Friday Night Open Thread: David Petraeus Resigned Today

This story is the hot item today. Retired four-star General David Petraeus, resigned as Director of the CIA amid rumors that he was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

President Obama accepted his resignation.

Reuters has the story.

Time to dust off ye olde prurient interest and get down . . . under the desk, that is.

Sex under the desk for $5,000 please

63 Responses to Friday Night Open Thread: David Petraeus Resigned Today

  1. theanotherandy says:

    I don’t understand why cheating on your wife or husband is anybody’s business except that of the aggrieved party.

  2. cielo62 says:

    I’ve been wanting to say something about this. Look at the timing: just after the election. I think he wants to jump ship but in a way that doesn’t tarnish the President, so he makes up an affair so he can resign with the latest fashionable sin. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t have sex with that woman. But he didn’t have to resign; many men don’t. If men resigned after adultery, this world would come to a standstill! Anyway, looking at the other people just tired after 4 years of heavy duty work on the behalf of the US, they might just want to retire or do something else for awhile. Hillary is wanting to move on. But she can’t use adultery as a reason; Bill already stole that thunder!

    • Patricia says:

      @ Cielo,

      There are two paramount reasons Petraeus had to resign:

      First, he had access to all of the US’ security secrets and could be compromised – not “just” by the threat of exposure, and the resulting scandal, but primarily by the potential physical threat to someone with whom he had a strong emotional tie.

      Second, he was the lead dog at CIA, so if the standards are not enforced on the leader, all the dogs in the traces could freely have no standards. I’m using a dogsled comparison here – think of the rigors of the Iditarod and you’ll know the demands on the entire team, and what it means if one dog stumbles. Then there is NO security at CIA.

      One issue he no longer faced was court martial for adultery, “as an officer and a gentleman.” He is now retired military.

      His future is dubious.

      This kind of emotional affair can never be hidden (and yes, emotional includes sexual – but the emotional issue is what made Petraeus vulnerable to enemy access).

      It is easy to see a Benghazi cover-up here. But this was an affair in existence for over a year. Was Petraeus distracted pre-Benghazi? Very likely. But Benghazi did not happen because of his distraction. Was the lid kept on public knowledge of the affair until after the election? Very likely.

      FYI, for nine years I had contracts with the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, RCMP, Scotland Yard and all US military agencies (except the Coast Guard) on counterterrorism. “Vulnerability” cannot be tolerated in security management. It’s purely a functional issue with these agencies, not a puritanical one, and “it goes with the territory.” Everybody knows it.

      Fun factoid for you (and for those who may not readily believe my link to the CIA): when you get paid, the checking account says “The Trucking Company.” But, insanely, the bank is in Langley, VA. A ten-year-old could figure that one out. It took me all of five minutes to get that changed (the form of payment), plus promptly sending the check back. They complied. The dominatrix had spoken!

      I don’t know if you want my opinion, but I think George H.W. Bush was one of the finest D/CIAs the Agency has ever had. Notice how short he kept the wars when he was President? He just knew …

      • cielo62 says:

        And yet Patricia, you’ll notice the lack of fault given to anyone besides him. He’s the fall guy, whether he deserves it or not. I just find the timing suspicious. But I love what you wrote, since I know next to nothing about his position and his duties. Nothing but the best education on the Leatherman blog!


        • Patricia says:


          Petraeus isn’t going to blame HER. He fell for her, and he’ll fall on his sword. It’s what the warrior does,

          Both participants may have more to worry about if the FBI has discovered she had his secured e-mail address or if HE e-mailed her from it.

          This isn’t the end of the pain – his wife and kids and a lifetime of sacrifice they made in support of his career; her husband and two kids … and you know those e-mails will surface.

          The public had such a favorable opinion of Petraeus; he was a military God to many. But everyody has enemies, and this will be personal payback time. Petraeus was, to a degree, a glory hound. Was often right as to modern warfare – knew he was right and bullied his theories into practice. Incredibly gritty and physically tough. Intellectual strength. Great physical courage. Cocksure.

          Ah yes, they can now get him on that one: cocksure.

      • gblock says:

        I heard (on NPR) that the FBI had discovered extensive email exchanges between the two of them. I don’t think they said whether it was on his secured address.

        • Patricia says:

          @gblock –

          Petraeus should not even have been sending smoke signals.

          Whatever happens in Afghanistan, stays in Afghanistan.

    • Malisha says:

      “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t have sex with that woman.”

