49 2 mins 10 yrs

The General Petraeus Reality Show continues to delight us with low behavior in high places.  Peaches, as the General was known to his girlfriend, apparently tried to intervene in the custody battle of some woman who was related to someone in military hospitality circles.  An FBI agent investigating this nonsense sent a topless photo of himself to the woman who complained about Petraeus’s girlfriends nasty e-mails (did Anthony Weiner get a job in the FBI?) Another high-ranking apparently sent racy e-mails of his own to another player in this mess.

Maybe we should replace the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon with the Kardashian family so we can regain a little national dignity.

Here is my thought – let us put Petraeus and the sex circus in the gossip pages where they belong, and let us put the real moral question of what we are still doing in Afghanistan on the front page instead.

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49 thoughts on “A Soldier’s Thong

  1. Mahons,
    History is littered with examples of the low doings of the high and the mighty.
    No one is exempt. No one is without fault, failing or character flaw.
    So I see this situation as a cause for genuine regret; not amusement, glee or gloating.
    In the generations before msm we either didn’t know about the shenanigans of our leaders and heroes, or if we did we were bribed or threatened to keep our mouths shut.
    In the early days of mass communication they had the good sense to judge that something was perhaps “not in the public interest – especially in times of war.”
    The msm has become a monster that I fear will destroy the Western world because of its obsession with news. Not necessarily truth: news.
    There is no longer any sense of perspective, or any sense of responsibility for what is the greater good for society. The only absolute is the the peoples’ right to know.
    Like the most of us could do a better job…

    Consequently we have become slaves, addicts even, to 24/7 news sensationalism. That it begins to erode our national well being, our sense of proportion, our ability to trust, doesn’t matter. We are turning ourselves into a national soap opera, whose only goal is to titillate and entertain, and to hell with the real life consequences.
    I think America will come to regret this obsession with the truth in the form of news. As a Christian I recognise my own frailities and failings, and I am a nobody with no great responsibilities. People like General Petraeus are charged with the security of your nation. I don’t say you excuse what he has done because of his responsibilities, but I do say there had to be a better way of handling it.

  2. or why not focus on what this is designed to distract the laser sharp focus of people like you from

    4 People including a US Ambassador were killed while the State Dept, The White House Situation Room, and the Pentagon watched it live.

    The President or someone acting with authority of the President ordered rescue forces to stand down.

    The President came out the next morning and lied to the American public that this just a protest over a film that came out 6 mnths earlier. He didn’t even make a statement about a dead Ambassador until the story of the Ambassadors Death was front page news in the UK.

    Yeah look over here lets look at Afghanistan never mind the death of an ambassador and the running of guns from Libya into Syria…. sssshhhh it’s ok those muslim radicals we’re arming are our friends.

  3. “Agit8ed – you pray for him then. I find laughter more effective.”

    that’s a really sad comment.

    You can only talk that kind of drivel because people are out there laying their lives and their family life on the line defending your liberty.
    Cheap talk from a wannabe Liberal sophisticate…

  4. //In the early days of mass communication they had the good sense to judge that something was perhaps “not in the public interest – especially in times of war.”//

    Oh, nonsense. In the 19th C there were countless times when newspaper circulation figures soared as the British public rushed to read the latest news on the latest (usually sex) scandal. Try the Parness letters, the Kitty O’Shea affair and, raciest of all, Harriette Wilson.

    The difference is that men in those days were gracious lovers (Parnell wrote delightful poetry to his mistress insted of sending topless photos) and confronted the hypocrisy of the tut-tutters head on (remember Wellington’s famous remark to “Publish and be damned” about the delectable Miss Wilson).

  5. Noel,
    But as I said, in times of war people generally realised what was at stake and exercised discretion or responsibility.
    Are you saying that America and the West are not under attack and that in the absence of effective military and political leadership, the MSM is going to protect our freedom?
    Dream on, sunshine!
    And aren’t you one of the liberal twerps who believe that what a politician gets up to in his private life has no bearing on his/her ability to carry out their public role??

