THE BENGHAZI AFFAIR
Weaponry, Murder, Lies, Sex

As a sex scandal the General David Petraeus episode hardly rates a two-star: Youngish, married hotty likes toying with the Big Man on Base when it pleases her and not much liking competition in the role.  Big Man ends up playing the fool for all to see.

No gory details at all are supplied.  Those will be in a book or two fairly soon. Keep watching for the crazed passions of the most overhyped general in the history of the US.

As a scandal of governance though, few are as telling as the David Petraeus meltdown from myth is.  The last figure on a modern Mount Rushmore is now also creaking and tottering sideways.  The source of this implosion lies in Benghazi, Libya.

The Man Truly in Charge?

As the CIA director General Petraeus now runs what used to be called the War on Terror among many spying and lying duties for the US power elite. 

This includes killing by drone attack on a daily basis anyone on the globe designated to be a “threat”: one that can be characterized as “terrorist” if possible.  The CIA black holes across the globe for “terror suspects” and “enhanced interrogation” remain in operation under Petraeus.  Petraeus also ultimately operates the vast network seeking to catalogue every person on the globe as necessary, including Americans, collecting unlimited data and imagery on any person or subject that may interest the director.  The CIA has access to the telemetry from most of the 30,000 spy drones over the United States today, beyond the agency’s legal jurisdiction. 

The CIA director is the American Empire’s Darth Vader, the most trusted man in all of the empire, the Emperor’s closest annointee, the Keeper of the most important official secrets, the Commander on the Ground in a world of undeclared war.

The CIA’s past services in the name of empire have been many.

The CIA you remember was Dick Cheney’s bastion of Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” justifying a US war of aggression in Iraq.  Just twenty-five years earlier it was the CIA smuggling weapons to Saddam Hussein to fight the Ayatollah of Iran with (just before Reagan traded arms for hostages to the Ayatollah to fight Saddam with).  That was about the same time, the 1980’s, when the CIA trained and funded Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda revolution in Afghanistan against the invaders from the Soviet Union. 

In one of its “successful” early missions the CIA, almost on its own, returned the throne of Iran to Shaw Pahlavi leading to twenty more years of violent repression.  The CIA has helped kill a number of foreign dignitaries, including the President of our critical ally South Vietnam in 1963 and, in 1973, the first Marxist elected as President in Chile during a military coup.  The CIA with Israel is presently killing Iranian nuclear scientists and certain Iranian officials and businessmen.  Benjamin Netanyahu needs to take note.  South Vietnam was and remained our closest ally in 1963 after its President’s untimely death.

Indeed, ever since World War II the CIA has been seriously meddling in the affairs of nations across the globe at the direction of the President and the US military, but also within a world of its own.  The “Agency” survives the President, survives the Director.  It even survives the passing of the Soviet Bear, the sole reason for the creation of the CIA.  The Agency is both Republican and Democrat or any other role desired or necessary.

The appointment of David Petreaus as CIA director was the merger of true power with a powerful reputation. 

As commander of US forces in Iraq General Petraeus had designed and led the George Bush “surge” beginning in 2007, a near doubling of direct US combat forces.   The surge coincided with a rejection by the Sunni elite in Iraq of the senseless violence and tyranny of Al Qaeda.  Sunnis helped US troops and Shiite militias largely eliminate Al Qaeda crazies in Iraq through till the end of the Bush administration.  The three-sided ethnic war in Iraq receded enough in that time for Bush and Obama to withdraw US forces by 2011: more on this subject later.

In a weak competitive field, Petraeus was seen as the master warrior, the finest modern general for the American empire.  Petraeus was credited with finding the formula for winning foreign civil wars even in the Middle East, proven nation-building by force of arms in the hardest case possible. 

Even when the Petraeus inspired surge in Afghanistan for Obama in 2010 fell flatter than a dinari, Petraus remained the Golden General in Washington myth-making.  The corporate media’s long love affair with mighty US warriors fighting for our liberty in exotic foreign lands centered more on Petraeus than anyone since the fifteen minutes of fame for General Schwartzkopf and his rollover attack in Gulf War I for George H. W. Bush. 

