Battleland

Let’s Not Overreact. Too Late!

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ISAF Photo / Navy Chief Petty Officer Joshua Treadwell

General John Allen, the incoming Afghan commander, meets with General David H. Petraeus, the outgoing Afghan commander, in July 2011.

The last 100 hours have been a John Le Carré novel starring the Marx brothers. The Pavlovian response by the press – fueled by, it must be conceded, a public appetite for more — has sent the David Petraeus story into the realm of Cher.

It’s worth noting, again, that this is a profound personal tragedy for the Allen, Broadwell, Kelley and Petraeus families. Wrongs were committed, but they don’t warrant the 24/7 scrutiny they are now getting. Nor do they warrant the congressional speechifying and poutrage that hasn’t stopped filling cable TV since Friday afternoon.

Two other, minor things, worth noting: the nation has lost its CIA chief amid the agency’s drone war against terrorists around the globe, the still-spreading unrest of the Arab Spring, and Iran’s continued nuclear efforts. And the commander of the nation’s one acknowledged war in Afghanistan is focused on emails between him and a Florida socialite, even as the Taliban kill Afghan and allied troops in their effort to return to power.

There have been several stories suggesting that military ethics are on the wane, or that these scandals are nurtured by a sense of entitlement. But military scandals rise and fall like the tides, just not as regularly. But they’re always there. The military, for the most part, is made up of humans who err and fail in their personal as well as their professional lives. Just like the rest of us.

A couple of commenters seem to have struck the right balance.

Military author Tom Ricks told Reuters:

We now seem to care more about the sex lives of our leaders than the real lives of our soldiers. We had years of failed generalship in Iraq, for example, yet left those commanders in place. Petraeus’ departure again demonstrates we are strict about intimate behavior, but extraordinarily lax about professional incompetence.

And Washington Post op-ed columnist Richard Cohen seemed to get it just about right:

…is there a better man to fill Petraeus’s CIA seat than Petraeus himself? He is blackmail-proof and more than qualified for the job. He not only was a four-star general, a West Point grad (top 5 percent of his class) and a Princeton scholar but, in the quite recent past, he held the director’s job himself. The United States would not only be getting the best man for the job but also striking a blow against the sexual McCarthyism that has destroyed so many careers and, in wretched silence, has aborted many a political career before it was even announced.

Petraeus felt he had to step down. But let the record reflect that we made him feel that way.

23 comments
jym.allyn
jym.allyn

It is ironic that the "invasion of privacy" by the FBI has brought down the hero of the Neo-Conned.  Petraeus' career was based upon the sham "surge" in Iraq and the impossible "pacification" of Afghanistan. 

Petraeus is likely also responsible for the CIA's failure to protect the Benghazi embassy, and the lack of information that the CIA provided to the White House.

When the "truth" comes out, it is likely that Petraeus has both semen and blood on his samurai sword.

ahandout
ahandout

"the nation has lost its CIA chief amid the agency’s drone war against terrorists around the globe, the still-spreading unrest of the Arab Spring, and Iran’s continued nuclear efforts. And the commander of the nation’s one acknowledged war in Afghanistan is focused on emails between him and a Florida socialite, even as the Taliban kill Afghan and allied troops in their effort to return to power."

Most of your readers get their information from Entertainment Tonight, so get used to pandering to their taste for sex and celebrity gossip.

You and the rest of the media are not interested in doing real reporting. In fact if pressed, you would probably point to the above paragraph as an expose.

The administration is doing an investigation; they will get back to you when they "feel" like it.

Are you sure "we" made him "feel" that way? Your conclusion is very touchy feely. If he "felt" that way, it took his feelings about a year to suddenly reach his brain a few days after a national election. And, the invesigation that had taken a year suddenly finds FBI agents invading the mistress' home yesterday. That makes me "feel" like there is a big lie up in here somewhere. But, you and the other "reporters" at Time cannont seem to wrap your heads around anything that points back at Barry.

AfGuy
AfGuy

If it turns out to be an accurate report, I think it is a pertinent question to find out how the "paramour" ended up with access to and possession of classified information that even Congress was not yet privy to.

If he spilled the beans to her, EXACTLY HOW does that make him "blackmail-proof"?

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

Overreact???

