To the Editor:
On Monday, Nov. 19, one of the Quotes of the Day reads, “The General was adamant there was no White House politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda. He completely debunked that idea.” — Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif., characterizing former CIA Director David Petraeus’ discussions with congressional intelligence committee on the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.
I am a little apprehensive about the credibility of a man who publicly admitted to an extramarital affair with a biographer. thereby breaking his marriage vows by deceiving his wife, family and employer until caught. Obviously, (retired) General Petraeus is not the man of honor we all took him to be. He is now saying “trust me.” It reminds me of the old political poster of Richard Nixon captioned with “Would You Buy a Used Car From this Man?”
Integrity is on the list of “Army values.” I am sure General Petraeus has read the list of Army values, and recited this list to soldiers many times.
It reads: Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and, finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself.
General Petraeus also knows that “one Ahh, Poop” wipes out one thousand “Atta Boys.” Everyone in and around the Army knows that old maxim. It is both funny and painfully true.
Would I have trusted his word on the Benghazi plight before he admitted to adultery? Yes. Do I trust his word afterward? A resounding no!
He does not get a mulligan. He is a dissembler, and there is no going back to honesty and virtue. This is one of life’s harsh realities, those who seek higher office are judged by a higher standard.
Congressman Adam Schiff may believe what he wants. Perhaps he has never heard, “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.”
General Petraeus fooled many of us once. I remain skeptical about the Benghazi debacle, and whether the real story will ever be known. Our recent political experience casts great doubt on government truth. What a sad state for this great nation.
George G. Van Riper