Petraeus scandal puts four-star lifestyle under scrutiny


Former defense secretary Robert Gates stopped bagging his leaves when he moved into a small Washington military enclave in 2007. His next-door neighbor was Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had a chef, a personal valet and - not lost on Gates - troops to tend his property.

Gates may have been the civilian leader of the world’s largest military, but his position did not come with household staff. So, he often joked, he disposed of his leaves by blowing them onto the chairman’s lawn.

“I was often jealous because he had four enlisted people helping him all the time,” Gates said in response to a question after a speech Thursday. He wryly complained to his wife that “Mullen’s got guys over there who are fixing meals for him, and I’m shoving something into the microwave. And I’m his boss.”

Of the many facts that have come to light in the scandal involving former CIA director David Petraeus, among the most curious was that during his days as a four-star general, he was once escorted by 28 police motorcycles as he traveled from his Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla. to socialite Jill Kelley’s mansion. Although most of his trips did not involve a presidential-size convoy, the scandal has prompted new scrutiny of the imperial trappings that come with a senior general’s lifestyle.

The commanders who lead the nation’s military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.

The elite regional commanders who preside over large swaths of the planet don’t have to settle for Gulfstream V jets. They each have a C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737, some of which are configured with beds.

Since Petraeus’ fall, many have strained to understand how such a celebrated general could have behaved so badly. Some have speculated that an exhausting decade of war impaired his judgment. Others wondered if Petraeus was never the Boy Scout he appeared to be. But Gates, who still possesses a modest Kansan’s bemusement at Washington excess, has floated another theory.

“There is something about a sense of entitlement and of having great power that skews people’s judgment,” Gates said last week.

Among the Army’s general officer corps, there is little support for Gates’ hypothesis.

“I love the man. I am his biggest supporter. But I strongly disagree,” said retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who served as Gates’ senior military assistant. “I find it concerning that he and others are not focusing on the effect on our guys of fighting wars for 11 years. No one was at it longer than Petraeus.”

But other veteran commanders concurred with Gates.

David Barno, a retired three-star general who commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan, warned in an interview that the environment in which the top brass lives has the potential “to become corrosive over time upon how they live their life.”

“You can become completely disconnected from the way people live in the regular world - and even from the modest lifestyle of others in the military,” Barno said. “When that happens, it’s not necessarily healthy either for the military or the country.”

Although American generals have long enjoyed many perks - in World War II and in Vietnam, some dined on china set atop linen tablecloths - the amenities afforded to today’s military leaders are more lavish than anyone else in government enjoys, save for the president.

The benefits have not generated much attention among a public that has long revered its generals as protectors of the nation and moral beacons. And no general has been revered more than Petraeus, a fact that Mullen remarked upon at his retirement ceremony.

He joked that a woman approached him at a dinner party, eyed his medals and asked him if he was somebody important.

“I’m the president’s top military adviser,” he replied.

“Oh my goodness, General Petraeus,” the woman said to Mullen. “I’m so sorry. I just didn’t recognize you.”

Petraeus cultivated his fame by grasping, before most of his comrades, how the narrative of modern warfare is shaped not just on the battlefield but among the chattering class back home. He invited book authors to accompany him, granted frequent interviews to journalists, fostered close relationships with Washington think tanks and embraced political leaders on both sides of the aisle.

When President George W. Bush needed a savior for the foundering war in Iraq, he turned to Petraeus, making him the frontman for the troop surge in Baghdad. In the first six months of 2007, Bush mentioned Petraeus’s name 150 times in speeches.

Petraeus did not disappoint. Violence dropped in Iraq after he became the top commander there. He returned home as a celebrity. In 2009, he was asked to flip the coin at the Super Bowl.

He became an A-list guest at Washington parties. His stardom, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a collective guilt among civilians disconnected from the conflicts all helped to raise the profile for his fellow generals. It wasn’t just Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman who cultivated close relationships with him and other generals, including Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, by throwing lavish parties at her million-dollar house. Hostesses around the nation delighted at the presence of commanders in full-dress uniforms at social events.

The adulation fit their lifestyle.

“Being a four-star commander in a combat theater is like being a combination of Bill Gates and Jay Z - with enormous firepower added,” said Thomas Ricks, the author of “The Generals,” a recently published history of American commanders since World War II.

Many of the gatherings have been genuinely altruistic; community and business leaders have pitched in to help raise money to support wounded troops and military families. But others, it seems, hoped a general or two sprinkled among canape-munching guests would bring elevated social status.

In some cases, the generals, who have spent much of their professional lives in cloistered military bubbles, have not employed the best judgment in cultivating relationships with those who enjoy the sparkle of stars on the shoulder. Allen exchanged hundreds - perhaps even thousands - of e-mails with Kelley over the past four years, a fact discovered in the FBI investigation into harassing messages sent by Petraeus’ former mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell, to Kelley. The Defense Department is now investigating the messages Allen and Kelley exchanged.

Some retired generals have defended the benefits accorded to their active-duty brethren, noting that many of them work 18-hour days, six to seven days a week. They manage budgets that dwarf those of large multinational companies and are responsible for the lives of thousands of young men and women under their command.

Compared with today’s plutocrats, their pay is modest. In 2013, the base salary for a four-star general with at least 38 years of service will be almost $235,000, although federal personnel regulations limit their take-home pay to $179,700. Unlike top civilians in government, top generals also receive free housing and subsidies for food and uniforms. And when they retire, those who have served at least 40 years get an annual pension that is slightly more than active-duty base pay - this year it is $236,650.