  6. //Are you saying that America and the West are not under attack//

    What? Last time I was in London, Paris and New York I didnt hear any bombs falling.
    You know nothing about what a military attack would look like if you think we are now sustaining one.

    //believe that what a politician gets up to in his private life has no bearing on his/her ability to carry out their public role//

    Of course I believe that. I presume (like practically everyone else, it seems), you equate scandals with sex affairs. But even if they were only that, there have been countless examples of politicans’ sex affairs being found out after their deaths (see Kennedy, Llyod George (“My Darling Pussy”, Mitterand and 100 others). If these had affected their public duties, people would have noticed some deterioration, wouldn’t then? And they didn’t.
    What do I care if my bank manager is having an affair or not.

    If you scratch the surface just a wee bit, you’ll lgenerally find little more than puritanism behind these “scandals”. Once the sex bit is gone, there’ll usually be little left in terms of public anger, and all that stuff about dereliction of duty etc is mere cant.

    For example, which of the following would cause the greater “public scandal”, do you honestly think:

    – A political or military leader is hopelessly in love with a woman but remains celebate.
    – A political or military leader doesn’t really care about the woman but has sex with her for the fun of it (probably the case with Clinton)

    I suggest that the scandal would be greater with the second, and the first case would in fact probably be totally ignored.
    But of course the second is the one least likely to impair his ability to lead (and might well improve it!).
    Point proven, I think.

  7. Damn this lack of editor

    “I presume (like practically everyone else, it seems), you..”

    should read

    I presume you (like practically everyone else, it seems) …

  8. Hey Noel,
    You said on an earlier thread that you find yourself increasingly agreeing with me, and what to do?
    Carry on separating your considerable appreciation of fine literature and poetry from your inconsistent liberal nonsense, and the problem is resolv-ed.

  9. Noel,

    I seem to remember you have argued in the past that a man’s private life should not reflect on his ability to carry out his public responsibilities
    (I paraphrase)
    If I am wrong I apologise.
    It does not change my belief that all men have feet of clay – even those of us who acknowledge before God our failings and desire to be better.
    There are so many examples in history of great men who have fallen by the wayside in one respect or t’other. To mock them as Mahons is doing, is like a pygmy laughing because a giant has fallen over.

  10. “You know nothing about what a military attack would look like if you think we are now sustaining one.”

    I was in a northern Israeli town when the IDF invaded Lebanon 1982. We spent most of our time in the bomb shelters. You might well have experienced more, but what I am getting at is that the USA depends on its Military to protect it.
    General Petraeus is a great General and military tactician. Like other great military men before him he has gone off the rails in his private life.
    As a sinner myself I can’t condemn him; and as a citizen aware of the failings of politicians, I wouldn’t be too quick to hound him from office either.
    To my mind Mahons means well, but he allows his liberal tendencies to overtake his common sense.

  11. I am astonished that a man as capable as Petraeus is could allow himself to gen ensnared in this type of thing.

    You wouldn’t see Patton in this.

    I think.

    Perhaps we should disinvent e-mail.

  12. //I seem to remember you have argued in the past that a man’s private life should not reflect on his ability to carry out his public responsibilities
    (I paraphrase)//

    I still don’t see what you’re getting at. I am still saying the same thing here.
    Where am I being inconsistent?

  13. //I was in a northern Israeli town when the IDF invaded Lebanon 1982. We spent most of our time in the bomb shelters. You might well have experienced more, but what I am getting at is that the USA depends on its Military to protect it.//

    And what has all that got to do with the US now being attacked, as you claimed it is?

    (BTW That bit about Israel being under attack – which I presume you mean – because the IDF invaded Lebanon is unintentionally funny. Of course, not as funny as the Israeli govt a few days ago complaining to the UN that Syria had fired shells into the Golan!)

  14. ps
    A true friend looks at the implications of his friend’s indiscretions. If those indiscretions might affect the wellbeing of millions, a true friend would tell him so.
    If on the other hand only a few people might be affected, the friend would say,
    ” Either tell them now, or wait, resign when you’ve got a good replacement, and then ‘fess up.”
    As John Donne said,
    “No man is an island.”

