Did Petraeus do the right thing by resigning?

Citing an extramarital affair, CIA Director David Petraeus resigned his post. Today’s Question: Did CIA Director David Petraeus do the right thing when he resigned?

  • Kurt

    Oh, Oh, I know this one. It depends on what the meaning of “is” is. And seriously, yes.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Yes. The only reason there’s any question is because of folks trying to gin up conspiracy theories about the Benghazi incident. Petraeus is an honorable man who’s taking responsibility for his mistake. We need more of that.

    And this mistake was a big one. One tragic aspect of this sordid affair is that his paramour was his biographer. By getting emotionally involved with her subject, she has shredded her credibility and probably ruined her career, too.

    That said, none of this detracts from the good things either of them has done in the past.

  • Carrie Gilmer

    At first it seemed there had been some honor and responsibility shown in his coming forward and resigning without excuse…then we learn it was all about to come out into the public. So, he got caught. The apparent mental instability and jealousy of the woman he had the affair with is a prime example of why affairs in intelligence positions ( never mind THE top intelligence position in THE WORLD) can pose a risk to national security. If he saw no signs of her behavior being a risk…that demonstrates he was in too deep to make appropriate judgement calls any longer. He was excellent up to that point, but past behavior does not wipe away present. If i kept the law for 40 years but i break it now….well, breaking it now is what we deal with. It is extremely unfortunate and i care little for the personal details. The energy, stress, and clandestine behaviors needed to carry out an affair also take away from job performance…and it is also a distraction for the agency. thankyou for your service General, but you are done now. go home and try and fix your family.

  • Emery

    In the world of intelligence, extramarital affairs are dangerous because they create the obvious potential for blackmail. If some foreign intel service found out that a mid-level intelligence analyst or operative was cheating, they might be able to extract sensitive information by threatening to disclose the indiscretion.

    Obviously, if the director were caught in a similar indiscretion but remained in his post, it would send exactly the wrong message to the rest of the organization. Petraeus clearly understood that, which is why he was correct to submit his resignation.

    There should be no real mystery why Petraeus felt he had to step down, or why Obama ultimately agreed.

  • suzie

    Yes, he was right to tuck his tail and leave. He betrayed his office, the country and expecially his wife and family and the husband and family of the woman he “slept” with. She betrayed her country, her husband and family and wife and family of Petraeus.

    ps – who paid her salary and travel expenses all this time???? I mean, is this yet another affair funded by the tax payer?

  • Rich

    Maybe Petraeus and Wolfowitz can start a paramour-management business.

  • Pat

    Bush’s fault.

  • Bill

    Within this distortion we call America along with it$ “values”, of course he did the “right” thing. The “affair” is a symptom of a sick society, one that has avoided/suppressed acknowledgement of its natural polyamorous and egalitarian expression.

    The Counter-Intelligence-Agency needs to do what?

  • Gary F

    I’m still wondering why this happened now and why not before the election?

    And, how does all this mix in with “Benghazi-gate”?

  • Jockamo

    Why should Petraeus have to resign?

    We have an ultra liberal society and government. And liberal policy says that everything is equal…..

    Being faithful to one’s spouse is exactly the same as being unfaithful to one’s spouse.

    Being whacked on weed is exactly the same as being non-whacked.

    Spending the Taxpayers money in irresponsible, leviathan quantities is exactly the same as spending like an intelligent person.

    Ill-informed votes are exactly the same as well-informed votes.

    Lies are exactly the same as the truth.

    Stealing the middle class’s money is just exactly the same as preserving the middle class’s money.

    Anyone from the hood chosen at random could be CEO of General Electric and run it exactly the same as a competent CEO would.

    So, there is no reason for him to resign, in a liberal world.

    ……….Oh, wait…………

    Petraeus is white? And Male? A White Male?

    And he hurt the feelings of Women?

    Well, now, that changes everything.

    Off with his head!!!!!!


  • Craig

    I agree with Emery’s point on blackmail. But absent the blackmail angle, it seems this story reveals no flaw pertinent to his role. American society shoots itself in the foot with a prurient interest in these things; sacrificing capable leaders for a brief frisson with our morning coffee. We benefit from the accomplishments of great people, and we should be mature enough to understand the correlation between the desire for greatness and other desires. An acknowledgement of this reality would obviate the blackmailer’s leverage and allow us to keep the best people in place.

  • samuel

    Don’t think the public or media know nearly enough to make a judgment. Most people I know have the sense there’s a lot behind this we can’t grasp for lack of information, and I’m fine with that.

    Sex gets a little convoluted when considering the CIA and security risk, not to mention when considering politics and the fact that Petraeus was an up and coming presidential candidate.

    Republicans have politicized sex though, so they may find themselves in the position of having to drink their own Koolaid once exposed as sex perps (although we never saw Gingrich fall on his own sword when he was exposed as an extra-marital sex perp).

    As a concept, and going back a generation or more, I’d say JFK should have been disqualified from service long before he got to the Senate, for his sexual exploits with East Block spies, gangster wives, prostitutes and so on (well documented in Seymour Hersh’s “The Dark Side of Camelot”). So Repubs have a point, they may just not have the proper calibration of their point. Of course Monica-gate was a travesty of a political vendetta; it had little to do with the integrity of the White House. Just a sweet affair while the wife was alienated from hubby. (I heard Bush I was quite angry that his female helper wasn’t paid for on a trip to Asia…. Is Jeb taking all this in?)

