this:  Jill Kelley is some kind of special State Department Liaison to the Joint Special Operations Command.  The very same group that worked with the CIA and the Pentagon to investigate the attack on the Benghazi Compound.  Say what?  Was Jill in on that investigation?  What does she know about Benghazi, and when did she know it?  Is she some kind of spook?  A mole for some Middle Eastern country?  She has run up supposedly tens of thousands of dollars in debt to throw all those parties down at her mansion in Florida.  Some press accounts say she has had two properties foreclosed and has boo-ku credit card debt.  One account said the Kelley’s debt was in the million dollar range, or more.  What a bunch of party animals.

And then there’s the whole mystery of the emails from Paula Broadwell.  Threatening her to “stay away from my man” type of emails, sent anonymously of course.  So Jill goes to one of her “friends”, this time a powerful FBI man, Frederick Humphries.  He has a strong background in the national security state, involved in big anti-terrorism stuff, like the so-called “Millennium Plot” to blow up LAX, the international airport in Los Angeles.  Jill talks Humphries into tracing the anonymous emails to find out who is “threatening” her.  He gets the cyber squad and tracks the emails back to Paula Broadwell and then finds out about Gen. Petraeus.  Stop right here for a moment for a pause of sanity.  Take a deep breath.  Now believe me, if you call the FBI and say that you are getting some threatening emails about a personal relationship you are having, and you want them to check it out for you, guess what the FBI is  going to do?  They are going to hang up on you.  They don’t care about your personal problems, they have other things to do.  And they will tell you not to call back and bother them again.  But Jill is connected.  One phone call, baby, and the wheels start turning.

So FBI man Humphries finds out about Petraeus.  He reports it, but not much happens.  The election is coming.  So in October he allegedly decides to move things forward himself.  He goes to the Romney campaign, to a contact he had when he was in Washington State, Congressman Dave Reichert.  What happens next is scary.  Reichert sends Humphries to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who turns the matter over to FBI Director Robert Mueller! Humphries is screwed. He’s not just thrown under the bus by the Republicans, but he’s flattened by a 100 ton bulldozer. The October Surprise is safe, the Benghazi secrets are safe, the Petraeus resignation is safe, Obama is safe….. until after the election. And what happened to Humphries?  No one in the outside world knows.  The FBI says they are “reviewing” his conduct, he has been re-assigned.  Yeah, like to Guantanamo.

Is the Nation now governed by an army of Narcissistic Leaders?  The Harvard Business Review just published a piece by Jeffrey Pfeffer.  He says that a lot of the men leading the country and the business world are characterized by traits of dominance, self-confidence, a sense of entitlement, grandiosity and low empathy.  They are narcissistic, self-absorbed power freaks.  Is this country doomed to be run by these types?  Are we headed back to the good old days of Feudalism, the days of powerful rulers and sorry serfs?  Some claim that even Obama is in that camp.  It’s a good bet that in the following weeks we are going to see and hear a lot more about “Sexgate” and the travails of the rich, the famous, and the once-powerful. Walking down the road to our new Capitol, Narcissism City, one can’t help thinking about the troops, the boots on the ground, the pilots, the sailors.  One guy on a blog commented about Gen. Ward.  He said if an enlisted man had done what the General did, he would be in jail forever.  What about the other generals?  Is this show going to end soon?  The troops have to be thinking hard right now.  I’m risking my butt out here for this?  For our leadership to be cavorting around in this fashion?  Time to dump out the rot and get back to business.  Narcissism belongs in Hollywood, not on the battlefield.

Posted by Robert S. Newport, Jr.