Two men have stolen the spotlight from President Barack Obama’s recent win over Mitt Romney. They managed to do that by engaging in extramarital affairs— and resigning because of it. Both of them also came from the nation’s top defense establishments.
The first was David Petraeus, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who, sources say, had a relationship with his biographer Paula Broadwell, a West Point graduate who wrote a book about the highly-celebrated general. Closely following him was Christopher Kubasik, vice-chairman, president, and COO of Lockheed Martin, the global security and aerospace company and largest contractor of the Pentagon. Kubasik was next in line to be CEO in January when an ethics scrutiny found that he had a close personal relationship with a subordinate employee which prompted his resignation.
Petraeus acknowledged that he “showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.” The Wall Street Journal pointed out the reason why the White House also accepted his resignation: “An extramarital affair has significant implications for an official in a highly sensitive post, because it can open an official to blackmail.” Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Robert Stevens, meanwhile, said in a press release that Kubasik’s actions “have been inconsistent with our values and standards” but that their “swift response to his improper conduct demonstrates our unyielding commitment to holding every employee accountable for their actions.”
But some individuals are apparently not convinced that these transgressions were enough to warrant a resignation. Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Dianne Feinstein (D., California) said: “I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision.” Peggy Noonan, former speech writer and Special Assistant of President Reagan was more vocal about her dismay over the resignation in CBS Face the Nation: “This is one of those ‘what the heck is going on?’ kind of moments…. Petraeus is a great guy. He has sacrificed for his country for forty years. It is a shame to lose him over this. And I just have to ask: Why do we have to lose him over this? That actually makes no sense.”
On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who believed that Petraeus did the right thing. John Doble of Policymic considers Noonan’s comments about the issue as “yet another symptom of how far moral standards have degenerated in the pundit circuit….[Petraeus] failed to abide by the behavior demanded of him by himself, his peers, and his family.” Retired military, Douglas Goodman, agrees: “General Petraeus got caught and given his position did the right thing. Even in basic training, soldiers are taught that sexual encounters can lead to breeches in security.”
Category: News In Review