Posts Tagged With: David Petraeus

My Husband Is A Victim Of Flawed Civilian Command Policies

 A Wife Responds

When the strains of war lead to infidelity

By Rebecca Sinclair

Rebecca Sinclair is married to Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, a former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, who is being tried at Fort Bragg, N.C., on charges including adultery and sexual misconduct. 

 

Like most Americans, I’ve been unable to escape the current news cycle regarding several high-ranking military generals entangled in sex scandals. Unlike most Americans, however, for me the topic is personal. My husband, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, is one of the officers.

Spectators will try to make this scandal about many things: the arrogance of powerful men; conniving mistresses; the silent epidemic of sexual assault in the armed services. But these explanations obscure an underlying problem: the devastating influence of an open-ended war — now in its 11th year — on the families of U.S. service members.

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<caption> Ann Telnaes cartoon: Petreaus case reveals reach of nation’s surveillance programs. </caption>

Ann Telnaes cartoon: Petreaus case reveals reach of nation’s surveillance programs.

 Let me first address the elephant in the room. My husband had an affair. He violated our marriage

vows and hurt me tremendously. Jeff and I are working on our marriage, but that’s our business.

Jeff also needs to answer to the Army. That is his business, not mine, and he accepts that. I believe in and support him as much as ever.
I wish I could say that my husband was the only officer or soldier who has been unfaithful. Since 2001, the stress of war has led many service members to engage in tremendously self-destructive behavior. The officer corps is plagued by leaders abandoning their families and forging new beginnings with other men and women. And many wives know about their husbands’ infidelity but stay silent.
For military wives, the options are bad and worse. Stay with an unfaithful husband and keep your family intact; or lose your husband, your family and the financial security that comes with a military salary, pension, health care and housing. Because we move so often, spouses lose years of career advancement. Some of us spend every other year as single parents. We are vulnerable emotionally and financially. Many stay silent out of necessity, not natural passivity.
In many ways, ours is a typical military story. Jeff and I married 27 years ago. While he rose through the officer corps, I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and taught at community colleges in the places where we were stationed. We later had children.
Since 2001, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have destabilized our life. We have moved six times in 11 years. On average, our kids change schools every two years. Between five deployments, site surveys and training operations, Jeff has spent more than six of the past 10 years away from his family.
None of this is meant to excuse infidelity. I expected more of Jeff, and I think he expected more of himself. But we’re fooling ourselves if we don’t recognize the larger reality. My friends who are married to other combat leaders have been my anchor during this crisis. We understand that our soldiers may come home disfigured or injured in such a way that we will become lifelong caregivers. We also understand that they may not come home at all, and if blessed with a reunion, they may carry emotional baggage few could understand. My friends know that it could have been their heartbreak as much as mine. This is the only time in U.S. history that our nation has fought a decade-long war with a volunteer Army. Doing so has consequences. Nothing good can come of families being chronically separated for a decade or more.
Jeff’s case has its own complications. He was involved with a woman who confessed to a superior officer. As a servicewoman, she stood to be charged with criminal conduct under the military code of justice. She alleged sexual assault, and no such allegation should ever go unanswered. We are confident that the charges will be dropped. Hundreds of text messages and journal entries came to light in pretrial hearings last week that establish the affair was consensual. The woman in question admitted under oath that she never intended to have Jeff charged, and Jeff has passed a polygraph test. Ironically, if Jeff had decided to leave his family he would be in the clear.
There are many accusations against Jeff, some of which have already fallen apart. Jeff has been charged with possessing alcohol in a combat zone; a visiting dignitary gave him a bottle of Scotch that remained unopened on a bookshelf. 
 His personal computer was used to access pornography; time stamps and Army records show that he was out of the country or city when most of the files were downloaded. We expect those charges, too, to be dismissed.
But the damage has been done. It will take years for Jeff to shed the false image of a hard-drinking, porn-dependent aggressor. The other generals will also struggle to rehabilitate reputations they spent decades building. All of these men are human beings, with strengths and fallibilities, and they have families who are under real strain. How we address this strain will say much about what kind of country we are; it will also determine how stable and strong our military is.
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Gen David Petraeus May Still Face Court-martial

The Army could force retired Gen. David Petraeus back into uniform to face charges if ongoing investigations turn up evidence of an earlier timeline for the start of his affair with Paula Broadwell, military law experts said.

“As a regular officer, you’re subject to court-martial jurisdiction forever,” said Michael Noone, a Catholic University law professor and a retired Air Force colonel and judge advocate general.

“Theoretically, Petraeus would be subject to court-martial for any offenses discovered after he leaves service,” and could be called back to duty to answer for them although the prospect was unlikely.

The most obvious offense that Petraeus could face would be adultery, a violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but adultery charges in the military are rare and rarer still as stand-alone offenses.