Several generals noted that perks, such as planes, cars and staff aides, are constrained by hundreds of pages of rules designed to ensure that they are used only for government business.

But the frantic search for cuts to reduce the growth of government debt could soon put some of the four-star benefits at risk. When he was at the Pentagon, Gates wanted to trim some of the perks but ran into resistance. It was, he said, the “third rail” of the Defense Department.

“You don’t need a cadre of people at your beck and call in an age of austerity, unless you are a field commander in Iraq or Afghanistan,” a former top aide to Gates said on the condition of anonymity.

The travel practices of two theater commanders, which prompted Pentagon investigations this year, may further jeopardize the perks.

The former head of the U.S. Africa Command, Army Gen. William “Kip” Ward spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for private travel, including using military vehicles to shuttle his wife on shopping trips and to a spa, according to a report by the Defense Department’s inspector general. The report detailed lengthy stays at lavish hotels for Ward, his wife and his staff members - he billed the government for a refueling stop overnight in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite - and the use of five-vehicle motorcades when he traveled in Washington. The report also said Ward often took longer-than-necessary business trips to the United States, resulting in “exponential” increases in costs.

The current top U.S. commander in Europe, Adm. James Stavridis, also came under the scrutiny of the inspector general for using a military jet to fly to the Burgundy region of France for a dinner organized by an international society of wine enthusiasts. Stavridis defended the trip as an opportunity to meet with French military and business leaders.

He was cleared of wrongdoing by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus earlier this month. Ward, however, was not so fortunate. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced last week that Ward would be demoted and forced to retire at a three-star rank. He also will have to repay the government $82,000, but he still will receive a $208,000-a-year pension.

Peter Feaver, a National Security Council official in the Bush administration, defended the generals’ need for perks and large staffs, noting that when they entertain foreign dignitaries they are bound by military standards of pageantry and protocol that don’t exist in the State Department.

“The military is trapped in an older cultural time warp,” Feaver said.

But he worried that the recent high-profile excesses could chip away at the military’s credibility. There’s a sentiment among the ranks that generals are out of touch, he said.

“This provides fuel for that kind of critique,” he said. “It can do damage to the institution.”  

Posted to: Military News

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Excuse me but...

To paraphrase here "top military leaders,excluding the president,are the only ones in Govt to receive such special treatment and amenities". I seem to recall Miss Godess herself Pilosi jetting all over-not only the country -but all over the world at taxpayer expense. Can't remember exact figures but the cost of food, wine ect.. was absolutely mind boggling.All at taxpayer expense of course. But you hardly ever hear these type of things reported in the Liberal mainstream media. Thank God for FOX NEWS to put the truth out.

"Can't remember exact figures"

So it's just an empty claim.

Here it is, smarty pants, I

Here it is, smarty pants, I remember reading/hearing the same story.
www.wnd.com/2010/01/123472/ If that doesn't work, just google Nancy Pelosi's expensive Government travel. Have fun. There is lots to read. She has very expensive tastes all at your expense, that is if you pay taxes.

got anything from

a non-right wing website?

makes your entire argument pointless.

for it is commonly accepted that sources are polarized. Your just tweeked because your leftist progressive leaders do EXACTLY the same thing. Probably worse and you make it sound like ONLY generals and the military do this kind of abuses.

Well, power corrupts. Palosi, generals, Obama, Bushes, Clintons. It doesn't matter. It takes a special person to walk down the walk of being perfect. In the history of mankind, only one man has done it. ONE. Progessives hate to utter his name. The are revolted by the pureness of the man. They despise that this one man did it, and so many look to HIM as a leader of how to act.

The man was Jesus Christ. Progressives hate him so bad they hate to even acknowledge his existence in their party platform.

yet you conservatives ran a man

who believes that JC and Satan are brothers.

its either

a "right" wing or a "left" wing, there is no "middle" anymore. so you can take your pick.. and what i thought was the "middle" when i was growing up(im 53 now) ,come to find out they were the "left" all along..

Wrong Again

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch, which investigates and prosecutes government corruption, show Pelosi incurred expenses of some $2.1 million for her use of Air Force jets for travel from 2008 to 2010. Part of this total is $101,000 in receipts for liquor, such as:

Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey … and Corona beer.

Just another leftist who only believes what Chris (Tingle Down My Leg) Matthews says.

Third in line for the presidency - like it or not

It would be interesting to see how Boehner handles the perks of the same job. The Speaker of the House is third in line for the presidency in an emergency. I think most of us agree that Rep. Pelosi played the game to the hilt, but that's her style in the first place. We do live in a semi-royal America, that's for sure: the Kennedys - with all their personal baggage, the Bushes - with their history of gaining riches through power across generations, the Clintons - seeing themselves desined for dynasty, giving their daughter a million dollar wedding as an example. And we've moved from a national defense to an imperialist approach to militarism and commerce. What do you expect? Excesses? - Heck, yes.

You hit that nail on the head!

Quoting something he can't remember. Typical Faux News robot!

A few houses where they "rough it"

Check out a few of the houses where the Admirals rough it.


Cooks, gardeners, caterers, maintenance, drivers, yachts and docks. Executive jet on request.

Living like the 1%-ers at the taxpayers' expense.

Oh, and if you fly in and out of a hazardous duty area, tax-free pay. Unless it's changed, they could spend a year in Bahrain and qualify for EITC.

