General Petraeus has a history among military people. They either love him or they hate him. There doesn’t seem to be an in between. Which is why this whole scandal seems even bigger than what it should be and why it brought him down in such a spectacular fashion.
To begin with, his resignation from the CIA, should have been ended the witch hunt that began with an FBI investigation, that started with a complaint from a socialite, Jill Kelley. Some reports, have her claiming diplomatic status, though she was named as an “honorary consul” by Korea, for her help with some negotiations, she had no diplomatic status. Other reports say that she and her husband were deeply in debt. Why she started with the FBI, is curious. But maybe not. The FBI agent that she went to had sent her shirtless pictures at one point in time. Perhaps the friendship was a little more flirtatious than first thought.
Her “job” as a socialite, was entertaining the high and mighty at MacDill Air Force Base, and being a “liaison” and volunteer. Wow… just… wow… Personally… I’m praying that she wasn’t the face of the FRG in Tampa.
So she goes to this FBI agent, complains about these anonymous mean emails, the FBI agent takes it to the Cybercrimes unit and gets cut out. It’s not in his sphere of expertise. He’s disgruntled… calls Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) and complains.
Meanwhile, in Washington, General Petraeus, hands in his resignation to the President, right after the President wins re-election, citing the fact that he has had an affair, would like to keep the matter private, and that he cannot in good conscience continue to lead the CIA.
Now, here is something that perhaps the civilian world doesn’t get.
General Petraeus has spent thirty seven years in the US military. He understands the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) quite well. And while he is no longer subject to it, he’s conduct will be forever ruled by it.
The UCMJ in Article 134, Paragraph 62 says this about adultery: (Rod Powers, About.com Guide, 2012)
“(1) That the accused wrongfully had sexual intercourse with a certain person;
(2) That, at the time, the accused or the other person was married to someone else; and
(3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. “
Good order and discipline. And there it is in a nutshell. That is why General Petraeus resigned. He didn’t resign because of Benghazi. He didn’t resign because of the FBI (although that could have been mitigating circumstances – goes to Good Order and Discipline). He resigned to maintain the integrity that he felt he had compromised in the CIA, by having the affair. The integrity that he felt he held his agents to that he didn’t maintain. Good order and discipline. This is the mark of a good leader.
Ms. Broadwell, a graduate of West Point (USMA ’95), on the other hand is not a good leader, but the epitome of the toxic leader that plagues the military, today. As General Petraeus tried to end the affair, she became jealous of Ms. Kelley, sends off anonymous emails (can we say junior high??), manages to Ms. Kelley to have the FBI involved, where the spurned FBI agent goes to Eric Cantor (why??).
About the only real question I have for the general is… Sir… have you no taste??