By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes
CIA Director General David Petraeus resigned three days after the election due to an illicit Hokey Pokey round with his female biographer, Major Paula Broadwell. Many people have approached us with the question, “Why did General Petraeus have to resign? So he got a little strange on the side. Clinton got a lot of strange, and he never left office.” We can only comment on what we know or think we know. Just like most of you, the FBI doesn’t share their files with us.
General David Petraeus and Major Paula Broadwell, image from US Navy
So why did General Petraeus have to resign? An excellent question. The short answer is, “Because he was the Director of the CIA, and the CIA is in charge of our nation’s secrets.”
I know. I can hear your confusion now. “But I thought the incumbent administration and the mainstream press were in charge of keeping secrets during an election year.”
A superb observation, and you have good reason to be confused. *cough, cough, Benghazi, cough, cough* We are all within our senses to question the timing of the General’s resignation—only three days after the election—when the FBI had the information well before the election. Can’t have that little scandal casting aspersions so close to the vote, can we? We’ll let you talk amongst yourselves on that one.
But beyond the timing of the resignation, this is simply a case of a man spending too much time with a lady whose only purpose in life was to record his stories and admire his deeds. Apparently, she admired him in every way she could. We’re guessing if she’d been a lesbian or happily married, or if his biographer was a dude, General Petraeus would still be the CIA Director, and his wife would not be ready to shove him through a wood chipper right now for his infidelities.
But why did he have to resign?
When it comes to security and trustworthiness, it’s all about shame. Are people doing things they are ashamed of? If yes, that means they can be blackmailed. People who can be blackmailed are a far greater risk to national security than people who are shamelessly immoral.
For example, certain communities of individuals with high security clearances in isolated locations have quite the swingers clubs going. It’s no big deal to security, though, because their spouses are part of the action. They can all share indiscretions with their neighbors and friends in any number of ways we shall not dwell upon, and it is no threat to the nation’s security because they are open about it. They are unashamed and cannot be blackmailed over their behavior.
To go back to the Clinton comparison, Clinton was shamelessly immoral. He lied to his wife, to Congress, and to the American people without blinking. Monica Lewinsky was not his first extramarital playmate, and she probably hasn’t been his last. He was well-practiced in the art of enjoying his side dishes, and he was confident that while Hillary might not be happy about it, she wasn’t going to unhitch her wagon from his political star. When Clinton was caught out, he basically responded with, “Yep. You caught me. How about that?” And after a few tearful performances and well-acted apologies he got away scot free. No potential for blackmail.
General Petraeus is another story. He is in a committed relationship with a wife of decades who isn’t as hardened to her husband’s hanky panky as Hillary Clinton was even before Bill took office. More than that, the fact that he chose a mid life crisis who evidences instability by sending harassing emails to other women indicates a certain inexperience on his part. His indiscretions were indiscreet, and that made him vulnerable to outside pressures.
We give General Petraeus credit for leaving of his own volition. To the best of our knowledge, he was not coerced into resigning. We respect him for his honorable choice and for putting this nation’s best interests ahead of his own career. Not everyone in a political position would do so in this situation. *cough, cough, Bill, cough, cough* We wish General Petraeus and his wife all the best as they sort through this difficult situation, and we will be relieved when, if ever, the press gets off of their backs.
Many people are looking to tie the General’s resignation to Benghazi and the hearings coming up around that incident. There absolutely are outrages around the motives behind the Ansar Al-Sharia attack on our US Consulate and the string of lies perpetuated by the Obama administration around that event. Those violations of American trust and abuses of power need to be exposed. (See Intelligence Perspective on Benghazi)
To the best of our knowledge, however, the Obama administration did not dispatch Paula Broadwell to seduce General Petraeus. As far as we know, the General remains responsible for his own penis. To what degree the president controlled the release of information and as to what his motives might have been, that’s a bit more difficult to say.
One thing is indisputable, though. General Petraeus has conveniently provided the mainstream media with something to talk about other than Benghazi. We find it interesting that all of the same media outlets that did their best to avoid accurate coverage of Benghazi are now doing their best to make sure there is no Petraeus accusation left behind.
