Top Menu

Follow Taylor on Twitter

CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Cites Extramarital Affair, Paula Broadwell Speculated [Update - Video]

“Of all the exceptional men and women I have worked with over the years, I can honestly say that Dave Petraeus stands out as one of our nation’s great patriots.” DNI James Clapper

BREAKING NEWSDavid Petraeus found to be human. Alert the media, because he’s been treated like a god up until now. I don’t know how the wider media will recover form this revelation. We may have to bring Dr. Phil in on this one.

It’s the bookend to the Stanley McChrystal implosion, which took down another vaunted military figure that was worshiped in his world, though for very different reasons.

I bet you Tom Ricks would like to add an addendum to his new book, stat.

Paula Broadwell has now been identified by Richard Engel on “Hardball,” as being investigation by the F.B.I., because besides having close contact with Petraeus, she may have had access to emails in her research. Broadwell is Petraeus’s biographer, writing “All In,” which required traveling with Petraeus, including in Afghanistan. [update]

Fox News Channel jumped into the TMZ – National Enquirer zone almost immediately, speculating about Benghazi and the hearings this coming week, ready to twirl off into the Twilight Zone even further until Chris Wallace quickly slapped them back into reality. To his credit, Wallace wasted no time in saying that Petraeus has earned the respect to take him at his word on his resignation.

That is absolutely correct.

Jennifer Griffin, a bit later, lauded CIA David Petraeus on air. She praised his “intense moral fiber,” adding that she got a personal note from Petraeus during her battle with cancer. Griffin is the Fox News personality that falsely reported the CIA was asked to stand down on Benghazi. The coziness of this confession, revealing a relationship beyond professional is worth noting.

One idiot male, Greg Gutfeld, on “Fox Five” said the affair would trump Benghazi and the four dead. It leaves you speechless.

Mark Halperin was brought on MSNBC to opine on the politics of it. He didn’t have much trouble stepping into the quicksand of Benghazi speculation, even though he has no expertise on the subject. Weirdly, Halperin said there shouldn’t be speculation about the timing and the election, which seems odd to me.

Mr. Petraeus was right to wait until after the election. We’ll have to wait to see if the resignation was timely. But it’s a very serious issue and much more information must be known before playing a dangerous guessing game, the speculation abounding on talk radio, cable and beyond. The only issue right now is the affair cited by Petraeus.

The position Petraeus held in the national security structure of this country demands that he not put himself or this country in a position of danger and that includes blackmail for such a personal failing, which could compromise American security. But what we continue to learn is no amount of responsibility can keep a man from indulging himself, no matter the potential consequences. He’s also holding himself to the same standard of the men and women he has led, so for that alone his integrity is intact.

Even vaunted American patriots are fallible and I can hear Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin second that from the beyond.

Putting on my Dr. Taylor relationship consultant hat…

The shock we’re hearing expressed is fairly predictable, everyone quick to talk about his military career and his service to this country. Few understand how people in power fall so far because of lure of sex, sometimes love, but always because they crave new intimacy.

The other issue is the 37-year marriage of Petraeus in an era where women’s roles have changed, as has the length we live. It provides more temptations than the beginnings of marriage anticipated, back when it was about property and children, with women having no choices but to live their lives predicated on biology.

What ’til death do us part means today demands forgiveness as primary to any agreement, otherwise the statue can rarely be met over time. We’ve been here before, powerful people and institutions brought to the ground.

John Edwards, with the help of his wife, the late Elizabeth Edwards, was willing to defraud the entire country to gain power.

Eliot Spitzer handed his enemies on Wall Street the dagger to take him down through a series of successive and stupid trysts with high priced call girls, which not only ruined his career, but allowed Wall Street crooks to get away.

Governor Mark Appalachian Trail Sanford went AWOL from his job to meet his mistress, whom he is about to marry.

That’s separate from what it means to the director of the CIA to put himself at risk like this, for the sake of sex or love, but we’ve seen similar behavior.

We’ve seen countless Republicans from Larry Craig to John Ensign to Strom Thurmond, but also including the infamous Duke Cunningham bribery and prostitution case that ensnared defense contractors, as well as the Defense Department website peep proclivities that pulled back the curtain on scandalous behavior in our national security structure.

Few could fathom William Jefferson Clinton’s consensual affair, all that he risked, especially given he was married to one of the most fabulous women in the world. I wrote about this in my book, because the risks men take to satisfy their urges is a fascinating human subject.

