Ever since General Petreaus resigned as Director of the CIA, numerous pundits have gone about providing their own thoughts on the matter. Some of these thoughts are mere speculation. Many of those providing these thoughts have absolutely no clue how the CIA operates. Its time a little reality is uncovered.
The most recent speculation made about General Petreaus deals with his background investigation prior to becoming Director of the CIA. Many media pundits have a false belief that the FBI conducts background investigations for the CIA. This is completely untrue.
Background investigations are completed by multiple organizations. Most background investigations are conducted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The Secret Service, FBI, and CIA along with a very select group of other federal organizations conduct background investigations internally.
In the case of General Petreaus, while he served inside the Department of Defense, his background investigations were conducted by the Defense Security Service (DSS) and or OPM.
As General Petreaus transitioned from active duty Army to his civilian role as Director of the CIA, his previous background paperwork was transferred from the US Army to the CIA.
During the transition, the CIA initiated their own background investigation on their new Director utilizing a very long history of previous background investigations conducted by the DOD as well as created new material based off his very, very, short period living in retirement—not the FBI.
Others have alluded to the thought that since the FBI is involved in the Petreaus love affair they must have supremacy over all counterintelligence jurisdictions. This thought is also inaccurate.
Inside the United States, only four organizations have counterintelligence jurisdiction—the FBI, Army Counter Intelligence, Air Force Office of Special investigations, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Each one has their own jurisdiction. Of the four, note that three are actual DOD assets.
Considering the timeline revealed based off open source material about the current Generalship love triangle, if General Petreaus did in fact have this love affair during the periods noted while serving in the Army, and an investigation started during such periods, that investigation would have likely begun inside the Department of the Army through a branch within Army Counter Intelligence—again, not the FBI.
So the question must be asked—why is the FBI involved in the Petreaus scandal? Did General Petreaus actually break any laws? A couple of points must be addressed to make this picture somewhat clear.
The FBI is the lead federal agency with jurisdiction to investigate federal law enforcement matters. With that said, the FBI will only initiate investigations within the DOD after Defense investigative agencies request their assistance or uncover evidence that reaches beyond their own internal jurisdictional capabilities which allows the FBI to take over investigative matters.
If no laws through reasonable suspicion later identified through probable cause were observed to have been broken by General Petreaus, and he did not violate any matters dealing with classified material which could be deemed as a breach of national security, the FBI may have illegally conducted intelligence on a US person which violates numerous laws based of the Church and Pike Committee hearings dating back to the Carter era.
Having a love affair is not a criminal offense in America. Spending government funds on personal use or utilizing government property for personal gains are offenses. However, such offenses are rarely so extraordinaire in which the FBI would ever be brought in to investigate. Again, such investigations would be maintained internally.
So the real question about this entire dilemma should have nothing, or very little, to do with General Petreaus. The real question should be about the FBI. More intriguing is not the FBI but the jurisdiction in which the FBI falls under—the Department of Justice. Who controls the Department of Justice? Eric Holder.
Many persons within the current administration have time and again pointed a finger at US intelligence failures. Based off the current Petreaus scandal, and as one who has worked inside US intelligence circles, I find a larger crisis at hand–The Department of Justice has breached its responsibilities and jurisdictional boundaries.
It would be nice to obtain answers about the FBI’s role in the Petreaus scandal. It would also be nice to know whether they were directed to investigate America’s top spymaster by justice king-pin Eric Holder merely out of a desire for control. Then again, it would be nice getting clear insight about Operation Fast and Furious—another Justice Department led conundrum.
But like Fast and Furious, it is highly doubtful we will ever obtain the answers needed to fully understand what happened with General Petreaus. But there are some things we can uncover about the situation. To do that, we must first understand proper protocol and jurisdictional boundaries within the federal government