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April 30, 2011

Ray McGovern's Take on Army General to Head CIA

Recently President Obama named Gen. David H. Petraeus to head the CIA. The military man who in 1974 married the daughter of Lt. Gen. William A. Knowlton, one-time superintendent of West Point Military Academy, besides being a graduate of the Academy, has a doctorate from Princeton University in public administration and has been sometimes rumored to be a Republican candidate for President in 2012, or even beyond. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has called Gen. David Petraeus "a national treasure," somewhat gushing praise.

In the article below, peace advocate Ray McGovern asks whether the General, as the new Director of the CIA will be able to deliver true and objective analysis of war data in light of his personal stake in making himself look good in his role during the two wars that are still on the table. He finds the appointment very troubling and compares Petraeus to General William Westmoreland, who was accused of dishonesty and deliberate distortion in Vietnam. 
Gen. William Westmoreland against whom charges of deliberate distortion and dishonesty
Gen. William Westmoreland against whom charges of deliberate distortion and dishonesty
Gen. William Westmoreland against whom charges of deliberate distortion and dishonesty
Gen. William Westmoreland against whom charges of deliberate distortion and dishonesty




Speaking Freely, Vol. 3: Ray McGovern on the Corruption of U.S. Intelligence
DVD
By Ray McGovern

April 29, 2011 "Information Clearing House" -- The news that President Barack Obama has picked Gen. David Petraeus to be CIA director raises troubling questions, including whether the commander most associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will tolerate objective analysis of those two conflicts.


What if CIA analysts assess the prospects of success in those two wars as dismal and conclude that the troop “surges” pushed so publicly by Petraeus wasted both the lives of American troops and many billions of taxpayer dollars? Will CIA Director Petraeus welcome such critical analysis or punish it?

The Petraeus appointment also suggests that the President places little value on getting the straight scoop on these key war-related issues. If he did want the kind of intelligence analysis that, at times, could challenge the military, why is he giving the CIA job to a general with a huge incentive to gild the lily regarding the “progress” made under his command?