  15. Patton had his own crazy streak, but everything personal was out in the open with him.

    I doubt that he’d allow for anything that could allow him to be compromised behind his back.

    But even here, you would think that Petraeus would be smart enough to never send or receive e mails that were compromising at any level. And that he could tell his little friend to do the same. This is Security 101 stuff.

  16. “I am astonished that a man as capable as Petraeus is could allow himself to gen ensnared in this type of thing.”

    They do say that the better our standard of living the more likely we are to lose our natural survival skills and as a consequence become ‘less inteligent’. I somehow think the ‘General’ must have enjoyed a very comfortable standard of living!

  17. //the better our standard of living the more likely we are to lose our natural survival skills//

    At last, an intelligent observation.

  18. Agit8ed, I presume you’ve by now given up trying to support your claims that I was inconsistent and that the US and the West are under attack, so I neednt look in here again.

  19. Noel,
    The West IS under attack in the same way that the Greeks were suckered by the Trojan Horse.
    You haven’t provided evidence to show that you never supported the idea that a man’s personal life has no bearing on his ability to carry out his public responsibilities.
    Provide ATW evidence that you said it should,
    and I will apologise.
    My impression formed over time is that you delight in taking a liberal view on things..
    Not so??

  20. //You haven’t provided evidence to show that you never supported the idea //

    Why should I, indeed how could I, provide such evidence?

    Can you provide evidence to show that you never murdered anyone?

    It doesn’t work like that. Look, you said I was being inconsistent. I honestly don’t know what you were referring to. You have to show where I was.
    I have said countless times that a man’s personal life shouldn’t be considered in judging his professional life. Now show where I said the opposite, i.e. show that you, if nobody else, can remember what the hell you meant when you said I was inconsistent.

  21. Agit8ed- Is calling people who disagree with you twerps and wannabe liberal sophisticates part of your Christian outlook?

    I find that Petraeus got caught up in his own glory, not necessarily the first general to do so. Among my responses to powerful people who mess up is satire and ridicule (using Swift’s A Modest Proposal as a fine model for dealing with more serious issues). if you want to cloak your response in your version of Christianity, be my guest.

  22. Mahons,
    Hush yo’ petulance boy!.
    Put a way that quivering bottom lip.
    Ain’t no need for it..
    Your freedom to express yourself is built on a system of laws underwritten by men and women willing to defend them with their blood, guts and death.
    That’s the bottom line.
    General Petraeus did the same thing that many a fi-i-iine lawyerman, public office holder and statesman have done.
    He screwed up. He got suckered into having an affair.
    He was maybe feeling the pressure of the role, his family were far away, he was lonely for female company.
    She wanted adventure excitement and a “Heero” alpha male.
    It happens.

    King David fell into a similar trap…
    2 Samuel 11:2-5
    And it came to pass in an evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look on.”
    The point is that General Petraeus did wrong. He has to live with that.
    However in his role of defending America he was doing a good job.
    So often you liberal types make all kinds of excuses for those you support, then fall like a sack of ‘taties’ on those you disapprove of.
    God forgave King David, but He still punished him.
    Mahons manages a cheap laugh and a sneer.

  23. Agit8ed – you wade in an out of sappy sanctimony.

    Petraeus was living with his wife in Washington DC when the affair began according to the timeline we have thus far. He wasn’t away at war, he did not lack for the company of his wife. He cheated, he didn’t get suckered into it. As for stress it didn’t stop him from trying to intervene in a custody dispute on behalf of an unbalanced woman who was the sister of one of his party friends.

    You are free to point out where I have excused behavior of his type if you wish, you won’t find it, but go ahead and try.

    Allow me to steal Letterman’s line that since news came out that the General had sex with his biographer and he now will be limited to having sex with his autobiographer for a while.

  24. Agit8ed –

    As a sinner myself I can’t condemn him; and as a citizen aware of the failings of politicians, I wouldn’t be too quick to hound him from office either.

    Who hounded Petraeus from office? He was numero uno at the CIA. If the administration supported him and backed him, he would have stayed. If he was backed by the administration then the story wouldn’t have emerged for years, if ever.