With increased responsibility comes increased benefits and pay

I don't know what you do for a job, but it's apparent you have no idea what FOGOs do. They are on call 24/7/365 to respond to a crisis in Libya, Korea, Georgia (former Soviet republic), etc.
The level of responsibility they have is enormous, and not every FOGO gets these benefits, primarily only the 4-stars and select 3-stars. How do I know? I used to mow the lawn for a 2-star Admiral...my Dad, who also drove a 4-speed Dodge Colt without A/C to work.

Before you comment on the list of benefits they receive, you may want to look for the facts that the journalist either exaggerated or left out.

And you may want to notice

the thousands of pages of email General Allen had free time to send during his fits of dalliance. Electronic records are a royal B.

Navy has almost 15 O-6 Captains per ship. Until recently there were 400 Admirals for 285 ships, all with a staff, facilities and perks...same number as in WWII with over 2000 ships under Navy command and war in a dozen theaters.

There need to be cuts. You and your ilk keep defending the indefensible and when the cuts come, they will end up undercutting what is proper.

You'll forgive me if I think your opinion might be a bit biased.

I suspect things have changed a bit since your dad was a flag officer. Many of the trappings that come with higher rank are perfectly legitimate and I have no problem with the fact that they enjoy many perks. Others, however, are impossible to justify. GEN Ward's using a five-vehicle motorcade when travelling in Washington, for example, is ridiculous - he only did so to satisfy his ego, not because of security requirements.

So why do flag officers

need chefs? How did they eat before then? If the government owns there residence then no problem with the enlisted mowing and such, but if the officer owns it he should pay.

The facts are there are ways to cut he Pentagon budget as well as the domestic budget. Nothing should be sacred

1% folks?

you do understand that Barry and michelle and pelosi and reid and boehner and most of the elected folks in washington are one percenters?

Yes, Admiral Mullen

And when you commanded CENTCOM, you sent the worker bees into mold-infested trailors so you could convert their working spaces into an Admiral's dining room. Way to go with this leadership thing.

Lifetime of service

To former SECDEF Gates: You want the same benefits ADM Mullen enjoyed? Then spend a lifetime of sacrifice and modesty like he did. These aren't corporate CEO who invented a new widget and where made billionaires overnight. These men have have paid the price of service over a lifetime. That often means strained or broken marriages, years away from their children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends and everyone they care about. It means often not being there when their kids are sick or have an important event.
They make billion dollar decisions on a daily basis. Are they perfect? No, not all of them. Hold those accountable who abuse the system, and say "Thank you" to those who don't.

You might want to do some research

Gates is one of our nation's greatest public servants. He spent time in the Air Force and a career at CIA which culminated with his serving as Director. He was asked to be the first Director of National Intelligence, a posting he declined to remain as the president of Texas A&M. He was finally convinced to serve as Bush's second SECDEF and was confirmed by the Senate with only 2 dissenting votes. He reportedly carried a coin in his pocket with Obama's inaguration date because he badly wanted to return to private life but when Obama asked him to stay he remained out of a sense of duty.

Gates may not be perfect, but he most certainly spent a lifetime of sacrifice and, at CIA, certainly modesty (and clearly made billion-dollar decisions).


These guys just don't wake up one day to these benefits. It comes from years of hard work and dedication.


It comes from years of military politics, backstabbing, and butt kissing.

Sarge, some get there that way

and some get there with hard work and sacrifice. Just like any other large organization.

There are all kinds of service

Gen. McChrystal put it well when he said "When the serviceman says to a teacher, 'Thank you for your service.' then we're on the right track."

Service is the entire family who takes care of their wounded warrior or PTSD alcoholic for 30 years and more and give up their lives. Service is the spouse who gives his/her life to country for 40 years after the wounded spouse comes home from the fire or police dept. or truck-driving or forestry or fishing injury.

Deployed? The average OTR trucker spends 300 days per year out of town with risk of death on the job greater than military. No 20 year retirement either. Same for travelling businessmen and salesmen. Little job security, retirement, etc.

Don't overplay the hand.

Not Quite

Lots of dangerous jobs all over the place...

But the military is the only place where the boss can tell you to do something completely sure to get you killed and you can't walk away from it. Refuse and get sent to the brig...

ANY other job... quit whenever you want.


So this means that they should not be held accountable to any standard, or that we should be expected to give them whatever they want whenever they want it?


We need to put the military in perspective, not on a pedestal. There are too many bloated staffs expending too much time simply justifying their existence while productive, sorely needed NCOs are being discharged mid-career.

You chose your career...

and I chose mine. So what's your point?


The point is the Military Industrial Complex makes the rules, decisions and why do have more generals now for such a smaller force than we had compared to WW2?

slippery slope

America is still an extremely young country people.

And ever so slowly I see us steadily falling to the same old trappings of countries thousands of years older than us.

History has a tendency to repeat itself you know. And one thing is for sure, one of the few axioms in this universe, man will rear his ugly head time and time again. This disclosure is frankly a shock to me. I know it has surfaced recently, but to say that it is across the board is, well, shocking. This kind of behavior is how dictatorships arise.

Add this little tidbit to the fact that the SCOTUS ruled large corporations to buy their chosen candidates into office and I see this great country sliding steadily downward. Still in that stupid war against pot as well.

in the end...

...power does corrupt, hence, a good reason for term limits and high year tenure retirements.

Entitlement Inflation

The generals and admirals "suffer" from the same entitlement inflation that occurs in private industry when a person makes it to the very top echelons. Just look at the compensation and perks for any CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Norfolk Southern, our own local 500 company, is a good example. The gap - even proportionaly - between the CEO and his top lieutenants on one hand, and the middle managers and rank-and-file on the other, is quite dramatic.
Several books recently have focused on this huge disparity in our culture, whereby a relative handful of plutocrats decide who gets what and how much. It's a troubling trend in our contemporary society.


