On Petraeus: 'What a Pity'

It's a common theme in reaction to his affair and resignation

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 10, 2012 11:04 AM CST

(Newser) – A sampling of some of the commentary today about David Petraeus:

  • Wall Street Journal editors: "What a pity that his service should come to a premature end through the collision of personal error and a zero-tolerance culture that doesn't always serve this country well."
  • The New York Post headline: "Cloak And Shag Her"
  • David Ignatius, Washington Post: "(I)t wasn’t the counter-insurgency doctrine that made the difference in Iraq. It was the force of Petraeus’s will. With an inner circle of close advisers, he bent the history of that war around his personality, in the years he was commander. He also made some mistakes, in my judgment, especially in over-relying on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki."
  • Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard: He will "will go down in American history as one of its greatest generals." But his departure before next week's Benghazi hearings on Capitol Hill will rankle Republicans, "who believe Petraeus is in a unique position to shed light on the intelligence on Benghazi before the attack, the decision-making during the attack and the misleading stories told after it."

  • Megan Garber, the Atlantic: "(W)hen you're the director of the CIA, very few things are, strictly speaking, personal. ... Petraeus's affair wasn't just an affair; it was a potential security breach. One that was allowed to take place in part because the decorated war hero had done what millions of his fellow Americans do every day: He sent some emails."
  • Petraeus himself: Slate notes that Newsweek published a "rules for living" essay by him just days ago that includes this: "We all will make mistakes. The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear­ view mirrors—drive on and avoid making them again."

In this Aug. 31, 2011, file photo, Gen. Davis Petraeus is seen with his wife, Holly.
In this Aug. 31, 2011, file photo, Gen. Davis Petraeus is seen with his wife, Holly.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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