Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Petraeus Imbroglio Expands


For John, BLUFThe current Petraeus crisis is one that is spreading and encompassing more and more folks, but the one good thing is it exposes the spread of the digital age surveillance we face.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Over at The New Yorker author Patrick Radden Keefe talks about how the Petraeus imbroglio sheds light on the constant surveillance in the "national security state" and how it can touch each of us.  The story is titled "The Surveillance State Takes Friendly Fire".  The author has very legitimate points and we should all be contacting our Congress Critters expressing our concern about the reach of government surveillance.

And, just so you are aware, if you exchange EMails with me or talk with me on the telephone, it brings up a touchy subject.  This post is about the FBI investigating the former Director of the CIA, David Petraeus.  He resigned Friday last, after lunch.  Anyway, the same forum where I sometimes get blog post ideas (think Mexico and Drug Cartels, for example), which consists of 500 of my closest friends, includes the alleged Petraeus girlfriend.  Plus, she and I are connected on Linked In.  So, under the concept of six degrees of separation, the FBI is probably investigating you about David Petraeus.  Forewarned is forewarned, but not necessarily forearmed, in this day of digital surveillance.

Just to be clear, I believe that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency needs to be as pure as Caesar's Wife.  He should be careful in his personal relationships.  He should avoid actions that give the appearance of impropriety.  Did JFK carry on?  Yes.  Might it have caused trouble?  Yes.  People in positions of trust need to show a little more care than the average citizen.  This is not France, where such dalliances are acceptable.

Regards  —  Cliff

  For those who don't know the situation, or don't know the players, here is the place to find the current state of play.
  Actually, I don't know any of the players, but in this digital age, we make connections on the margins.  When I went the Linked In route our ad hoc book club (currently moribund book club) was thinking of reading All In:  The Education of General David Petraeus.  Being "Linked In" with the co-author seemed like a good idea at the time.

1 comment:

Mr. Lynne said...

Greenwald on the Electronic surveillance aspect:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/13/petraeus-surveillance-state-fbi

"That is the first disturbing fact: it appears that the FBI not only devoted substantial resources, but also engaged in highly invasive surveillance, for no reason other than to do a personal favor for a friend of one of its agents, to find out who was very mildly harassing her by email."

"So all based on a handful of rather unremarkable emails sent to a woman fortunate enough to have a friend at the FBI, the FBI traced all of Broadwell's physical locations, learned of all the accounts she uses, ended up reading all of her emails, investigated the identity of her anonymous lover (who turned out to be Petraeus), and then possibly read his emails as well. They dug around in all of this without any evidence of any real crime - at most, they had a case of "cyber-harassment" more benign than what regularly appears in my email inbox and that of countless of other people - and, in large part, without the need for any warrant from a court."