The Petraeus Fling Thing

The Petraeus resignation doesn’t seem that much of a BFD to me. “Alpha Male Has Affair” is right up there with “Dog Bites Man” or “Cat Catches Mouse” as a shocker. Nor does it shock me that the FBI and DOJ knew about the affair last summer and didn’t say anything to Congress about it. At least one other CIA director was worse.

Since there may be a connection to Benghazi, the righties are certain this affair ties into whatever they think the White House is covering up. Peter King is calling it a “crisis of major proportions.” I guess it’s a nice detraction from post-election soul-searching (nothing found, I hear). Of course, if Petraeus let his guard down and allowed his paramour to see classified information he needs to be called to account for that.

Also, too, people may be going ballistic because they were emotionally invested in Petraeus as a hero. You might remember the way Move On was set upon by howling virtual mobs of Petraeus admirers because of its “Petraeus Betray Us?” ad. Some right-leaning blogs are now calling him “General Betray Us.” I’m not emotionally invested in him at all, one way or another, so the whole thing is kind of a snooze for me. Do wake up up if anything significant happens.

Bernard Finel and Kevin Drum has some interesting observations, if you want to explore the topic further.

46 thoughts on “The Petraeus Fling Thing

  1. Looks like I jumped the gun with this comment on the Armistice Day post:

    I wonder how long it will be until Newt calls for Issa to start impeaching President Obama for a BJ Petreaus got?

    If he wasn’t in the position he’s in, and open to blackmailing, I really couldn’t care less about this.
    He’s been WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY over-rated by the DC pundit sycophancy symphony.

  2. What interests me is that this effectively takes Petraeus out of the running for political office, at least until he can be rehabilitated. Even though he has repeatedly said he’s not interested in any political office, there were a lot of wingnuts who adored this guy. CIA cred would’ve only burnished his image in their eyes.

    The gossipy part of me wants to know why Kelly was receiving the nasty emails.

    Oh I think the wingnuts – some of them – are starting to see what went wrong with the election, at least in some of the grosser aspects. More of them are realizing that they can’t keep pissing off Latino voters. Even GW Bush knew this years ago. Have read that at least one congressional Republican is counseling compromise on the fiscal cliff. Plus you have Bloomberg (a nominal Republican) and Christie starting to get real about climate change. The shellacking these people got at the polls is leading into a real interesting time for the GOP.

  3. The gossipy part of me wants to know why Kelly was receiving the nasty emails.

    Glad I’m not the only one! Plus, Paula Broadwell sort of reminds me of that unstable astronaut lady who took the long-distance car trip in Depends.

    And Peter King, you still remind me of the pure-evil “Walternate” character played by John Noble on Fringe.

  4. Love the name of Broadwell’s hagiography about Petraeus, All In. It’s up there with “Bernie Made-off”, in terms of describing what was really going on.

  5. Another media ‘event.’ Like the harried reporter who tends to see breaking news through the rear view mirror of premises he hasn’t had time to examine, the media must cut and paste diverse and probably unconnected information into a ‘story’ to deliver at the top of the news hour.l

    The result is what we now have around the Petraeus ‘story.’

  6. Wait until the sex tape comes out..we’ll all be paying attention. Plain vanilla affairs don’t cut it any more..We need the spice.

  7. I couldn’t understand why he would have to resign either. I’d kill my husband if HE had an affair, but that’s just between the two of us.

    Well, I wouldn’t kill, just divorce and make his life a living hell, but that is also a personal thing. No need to alert the tabloids.

  8. Jen,
    He put more than himself a compromising position, when he got into a compromising position with Broadwell.

    He was Director of the CIA – a highly blackmailable position, should a foreign nation seek to exploit his weakness.

    If he was just some run-of-the-mill horny schlub, no one would give a sh*t, and he could have stayed in his job.

  9. Yeah, thanks. Cuz that’s my husband. A run-of-the-mill, horny schlub.

    JFK didn’t have to resign. Chancellor Kohl didn’t ever resign. Why should it be something that is blackmailable? PEople’s sex life should be private, even when they are public figures (all bets off for rapes, underage, usw.)

  10. Well lets see if I am up to speed on this: Petraeus was bushies boy and when he was put in charge of the whole Iraq thing the right was ga-ga..they had nothing but the most wonderful things to say about him and how well the war would go from that point forward. One would have thought Petraeus was the military God the way he was propped up. Now that he has gotten a little strange everything has changed. In the mind of the right he has something to do with Bengazi and some cover up. There is even a suggestion that Petraeus wouldn’t play ball with this cover up the right has made up and therefore Obama and his “Chicago boys” knew about this affair and they used it to get rid of him. They don’t care who or what they trash and they are never going to stop. Sooo sad.