Our conclusion? Where General Petraeus’ actual affair is concerned, a cigar is just a cigar. Let’s all hope we don’t start hearing more about cigars.
I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I know this has happened a million times before with people in power. But I still can’t help wanting to scream at high-level officials: “How hard it is to KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS?!!” As soon as I heard all about this, my heart went out to Mrs. Petraeus. Regardless of the issues of when, how, why, etc., the person most destroyed by this affair is the general’s wife. Her security has been damaged–her emotional security.
Army spouses are amazing. When the spouse is deployed, they have to handle everything from overflowing washers to sick kids and parents to their own surgeries and emotional issues alone, as if they were single parents. (Except single parents have boyfriends/girlfriends to turn to.) And they can hardly turn to their spouses halfway around the world when they have a bad day. They carry so much, and no doubt Mrs. Petraeus has done so for decades without a whimper. The least they can expect is a bit of fidelity.
That being said, I also get the human factor of being far away in a war zone so I don’t judge. I just hope General and Mrs. Petraeus are somehow able to work through this and find some peace with each other again.
This is so enlightening and simple. I too had wondered why this was such a big deal, but had never considered the blackmail angle.
Thanks for the info!
You bet, Susie.
I empathize with that nasty throat tickle. Piper. I suffer the same *cough, cough* when I permit myself to consider timing on the announcement and what our unbiased media deems newsworthy.
Pauses for record-breaking throat phlegm clearance.
My husband’s grandmother used to say that “men always have and always will make damn fools of themselves over young women. It’s biblical.”
Biblical or not, you’re so right.
General Patraeus had to resign for security reasons. He had too much national security Intel. His personal situation was untenable. I’m glad all the fortunetellers (aka News Media) were wrong that it was a move timed on his side to delay congressional testimony.
It’s time to let the family heal as best they can.
*cough, cough, haaarrrrrraaaahhh, cough, cough* Excuse me. Sorry about that.
As Holmes said to me about it, “You cannot be Director of the CIA and have an affair.” Apparently, we have to leave that to our presidents.
Ah! Finally I understand why the big deal! Thanks the explanation. So many good reasons to tune in to Bayard and Holmes!
Thank you for your support, Emily.
I believe that Gen. Petraeus should be kept in mind if Sec. Of Defense opens in 2016. He’s a warrior/scholar who made a mistake. The question I have is: How willingly did he enter the liason? I know males get a case of the stupids often in life. It’s built into the system. We can’t ignore the whole entity. Gen Petraeus probably has more accumulated knowledge than the next man in line. we shouldn’t wastew it. Anyway it’d be the Christian thing to do.
I agree. There’s no reason to let his experience go to waste, and he has handled this situation as honorably as possible, short of not getting into it in the first place, that is. But I think you know what I mean.
Mrs. Petreus was doing her duty and so was the general while he was deployed. The one person who opted to be in the situation was Major Broadwell. Awesome as she is, she has no right to wedge herself into an ongoing marriage. It takes a lot of dexterity and testosterone to do some jobs, like manage armies (although not to run the executive branch, apparently), and neither of those elements is entirely without a downside risk.
This does point up, publicly and painfully, the hazards of the mad cycle of deployment we engage in these days, as we continue to sacrifice a small percentage of our population while the rest sits back and either judges or romanticizes the warrior class.
No, Clinton didn’t leave office, but then presidents aren’t entrusted with our national secrets–at least, that’s what Obama says every time he gets caught in a whopper.
“…at least, that’s what Obama says every time he gets caught in a whopper”
Nice one, Texanne, nice one.
“This does point up, publicly and painfully, the hazards of the mad cycle of deployment we engage in these days, as we continue to sacrifice a small percentage of our population while the rest sits back and either judges or romanticizes the warrior class.”
Hi Texanne. You bring up a point worth an article and a broad national debate. It’s astounding how a handful of young people are doing multiple deployments overseas. In some cases soldiers and Marines are facing their sixth or seventh combat tour. Given our population, this strikes me as completely unreasonable and very unwise.