Journalist and General

By: Shawn Davis

We are all aware of the affair that brought an end to the career of former C.I.A. Director David Petraeus so I’m not going to rehash that here – there are other sources to get the salacious details, if that’s your thing – but what I’m interested in is why her name was leaked to the public. What was the point of it? I mean, really? Also, who did it?

At what point in this process was it deemed acceptable to make Paula Broadwell’s name public domain? Petraeus committed behavior unfitting of his professional title and saw fit to relinquish his position within our government in a quiet manner. (I straddled the fence on whether he should have to resign but ultimately I agree it was the right course of action. Since he’s directly leading others, I guess it would scream of hypocrisy for him portray himself as honorable in lieu of the secret life he was leading.) He handed his resignation, quietly and privately, to President Obama to avoid the pending fireworks – one can only assume – that he knew were on the horizon.

Now in this country, adultery isn’t a crime punishable by law (with all due respect to all religion) but it is on the table for the former general to face prosecution in a military court if evidence proves that the affair took place while he was still an active member. That’s easy to digest. Got it?

So I’m thinking about Broadwell because I’m not sure if the question has been asked. We all know once the national (and local media) get their teeth into a story such as this they get bloodthirsty and feast until bone and sinew are crumbs. The FBI has visited her home to collect evidence and the media is currently camped out on her lawn; I think this is out of control. Florida socialite Jill Kelley (caught in the middle of her very own sex scandal at the moment) was the one that blew the whistle (which I don’t care about) but in the reveal to the media why wasn’t Broadwell referred to as “an unidentified woman”?

Unlike Petraeus, Broadwell’s entire career – and private life – wouldn’t be on the line for having an affair; she wouldn’t be facing any real prosecution, well, aside from her husband and her family but that’s a personal matter; not that the media cares. Media loves to destroy lives but I’m not out to blame them because they have to report the assignment they’re given. Going forward this could severely cripple her credibility in possible future assignments now that’s it’s known she has shared a bed with the subject of her most recent project. Her professional integrity is now just as questionable as her personal one.

She and the general were morally wrong, but in the very least, she should have had her name withheld. What point does it serve to have her front and center? The Framers would find this offensive and they had this in mind as they were constructing the foundations of our government. That’s the primary reason why they created the grand jury system: to protect a person’s identity unless an investigation shows said person is found culpable. She’s culpable of what here? Besides being dishonest and cheating on her husband with someone who’s married and also engaged in the very same behavior, what is she guilty of?

Since it was the FBI that was contacted (through Kelley), were they (ir)responsible for outing her? Someone was – and maybe an investigation needs to begin on that. In my opinion it’s negligent and outright disgusting for her name to be news. Is it because she had a level of access to the general that upset the way things are done?

She’s being denigrated and mocked for all to see due to a gross mistake in judgment; she has not committed a crime. It was Petraeus’ lack of morality, discipline, and judgment that could have possibly threatened the public, not hers at all. This is all in poor taste. Where is the Justice Department in all of this?

My heart goes out to Holly Petraeus and Scott Broadwell.

UPDATE: This story seems to be getting weirder by the minute as Broadwell has admitted to the FBI to storing classified military documents in her home. This case is becoming further complicated by the fact that as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Military Reserve she gained security clearance to review the documents. I’m pretty sure the issue is that she removed those documents from government buildings. Stay tuned.



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