Massa To Esquire: Cheney And Petraeus Discussed ‘A Coup D’Etat’

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May 24, 2010 8:42 a.m.

In a new Esquire profile, beleaguered former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) claims to have inside knowledge of a series of secret meetings between General David Petraeus and Dick Cheney in which the former Vice President encouraged Petraeus to run for President. If Petraeus had been successful, Massa says, it would have been “the functional equivalent of the political overthrow of the commander in chief.”

The profile also paints Massa (D-NY) as a somewhat frustrated and pathetic figure, “a disgrace in moccasins,” who tried to kill himself twice following allegations that he had sexually harassed staffers.

Five days ago, on the morning of March 5, 2010, Eric Massa called me and told me he had tried to kill himself. Tried twice, in fact. He said it happened while he was driving alone from Washington, D. C., to Corning, a disgraced congressman returning home to his district for good, and two times during the haul, he said, he had to pull over to keep from… well. Almost in the same breath he told me he was planning to announce his resignation later that day, and then he asked if I thought anyone would want to read a story about him.

Massa resigned from the House back in March, saying that his cancer had returned and citing pressure from Democratic leadership. Soon after, it came to light that Massa had been under investigation for allegedly sexually harassing several staffers. And, of course, there were also Massa’s own admissions of partaking in “tickle fights” at his birthday.

Currently, Massa is being investigated by a House ethics panel for the allegations, and reportedly by the FBI as well, as part of a corruption probe.

“I just want to disappear,” Massa told Esquire, adding that “you can’t fight what’s happening now. I’m punching air. All I can do is take it.”

“I never thought I would be the number-one, top-of-the-news-cycle, every-hour-on-the-hour news story in the country,” he said. “I mean, it’s all Massa, all the time. Did you ever think you’d know the guy who replaced Haiti on the nightly news?”

He continued:

I’m done. Finito. I got people on the Right wanting me to run for Senate, I got people on the Left want to burn me in hell, I got people in the White House trying to convince everybody that I’m a gay rapist going after dogs, I got people in the press, I mean, it’s” — he makes the sound of an explosion with his mouth — “all Massa all the time on every news channel. I mean, what?

Aside from Massa’s media troubles, the profile also reveals his claims that he was privy to the confessions of “four retired generals” who told him that “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.”

“Were he to run and win,” Massa told Esquire‘s editors, “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.”

“When I go public with this,” he said, “they’ll come after me with everything they’ve got, and I mean everything. But if I’m going to go down in flames, I may as well do something good.”

Massa also said he met with several top Pentagon officials, and told them his story. When asked if they took him seriously, Massa replied, “Oh, oh yes. You could have heard a pin drop.”

Check out TPMmuckraker’s full Massa coverage here.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH NEW YORK? POLITICAL SCANDAL IN THE EMPIRE STATE]

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