One could say that MoveOn.org proved prophetic when it spun General David H. Petraeus’ name into General Betray Us back in 2007. MoveOn.org’s New York Times ad claimed that Petraeus was skewing reports from Iraq in regards to the success of the surge. The salacious ad created instant controversy even though the claims it made were without merit.
Five years later, Petraeus has stepped down as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency after an FBI investigation uncovered an extramarital affair, once again making the moniker General Betray Us more appropriate than ever. Even worse, the investigation has spread to now involve General John Allen, who replaced Petraeus as the Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.
The full extent of the scandal is still unknown. What we do know is that the nation’s intelligence boss and the top commander in the Middle East were embroiled a soap opera that centers on a Tampa socialite and biographer Paula Broadwell. Sadly, infidelity is nothing new with high profile and powerful individuals, but this scandal involves men who are charged with keeping America safe and secure.
Earlier this year, the Secret Service was embroiled in an overseas prostitution scandal. During that ordeal, Senator Chuck Grassley told reporters, “We’re looking at something that is very, very serious when national security might not be protected properly. Who knows who might be using prostitutes? The Russians are famous for that to get information out of us.”
The women involved in the Petraeus and Allen scandal are not prostitutes, but the men involved are privy to the nation’s most sensitive information. While Grassley’s comments during the Secret Service inquiry brought chuckles from some, the point he makes is valid. When men who occupy positions of importance involve themselves in extramarital affairs, they put more than just their personal lives at risk.
Americans deserve answers, but they also deserve leaders who truly put their country first. That’s not too much to ask for in the people who fill the positions that Petraeus and Allen occupied.
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