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Petraeus needed to resign
November 13, 2012 - Jim Smith
"Do you agree with Gen. David Petraeus resigning as CIA director?"
That was the question asked today in The News and Sentinel daily news poll on our website, and the results were closer than I thought they'd be with about 54 percent, as of this writing, agreeing with his leaving the CIA.
Some of the comments were directly on point: The extramarital affair he admitted to having with a married woman and mother of two who wrote a book about him and was a retired Army major was not a violation of law, nor did any secret documents or classified government information pass between them, according to an FBI investigation.
So, if there was no violation of law, national security was not endangered and Patraeus no longer was subject to military code of justice, was it necessary for him to resign?
I believe it was. By having an extramarital affair the highly respected general placed himself in the crosshairs for any future attempts by foreign powers to use a beautiful, available woman to entrap him and possible gain classified information or jeopardize national security. Once the general became known as one who had sought female companionship outside his marriage, he became susceptible to potential manipulation.
He needed to resign, not for what he had done but rather for what he could be susceptible to in the future.
The general took the honorable action by tendering his resignation, and the president made the appropriate response by accepting it.
Does the affair and subsequent resignation tarnish the general's legacy? I hope not. His service to nation cannot be forgotten merely for his lack of judgment. His betrayal of his wife and family should bring discredit upon him, but that should be left to his family and not as a national issue.
Hopefully the general and his family can work through this very public humiliation.
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