      It doesn’t matter; she can’t deny it now that he has admitted it. And the issue apparently involves an FBI investigation of HER.

  3. SpecialladyT says:

    Hi Professor! Can you address the lack of DNA on Trayvon’s hands/clothing from Z and how important it is? Meaning, the fact that Trayvon didn’t have Zimmerman’s DNA him, especially his hands? Can you also address the fact the that “lack” of evidence and the importance of it, meaning? These Zidiots seem to think that the lack of evidence is NO EVIDENCE period, therefore it is not a problem. LOL

  4. whonoze says:

    Internet joke:

    Q: Do you know why women don’t have brains?

    A: They don’t have a penis to put them in.

    Not exactly biography, but close; Rielle Hunter was shooting documentation footage of John Edwards presidential campaign.

  5. aussie says:

    Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke ended up divorcing his wife Hazel (who a few years later turned out to have early Alzheimer’s) and actually married his biographer Blanch D’alpuget, with whom he’d been having a publicly known on-again off-again affair for around 20 years.

    Nobody much cared. Everyone felt sorry for Hazel. Of course he was a “larrikin” popularly known as the “Silver Bodgie” for his luxuriant white hair (and seriously heavy drinking until he had to stop when he took office) He was a good PM though.

    • Patricia says:


      Jack Welch, long-time CEO of General Electric is another example. Fell in love with Suzy over her interview for his bio, subsequently married her and they now write together.

      He has, however gotten crabby and righteous and ridiculous in recent columns against the current (and next four years’) administration. He’s fallen out of favor as a business writer, and is now a parody of himself.

      Interesting that Jack’s second wife, Jane, was an attorney and, of course, they had a prenup. She blew the whistle on the affair. but managed to pass the 10-year mark that voided the pre-nup, a clause that Jack had forgotten.

      Jane got the cash and Jack got Suzy.

  6. Malisha says:

    See here, we’re at a strange place if four-stars are using “extra-marital affair” as the preferred explanation for something worse…

    Just saying… 😳

    • Patricia says:

      I am distressed by this report.

      At the point that I read “the other woman” was his biographer, my heart sank, and I said, “Oh, no … ”

      This is not the first time that this has happened.

      It is very easy for a man’s heart to tumble over, after weeks, or days, or even hours of rapt attention from a biographer, who, obviously, is hanging on to every word. And in writing a biography, it’s recalling all the glory days, the youth, when one seems immortal, and life is recalled in a shimmery haze, all golden. The high-adrenaline times are relived – and Petraeus is a guy who lived at the highest adrenaline level – at a time in life that a desk job just doesn’t hack it. And when the heart tumbles over, it’s startling. They never thought their heart would feel as it did once – thirty, forty years past, a young man’s discovery ..

      It is a sad and predicatable story under those circumstances. In this case, almost a combat buddy: West Point grad, race-runner by his side on that desolate terrain. Placing 100% of intelligent attention, probing his soul. Should result in a stunning book – but two fractured homes.

      The man loves his wife, but after 30, 40 years is not “in love” with her. He’s eager and smitten by this stunning new experience and the anticipation burns – even hotter than the sex, but the early denial makes the sex even hotter.

      The FBI monitors everything. Phones, mail, e-mails (and e-mails are the quickest, most prolific and easiest to capture). A CIA Director who could be compromised – not simple blackmail, but what if the woman he both lusts and cares for is kidnaped? Kidnaped and tortured and it’s recorded – with the tapes sent to the Director? You think that kind of compromise couldn’t wrest data from the files? The FBI knows that.

      You may think this is a convenient cover-up for Benghazi. But it had gone on long before. And crossed hearts, under those circumstances, have happened so many times. It will happen again.

      There may be a thousand men in high places with sensitive jobs in this country (and this is the country that cares about such matters) who took a big gulp when this story broke this morning.

      Each wonders if he will be next.

      • Malisha says:

        Wow, Patricia, your prose about Petraeus is excellent! Consider being his unofficial biographer but avoid the pitfalls. 😀

      • Eric Emerson says:

        FBI is no more credible than the CIA, it’s director no less assailable. Funny thing about FBI investigations lately, they seem to turn up nothing that is not supportive of the administration’s preferred narrative. Like the investigation into the death of (another) Border Patrol agent a few weeks before the election – when the preferred narrative was about ‘reduction’ in illegal border crossing, and mitigation of Fast & Furious… It would not have played well into the NYT stories if more of the F&F guns had killed more Border Patrol agents…

        But if you live at the border, and you know people in the actual agency, and they trust you, you might just get a different story.

