In Petraeus’ first public speech since his ouster at CIA, he apologizes for his extramarital affair that he says “caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters.” He went on to say that “I know I can never fully assuage the pain that I inflicted on those closest to me and a number of others.”
Amongst that number are the hundreds of service members whom he held to a standard of behavior and marital fidelity to which he himself could not uphold. Both sexual relations [adultery] and alcohol are prohibited under General Order #1 in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are local administrative regulations signed by the Commanding General and upheld by every commander from Theater level down to company organizational level. Every soldier, civilian and contractor is required to sign a document stating that he has read, understood and will abide by General Order #1 while in country.
David Petraeus knew about this Order. He also prosecuted soldiers and fired civilians and contractors under the provisions of this order. Even as he was breaking the order himself.
How many soldiers, civilians and contractors were prosecuted under this order while Petraeus was in command? How many lives were ruined as the General in charge dilly dallied with his female biographer?
This is one of the greater crimes of the Petraeus scandal. David Petraeus walks away free from prosecution after handing down punishments under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for the same behaviors . Men and women were court martialed, lost rank and pay, lost careers due to the swift judgments and double standards of Generals like Petraeus in their attempts to mandate a code of morality that they themselves had no intention of following.
I’ve seen it myself in my years in Afghanistan. Generals attending parties and drinking. Generals having affairs in Afghanistan right under the Headquarters Flag. Imperious Generals who tells others “do as I say, not as I do.” All the while, soldiers scurry away to dark places to enjoy each others company. Sexual intercourse goes on in bunkers and similar situations common in the war zones. I’ve walked into a bunker to have privacy on a phone call home or just to get out of the wind and rain and come upon couples in full embrace. I laughed and walked away. Had they been discovered by an Officer or NCO, the consequences would have been much higher than a published best selling autobiography and feelers for a Presidential campaign.
David Petraeus, how many lives have you ruined with your duplicity and double standards? How many careers were crushed by your brand of military “justice?”
I have no opinion on Petraeus’ adultery. That is between his wife, his children, his family and himself.
My problem is with the lives and careers that David Petraeus ruined while he was having sex with his biographer in his plush quarters as soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines were under fire and toughing it out in tents and B-huts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Before the good General ends his Apologia Tour and starts his Presidential bid, he should apologize to the men and women of the United States Military.