Friday, November 9, 2012

David Petraeus and Extramarital Sex

David Petraeus makes a pitch for some more play.
Today marks an unfortunate reminder that our country is utterly insane about sex. I am of course referring to the news that Gen. David Petraeus is resigning from his post as the Director of the CIA because of an extramarital affair. People, this is lunacy. Utter lunacy. What the fuck does one have to do with the other? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. By all accounts, Petraeus, an unconventional pick to head the CIA, was doing an outstanding job. Now we have to bring in the B-team - we need to undermine our country's strength and security because David Petraeus fucked someone who wasn't his wife. This is madness. If he were doing a shitty job, or if Republicans won the presidency and wanted to replace him, that would be fine. Elections have consequences and it would be well within Republican prerogative to do so [albeit unlikely since Petraeus is seen within Republican circles as a kind of God]. But to consider this a scandal worthy of a resignation is maddening. We need to keep good, effective people in important government positions. We can't kick them out because their personal lives threatened some kind of sociotropic moral code.  This puritanical nonsense is killing us...


  1. You fool! It has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with honor, honesty and truth. Since he was at West Point he agreed to be bound to an honor code. He violated that code.

  2. Well that is all well and good and noble, but what does honor, honesty and truth have to do with heading the world's pre-eminent spy agency? And when does his sentence end? Is he exiled from all jobs for the rest of his life? Certain jobs? Like maybe he can start working for Citibank next year, but he can't work at the DHS? Do all West Point grads need to quit their jobs after they have affairs? Or just important ones? Is it just the West Point Honor Code? UVA has an Honor Code. Does Matt Schaub have to step down from the Texans if he's caught having an affair? Because extramarital affairs have as much to do with football as they do with the CIA.

  3. tsk tsk. so many swears.

  4. Thankfully the Honor Code at my school was silent on the subject of swearing!

  5. Yes, but it isn't about his affair, it is about getting him out before he has to testify about Benghazi #conspiracytheory

    This is actually what I've heard at least one person talking about...I can't work up the energy to get outraged about Benghazi.

  6. There is no reason to have the head of such an important agency in the position to be blackmailed. With that said, this infidelity was kept in the regimes back pocket just in time to be pulled out before his testimony. This is another instance of the most transparent administration in the history of America.

  7. Ah yes. Let the Obama reelection bloom a thousand conspiracy theories! Its going to be fun times!

    I find it strange that a former aspirational Republican presidential candidate is now so untrustworthy that he is apparently willing to sacrifice American civilian and military lives in order to cover up an affair. That is an important standard to maintain. Remember when we voided the presidential campaigns of future American traitors Newt Gingrich and John McCain? Man we dodged bullets there!

  8. I don't buy that it's a major conspiracy, but I wouldn't be shocked if the timing of this has been shaped by the Benghazi stuff. Honestly though the Benghazi stuff sounds mainly like a tempest in a teapot, but for the possibility that there was some deliberate slowness/inaccuracy in releasing information in order to shield the president from what would likely have been pretty unfair criticism in the waning days of the election cycle. By unfair criticism I mean misleading the public to perceive that staffing of marines at embassies is under the direct purview of the president.

    I do think it's pretty reasonable for someone who overseas a ton of sensitive information to resign if they have gotten themselves into a situation where they could be blackmailed. One of the central purposes of the government security clearance process (as I understand it) is to ensure that anyone who has access to sensitive information can't be blackmailed. If you can't resist boning someone other than your wife while you're heading up the CIA they you probably shouldn't be heading up the CIA.

  9. Well I just don't think people have thought through what kind of standard we are haphazardly trying to apply here. The same person who could be blackmailed by an affair is the same type of person who would trade American secrets to get their child into a top-line pre-school. Does that mean we don't allow intelligence officers to have children. Plus, my God, the children could be kidnapped! Will someone please think of the children.

    The truth is anyone can be "compromised". Non-out-of-the-closet men and women can be blackmailed. So can cross-dressers. Are they barred en masse from intelligence work? From being elected to higher office?

    Listen, we (rightfully) didn't ask JFK to resign because he was banging everything that moved. We weren't worried that FDR would allow the US to get rolled over by the Japanese because they might find out he was screwing his secretary. They tried to kick Clinton out over sex but I don't remembering anyone arguing it was because someone could blackmail Bill Clinton into handing over the nuclear codes.

    For better or for worse, a lot of people (male and female) just can't resist the urge to fuck people they aren't supposed to. I just don't think we can afford to piss away good public servants when they do.

    Now, if you want to make the argument that David Petraeus was not a good public servant (Michael Hastings and Glenn Greenwald certainly make that case), that's a different argument.