    There’s one reason only why he stepped down: someone wanted him out.

  25. I agree with Pete – they wanted him out, and the timing of the investigation and release of information is implausible on its face. Usually I would chalk this up to massive incompetence across the board, and I may still, but something is rotten and not just in Denmark.

  26. Pete,
    “Who hounded Petraeus from office?”
    The MSM aided and abetted by those who just love to see anyone involved in “state sanctioned violence” screw up.

    WHO wanted him out? The administration you voted back in, or some other group? Even if he was at home, it doesn’t mean that their marriage wasn’t already under pressure. I said I don’t condone it, but it’s not uncommon and there are different ways of handling it according to your agenda.

  27. Agit8ed – I understand having to abandon your claim that he was away from his home and family since that claim is undermined by the fact that he was at home and not away from his family. Now you are speculating as to the state of his marriage. Try using facts more, you’ll find they help your arguments.

    As for who wanted him out, it is unclear. He was wildly popular (which I never understood the full reasons for) so it may be that they were less concerned with the fact of him leaving than the timing of same (in other words, having the scandal hold until after the election).

  28. Agit8ed –

    The MSM’s first involvement was to report the resignation.

    Stop looking at Patraeus and his peccadillo. “Petraeus knobbed his biographer” is the least interesting part. The real story is elsewhere.

  29. Noel Cunningham –

    Powerful men do not resign because of sex. They resign because someone more powerful wants them out.

    That a Clinton is close to the action should raise a flag, because wherever a Clinton goes so goes death, destruction and deeply murky business.

    We know (we being those not relying on the press) that the FBI had Petraeus under surveillance for some time. Why was the FBI spying on the CIA boss?

    Why did Petraeus resign just ahead of the Congressional investigation into the Benghazi affair?

    Am I the only one to smell Mossad around the chick, and did Petraeus’ view of Israel play a part?

    How does the CIA boss become entangled with a headbanger like this Kelley woman?

    Quite clearly, this is murky business and Petraeus did not resign simply because of an affair. He went because he’s been purged. Lest anyone thinks I’m complaining about any of this – absolutely not. Seeing the surveillance state devour one of its own is most entertaining.

  30. //Powerful men do not resign because of sex.//

    Dunno. If the powerful man in question is the head of spooks and he can’t even keep his own sex life secret, I’d imagine it would at least ruin his chance of promotion.

  31. Putting aside Pete’s ripple effect (bringing in the Mossad now, no doubt the Federal Reserve and lee harvey Oswald later) there are legitimate questions as to how the HEAD of the CIA is investigated by the FBI (even if not the target of the investigation) without this going up the chain of command to the top.

  32. I’s surprised at this surprise. Surely it’s the duty of the FBI to investigate any suspected wrongdoing at the federal level.

    And Obama has already said he was aware of the investigation before the election.
    The most likely story is that the FBI (through the topless cop) got wind of it, reported it up the chain of command and to its political leaders, and then got the political go ahead to investigate.

    Seems obvious to me, although I admit I know nothing of how these organisations work or even the details of the story.
    It’s a nice tale ‘though: covert operations, sex, war, glamour, high politics…..
    Very hard not to feel sorry for the poor wife at the same time. She must be going thru hell now.

  33. Noel, found a tight bit of writing that suits your frame of mind. Needless to say, I’m in full agreement.

    David Petraeus has had sex outside his marriage, as have many men and many women. Human sexuality and compulsion are not in any way related to intelligence. It’s not that the dumb or powerful are more prone to fucking around, or that the intelligent and powerless do it to any greater degree. It’s that men in general are hopelessly and permanently prone to contemplate sex and furtive romance and, sometimes, to act on it. The reasons they do so are crude, ordinary and inevitable. Women are also hopelessly and permanently prone to contemplate furtive romance and sex — and yes, I changed the order, I know — and the reasons they do so are only marginally less crude, ordinary and inevitable.