    Maybe it will get so bad, that men won’t be able to run for office due to their common practice, and women will take over politics. Of course the women must hue to the same standard as well. Hah! Fat chance that. Ms Homecoming Queen Harvard Grad Physical Fitness Champion native Bismarkian over achiever Biographer Brown Noser Mother of Two Radiologist Wife has proven that.

    I wonder what Mitch Mcconnell is thinking about this. That guy gives me shivers.

  • Rich

    While Sun Tzu wrote, “All war is deception” being a credible leader is not about deceiving those who are most dependent upon your word – your family, your subordinates and your seniors. What does Petraeus’ actions “when no one is watching” reveal about him?

    For now Mr. Petraeus needs to reflect on the dissonance between what he wanted people to think of him and what he was. I’m confident he’ll come back into public life in some manner. For now, however, he should ponder how he got to a place where he was intellectually comfortable with ignoring the fact that he, like each of us, must remain vigilant and work hard to remain worthy of other men’s esteem.

  • Magnified Ant

    The timing is very suspect. We will never know the truth surrounding this, so rendering an opinion on these events is irrelevant.

    One is never aware of the frequent spontaneous combustion of ants until one studies them closely under a magnifying glass.

  • Jim G

    Yes. Despite accomplishments and acclaim all everyone of us has at the end of each day is our integrity. Petraeus’ extramarital affair has shown us again that integrity is hard won and easily lost. It’s tragic, but illustrates that no matter who you are, the seeds to our own destruction often grow from within.

  • Steve the Cynic

    There’s nothing suspicious at all about the timing of this. If it had been revealed on Monday (before the election), that would have been suspicious. Liberals would have thought it was timed to do damage right before the election, and conservatives would have thought liberals timed it to discredit a war hero (“How unpatriotic!”). This revelation is clearly not going to keep Congress from interogating him about the Benghazi incident, so if it was part of a vast plot to cover something up, it’s not working.

  • kim

    If he did what he says he did, yes, because of the security implications. I’m a bit surprised at the WAY he resigned. He could have done it in a way that was quieter, and I think most people would have taken that route. Resigning in the very public, open way that he did, he’s convinced me that he is a person who isn’t very susceptible to blackmail. I appreciate his service and regret his departure, and wish him and his family well. What he did was wrong, but I firmly believe that only he who is without sin should cast the first stone.

  • Ann

    If his affair could have compromised security and important information, then Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky and maybe others could have done the same thing.I always wondered why this wasn’t brought up when people were discussing Clinton’s situation.Lewinsky probably could have sued for sexual harassment also since she was a young intern. It seems to me that Clinton just claimed it was a personal situation and couldn’t affect the nation. It seems that the same reasoning should apply with both Clinton and Petraeus.

  • jockamo

    Monica was paid a great many millions of dollars (taxpayer money, of course. Democrats will always use yours before they will use theirs) to keep her mouth closed.


  • JasonB

    Yes, if the affair has affected his sensibilities to the point of being detrimental to his position.

    I see an extramarital affair as the weakness of an ordinary man. Yet Petraeus is an extraordinary man. Some will say that he is only human, but that’s the excuse for the ordinary man, not someone with the talent, training, experience, and determination I assume it takes to be a five-star general running the top intelligence gathering organization in the US. I think its very appropriate to hold him to the highest standard possible, and I am baffled as to why these uber-achievers are brought down by such a relatively minor issue as temptation.

    Despite his credentials and reputation his affair makes him look as vulnerable as a teenager with a crush.

  • Lance

    Did Lawrence in Mankato hit a nerve? His comment has been removed.

  • John

    He just wanted a good lay.

    One country is involved in all of this, Israel.

    Disruption, corruption, assassination, anti-peace, pro-nuclear, anti-christian, anit-goy, pro-porn, pro-gay, pro-Zionist-media.

  • Joan

    He’s the spy boss. He betrayed his wife. He admits that.

    The real question is, did he betray his country?

    Did he do the right thing by resigning? Uh, like he should have stayed and gotten fired?

  • Jared552

    Petraeus was in Afghanistan as a General when the affair happened. Adultery is a crime in the military.

    He resigned at this time so as to avoid having to lie or fall on his sword at the Benghazi hearing.

    He now will not testify unless subpoenaed and then will say “I cannot recall” as did the BP executive, or possibly take the Fifth.

    Why? Because he sees that this as what a Man of Integrity would do.

  • lily

    Seriously everyone?

    Why should what someone does in their private life have any effect on their job? A huge percentage (about half) of all people admit to having cheated at some point in their life. That means whoever takes Petraeus’s place is likely a cheater too. It is not the government’s job to police the bedroom or relationships in general.

  • David

    Not really, but it’s alright.

    His government lied to him,

    as well as his religion.

    His wife expected him to live a lie,

    that she herself didn’t know was living.

    May love reveal the heart’s true kindness,

    may the mind give way to true wisdom.

    Maybe forgiveness of our ancient misperceptions

    will find us living each day in a new and better way.

  • Wally

    Hey Kim,

    I’ve never cheated on my wife, so I’ll cast a stone.

    How can we trust with nation’s security one who is willing to betray the most fundamental of human promises–the marital vow of fidelity?