Angels and Generals Shalt Not Commit Adultery

Watching a respected General fall from grace is disheartening.  There is no doubt General Petraeus, (ret.) inspired generations of soldiers to march proudly into battle, to become something greater than themselves, that what they were doing mattered, even as political battles raged across the ocean.  He became an Army Officer while I was a toddler, and served proudly for 37 years.  If we were to read his evaluations, we would find acts of valor and tales so amazing it would seem only a super human or a mythical Greek God could have accomplished so much – yet they would all be true.

This morning I awoke to the morning news and saw news personalities from both ends of the political spectrum embroiled in an argument about what the retired General and ex-CIA chief would say today during his testimony in a closed session in the House of Representatives.   They were discussing the Benghazi attack, and the details that still remain unknown even two months later.   As typical news anchors do, they were imagining all the possibilities; did the Gen. Petraeus know it was terrorism?  Did he tell the White House?  Did the White House know about his affair?  Did they use the affair to remove him?  Did he use the affair as an excuse to resign?  If everything is as it appears, the General was a great military hero, had a moment of imperfection, he knew he was under investigation and thus resigned?  Does this affect the story he relays at this point?

I watched the news for about five minutes, and found myself quite forlorn.   I realized if there is something untoward going on with the attack in Libya, we will never really know.  Each side of the issue will spin it their way, and the truth will be difficult to resolve.  We will have to wait until the end of life books start coming out with all the sordid details twenty years from now.  Why?  Because the one person everyone would have believed, the one who most likely is still telling the complete truth has some tarnish on his brass.

Why should leaders in government, or society in general, follow cultural moral guidelines?  Why is adultery and fraternization punishable by the UCMJ for members of the military?  Yes, the talk always returns to “Good Order and Discipline”.  I realize how fallible humans, including myself are.  I forgive those who have done me wrong and I hope that I have been forgiven as well.  No one is perfect – No one.  Perfection is beyond our reach, and yet we should keep reaching.  The reason laws exist, in many cities and states, as well as in the military, is in the hope that people will refrain from this transgression.  It erodes families; it deteriorates the fiber of our society.  Once it is known, once it is out there, it cannot be taken back.  From that point on, some people will no longer hear what is said.  If they hear it, they will not believe it.  I do not know what the outcome of the Benghazi attack will be, but I do hope the actual truth comes out.  Beyond that, I pray for the families of General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell.  They will be ok, but it will be a long road.    

An angel, or a General, fallen from grace has a long climb back to the top. 

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7 comments

  1. Old NFO says:

    2 days for the Patraeus affair to break, 2 months for Benghazi and we still don’t know, 2 YEARS for Fast and Furious and we still don’t know… Something is NOT adding up here. Granted they did wrong and got caught, but I can’t help but wonder if this wasn’t held over his head until after the election, then the administration threw he and Broadwell under the bus.

  2. I am wondering the exact same thing…

  3. Mary mangold says:

    I understand your context but.. There’ e been plenty who got right back on the horse…. Clinton, tiger woods… Infidelity is no. Fall from grace. People still call JFK a hero. We know what he and Marilyn were up to. Getting caught and having to appear shameful us part of whatever end game is going on … Society will forgive, forget… And Susan rice will be appointed. The quiet socialist Revolution is on.

    • Mary – you speak the truth. I just read a book about JFKs secret service detail, they kept many secrets. The General will end up fine, it will be forgiven. This administration will get their way, all like you said. At this moment when we need truth, this affair is going to give the other side a leg to stand on, the benefit of doubt so to speak. We are on a slippery slope.

  4. Mary mangold says:

    Of course it was held over….

  5. IZ Safe says:

    When we were in Bosnia, we had small teams scattered all over the place…so there was little supervision. Many leaders took advantage of this and did things they were not supposed to do. They relieved (fired) several leaders including mine. I ended up taking over our team and another one…doing double duty.
    However, one very new 2nd LT stepped up and helped me out with the “admin” crap. He was trustworthy and honest. He later became my company commander. I’d do anything for that man.
    A year later in Iraq, I was put in charge of things because they knew they could trust me. If you can’t trust your leaders, there’s little hope.

  6. NavyOne says:

    I love the title of this. Nice piece of writing too!

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