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There are some fascinating questions that come to mind regarding the current controversy concerning Gen. David Petraeus, and in the coming weeks and months many of the blanks will doubtless be filled in. To be sure, the personal dimension to the story will continue to draw much attention – infidelity and personal failure in high places will always have a certain allure. But there are some serious public issues involved that we hope will be pursued.
An article in the August 28 "Foreign Policy Journal" entitled "US Preparing for a Post-Israel Middle East" claims to be based on a leaked document from a CIA staffer, commissioned by the US Intelligence Community, comprised of all four branches of the military, the Coast Guard, the Departments of State, Treasury, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI and the National Security Agency. The document "conclusively reveals" that the CIA thinks Israel is the greatest threat on the face of the Earth to the interests of the United States.
In a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, the Iranian foreign ministry relayed to the United States that it believes the CIA was behind the recent assassination of another Iranian nuclear scientist.
A group of at least a dozen CIA spies working in Iran and Lebanon have been captured, leading US government officials to surmise that the intelligence failure has – or will – lead to their deaths and the debilitation of intelligence in the two countries.
I was almost inexpressibly saddened to read the comments made week before last by President Obama at a Holocaust Days of Remembrance ceremony at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. In a mostly lyrical and affecting speech, I very nearly missed the significance of the following key passage:
The word circulating around usually well-informed parts of town is that President Bush will be appointing Mayor Giuliani to a very prominent position connected with the war against terrorism. Director of the CIA and Director of Homeland Security are the two posts most often mentioned. Because the Bush Administration is fast losing points in the polls and the confidence of the American public seems to be waning, we don't regard this as mere speculation.
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