When I realized the opportunity I had to tell this message, to present this portrait of strategic leadership--you know, it's not--it's not a hagiography; I'm not in love with David Petraeus. But I think he does present a terrific role model for young people, for executives, for men and women. No matter what, there's a great role model there who is--who is values-oriented, who speaks the truth to power
Too many people have given Petraeus credit for resigning, calling it an act of honor. How is it honorable? He didn't resign the day after he started the affair. He didn't resign on any of the days during the affair. He didn't resign after the FBI questioned him about the affair. He didn't resign until he had a gun to his head in effect -- when his boss, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told him the game was over.
Then he resigned with a wan gesture that looks less like honor than a vain last attempt at damage control.
Clapper was part of that deceptive effort, as was President Obama at his news conference November 14. Here's how Clapper's formal statement tried to perpetuate the "cult of David Petraeus" when it said:
Dave's decision to step down represents the loss of one of our nation's most respected public servants. From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one's country". I can honestly say that Dave Petraeus stands out as one of our nation's great patriots.
Best of Petraeus Record -- His Press Clippings
defending David Petraeus without actually addressing the real problems with David Petraeus's record. And those are the fact that he manipulated the White House into escalating in Afghanistan; he ran a campaign in Iraq that was brutally savage, included arming the worst of the worst, Shiite death squads, Sunni militiamen; and then you go back to the training of the Iraqi army program that also had similar problems. So, for me, all the while, he's going around the country talking about honor and integrity.