Everybody makes mistakes, but Petraeus will never recover
Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Updated: Sunday, November 11, 2012 15:11
In a week highlighted by the reelection of President Barack Obama and hurricane relief efforts on the East Coast, news of CIA Director David H. Petraeus’ resignation fell to many deaf ears.
Petraeus announced his resignation in the wake of an extramarital affair he was having with his biographer, after having been married for nearly 40 years.
According to sources, Petraeus met with Obama Thursday and then resigned Friday.
Affairs are nothing new in high positions in the U.S. government; just take a look at former President Bill Clinton’s much talked about cheating with Monica Lewinsky.
Petraeus, a man whose qualifications as a military commander could have easily qualified him as a future presidential candidate, may have made serious errors that could be unforgivable.
Petraeus’ complete lack of self-discipline may have cost him more than his highly sought after position. If Petraeus told his biographer (girlfriend) confidential information, he may have committed the ultimate crime against the U.S.
It is unclear whether Petraeus divulged any confidential information to his mistress.
Military secrets may have slipped out of Petraeus’ mouth, along with the words “off the record.”
Petraeus’ affair not only hurt himself but the ever-decreasing positive image of the U.S. government.
According to Politico.com, the U.S. government has an approval rating of only 17 percent.
Petraeus’ affair will only hurt this rating.
One would think as CIA Director, the premier position in the world’s greatest intelligence agency, Petraeus would’ve exhibited more self-discipline.
Turns out he didn’t, and it shows.
Defense for Petraeus has sprung up in the most unlikely of places, from recently reelected Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Feinstein said early Sunday that she would investigate the FBI’s handling of the Petraeus case.
It was the FBI that first uncovered the affair, through a separate investigation of Petraeus’ biographer.
The methods by which the FBI found out about the affair have gained widespread criticism.
Regardless, Petraeus should have resigned and probably come out earlier about his compromised judgment.
After a long career as a four-star general and Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, Petraeus’ career should not be entirely defined by this affair.
It is true that humans make mistakes everyday, yet the public seems to hold high-ranking officials to a higher standard.
Rightfully so, as the president shouldn’t be able to cheat on his wife or lie about his tax returns, as it would set a bad example for everyone.
Call it right, wrong or indifferent, but high-ranking officials should be held to a higher standard.
On a lighter note, I can’t wait to buy Petraeus’ new biography. I’m sure it will be quite an “intimate” look at his life.
Shane Newell is a sophomore journalism major and an assistant city editor for the Daily 49er.