Which Conservative Think Tanks Was David Petraeus Courting?

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The Washington Post says staffers from at least two "were given permanent office space at his headquarters and access to military aircraft."

petraeus full reuters.jpg

Reuters

Says the Washington Post, writing about David Petraeus' time leading American forces in Afghanistan:

Prominent members of conservative, Washington-based defense think tanks were given permanent office space at his headquarters and access to military aircraft to tour the battlefield. They provided advice to field commanders that sometimes conflicted with orders the commanders were getting from their immediate bosses.

Some of Petraeus's staff officers said he and the American mission in Afghanistan benefited from the broader array of viewpoints, but others complained that the outsiders were a distraction, the price of his growing fame.

That's presented as an aside in the article, and the reader isn't given anymore information. Why not? Rod Dreher is right. Americans ought to be told the names of the think tanks and the advisers. Especially if some former Petraeus staff officers say they compromised the chain of command.

The article includes another surprising detail:

At the CIA, Petraeus still retained a big staff and the perks of high office, including a staffer to accompany him on his morning runs when traveling and a standing order to ensure he had fresh, sliced pineapple on the road before he turned in for bed.

Fresh, sliced pineapple nightly, eh?

Fact is stranger than fiction.

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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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