        The FBI investigation of the Border Patrol Agent’s murder took three days. That was it.

        Pretty neat and tidy, just before an election – with no witnesses, and only the FBI Crime Lab’s word about what kind of bullets those were that they took out of the murdered Agent. The same FBI crime lab that was stoutly discredited as sloppy and slipshod, not all that many years ago.

        So, I wonder who’s watching the watchers of the watchers, and when their “investigation” will break… I mean, the CIA are watchers, but the FBI was apparently told to watch the watchers, right?

    • grahase says:

      Patricia – Please read above. Don’t know if you have, but, if you read the books written by Dr. Laurence J. Peter, you will be enlightened in the ways of misogynistic hierarchies. Dr. Peter was a Professor at the University of British Columbia – brilliant man.

      • Patricia says:


        Yes, I’ve read his work – instructive and great fun, as he himself was, as a person – I knew him for a few years when he taught in Los Angeles. He was a great favorite among his friends. I didn’t find him misogynistic, but his generation was raised to see the sexes as having separate but unequal talents. (Their loss, of course.)

        Extending The Peter Principle, there are some workers whose first job reaches their level of incompetency. Ah yes, Zimmerman comes to mind.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Sexual peccadilloes are so often used to discredit people or disguise other transgressions. S’pose it goes along with America’s Puritan origins. Silly, really.

      • Fed-up taxpayer says:

        Actually, Petraeus is hiding behind this South American-sounding bird, the peckerdillo, to disguise worse indiscretions. Squawk!

    • Fed-up taxpayer says:

      Caramba, what euphemism is left? He wanted to say he was hiking the Appalachian Trail or going to Uganda, but those were already taken.

  7. ed nelson says:


    “failing uppward” … isn’t that like things floating like the stuff that arises in every nice little pond of yore… like when ponds were ponds, with real… animals and plants… “Rivit- rivit -rivet…
    (nes pa?… Barney?) ?

    It really is a time now, Proff. when we need to get real, and see that it is getting sort of close, at least that is kind of… a sort of view that I have, it could be that all of it is just a big fake-out/ hollogram.


    Fred: those who fail uppwards, that’s a good one. Because looking at that, it means something: It means something: I the power, would like to coop this “Stupid piece of crap/offal as my…”main Man”, because he/she has… demonstrated…

    I leave it there: “Demonstated”… demonstrated everything we want.

  8. Malisha says:

    “Fail upward.” I like that phrase.

    • ed nelson says:

      OK, how a bout… the ole’ “No good deed will go unpunished”…
      Kind of comment: Well, isn’t that sort of a similar kind of thing?

      Fail upwards, is a very important concept. That phrase should not be dismissed lightly!

      My little take on it is: The PTB’s know how to use and abuse! Be apprised, There is a domain that exists what adheres to Use and forever abuse, and refuse.

      Well I had to say somp’n,


    • leander22 says:

      Malisha, that’s fall upwards or stumble upwards, but fail upwards feels fine to me two, since it seems a connect the two different ideas behind the coinages.

      Besides the many errors I leave, like this one: international court in Switzerland, should be Den Haag, and capitalized, show definitively that I really should shut up. I’ll check if there is something important.

      As I wrote, if I do not return to my duties, I’ll get into big troubles. Take care.

      • Malisha says:

        Leander, it always takes me time to understand the full implications of what you are saying. That time is always well spent. I really appreciate the gift of your contributions here! 🙂

  9. ed nelson says:

    I expect him to move to a more important level!

    Even if it is just to retire and smell the daffodils. More likely though, he might be getting ready for something important.

    • I’m getting tired of all of these people who fail upward.

      • grahase says:

        It is called the – Peter Principle – Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull. Read the books in the 70s and their theories hold true to this day

        The Peter Principle is a belief that, in an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit, that organization’s members will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. The principle is commonly phrased, “employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.” In more formal parlance, the effect could be stated as: employees tend to be given more authority until they cannot continue to work competently.

        It was formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book The Peter Principle, a humorous treatise, which also introduced the “salutary science of hierarchiology.”