Not so very long ago, a bunch of secret service men, who were not privy to national security secrets that are available to CIA directors and 4-star Generals, were fired when it was disclosed that they had rented prostitutes while in Colombia.

If such lower-level public service professionals can be fired for screwing with prostitutes, why is it that Praetorius is allowed to resign and keep his government benefits?  Why is he not to be judged negatively?  Why is that overreacting?

outsider
outsider

Mark, this is your third story on it. 

It seems a bit strange that while writing so profusely about the story, you would decry the subjects being under scrutiny 24/7 for it. 

MrObvious
MrObvious

Who know what, when, where and how and why did they what they did and what does this have to do with BENGHAZI!

Very important as two parties wrestle ontop of a CLIFF that's more like a slope. 

He stuck it where it doesn't belong but there are those that says what he did belongs to something else. Leaps are made.

SwiftrightRight
SwiftrightRight

Im sick of this crap. Who CARES who he put it it? both of the are consenting adults and since UCMJ no longer applies neither broke the law. 

Petraeus is one of the finest military minds of our time and more importantly he has a proven track record of success which in his business directly correlates to American lives preserved. Additionallyhis leadership often allows for our forces to get the job done while minimizing damage to the peoples who we are fighting against and fighting near.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@ahandout 

Please cite your authorities, sources and other proofs that you are competent to pronounce upon where anyone, other than yourself, gets his information.

 I think it is you who panders and resorts to gossip.  As for sex, I can't imagine who would offer it to you.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@AfGuy 

That's not blackmail - it doesn't mean he's capable of accurate secrecy from his own mistress though in the grand scheme of things, I honestly wouldn't expect him to be able to - I believe most wives and mistresses are given far more information than they should be legally allowed to have.  However, when confronted with the affair, he refused to be subverted and willingly outed himself in public when push came to shove.  That's, while not necessarily blackmail-proof, certainly a sign that blackmail is far from the greatest risk for him.

paulejb1
paulejb1

@Marky_D_Sodd ,

And then Democrat Bob Menendez was accused of short changing two hookers but Democrats in New Jersey came out in droves to re-elect the cheapskate. Perhaps they believe he will be as frugal with their money as he is with his own.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@outsider2011 

Let’s Not Overreact

I know right - more to the point. I wonder if he lived under a rock or something since 2008. Overreaction have been the only reaction from righties.

jym.allyn
jym.allyn

@SwiftrightRight 

It is ironic that the "invasion of privacy" by the FBI has brought down the hero of the Neo-Conned. Petraeus' career was based upon the sham "surge" in Iraq and the impossible "pacification" of Afghanistan.Petraeus is likely also responsible for the CIA's failure to protect the Benghazi embassy, and the lack of information that the CIA provided to the White House.When the "truth" comes out, it is likely that Petraeus has both semen and blood on his samurai sword.

SwiftrightRight
SwiftrightRight

Edit: UCMJ marginally applies since he is a retired officer. 

ahandout
ahandout

@Marky_D_Sodd @ahandout Barry went on ET to let you know that he has a fulfillying relationship with George Clooney and Michelle thinks that George is cute, (she said it twice, so that must be important) and yet you try and disparage the fact that president Obama wants you to know this very important information.  He didn't even try to avoid the question and was very upfront and transparent about George. 

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/obama-reveals-to-entertainment-tonight-details-of-his-relationship-with-george-clooney/

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@ahandout And the administration will get back to us when they have the full story and known facts to report.

You, on the other hand, can be counted upon to get back to us whenever your next paranoid attack of self-pitying-Red-American-with-no-facts-just-opinions strikes, and you feel the urge to regurgitate your infantile aspersions.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@paulejb1 @Marky_D_Sodd  

You may be trying to make a point, and if you can decide what it is perhaps you will presently post it.

 Meantime, ya LOST Blanche...ya LOST!  

ahandout
ahandout

@Marky_D_Sodd @ahandout  Does your mommy and daddy know that you are using their computer and not playing nice, Marky? 

Now, be good and go watch the Disney channel while the grown-ups try and govern the country.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@outsider2011 @SwiftrightRight 

And beyond that, Broadwell is also a West Point graduate, and an Army Reserve Officer, and a mother of two sons, and married.

Where are the self-righteous moral-police Red Americans?

Oh, yeah...off licking their wounds and inventing conspiracy theories.

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