What's Going On?

When a cigar isn't just a good smoke . . .

Recently we have been deluged with news stories and commentary on the General Petraeus improprieties for the past several days. And it continues to unfold. Only today, since the Israelis and Palestinians are going at it, the General has been knocked off the top spot on the Google News feed.

I don't pretend to know the facts in the matter, nor even understand what has come to light. Seems the good (married) soldier had been doing some "maneuvers" away from home. Be that as it may, all the commentators are anxious to know if any national security information or issues have been compromised.

That's where I have the issue.

That any official in a highly sensitive national security post, let alone the top level guy, should be engaged in improprieties of any sort is itself a national security violation. The point is that we don't want anyone who is trusted with our national security to find themselves in a compromising position. As in, "do this or that, or we'll expose you." That is one of the key questions that security screeners ask about anyone seeking a post where a security clearance comes with the job. It's not necessarily about what they may or may not be doing. That they need to keep it covered up is the immediate security problem. Can they be blackmailed?

Bill Clinton comes to mind. I don't have an issue with what he may want to do in his private life. That's his "affair". Though, keeping one's promises to one's spouse is the good way to go. But, to be the President of the United States and sneaking around with that Monica; that put him, and therefore the country, in danger of being coerced. That is the big sin as far as I'm concerned, and it never seemed to be discussed as such. Instead, the outrage went to the public opprobrium over his shenanigans.

Then there's that John Edwards. All wrapped in the flag, the apple cheeked candidate of the people. The family man. A patriot. What was he thinking to be running for President and getting some on the side? And, a child out of that relationship? That bastard! Mr. Edwards, not the kid. Though, technically the kid is one too. But, nowadays, with so many children out of wedlock, the term "bastard" just doesn't seem to have so much punch.

My jaw is still dropped over Edward's cheekiness. What did he think about how it would turn out if he were elected and his affair came to light? Surely he must have understood that there were a lot of people who had him by the short hairs. As Charles Colson was quoted as saying, "When you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will surely follow." What kind of favors would he have been willing to deliver to keep his secret activities from the public eye? Bad boy, Mr. Edwards.

My kindest interpretation is he [Edwards] never thought he had a chance at the White House in the first place; and, he was put in there as a kind of filler to make it look like there was a contest. Sort of like how they threw John McCain the bone during the 2008 election when the Republicans surely had to know that it was the Democrat's turn in the barrel. If you disagree, then how do you explain Sarah Palin as his running mate? I'd do her. Once. But she wouldn't do as VP. Ever.

Speaking of ringers. Take those Republican Presidential nominating debates. I won't name names (like Herman Cain . . . did he really think he was a contender?) but I speculate the shakers and movers had already chosen Mitt Romney as the guy, and gave us that spectacle of so-called aspiring candidates to make it look like a contest. The pundits lapped it up like the dogs they sometimes can be.

Watching the proceedings on all of the above, it's sort of like your neighbor and best friend at the backyard barbeque distracting you waving a hot dog in the air while at the same time he's feeling up your wife. Only, think of it more on a national level. 

This relates . . . somehow.

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