ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on November 11th, 2012 at 7:38 am

Is General David Petraeus the Tiger Woods of the US Military?

» by in: US Military

That is the way I am beginning to view Petraeus after reading this New York Times article:

General Petraeus with his wife Holly.

The F.B.I. investigation that led to the sudden resignation of David H. Petraeus as C.I.A. director on Friday began with a complaint several months ago about “harassing” e-mails sent by Paula Broadwell, Mr. Petraeus’s biographer, to another woman who knows both of them, two government officials briefed on the case said Saturday.

When F.B.I. agents following up on the complaint began to examine Ms. Broadwell’s e-mails, they discovered exchanges between her and Mr. Petraeus that revealed that they were having an affair, said several officials who spoke of the investigation on the condition of anonymity. They also discovered that Ms. Broadwell possessed certain classified information, one official said, but apparently concluded that it was probably not Mr. Petraeus who had given it to her and that there had been no major breach of security. No leak charges are expected to be filed as a result of the investigation.

The identity of the woman who complained about the harassing messages from Ms. Broadwell has not been disclosed. She was not a family member or in the government, the officials said, and the nature of her relationship with Mr. Petraeus was not immediately known. But they said the two women seemed be competing for Mr. Petraeus’s loyalty, if not his affection.  [NY Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but I am beginning to think that Petraeus resigned not only because of the affair with Broadwell, but maybe the fear that other affairs he had over the years may come to light that would greatly diminish him?  If so his fall from grace would be very similar to Tiger Woods who also was at the top of his game and had a very carefully crafted image before his affairs were exposed.

Something else of interest in the article is that the Justice Department knew about this affair at least a few weeks before the election and did not inform the White House until election night.  In fact supposedly one FBI whistle-blower contacted Congressman Eric Cantor in late October and told him about the affair and his fear that national security was being compromised.  It seems like something like this involving the CIA Director should have gone to the President sooner, but I am actually surprised that the information about Petraeus wasn’t leaked to the media considering how many people in the Justice Department and Congress knew of the affair.

Another article I found of interest was this Washington Post article that interviewed some of Petraeus’ past staff members about Broadwell:

Her trips were not without controversy. Aides were stunned by the close access that Broadwell was granted — and that she occasionally flaunted. At the same time, some were unimpressed by her reporting style and thin journalistic résumé.

“Her credentials didn’t add up,” said a former Petraeus staff member who was interviewed a number of times by Broadwell. “I was underwhelmed. It was surprising to me that she was his official biographer.”

Peter Mansoor, a former executive officer on Petraeus’s staff, said he thought the general’s uncharacteristic confidence in an untested writer was “strange.”

“My gosh, if you are going to have someone interview everyone who has ever touched you in your life, choose someone who has written a biography or at least a history book,” he said in an interview Saturday.  [Washington Post]

You can read the rest at the link, but apparently Broadwell had to be talk to by a Petraeus staffer to dress down in Afghanistan because she had this habit of wearing tight fitting clothes that irked Afghan sensibilities.  Judging by her appearance on the Daily Show promoting her book earlier this year this is easy to believe.

Something else I find interesting about this whole story is that Petraeus’ son Stephen Petraeus served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Afghanistan which is the same unit that was commanded by the now disgraced Colonel James Johnson who had his own affair.  I can only imagine the talks Petraeus had with his son about Johnson considering that he had his own secret mistress he was hiding.

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  • Sonagi
    8:48 am on November 11th, 2012 1

    Petraeus = Tiger Woods?

    Get real. Lots of married successful men use their status to enjoy extramarital sex with willing younger partners. Nothing to see here, folks. Though much younger, Paula Broadwell’s educational and professional accomplishments out her in the same social set as Petraeus. Tiger Woods’ hoes were a motley assortment of $kank$ and a Perkins waitress. A comment on a related WaPo story by a military officer alleged that Petraeus had been stepping out on his wife for years with various women, and close aides wondered when it might blow up in his face. About the only middle-aged men in Washington who exercise rigid control over their zippers are the post-Clinton occupants of the Oval Office.

  • Liz
    8:59 am on November 11th, 2012 2

    TIger Woods didn’t enact disciplinary action for such offenses during his golf career so it’s much worse in the case of Petraeus. This diminishes him.

  • Sonagi
    9:26 am on November 11th, 2012 3

    Good point, Liz. Unfortunately a fair number of commenters on media threads seem to be giving Petraeus a pass, by placing blame on the conniving young woman who got her hooks into him. The co-existence of a second mistress should quash any assumptions that Petraeus was faithful until secluded by Broadwell.

  • JoeC
    9:52 am on November 11th, 2012 4

    If you go to and read reviews of her book, they seem to generally categorize into two groups. Comments by some well known names who seem to have not actually read the book or have read it superficially and are mostly offering praise for the subject of the book than the book itself. Then there are are reviews from folks who actually read the book which are less flattering. Comments like, “Paula is obviously a fan and didn’t have any objectivity in the book.” Mind you these comments were written long before anyone knew of the relationship she had with her subject.