General Petraeus though never engaged as commander in a large-scale battle of the sort worthy of being legend in the mighty US Army.  Petraeus’ military adversaries have been semi-organized, untrained in a military sense, largely unfunded, violent revolutionary gangs of bombers centered in the Middle East.  Petraeus never faced the prospect of military defeat in any significant way on any so-called battlefield, unlike even the US commanders fighting the army of North Vietnam.  Petraeus would see his first combat action while under threatening fire as he watched the developments in Benghazi unfold on September 11th.

The Wages of Hubris

Petraeus was an ideal pick for the agency and for the President.  The agency badly needed the gravitas and credibility of America’s finest warrior.  The President needed someone steeped in official loyalty to any mission he may be given.  The President needed someone not adverse to killing and plotting and news engineering on the grandest scale.

Elevation to CIA Director was more than a promotion for Petraeus.  It was a transformation into the halls of geopolitics and plutocrats deciding just how the little people are to be led.  Petraeus was to orchestrate the plans from the very top in some of the most important ways, the covert way.  Petraeus was to be the Eye of Mordor for the Western power elite, wherever the eye chooses to gaze.   Petraeus was a Joint Chiefs of Staff all rolled into one commander out of uniform. 

Obviously, this new higher-powered role thrilled Petraeus to the point he could no longer bear being the good family man, sending by g-mail testosterone filled missives to his mistress by the hundreds and thousands (many, many, many details of which to follow much later).  Many times Petraeus has said the CIA post was the best job he has ever had. 

The corporate media would have people believe it was the long overseas missions that caused the Golden General’s marital cheating.  Yet, his Broadwell affair occurred in Tampa, Florida after his military retirement and where the general went home to his family every night, most nights anyway. 

When that fact is mentioned, the corporate media claims it was the loss of his Army medals and his staff entourage that discouraged the general so much he suddenly needed the close personal affections of his biographer (book sales will skyrocket).  Myths are not easy to portray in a completely negative way, especially by the myth-makers.

Tasked with a variety of stage shows to manage, Petraeus’ achievements as director have seemed more like the surge in Afghanistan.  Serious unforeseen consequences have arisen, especially now with the attack on the US “Consulate” in Libya, largely with weapons monitored or supplied by the CIA intended for the Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria.

 

The Burden of Heroism

At the time of the Benghazi attack both Obama and Petraeus were worn men. 

Beyond the strain of a $1b negative national political campaign, Obama had tired of the burdens of office with the few rewards it was creating.  Obama had slowly come to learn he was not the master of the world he fancied himself to be.  He clearly feared receding into the pages of history as an also ran President amid a failed US economy.

The strains on General Petraeus were more wounding.  The general had already been under official investigation for months in connection with his sexual dalliance on government time, even recently having drawn another leading general into the fray.  It was a huge public relations disaster on a slow boil.  The scythe passed over and over Petraeus’ neck with the FBI or the White House or a leak or an event leading to a public disclosure explosion at any time.

And this self-created major dilemma was far from the first problem for the new director.

The May, 2012 false flag operation designed to demonstrate the threat from Al Qaeda’s new undetectable bombs, a second underwear bomber to be caught in the act, had ended disastrously.  The bomber was openly identified as a Saudi plant after his arrest.  The bomber had never made it anywhere near an airport.  Whatever happened to the alleged bomber is quite unclear as is his name.  The second bomber is now much closer to being an ally of the CIA in the final story from the agency.

The episode served to underline the gross incompetence of the first underwear bomber in December 2009, who needed the CIA’s direct help just to get on the plane according to an uninterested attorney and others who happened to be on the bomber’s  flight.  Hillary Clinton’s pledge to hunt the leaker of Underwear Bomber II’s true identity to the Gates of Hades has produced no known results.  It is quite an impotent posture for the US.

But for the reliable loyalty of the corporate media this episode alone would have forced Petraeus and Obama from office.  It is the kind of story knowledgeable people who live outside of the United States laugh over out loud.

Even the OBL takedown in Pakistan in April, 2011 had not come off without a hitch for Petraeus: whoever it was that was killed and snatched in the SEAL raid, possibly Bin Laden.  The absence of convincing proof of Bin Laden’s remains was evident, if official claims of evidence went un-believed.  Indeed, even today, it is quite possible it will be proven for the world to know that Bin Laden died long before last year.