The heart wants what it wants and so do our loins.

But David Petraeus? Not him.

How do you stop it from happening? Walk away. The second it hits you, stop it. Refuse it. Have an agreement with your spouse or partner that when you feel a sexual tug to another human being you tell him or her. You talk about attractions. Each person in the relationship also has to make sure that sex is happening between you. There are relationships that are dead, with only friendship living, but these are rare in today’s culture and the Millennial Generation is very unlikely to experience them.

The most important thing in a modern marriage is not friendship. It’s intimacy, which can include friendship, but it’s not what it was in the 20th century, because it has to be on a deeper level. It must include honesty on a level that allows two people to talk about interactions when you’re tempted.

Secret feelings are where illicit affairs grow in power and seductiveness. The thrill of the hiding and newness, especially after a long marriage. On a business trip when no one else will know.

It’s heartbreaking for anyone, but for someone like David Petraeus the shame and dishonor he’ll feel without thinking of the media speculation will be choking. It’s just so sad for him. But the public humiliation is something Petraeus will bear, because he’s got broad soldiers.

The crushing disappointment and humiliating public disclosure for his wife is another matter. People think that women don’t have sexual egos. How wrong they are.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

28 Responses to CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Cites Extramarital Affair, Paula Broadwell Speculated [Update - Video]

  1. hc4bo November 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    I am waiting to see the woman (women?) in the middle of this scandal …

    Till then, I am enjoying the comedy on Faux concerning the power the Chicago “political mafia” possess …

    • Taylor Marsh November 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      Can you imagine the pandemonium over at TMZ and the National Enquirer trying to find her!?


      Fox News Channel is the best entertainment on cable and they’re not even trying!

      • hc4bo November 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

        Apparently, Paula Broadwell’s name is being bantered about ..

        I will NOT be surprised considering how she was speaking about him on the Daily Show appearance …

  2. Ga6thDem November 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    This is very common stuff in the military though I don’t think too many people are aware of it. It’s unlikely though at bases someone high up would be having an affair. Most of the stuff I’ve heard about is people on the rank and then there’s always the one night stands that many military people engage in during temporary duty assignments. A friend of mine in the military said NEVER marry a pilot because they are never faithful to their wives.

    What does the GOP think they are going to accomplish with another Benghazi hearing? Personally I think Madame Secretary should show up and give all those clowns a smack down.

    • Taylor Marsh November 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

      I’ve heard the same thing, Ga6thDem.

      Clinton and Rep Chaffetz, cat playing with a mouse.

  3. TPAZ November 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    “But it’s a very serious issue and much more information must be known before playing a dangerous guessing game”

    Why? Why is this a serious issue for anyone outside of his marriage? Was he compromised in any way while doing his job? FDR had a mistress; General Patton had one, too. So did Ike and JFK. We will skip listing countless others. TM, you know I love you but you are writing like a wife. I’m writing like a human being. Kicking dirt on Petraeus and calling him evil for following his heart, when he decided he was required to do so, how is this different from attacking GLBT individuals for following theirs? You’re better than this, TM. :-(

    • Cujo359 November 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      In this case, I see a problem. Petraeus’ affair was not a public one, so he could have been vulnerable to blackmail. He was running the CIA, which is a place that deals in secrets. This is a very bad combination.

      • TPAZ November 10, 2012 at 1:41 am #

        If you are the head of the CIA you don’t succumb blackmail. You have one of your CIA assets eliminate the blackmailer.

      • Taylor Marsh November 10, 2012 at 8:18 am #

        Cujo359 November 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm

        Exactly right.

      • DaGoat November 10, 2012 at 10:27 am #

        This is one of the same arguments used by the GOP to justify Bill Clinton’s impeachment. I don’t see how Clinton’s job dealt in any less secrets than Petraeus’. I agree with TPAZ the affair in and of itself should not have led to Petraeus’ resignation.

        The issue of whether Broadwell was able to access his e-mail accounts by virtue of that relationship is a separate topic and if true would probably justify the resignation.

  4. fangio November 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    I guess life isn’t as simple as ” Mad Men. ” How many women did Draper bed without his wife having a clue. It’s really amazing how all that money and/or power can’t seem to buy you some privacy. Power is of course what it’s all about, the more you have the more you want. That wife of thirty five years really doesn’t do it for you anymore. Does the director of the CIA want to be seen driving a Chevy Impala or a Maserati Gran Turismo. ” Ciao Bella! “

  5. Cujo359 November 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    Taylor, you may want to edit the last sentence of the second to last paragraph. Right now, it’s funny in a way you probably didn’t intend.

