Sisterhood Blog

The General's First Fling

By Sarah Seltzer

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Gen. David Petraeus

A media narrative is beginning to emerge around the extramarital affair that has ended the career of former CIA director and General David Petraeus, and may indeed tar the reputation of other top military officials including General John Allen.

There are three men and three women in the love-and-betrayal triangle — err, quadrangle, err, hexagon thus far. There’s Petraeus, his biographer-turned paramour Paula Broadwell, Jill Kelley, a Petraeus friend who received threatening emails from Broadwell, and Allen, a general who apparently flirted over email with Kelley. Also among the cast of characters is a “shirtless FBI agent” and Petraeus’s wife, Holly.

The parties involved come off as immature, maybe a little pathetic, and the “scandal” is far more deliciously weird than sordid. Meanwhile, dozens of real unanswered questions about the investigation into the love shenanigans remain.

But Petraeus, this central character, is a military man with whom the corporate media had been accused of carrying on a love affair — a love affair now cut short by his love affair.

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