Upon hearing that famous former Iraq war general David Patraeus resigned as head of the CIA due to an extra marital affair, my first reaction was, "What's the fuss". Only later was it revealed that extra marital affairs, like being gay, is frowned upon in the "Spook" industry because of the possibility of blackmail. Tawdry tidbits are now surfacing that his paramour, gorgeous Patraeus biographer and Afghanistan jogging partner Paula Broadwell, was being investigated by the FBI after another female acquaintance of Patraeus complained of email harassment from Ms. Broadwell. Do we hear a "cat fight"? The investigation led to the affair with Patraeus, which quickly escalated to a potential classified security leak investigation.
No matter what additional salacious morsels come forth, my beef with Patraeus has nothing to do with his romantic shenanigans. He's a sinner in my book for his participation in prolonging our criminal Iraq war. He knew full well, like every other person who bothered to think, that it was a made up war of conquest by the Bush Administration war cabinet including the President, Vice President, Defense Secretary, National Security Advisor and a posse of Neocon advisors. When the Iraq war was collapsing in 2006, Gen. Patraeus was tapped to be the face of America's face saving measure called the "Surge". Officially known as "The New Way Forward", the Surge poured 20,000 more soldiers into the war and extended the tours of the hundred thousand plus troops already there to prevent a complete collapse of our Iraqi war of conquest and the Bush Administration's place in history.
Patraeus was lionized as a military genius for developing theories of counter insurgency that he applied as the leader of the Surge. Virtually the entire government and corporate media fell in line and created the fairy tale that Patraeus almost single handedly turned an imminent Iraq loss into a win. He appeared anywhere and everywhere to accept the praise and vaulted from a two star to a four star general. He was even touted as a possible presidential contender.
Patraeus was asked to perform the same surge miracle in Afghanistan after Gen. Stanley Mc Chrystal was summarily fired by President Obama for disparaging public remarks Mc Chrystal made about his superiors. Although Patraeus' Surge in Afghanistan has been a resounding bust, he was persuaded to retire from the Army to assume the critical job of CIA director. After 14 months, his apparent dueling girlfriends put an ignominious end to his 38 year military and CIA career.
Decades ago this former Catholic was taught about little or venial sins, and the mighty transgressions known as Mortal Sins. What Patraeus did or didn't do in his private life are, at most, venial sins. His actions to put lipstick on the pig of our criminal Iraq war constitute Mortal Sins. The 1,000 US soldiers who needlessly died because this war was senselessly prolonged are are testament to how mortal his sins were.