Joseph Curl | Petraeus schools the White House

didn’t take long.

Ever since CIA Director David H. Petraeus resigned, one question has  risen above all others: Why? Yes, he had an affair with a woman 20 years his  junior (quite the mentor), but hey, there was once a top federal official who  had sex with an intern his daughter’s age right in the White  House Oval Office, and he didn’t step down. So, why the retired general?

There’s an easy answer: Mr. Petraeus is  a man of honor, even with his rather sizable transgression, and he felt he could  no longer lead a team of men who put their lives on the line for America every  day. Even though the West Point graduate had devoted his entire life to serving  the U.S. — from an infantry officer to commander of the 101st  Airborne Division to a four-star general in charge of Central  Command and the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan— he could see no way forward with his integrity compromised.

But that simply doesn’t add up. It’s the 21st century and Americans are a  forgiving people, even for such a personal lapse. In the case of President Bill Clinton, Americans were angry — more,  disgusted — but they looked past the man’s misdeed, labeled it a personal matter  between him and his wife, and moved on. Most likely, they would have done the  same with Mr. Petraeus, after a period of  public shaming.

No, there’s something more at play. Reports unraveling the affair the general  had with his biographer show the FBI  began investigating months ago, back in the summer. Attorney General Eric  H. Holder Jr. was told of the investigation in late summer, but according to  the White House, he never told President  Obama — who reportedly only heard about the probe the day after the presidential  election.


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