On Nov. 9, shortly after David Petraeus resigned from his post as CIA director due to an extramarital affair, Twitter was a buzz with a rumor that a New York Times Magazine advice columnist Chuck Klosterman had posted a question from someone connected to the illicit tryst in his “Ethicist” column.
Without revealing any names regarding the mysterious July inquiry, Hugo Lindgren, who edits the Times, tweeted Saturday, “This @theethicist column nyti.ms/Scgf8j (2nd Q) is NOT about the Petraeus affair, based on our factchecking. Strange, I know.”
The former general allegedly had an affair with one of his biographers, Paula Broadwell, who is reportedly married to a radiologist, with whom she has two children.
This leads one to wonder who the power players may be who are referred to in the question, entitled, “My Wife’s Lover,” which, according to Mashable, reads:
My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me?”
According to The Atlantic Wire, Klosterman responded by writing, “This is between you and your spouse… The idea of ‘suffering in silence’ for the good of the project is illogical. How would the quiet divorce of this man’s mistress hurt an international leadership initiative? He’d probably be relieved.”
Klosterman added, “Do you admire this man so much that you haven’t asked your wife why she keeps having sex with him? I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved in what’s really going on behind closed doors… This is not ethical, either.”
An FBI investigation that began months ago to determine if Petraeus’ computer had been compromised, uncovered the affair, government officials told the New York Times.
During the probe, the FBI found sexually explicit emails between Petraeus and Broadwell, leading the agency to conclude they were in an intimate relationship.
Petraeus tendered his resignation to the president and released a statement which said, “…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…”
According to the Charlotte Observer, Petraeus and Broadwell met in 2006 when he spoke at Harvard where she was a graduate student. Her doctoral dissertation is a case study of the former general’s leadership, and Petraeus is one of her dissertation advisers, writes the Observer.
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