Well now, let's go after the military and we'll just keep a blind eye on Obama and Ms. Michelle's extravagant lifestyle they live paid for by the 53% of American taxpayers. Amazing how a couple can live like Kings in the 15th Century and we're supposed to take a bow. General Petraeus, like it or not, is falling on the sword for this Administrations failures, many of course that the public doesn't see because they are too busy watching American Idol.

Flag officers living like potentates;

and curiously, we have average American citizens that would exhibit outrage over feeding our poor or ensuring everyone has an opportunity to receive medical care. The mind reels.

Oh please. When has anyone

Oh please. When has anyone in this country ever been denied medical care? In fact we are the only country in the world that provides medical care, food stamps and housing assistance and a free education to those here illegally. Try getting into Australia or New Zealand or any other country on this planet. You will have to be rich or offer some sort of skill that they are in dire need of. Yet we have our homeland security website telling illegals how to get on the govt. dole. So stop with the lies about people not being able to get health care. After a few years of Obamacare, our seniors are the ones who will not be getting the care they are getting now.

Yea, and no outrage over Obama's rock'n white house dinners

private movies with the stars, the Rollin Stones private concert at the White House, designer clothes for Michelle or all the vacations on the people's $$$ and hanging out with the rappers sipping the bubbly - with that 1% - pocketing their millions to run his campaign.

Where is that outrage? While American's starve and the hurricane's flood victims are without a home - O's out playing golf and giving out $170 million to a foreign country - borrowed money - to a foreign country.

Where is that outrage? You're right.


You seem like the rest of the Republicans and Tea bags, stuck in 1950. Welcome to 2012. So no more foreign aid then, even to Israel, the country who gets the most? What president hasn't played golf, and what white house hasn't hosted dinners in the last 150 years?

Really - first you talk about past presidents and past events

- look who's stuck in the past - you can't "see the forest for the trees."
You have a hard time realizing who is responsible for four American's being murdered on Sept. 11, 2012. This year. Obama - current Commander in Chief.

Really? While people were out of a home, out of food in the United States - devastated - Obama was playing his what? 104th round of golf?

Past presidents dinners, while O parties with the stars. Really - you want to compare?

Really - we need to shell out $200 million to Libya, a new promise of $170 Million there & every other country - and people are without homes in the U.S?

Obama - responsible - commander in Chief while he watched four American's be murdered while he & his gang watched on real time. NOW.


You put the blame for this on Obama, I put all of them on Bush for 9/11 seems about right? Or Roosevelt for Pearl Harbor. Name a President that hasn't had a movie star, singer, writer, or sports star, team at the White House. So you want no foreign aid then? There have been homeless and hungry people in the US since our Country was founded, you think Bishop Willard would end the homelessness and hungry?

thats funny

its usually the liberals who complain about foreign aid, saying we have hungry people here and we have sick people here, we have homeless people here, why are we sending money overseas? , then of course when its obama in the white house doing it, they defend him by saying we shouldn't be giving out foreign aid to Israel? that's is exactly what i mean when i say they will defend each other no matter how bad it makes them look, or how much of a flip flopper it makes them look like.. come on libs pick one side and stick with it.. either your for it or your against it..


Thomas if you dared to read the post above mine..."Really - we need to shell out $200 million to Libya, a new promise of $170 Million there & every other country - and people are without homes in the U.S?" You would see my rationale of asking him if he is for more or less foreign aid. Personally I think we give out too much especially to countries like Israel who can afford nukes but need our money. But Israel does have the strongest lobby in the US.


Take it easy, you lost. Move on with the rest of the world.

No thank you I'll stand by the fallen Americans with respect for

them and their families until the truth is out about why four Americans were left to die in Benghazi while the Obama administration watched on real time for over 7 hours and no help was sent.

You move on if that works for you. La la la la la la la.....


You might have to wait awhile considering US red tape. What answer will make you the most happy?




Your 7 hour watching of the killings doesn't add up. Attached is the Pentagons Official version. Seems less than two hours in real time.

CNN - do you just sit with a bag over your head?

Do you really understand what happened in Benghazi and the following attack on the annex and the hours that the it happened?

You better do some more research. It's not that hard. Didn't you qualify for a new, updated computer or internet access?

And you're probably still

And you're probably still wondering why "your guy" lost aren't you??

Not at all - promoting class, sex, religion & race warfare is

something Obama and his gang are good at. The culture of gimme gimme - do for me - make a loophole for me - me - me is alive and well. The America we knew and loved is disappearing at a rapid pace. The uninformed, those believing the propaganda, those who choose to be supported by the government and those cheering at the taking from other's hard work - won.

The founding fathers knew this potential in man. They tried to protect us from ourselves. The founding principles are being trampled all over now. I watched the Democrat's convention - what a hoot that was when voting out God.
Whether one believes in God or not - the belief in right from wrong and consequences is disappearing from our culture.

Ok...I get it. Obama and

Ok...I get it. Obama and his gang are good at adapting and listening to the needs of the people instead of trying to force their beliefs on them. Got it. And if "your guy" or "your next guy" doesn't figure out how to do the same they'll never win another national election.


Please keep religion and state separate please. No one's god is better or knows more than another that is the important thing to take away from it. You cant vote culture, and who says it is will not evolve for the better, doubtful the Republicans will, because evolution is still up for debate according to them. Get used to it, there was, is now, and will always be those less fortunate than you who need assistance, Republican President or not. And maybe instead of degrading and condemning those who are, it would be best served to help and provide support instead of scorn.


