Disaster Zone

CIA Director David Petraeus' Affair

A person's faithfulness tells you something about the person's character.

by Eric Holdeman / November 12, 2012

There is no doubt that David Petraeus is a brilliant person.  Look at the row of ribbons on his chest and you can measure his service and his awards.  I am sure he has mentored many a military officer who has served with him.  He just has a fatal flaw.  He was not faithful to his wife.


Watching some of the Sunday morning talk shows there were pundits who acknowledged his wrong doing, but think he has another role to play.  I'm sure there will be many a firm or board who will want him on their team--I would not.


Here's the deal.  Yes, he got caught in this one, but what other "cheating" has he done in his lifetime of service?  My quote on this comes from when I served in the Army, which is, "If you cheat on your wife you will cheat on your troops."  This "cheating" belies a problem with the "Me, my, I" syndrome in which it becomes all about the person and the career.  


There seems to be a long list of brilliant men who have a problem with cheating.  I have another theory I could share, but it is unprintable in this format.  


I am positive many an officer has had their career ended when their infidelities ended up on Petraeus' desk and he made a judgement on their fate--which should have been, "Your career in the Army is over."  Officers are held to a higher standard and while some may forget the indiscretion--I will not.  


My recommendation is that Petraeus go write a book, an autobiography is my guess.


P.S. As my wife (of 42 years) Mary often told me when I shared some great accomplishment I had done, 'You want a medal or a chest to pin it on?"  Humor goes a long way in a marriage.