Spyfall, or how to take down a four-star general

This weekend, the top-grossing distraction from the impending fiscal cliff was the extra-marital affair between the US’s top spy and a woman named Paula Broadchest…I mean…Broadwell.

His name is Patraeus, David Patraeus. He had the nation’s highest security clearance, but above all he was an embedded lady killer.

Kidding aside, I was initially flummoxed about why anyone should care or why any respectable news outlet was deigning to cover the story. Which got me thinking…

When is it okay to cheat on your wife? Or, more importantly, what kind of job do you have to have where cheating on your wife will lead to an FBI investigation?

As far as I can tell, you can be President while having an affair (Clinton), but you can’t run for President while having a tryst (Hart, Edwards). You can hire a prostitute if you’re a Republican senator (Vitter), but not if you’re a Democratic governor (Spitzer). And, as we now know, you can’t be the director of the CIA and have an affair (Petraeus).

In trying to figure out why the Petraeus Affair is such a career-limiting move, it finally dawned on me: Of course you can’t be the director of the CIA if you can’t even keep your own affair a secret! Oh, and it’s also probably not a good idea to be in a position to be blackmailed by a scorned lover.

The FBI determined pretty quickly that the Petraeus Affair didn’t lead to a breach in national security. So, no harm, no foul, except towards his wife, right?

Nope.

Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is accusing the FBI of not sharing the scoop with Congress quickly enough. She wanted to know right away about this “potential security breach that wasn’t a breach and just a dude getting laid by a woman who wrote a book on how great the dude was.”

More importantly, now that the FBI has disclosed the Petraeus Affair, we might be deprived of Petraeus’s testimony on the Benghazi attacks. And the attacks are something we really should know about! Unfortunately, the recently resigned Petraeus will probably avoid testifying before Congress on Benghazi as a private citizen. I’m pretty sure Congress will find a way to compel Petraeus to testify eventually, but his testimony about attacks on our country will no doubt be delayed as we listen to the story about his extra-marital affairs. (Who sets the priorities around here?)

Sadly, America has been deprived of the work of a four-star general who was pretty good at his job because he had an affair. I’d like to stick my middle finger up at good ol’ American Puritanism. You can be a killing machine, responsible for the death of untold numbers of civilians, but don’t you dare betray your devoted wife.

And on that note…Happy Veteran’s Day.

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