This Thanksgiving Day The FBI Deserves Profound Thanks From President Obama For Keeping A Lid On the Jill Kelley Affair

The Jill Kelley saga forced the highly ribboned David Petraeus to resign as head of the CIA. Whether that is a great tragedy or great benefit is being debated. It has also forced a four star Marine Corps General John Allen to have his confirmation to a more important position delayed. It has forced two young women, Jill Kelley and Paula Broadwell, into the public spotlight in a humiliating and possible marriage-destroying manner. It has forced hundreds if not thousands of other people who have communicated with Kelley, Broadwell, Petraeus or Allen to go back through their emails to try to determine what the FBI now has on them. It has made people who comment anonymously to my blog realize they too can be identified by the FBI.

In Jill Kelley’s affair we do not know what the FBI knows. All we know is it has gathered and examined  tens of thousands of emails from people who it has no probable cause to believe committed a crime. It is as if the FBI went into the City of Quincy and required every person to give it copies of all the emails they have received as well as all other personal mail. The violation of the Fourth Amendment is astounding.

What is more astonishing and incomprehensible is the silence of the mainstream media  It is either in mortal fear of the FBI, or partnered with the FBI in an information exchange program, or doesn’t quite understand the gravity of the invasion of privacy that occurred. Compared to the diligence of the media in the early Seventies when it closely screening government activities, today with the media’s parroting of government information it has become the infamous Ministry of Truth for the government. Perhaps now it has no choice since the government uses the criminal arena to limit free speech. Except for the openness of the internet, we are being poorly served as a people. Is there any chance we could see a repeat of the “Pentagon Papers” today?

I was spouting off about this silence at a lunch the other day and one of the people with me, JK, said “haven’t you heard of 9/11.”  He’s right. It’s a different world. In this post 9/11 world, no newspaper would dare to have such audacity as back then. In the Wikileaks affair the papers first cleared what they were going to write with the government. The presidential press corps can quote high government officials only if they first present any quote to the official for his approval. We have a Mimeograph Machine Mainstream Media that just lazily reproduces government copy to insure it keeps getting government  information and access and cuts down on costs.

I don’t go into politics on this blog. I have my political preferences. I keep them to myself. But I can’t see why the headlines in the Jill Kelley saga do not read: President Obama Thanks FBI For His Election.

That’s what happened. The FBI covered this affair up until election day. It ensured that none of the news about the information it had illegally gathered by the start of fall was released in such a way as to embarrass the president.

The investigation started in the spring. When the information was gathered a decision had to be made about what to do with it. We can assume in a CYA organization like the FBI this type decision was pushed right up the line to the top man which means either FBI Director Mueller or AG Eric Holder.

Mueller had his ten-year term which was supposed to be the ultimate time any one director could serve extended by Obama for two years giving us a J. Edgar Hoover redux. He is indebted to Obama and may be looking for a further extension. Holder is Obama’s close friend. One or both of them decided to sit on the investigation to protect the president. This was a political decision. If the information related to Romney, do you think they would have taken the same action?

Whether they would or not, it shows the FBI is involved in politics. Agent Freddy Humphries thought the bosses were covering up. He leaked the investigation to Majority Leader Eric Cantor on October 27.  Imagine what would have happened if after the first presidential debate on October 3 this information came out.

It would have totally occupied Obama, who had already suffered a blow in that debate, so that he’d have had enormous difficulty recovering. Romney would have had fodder for his next debates to follow up on. The whole picture would have been different.

Whether I’m pleased or unhappy that Obama won is not the point. It is just that decisions by our secret police on withholding information did have a dramatic effect on the presidential race. The FBI is a group of cops with extraordinary powers and no oversight. We see that their decisions can affect our politics. This is something that a democracy can not tolerate.

In my book, Don’t Embarrass The Family, I make 15 recommendations for making the FBI into a better organization. None will be followed unless the FBI is forced to change by outside forces.  Right now, there are none willing to take it on.

Least among them is the President. Tomorrow, when he cuts into his turkey, he’ll say a silent prayer thanking Holder and Mueller for their wisdom, that is, unless they are sitting at the table with him celebrating the feast. Then he will thank them aloud.

8 thoughts on “This Thanksgiving Day The FBI Deserves Profound Thanks From President Obama For Keeping A Lid On the Jill Kelley Affair

  1. As long as Whitey is still breathing, it doesn’t hurt to stock up on a few favors from people in high places. I’m thankful for your informative blog. Have a great ThanksGiving!

