Ryan D’Agostino at Esquire has an article wherein ex-Congressman Eric Massa alleges a vast conspiracy to destroy his credibility, because… well…
… The conference-room door closed, the congressman stirred his coffee and then folded his hands on the table before him, paused for a dramatic moment before beginning to speak. “Gentlemen, what we have here is a constitutional crisis,” he said. “If what I’ve been told is true — and I believe it is — General David Petraeus, a commander with soldiers deployed in two theaters of war, has had multiple meetings with Dick Cheney, the former vice-president of the United States, to discuss Petraeus’s candidacy for the Republican nomination for the presidency. And in fact, that’s more than a constitutional crisis. That’s treason.”
One month before, in early January, Congressman Massa had called me and sketched out the bare bones of the tale he was now propounding. Four retired generals, he said — “three four-stars and one three-star” — had picked up disturbing reports that Petraeus, the commander of United States Central Command, whose portfolio contains the worst trouble spots on the globe, including Iraq and Afghanistan, had recently met with Cheney — twice — and Cheney was trying to recruit him to run in 2012. Were he to be the nominee, Massa said, Petraeus would be in the unprecedented position of a military man running for president against his own commander in chief.
“We have to see this for what it is,” Massa said, his voice pleading. “There is a reason that we have in this country civilian leadership of the military. It is, among other things, to avoid something like this. Because in order to succeed electorally, General Petraeus must fail militarily. You understand? In order to succeed electorally, he must fail in his mission. Were he to run and win — and if he were to run, he would win in a landslide — we would be witness to an American coup d’état. It is the functional equivalent of the political overthrow of the commander in chief.”
The congressman was beside himself. And although we did not come to agreement on how best to describe the implications of such high-stakes, high-level skulduggery, he did manage to impress upon the small group in the soundproof conference room of the midtown high-rise that if the general and the vice-president were indeed hatching such a plot, it was a serious matter indeed.
He also managed to impress upon us something else: Congressman Eric Massa was a little bit crazy.