  11. It’s always the same..Look at poor Newt. Callista started stroking his ego long before she started stroking his other parts..and it doesn’t take long before even the most rigid moral code crumbles..Guys just can’t resist the temptation once their ego starts to swell. At least Petraeus took it like a man and confessed and resigned, not like weasels like Vitter or Sanford who cried about being confused in their desires and actions. Begging Jesus for forgiveness.

  12. JFK didn’t have to resign. Chancellor Kohl didn’t ever resign. Why should it be something that is blackmailable? PEople’s sex life should be private…

    Petraeus committed a big no-no within a spy outfit like the CIA. There are a lot of people in orgs like the CIA with way lower pay-grades who could compromise the the US had they done what Patraeus did, and so there’s no way the top guy could stay on, breaking a major rule that also applies to the grunts below him.

  13. And all of this just proves how important it is to de-illegitimize gay relationships.

    We need to take the stigma away from being gay, or having a gay lover. Or, to be honest, ANY human lover.

    For all of American, and too much of European history, up until now, just one hint that you were gay, almost always cost people their careers. For WAAAAY too long, being Gay =ed, “You’re FINISHED!!!”

    Having said that, I think we need to remind people in power to keep their noses, and private parts, clean – gay, or straight, or bi.
    Cheating on one’s partner, gay or straight, will always be blackmailable to those people who care about their reputations, and still decide to cheat anyway.

    Personally, I don’t care much one way or the other.
    But if you’re a person in a position of power, how can I trust you, if your significant other, or family and friends, can’t trust you?
    Why would I?
    And THAT’S what this is about.

  14. “Beware of harlots all saucy and pert”
    I’m roflmao; back in ’72, my wife was photographed by a Clearwater Sun reporter on Clearwater Beach. She was described as “Pert Sandy” in the photo caption.
    She is indeed “saucy and pert” to this day.

    Aside from all that, ever since the Clinton / Monica escapade, sex is death to political careers, you can bomb the wrong country and get a pass, but don’t dare take a trip down the pink valley.
    I do agree with what you wrote, Maha.

  15. Can someone explain to me why the right is behaving the way they are? Every little single thing has become “what did Obama know and when did he know it” and since we don’t know that BEFORE we ask he must be up to a watergate type cover up.Everything is their gottcha moment. No one informed them if Obama emptied his bowels today and without KNOWING he is regular , well we all know he is hiding something WE have every right to know about! It has not even been a week yet and this is where we are?? Really? Really!

    On benghazi the behavior has been a real problem because they are demanding information that may be classified and it may cause a problem for our national security or for finding and dealing with those responsible, which is still on – going. Sure we want to hear the story of what went down in detail, but as it is now we know what happened, no one is keeping us from knowing about the event itself. And we will know the rest of the story at some point I am sure but the right needs to STFU and let the people in charge do their jobs. Issa and his follies COST this investigation. It cost the names of people working on the ground to help us resolve it, he cost resources that could have been working on it instead of testifying about a investigation that is not yet complete.It cost money and time that would have been better spent else where. Obama was not elected to answer to sean hannity about things he has no clearance to know..This is BS and it has to stop

  16. An LATimes headline stated that “Congress wants details”. Boy are SNL, John Stewart, and Maher going to have a field day with that. The story quoted the ever-vigilant Peter King extensively who’ll no doubt milk this thing to create whatever hysteria he can muster. I doubt video of the affair in action will suit them. Thus far I’ve seen no pertinent questions posed just more spectre of doubt being raised in an attempt to drag Obama into it. There should be nothing to prevent Patraeus from testifying even after resignation if that’s necessary but there should be a reason other than a photo op or fishing expedition. They’re once again employing the thought-terminating cliche or proving a negative as was done for WMD…i.e. “we don’t know there aren’t any” and for Patraeus affair “We don’t know that Obama is not hiding something”. We don’t know cows don’t jump over the moon either but do we really need to go there unless we see one being blasted into space on a shuttle mission? I’t really hard to prove a negative and that’s a very childish tactic for fanning the flames of hysteria with the unhinged. Maybe nothing changes post-election.