    Then, if you look at her Twitters, it’s filled with trite, worn out sayings of the type often used by unimaginative motivational and so-called leadership experts I’ve had to endure listening to too often when I was in the military.

    Needless to say, I won’t be interested in reading anything she has written in the past or writes in the future.

  • Sonagi
    10:13 am on November 11th, 2012 5

    secluded = seduced

  • Glans
    10:40 am on November 11th, 2012 6

    Sonagi, you also had a little problem in your first comment. You said Ms Broadwell’s accomplishments “out” her. In another thread, which I can’t find right now, a commenter used mistakes like that to prove that Teadrinker ain’t too bright. I’d hate to see that happen to you.

  • Jimmy Gilliam
    10:48 am on November 11th, 2012 7

    It appears to be just another political general that did not think or care about the ramifications of his actions. But it also makes one wonder about the reasons for such a quick resignation. It’s too late to protect his family if they didn’t already know.

  • Glans
    11:10 am on November 11th, 2012 8

    ROK Droppers always like to consider an issue from various points of view. Juan Cole says the real problem with Petraeus was not his private life, but that he shouldn’t have been appointed to direct the CIA, where he would be asked to evaluate the success of his own counter-insurgency effort in Afghanistan.

  • JohnB
    12:21 pm on November 11th, 2012 9

    My memory isn’t especially clear and Google isn’t very helpful, but I could swear that when Broadwell pitched her book on COLBERT REPORT, he made a brief reference to rumors that she was his mistress.

  • Robin Mitchell
    1:38 pm on November 11th, 2012 10

    Petraeus didn’t invent the surge. Look back to Time and Newsweek circa 2004. LTG John Vines invented it. Bush promised him 10,000 advisors and 18 months to rebuild Iraq. He got less then 500 and IIRC 10 months. Retired for health resons after a fight with Bush over soldiers under him putting VINES as their religion on their dog tags. Those serving under Vines are extremely loyal to the man. One 57 year old in the next room would still fight for him.

    Bush’s ego couldn’t take the troops not being in awe of him and Vines retired. He later said “Petreuas will always bring the dead dog to your door”.

    I guess all that brown nosing while the warriors fought wasn’t only with upper male superiors. He gave equal time putting his nose up some female butts as well. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

  • Sonagi
    2:00 pm on November 11th, 2012 11

    I’m sloppy with the iPad keyboard, Glans, and frankly, I don’t give a shit if some commenter wants to use typos as evidence of low intelligence.

  • Setnaffa
    2:20 pm on November 11th, 2012 12

    Sonagi is every bit as strong a journalist as Broadwell… And she’s not an Apple zombie, no matter what you’ve heard others say. She bought the ipad for the monthly feature set, not because it’s cool. :mrgreen:

  • Sonagi
    2:35 pm on November 11th, 2012 13

    I bought my first iPhone and iPad this year because I am a late adopter and wanted my first smartphone and first tablet to be intuitive. I checked out other people’s phones and tablets before making a choice, i did not think about the ongoing war between Apple lovers and haters nor did I consider the life and career of Steve Jobs,

  • Setnaffa
    4:30 pm on November 11th, 2012 14

    “I…wanted my first smartphone and first tablet to be intuitive.”

    That makes sense if you’re a Mac user, less if you use Windows or Linux; but it still binds you to only Apple hardware, software, and culture. And you spent a lot more money. So business must be good. Congratulations!

    It’s an understandable choice, given the circles you apparently travel in, so no apologies or explanations are necessary. Just be careful about your surroundings. Not that there’s violence in Korea; but…




  • Hume's Bastard
    5:58 pm on November 11th, 2012 15

    The personalities involved in this case are swamping the issues. There’s a risk of turning Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley into the “other women” and the whole investigation descending into a tawdry collection of innuendo. Broadwell’s relationship with Petraeus highlights the problems with embedding journalists with serving units in the field, and even if Broadwell had the proper credentials for her access. Also, this fixation of personality conveniently distracts from the understandable, yet still risible tendency for Americans to deify military leaders. My fears here are, that Petraeus’ actions as a soldier and commander will remain unexamined, and that the organizational culture of the CIA will remain opaque, just as it prefers it.

  • Kingkitty
    5:11 am on November 12th, 2012 16

    But how could this be?  He not a professional golfer and his name is not Tiger…Confused

  • The Sanity Inspector
    5:19 pm on November 12th, 2012 17

    Yes, he is the CIA’s Tiger Woods.  Tiger was much more off-the-leash in his debauchery.  But Petraeus’ job is exponentially more important, so the potential for bad ju-ju is much greater.

  • Kingkitty
    1:52 am on November 13th, 2012 18

    Where are the other 15 comments?

  • OakSeed
    6:05 pm on November 14th, 2012 19

    It wasn’t Petraeus’s fault. It was that good looking’ lady and her propinquity. Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network explains on Youtube.


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