Human drama

by Nancy Colasurdo on November 16, 2012

While we continue to see details unfold (unravel?) in the General Petraeus scandal, I feel more and more unfazed. Some thoughts from a life coaching standpoint here.

Today’s Game Plan: A Flawed Leader as Mirror

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy Colasurdo February 15, 2013 at 12:27 am

(Note: I moved this comment to this post from another part of the site.)

I appreciate your article on Petraeus and I have some additional thoughts on his leadership from the perspective of a retired military officer.

Those who seek to diminish and dismiss the adultery committed by Petraeus and categorize it as merely a sex scandal have conveniently overlooked a significant leadership failure in Petraeus that has not been discussed but relevant – hypocrisy and hubris.

Adultery is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). I can only wonder how many subordinates Petraeus punished for adultery in his long career. A civilian may not recognize the hypocrisy but for anyone who has served in the military it is apparent. The troops derisively call it “different spanks for different ranks.” I am more than disappointed in the retired general officers on Fox News who have offered no real outrage or significant criticism of Petraeus regarding the adultery issue. I also wonder how many subordinates they punished for adultery while in service. General Keane commented that Petraeus was only human. I doubt General Keane while he served as a commander accepted the excuse from subordinates who committed adultery. “Sir – I am only human.”

Noteworthy is the fact that Petraeus is always careful to claim the affair happened after he retired because he knows adultery committed while on active duty is an offense punishable under the UCMJ.

The Petraeus affair reportedly was an open secret in Afghanistan and I am unaware of any historical examples of a general officer with the hubris to bring his mistress an Army Reserve officer (fraternization also a violation of Army regulations) into a combat zone, give her unprecedented access to him and others in theater, follow him around in military vehicles and aircraft all to write a glowing biography on him. Petraeus has long had a reputation for courting the media and giving reporters access to himself not for the benefit of the troops but for his own ambitions. After watching the news in the past couple of weeks apparently that has paid off for him.


COL Brenda M. Reinhart, Army, Retired

Nancy Colasurdo February 15, 2013 at 12:28 am

Brenda, thank you for your service to our country. And I so appreciate you taking the time to write.

I find the perspective of a retired military officer invaluable here. This is precisely the kind of expertise I was talking about in the piece when I referred to those more qualified to make these kinds of judgments than me. What a mess of arrogance and double standard this is.

Your response here is very sobering. Thanks for the feedback.


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