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Military Connection: Double Standard in Petraeus Sentencing

May Petraeus

By Joe Silva

On April 23, 2015, former CIA Director and Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus [U.S. Army Retired] was sentenced to a fine of $100,000 and two years of probation.

As MilitaryConnection.com has previously reported, on March 3, 2015 General Petraeus had agreed to plead guilty to the charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information. An investigation conducted by the FBI found that Petraeus had, in his possession, several personal notebooks on which he had hand-written classified information during meetings and briefings, mostly from his time in the Army. The investigation also found that for a time, these notebooks were in the possession of Petraeus biographer, Paula Broadwell, a Major in the Army Reserves, with whom Petraeus was having an affair. The FBI investigators accused the general of lying to them about not having any classified data in his possession after resigning from his position as director of the CIA in November, 2012.

As part of his plea agreement, Gen. Petraeus was facing up to one year in prison. And according to court documents, a $40,000 fine was expected to be levied. Judge David Kessler found that two years of probation were sufficient, but that a fine $100,000 better reflected the seriousness of the offense.

Many news outlets have decried the sentencing, claiming that a double standard is in place. Several articles stated that the general should have faced jail time, some even desiring a sentence beyond the one year plea deal. And to these people,  I say that I absolutely agree that there IS a double standard in place.

Despite popular belief, the justice system does not necessarily exist to punish an individual for his or her transgressions. The justice system exists to keep a populace in line. So, in my opinion, there was a double standard in two areas of this case: 1). If you can afford to pay a higher fine, you can avoid jail time for many offenses.  2). Serving your country for 38 years (1974-2011 in the Army plus one year in the CIA) brought Gen. Petraeus preferential treatment. There are Veterans Courts springing up all over the country that are considering a Veteran’s service in regards to their legal issues. This, too, is a double standard, but I am not against it.

Unlike the angry mob, I personally feel that I can live with existence of these particular double standards, in the same way that I can still respectfully refer to the shamed individual as “General” and not “mister” like other articles did. But mine is just one Veteran’s opinion.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast Guard,Guard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Double Standard in Petraeus Sentencing: By Joe Silva

Military Connection: Did Petraeus Betray his Office?

Petraeus

On Friday, January 9, 2015, a news story broke saying that federal prosecutors would be recommending criminal charges be brought up against retired Army General David Petraeus for allegedly passing classified information to his former mistress, Paula Broadwell.

At the time of the four-star general’s retirement in August 2011, Gen. Petraeus was arguably the most recognizable individual in the U.S. military. In 2003, as a major general, Petraeus commanded the 101st Airborne in Iraq. In 2004, Petraeus was promoted to lieutenant general, and named the first commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq. In 2007, he was promoted to general, and became the head of all coalition forces in Iraq when he was made commander of the Multi-National Force Iraq (MNI).  As he was in the process of retiring from the Army, Petraeus was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the position of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2011. In November 2012, Petraeus resigned as head of the CIA when his affair with Broadwell became known.

Broadwell was the principle biographer for Petraeus’ autobiography, titled All In. The two engaged in an affair for several months, which reportedly ended in the summer of 2012. Shortly thereafter, Broadwell allegedly began sending anonymous threatening emails to Petraeus’ family friend, Jill Kelley. Kelley reportedly alerted the FBI when the emails began threatening her family. The FBI linked the emails to Broadwell, exposing her affair with Petraeus.

Now, more than two years after his resignation as director of the CIA, the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors are accusing Petraeus of providing classified information to Broadwell during the course of their relationship. They are recommending that felony charges be brought against the former military leader.

The new accusations are derived from an investigation focusing on Petraeus’ affair with Broadwell, and whether or not the retired general ever provided her with classified information while he was head of the CIA. It has been reported that FBI investigators found classified documents on Broadwell’s computer.

The findings coincided with President Obama’s statement, at the time Petraeus tendered his resignation, that there was no evidence that Petraeus had disclosed information that would endanger national security. But the findings did reportedly uncover evidence of a possible breach in security from one of our country’s most crucial intelligence positions. Officials at the justice department contend that many other individuals in much lower profile positions have been prosecuted for less.

The decision on whether or not to prosecute is now up to Attorney General Eric Holder, who was expected to make a decision on this matter by the close of 2014. Holder has already tendered his resignation from his office pending confirmation of his successor. Holder is keeping his cards close to the vest on the matter, not revealing his intentions on the matter, if any.

What is your opinion on the matter? Should Petraeus be brought up on felony charges? Did Petraeus betray his office and country? Or are politics playing too big of a factor in this situation?

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast GuardGuard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blogthat offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Did Petraeus Betray his Office? By Debbie Gregory