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WILLIAMS: What secrecy reveals

- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 18, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

David H. Petraeus is a genuine American hero, a man of great intellect and proven integrity, which makes the four-star general's sudden resignation for adultery very curious. The timing of it just after the election, and his scheduled testimony on the Benghazi affair. only make things look more suspicious. Indeed, it seems that the more answers we get, the more questions arise.

We know that Benghazi, Libya, was not the result of a protest. We know that the White House and the rest of the administration knew it before they told us that it was. Hearings are continuing to be conducted into the Benghazi affair, but one also has to ask what the point of any hearings are now. The election is over. The criminals got away with their crimes. The people have publicly pardoned the administration for not only its ineptitude and economic illiteracy, but also its outright corruption.

Benghazi was enough, but now this. Now we have the corruption of not only the head of the CIA but of the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan. We have the director of the CIA being investigated by the FBI, something out of a dystopian novel or television drama. These are the men trusted with keeping us safe, and yet they cannot be trusted with an email account. As Democrat President Harry Truman asked, "if his wife can't trust him, why should I?" Whether or not you trust Gen. John Allen and Mr. Petraeus, you have been trusting them with your safety for years. This should be deeply unsettling for every American.

Several CIA directors have had affairs, and, even though this doesn't excuse the behavior, it makes the secrecy of this current situation all the more suspect. The FBI was first informed of the affair in May, along with the attorney general, and the affair was investigated. It strains the limits of credulity to say that this top level investigation was ongoing without the knowledge of the White House. Such things simply do not and have not occurred in the past.

That Tampa, Fla., socialite Jill Kelley even got the ear of Mr. Petraeus is disturbing, and a sign that we have much bigger problems than Mr. Petraeus' libido. Mrs. Kelley and her twin sister exhibit serious mental pathology and an obsession with trying to get close to our military brass that sounds like something out of a Cold War James Bond movie. Mrs. Kelley has referred to herself as "an honorary consul general," and claimed diplomatic immunity, which, if the context were not so terrifying, would be hilarious.

This is a woman who should not be trusted with a driver's license, never mind hours and hours of time with some of the most powerful and important people in the country. The things that we know that she has done are downright pathological.

She went door to door in the tony neighborhood of Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, asking if anyone were selling their home. I am reminded of the Salahis, who somehow sneaked into a dinner at the White House in 2009. The fact that people are even trying so hard to buddy up to "public servants" is a sign that we are no longer the republic that our Founders intended, or that classical liberalism would prescribe.

It is a bad sign of how centralized wealth and power has become in our country, that people become obsessed with the government and try to get as close to it as possible. Our republic was designed precisely to avoid such systems of patronage, and yet, that is now all we do. Forget the fact that transfer payments are the largest part of the budget. Forget the fact that Washington, D.C., is now the wealthiest part of the country. This shows, clear as day, that, just like in the backwardness of Old Europe, the way to get ahead in America is to get to know the right people. People act this way because they believe it to be so.

We've heard a lot about the big, bad 1 percent. I think that we have a problem in this country of the dispersal of power, but not in the way Occupy Wall Street thinks. We have too much power at the top, and the top is the political class.

The Salahis wound up on a reality show, "The Real Housewives of Washington, D.C." Monica Lewinsky went on to hawk diet pills. Maybe there's a future for the Kelleys after all. Who says there are no second acts in American lives?

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.

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