Are the private lives of public servants our business?


In the wake of Four-Star General Petraeus' resignation and confession of adultery, I've been watching various stories unfold. There is, of course, the conspiracy theory that this is all a cover up to keep "what really happened in Benghazi" under wraps. There is the concern about the timing of the announcement. Who knew what, when and why weren't others told. 

None of that interests me, other folks can work through that. For those not in the know, CIA Director and lauded career serviceman David Petraeus resigned last week after admitting an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The affair was discovered after Broadwell allegedly sent threatening emails to a friend of the Petraeus family. (WDDDA?)

In this instance, with the General being head of the CIA and some various stories about email security being compromised, I guess we (the public) needed to know about this affair. I guess. If national security isn't being compromised why couldn't they just say that he was stepping down for personal reasons and keep it pushing? Makes me think there is so much more to this story than we are hearing. What did Broadwell have access to (that she should not have) and what was so damning that Petraeus needed to step down immediately, post haste, the same week of the election?

Petraeus is not elected, he's appointed. I find it difficult to believe that a man in service to this nation for over two decades, the MacArthur of our times would be out there swapping secrets for cocoa. My other question is, how much do we really need (or want) to know about our public officials? 

Does infidelity automatically make a public servant ineligible for continued service? I'm inclined to say that we have a higher set of expectation for those that are in the most sensitive and critical positions in government. I'm inclined to say that if you are running the Central INTELLIGENCE Agency, it's not too much to expect you to show some. Then again, I'm also inclined to say - I don't want to know what goes on behind closed doors. Especially if it has no impact on national security.

Unlike many others, I'm not finger pointing at the General or Ms. Broadwell. They did what they did and the current shitstorm they find themselves in is judgment enough, especially coming from many who sit in their own glass houses. But I have to admit, this one hurt my feelings a little bit. I liked Petraeus. He came across as a "for God and Country" Army Ranger who was about business regardless of politics. Married to the same woman (Holly, daughter of a general) for almost 40 years. If a guy like that can fall...

What say you, Bougieland? Do we really need to know?