  17. OT – it’s exciting to be a Democrat in California right now, because we own the state government. Not only did we pass a tax increase (by proposition) but we’re on our way to getting a super-majority in the legislature, which means no more GOP obstructionism when it comes to budgeting. Even better, is the fact that Republican voter registration is dwindling omnously (for them). Obviously, not only is the loss of the 2012 election putting pressure on the national party to change, but we on the left coast are the glaring example of why they must change. Here’s a couple LA Times columns that give the details:

    Advice to California’s GOP: Leave, or Better Yet, Change
    GOP Might Never Again Hold Power in California. I like the sound of that last one.

  18. Some high-tech gloating: keep refreshing to see Mitt’s Facebook friends un-like him, by the minute, in real-time. The key figure to watch is in the lower left: “nn,nnn,nnn people like Mitt Romney”. It shrinks everytime you refresh.

  19. Justme,Several of my righty friends have aired their opinions on the Benghazi incident, complete with the conspiracy attachments. Then I mention the 230 plus Marines who were killed in Beruit when St. Ronald was President.
    The answer is, terrible things happen in war zones, hence the name.

  20. Hey what do you think of this : 20 states have filed with the white house to secede.As I understand it 25 k signatures are required and then the President is required to respond. Texas has met that number. Obama is a smart guy and so I believe he must read The Maha Blog I hope he will see this before making a hasty choice. Also I hope my fellow blue state friends will keep an open mind and at least think about this.

    I don’t make the news here I am just reporting it..but I think we all know that most of our “government hand outs” are going to the very red states who want to secede. On top of that they drag down the progress of this nation at every turn leaving us behind on the world stage. And listen I could go on with more reasons , each with equal merit and I am sure you can add some of your own. Now we find ourselves on the fiscal cliff. We would not be on it if we just dumped the dead weight who didn’t want to be “united” with America anymore anyhow. Lets not only allow them to leave , but lets all do our part to educate them about “voluntary deportation”.

    Listen, THIS has taught me a lesson, opened my eyes and changed my mind on how I feel about immigration. I was not near as cruel and heartless as the right on the issue but not nearly as sold on it as my friends on the left..but this makes me realize the Hispanic community WANTS to build something with us in this great country .. the states trying to secede only want to destroy and tear this country down and I have been WRONG in my views. All along it was someone else who needed to be shown to the border and have a fence shut behind them.So the rest of us can get on with the business of building something without the dead weight dragging us down.

    I was struck by how many of the states listed call for FEMA when their states are hit. How all of them take federal funds for education and infrastructure and how not one of those people who signed have a clue about what the federal Government means to their lives… Plus think of the elections a REAL moderate against a REAL liberal either way we get progress!

    So Dear Mr.President , please say yes and let em go. Cut their states funding starting today and take that to the fiscal cliff and watch it vanish. There are the cuts you need to satisfy the right. We have 4 years to play catch up , move forward and we can’t tolerate anyone holding us down from progress. Frankly , if they refuse to take part in the solution they are the problem. We have great strides to make and we can’t if we don’t stride in unison. One more sales pitch.. they would be required to take karl rove with them.? Anyone?

  21. 20 states have filed with the white house to secede.

    Wow… I didn’t know that! From Huffington Post:

    Residents in more than 25 states have filed secession petitions — like the one from Micah H. (no last name provided) of Arlington, Texas — in recent days. Petitions require at least 25,000 signatures in a 30 day period to qualify for review. The White House website explains: “If a petition meets the signature threshold, it will be reviewed by the Administration and we will issue a response.”

    “Micah H.” Huh. Got a first name from the Old Testament? Unable to spell your own last name? Then you must’ve been homeschooled!

    Anyhoo, it’s hard to think of a bigger waste of the president’s time than to be nibbled on by ducks. Which is what this “secession” nonsense seems to me. It is fun, though, to imagine the White House’s response.

  22. Obama isn’t radical enough to get the ball rolling on letting these states secede, but I wish he was. The trend is for nation states to break up (see the Soviet Union for an example), and I’m with you justme, very tired of these regressives holding the rest of us back.

  23. “20 states have filed with the white house to secede”

    This dribble is all over the wing-nut blogs, it is pure crap. It means that one thousand teabaggers in each state got together and signed a petition? Wow thats a story?

    This whole Petreaus thing hopefully will finally convince the president to stop appointing wing-nuts to high level positions, they cannot be trusted.

  24. “Hey what do you think of this : 20 states have filed with the white house to secede.”

    It is a tempting fantasy isn’t it? Sometimes it feels like being joined at the hip with a Neanderthal, or as justme277 wrote before, a bad marriage.

