Right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson absolved former CIA Director David Petraeus of blame in his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, implying that Broadwell initiated the affair and that Petraeus was powerless to resist. Speaking on The 700 Club, his show, Robertson said Petraeus’ conduct was understandable because “the man’s off in a foreign land and he’s lonely and here’s a good-looking lady throwing herself at him. He’s a man.” Watch it:
There is no evidence that Broadwell initiated the relationship and, even if she did, that doesn’t mean that he no responsibility for his decision to engage in extra-marital relations.
Robertson previously blamed women for male sexual misconduct before: when asked for advice by a viewer bothered by her husband’s flirtation with other women, Robertson said “first thing is you need to make yourself as attractive as possible and don’t hassle him about it.” The televangelist is also perplexed by the idea that women enjoy erotica and wrote in a fundraising letter that feminism “is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
The Washington Post reported this week that President Obama is considering Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) as the next Pentagon chief and in response, Fox News wasted no time in running what looked like campaign opposition research on the Massachusetts Democrat. In a segment on the Post story today, Fox recalled baseless charges that the group “Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth” used to attack Kerry during his campaign against President George W. Bush in 2004. Back then, the group, funded by Republican donors, was widely criticized and its ads weredebunked.
Yet, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly called the matter merely a “controversy” during the 2004 campaign, saying they had “challenged” Kerry’s record. The segment also rehashed Kerry’s “botched joke” in which he said in 2006 “you get stuck in Iraq” if you don’t get a good education (Kerry apologized for the comments). Watch the clip:
The Swift Boat claims are no more true now than they were in 2004, when Republicans like like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) immediately came to Kerry’s defense and slammed Swift Boat’s ad:
McCAIN: Individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crewmates have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.
Not surprisingly the group’s funders turned out to be conservative heavyweights. The New York Times reported at the time that the group running the ads “received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president [Bush] and his family.”
By Hayes Brown and Hamed Aleaziz on Nov 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm
Petraeus and Broadwell (Photo: AP)
Former CIA Director David Petraeus’ resignation last Friday has prompted the right to speculate that Petraeus’ abrupt departure was somehow designed by the Obama administration to prevent Petraeus from testifying before Congress on Libya or that the White House held news of the affair over his head to say the attack was sparked by an anti-Islam video.
Fox News’ Eric Bolling provided an example of the logic behind this latter theory:
BOLLING: A lot of people are scratching their heads as to why Gen. Petraeus blamed the ['Innocence of Muslims'] video three days after the September 11th attacks. Two days after he blamed the video, Susan Rice went out there, and since then, subsequent to all of this, we found out that as of day one, the Obama administration, intel community, everyone knew it wasn’t the video. They knew it was a terrorist attack. But why would Gen. Petraeus do it? Was there something being held over his head where they said ‘Hey General, go out there and say video because otherwise we are going to blow this thing wide open.’ That’s one theory.
Both the House and Senate are slated to hold closed-door hearings on the intelligence failures before and during the attack in Benghazi. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) seems to buy the explanation that Petraeus was forced out before he could speak under oath. “It’s so suspicious,” he told Fox’s Sean Hannity last night, adding, “It’s not a coincidence to me. He is probably the one that knows most about what happened or didn’t happen in Benghazi.”
Fox’s Gretchen Carlson piled on this morning on Fox and Friends. “I’m wondering if he did come to testify, and that was under oath, that he would have to stick to that story, that it was the videotape?” she asked.
Watch Fox’s conspiracy-peddling here:
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has already said that there is “no link between Petraeus’ resignation and Benghazi.
And evidence so far indicates that Petraeus turned in his letter of resignation to President Obama of his own free will — on the advice of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — because of an extra-maritial affair rather than anything related to Libya.
A newly uncovered speech by Petraeus’ alleged mistress Paula Broadwell on Oct. 26 also provided ammunition to the conspiracy theorists. In her speech, Broadwell appears to reveal new information about Benghazi, casually mentioning that the CIA had detained several Libyan nationals in the annex that served as its base in the city, possibly prompting the attack that lead to the deaths of four Americans. Such a claim had yet to be reported anywhere in the news media. A CIA spokesperson roundly denied the claim, as it no longer possess detention authority under Executive Order.
Meanwhile, the right is also trotting out another theory that the White House forced Petraeus out to prevent any possible bid by the former general at the presidency in 2016. Fox News analyst Ralph Peters advanced both of theories last night talking to Bill O’Reilly, saying the White House is “lying” about the Petraeus affair because of Benghazi and Obama is trying to prevent Petraeus’ rise to the presidency.
The Daily Show lampooned the right-wing conspiracy theories about Patraeus last night.
France Recognizes New Syrian Opposition Group |
French President Francois Hollande announced today his nation’s official support for the reorganized Anti-Bashar al-Assad political faction in Syria. The group, formally united on Sunday in the goal of forcibly removing Assad, has been steadily growing in power and influence over the past year and a half. In his address, Hollande said “France recognizes the Syrian national coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and as future government of a democratic Syria, allowing it to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”
– Gen. John Allen, currently the top allied commander in Afghanistan, is now under investigation for sending inappropriate emails to Jill Kelley, the woman Gen. David Petraeus’s mistress, Paula Broadwell, sent threatening emails to last year. Those emails sent from Broadwell to Kelley led to an FBI investigation that sparked Petraeus’s resignation last Friday.
– Broadwell reportedly revealed classified information about the assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi during a speech at the University of Denver in October.
– The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council offered support for the Syria’s new opposition governing council marking “a first step toward rallying international support behind the group.”
– U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told reporters yesterday that the White House has not ruled out cooperating with a pending U.N. investigation into the Obama administration’s drone program.
– The Los Angeles Times reports: Palestinian leaders said Monday that they would ask the United Nations General Assembly by month’s end to elevate their status in the international body from observer entity to nonmember state.
– The Washington Post reports: Israel faced the prospect of stepped-up military action on two fronts Monday as rockets fired from Gaza hit southern communities for the third straight day, and the army said it shelled a Syrian artillery battery after a stray shell landed near one of its posts in the Golan Heights.
– The New York Times reports: One of the most powerful mujahedeen commanders in Afghanistan, Ismail Khan, is calling on his followers to reorganize and defend the country against the Taliban as Western militaries withdraw, in a public demonstration of faltering confidence in the national government and the Western-built Afghan National Army.