LOS ANGELES, November 12, 2012 – Veteran’s Day 2012 comes with more than a tinge of sadness. One of the greatest military heroes of all time has seen his career end in dishonor and disgrace. General David Petraeus resigned as the head of the CIA after confessing to an affair with biographer Paula Brodwell.
The 60 year old Petraeus apologized to his family and the nation. As for Ms. Broadwell, the scandal broke this past Friday on her 40th birthday.
While much about this entire situation is tragic, it does not erase the heroism of General Petraeus throughout his career. He literally wrote the book on counter-insurgency, and he was the reason the war in Iraq succeeded. In 2006, when the country was on the verge of descending into civil war, President George W. Bush needed a new strategy and got one.
“The surge” won the war.
General Petraeus always put his country first, and he faithfully served two presidents, leaders of both parties. Even when he disagreed with his current boss, he kept his demeanor and loyally saluted the flag. He stayed out of politics, although many wanted him to run for President himself. Lists of the all time great generals starts with George Washington, and includes Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, and David Petraeus.
The one positive of General Petraeus resigning is that it shows that even a man as great as he avoids being indispensable. America will survive his deparure from the world stage.
As the FBI discovered that the string of emails indicating he may have been compromised, General Petraeus had to resign as he was now open to blackmail. Resigning avoids putting America’s national security at risk.
General Petraeus did the honorable thing by resigning, yet his legacy has been tarnished, and it may get much worse.
General Petraeus was set to testify in the Benghazi matter. The Obama administration managed to keep the issue under the radar until President Obama was reelected, but the investigation into murdered Americans that is about to explode. Did General Petraeus know what went wrong on the night of September 12th? Was the military or the CIA compromised? Did President Obama know the truth?
By stepping down, General Petraeus temporarily avoids having to testify on Benghazi. Yet the key word is temporarily. He could face the ignominy of a congressional subpoena. His 37 year marriage to Holly Petraeus may or may not be repaired, but all his heroism on the battlefield will not shield him if it turns out that he subverted the truth and took part in a cover-up.
The fall of General Petraeus is a black eye for the entire military, on a day when we should be celebrating the many honorable men and women in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard.
There are external threats all over the world, and yet today our most respected institution has been rocked by this internal threat.
One man, even one as powerful and important as General Petraeus, does not take away from the millions of soldiers who conduct themselves with honor and heroism from beginning to end.
The truth will come out. It always does. Until all the facts are in, the only thing to do is accept that human beings fail, which is what makes us human. General Petraeus did many things right, and hopefully that in the long run will shine brighter than the transgressions that brought him down.
For all of our sakes, may these transgressions be confined to an inappropriate personal relationship and not involve any high crimes and misdemeanors. If Benghazi falls on him, then no amount of heroism in Baghdad will protect him.
We shall see. Until then, may Veteran’s Day be a shining light despite the dark clouds on the horizon. To our veterans everywhere, thank you and welcome home.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at TYGRRRR EXPRESS
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