    The problems I have with it is, I live in NC, which is increasingly purple, but still has a healthy share of Neo-Confederates, Noble Causers and teabirchers. I might wind up in the wrong country.

    If it were possible, it seems that we would eventually end up in an infernal pas de deux like the Koreas. The red states would probably devolve into a depleted state like North Korea.

    Now, I suppose it’s time to say, of course, this is total conjecture and probably just a product of my bias, but I still would move to the Blue part of the country ASAFP.

  25. The ‘scandal’ keeps getting weirder. Now they are saying that there is a ton of “inappropriate” email between the woman who contacted the FBI and another general, General Allen, who commands in Afghanistan? Wha? Did she really not think that having the FBI look into her emails would turn that stuff up? Or is that stuff really nothing, but being blown out of proportion? (The FBI is talking about an incredible number of “pages”, which is a weird measure for email.) And the original FBI agent had a thing for Kelley, and was also a GOP conspiracy nut?

    Somehow I feel like I’ve fallen into a commercial for a new ABC drama series, Desperate Generals, or something. Is Sondra Rhimes writing this story?

  26. biggerbox,
    “Desperate Generals!” ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Too bad “Afghan Shore” wouldn’t work.

  27. My father-in-law was a flag rank naval intelligence officer. He died twelve years ago, but he lived with us for a few years after he retired from the military. I got some understanding(?) of military culture over our nightly brandies. He was a product of the days when the model of the professional soldier with a strict code of ethics clearly ruled over the model of the “warrior”. He, and officers of his type took the gentleman part of “officer and a gentleman” VERY seriously. I am pretty sure I remember him telling me that for an officer, adultery is considered a crime and he or she can face a court martial for it. There is no wiggle room.

    He was expected to conduct his life in such a manner that there was no possibility of coercion or blackmail being used against him, and he did. I have known a lot of honest and ethical people, but he was the most strictly ethical person I have ever met. I believe that he would feel that any high ranking officer who committed adultery had betrayed the trust of his country and the trust of his fellows.

    This may seem correct, but extreme to many of us. But, it was a way of life to him and he took it and the rest of his ethical obligations as seriously as it was possible to take them. It was his bond to his country and the men and women serving in the US Navy.

    I also recall fondly that he could outdrink me, which is not very easy to do.

  28. And the original FBI agent had a thing for Kelley, and was also a GOP conspiracy nut

    OK, that’s new to me. And here I was still pondering how anyone can generate 20,000 to 30,000 smutty emails. Yikes. There just ain’t that much variety in the human anatomy.

    This Kelley woman, does she roll around in lady-badger pheromones or something? Because she seems to inspire a very unhealthy mix of lust and aggression in other people. And it’s making her stupid besides!

    If this mess starts taking up too much of government’s time (lookin’ at you, Walternate) I will start to get angry, but until then, pass the pretzels, thanks!

  29. @goatherd – Eric’s produced a well-written essay explaining the facts to people who are probably smart enough to start to grasp the reality of what he’s saying; the problem is the millions of wingnuts who think we’re all moochers, and whose reading comprehension would never make it past the first two sentences.

    I’m reminded of a story I saw on DailyKos some years ago. It described post-war Germany, when the Allies were running the cities, the utilities, etc – in other words providing the basic services to keep the devastated civilian population fed and clothed and warm. By this time, Hitler and his henchmen (the people at the top) were either dead or had disappeared. And yet, there were still those German civilians who still believed in Nazism, who still had a picture of the Fuhrer hanging in their living room. The point is, it wasn’t Hitler or his top associates you had to fear, it was the neighbor next door who still believed in Hitler’s dream.

    Likewise, the top people in the GOP are starting to figure out what happened, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see an essay like Eric’s emanating from some bright light in their quarter. But what do you do with the millions of wingnuts who have been trained to focus their hate in a particular direction, via the simple minded messages they’ve been sucking down for years? Rush Limbaugh isn’t going to change his tune any day soon (another theme maha wrote about earlier).

  30. I suspect the the soap opera like web of intrigue involving others that captures the fascination of many. So now there’s another woman, an FBI agent with a peculiar world view, an innocent and now angry wife (cuckoldess? there should be a word), and a President who maybe should have known but might not have against the backdrop of an election. This roadside carnage gawking is driven by the same morbid curiosity that keeps us turning pages in a fiction thriller. I’m thinking overacted telenovela here…el abismo de pasion.

    If only people would engage their minds in areas of commensurate complexity and with as many moving parts like the economy we might find a way out of some pressing problems. But that’s hard cold reality. There are answers one has to earn by heavy lifting and which can prove one wrong…making it no fun at all.

