The top honcho, and head man in Afghanistan, Petreaus age 60, got thrown out on his ear, albeit in a polite but nonetheless messy manner. He got in trouble for playing around with Paula Broadwell, age 40, who was his 'biographer'.
Years ago, well decades ago now I guess, I came to the realization that such persons as Patreaus are just regular persons who, because of intelligence, education, connections and/or just plain luck, end up in positions where people literally put them on pedestales. From the lofty perch upon which they are placed all others are expected to worship and bow down to them. The expectation does not come from those who find themselves on a perch, but rather from those around them who also have hopes that one day they too will be the recipient of such ascension.
There were do doubt many persons 'on our side' as well as many persons 'on their side' who knew of the affair. The schedule of, and the persons that someone in the position of Patreaus 'hang-out' with, are not secrets. Such a person does not even go to the latrine without many people knowing where he is going, where he is, and who he is with.
Since 'othersiders' undoubtedly had full knowledge of the affair they would have been able to access any information that Paula Broadwell possessed, regardless of how and the reason she possessed it, without a problem because Broadwell would never have given it a thought. The news sources today are reporting that she had classified documents on her computer and/or at her home. If she had given a thought to security or the 'othersiders' looking at the information on her computer, do you really believe that the FBI would have been able to monitor her e-mails without her knowledge?
Because persons such as Petreaus, and WWII Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force Dwight D. Eisenshower who apparently had a similar relationship with his chauffeur and then secretary Kay Summersby, when all is said and done, are just regular persons, it was inevitable that someone not indoctrinated in the rules of pedestal worship, or someone making a complaint to the FBI, would expose the relationship between Petreaus and Broadwell. It would be discovered that 'The King has no clothes!' In Petreaus' case it happened while he was the head of the CIA. In Eishenhower's case, probably because Al Gore had not invented the worldwide internet yet, it happened after he died and Summersby wrote her second book, Past Forgetting: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her first book, because Eisenhower was still alive, did not reveal their affair. From there, at least in the case of Pedreaus, it is a long, and rapid, fall from the perch.
Fortunately, for those of us on the ground below the perches, the vast majority of persons who are placed on pedestals are not leaders of the military whose daily decisions affect the lives of our soldiers. Unfortunately, in this case, Petreaus was the leader of our military, in wartime, and his daily decisions had serious consequences for our soldiers, their families, and the U.S.
There are many more facts that will no doubt arise, it looks like so far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg, and be picked over in detail. As we are already reading, the growing body of information will lead to more questions and more investigations. The first question that comes to my mind is, "What was this guy, with his 24 hour responsibilities, thinking when he started running around with such a handsome woman in a war zone?" I am not suggesting that, in such a situation, I would have been any better at being able to resist temptation once allowed to present itself. However, I do know that I would not have permitted the temptation to arise in the first place a commander in a war zone.
The second question, a far more serious question, the answer to which the the public will never fully know because of 'national security' reasons, his place on the perch, and the life and death authority he held over those who served under him, is "Isn't Petraeus' name really 'Betreaus'?"