        The principle holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Eventually they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions. Peter’s Corollary states that “in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties” and adds that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.” “Managing upward” is the concept of a subordinate finding ways to subtly manipulate his or her superiors in order to prevent them from interfering with the subordinate’s productive activity or to generally limit the damage done by the superiors’ incompetence.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        “‘Managing upward’ is the concept of a subordinate finding ways to subtly manipulate his or her superiors in order to prevent them from interfering with the subordinate’s productive activity or to generally limit the damage done by the superiors’ incompetence.”

        I’ve certainly seen this in action in way too many places I’ve worked in – people in lower and mid-management who shouldn’t even be there, managing people with far more competence than they have.

    • leander22 says:

      We have a special word for it, that has no translation in English to praise away (wegloben). But strictly I have seen similar treatment of corruption in companies being dealt with underhand to avoid publicity.

      I wondered if I should mention the first in connection with a special swiss prosecutor, whose husband seems to have been involved in laundering drug money in Switzerland. She was promoted first to the international court in Switzerland, after to a job in a South American embassy. Before she fell upstairs, another term for the procedure in German, she stopped a swiss undercover agent. He also stumbled over an affair with a woman in South America who had been immensely helpful to him.

  10. Two sides to a story says:

    I’m never entirely certain why people in the public eye think they can do stuff and not be found out. You’d think they’d know better. It’s hard enough for regular Joes to deceive anyone.

    • The affair, while apparently true, may be a cover-up for Petraeus not manning his post at CIA when the attack on Benghazi occurred, resulting in the death of the Ambassador.

      This may be a way to allow him to save face.

      • rachael says:

        That’s what I’ve been hearing.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Wow. Could very well be.

      • Tee says:

        That’s exactly what it is professor. He knows that there’s a shark in the water and he’s trying to get the heck out but I suspect he can swim as fast as he can but still he will lose a limb in the end.

      • leander22 says:

        I am reading a military intelligence man for almost a decade now, I do again, although I was a bit irritated by his take on the Trayvon Martin case, and stopped reading him for a while.

        His argument about the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghasi was, as unfortunate as it may appear to us ordinary people this type of risk can never be completely prevented. He considered the hype about it political in nature. I wonder what the bile he is working on will bring up He may well have preferred Petraeus as a man with a military background compared to heads with a purely bureaucratic background, that bother him. I started reading him since he was highly critical of the war on Iraq.

        Personally I admired Hillary Clinton’s way to deal with the affair around Lewinsky. I think Pat Lang does. From my perspective, it felt really peculiar. But in intelligence it is a slightly more complicated matter as the article he links to shows.

        The question now is who will follow Clinton and who will follow Petraeus.

      • leander22 says:

        Maybe I should add strictly, Pat Lang has been highly critical of Petraeus. Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it at all.

        But then, it’s never too late to try to consider shutting up again completely.

        • Patricia says:


          But Col. Lang was clueless predicting the Republican VP selection for the 2008 election, nor the impact on the voters of what McCain was forced to do by the theocracy faction of his party: choose Palin.

          This was a disaster. As a Republican, my only choice was to vote for Obama in 2008, and to do so again this year. With gusto!

          I think Pat Lang needs to spend more time outside Langley, Quantico and D.C. and see just what drives “the folks” across the US toward their candidate choices on election day.

          The biggest “party” in the US today is DTS (“decline to state,” i.e., Independents).

          Where did all those new Independents come from? They fled the Republican Party, and they took their votes with them.

          If the Republican Party ever regains its sanity, they’ll be right back.

          Leander, my personal thanks and commendation to you for your keen interest in American politics. Few here could opine so intelligently on any political force in Europe! This country is only 70 years past its complete isolationism and this is still rampant in many sectors of our society. Geography, in fact, is rarely part of our pre-college curricula!

      • Eric Emerson says:

        Or, if you’re not a hater of highly decorated generals, this could be a way for the Obama Administration to discredit him, before he testifies before congress (and the press) that Whitehouse knew, everything, as it happened. And chose to do nothing, preferring an Islam rage over a movie narrative – that we pretty-much know is utter rubbish.

        The general does not need to save face. Whether there was or was not an affair becomes moot if the intent were to create that appearance and discredit him.

        Or maybe the Chicago political approach to propaganda has completely “rehabilitated itself” and the administration would not begin to sink to unsealing divorce details to win a senate seat – or fabricating affairs to discredit a dissenting voice, again.

  11. Xena says:

    Why, that old fart. He should have never consented to having his biography written. 🙂

  12. Brown says:

    hahaha sex under the desk hahah

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