Share This Page

The Petraeus affair: Out of the loop

| Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

The most troubling thing about the David Petraeus affair isn't necessarily the most obvious.

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the celebrated four-star general of Iraq and Afghanistan fame, stunned the world with his Friday resignation. The decorated soldier and war tactician admitted to an affair with biographer Paula Broadwell.

The matter was exposed when Mrs. Broadwell, believing a Patraeus family friend was a competing paramour, allegedly fired off some anonymous, harassing emails. The friend, Jill Kelley, went to the FBI.

There's talk of Broadwell having access to Mr. Petraeus' personal email account. There are reports that classified information was found on Broadwell's computer. There's no talk, however, of any criminal behavior. Nonetheless, it was a compromising situation, real and potential, for the nation's top spy.

But now that all the dirty laundry has been aired, it's come to light that the FBI and Justice Department sat on the matter since late summer. The need for a “thought-through” investigation is cited.

And while we fully appreciate the need for that kind of review to sort out matters private and public, the House and Senate intelligence committees should have been informed immediately, given the initial national security implications. Justice's failure to do so should be thoroughly reviewed.

All that said, the Petraeus affair is an unfortunate ending to an otherwise stellar career.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.