And since the FBI investigation exploded over Petraeus’ life there has also been the mission in Benghazi and beyond to worry over.

 

Two Legends Passing and Uniting

Obama came into office in 2009 with General Petraeus now leading US forces in Middle East, US Central Command.  It was the magical high moment in public life for both men, one a newly elected political Messiah of sorts, the other the General who won the War in Iraq against all odds.  Their alliance promised public relations synergy for both men.  Without the Golden General planning the mission a reluctant Obama would not have approved the surge in Afghanistan, trebling the US combat forces in Obama’s good war.

After the Afghanistan surge proved to be new lives and treasure chasing imaginary gains it was time for both Obama and Petraeus to move on, possibly go their separate ways.  Obama would have none of such talk.  He had the most important missions still to give to the Golden General.  Those chosen for greatness will succeed in the end Obama, of all people, knows quite well.

The Arab Spring erupted in 2011 to the astonishment of the CIA and official Washington.  Getting a handle on the changed Middle East was to be the new Obama priority for the CIA.  General Petraeus would lead the charge.

The Libyan revolution with key Western help proved quite successful as an initial result.  Muahamar Qaddafi was dead and so was the mixture of tribal tyranny he had ruled Libya by for forty years. Western oil interests in Libya were safe and inviting so far for the future.  Even Qaddafi’s large stashes of gold and cash ended up in the possession of big Western banks.

But Libya’s new government and its future was a quite unsettled matter.  There are few Arab nations as stridently independent of foreign influence while tending toward Sharia law.  The new Libya was a tremendous opening for Islamic fundamentalism.  Indeed, it was radical Islamic fundamentalists who had opposed Qaddafi for a generation from their stronghold in Benghazi.  Benghazi led forces toppled and killed Qaddafi winning the Libya revolution after NATO’s takedown of Qaddafi forces.

As the new CIA director, General Petraeus quickly identified that events in Egypt and especially in Syria and Lebanon could easily tip the balance in Libya and the smaller Arab nations.  The Arab Spring was a unitary problem according to CIA analysis, subject therefore to a comprehensive US policy in the region.

America’s two great leaders decided that policy was to help rebels end the regime in Syria.  This goal would also help militarily impoverish Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine.  The prospect of ending Iranian meddling in Sunni nations altogether was at hand by bringing down Iran’s sole large ally in the region, Bashur Al-Assad’s Syria.  Hopefully, this would cement the royal rule in Saudi Arabia, the kingpin of the US petrodollar.

The answer for the Arab Spring was to be geopolitical maneuvering by selective, often covert acts of war within a group of nations: the usual method of recent US foreign policy.  Libya was a key, especially Benghazi, the port city in the western part of the nation.

But Obama is still out to prove his is No George Bush.  Heavy-handed US invasion forces are a relic to Obama.  He is far too shrewd to do the necessary killing in the Middle East mostly on his own, especially in a region as homicide-prone as Greater Arabia and Iran with the toxic dimensions created by Israel.  The opportunities to facilitate others in the necessary killing are many.

All Obama needed was his special charm and cunning, a “light footprint”.   The many revolution leaders in the Middle East could be nudged, bribed, and conned into doing the right thing for US policy.  After all, the Golden General was now at the most pivotal edge of the light footprint.  Even Hillary and Bill Clinton at the State Department had fully signed on.  Obama’s magic could not fail in the end.

Strange Bedfellows

It was therefore to be a continuation of business as usual for the Benghazi arms bazaar, sending Al Qaeda fighters with small arms to fight the Syrian regime, the best rebel fighters in the conflict.  That has been the primary Benghazi commerce in arms since 2006.  Prior to that time Benghazi supplied Al Qaeda in Iraq with fighters and arms.  That business had dried up as too hazardous once the Anbar Awakening in Iraq helped Shiite and US forces wipe out Al Qaeda faster than it could be imported, at least for a time.

When it comes to the arms supply business, it is always better anyway to work with US dollars and US plutocrats like David Petraeus.  There are far fewer obstructions and dangers.  Petraeus’ arrival at the CIA was a godsend to the arms merchants of Benghazi.  The commerce to Syria could continue right under the gaze and direction of the CIA.  The arms being sent in Bengazi commerce now were essentially stolen from Qaddafi in the first place, greatly increasing the profit margin in the trade.