 

Petraeus has been as careful in admitting to the affair as he was careless in becoming involved with Broadwell, a West Point graduate and lieutenant colonel in the Army reserves.

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Through former military aides, Petraeus has put out word that the sexual relationship with Broadwell did not begin until after he retired from active duty and became CIA director in September 2011, although she was closely involved with him for several years while working on her book “All In: The Education of David Petraeus.”

And even if proof emerged of a sexual relationship before Petraeus retired, the military would be unlikely to pursue it. “The chances are low, if any, of that happening,” Cave said. “I’m not convinced that would change things dramatically.”

“But if evidence of abuse of status or the misuse of government funds” to further the relationship with Broadwell came to light, “that would be an extraordinary change in the landscape,” Cave said.

The FBI investigation of the affair is still open. It began with a complaint from Florida socialite Jill Kelley to an FBI friend about allegedly threatening emails she was receiving. The emails were eventually traced to Broadwell, who apparently saw Kelley as a rival.

The email trail then led to Marine Gen. John Allen, who succeeded Petraeus as overall commander in Afghanistan. Allen had exchanged a large volume of email with Kelley.

Allen’s nomination as head of U.S. European Command has now been put on hold while the Defense Department’s Inspector General investigates the Allen-Kelley emails, which have been described by a defense official as possibly “inappropriate and flirtatious.”

The Inspector General’s office of the CIA is also investigating whether Petraeus may have disclosed classified information to Broadwell during their involvement.

Despite the ongoing investigations, the consensus of several military law experts was that there was little appetite to pursue a case against Petraeus.

“Sure, in theory he could be brought back into the military, but that’s not going to happen,” said Gary Solis, a Marine Vietnam veteran and a former JAG who is now a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. “Nobody is going to charge David Petraeus.”

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Rats Deserting A Sinking Ship

English: A March 2009 meeting of the United St...

English: A March 2009 meeting of the United States National Security Council. President Barack Obama at a NSC Meeting in the Situation Room. Participants include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright, DNI Dennis Blair, White House Counsel Greg Craig, CIA Director Leon Panetta, Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, NSC Advisor Gen. James “Jim” Jones, and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rats Deserting A Sinking Ship
by London Steverson on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 8:33pm ·

David Petraeus, the man at the helm of the CAI, the nation’s largest intelligence agency, stepped down as director on Friday 9 November 2012, saying he had an extramarital affair.

The resignation comes at a difficult time for the agency and Obama administration, which has been under intense scrutiny from Republican lawmakers for the September attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans — including the Ambassador Christopher Stevens and two CIA contractors — dead. Petraeus and other top U.S. intelligence officials were scheduled to speak next week at a closed-door session of the Senate Intelligence Committee about the Benghazi incident.

His reputation was potentially tarnished by the controversy over the terror attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in September.

Some Republicans have privately said they were disappointed in Petraeus for sticking as long as he did to the initial intelligence assessment that the attack erupted from a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video on the Web.

For many weeks the White House had come under intense pressure for the attack, before it finally emerged that the CIA had actually played a central role in the episode. Two of the Americans killed were identified as undercover agents for the CIA, and the vast majority of Americans on the ground that night turned out to be with the agency.

In a Wall Street Journal article a week before the election, several administration officials pointed to Petraeus specifically and accused him of mishandling the controversy, by appearing to be aloof and delivering misinformation to the White House in the early days after that attacks.

Congress intends to continue to investigate the incident.

Petraeus was expected to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week on the Benghazi attack.

Petraeus took over as head of the CIA in September of 2011 following his tour as head of allied forces in Afghanistan.

His sudden resignation came as a surprise, just days after President Barack Obama won a second term.

The resignation comes at a sensitive time. The administration and the CIA have struggled to defend security and intelligence lapses before the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. It was an issue during the presidential campaign that ended with Obama’s re-election Tuesday 6 November.

The CIA has come under intense scrutiny for providing the White House and other administration officials with talking points that led them to say the Benghazi attack was a result of a film protest, not a militant terror attack. It has become clear that the CIA was aware the attack was distinct from the film protests roiling across other parts of the Muslim world.

The CIA director’s bombshell took former military colleagues by surprise.

In addition to Petraeus, two other top-level administration officials, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, are also expected to soon leave the Obama administration.

Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday 8 November he’s also weighing whether he will remain for Obama’s second term.

Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, lauded Petraeus as a “true American patriot.”

Petraeus and his wife, Holly, live in Virginia. They have two grown children.

Here is the full text of Petraeus’ letter:

HEADQUARTERS Central Intelligence Agency

9 November 2012

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA.  After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.  Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.  This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation’s Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard.  Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing.  I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.

Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,

David H. Petraeus

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