Please post your sources, and no Faux News and any owned by Murdoch dont count.

I find it sickening

that a general that has an affair is looked upon differently than a president that is having sex in our White House and with his aides and he kept his frigging job.

and we saw the blue dress to prove it......

And the progressives want us to accept that Hillory forgave her husband for this single act. Or was it?

Is this why so many nations that look at women as second class citizens refuse to work with hillory. These same countries worked with Condilesa Rice because she showed true character. Hillory, Obama, Bill, Reid, they are viewed by those who despise us as pathetic at best.

If your leader is viewed as pathetic by the enemy, there is no way the enemy will stop fighting.

The progressive agenda has emboldened our enemies to continue the fight. Reid, Obama Palosi in particular have made this world a very dangerous place to live for a lot of people. Syrians, us, Isreal, Egypt, etc.

All for their power.


Well the republican agenda would have old overly-religious white men making decision for women's health care, all while not supporting equal pay.

Don't forget

Don't forget, he lied about it too.

As they say....

Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely...

"bengazi gate" still rolling along....

Keep in mind this is not about Petraeus....its about Bengazi. Protecting the President and Susan Rice and Clinton. If anything Petraeus is taking a fall for the Commander in Chief. But there had to be a reason the public would buy for him to leave the CIA at this time that the public would buy. Interesting General Ham head of Africa Command (AFRICOM) has been quietly relieved of Command personally by Panetta at the same time with no explaination as well. The reason for Bengazi was an OP to move weapons to Syria rebels and the bad guys shut it down is the DC scuttle butt by the OPS people. All roads in this deal seem to lead to the White House. We will have to see if "Bengazi Gate" goes down the road of Iran Contra and other scandals.




O really so you are comparing the sale of weapons to people that were used in the killings of hundreds of thousands of people all while lying to congress about? My suggestion would be to turn off Faux News and find some reliable sources for information and journalism say BBC World News or PBS Newshour.

RE: ?....... let me help clear it up for you...

all covert OPS done in the basement of the White House without Congressional approval are in the same boat. Even more when they go bad are covered up. Hope that helps.

A Place to start spending cuts....

A little perspective: While Gen Mullen used 4 soldiers to rake his leaves and multiple others to carry out other household tasks, somebody's son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father was being killed in Afganistan b/c our troops were under manned and under-armed....at the same time, under advisement of the military, the President instituted a surge.

Interesting that this story appeared in the adjacent column about the mysterious distribution of veteran benefits.

People want cuts in spending...this is where to start....and yes, include Pelosi, Boehner & Co.

Keep your head in the sand - Four Americans are dead and

their deaths are the direct result of the Obama administration's failed foreign policy. These men pleaded for help - they did their job & while the Obama & his gang watched in real time - these men were denied help & they were murdered.

This is not about an affair and the goodies the generals get.

This is about a president that failed to go to his own security meetings, spiked the football with Bin Ladin - claiming al Qaeda was dead, playing hundreds of rounds of golf, partying with the rock stars & hanging out on "The View" & "Letterman."

And you know what? That's what today's culture wants - a Rock Star for a president. This president rose to power on the division of our country. Keep your head in the sand - it's easy that way!


So could the same be said for Bush hanging on his ranch and then 9/11/01, or the Cole Bombing? Or how about the Beirut barracks Bombings, did Reagan lose his step? What about Obama's foreign policy contributed to this specifically, was it the expanding of the drone strikes, the stationing of US Troops of foreign lands? My suggestion turn off Faux News.

My suggestion - realize that you elected a rock star

for a president. Bush - Reagan - they're not the president anymore.

This is NOW - 2012 - current - today.

Obama and his gang - "Do as I say, not as I do."
Sippin' champagne - playing golf - while the peasants cheer - gimme welfare, food stamps, unemployment, - make it "more fair" for me - for my class, for my sex, for my race. - for me, me, me and I will vote for YOU!

In real time - September 11, 2012 - while Obama and his gang watched - they let Americans die.

You don't need to watch Fox News to know that - you can hear and see the grief from their families. These men aren't coming home.

And it was on Obama's watch. 2012.


But you cant take your rationale of blame and say its only applies here. So they let them die for what, spite, enjoyment, or they just sat there with blank stare? You seem to know what was going on in these departments and meetings. Yes keep blaming others while the Rs need to look inward and maybe think that the majority doesn't want endless wars, women told what to do with their bodies, and no clues on immigration.

Keeping up your MSNBC talking points? The gov'ment TV

Why wasn't the call to support the Ambassador and the former SEALS responded to? The training was there. The planes, the men were available. It's what the military does.

You tell us - why were these 4 Americans left to die? Who put them there?


Ambassadors are in lots of countries, I am guessing treaties put them there. I think your questions are still being answered as we speak. Thats why they are having hearings into what happened and where the fault lies. Could it lie with the government agencies still having trouble sharing intelligence? How many levels of communication did this request travel up? Could it have been a secret CIA prison that was nearby and the revealing of that location was in jeopardy? We may never have the answers you are looking for. Heck Bush and Cheney would only testify together, not under oath, and not recorded to the 9/11 Commission and that killed 4x as many Americans on our own soil.

Really - maybe you should listen to some of the testimony

that has been going on. Get your head out your liberal news sources. Maybe you'll learn what is really going on in this world. Maybe you'll see the emails that Chris Stevens sent PRIOR to this attack -

Back to former presidents again, eh? Liv'n in the past, eh?

The deaths of these Americans fall to Obama - Commander in Chief - NOW - the lines of communication stop with him, don't they? "Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is on the run!" - Right!

Maybe attending a few more security meetings could have brought him up to speed and a few less glasses of bubbly with the stars.

Obama - the great divider of races, religion, class, and sex. "More everything!"


Too bad you have to take it for 4 more years, at least Faux will be exciting to watch. Ever think of what the government doesn't tell the public, no matter who is President. I have my handout, and a little more of the socialist agenda means whats yours is now mine my comrade get ready!! lol

A TRUE OBAMA supporter!

And the most dangerous! Someone who understands Obama's real agenda and how he got elected and laughs about it!

The rest? They're still holding hands and singing cumbaya, watching dancing with the stars...think Obama and the Democrats really care about a real immigration plan, healthcare, jobs, a woman's right, and think the government's investing in "green energy" is really about saving the earth...


Laughter is the best medicine, how much did Solyndra cost the US, how much do we spend per week in Afghanistan? At least a Democrats World history is longer than 3000 years, and we don't have the notion of dinosaurs and humans walking the earth together and rape is not gods plan. Don't let the Kock Brothers cloud your judgement. So he got elected not by the 100 point margin in the electoral college but by duping. Good luck though maybe next time Bachman, Perry, or Cain will give you a better chance, or even Mama Grizzly herself.

thats your argument? how pathetic.

What is worse is more people believe that nonsense.

First you mock a whole group of people for their belief which is suppose to be the home of liberalism, you know, diversity. So even that is not practiced within the lib circles.

Then you make conclusions about that belief you mock as thou it was factual.

Then you insist on those you mock to defend your idea of their belief.

Then you go off on some crazy tangent.

Yes, this is straight out of the lib/progressive playbook. Mock, divide, chastise, twist, manipulate. Facts mean little to nothing to libs, only emotion and the agenda.

Feed on the marxist emotion of the conflict theory. Only a lib can grasp it. That and those who feel they are being oppressed based on the lib narrative.


So you made no actual rebuttals to my points that were posted. I stated ideals that the repubs and baggers hold such as too much religion, minorities, and the skepticism of science, and misunderstanding of women's health care. And yes people like the Koch brothers and the Heartland Institute expand on the aforementioned ideals. Divide? Isnt that what Willard was talking about when still complaining about the results that they were bought?

Still trying to fathom

how it's comparable that situations where something that INSTANTLY exploded is the same as personnel pleading and begging for support for 6 hours.

I keep hearing and seeing it repeated on Maddow and Matthews, but each time seems no more logical than the last.

Even Al Jazeera seems to understand that they were left out to dry for some reason. Maybe it's just a matter of "hey, it's only four guys, we lose that many every week."


Not really, weren't the 9/11 terrorist the same terrorist responsible for planting a truck bomb below the world trade towers when Clinton was President? Could be, think of the sacrifice that we put into faulty intelligence for Iraq. WMDs nowhere to be found. Just think about what the government doesn't tell you. They don't call it classified info because its too x rated for the American Public.

are you satisfied with the FEds finding of manslaughter for

the 4 people that died on the Deep Horizon oil rig 2 years ago? Part of that was because the company did not adequately protect those men on that rig when they told BP there was some safety concerns.

When I was watching C-SPAN (state sponsored (Obama TV)) and hearing the findings, I thought, we could replace BP with Obama administration or Obama and the well with consulate almost on a global find/replace and it would be true for how badly Obama handled Bengazi before, during and after.

If the Feds can find BP executives of manslaughter, then this same standard/logic should be used against Obama for these 4 men.

Is it because Obama is a progressive and BP is "the evil rich"? Phooey on that. Both are guilty of neglect at a minimum.


And I still hold Bush accountable for 9/11, and Iraq but im not holding my breath.

You still mad about the election bro???

Don't show so much delight and joy at the these deaths... probably couldn't care less unless it can gleefully be politicized.

Its very unbecoming...

sadly, what has obama done for the families of these

4 murdered Americans besides spiking the football. Obama is still my president. I see he will be one of the worst pres we have ever had because of his agenda and how he and his progressive lib friends divided our country during a time of war for their political gain.

Our country is divided. It is divided down as many demographic lines as possible. Who did this dividing? surely not Fox or the GOP. It is the -D party that needs this divide in order to stay in power. Our country is now a country of ME ME ME. The concept of the good of the whole is forgotten. Now it is based on the MOB.

We used to look at decisions for the good of the whole. This is how Blacks/women got suffrage. Not anymore, the cry now "is whats in it for me for my vote."


Cause the GOP seems to be so much for minorities, womens healthcare rights, science and immigration and the poor. I think historians might beg to differ, especially if he is up against the likes of Bush the Dumber.

Nothing sounds better than Whiney ditto head and

teapublican losers after they lose their derriere's in a presidential election:

five stages of Repuglican Grief
--1. Whining
--2. Signing up for secession
--3. Buying extra ammo
--4. Drinking Bud and flinging stuff
--5. Falling asleep watching Faux News


When the elite in government, elected and military, step up and say "I will sacrifice to set an example" we will know we are back on the right track. I'm sure that will happen when "someplace really hot" freezes over.

Somewhere there’s….

….a young person on the imported city manager circuit thinking, “Wow! I wanna live like dat.”

Perks here to stay

I do not believe its possible to change that environment. Its a consequence of history and the priority we place in fighting and winning wars. Whether the guy who fights the wars under the King/Emperor/President got a Roman palatial estate or a Castle with a Dukedom or today's mansion with Basic Allowance for Housing , waiting staffs, cooks, and valets, what can you do? Nothing really. And then there's the women. For all we know these women may be the modern equivalent of courtesans who circle in and among a network of 4 star officers swapping partners depending on locale. LOL at Gates statement about shoving something in the microwave while Mullen has a chef.....

