The tragedy of David Petraeus

From Foreign Policy Fri Nov 9 2012, 19:43:54

Unless you've been living in a cave for the past five hours, you've probably heard by now that David Petraeus -- perhaps the most universally admired person in American public life -- suddenly resigned as director of the CIA for, as he told agency staffers in a message Friday, "engaging in an extramarital affair."

Slate's Fred Kaplan reports that his paramour was none other than Paula Broadwell, the co-author of a highly flattering biography of the former general, All In: The Education of David Petraeus. (FP tried to contact Broadwell via several channels Friday, but she did not respond.)

According to the AP, the affair came to light during an investigation by the FBI, presumably related to its counterintelligence function. (Other accounts are offering more salacious details, but I can't vouch for the quality of the reporting.)

As recently as Monday, Broadwell published an article titled "General David Petraeus's Rules for Living"on the DailyBeast's website. Rule No. 1: "Lead by example from the front of the formation." Rule No. 5: "We all will make mistakes. The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rearĀ­ view mirrors--drive on and avoid making them again."

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