When news broke of the four-star General David Petraeus' philandering ways, one of the first concerns was, of course, national security.
Something that can be ripped from a classic paperback page-turner or spy film, you could easily substitute Kevin Costner for the lead and Sean Young for the mistress. Sound familiar? I'm sure I'm not the only one who all of a sudden had a craving to revisit the classic 80s Cold War flick No Way Out.
Sure Petraeus may have a passing resemblance to Costner, but from what we are gathering, the lady in question -- biographer Paula Broadwell who wrote All In: The Education of General David Petraeus (I know, I know), which came out in January of this year, not only looks like, but is acting more and more like Sean Young.
For those of you who may not be familiar, actress Sean Young's erratic off-screen notorious-ness is the stuff of legends that basically drifted through the entire 80s and 90s before she pretty much fell off the celebrity star map.
Broadwell, in this case, sent her attack dog-type emails to another "close" female associate of Petraeus who turned out to only be a family friend. They were so threatening that it prompted the recipient to call in the Feds to investigate. Sure enough, it lead the FBI directly to Broadwell's own account where a chain (of thousands) of seductive exchanges (on Gmail no less) with the four-star General led to the affair being exposed. See? Isn't that just so Sean?
But I digress....
With P4 (the nickname bestowed upon him by his colleagues) dalliances exposed (his first that we know of), the Friday night lights of the cable news studios jolted back up again as this delightful sexual nugget was placed right before their teleprompters and filled up the airwaves.
It's the much-needed, best post-election hangover cure one could possibly ask for. Of course then came the numerous talking heads and security experts who were willing and ready to analyze, dissect and have their way with whatever facts were discovered by the early evening's airtime. At that point, the mistress' identity hadn't been disclosed so of course experts were having a hay day about this mysterious Bond Girl with a PhD. One such expert's concerns stuck out to me: Fran Townsend.
CNN's national security commentator, who also serves on the board of the CIA's External Advisory Committee immediately noted that there needed to be a full examination on who this mysterious woman was. She could easily be a "foreign agent," a nefarious Natasha who could have trapped the helpless CIA Director into endless nights of pillow talk where classified information could easily have been extracted under her seductive gaze.
Really Fran? To paraphrase Obama's now classic Romney retort, "that is so 20 years ago."
As retro as that explanation was, I immediately noted how Townsend immediately wanted to question the validity and motive of the mistress, basically hinting at the fact that the General could not have been a willing participant in this post-Cold War bedroom romp. He can't be capable of doing this, so let's blame the woman.
But what doesn't surprise me is that here we have another powerful man who succumbed to the needs of his other P. It's not unheard of. But here's the head-scratcher: Broadwell knew of his marriage as she worked on his biography, so she can't claim ignorance.
Could it be that he fed her lines about his marriage falling apart, another example of a mid-life crisis and the usual song and dance that a man who is entertaining the thought of having someone on the side usually delivers? Or maybe she just didn't care and wanted to have her cake and eat it too.
Maybe it's our age but myself and many of my similarly aged single friends -- for one reason or another -- seem to attract more married men than single ones. And they all have their tweaked well-rehearsed stories, which they dole out, in the hopes of finding someone who believes them. And if you still think you can spot a married man simply by looking for their wedding ring, snap out of it.
In our case, all of these wanderers are from the same boomer age category, so we usually slot them in our own binders full of Man with Mid-Life Crisis. It's the proverbial convertible. But of course here in Canada having another expensive car that is drivable for only six months out of the year is impractical. So what better way to accomplish said goal than by sticking to the "we live separate lives" scenario. That's for all seasons.
But as we all know by now, it takes two to tango. So as much as there are women who can see right through the mesh of these tangled stories and make a run for it, there are those who recognize what the deal is and still proceed ahead. Broadwell is the perfect example.
She's also married and has two children. And yet she still found a way to become "embedded" (pun totally intended) with P4 (or by his other nickname, "Peaches" which she willfully disclosed during her book tour), again I ask...why?
Could it be that she was just bored of her own life? Was she also going through her own mid-life crisis and needed a welcome distraction? Did the four-star General, the director of the CIA and all-round powerful man, prove to be the perfect aphrodisiac?
Well it happened before. Remember Bill & Monica?
Once Broadwell decides to come out of hiding only then can the questions be answered. And while doing so also explain to inquiring minds (like me!) why she went all Fatal Attraction with her threatening emails to the other woman?
This latest sex scandal proved to be a hit with her book. When the news of the scandal broke Friday evening her Petraeus biography was listed as #76,792 on Amazon. By mid-Saturday it reached spot #111. Which obviously incites the question, "who did she have to sleep with to get such a fantastic spike in ratings?" ...Oh, wait ... never mind.
At the end of the day, these two characters in this plot worthy of any present-day spy film (which I'm sure a screenplay is being penned as I pen this), decided to put their own married lives and respective families on the line with their affair -- all clearly documented in their thousands of emails. Sure if fidelity isn't your cup of tea, sure whatever rocks your boat, but doing it all over the hackable Gmail ... well that's just all sorts of stupid.
<em>American soldiers hide behind a barricade during an explosion, prior to fighting with Taliban forces November 26, 2001 at the fortress near Mazar-e-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)</em>
<em>US Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed from the USS Bataan's Amphibious Ready Group arrive December 14, 2001 at an undisclosed location with field gear and weapons. (Photo by Johnny Bivera/Getty Images)</em>
<em>U.S. Marines begin to form up their convoy at a staging area near Kandahar, Afghanistan, as they await orders to begin their trek to Kandahar to take control of the airfield 13 December, 2001. (DAVE MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the war's peak: About 101,000 in 2010. Allies provided about 40,000.
<em>U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a televised address from the East Room of the White House on June 22, 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais-Pool/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Withdrawal plans: 23,000 U.S. troops expected to come home by the end of the summer, leaving about 68,000 in Afghanistan. Most U.S. troops expected to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, though the U.S. is expected to maintain a sizeable force of military trainers and a civilian diplomatic corps.
<em>American flags, each one representing the 4,454 American soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, move in the breeze at The Christ Congregational United Church March 17, 2008 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Number of U.S. casualties: At least 1,828 members of the U.S. military killed as of Tuesday, according to an Associated Press count. According to the Defense Department, 15,786 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action.
<em>Asan Bibi, 9, sits on a bench as burn cream is applied to her at Mirwais hospital October 13, 2009 Kandahar, Afghanistan. She, her sister and mother were badly burned when a helicopter fired into their tent in the middle of the night on October 3rd, according to their father. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Afghan civilian casualties: According to the United Nations, 11,864 civilians were killed in the conflict between 2007, when the U.N. began reporting statistics, and the end of 2011.
<em>An Iraqi man counts money behind a pile of American dollars in his currency exchange bureau in Baghdad on April 11, 2012. (ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Cost of the war: $443 billion from fiscal year 2001 through fiscal year 2011, according to the Congressional Research Service.
<em>US President Barack Obama speaks to troops during a visit to Bagram Air Field on May 1, 2012 in Afghanistan. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) </em><br><br> Number of times Obama has visited Afghanistan: 3 as president, including Tuesday, and 1 as a presidential candidate.
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