    Then as long as this latest shiny thing has captured the attention of so many why not use it as a club with which to bludgeon the President. See? There’s something in it for everyone.

  31. This Kelley woman, does she roll around in lady-badger pheromones or something? Because she seems to inspire a very unhealthy mix of lust and aggression in other people. And it’s making her stupid besides!

    Only a woman would have that sort of insight into another woman. She’s alpha-cat cougar-MILF. There should be someone assigned to stick tight to poor little generals who get downwind from these vixens. They can stand down armies but are powerless in the face of those pheremones. Bottle that stuff, spread it with drones and the war is over.

    She brings to mind Wendie Malick who played cougar Nina Van Horn(y?) of Blush magazine in the old Just Shoot Me series with David Spade.Luckily, Nina had no children.

  32. I’m a moderate but always seem to be “awaiting moderation”. I’m for moderation in all things, even moderation occasionally. Why must I wait? LOL.

  33. I think Gen Allen might have some semen stains on his key board. I hear that the experience of cybering can be just as intense as the real thing providing you’re a good one handed typist.

    Really, we’re paying for this over decorated clown to send 30,000 e-mails to some Kardasian wannabe when a trip to the latrine with a playboy magazine could accomplish the same goal for a lot less money. No wonder why we’re getting our asses kicked in Afghanistan. It’s no Semper Fi for old Allen…more like Semper Erectus for the old horndog.

  34. From moonbat:
    “But what do you do with the millions of wingnuts who have been trained to focus their hate in a particular direction, via the simple minded messages they’ve been sucking down for years? Rush Limbaugh isn’t going to change his tune any day soon”

    I guess the only thing we can do is to try to outlive them. One of my right wing facebook friends who was in our senior year of high school, my best friend, has recovered enough from his post election depression to start posting various crap from right wing sites. Let’s just say, he likes guns a lot. He posted an article on “Agenda 21” from Glen Beck’s site. I took a look and then visited the UN site for the other side. I soon saw that my intention was futile. We’re at a point where people’s minds are so twisted by fear and hatred that a rational argument means nothing. We aren’t speaking the same language anymore. When we say “sustainable use” they hear “world domination”
    “social justice”, means “COMMUNISM!”. Maybe, I have some toxicity in the opposite direction, but at least I am prepared to accept the possibility that I may be mistaken about something. When the meaning of words has become a matter of ideology and their mere mention produces an avalanche of rancor, the concept of rational discourse is relegated to the realms of fantasy.

    Many of my acquaintances spend their lives in a continual state of outrage. Their outrage is so integral to their self image that it has become their identity. When they launch an absurdly paranoid narrative, they see it as the insight of a keen intellect. Any response is seen as hostile. I don’t think there is any quick fix for this and maybe, no fix at all. I am just grateful not to be one of them.

    As for post WWII Europe, there was the “stay behind” contingent and the “Gladio” project. Well, maybe there were, maybe it’s just more paranoia. But, it makes a good story, possibly a true one.

  35. Goatherd, I have a friend exactly like that. He “informed” me of agenda 21 about a week ago. I looked it up and thought “sustainability” is a good thing.
    Glen Beck is doing far more damage to people than he can imagine.
    My friend is 72; he gets V.A. benefits, Social Security, Medicare, and has several properties that he rents out through section 8. All that and he hates people who are sucking off the government.
    About 2 years ago, he moved from Key Largo to the wilds of Marion Co. Fl. because he was afraid the coming food riots in Miami would block his “escape route”. He bought a year’s supply of freeze dried food, an AK-47, started stockpiling ammunition, buying gold and silver, and transfered his banking to the Cayman Is.
    I told him he is “overreacting”, but to no avail. His wife is at wit’s end.
    The problem started with Glen Beck and my friend’s past affiliation with the John Birch Soceity (plus the wack-o’s he’s met online).
    I think he is basically a good person, but he has been scared stupid, PLUS he was involved in some pretty creepy stuff ( late 50’s)in Cuba while he was in the USN working with SEALS.
    I got a ledtter from him a couple of days ago expressing his anger and disgust at Obama’s re-election. It’s gonna be a tough 4 years for him.

  36. Barbara, she is pretty smart and about 16 years younger than him. I’m sure she has an escape plan in place. I think ALL women do.

  37. I guess the only thing we can do is to try to outlive them.

    Wingnuts are perennials… They’re growing as we speak.

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