Veterans Today, General Petraeus Ambushed, Joe "Ragman" Tarnovsky, Sept. 28, 2013. On September 12, 2013, while walking to give his first lecture at City University New York, CUNY, General (RET) David Petraeus did not expect to be ambushed and harassed, heckled and insulted by a mob of students organized by a teacher named Sandor John. John, according to the Internet, is a professor at Hunter College, which is part of CUNY and teaches Latin American History. He gave an interview that evening on INSIDE EDITION where he called the students “courageous” for confronting David Petraeus while walking to work on the sidewalks of New York City. Courageous, I do not think so, Mr. John, as your group acted like a bunch of cowards ganging up on one man, ambushed him and looked liked a mob which was displaying nothing but hooliganism. A liberal college professor organizing an ambush protest, against a man that has dedicated his life to his country around the world and served in two wars is not courageous. That is so typical of those college professors that are so left wing that they can not even “turn” to the right, which certainly does not represent the majority of college professors teaching today. Individuals like Sandor John seem to have a vendetta against the military and and men like General Petraeus and like to misconstrue the meaning of words and revise history! Calling this man a war criminal, a man that went to Afghanistan to defeat the individuals that helped to launch the deadly plot on September 11, 2001 to strike at the World Trade Center in New York City, how ludicrous, obnoxious, disrespectful, vile and uneducated.A series of seemingly unrelated recent scandals share a common denominator: ambitious politicos well-rewarded by powerful interests and seemingly caught in compromising positions.
Fulfilling one of modern journalism’s most popular practices, many news organizations have focused on New York Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal. Armchair psychiatrists in the political press have especially enjoyed about the reactions of his wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton.
have enjoyed moralistic revival concerns about Weiner, his family, and a rogues gallery of previous political miscreants in articles amply illustrated with the most lithesome and soft-porn peddlers
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Wayne Madsen Report, State Department "foreign affairs," Wayne Madsen, right, Aug 2, 2013 (Subscription required). Recent revelations about former New York Democratic Congressman and New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's texting of lewd digital messages with attached photographs of his genitals, coupled with his wife's admission that some of Weiner's problems are her fault, were not enough to maintain the Washington rumor mill during the normally driest month for news -- August.
Forbes, The CUNY-Petraeus Imbroglio: Even Uncivilized Students Have Their Rights, Harvey Silverglate, left, Oct. 1, 2013. One does not hear much these days about university faculty members coming out loudly and publicly in support of academic freedom. So I was startled when I read that on September 13th the University Faculty Senate Executive Committee at the City University of New York (“CUNY”) issued a statement criticizing CUNY student protests against the school’s appointment of former CIA director and Army general David Petraeus as “Macaulay Honors College Visiting Professor” as an attack on academic freedom. But then I realized that this statement furthered the cause of faculty freedom, a right professors too often consider far more sacrosanct than the freedom of students to speak. (After all, faculty rarely challenge – and often support – the speech codes plaguing most campuses today.) The CUNY Faculty Senate Executive Committee has seemingly sought to protect what it views as faculty academic freedom by seeking an arguable restriction of student academic freedom to criticize both a faculty member and the university’s decision to offer him a visiting lectureship. Retired general and former CIA Director David Petraeus recently began a stint as a visiting professor at the City University of New York, much to the chagrin of many students and even some faculty. Several students organized a protest against Petraeus, which involves their following him on his way to and from class chanting slogans. After a video of the first such protest went viral, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate issued a statement criticizing the students for “harassing” Petraeus and supposedly violating his academic freedom rights. My latest column, posted today on Forbes.com, tells the story of a similar case from my early days as a lawyer, and explains why the student protests criticized by the CUNY Executive Committee almost certainly qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment. (This is not to say, of course, that all subsequent protests have been or will be on the lawful side of the speech line.)
