david petraeus

Robert Harward 'turns down' Trump's national security adviser offer - BBC News
Retired Vice-Admiral Robert Harward wanted to bring in his own team, US media report.

BBC News:

Retired Vice-Admiral Robert Harward was widely tipped for the post after Mr Trump fired Michael Flynn on Monday.

A White House official said Mr Harward cited family and financial commitments, but US media said the sticking point was he wanted to bring in his own team.

Mr Flynn had misled US Vice-President Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US.

Mr Harward, a 60-year-old former Navy Seal, is currently based in Abu Dhabi where he is chief executive of US defence contractor Lockheed Martin’s United Arab Emirates operations.

Two other contenders - retired General David Petraeus and acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg - have also been tipped to take on the job.

The lawyer for a former State Department contractor imprisoned last year for leaking classified information is asking federal prosecutors for the “immediate release” of his client in light of the relatively lenient treatment of former CIA Director David Petraeus for similar conduct.

“General Petraeus is admitting to disclosing [national defense information] that was at least as serious and damaging to national security as anything involved in Mr. Kim’s case,” says Abbe Lowell, the lawyer for former contractor Stephen Kim.

Read more here.

he noted that Trump painted Hillary Clinton as “an unqualified Secretary of State because the way she handled classified material. His selection for Secretary of State will be David Petraeus, who pled guilty to mishandling classified material. He said she was unqualified because she gave a speech to Goldman Sachs. His Secretary of the Treasury is somebody from Goldman Sachs. We’re in post-accountability.”
—  Jon Stewart, Times Talks

Callsign “Chaos”

Mattis, whose nicknames include “Mad Dog” and the “Warrior Monk,” has had a leading hand in some of the U.S. military’s most significant operations in the past 20 years. As a one-star general, he led an amphibious task force of Marines that carried out a November 2001 raid in helicopters on Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, giving the Pentagon a new foothold against the Taliban after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Using the call sign “Chaos,” he commanded a division of Marines during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and returned there the following year to lead Marines in bloody street fighting in the city of Fallujah.

Mattis continued to rise through the ranks and establish his credentials as a military thinker, co-authoring the U.S. military’s new counterinsurgency manual with then-Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus while Mattis was a three-star general at Quantico, Va.

He was considered a leading contender to become commandant of the Marine Corps in 2010 but was bypassed in favor of Gen. James F. Amos. Instead, Mattis replaced Petraeus as the chief of Central Command, overseeing U.S. military operations across the Middle East.

House of Memes (gmotd.tumblr.com)

This is similar to the December 7  HOM, and in fact the portion with Hillary is recycled from it.  David Petraeus was in that one.  He was passed over for State in favor of Rex Tillerson, who may be the worst possible choice.  Tillerson is the CEO of  ExxonMobil, and a Friend of Vladimir with enormous financial conflicts of interest for the position.

Former general Michael Flynn, pictured here, is another FOV, having been paid by the official Russian news agency to give speeches.  Flynn, who made his HOM debut on November 24, is also an Islamophobe who follows, or at least has followed, white nationalist accounts on Twitter.  He himself has tweeted links to fake news smearing Hillary Clinton (see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/05/did-michael-flynn-really-tweet-something-about-pizzagate-not-exactly/).  

The National Security Advisor need not be confirmed by the Senate, which is good news for Il Douche.  This loathsome thug may have been too vile enough for even them to confirm.  

In Iraq, I raided insurgents. In Virginia, the police raided me.
The military changed its overly aggressive tactics. It’s time for law enforcement to do the same.

Alex Horton is a member of the Defense Council at the Truman National Security Project. He served as an infantryman in Iraq with the Army’s 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

I got home from the bar and fell into bed soon after Saturday night bled into Sunday morning. I didn’t wake up until three police officers barged into my apartment, barking their presence at my door. They sped down the hallway to my bedroom, their service pistols drawn and leveled at me.

It was just past 9 a.m., and I was still under the covers. The only visible target was my head.

In the shouting and commotion, I felt an instant familiarity. I’d been here before. This was a raid.

I had done this a few dozen times myself, 6,000 miles away from my Alexandria, Va., apartment. As an Army infantryman in Iraq, I’d always been on the trigger side of the weapon. Now that I was on the barrel side, I recalled basic training’s most important firearm rule: Aim only at something you intend to kill.

