HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » Petraeus Link to ‘Times’ ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:33 AM

Petraeus Link to ‘Times’ Letter?

Petraeus Link to ‘Times’ Letter?

After news broke of Gen. David Petraeus's resignation from the CIA following an extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, newshounds were quick to investigate past stories pointing to the revelation—and found a letter written to The Ethicist column published in The New York Times on July 13. In it, an anonymous man, now speculated to be Broadwell's husband, sought advice on whether to expose his wife's affair with a "government executive" whose work "is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership.” Ethicist columnist Chuck Klosterman advises the letter-writer to not to “expose the relationship in any public way,” but also says somewhat tellingly he “halfway suspects” the letter-writer hoped the people involved in the affair would read it—and proclaims “that’s not ethical either.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/11/10/petraeus-link-to-times-letter.html

From "The Ethicist" Column (it's the second letter in the column):

MY WIFE’S LOVER

My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me? NAME WITHHELD

Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything. This is between you and your spouse. You should tell her you want to separate, just as you would if she were sleeping with the mailman. The idea of “suffering in silence” for the good of the project is illogical. How would the quiet divorce of this man’s mistress hurt an international leadership initiative? He’d probably be relieved.

The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable. In fact, it’s so over-the-top honorable that I’m not sure I believe your motives are real. Part of me wonders why you’re even posing this question, particularly in a column that is printed in The New York Times.

Your dilemma is intriguing, but I don’t see how it’s ambiguous. Your wife is having an affair with a person you happen to respect. Why would that last detail change the way you respond to her cheating? Do you admire this man so much that you haven’t asked your wife why she keeps having sex with him? I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.


Link to NYT's "The Ethicist" Column: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/a-message-from-beyond.html

7 replies, 974 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Petraeus Link to ‘Times’ Letter? (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
MgtPA Nov 2012 #1
msrizzo Nov 2012 #2
zuzu98 Nov 2012 #4
elehhhhna Nov 2012 #5
frazzled Nov 2012 #3
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #7
Kingofalldems Nov 2012 #6

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:39 AM

1. I remember reading this, and trying to guess who this government executive might be...

then I decided that it was probably all BS. Guess not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:49 AM

2. Okay, call me crazy but....

If Chuck Klosterman suspected that the writer had "unethical" motives in writing the letter, then exactly how ethical was it for the Times to publish it? The whole thing stinks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msrizzo (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:20 AM

4. I thought the same thing.

Guess they couldn't pass up the opportunity to publish a juicy tidbit like this but wanted to try to deflect any criticism for doing so. A bit hypocritical.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to msrizzo (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:04 PM

5. interesting point but the press shoudl be free to publish


per the constitiution

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:58 AM

3. On the other hand

It could be any government executive in Washington. The place is rampant with affairs. The only reason I would be a little inclined to think the writer was speaking of someone else is that he talks about the executive's role as one to "manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership." If he'd been referring to Petraeus during the time he was in Afghanistan, that might be an apt description. But he was already at CIA, and his role there was certainly far larger than to "manage a project." But who knows.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to frazzled (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:14 PM

7. I agree. If he'd written "head of a large organization" or

"in charge of an important government function" then this might be something. The CIA isn't a "project".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:08 PM

6. Kick and Rec

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread