Right Wing Conspiracy: Benghazi Attack To Petraeus Affair In 4 Easy Steps (video)

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer drew an elaborate web of connections that he says shows that the Obama administration effectively blackmailed General Petraeus into giving the Benghazi testimony he wanted.

We all appreciate creative, out-of-the-box thinking, don't we? Then credit conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer for his elaborate tale of mystery, intrigue and "unconscious influences" that caused General Petraues to repeat the Obama Administration's line on the September 11th Benghazi attack, instead of telling the truth, which Petraeus, according to Krauthammer, already knew.

Let's break this one down, shall we? Krauthammer's logic goes like this:

1. General Petraeus knew that the Benghazi attack was not a spontaneous response to a video offensive to Muslims, but was instead a coordinated terrorist attack.

2. The Obama Administration also knew this, but decided to lie about it for political reasons. (The assumption being that an attack before the election could sink Obama, despite his strong credentials on national security, and outside attacks frequently having the effect of boosting the incumbent)

3. The Obama Administration also knew about Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell, and Petraeus knew that they knew, and this caused Petraeus to give "distorted" or "unconsciously influenced" testimony on the Benghazi attacks.

4. Once the election was over, the White House decided to get rid of Petraeus anyway, and so they did.

Oh, but I forgot to tell you the piece of information that sets off this entire cascade: that Petraeus "thought he could keep his job," prior to testifying. In Krauthammer's words:

I think the really shocking news today was that General Petraeus thought and hoped he could keep his job. He thought that it might and it would be kept secret, and that he could stay in his position. I think what that tells us is really important. It meant that he understood that the FBI obviously knew what was going on. He was hoping that those administration officials would not disclose what had happened, and therefore hoping that he would keep his job. And that meant that he understood that his job, his reputation, his legacy, his whole celebrated life was in the hands of the administration, and he expected they would protect him by keeping it quiet.

Emphasis mine. Two issues here: why does Petraeus thinking he could keep his job mean that the FBI had to know about his affair? Wouldn't that be something of a blow to his job security? The other issue: Krauthammer is conflating the FBI and the Obama Administration. Sure, they communicate, and Obama appoints top FBI officials, but Krauthammer breezes right through the idea that they are one and the same.
Given that Krauthammer is a big name in conservative opinion-shaping, this fraught connection between the Benghazi attack and the Petraeus affair will be buzzing in conservative circles for weeks to come.
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