FireDogLake, Bogus State Department Keystone XL Climate Study the Basis of David Petraeus’ CUNY Seminar, Steve Horn, July 25, 2013. Former CIA-head David Petraeus’ City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College seminar readings include several prominent Big Oil-funded “frackademia” studies, a recent DeSmogBlog investigation revealed. Further digging into records obtained via New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) also reveals “a survey of the global economy to set the stage for the course” – as stated in an email from Petraeus to an unknown source due to redaction – utilizes the U.S. State Department’s Keystone XL environmental review written by Environmental Resources Management (ERM Group) to argue that Transcanada’s tar sands export pipeline deserves approval. “[Redacted], attached is a document that my Harvard researchers and I put together for the seminar I’ll lead at Macaulay Honors College of CUNY,” wrote Petraeus in the email. “It is intended to be a survey of the global economy to set the stage for the course…[It] will have considerable value, I think, for the undergrads in the course.” The “Global Economy” survey was penned on behalf of Petraeus by Vivek Chilukuri, one of Petraeus’ researchers at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Public Policy, where Petraeus sits as a Non-Resident Fellow. Chilukuri serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics & Policy, and worked for Obama For America before the 2008 election.
New York Daily News, David Petraeus will take $1 salary for CUNY teaching post; Instead of earning $150,000 to lecture three hours a week at CUNY, former CIA director David Petraeus will earn $1, Bill Hutchinson, July 16, 2013. Former CIA director David Petraeus has taken a pay cut — instead of earning $150,000 to lecture three hours a week at CUNY, he’ll receive $1. Petraeus’ lawyer, Robert Barnett, and CUNY officials confirmed the salary cut on Monday. The move came just days after the six-figure salary was blasted on the Daily News’ editorial page and called “obscene” by CUNY’s faculty union.
USA Today via Army Times, FBI investigation of Petraeus continues, Tom Vanden Brook, June 25, 2013. The FBI continues to investigate former CIA Director David Petraeus, who was forced to resign after admitting last fall to an extramarital affair. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged the ongoing probe during a little-noticed exchange last month with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and member of the House Judiciary Committee. Robert Barnett, Petraeus’ lawyer, said he had no comment about the investigation. Chaffetz pressed Holder on when President Obama was notified of the investigation and referred to a report in April by the Congressional Research Service about it. The report notes dryly that an affair is not an “intelligence activity.” But the potential that the email account of the top spy at the CIA is. The affair came to light in November after Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite and friend of Petraeus, complained to the FBI that she’d received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ biographer and mistress. “While an extra-marital affair itself is not classified as an ‘intelligence activity,’ the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) originated with the possible hacking of Director Petraeus’ e-mail account, an act that had the potential of compromising national intelligence,” the report says. Holder told Chaffetz that Obama was not immediately notified because the Justice Department does not share information about criminal investigations. Then Chaffetz and Holder concluded with this exchange: REP. CHAFFETZ: Is this an ongoing investigation? ATTY GEN. HOLDER: It’s an ongoing investigation. In April, USA TODAY reported that FBI agents had interviewed Petraeus at his home in Northern Virginia. That interview was part of an ongoing investigation into whether Broadwell had received classified information or whether those documents were kept in an unauthorized place, according to a federal law enforcement official. Petraeus is emerging from a period of silence. In late May, the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., announced that he would work for them as a consultant. Last week, Team Rubicon, a public-service venture involving veterans, announced that Petraeus had agreed to join its board of advisers.
Forbes, The Real Reason Why KKR Wants Petraeus On Call, George Anders, May 30, 2013. Everyone’s buzzing about KKR & Co.’s decision to bring former CIA director David Petraeus into the private-equity firm as chairman of the newly created KKR Global Institute. Could Petraeus use his network of connections to help KKR close more deals? Perhaps. But there’s a deeper motive for this alliance that looks far more compelling. At the world’s largest private-equity firms (KKR, Blackstone, Carlyle and TPG Capital), top executives obsess about the way their brands are perceived. It’s not enough to be widely known as big, powerful, and very good at making money. Everyone reached that plateau decades ago. What the private-equity bosses really crave is the statesmanlike reputation enjoyed by Warren Buffett — and hardly any other deal-makers. If you’re Buffett, companies are eager to do business with you, even if they’ve spent years shooing away all other suitors. Sellers may be less insistent on holding out for top dollar. You become the most favored acquirer. That advantage — in the form of better deal flow and better terms — can be a much bigger edge than any extra twists of the financial engineering that private-equity firms all practice.