We are lucky to have these

We are lucky to have these dedicated men and women at such a small price. These are the types of individuals who make millions per year running our largest companies - except they have the lives of our best as a responsibility. They did not start as generals and admirals, but worked their way up to this important level of responsibility. Many of them hold control the lives of thousands of our military people and make instantaneous decisions as to the well-being of our troops. They control megatons of nuclear capability and billions of dollars worth of resources. None are just given these positions, they earn them. Certainly they have perks that might seem excessive to some, but as is often the case this article really overstates it.


They joined the military freely, not a multi-million dollar corporation. They made that choice; it wasn't forced on them. There SHOULD be a difference that way. We don't need pampered babies leading our military; we need people that understand fully the hardships of military life and are willing to make sacrifices like the people they lead do.

By making our military leaders equal to corporate heads we degrade and change the very essense of what it means to be a MILITARY leader and harm our war fighting capability. There HAS to be a strong distinction between the civilian lifestyle and that of the military at every level. Countries that have went down the path we're are going down now have met with military failure time and again.

pampered baby leaders? the only person I know that is

pampered and is a baby when it comes to leadership is Obama.

To be a military leader takes years. I was middle management/leader. Took me 22 years. My folks appreciated that I was their leader. I didn't wake up one day and BAM, I was a successful leader. It took me years. It takes every successful leader YEARS to achieve their level of greatness in the eyes of their people.

Petraus was loved by his people. They willingly followed his orders. Many folks died following his orders. Why? Because what he asked of them, they accepted. True leadership. The title great leader is given to the person BY his folks. The folks who would follow him to Hades and back. It has nothing to do with pampering.


Pampered and a baby, wouldn't that be the guy who's father was a governor and CEO of GM and whose wife told her own party to stop being mean to her husband its hard to run for President?

Stick to the subject

How you can bring Obama into this subject I don't know. This story is about the excessive pampering of military brass; it has NOTHING do to with Obama. You hold former General Petraeus up on a pedestal - but you insult him by spelling his name wrong repeatedly!

I agree with you on this point: respect for leadership is EARNED over time. But take where it STARTS from: when a new butter bar lieutenant is given command of a platoon. He does this by eating the same chow as his troops and he gets it himself. He endures the same bad weather, the same mud or hot boiling sand as his troops. He EARNS their respect that way. When General Petraeus was in the field, he lived much like his troops did. THAT is a major reason they followed him.

Excess yes

It's no wonder we're seeing a great failure in American military leadership these days. Listen, if they want that kind of lifestyle then they should stay in the civilian, corporate world. They should not become pampered princes on the American taxpayer dollar. When the gap between the lowest enlisted and the highest officers becomes excessive, a lack of respect develops. When officers pull stunts like Petraeus and others of similar rank, they lose respect even more.

The best military leaders understand that the way they truly show they ARE leaders and they DO deserve the respect of their personnel is through living with the SAME conditions as the people they lead. Great leaders lead by example. They don't need pampering.

hogwash..... stop whinning

Military leaders don't "lose touch" with their guys like Louis XVI did. Great leadership has nothing to do with pampering or living in the same foxhole as the men. Leadership has nothing to do with this story. Great leaders were born with the ability of leadership. Some people will have it, some will not.

Leadership is cultivated over the individuals lifetime. The concept has to be nurtured. From the lowest levels (Borda) to the highest, it is the individual. Great leaders never forget their people.

Obama will never be considered a great leader because he routinely forgets his people (Bengazi). Patraeus is a great leader. If Obama spent a year next to Patraeus, he could not learn how to be a leader, much less a great leader.


Are you certain your boy Willard had the leadership qualities? Just because you inherit daddies money doesn't make you a leader.

"Boy" Williard? Really?


Hogwash yes

Historically, time and again, it has been clearly proven that it does matter when the higher ups are fed and housed considerably better than the lower ranks are, especially in war time. You can take it back to Louis the XVI up to now: successful leaders throughout time understand that how they come across to their troops matters greatly. Generals and admirals such as Omar Bradley, George Patton, William Halsey, Kinkaid, Boorda and others understood this. They all were noted for taking on the same dangers of those they led and living under similar conditions to prove they could take it too.

MILITARY leadership has EVERYTHING to do with this story and nothing to do with Obama. The Benghazi situation is a completely different subject.

You Disgrace the Names of America's Heroes

By throwing Borda into the same pool as them, which he was not. Boorda was a political creature who played lip service about carrying for his troops. Ask those who actually worked on his personal staff and they will tell you how he treated his Officers like trash. Not to mention his hyprocisy of throwing out brillant leaders for political correctness while at the same time he was well known for philandering.

another hack job by the left towards the military...

Is this piece being run so the haters of success and the military have something to bash? Based on this, shouldn't the Pres turn away his white house cooking staff (USN) as well as ground AF1? No, this progressive leader of the me me me crowd wont do that.

He will silently applaud the divide this piece generates to the haters of success but he wont give up his perks either. He cant for these folks have passed security clearances etc for that job.

This rag hates the military and what it stands for, which in part is being self-reliant and self sufficient. Progressives want to portray the military as evil so the MOB accepts that it deserves to be cut so the me me me of the MOB can get even more entitlement money. Disgusting but progressive.