I had conducted the same kind of raid on suspected bombmakers and high-value insurgents. But the Fairfax County officers in my apartment were aiming their weapons at a target whose rap sheet consisted only of parking tickets and an overdue library book.

My situation was terrifying. Lying facedown in bed, I knew that any move I made could be viewed as a threat. Instinct told me to get up and protect myself. Training told me that if I did, these officers would shoot me dead.

In a panic, I asked the officers what was going on but got no immediate answer. Their tactics were similar to the ones I used to clear rooms during the height of guerilla warfare in Iraq. I could almost admire it — their fluid sweep from the bedroom doorway to the distant corner. They stayed clear of one another’s lines of fire in case they needed to empty their Sig Sauer .40-caliber pistols into me.

They were well-trained, their supervisor later told me. But I knew that means little when adrenaline governs an imminent-danger scenario, real or imagined. Triggers are pulled. Mistakes are made.

I spread my arms out to either side. An officer jumped onto my bed and locked handcuffs onto my wrists. The officers rolled me from side to side, searching my boxers for weapons, then yanked me up to sit on the edge of the bed.

At first, I was stunned. I searched my memory for any incident that would justify a police raid. Then it clicked.

Earlier in the week, the managers of my apartment complex moved me to a model unit while a crew repaired a leak in my dishwasher. But they hadn’t informed my temporary neighbors. So when one resident noticed the door slightly cracked open to what he presumed was an unoccupied apartment, he looked in, saw me sleeping and called the police to report a squatter.

Sitting on the edge of the bed dressed only in underwear, I laughed. The situation was ludicrous and embarrassing. My only mistake had been failing to make sure the apartment door was completely closed before I threw myself into bed the night before.

I told the officers to check my driver’s license, nodding toward my khaki pants on the floor. It showed my address at a unit in the same complex. As the fog of their chaotic entry lifted, the officers realized it had been an unfortunate error. They walked me into the living room and removed the cuffs, though two continued to stand over me as the third contacted management to confirm my story. Once they were satisfied, they left.

When I later visited the Fairfax County police station to gather details about what went wrong, I met the shift commander, Lt. Erik Rhoads. I asked why his officers hadn’t contacted management before they raided the apartment. Why did they classify the incident as a forced entry, when the information they had suggested something innocuous? Why not evaluate the situation before escalating it?

Rhoads defended the procedure, calling the officers’ actions “on point.” It’s not standard to conduct investigations beforehand because that delays the apprehension of suspects, he told me.

I noted that the officers could have sought information from the apartment complex’s security guard that would have resolved the matter without violence. But he played down the importance of such information: “It doesn’t matter whatsoever what was said or not said at the security booth.”

This is where Rhoads is wrong. We’ve seen this troubling approach to law enforcement nationwide, in militarized police responses to nonviolent protesters and in fatal police shootings of unarmed citizens. The culture that encourages police officers to engage their weapons before gathering information promotes the mind-set that nothing, including citizen safety, is more important than officers’ personal security. That approach has caused public trust in law enforcement to deteriorate.

It’s the same culture that characterized the early phases of the Iraq war, in which I served a 15-month tour in 2006 and 2007. Soldiers left their sprawling bases in armored vehicles, leveling buildings with missile strikes and shooting up entire blocks during gun battles with insurgents, only to return to their protected bases and do it all again hours later.

The short-sighted notion that we should always protect ourselves endangered us more in the long term. It was a flawed strategy that could often create more insurgents than it stopped and inspired some Iraqis to hate us rather than help us.

In one instance in Baghdad, a stray round landed in a compound that our unit was building. An overzealous officer decided that we were under attack and ordered machine guns and grenade launchers to shoot at distant rooftops. A row of buildings caught fire, and we left our compound on foot, seeking to capture any injured fighters by entering structures choked with flames.

Instead, we found a man frantically pulling his furniture out of his house. “Thank you for your security!” he yelled in perfect English. He pointed to the billowing smoke. “This is what you call security?”

We didn’t find any insurgents. There weren’t any. But it was easy to imagine that we forged some in that fire. Similarly, when U.S. police officers use excessive force to control nonviolent citizens or respond to minor incidents, they lose supporters and public trust.

