But, let's rewind the tape of that press conference a few minutes. Earlier Obama had been asked by NBC's Chuck Todd whether he should have been informed about the investigation into CIA Director David Petraeus' dalliances with his biographer (and lover) Paula Broadwell. From the transcript:
Obama: I am -- I am withholding judgment with respect to how the entire process surrounding General Petraeus came up. You know, we don't have all the information yet. But I want to say that I have a lot of confidence generally in the FBI, and they've got a difficult job.
The President went on to say that if he HAD known, the press might be asking if the White House had been interfering in an investigation.
But, this isn't the Secretary of Agriculture or Interior. This is the head of the CIA and it would be nice to now whether the head of the CIA knew he was under investigation in the days immediately following the Benghazi attack.
House Majority Leader, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) had been informed of the investigation on Oct. 27, so it is possible - maybe likely - that Petraeus had been informed by the FBI well in advance of that.
The question is: Was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency distracted by his fear that his affair would become public and so was not operating at full speed during and the days after Benghazi?
As I Tweeted during the presser (@richgalen):
Benghazi: Amb Rice was misled by the CIA whose Dir was distracted by an investigation about which Obama knew nothing. Do I have that right?
If I didn't know better I'd think that was lifted from a Marx Brothers film but there's nothing funny about four Americans killed and the nation's elite spy agency unable to respond either in the field or in the media.
If that is true, or even close to being true, then the Petreaus/Broadwell/Kelley/Allen activity takes on a new and much more sinister aspect.
Duck Soup, indeed.
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On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Marx Brothers clip and to the Washington Post piece. Also another in the series of license plate Mullfotos.
Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army | Michael Barone