Like most people, I was surprised to hear of General Petraeus’s sudden resignation on the account of an affair. Not so much that he’d had one (I don’t spend time thinking about such things), but I didn’t know that even CIA chiefs would resign due to them. I will note that some are suspicious that this had more to do with his pending testimony on Banghazi, but it’s nonetheless noteworthy that this is the explanation that was given. Anyhow, Dr. Phi – having spent time in the same room as the man – is not the least bit surprised.

Back in high school there was a coach. Coach Montgomery. We never actually saw anything occur, but the… I don’t know… familiarity with which he presented himself to the female students did not go unnoticed. Well, we partially noticed because during indoor free periods the less popular among us were having basketballs thrown at our heads while he was too busy talking to female students to notice. We didn’t like Coach M. Partially due to the fact that he wasn’t there to instill order when it was needed. But also because when he was paying attention to us, he terrified the crap out of us. He honestly struck us as a roidhead. A roidhead who would probably sleep with a female student if he had the chance.

A couple years after he graduated he was arrested. It was actually his suicide attempt that got him in the news. Our response to this was… not generous. We thought it was funny as heck. We could just imagine Big Strong Coach M scared spitless of what was an impending arrest and taking the proverbial coward’s way out. I can’t say I am remarkably proud of this response. In one sense, I am not hugely bothered by what he did. She was sixteen. A teacher (or coach) should be fired for such a thing, but I’m not sure about arrested (a subject worthy of exploration in the future) absent a degree of coercion beyond the basic power differential. A year or so after that I would be exposed to the destruction of suicide (not mine, obviously) and the funny part didn’t seem so funny anymore.

But before my better angels got a chance to catch up with me, I have to believe that I would smile all over again at having my negative confirmations of a man I disliked intensely being confirmed.

So a question for all y’all… has this ever happened to you? Wherein you’re looking at something that just doesn’t quite seem right and later it turns out that everything is unraveled in a rather public fashion?

At some point in the past, I remember seeing some interaction between a colleague of my wife and his nurse and getting a definite vibe of something. As far as I know, nothing ever came of it. It was probably nothing. Of course, if you’d asked me in all seriousness in high school, I probably would have said the same of Coach M.

Category: Newsroom, School

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4 Responses to Suspicious Minds

  1. Peter says:

    A CIA chief or other official with access to highly classified information *should* be under a duty to resign in case of misbehavoir, as he would be a prime target for blackmail.

  2. Abel Keogh says:

    Apparenlty Petraeus’s ghostwriter was clueless to affair.

  3. Peter says:

    Back in January an anonymous Wikipedia contributor created a page for Broadwell and described Petraeus as “one of her many conquests.” He/she used a Cisco Systems IP address. Wikipedia administrators quickly took the page down on libel grounds but of course the edit remains in the site’s history.

  4. trumwill says:

    Peter, I have mixed feelings. If it’s justified anywhere, it’s with the head of the CIA. On the other hand, it also seems to me that you can learn a lot from their paper trail and what they didn’t and didn’t say. The answers to that could be more reassuring than marital fidelity.

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