The FBI knew for months about Petraeus' affair. They "were wary of exposing a private affair with no criminal or security implications," according to the Times. So why publicize the relationship?
Some members of Congress have protested the delay in being notified of the F.B.I.’s investigation of Mr. Petraeus until just after the presidential election. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that her committee would “absolutely” demand an explanation. An F.B.I. case involving the C.I.A. director “could have had an effect on national security,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think we should have been told.”
But the bureau’s history would make the privacy question especially significant; in his decades-long reign as the F.B.I.’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover sometimes directed agents to spy improperly on the sex lives of public figures and then used the resulting information to pressure or blackmail them. ..NYT
Simply the old feud between the FBI and the CIA that's raising its nasty little head again?
John Prados, a historian and an author on intelligence and its abuses, said the case “posed several dilemmas for the F.B.I.” that would have prompted agents and their bosses to proceed gingerly.
“Petraeus is a very important person, so they would want to be crystal clear on exactly what happened and what the implications were,” Mr. Prados said. “There was probably a sense that it had to be taken to top bureau officials. And bureau officials probably thought they had better tell the White House and Congress and the D.N.I., or they might get in trouble later,” he added, referring to the director of national intelligence.
But if the security issues were resolved and no crime had been committed, Mr. Prados said, there was no justification for informing Congress or other agencies that Mr. Petraeus had had an affair.
“In my view, it should never have been briefed outside the bureau,” he said....NYT
Hard not to agree with that. I don't have a problem with government. I do have a big one with officious civil servants and members of Congress.
... Law enforcement officials decided there was no evidence that Mr. Petraeus had committed any crime and tentatively ruled out charges coming out of the investigation, the official said. Because the facts had now been settled, the agency notified James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, about 5 p.m. on the following Tuesday — Election Day.
Meanwhile, the F.B.I. agent who had helped get a preliminary inquiry started, and learned of Mr. Petraeus’s affair and the initial concerns about security breaches, became frustrated. Apparently unaware that those concerns were largely resolved, the agent alerted the office of Representative Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, the House majority leader, about the inquiry in late October. Mr. Cantor passed on the agent’s concerns to Mr. Mueller. ...NYT
And I'd say the FBI agent who tipped Congress off was effectively giving the world the news. That agent should be thrown out. Sooner, better.
I think I'd probably chuck Dianne Feinstein along with the damn agent.
“This is something that could have had an effect on national security,” Feinstein said. “I think we should have been told.” She said the panel will “absolutely” investigate why the FBI did not notify relevant officials sooner. ...WaPo
Except, Dianne, that the FBI had already concluded that this was not a matter of "national security." Even more annoying than creepy civil servants are creeps serving in Congress.
Over on the other side of the aisle, we have senators trying to tie the Petraeus-Broadwell affair to the assasult on the Benghazi consulate. So let's get rid of Lindsey Graham, too.
A number of lawmakers said they will insist that Petraeus testify during closed-door hearings this week on the Benghazi attack in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Petraeus visited the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, less than two weeks ago for talks with the CIA station chief and other officials.
Lawmakers are likely to question whether Broadwell was improperly given access to sensitive information about the attack. ...
...Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) suggested on CBS’s “Face the Nation” the formation of a joint select committee of the House and Senate, similar to those convened to investigate the Watergate and Iran-contra. ...WaPo