There was a larger dimension here though.  The Syrian fighters needed much more than lots of machine guns and the occasional mortar launcher here and there to bring down the Syrian regime.  Like Iraq a few years earlier, the Al Qaeda fighters sent to Syria were being wiped out by the regime, often using tanks, missiles and aircraft.  Little damage was being inflicted by rebels on the military forces of Syria.  Syria had become a killing ground for rebels with nothing to effectively fight back with.

That is where the covert US maneuvering came into direct play with the CIA and Obama’s favorite Middle East ambassador directly in charge.  The joining of this central strategy to force the overthrow of Assad through the Obama light footprint directly led to the massacre in Benghazi.

At Least as Arab as he is American

Chris Stevens spent over twenty years in the US Foreign Service.  He served the department in most of the large Middle Eastern nations, including Israel.  Stevens developed a specialty in the field of Palestinian lands.  He spoke Arabic far more often than English when not at home in the US.  Like few diplomats Stevens adopted over time the habits and temperament of his host nations: Arab nations.  He was known to be as much Arab as American.  He had more contacts and more sympathy in Middle Eastern capitals than all but a few Westerners.

Stevens served in Libya during the Qaddafi spring under George Bush when the Libyan mad man cultivated his newfound friendship with the US.  Qaddafi was more than pleased to accelerate killing the Al Qaeda terrorists in Benghazi on behalf of the US or any other nation.

Like the shifting loyalties of Arabia, Stevens went back to Tripoli in 2011 to act as the US flashpoint with Libyan rebels fighting in opposition to Qaddafi.  It was Stevens’ job to sort the right Libyan rebels from the wrong ones, even assuming most all of them were jihadists dedicated to an Islamist Sharia state. 

Stevens’ mission was considered a tremendous success, perfect execution of the Obama light footprint.  Stevens was rewarded with the ambassadorship and an even more important mission: one largely well beyond the deserts and shores of Libya

The Ambassador Signs On with the Director

The CIA in chaotic Libya had largely managed against long odds to capture most of Qaddafi’s arms caches throughout the country, including the weaponry needed in Syria.  Most of the Libyan armory was now kept at the CIA Annex warehouses in Benghazi, later alleged to be a US Consulate. Most of the inventory was available for export.

Ambassador Chris Stevens in Tripoli was just the man the CIA needed to make the new policy work: claim publicly not to be arming Syrian rebels for fear of arming terrorists while covertly leading a coalition of nations arming the rebels, including Saudi Arabia, Iran’s greatest enemy.  Petraeus and Stevens would spearhead and coordinate the collective covert operation.

But Director Petraeus balked at expanding the Benghazi connection to include lots of surface-to-air missile launchers and anti-tank weaponry for the Syrian rebels.  He knew his Benghazi Al Qaeda connections could leave him and US foreign policy with a far larger public relations disaster than his own personal disaster promised to be.  Some distance and deniability was essential for the operation.  The President could not be found to be supplying heavy weapons to Al Qaeda.  Al Qaeda, after all, according to Obama legend, had been decimated worldwide and was no longer such a threat to Americans.

So, small weapons and fighters continued to arrive in Syria directly from Benghazi.  Heavy munitions would instead take a circuitous route, through Turkey, another arms supplier to Syrian rebels.  The reliable Islamist radicals would be sorted there under the direction of the CIA and the Turks and only then trusted with heavy weapons to defeat Assad with.   

The last official meeting Ambassador Stevens held on September 11th concerned the covert operation.  Stevens met with the Turkish Libya ambassador at the Benghazi CIA Annex even though both diplomats lived at their respective embassies in Tripoli.  Stevens had been in Benghazi only that day with no public notice of his visit.

Obama’s new policy raised concern not only for the safety of Americans.  Russia, Pakistan, Israel, all Arab nations and many European ones were threatened by the prospect of weapons that could shoot down a jumbo jet from the ground in the hands of Al Qaeda.  The lid could come off the covert operation by cunning leaks from any of these nations.

The Golden General’s Moment

Knowledgeable sources speculate the attack on the CIA annex in Benghazi was motivated by another change of face by the fluid US ambassador.  Was the Benghazi CIA Al Qaeda connection for arms being closed down in favor of a larger operation in Turkey?  Is that why the ambassador was suddenly in town?