I’ve watched KKR struggle with its brand image, going back to the days when I wrote a book about the firm: Merchants of Debt. During the research for that book, I heard repeatedly from the firm’s founding partners, Henry Kravis and George Roberts, about how frustrated they were with harsh portrayals of their work. KKR has worked hard in recent years to win sympathetic advocates in industry after industry. The former CEOs of Caterpillar, Vodaphone, Motorola, First Data and nearly two dozen other major global companies now serve part-time as KKR senior advisers. KKR says these worthies provide operational and strategic insights, while sometimes advising on individual deals. If all that was desired was Petraeus’s help every now and then on specific deals, Kravis and Roberts could have made him their 27th senior adviser. But that’s not the route they chose. Instead, Petraeus’s new job calls for him to get into the “thought leadership” business. As my colleague Halah Touryalai reports, his global institute is expected to address “macro-economic issues like the role of central banks in the world since the crisis, changes in public policy, and other areas where KKR has interests.” In essence, KKR wants Petraeus, a former four-star general with a uniquely intellectual bent, to help establish the private-equity firm as a citadel of big-picture insights. That would be a welcome change for Kravis and Roberts, who doubtless have grown tired of endless allusions to “Barbarians at the Gate,” an archly titled account of KKR’s 1988 takeover battle for RJR Nabisco. Blackstone has always had a bit of geopolitical cachet, thanks to founding partner Pete Peterson’s days as Commerce Secretary and his ongoing interest in fiscal policy and Social Security. Carlyle at one time had former President George H.W. Bush as an adviser, helping to buttress that firm’s image as deeply connected to the political realm. Now it’s KKR’s turn to try. “The focus is forward,” Mr. Petraeus told The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Spector, shortly after the KKR appointment was announced. The Journal’s piece listed a wide variety of ways that Petraeus’s influence might be felt, including advising on foreign deals, counseling firms already owned by KKR and weighing in on “economic trends, issues with foreign governments and other matters that could affect transactions.”
Huffington Post, David Petraeus Volunteers With Team Rubicon, Mission Continues, Eleanor Goldberg, April 29, 2013. Other Organizations To Help Vets Reintegrate, David Petraeus has avoided the spotlight since his extramarital affair with his biographer became public. But the former four-star general has been making steady appearances with veterans trying to reintegrate. During his first speech since the scandal broke, Petraeus apologized for the affair and vowed to a roomful of 600 people at a University of Southern California dinner to get involved with a number of nonprofits, including Team Rubicon and the Mission Continues, which help veterans get their lives back once they return from war. “I’m doing so because of the importance of programs that help our veterans identify and then make the most of the opportunities available to them,” Petraeus said during his talk. Since then, Petraeus has made good on his promise and some say it doesn’t just feel like a ploy to make over his image.
CNN, Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack, Jake Tapper, Aug. 1, 2013. CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack. Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya. Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret. CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out. Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels. It is clear that two U.S. agencies were operating in Benghazi, one was the State Department, and the other was the CIA. The State Department told CNN in an e-mail that it was only helping the new Libyan government destroy weapons deemed "damaged, aged or too unsafe retain," and that it was not involved in any transfer of weapons to other countries. But the State Department also clearly told CNN, they "can't speak for any other agencies."