    Or did I miss the joke?

    • TPAZ November 10, 2012 at 1:44 am #

      Nope, I’m good with it.

  6. DaGoat November 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    After weeks of bizarre Obama administration responses to the Benghazi tragedy and demands that Petraeus offer explanations of what happened, this just adds another layer to the controversy. Questioning and speculation are warranted. The timing of this is very odd with Petraeus having been scheduled to testify next week. While it’s reasonable to wait for complete information to emerge this has to raise eyebrows.

    As far as the affair itself who cares, it’s between Petraeus and his wife. There is speculation that Broadwell accessed Petraeus’ e-mail accounts which of course would be a reason to can Petraeus separate from the affair.

    • Solo November 9, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

      I was waiting to see how long it would take B4 the Benghazi conspiracy theories started flowing.

  7. TPAZ November 10, 2012 at 3:06 am #

    Something smells.This woman was a West Point cadet and had previously worked for the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. She was anything but a security threat. Take a moment to think people.

    Question: Has Petraeus crossed swords with Dear Leader, lately?

    • Taylor Marsh November 10, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      The FBI has stated plainly this wasn’t about a security threat. That doesn’t, however, mean she wasn’t privy to emails that she should not have seen. Fine line, but important.

    • Solo November 10, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      Wow! You are a piece of work!

  8. TPAZ November 10, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross, and voted into office by a coalition to avert suspicion from the 1%.” TPAZ

    • secularhumanizinevoluter November 10, 2012 at 7:25 am #

      WOW! This election has REALLY ramped up the crazy!!! My advice….if anyone can buy stock in companies that manage mental health facilities do it BIG time!!!

    • jinbaltimore November 10, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      sounds right

  9. Lake Lady November 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    I remember reading a long profile of him in Vanity Fair. I wondered at the time how a marriage could endure so much sepration?

    It is sad and I really feel sorry for his wife who evidently is a well loved person in her own right for the work she does for vets.

    Older powerful men, younger adoring women. A story as old as dirt.

    I would imagine that Halperin is scrambling to secure his access with the Obama administration….I think he believed all the hype and got pretty damn cozy with the Romney ticket.I think many in the media did especially the folks at Politico. They all missed it by a mile. The access guys in the washington press all missed it. pretty funny really.

    • Betsy November 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

      As the wife of a military veteran I have seen this kind of thing going on for years. What is really strange is that the military considers infidelity a crime. But I’ve never seen where they have convicted anyone, and you know that they won’t convict a retired General. I just feel so sorry for Holly Petreaus. She didn’t deserve this at all.

      I also read where evidently he has been linked to affairs for quite sometimes. By the way, I know you all know this by now that the affair is with this Paula Broadwell and it came to light because she threatened another woman who they won’t name through email. She felt this other woman was getting too close to the General. That was really a stupid move on her part because the woman was supposedly really frightened and notified the FBI.

      The other sad thing that no one has mentioned is that Paula Broadwell is married to a radiologist and has two children. How horribly sad for them.

  10. DocP November 11, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    It’s Not the Sex. See Arthur Silber:

    • Taylor Marsh November 11, 2012 at 9:08 am #

      Skimmed that piece and it’s the dumbest thing I’ve read yet on this subject.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter November 11, 2012 at 11:20 am #


  11. secularhumanizinevoluter November 11, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Just read an article on his wife and it is just to sad for words that this incredible woman now has to go through this very public dissection of her marriage and her moronic/emotionally stunted husbands sickeningly juvenile moral bankruptcy and total lack of judgement.

  12. Betsy November 11, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Sadly, this isn’t going to go away anytime soon and Holly Petraeus certainly will have to bear the embarrassment that this is certainly going to cause her and her children. But, I for one do not think she should feel that way, I think he should bear the entire burden of this, and so should Broadwell. I think Holly and her children should hold their heads high. This is not their doing whatsoever. Broadwell and the General are the ones that took the step into a place they shouldn’t have. They may have gotten away with it for awhile but now they are paying the piper.

    What saddens me is that this was a man who was extremely capable of the job Obama gave him. Now he has let his family and the nation down because of his own selfish desires.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong