Nate Jackson / January 20, 2016

More Petraeus Punishment Looms, Hillary Evades Scrutiny

Pentagon ponders making an example of the general.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is weighing whether to add to retired General David Petraeus’s punishment for the latter’s confessed mishandling of classified information. The Pentagon could demote Petraeus, stripping him of one of his four stars — a move that could cost Petraeus not only hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost pension money but deal yet another blow to his once-sterling reputation as one of the most brilliant military men of this generation. His “surge” saved Iraq — until Barack Obama abandoned it. According to The Daily Beast’s initial report, Carter is seeking to “to send a message that even men of Petraeus’s fame and esteemed reputation are not immune to punishment.” But it’s more likely the Obama administration leveling retribution for a commander who has criticized Obama’s strategy. As Investor’s Business Daily put it, “The real goal is a Chicago-style warning flare to any retiring military to keep your mouth shut. And don’t testify before the Benghazi committee, as Petraeus just did.”

Equal application of justice is a welcome idea, but will the same level of punishment and scrutiny apply to another famous person who happens to be running for president? A newly disclosed letter from intelligence Inspector General Charles McCullough reveals that Hillary Clinton had “several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the [intelligence community] element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET/SAP levels.” SAP stands for “special access programs, and that information is even more sensitive than "top secret.” Some 1,300 classified emails have so far been discovered. There’s no way Clinton didn’t know exactly what she was doing, and her actions did far more damage to national security than Petraeus’s. She’s the one who might best preserve Obama’s legacy, but we still think it’s possible she’ll be indicted by the FBI, and that her candidacy is serving as a placeholder for Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren at the Democrat convention.

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