Legal Insurrection has up an interesting post, and I am grateful to Joel because he zapped the old memory banks :). I am actually old enough to remember the headlines about the Profumo Affair in Great Britain. It was all about a call girl by the name of Christine Keeler. If my memory serves me correctly there was another woman involved in the scandal as well.
John Profumo was a Minister in the Harold MacMillan government in Great Britain. He had a pillow friend by the name of Christine Keeler, who was a call girl, and who in turn had a pillow friend who was the naval attache at the Russian embassy. When the affair came to light, and it was believed that Profumo could have been compomised, Profumo swore to the Prime Minister in private and then to the Parliament that he was not involved in an affair. A few months later he had to recant his story. The fallout from this scandal was in fact the end of the MacMillan government, and I think that is when probably one of the worst of the British Prime Ministers (Harold Wilson) came to power.
What has this got to do with the Petreus scandal? I actually think that the outcome of that previous scandal has a lot to do with the outcomes in the Petreus scandal. What was paramount in the criticism of MacMillan and of John Profumo was the fact that the affair could have subjected Profumo to blackmail by third parties who were seeking State secrets. Great Britain has a lot of these spy scandals including one associated with a man called Philby. Here in Australia there have also been some spy scandals including one that involved a Minister in the Whitlam Government in the 1970s (the son of the man at the centre of that scandal hotly denies that what was claimed, and I might add the report came from ASIO, was a lie. He is wrong, the source is impeccable).
Sex scandals involving people in postions such as head of the CIA, head of the Defense Department, Minister of the Crown, Prime Minister, President etc. always have the potential for blackmail. To this I add that even people who are closet gays, such as Lindsay Graham, face blackmail because of their refusal to acknowledge themselves and come out of the closet. It is simply a fact of life, that if you do something that can bring shame, and you think you can hide that action, there will always be someone who knows about it, and is willing to tell others, if you do not do as they say. This is what I think actually happened to David Petreus in the days immediately after the Benghazi debacle.
Is it possible that the White House did not know about the affair? I think it is next to impossible that the Administration, including Obama or maybe Valerie Jarrett did not know about the affair. Why else would David Petreus have gone along with the crap that was coming out of the White House? David Petreus knew what took place. He knew it was a terror attack, and yet he told that first enquiry the line about a spontaneous protest.
The fuss that was made about the break-in at the Watergate hotel went world wide. Yes I remember bits and pieces of that debacle because it was widely reported in Australian newspapers. Of course it was widely reported because it involved a Republican President. No one in the MSM reported on the John Kennedy affairs when he was President, but those affairs were equally compromising and could have exposed Kennedy to blackmail as well. Not a word was leaked until after President Kennedy was assassinated. The fairytale of the Kennedy Camelot had remained in place for more than 30 years before the real stories were being told. Kennedy was in fact a compromised President. All the same, the cover-up initiated by Richard Nixon was the thing that was his undoing.
So how should we be viewing this David Petreus affair? Frankly, it is not the sexual aspect of this whole affair that really matters, it is the backgrounds of the players. I have already stated that I am concerned about the other woman and her access to American Generals because that woman is a Lebanese-American. What is her family background? How did she gain so much access to so many generals? What is the possibility that she ended up with information that could have compromised any number of missions in the Middle East, or that she turned over that information to people associated with not just with Al Qaeda, but people who are anti-American? Is she another Valerie Plame?