  2. hope you have had a great thanksgiving. i am thankful you take the time out of your life to do this blog. every person grows up unique but no person escapes the era or place they grow up in, and having been born and grown up in new england i take an avid interest in the whitey bulger affair because most of it happened in new england. i note with interest that matt damon may portray whitey in a feature film. i always thought sean penn could really capture the murderer, extorter, child molester that whitey is made out to be. do you have any thought on the ben matt possible future film project? i thought the departed was good, but the whitey saga has gone on for so many decades it is hard to capture it in a 2 hour film. regards,

    1. Hawaii –
      Thanks for your well wishes. I hope you had a nice holiday. Mine turned out well. That’s what I like about Thanksgiving, the expectations surround a good mean and if you have one then it turns out to be a pleasant day. Whitey is a true New England story but there have been criminals in other areas who have had as colorful a background. Whitey is sort of an ethnic story – Irish against Italians as some portray it. The Mafia was clearly Italian, the Irish mob in Boston had a mixture like our Irish neighborhoods but we had lots of Italian, Polish, Lithuanians, Swedes, Ukrainians and English mixed in. The FBI sided with the Irish up here not because the preponderance of the agents were Irish, as some suggest, but because J. Edgar Hoover’s mandate that it go after the LCN.
      I’m not much on newer Hollywood personalities so if I were casting for Whitey it would be someone like Lee Marvin.
      I went to the Departed and was disappointed. That it won the academy award shocked me. It was as close to what went on during Whitey’s time as Boston is to Honolulu. I guess there are two worlds, the real world and Hollywood’s. But America’s love affair with gangsters will make any type of movie they make about Whitey into a hit. When you come down to it, showing the real picture of what went on (sneaking up behind people and shooting them in the head or strangling and torturing people) would not sell so it has to be glamorized.
      Have a nice weekend.

  3. Not sure what’s what … is this thing a travesty or was it a scandal that Obama just avoided? Maybe make up your mind. All these people are Repubs … as far as I can tell there is not a Dem in the bunch. At any point they could have blown the whistle and brought down Obama’s house of cards. The President had nothing to do with it. Should Patraeus have resigned? No! Did the Repubs make sex the scarlet letter in DC, yes! What goes around comes around.

    1. Puzzled:
      Good question. I think it is sort of both. It is a travesty in the sense the FBI really had no right to be looking at all those emails. That shows the problems with the laws protecting our privacy. It could have been made into a scandal during the election. The control of the investigation was under AG Holder, a democrat, and FBI Director Mueller, neither a democrat or republican. I agree the president had nothing to do with it but look at what was done with the Benghazi incident. You’d think from the propaganda that Obama had joined with the enemy and instituted the attack.
      You ask if Petraeus should have resigned. I have mixed feelings on that. He’s a man with strong principles and probably felt he had betrayed his family and also his country for getting lured in by Broadwell and felt he should do it. In the run of things, it certainly should not have affected his performance of his job nor his qualifications for a similar job. I’m not sure the Republicans are to blame for that. It’s Petraeus has strong beliefs and he felt he should suffer some sort of punishment for letting his guard down.
      Thanks for commenting.

  4. The “Patreus Affair” affair leaves me baffled. Who cares who this guy is having a go with if no national security interests are implicate? Unless it’s an attempt to keep him quiet.Isn’t that the inquiry to be made?

    1. Chaco:
      Petraeus, as I wrote to Puzzled, put this punishment on himself it seems to me. He felt he embarrassed his family with his actions and indirectly his nation. He might be much harder on himself than we would be. I agree that this is really not related to his job and should have had no effect on it. Certainly giving Broadwell access to material was not going to compromise any national interest since she was a West Point graduate with a top clearance who had our nation’s interests at heart. I don’t see anything sinister involved like trying to silence him. If that were the case they would not have let him resign – better to have someone in the tent than on the outside. With Petraeus and Allen you have middle aged guys hanging around with young attractive women, that’s test any man especially those under the stress of war time.
      I think we sometimes forget that we should expect some foibles from our leaders – there is a long history of that happening especially in the Petraeus type situation as we saw with Jefferson, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Clinton. The media makes too much of it. Petraeus was very much a media guy so he took the hit really hard. I’d like to see him come back as secretary of defense.

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