L’affaire Petraeusby Art Jacobson on Nov. 16, 2012, under American History, General Petraeus, Political Journalism, Politics
There is a widespread sniggering interest in what the press is describing as a ‘steamy sex scandal.’ Frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn, and I don’t think you should either.
It has not been uncommon for powerful men in the military and in politics to have a secret love tucked into a corner of their lives. Details of correspondence between FDR and Lucy Mercer Rutherford have only recently been made public. General Dwight Eisenhower’s attachment to Kay Summersby might have been widely suspected, but was hardly the subject of puerile newspaper coverage while he was running the war. During WWI General Black Jack Pershing had an affair with Louise Cromwell Brooks. (Brooks wanted to divorce her husband and marry Pershing, but he refused. She subsequently married Douglas MacArthur.)
Petraeus has said that he did not discuss material that was security sensitive with the lady in question, his biographer. I am prepared to believe him. Enough already.
One thing that does amaze me is that General Petraeus had so little understanding or awareness of the insecure nature of e-mail. Ah, well, the cat is out of the bag and a career is ruined.
Stephen Colbert nails it: