WaPo's David Ignatius Outdoes All The Petraeus Apologists

I've been watching as much General Petraeus coverage as I can and I don't think I've seen any Villager go as far as the Washington Post's David Ignatius did with Wolf Blitzer yesterday. The Village Collective is transforming into The TownieBorg and has been very depressed at this latest sex scandal involving their true hero.

BLITZER: All right. Let's bring in David Ignatius, the columnist from "The Washington Post." He's joining us from "the Washington Post." And the U.S. Army general, Mark Kimmitt, retired, who's worked at the State Department as well as the military.

General Kimmitt, a lot of people are asking, these indiscretions now from the highest levels, these totally respected generals. It may be part of a bigger, systemic problem within the military. Do you believe that?

GEN. MARK KIMMITT (RET.), UNITED STATES ARMY: Well, I really don't. I mean, what makes these unique is sort of the level that these are happening. The fact remains that, at any period of time, a certain number of generals are being investigated for indiscretions. In this case, two four stars, three if you include General Ward.

But the military needs to take an internal look, really evaluate to see if this is, in fact, something institutional or this is just episodic.

BLITZER: Look at these poll numbers, David. We asked -- not we, but NBC and "The Wall Street Journal" in a recent poll, do you have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in the U.S. Military? Seventy-six percent said they do. The presidency, 42 percent. The Supreme Court, 33 percent. Will these events, though, over the past few days, change that confidence in the military?

DAVID IGNATIUS, COLUMNIST, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, it's just too early to be sure. We don't have the facts on General Allen. It's simply an investigation. I do think that the public's confidence in the military is tied up with public admiration for the job the military has done and these ten long years of war, in very difficult battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, as General Kimmitt knows, as well as anyone.

And one obvious takeaway for me, as I read these really quite sad personal stories of General Petraeus and now the investigation of General Allen, is these commanders and all of the officers and soldiers serving under them had been away from home for so long, on repeated, prolonged deployments.

General Petraeus spent most of the last ten years apart from his wife, Holly. I can't say about General Allen, but that's just a tremendous burden for people to bear, personally. It's easy to forget about it and kind of chase after the details of the scandal, but it's the thing I'm thinking about when you ask that question, Wolf, about confidence in the military, that these people have performed well, but under such difficult circumstances.

Holy moly. The long and winding road of St. Petraeus. it sounds like a song.

He's been gone, oh for so very long
He's been gone, oh so very far away.
Longings stirred deep inside.
When her lips moved he had to say.

Come Near Me. I Can See Clearly. Troubled Eyes Tell Me to Embrace The Moment.
So, Come Near Me. I Can See Clearly. You And I In The Sands of Afghanistan,
Walking Through The Heated Sand, It's Hard To Breathe, Please Don't Leave


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