Guccifer Hacking and Posting
The Smoking Gun, ‘Sex And The City’ Author, Members Of Council On Foreign Relations Join List Of ‘Guccifer’ Hacking Victims, Staff report, May 7, 2013. Days after breaching online accounts of members of the Council on Foreign Relations, the hacker “Guccifer” this week broke into the e-mail and Twitter accounts of “Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell, The Smoking Gun has learned. After illegally accessing Bushnell’s Earthlink account yesterday, “Guccifer” rooted through it and located an e-mail the 54-year-old writer sent last week to her editor at Grand Central Publishing. The correspondence included a Word attachment containing the first 37,000 words of Bushnell’s next novel. In addition to hacking Bushnell’s e-mail, “Guccifer” also took control of her Twitter account and web site (candacebushnell.com). Armed with Bushnell’s manuscript, the hacker created about 50 screen grabs of the text, and then uploaded those images to a Google Drive page. In control of Bushnell’s Twitter page, “Guccifer” yesterday sent a tweet to the author’s 9100 followers announcing, “Here you can read my last book ''killing monica'' first 50 pages; enjoy as long as you can!” The tweet--which was resent earlier today--included a link to the Google Drive page. In an interview this morning, Bushnell (seen above) said that her e-mail and Twitter accounts were broken into yesterday, and that she had no idea how they were breached. She added that a simultaneous attempt was made to compromise her Facebook account, but that she received an alert that someone was attempting to access it from an IP address in Albuquerque, New Mexico that was not recognized by the social networking firm.
FastCompany, Now PayPal Goes for Cryptome, Suspends Account, Addy Dugdale, March 8, 2010. wo weeks after Cryptome.com had the plug pulled temporarily on it by host Network Solutions, it seems the site has run into more problems--only this time, with someone else. The site's current frenemy is eBay, who has suspended Cryptome's PayPal account and all donations received since February 24, around the time that Cryptome ran into problems with Microsoft, following publication of the software giant's guide to online surveillance.
The Huffington Post, Colin Powell Denies Affair With Romanian Diplomat After Guccifer Hacking, Ashley Alman, Aug. 1, 2013. The denial comes after famed hacker Guccifer breached Powell's email and Facebook accounts, revealing 10 years of communication with Corina Cretu, a member of the European Parliament. Powell, who left the State Department in 2005, kept in touch with Cretu over email after leaving his post. "Over time, the emails became of a very personal nature, but did not result in an affair," Powell said in a statement. Powell, who married his wife Alma in 1962, reportedly asked Cretu to delete the email exchange, as Guccifer posted personal emails from 2010 and 2011 online this week. Guccifer has received a lot of attention since March, when he began hacking the accounts of members of government and celebrities. His victims include Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Bush family and venture capitalist John Doerr.
Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues
Huffington Post, Supreme Court Ethics Act Proposed In Response To Controversial Behavior By Justices Scalia, Thomas, Nick Wing, Aug. 1, 2013.
OpEdNews, Syrian Support Group Stumbles, Falls - The Empire Project Failing, Michael Collins, Aug. 2, 2013. The latest news of the effort to depose a government that never attacked the United States and posed no imminent threat has more to do with hypocrisy than death and destruction. The United States, United Kingdom, France, Turkey, and the Gulf oligarchies sponsored a rebellion in Syria that chose cities as the primary battleground. Syrian rebels entered the cities, took over without invitation by the residents, and battled the police and other representatives of the Syrian government. Nobody expected the government to simply surrender the cities to the rebels. This often-overlooked fact explains the scale of death and destruction in Syria. The above listed cast of characters supported or looked the other way as foreign fighters from Al Qaeda in Iraq took on a major combat role. The group, known as Al-Nusra, is credited as the best combat force fighting the Syrian government. The group slaughters civilians and captured soldiers. A favorite targets for violence and kidnapping are the minorities of Syrian Christians and Kurds. The latest news of the effort to depose a government that never attacked the United States and posed no imminent threat has more to do with hypocrisy than death and destruction. Craven, rapacious greed flowers in the context of a full tilt violence.
Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Chattanooga editor fired for ‘shove it’ headline aimed at Obama, Jim Galloway, Aug. 1, 2013. A Chattanooga newspaper editor has been fired for that “Take your jobs plan and shove it” headline that greeted President Barack Obama on his arrival to the city earlier this week. We noted the rude nature of the greeting here: Chattanooga newspaper's welcome to Obama: ‘Take your jobs plan and shove it.’