This weekend, a top spy had an affair with some woman named Broadchest… err “Broadwell”… and it was a top-grossing distraction from the fiscal cliff.
We’re going to talk about David Petraeus because on this Veterans Day we learned that you can’t be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency while also getting some action on the side. Drone strikes didn’t take Petraeus down. The Benghazi attacks didn’t take Patraeus down (although he’s not done with that yet). Paula Broadwell and her emails took down a four-star general covered in glory.
Before we go on, can we get a list of things you cannot be while also cheating on your wife? More importantly, can we get a list of positions that will not cause the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate your extramarital predilections?
As far as I can tell, you can be president while having an affair (Clinton, Bill), but you can’t run for president (Hart, Gary; Edwards, John) in middle of a tryst. You can be a Republican senator while going to prostitutes (Vitter, David), but can’t be a Democratic governor (Spitzer, Eliot), and you certainly can’t be anything if you start texting people your penis (Weiner’s Wiener).
You can’t be Director of the CIA and have an affair. And I guess that’s fair — not just because you can’t be the head of intelligence if you can’t keep your own affairs secret, but because you can’t be in a position to be blackmailed by a spurned lover.
But the bigger question seems to be when the FBI and the DOJ are allowed to investigate your ass to uncover your potential affairs. Reports indicate that the investigation into Petraeus started when social planner Jill Kelley received harassing emails and… told her FBI friends to look into it.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have “FBI friends” who go looking into things when I ask them to. Granted, I’m not a social director at an Air Force base, but it’s not my understanding that FBI investigators were a perk of that job.
Apparently there was a potential leak of classified information. But the FBI pretty quickly figured out that there was no breach of national security:
FBI agents were pursuing what they thought was a potential cybercrime, or a breach of classified information.
Instead, the trail led to what officials said were sexually explicit emails between two lovers, from an account Mr. Petraeus used a pseudonym to establish, and to the destruction of Mr. Petraeus’s painstakingly crafted image as a storied Army general.
So, we’re done, right? No harm, no foul, except towards Holly Petraeus.
Some people, including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), seem to be screaming that they weren’t informed quickly enough about this… sorry, I’m not sure what we’re calling this. Feinstein wanted to be told right away about this “potential security breach that wasn’t a breach, and just a dude getting laid by a woman who wrote a whole book on how great the dude was.”
Why does the FBI or the DOJ or the New York Times even get to know about this?
Because now, now that it’s apparently okay for the FBI to dig up an affair while looking at cyber security, we might be deprived of Petraeus’s testimony on Benghazi. Benghazi is of course SOMETHING THAT WE’RE ENTITLED TO KNOW ABOUT. As it stands now, the recently resigned Petraeus is going to dodge Congressional testimony on the Benghazi attacks, now that he’s a private citizen. Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure Congress will figure out a way to get Petraeus up there eventually, but for those playing along at home, we’ve now forced this man to testify about his extramarital affairs at the cost of at least delaying his testimony about attacks on our country.
Now that the affair is out, we’re going to find some kind of “breach.” We’re going to find something to make it look like “this isn’t just about sex.” We’re going to find a classified document somewhere it shouldn’t be. We’re going to find a way to say “he didn’t just violate the trust of his wife, he violated the trust of America.”
But the hard truth of the matter is that America is going to be deprived of a man who was pretty good at his job because that man had an affair — an affair that wasn’t uncovered by his wife or announced by his mistress, but one that was exposed by the investigative arm of our justice system.
Happy Veterans Day.
FBI Scrutinized on Petraeus [Wall Street Journal]