Trump gives Petraeus a pass

Politico reports: Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for classified State Department emails made her unfit for high office. But that isn’t stopping him from considering David Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to knowingly leaking secret government files — and lying to the feds about it — for secretary of state.

Trump’s hourlong meeting Monday with Petraeus, a retired general and former CIA director, to discuss the Cabinet position is the latest in the president-elect’s outreach to retired military leaders who have clashed with President Barack Obama on foreign policy and national security.

But it also calls into question the sincerity of Trump’s stance on the importance of safeguarding the nation’s secrets, according to former government officials and intelligence experts — a stance that was driven home with campaign trail chants of “Lock her up.”

“The very consideration of Petraeus for a senior position reveals that the Trump campaign’s rhetoric regarding Hillary Clinton was totally bogus,” said Steven Aftergood, a specialist on government classification at the Federation of American Scientists. “Candidate Trump was generating hysteria over Clinton’s handling or mishandling of classified information that he likely never believed or took seriously himself.

“Petraeus admitted lying to the FBI, which distinguished his case from Clinton’s and made his case a good deal worse,” Aftergood added. “I think once again President-elect Trump is revealed as a rather hypocritical figure.” [Continue reading…]

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Comments

  1. This article demonstrates the level of moralistic dramatizing that so much commentary starts at. There’s actually a hard nugget at the center: Petraeus has committed serious crimes with security implications. This ought to unsuit him for high office. But the hook is that Trump is a hypocrite.

    It’s all about social data. Reality is so distant, do we even see its shadows?

  2. Paul Woodward says:

    By the letter of the law, Petraeus may have committed serious crimes, but the security implications are debatable. The backdrop to the endless drama about mishandling of classified information is a security culture in which over-classification is endemic. The inevitable effect of manufacturing too much secrecy is that the designations of secrecy will lose their intended significance.