The DCI David Petraeus has just admitted to an affair with his attractive biographer, Paula Broadwell, and has retired. Some weeks ago his biographer gave a speech making reference to sensitive security matters regarding the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the death of the much admired American ambassador Chris Stevens. It turns out the affair was exposed after the biographer sent a stiff warning from an anonymous account to an attractive Tampa-based "social liaison" to the military's Central Command base there. Got that? Okay. An FBI agent took a special interest in these threatening emails to her, which turned out to be not so threatening, after all... and he took his shirt off for the photos he sent to the complainant. Meanwhile, it turns out the "social liaison" had apparently exchanged some 20,000 pages of emails (presumably not double-sided, and photos would each count for one page) with General Allen of ISAF, who is sometimes based at Centcom, which oversees special operations.
The "social liaison" in question is from Jouniah, Lebanon, and is a Maronite Catholic Christian, so unlikely to be a sympathizer with Hezbollah, or al Qaeda, let alone a Quds Force sleeper. But as a social liaison she may have some sensitive home addresses of military figures. Oh, and she has a twin sister. I may be wrong, but I suspect the sister may be involved in whatever kicker, whatever spectacular next act, emerges.
When Petraeus arrived in Iraq in 2003 he famously asked "Tell me how this ends?" which became the title for Linda Robinson's book on Iraq. My initial reaction on learning all the above was "I've seen this movie and it does not end well." But now I suspect it will end in further retirements, multiple covers for People magazine, a reality show, a run for the US Senate, the further trivialization of public life, and the Gulliverizing of our security and foreign policies for some time to come.
Of course it all could have ended so differently. I'm reminded of the conclusion of the Coen Brothers' "Burn After Reading." How apropos.
Video at this LINK.
Meanwhile, William McGurn, bringing acute moral vision to wider matters, asks in the WSJ whether David Petraeus's personal troubles influenced what he said regarding Benghazi. Read the whole thing HERE.
And Richard Cohen of the Washington Post argues well that "P4" deserves his job back. Read that HERE.
Buy "Tell Me How This Ends" via Amazon HERE.