CIA Director gets no personal lattitude: Matt's Memo

General David Petraeus

The details are messy at the end to the stellar high profile public career of serving his nation. A retired four star general and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Patraeus stood tall as a model of discipline, integrity and accomplishment. He helped our nation successfully wage war initially in overt ways and more recently by covert means. Now that vast keg of knowledge will have to sit on the sidelines while the details seep out of his admission to an extramarital affair.

Just hours after winning re-election to a prized second term President Barack Obama received the letter of resignation from General Petraeus. The president did not immediately accept. Sleeping on it was enough to convince him of the national security exposure created by the general dating his biographer Paula Broadwell. By taking part in this affair the general revealed a key point. Despite his seeming perfection in demeanor, communication and physical training level one of the great military leaders of the last quarter century succumbed to the same longing that has brought down countless other marriages and careers.

People close to the general say the affair ended this summer after several months of involvement. There are so many questions? Is General Petreaus out of the clear legaly. The answer: not yet. Will any other women come forward? Will the general plot a return to public life that could reinstate some of his credibility? Did Paula Broadwell gain inappropriate access to government and miltiary secrets because of her relationship wtih the general? Was National Security breached?

Congress is planning hearings. The FBI continues to investigate. All this messy backdrop as the president and congress start feeling out each other over a budgetary deal or compromise that could help the nation avoid the financial cliff coming at year's end.

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