11/10/2012

The Shocking Politically Biased Advice that the NY Times apparently offered Paula Broadwell's Husband about his wife's affair with Gen. Petraeus

In July, Paula Broadwell's husband wrote the NY Times' ethics columnist asking for advice about an affair that his wife was having with a high ranking government official.  Here is part of the advice that the "ethics" columnist offered:
Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. . . . The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable. In fact, it’s so over-the-top honorable that I’m not sure I believe your motives are real. . . . I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.
Are you really only supposed to out affairs when someone supports a "family-values platform"?  How about if the man who is being cheated on values "family-values"?  Can't the values be something noble even if one can't reach the desired goal oneself?  

From the letter to the paper, how can the columnist possibly infer that it "doesn't appear to be the case" that the man doing the affair promotes family-values?  In fact, I would argue that what we know about Gen. Petraeus indicates that he does strongly share these values.  After all, affairs in the military will get you court martialed.  In addition, Petraeus' resignation statement makes it clear that he believes these things.


I suspect that the ethics columnist doesn't share the family-values and thus that makes it OK to discredit them.  This seems like it is only OK to out Republicans.  So making affairs public should only be done against Republicans?  I can only wonder what advice the columnist would have offered if this letter had been sent in during a Republican administration.


UPDATE: Apparently, the Petraeus-Broadwell affair began while Petraeus was still in uniform, when he assumed command of the Afghanistan War.  For better or worse, here are the military rules governing this conduct:
Adultery in the military is actually prosecuted under Article 134, which is also known as the "General Article." Article 134 simply prohibits conduct which is of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, or conduct which is prejudicial to good order and discipline. . . .
UPDATE: Jake Tapper reports that the letter in the New York Times is "NOT about the Petraeus affair." That still doesn't justify the bizarre answer that the columnist gave.

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