While it is unfortunate that retired four-star Gen. David Petraeus allowed a personal failing — adultery — to tarnish his overall military and government career, he did the right thing by resigning as director of the CIA after the FBI discovered an email trail involving an affair he had with his biographer, and reserve Army officer, Paula Broadwell.
It was reckless behavior that was not only morally wrong, but also could have potentially compromised his duties as head of the CIA. In short, Petraeus had to go, and we’re pleased that he understood that and resigned.
In fact, the Petraeus incident, and his subsequent resignation, shows what a great country the United States is. It reminds us that no one, regardless of their power, is above the rules. In many other nations, the shenanigans that undid Petraeus would have been hushed. In fact, generations ago, these kinds of sexual misbehaviors were hushed up in the U.S., despite the risk of blackmail. To use a time-weary phrase, we’ve come a long way.
The affair involving Petraeus and Broadwell was discovered by the FBI. As we have mentioned, once it was learned that Petraeus was at the heart of the affair/scandal, it became a national security issue that needed to be dealt with, and resolved quickly. As is often the case with messy indiscretions that involve infidelity, there was a tacky, soap-operish quality to the affair. Allegedly, Broadwell, the mistress, was sending threatening emails after she learned she had competition for Petraeus’ affections. For Petraeus’ wife, who must be humiliated and heartbroken, we offer sympathy.
The retired general has merited a lot of respect for his previous career. He was a hero in the Iraq war and did an excellent job in the Afghanistan conflict as well.
He likely has more time left in the spotlight; we assume he will testify as to the CIA’s role in the Bengahzi terror attack last Sept. 11. There will also be an investigation into the events that led to his resignation.
Nevertheless, he deserves respect from all Americans and our hopes that he can repair his personal life and professional career.