Two different animals

The civilian corporate world and the military are two different animals altogether. Those of us that served for any length of time, especially those that served in the Reserves or National Guard know this only too well. One of the biggest differences is in how success is measured. To try and combine the two would only lead to the failure of one or both. Right now, it is our nation's defense that is clearly suffering because of it.

I find it ironic that you would call this some sort of 'progressive hatchet job' being done by 'people that hate the military' when you yourself fight the military so strongly over the need for an OLF that could end up in your backyard. It makes YOU sound like a progressive military hater . . .


Faux News has all places you can go post if its what you want to "hear". Seems like our culture became the me me me around Bush the Dumbers time.


The military serves the nation, not the other way around. The nation needs to support the military, but that doesn't mean unlimited agreement of everything the military does, or everything that the nation uses the military for. It is not unacceptable, certainly not traitorous, to question this type of issue. Ultimately, it isn't about the conduct of a military operation, but the benefit package and privileges provided to public servant at taxpayer expense.

a thought

---interesting isn't it?--you people fought to allow women into the military and now you are complaining about the sexual activities of the officers?--why?

--since when have you ever seen men and women work together and not have sex involved?--no where on this planet Earth,and for all you know there is a 100 mile high club that no one knows about!--sex in weightlessness?---makes you wonder!

--why are you destroying the people that are doing what comes natural?--who pursued who?--man chased women?--or women chased man?--you asked for it!--you fought for it!--but now you want to destroy some of the greatest leaders we have because some broad wanted to get a important man in bed?--it happens all the time and not only in the military!

The days of..

Omar Bradley are obviously over! But these problems are no mystery. The military has morphed into an organization that defines the term 'top heavy'. There are more general officers for a smaller number of troops than at any other time in our history. Positions now held by 0-6s' and higher used to be held by 0-3s' and 0-4s'! Its akin to what has happened now that the govt has tried to make college accessible for everyone. Jobs that many a school dropout could handle now require a college degree. 'Rank has its privileges' has always been true, but some of these things are indeed beyond the pale.

is this story A or B?

A: A Highly respected General who has worked in top post positions for 2 presidents with an outstanding record falling and taking the heat for his Commander and Chief on orders or sense of duty?


B: A highly respected General who is working for the President in the most sensitive top level CIA position...which is full of spies and watchfull eyes one can think of...and having a fling in the middle of an election year with some woman without a job?

Robert Gates 2016

Robert Gates should run for president as an Independent in 2016. His wisdom, experience, and common sense could unite the nation.

But what is woman for man?

But what is woman for man? ...Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.
Friedrich Nietzsche

A true Obama supporter - didn't want you to miss this buried

way down in the blogs from today.......from chaser12.......Ignorance, hope, or belief in the liberal, progressive propaganda is one thing - but chaser12 knows exactly what Obama and his administration are doing and laughs about it. This general stuff is just a diversion away from Obama and Benghazi.

Submitted by chaser12 on Tue, 11/20/2012 at 11:38 am.

Too bad you have to take it for 4 more years, at least Faux will be exciting to watch. Ever think of what the government doesn't tell the public, no matter who is President. I have my handout, and a little more of the socialist agenda means whats yours is now mine my comrade get ready!! lol


Don't let him entice or bother you. C-12 is a baiter, and a master at it in fact, as he tried to lure me into his realm of confusion a few times. Best to ignore, he's just looking for attention. Just swat him away and move on to more pressing matters at hand, like why SecDef Gates (and I'm sure many others over the years) continue to make light of and chortle at how much high ranking officers like this Admiral Mullen guy and others with similar military rank live like emperors, and why Gates and other top officials elect to turn a blind eye. My guess is that they do not desire to disturb the established good ol boys network. Makes you want to puke knowing that leading U.S. govt officials are and probably continue to operate like this.

The Irony Here

The irony here is that you actually believe the posting by 'Chaser12'. The fact that some people get there panties in a wad so easily is the reason for this kind of posting. And the fact it is so enjoyable to read makes it that much more tempting for guys like that to spin people up.

Today's version of 'letters to the editor' allows for more and more outlandish claims by individuals who sole desire is to see how much outrage can be generated. You would be better off just ignoring these kinds of comments ... your health depends on it. Like they say 'high blood pressure is a silent killer' and I wouldn't want you to leave us prematurely.

Naw, I know, however - if Chaser12 can write these thoughts they

are truly deep inside that person somewhere. That's why I wanted to bring it up. The hatred runs deep in some of these bloggers and their repeated lies and distortions are simply incredible.


Be best (and healthier) to think of c12 (and the like) as 12 year old basement dwelling nerdites with footie pajamas where mommy throws them down their dinner and cookies every so often.

Question everything

Seems we are reminded often that making humans into something other than that is a bad idea.

The General lived in a bubble created by those who came before him and that was protected by all of the people who want to believe in the idea that some people deserve to live in a happy state of protection where nobody questions their actions or motivations. One of my favorite leaders often referred to those who live in that state as "echelons above reason"

The emperor wears no clothes.

We get what we deserve.

said it better:



Biting article by LKT4 of the NYT with a no-holes barred full assault on the preening general P and how he was bedazzled by the sleeveless West Point babe' (best line in the article). LKT4 even slams his own grandfather LKTJr to an extent as he alluded to him and other WW2 bygone generals and that these generals although bloodthirsty are the ones we should have today. He takes MacArthur apart saying he was the first peacock general we had and dresses down other generals through the past 70-odd years particularly those that had a penchant for starched unees. Petraeus is clearly NOT one of his favorites (& mabe it's bcuz of LKT4s inability to get P to open up in an interview 9 yrs ago) (?)

Thanks James Hatch for the interesting link! .

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