What does one thing have to do with the other?

David Petraeus is resigning as head of the CIA because he had an affair. Perhaps it’s not as simple, but if it is – why does an affair mean he has to resign?

It puzzles me.

UPDATED:  Chuck Todd  on MSNBC just answered my question. The CIA culture has a zero tolerance policy on stuff like this for field agents. Given that, and because he’s an honorable man, Petraeus probably refused to exempt himself from the rule.

27 responses to “What does one thing have to do with the other?

  1. Wow, I hadn’t heard this. It’s a darned shame. IMHO, we need to stop pretending that anybody can be perfect. I did a post on the subject a few months ago.But we won’t. People will always take advice from Hollywood stars on how to live their lives, and what could be a worse source? Human nature. 🙄


  2. This seems a remnant of the culture that denied security clearances to gay as they were deemed easy target for blackmale by spies. In the olden days an affair would probably been views likewise.


  3. The CIA Director probably was on shaky ground in the first place….

    I agree what does one thing have to do with the other…
    I felt that way with Clinton also…

    But one has to remember this IS a country settled by the Puritans and while Europeans might look on the whole thing with puzzlement (Bisconni?)

    America DOES have different standards for those in high office


  4. I hear that Petraeus will not now testify on the Benghazi matter . That sure clarifies everything .


  5. Do you think the fact that he presented his character in a certain fashion, while knowing he was a bullshitter, should matter?


    • T4T, I think that was exactly what happened. He said himself that he couldn’t hold himself to a lower standard than those he supervised. That said however, he apparently only went public after the FBI found out in the course of another investigation.


      • I think petraeus is like most of us(well myself at least). We tend to develop a conscience after the fact……………
        Side note, as much as I liked him, Clinton should have been impeached. At the time he had no idea whether or not Monica was a spy and he definately gave her the opportunity to be around some classified areas.


        • In my lifetime T4T, many presidents have had afffairs – FDR and Kennedy while in office, Reagan and GHWB not in office. I disagree with you that it is impeachable. And in any case, that a president should be subjected to a two year long $40million dollar witch hunt because he had a little something on the side is ludicrous. As for Monica a spy? By that standard, aAnyone in the WH could be a spy. They wouldn’t have to ‘service’ the prez to spy.


  6. @Moe

    By the way, what is your definition of honorable?


    • That’s complicated. I suppose it comes down to doing the right thing. Simply being a human ‘sinner’ doesn’t undo a person if that person is stand up afterward and takes the consequences with grace. Also, I always admired how he lived his life as a Patriot without chest thumping or flag waving. To me, that spoke to a man who was thoughtful and trustworthy in his public responsibilities. And usually, that ‘public’ part is the only part that is my business.


  7. Ms. Holland ,

    Of course . I just find the timing of this convenient . I also find it curious how kind you all are to Petraeus . When he was Bush’s guy you would have torn him apart for this .


  8. Ms. Holland ,

    My deep apologies . I tend to lump you all together . My memory always gets me in trouble . For instance I remember the esteemed gentleman , when he was a Bush employee , was called a different last name . Back then he was called General Betray us by some . I am pleased to hear that you did not take part .

    This does bring up some new questions . Who in the Obama Administration knew about the affair and when did they know it ? There are requirements for action to be taken in a timely manner when an infraction is discovered .


    • Alan, I hope by this time you’ve allowed yourself to be informed further on what actually transpired. By all reports,, the first person to know aboout it was Eric Cantor a few months ago, followed by Mueller. It got to the DCI just days before it got to the prez. SecDef found out a little befor ethat. And as usual, no one knew it all all at once. Or do you beleive in jumping to judgement?


  9. Hmm. Two years ago remember Gen Betrayus showed interest in being a Republican VP? So he gets a swift shift into the CIA desk. I suspect that Obama never liked him and does not think he is quite as competant as some others feel he is. After the election he uses what he knew about Ol P’s sex life to dump him. End of competition and an over-mighty military man. If my scenario is right watch for Obama to start to take the overpaid, overblown and very, very useless military down over the next four years.


    • Glad to see you use the word ‘useless’ re the military as it’s constituted today. The Pentagon’s own think tanks are pretty clear on where the threats to national security lie, and they’re not addresssable with guns. I’d like to see a Manhattaan size project targeting cyber threats. Now that would be a serious effort at protecting the national security. But the lobbyists have our congress critters all sewn up so bullets and battleships reign supreme for now.


    • Good column. Much wisdom there. I still hold a pretty high opinion of Petraeus perhaps because of the scholar part of his persona. I always like that in anyone tasked with making decisions. And yup, our world changed forever with the powers given HOmeland Security. A bad day for us.


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