The Petraeus Affair

by Dave Schuler on November 11, 2012

I don’t have a great deal to say about the reported affair of now former CIA Director and Gen. David Petraeus. First, as all stories of sexual improprieties of married individuals are, it’s sad, especially for Gen. Petraeus’s wife and Ms. Broadwell’s husband and children. However, if sexual impropriety alone were grounds for resignation or dismissal you could hardly get a quorum in the House or Senate.

I don’t care at all about the various conspiracy theories, questioning of timing, etc. I do care about the security issues. If, as I have heard alleged, Ms. Broadwell had unrestricted access to the general’s private email in Afghanistan, I think that’s very troubling. At the very least there should be Congressional hearings on the subject.

I also find the reports that the FBI waited for months before informing the Congressional intelligence committees about the affair troubling. My sense is that the FBI overstepped its authority. Oversight is a Congressional responsibility and it certainly sounds to me as though the FBI had interfered with the ability of the Congress to exercise its responsibilities. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says that he first heard about the story on Friday in the news media like the rest of us. That’s worth Congressional hearings, too.

Finally, it’s beyond sad that individuals holding the most responsible and sensitive positions in the land are behaving like adolescents. It’s outrageous. If they insist on behaving like adolescents, they should not be surprised to be treated like adolescents. Perhaps they need chaperones.


Those who are saying that this is purely a personal matter and that we’re paying too much attention to it are dead wrong. This is a workplace misconduct in an office where the people’s business is to be conducted and a national security story. That goes far beyond a personal matter.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Janis Gore November 11, 2012 at 10:49 am

It never ceases to amaze me when these high-profile people don’t exercise self-discipline.

steve November 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

It is sad for the families. It is also sad that a guy who served his country well goes out on such a sour note. I agree that this s a security issue. If they have Congressional hearings, they should be private. Public hearings are just grandstanding for the most part. How did this get by everyone at the vetting stage?

Query- WHo does the investigative work for Congress?


Jimbino November 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Don’t you think it would be a good idea never to advance a married person to a position of responsibility, especially a breeder.

They start out with divided loyalties and then divide them further, subject themselves to extortion and ruin lives of two families. A single man or woman can stay far more focused and even their sleeping around is natural and celebrated.

Furthermore, they cost the gummint much less, considering the sub-standard housing they endure in the military, the spouse and kiddie benefits they receive, and the time off they are granted, which is covered by the singles and childfree anyway.

The fly in the ointment is that a single, childfree person would have to be an idiot to consider working for the gummint under the current conditions of oppression.

Jimbino November 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I amend the second paragraph to say:

Furthermore, singles cost the gummint much less, considering the sub-standard housing they endure in the military, the spouse and kiddie benefits the breeders receive, and the time off they are granted, which is covered by the singles and childfree anyway.

Jimbino November 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I should add that we could provide the singles with hookers, as we did (indirectly) in Colombia, but only ones vetted by the CIA. That would cost much less than paying a civil or military servant to maintain wife and kids, and, anyway, that wife and those kids are a security risk as it is, aren’t they?

Dave Schuler November 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

The Congress has the power to request investigations from any department in the executive branch, to use its own investigators, or to hire third party investigators.

If you’re asking who investigates the FBI, the answer is any of the above. In general the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility is its equivalent of Internal Affairs. Other areas of the Justice Department might become involved as well.

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