When the Benghazi attack occurred Obama and Petraeus froze in place.  They relied on their makeshift hideout and a dozen US soldiers in Benghazi to save Americans rather than start killing Libyan militants and civilians by the dozens. 

There was far too much to hide in Benghazi, too much local political chemistry to maintain central to Obama Middle East policy.  Hopefully, the ambassador would somehow continue with his magic Arab ways even when under direct attack.

So long as the damage was contained it was thought the event would quite possibly prove to be only a mild bump in the road, one largely unknown to the American public.

The covert way failed spectacularly in Benghazi with the US ambassador and three other Americans killed by Al Qaeda crazies, all under the eyes of US spy drones and Obama and Petraeus. 

The disaster clearly threatened a landslide defeat for the President in about two month’s time.  The unintended consequences of Obama and Petraeus’ meddling in Libya and beyond were coming home to roost in a spectacular way just before the US election.  What arms were lost to the attackers and how can the missing arms be recovered was a key question to answer and keep secret.

Then the most crucial event leading to later stateside implosion for Petraeus occurred: the day after the ambassador’s death, September 12th, militia partisans rallied in Benghazi to punish the Al Qaeda raiders torching their fortress in the city in the process.  The avengers praised Ambassador Stevens while waiving Libyan militia flags.  Also, Mitt Romney was making a hash of his campaign again by fumbling the attack in Benghazi.

These two positive unexpected consequences firmed a shaky Obama in his decision to sidestep the Benghazi affair entirely through misdirection, if at all possible.  After all, even the Benghazi crazies are responding favorably to the light footprint Obama policy.  Nothing about arms for Syria was in the mainstream press.  Romney had been silenced for now about Benghazi.

General Petraeus was a direct key to this false flag operation.  His secret testimony to Congress right after the attack would have to pave the way for Obama’s short term salvation from the Benghazi attack.  Petraeus would need to go along for the longer term, too. 

Petraeus’ testimony before the intelligence committees was compliant with the cover-up, with an inch or two of wiggle room eked out.  He continued as an Obama electoral soldier apparently until sometime shortly before the election.  By then Fox News was pushing the Benghazi affair too hard (though continuing to avoid the arms trade motives).  Far too much information was getting out, too many blatant lies being revealed, including Petraeus’ own.  Petraeus decided he could not continue with the charade when push came to shove.

Obama came to know this.  At that point, it was decided the Golden General would be ending his reign in power, very quickly, resigning on the day of the election.

The question now for Petraeus’ is his degree of lying to Congress.  An intelligent man like Petraeus who had witnessed the events knew quite well a movie about Mohammed’s supposed misdeeds had nothing to do with the American deaths in Benghazi.  To strongly suggest so was obvious misdirection with a political motive in mind.  Why did Petraeus lie so critically solely for Obama’s interests?

In recent weeks Petraeus defenders in this connection have resorted to claiming that Al Qaeda could not, as a matter of secrecy, be identified as the fighters who attacked the US annex, even when only disclosed in secret testimony before Congress.  This was after the usual “fog of war” defense proved untenable.

A Winner and a Loser

How did such mass misdirection from the highest level of all succeed in the end?

The answer is quite well actually for Obama, at least in the short term.  Only Fox News ended up pursuing the Benghazi disaster in the way the event called for, if not for identifying the main policy rationale and threat to national security behind the disaster.  Babble and partisanship over the election swamped the story.  

Political partisanship continues to sharply color the deaths in Benghazi in fundamental ways.  As usual, the story is all but over in the public’s mind before the Congress manages to begin seriously investigating.

Had General Petraeus told the truth under oath before Congress about the Benghazi attack from the start, it is very possible there would now be a new President-elect for the US.   Whatever it was Petraeus may have felt he earned in his service to Obama looks to be imaginary now.  Agreements at the Agency are always shifting.

It proved to be Petraeus’ assessment of the “fog of war” idea that doomed his chances to hang onto power.  His credits with Obama were then at an end, with the debits to Obama to be sloughed off, post-election.

The Obama light footprint survives and will presumably prosper, at least till the next such event.  Even the heinous disaster will not derail a Middle East policy now proven to court ruin.

