Obama On Petraeus: He’s Innocent Until Proven Guilty

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“Should you and the American people have been told that the CIA chief was under investigation before the election?” a reporter asked President Obama at today’s press conference.

“I think you’re going to have to talk to the FBI about what their protocols are,” Obama said in response. “One of the challenges here is that we’re not supposed to meddle in criminal investigations. That’s been our practice. People are innocent until proven guilty. We don’t want to prejudge these situations.”

What’s interesting is that this isn’t at all the standard Obama applied to Private Bradley Manning when he stood accused of leaking classified information to Wikileaks. When Manning had been arrested, but not yet charged, with violating the Espionage Act, Obama was already calling him guilty:

If I was to release stuff, information that I’m not authorized to release, I’m breaking the law. … We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate.

He broke the law.

Obama responded to questions about why he wasn’t told about the investigation into Petraeus months ago when it first began by saying he’s “withholding judgement about the entire process around General Petraeus.”

“I am going to wait and see. It’s also possible that had we been told, you’d be sitting here asking why we interfered in a criminal investigation.”

The president is playing games here. Being made aware of the fact that your CIA chief, one of the most important national security officials in the country, was possibly giving classified information illegally to his mistress, is not “interfering” in an investigation. When you’re the President, that’s called doing your job.

I still believe the Obama administration knew full well what was going on, and is simply denying knowledge now.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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