John Ransom

While the Pentagon cover stories on Ham and Gaouette look credible, the Petraeus coincidence is implausible outside of intervention by the Lost City of Atlantis.

You know what else is implausible?

That somehow the C.I.A. security office didn’t know that Petraeus was having an affair with Paula Broadwell, or that F.B.I. really cares that Petraeus was having an affair with someone who has a security clearance.

As the F.B.I. has admitted: This is neither a matter of national security or of criminal action. 

I hate to tell you this, but senior intelligence and defense officials have been having affairs for a long time. They are so insulated from the ordinary hustle of real life that it’s virtually impossible for the director of the C.I.A. to keep an affair as anything other than an open secret. The C.I.A. is very comfortable handling stuff like this in-house and making sure it doesn’t present a problem.

The rule is that the F.B.I. only proceeds in an investigation in matters pertaining to actual security breaches inside the domestic intelligence community. Absent an actual threat to national security, the F.B.I. would usually look the other way, even accounting for the longtime animosity between the C.I.A. and the F.B.I.

Here’s what else I know: There is no way that the F.B.I. investigated this for months and somehow just recently stumbled upon the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell.

Nor did they suddenly decide that they had to tell the White House the night of the election.

The F.B.I. and everyone else says that this is a personal matter, not a matter of law.

“This is a very personal matter, not a matter of intelligence,” a senior U.S. intelligence official told the Washington Post. “There are protocols for this. I would imagine things have to cross a certain threshold before they are reportable.”

Let’s call the threshold what it is: the Benghazi Triangle.

Cross the Benghazi Triangle and mysterious, unexplainable things begin to happen.


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.