Top Spy General Petraeus’ Privacy Goof Up!
Like most of us, I read with titillated interest the news stories and magazine articles about General Petraeus and his affair with a former Army intelligence officer. The fact these two intelligence business professionals couldn’t handle their email accounts was shocking, considering that among the first items on every litigation lawyer’s discovery list are all email correspondence including those from your “secret” accounts that any private investigator will already have identified. As CIA director, General Petraeus and the intelligence officer must have been familiar with the latest developments in communications secrecy.
The media clamor reminded me, however, of another issue that troubles me greatly: the militarization of the CIA that seems to be taking place. General Petraeus is the second director who was a senior military officer, General Michael Hayden having served earlier. From recent stories in the media, the CIA has become a major player in Special Forces operations and assassination projects and drone warfare. One article said more money is now devoted to these operations than to the gathering of information to be used by the President and Congress in making decisions on National Security. A related issue that we might discuss at a later date is the expansion of the military at the expense of the State Department into diplomacy involving the establishment of diplomatic relations with countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and other peacekeeping projects.
What I’m concerned about, and so were our Founding Fathers, is that civilians should be in charge of the military. Military officers work for the civilian government to carry out policies determined by the President and Congress. We now have at tremendous national expense a professional and well-trained military whose job is to advise on and carry out national defense and other military objectives ordered by the President and approved by Congress. In this role they are of great service. But, how comfortable are you with having a senior commander of our military forces in charge effectively of a) the military and its Special Forces, b) the CIA (the principal agency for intelligence and counterintelligence), and c) foreign policy iniatives? I vote for a civilian not a general.