Thursday, November 15, 2012

General Petraeus -Too Many Questions

The Washington Post ran an opinion piece entitled: "Get Petraeus back to work. He betrayed his wife, not his country". It's a good article with a logical argument that the General's actions did not rise to the point where he should be forced to leave his post and that his actions were of a private nature and did not affect his service to his country.

I'm a person who believes that, as humans, we are all subject to making bad (sometimes very bad) choices when it comes to our private sex lives. We have seen it played out over and over in history. Literally too many times to count. But those mistakes are often separate from our professional lives and, while they often reflect a lack of judgment, they should be viewed in that light. If a person involved in such mistakes recognizes the bad behavior, admits it openly and takes steps to correct it, they should be given the opportunity to do so. I try to judge a person by their professional behavior, not their personal choices whenever it's possible to separate the two.

In the case of General Petraeus, there is no escaping the fact that he has spent the better part of four decades serving our country honorably and effectively -that must play a major part of the equation when deciding the best course -not for him, but for our country.

Having said that, I am not in favor of his continued service to the country at this time. He played a key role in the Benghazi debacle. As head of the CIA, he bears a large responsibility for the lack of preparedness and security at the time of the attack. During the attack, the President claims to have given orders to take steps to protect our people. Those orders ere obviously not carried out. Why? Did General Petraeus get and then delay or not carry out those orders? And even if he didn't get those orders, why did he not issue the same orders himself?

Following the attack, why did General Petraeus, as head of the CIA, go to Congress to brief them on what happened and at that briefing try to tell them that this was a spontaneous demonstration over that stupid video -when he knew for a fact that his own people at the CIA were saying it was an organized and well planned terrorist attack?

For me, the problem with having the General return to public service is not this affair he had with the journalist -it is his role in the attack and the actions by the Administration following it. There are far too many questions that need answering and until we have them, I hope he enjoys his retirement and is successful in mending his bridges with his family.

Live Long and Prosper...

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