That’s a problem, because law enforcement officers need the cooperation of the communities they patrol in order to do their jobs effectively. In the early stages of the war, the U.S. military overlooked that reality as well. Leaders defined success as increasing military hold on geographic terrain, while the human terrain was the real battle. For example, when our platoon entered Iraq’s volatile Diyala province in early 2007, children at a school plugged their ears just before an IED exploded beneath one of our vehicles. The kids knew what was coming, but they saw no reason to warn us. Instead, they watched us drive right into the ambush. One of our men died, and in the subsequent crossfire, several insurgents and children were killed. We saw Iraqis cheering and dancing at the blast crater as we left the area hours later.

With the U.S. effort in Iraq faltering, Gen. David Petraeus unveiled a new counterinsurgency strategy that year. He believed that showing more restraint during gunfights would help foster Iraqis’ trust in U.S. forces and that forming better relationships with civilians would improve our intelligence-gathering. We refined our warrior mentality — the one that directed us to protect ourselves above all else — with a community-building component.

My unit began to patrol on foot almost exclusively, which was exceptionally more dangerous than staying inside our armored vehicles. We relinquished much of our personal security by entering dimly lit homes in insurgent strongholds. We didn’t know if the hand we would shake at each door held a detonator to a suicide vest or a small glass of hot, sugary tea.

But as a result, we better understood our environment and earned the allegiance of some people in it. The benefits quickly became clear. One day during that bloody summer, insurgents loaded a car with hundreds of pounds of explosives and parked it by a school. They knew we searched every building for hidden weapons caches, and they waited for us to gather near the car. But as we turned the corner to head toward the school, several Iraqis told us about the danger. We evacuated civilians from the area and called in a helicopter gunship to fire at the vehicle.

The resulting explosion pulverized half the building and blasted the car’s engine block through two cement walls. Shrapnel dropped like jagged hail as far as a quarter-mile away.

If we had not risked our safety by patrolling the neighborhood on foot, trusting our sources and gathering intelligence, it would have been a massacre. But no one was hurt in the blast.

Domestic police forces would benefit from a similar change in strategy. Instead of relying on aggression, they should rely more on relationships. Rather than responding to a squatter call with guns raised, they should knock on the door and extend a hand. But unfortunately, my encounter with officers is just one in a stream of recent examples of police placing their own safety ahead of those they’re sworn to serve and protect.

Rhoads, the Fairfax County police lieutenant, was upfront about this mind-set. He explained that it was standard procedure to point guns at suspects in many cases to protect the lives of police officers. Their firearm rules were different from mine; they aimed not to kill but to intimidate. According toreporting by The Washington Post, those rules are established in police training, which often emphasizes a violent response over deescalation. Recruits spend an average of eight hours learning how to neutralize tense situations; they spend more than seven times as many hours at the weapons range.

Of course, officers’ safety is vital, and they’re entitled to defend themselves and the communities they serve. But they’re failing to see the connection between their aggressive postures and the hostility they’ve encountered in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and other communities. When you level assault rifles at protesters, you create animosity. When you kill an unarmed man on his own property while his hands are raised — as Fairfax County police did in 2013 — you sow distrust. And when you threaten to Taser a woman during a routine traffic stop (as happened to 28-year-old Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail this month), you cultivate a fear of police. This makes policing more dangerous for everyone.

I understood the risks of war when I enlisted as an infantryman. Police officers should understand the risks in their jobs when they enroll in the academy, as well. That means knowing that personal safety can’t always come first. That is why it’s service. That’s why it’s sacrifice.

Twitter: @AlexHortonTX

JUST IN: CIA Director Petraeus resigns, citing extra-marital affair

CIA Director David Petraeus has submitted his letter of resignation to President Obama, citing an extra-marital affair, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell reported today on msnbc.

UPDATE (3:12 p.m. ET): Read NBC News’ story and follow updates on this story on BreakingNews.com.

Photo: Then-U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus speaks during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in June 2010. (Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images)

“Lighten up, Dave. It was an ironic mailbomb.” – somebody

4 Pranksters Who Have No Clue How Pranks Work

#3. A Friend of General Petraeus Sends a Fake Grenade to His Office

Since Petraeus had long since reached the echelon of employment that excuses him from opening his own mail, the admittedly hilarious dummy explosive was received by his secretary, who immediately called the police because it looked like a real grenade, and killing Petraeus with a hand grenade is something a terrorist would do.