What has befell the Qaddafi armory in Benghazi is unknown, other than knowing much of it will make its way to Syria, one way or another.  The subject is the primary buzz of the intelligence community.

 

Four Pillars Undermined

If one were to identify the cornerstones of the US federal government it would be the three branches of government and the armed services. 

The pillar that writes the laws and is empowered to declare war, the Congress, has been in growing denunciation for two generations.  Congress’ approval rating was detected as low as 8% this year.  Congress members are seen by the public as completely self-interested with little allegiance to the truth: the end effect for legislatures of all-powerful democracies.

The institution carrying out the federal laws and driving policy in all matters, the Presidency and its many executive departments, has also fallen into growing disapproval with the public.  Bill Clinton and George Bush were two of the most hated men in US history with Obama just inches behind.  Since his election honeymoon period, Obama’s approval ratings ranged between 38% and 51% despite his very favorable demographics for a loyal core constituency.  Federal bureaucrats, Bushes’ and Obama’s senior workers, are among the most vilified profession in the nation: another effect of all-powerful government.

Even the US courts have lost much of their magic popularity with the public.  Controversial decisions like Bush v. Gore, Kelo v. City of New London and Citizens United, have made judges look to possibly be just as cravenly partisan as their elected colleagues in high government are.  Courts are saddled with prosecuting the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.  When courts under law are to adjudicate just about any kind of controversy imaginable in society, those courts find themselves in great trouble.

It has for a long time been the US military that has by far the greatest respect from American citizens as a pillar of government.  That has been the case since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, but it had more to do with the policy of Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. 

It appears the all-volunteer military force has created a favorable unintended consequence for the nation, greater respect and appreciation of soldiers and sailors: the people who often must go to war in foreign lands facing dangers unimaginable to the Western mindset. 

It is only the military service-people, after all, who have little stake in the Washington power and money grab that has dominated US politics at least since the retirement of General Dwight Eisenhower in 1960 as US President, the greatest 20th Century American in politics and war.

It is the service-people in uniform only who have such a personal and complete dedication to the cause of the nation.  To volunteer for military service has become an enduring act of courage and true patriotism in the public perception.

It was this honorable legacy of valor passing across US history that General Petraeus has been fortunate enough to be the public beneficiary of for so long.  That legacy of unselfish heroism was entrusted to him more than any other single person for many years.

Just consider now a few new perspectives on the Petraeus myth one would seldom see in the corporate media.

1.   How does the busiest general ever have so much time for trivial, juvenile type behavior at the office?  Maybe being the top military hero is a whole lot easier job than it is built up to be.

2.  Are the games Petraeus plays with Broadwell most days much different in his mind from the seeming games he plays as the director?  Is the war on terror a truly serious affair?  Just how inconsequential can decisions of life and death become?

3.  Could our closest foreign allies today go the way of Saddam Hussein and Paula Broadwell should circumstances ever change, even with the alleged man of honor in charge?  Can anything be believed from the official policy statements of the US State Department?  Is there no difference between Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus in the most important ways?

4.  How could the hero of the Bush surge end up being the bag man for Obama big-time?  Petraeus was much more a hero to Republican neoconservatives than anyone else by far.  He was often tipped as the next Ronald Reagan legatee.

5.  How could the Golden General have feared every phone call he received for months on end knowing his career could erupt in scandal at any time?  Why did he hang on to his awful powers under those circumstances with Obama being in charge?  Why did Petraeus finally end up resigning from office, really now?

6.  Where is the heroism at all in all of this?  Was Petraeus manipulated in his duties, not to hide his affair from his wife and boss, but to try to keep his power and reputation?  The question seems almost beside the point when the Golden General placed himself subject to blackmail for months, personal and political.

7.  What did the Al Qaeda attackers in Benghazi end up with on their hands?  Was it only Al Qaeda prisoners as Petraeus suggested to his girlfriend?  Or do the Benghazi attackers still have most of a huge weapons stockpile, including heavy weapons, all taken directly from the CIA and State Department?

Similar to the CIA coup in Iran, the apparent blackmail of JFK by General Dynamics and the FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King, possibly the true events in Benghazi will be publicly known someday long from now.

But the lessons to be learned about myths and their making are obvious now.  True heroism is a lot more than myth.  So is honest governance.  Editor