David Petraeus carefully orchestrated a military career designed to prepare him for a 2016 run for the Presidency of the United States. A vain and overly ambitious military leader, overly attracted to the political arena, his eye apparently was always more attuned to political office than to personal endeavor on the battlefield.
Power always corrupts. And David Petraeus betrayed his country in return for a hagiography written by his mistress, Paula Broadwell, and entitled All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. In furtherance of this objective, Petraeus betrayed his wife of 37 years, and entered into an extra-marital affair with a married woman, a little over half his age. By all accounts, Paula Broadwell is a tall, attractive woman who essentially prostituted herself in return for open access to the subject of her hagiography.
It is not yet clear just when the affair began. It surely ended sometime in 2012, once the hagiography was in place, and his reputation presumably secured. If the affair began when Petraeus was a four-star General in the U.S. Army, then his adultery with another soldier technically constitutes a breach of military justice that should expose him to a court-martial. A general who cannot control his ‘privates’ has no place in the high command. Given that the affair certainly occurred while he was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, his adultery clearly exposed him to blackmail, and constitutes a serious offence against his country.
Fortunately, the affair has been revealed as a consequence of an FBI probe into allegations that his emails had been compromised. Petraeus has now been removed from his Directorship of the CIA – a position for which he was seriously ill-suited, as the Benghazi consulate bungle clearly demonstrates.
More important, David Petraeus is now sufficiently disgraced as to remove him forever from public life. The United States will be saved a second Paula fiasco, with the manipulative Paula Broadwell potentially replacing the guiltless Paula Jones in the near-downfall of a President. The GOP thus avoids a potential political bullet in 2016.
A promising career in ruins and a 37 year marriage in tatters as a consequence of excessive ambition and a wandering eye. When will they ever learn? When will they ever?