    Professionally, David Petraeus understood a helluva lot more than John McCain conveyed to Roger Simon in two minutes of conversation. For one thing, if Mr. Simon wanted to be honest, he might acknowledge that it was Petraeus who saw the morass that was Iraq even as it began, who famously turned to a journalist on the march into Baghdad with the 101st Airborne and declared openly: I know how this begins, but explain to me how this ends? That alone makes the man more astute and more valuable than an entire White House, most of the Pentagon, and much of the American press corps, which itself failed to raise much worry when war in Iraq was being debated, or rather, not seriously debated at all. It certainly makes Petraeus smarter than most of America, which largely supported that disastrous intervention.

    To characterize Petraeus now as having failed to save either Iraq or Afghanistan is facile and dishonest and, of course, necessary to Mr. Simon’s argument that the sexual misadventures of a human being can then reveal that perhaps this fellow wasn’t smart enough in the first place. After all he got caught, didn’t he? A smart fellow would have taken more care. No emails. Only whispers. And affections only for cunning and discreet ladies. No undue emotions, please.

  34. Mahons and Pete, I also came across some food for thought on Petraeus’ outing and resignation. It’s not full of conspiracy theories or dark political intrigue (Troll once again proved wrong regarding Petraeus giving testimony on Bengazi, is the man ever right?), but something more basic.

    Take a read and tell me your thoughts.

    Reading the accounts, especially the detailed ones in the NYT, in the background another narrative emerges in the Petraeus-Allen saga, one which is getting much less attention. That is how Obama is dealing systematically with the highly politicized military brass that was one of the seedier legacies of the Bush years.

    The GOP loved to tout the glories of the military leaders it created, and to trot them out like so many sock puppets to embrace the GOP defense strategy of the moment. We must all fall in line behind our generals and pay them homage – we can’t have a discussion about it. The generals have spoken. Now silence.

    Of course, the generals, being generals, were merely doing the bidding of their civilian Pentagon masters. It may be that such glorification of military power is a natural part of right-wing politics. But it bears some real dangers for democracy, precisely because it short-circuits democratic dialogue and process and elevates the role of career military over elected and accountable officials.

    As Tom Ricks points out, quite compellingly, in the first chapters of his new book, The Generals, what we have witnessed since Vietnam is a slow, steady, deconstruction of accountability mechanisms for the military that reached its high point under Bush. Now one of the distinguishing features of Obama is his subtle, skillful reversal of these precedents – in a way which was at once non-confrontational and beneath the radar of political Washington. The Petraeus case is an excellent example – he was denied the post he most cherished (chair of the JCS) and instead given CIA. But he was required to set aside his uniform and give up his entourage of 50 (amazing!) who followed him in his final appointments. He was denied “special” access to the White House and the president while he ran CENTCOM and Afghanistan. He and other generals were told to treat the chain of command seriously.

    Obama also has become the biggest general slayer since Harry S. Truman. He fired Stanley McChrystal and now David Petraeus, the man who flogged rumors about his own suitability for high political office. I don’t see anything remotely Machiavellian about this. It was all rigorously application of good governance principles and rules of command authority. But the result we are now coasting towards is an unwinding of the distortions introduced by Bush and a restoration of America’s historic notions of civilian-military relations – under which the generals are to be kept firmly out of politics and clearly accountable to elected civilian authority.

    This may well be one of Obama’s major legacies. And no one is talking about it in the Beltway chatter room, which is intent on giving us another episode of The Real Housewives of Tampa. By contrast, I bet most of the brass understands what Obama is up to, and most of them are approving, even as they express regrets about the fall of Petraeus and McChrystal.

    Via Sullivan.

    I suspect a liberal frame of mind crafted this analysis, but still a worthy supposition to consider.

  35. I’ve been highly distracted recently – did the General really have the nickname Peaches?

    How great is that?

  36. Pillow talk seems to have no limits in the embarrassment stakes.
    You’ve heard of Princes turning into frogs, but Prince Charles once expressed his wish to be a tampon when hearing that his beloved was having her period.
    Just found out today that Lloyd George used to address his mistress in letters as “My Dear Pussy”.

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