Eric Massa Is Even Crazier Than You Thought

Monday, May 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Glenn Beck-like, I put my head in my hands over the sheer lunacy expressed by the much-disgraced former New York Democratic congressman:

• Earlier in the year, long before the allegations had been made public, Massa had called me with a potentially huge story: Four retired generals — three four-stars and one three-star — had informed him, he said, that General David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, had met twice in secret with former vice president Dick Cheney. In those meetings, the generals said, Cheney had attempted to recruit Petraeus to run for president as a Republican in 2012.

• The generals had told him, and Massa had agreed, that if someone didn’t act immediately to reveal this plot, American constitutional democracy itself was at risk. Massa and I had had several conversation on the topic, each more urgent than the last. He had gone to the Pentagon, he told me, demanding answers. He knew the powerful forces that he was dealing with, he told me. They’d stop at nothing to prevent the truth from coming out, he said, including destroying him. “I told the official, ‘If I have to get up at a committee hearing and go public with this, it will cause the mother of all shitstorms and your life will be hell. So I need a meeting. Now.’”

• Massa eventually came to the Esquire offices in New York to tell us the Petraeus story. He spoke with the bluster and hyperbole I had seen in him at stump speeches, but he had credibility on this matter — twenty-four years of active service in the Navy, a seat on the House Armed Services Committee, and an increasing voice in the media as a Democrat who would speak with authority about military issues. Still, when he called the possibility that Petraeus could beat Obama in an election a “coup” and “treason,” the characterization seemed odd. “If what I’ve been told is true — and I believe it is,” he told myself and two colleagues, “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.”

Do I need to write a punchline? This is bark-at-the-moon stuff. Feel free to speculate in comments about how I’m part of the cover-up for the impending tickle-driven coup d’etat.

Thanks to Noah Shachtman’s Twitter feed.

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Comment posted May 24, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

The last time I read a story like this it was written by Marine Corps General Smedley Butler.

But Massa certainly has issues. That puts you in the intelligence world's gray zone-did they use a crazy person to get deniability or is the person really just nuts? Did the CIA know that their “informants” were mpd sufferers, or that torture would make them comply with whatever leading questions the interrogator asked, or was that part of the plan to get the “actionable intelligence” they needed to support the policy already chosen?

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Comment posted June 4, 2010 @ 8:19 am

Thanks for this interesting post,i like it.

Eric Massa’s imaginary military coup
Pingback posted December 15, 2010 @ 6:16 am

[...] Before the tickling thing ever came to light, Massa had a bombshell story for the Esquire editors: Dick Cheney and General David Petraeus were planning a military coup! Sort of. [...]

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Comment posted December 31, 2010 @ 8:42 am

Love the post and it took me a long time to scroll down to the bottom with what everyone had to say.

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