On Caesar’s Wife & Why Petraus Had To Resign
I’m one of those people who believes in the separation of sex and state. If you’re a public servant, I don’t care what you do or what or who you do it with (as long as it’s not a minor) provided you’re doing a good job.
Case in point: While Bill Clinton was playing with his cigar and Monica Lewinsky, he was balancing the budget and leading us through a time of economic prosperity. His sexual indiscretions behind close doors should have stayed there, and as far as his impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice, find me a cheating husband who will not do everything to cover up and/or deny his infidelity.
So when I first heard about General Petraus’ resignation from his CIA director’s post, due to an extramarital affair, my first reaction was to think that he didn’t need to resign. Now, I think that he couldn’t do otherwise.
Let me take you back in time to explain my position. Apparently, Julius Caesar divorced his second wife, Pompeya Sila, after she attended a sexual orgy. When Roman ladies asked him to revoke the divorce explaining that his wife had been a mere observer and not a participant, he replied, “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.” Since then, the proverb illustrates that those associated with public figures (as well as public figures themselves) “must not even be suspected of wrongdoing.”
Today, there’s a cloud of suspicion hovering over Petraus. It appears that the FBI has been interviewing his alleged mistress to determine how much access she had to sensitive information as a result of the affair. Personally, I don’t think she had any. Considering that Petraus is a General, he has probably received intensive resistance training against torture. I don’t see how any degree of sexual afterglow could get him to divulge secrets that torture would not succeed in stripping from him.
Then again, according to Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent turned interrogation expert: “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” So, did he or didn’t he reveal sensitive information? Probably not. But, “probably not” is not “definitely not”. There’s doubt, and that’s when Caeasar’s wife comes back in the picture and Petraus has to resign.
As for Petraus’ alleged mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. She’s quite a, well, broad. Tall, athletic, with a military background, she doesn’t seem to have been after Petraus for his secrets. She seems to have fallen, if not in love, in adoration of the brilliant General, and I guess that when she chose the title for her Petraus’ biography, “All In,” she really meant it.