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Fred Kaplan tells Dave Davies about one of the challenges General Petraeus faced in Afghanistan:

The problem was, by his own admission, he knew nothing about Afghanistan. He’d been in Iraq three times. He knew that place well. He comes in and what’s in his mind is Iraq. So his aides would say, “You know, we have a problem here,” and he would say …. “Well, you know, we did this in Mosul,” or “What worked in Anbar was this … .” I was told that in a meeting with President Karzai once, Karzai laid out a problem and [Petraeus] said, “Well, you know, in Baghdad we did it like this …” to the president of Afghanistan. And the aide who was with Petraeus in the room — who had been both in Afghanistan and Iraq — when they were walking out he said, “You know, it might be an interesting intellectual experiment for you to not even think about Iraq.” and Petraeus said, “I’m working on it.”

Image by E_T 2008 via Flickr

Petraeus plea deal over sharing classified information with ex-wife

Snowden and Manning shared classified information with the American public to shed light on the tyranny of our government. Manning has been detained ever since and Snowden is charged with treason. Meanwhile the former director of the CIA shares classified information with his wife and he’s LET OFF with a slap on the wrist to prevent him from being embarrassed over his affair.


“The retired four-star general, who was once the revered commander of the war on terror, will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, authorities said.”

“The admission, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, spares Petraeus an embarrassing, high-profile trial over whether he provided classified information to his lover when he was the director of the CIA. Prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed that Petraeus should get two years probation and be fined $40,000.”

BREAKING: David Petraeus sentenced to probation for leaking government secrets

Former CIA Director and retired General David Petraeus was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine today for leaking classified government intelligence to his biographer and mistress…

Former CIA Director and retired General David Petraeus was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine today for leaking classified government intelligence to his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell. The sentence is the end of a drawn out, very public ordeal for Petraeus, whose fall from grace was precipitous.


The scandal started in 2012, when the FBI discovered — apparently by accident — that Petraeus, then CIA Director, was disclosing classified information to Broadwell. Petraeus soon resigned from the agency, and charges were filed against him by the Justice Department. Petraeus ultimately took a deal, pleading guilty to one charge of sharing classified information.

Although that charge carries the potential for one year in prison, prosecutors agreed to recommend against prison time for Petraeus — reportedly a controversial decision within the Justice Department — and a judge concurred. Petraeus avoided additional charges for lying to the FBI during its investigation.

A trial would likely have turned into another protracted spectacle for Petraeus and law enforcement, as more emails from Petraeus’ personal life, as well as government secrets, would be revealed.

Chelsea Manning completes six years in military custody for whistleblowing
The US army intelligence analyst, who has appealed to reduce 35-year sentence, has endured the most severe punishment ever given to a whistleblower
By Ed Pilkington

Last week, Manning’s appeal was lodged with the US army court of criminal appeals in Virginia. It calls for a reduction of the “grossly unfair and unprecedented” sentence to 10 years, noting pointedly that David Petraeus, the former CIA director who passed classified information to his biographer and then lover, was fined and given two years’ probation with no prison time.

Nancy Hollander, the lead lawyer on Manning’s appeal, called the conviction and sentence “one of the most unjust in military history”. The legal team is awaiting the US government’s response to the appeal filing; it will then prepare to argue the case for a sentence reduction in front of the appeals court.

Don’t Tell Martha Stewart...

When FBI agents confronted him in his CIA office in October 2012, [David] Petraeus said he had never provided classified information to [his lover Paula] Broadwell, prosecutors said. Making a false statement to a federal law enforcement agent during an investigation is a felony, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.“

Do the crime, do the time. Petraeus got off easy. 

Petraeus pleads guilty to mishandling classified material, will face probation

So David Betrayed Us Petraeus gets two years probation for leaking classified documents and doesn’t get tried for being a war criminal, but Edward Snowden, who has committed no murder, gets exiled from his home country for telling the truth?

Got it.

Let’s not forget Chelsea Manning in a jail cell, practically begging for hormone medication so she can transition and at least feel human.

Let’s not forget the ongoing witch hunt for Julian Assange.

Or the countless other non-military clones who chose to step up and tell you the truth about what your beloved government is doing, and is punished by said government for doing so.  Where is their 1st amendment, or even 6th amendment?  (I’ll give you a minute while you look up the latter.)