Petraeus, a honey trap, and the Chicago Way

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

David Petraeus got caught in a classic “honey trap,” and then, rather than lie under oath before Congress, he sprang the trap on himself.


Events in Washington D.C. are seldom as they appear.


Likewise for Chicago, except when things appear corrupted the Chicago Way.


The recent resignation of CIA Director and former Army General David Petraeus reeks of the Chicago Way flavored with Vito Corleone’s advice to “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.


The legacy media is promoting this version of the story:  Petraeus had an affair with aattractive, younger woman. An FBI investigation found out about it and discovered that his email correspondence with the woman had been compromised. Recognizing the potential scandal he faced, Petraeus resigned, rather than cover it up. End of story.


Just your garden-variety sex scandal, right?


Who’s kidding who here? Or trying to.  


Believing this version requires what one famous politician once called “the willing suspension of disbelief”.  We’re supposed to believe:


that the FBI either (1) did not discover this indiscretion before Petraeus was appointed to the CIA, or, (2) knew of it then and didn’t considered it a disqualifier for the position;

that his resignation has nothing to do with him being scheduled to testify before Congress under oath concerning the death of the four Americans in Benghazi (he previously was not under oath when he addressed a Congressional committee about the episode that’s important to remember); and,

that his marital indiscretionthough not publically known, was sufficient cause for him to pull the plug on his career.  


To buy this account requires not only having fallen off a turnip truck, but then having been run over by a fleet of other turnip trucks.


There’s a more believable version of this matter being played out inside the Beltway by those who know Petraeus. Here’s how that version runs:


Petraeus got caught in a classic “honey trap”;  

his oath as an Army Officer was to protect and defend the Constitution – marital fidelity isn’t mentioned. If it was, in wartime particularly, there’s be courts martial of field and general grade officers on a daily basis;

he toed the administration’s party line when he testified before congress about Benghaziwhile not under oath;

testifying under oath is an altogether more serious happening; and,

rather than lie under oath about the Benghazi fiasco, Petraeus sprang the honey trap on himself, taking away the leverage that was being used against him by those who sought to force his compliance by threatening to release what they knew about his affair with the honey, Paula Broadwell.


His marital infidelity was the wrong thing to do. In the end, though, he did a right thing by not violating both his oath as an officer in the United States Army, and the similarly serious oath to tell the truth before Congress, once he is sworn-in.


If you accept this version as at least as viable as the popular storyline – maybe more so – ask yourself this question:


Who could have set the honey trap so as to have it available for use as leverage against Petraeus in the event that he found himself facing personal difficulty in complying with an order that compromised his oath as an Army officer – an oath with no shelf live?


“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” – and have something on them in case you need to make a request they can’t refuse, unless they fall on their sword.


Note: The photo before the article is of Anna Chapman – a Russian spy who was arrested in New York in 2010 for allegedly getting close to luring a “Cabinet member” into her honey trap. Read about her here, and here.


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  1. It’s really a Chicago classic except usually the guy in the bind doesn’t do himself in this way.

  2. I seriously don’t believe Petraeus is going to say anything different than he did last time. Can he not still be Court Marshaled for his indiscretion? I don’t know. It seems to me that they could still be offering him a deal to keep quiet on what he knows. It’s not all cut and dried.

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