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Ethics: What It Means to Be An Officer and a Gentleman

- - Sunday, November 11, 2012

The military has always been adamant that we cannot tolerate adultery in our ranks, at any level. That is why it is an article in the Uniform Code of Military Justice — Article 134, the "good order and discipline" article — because it is a major cancer on any organization or society and will destroy the moral fabric of our basic motto of "Duty, Honor and Country." This must be a zero-tolerance policy enforced at all levels, and especially at the senior ranks, for the good of our military and of our nation.

Having spent his entire career in a military culture built upon such principles, Gen. David Petraeus knew very well what he had to do, and he was correct in his decision to immediately resign after being informed by his superior, Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper. The CIA is not, of course, the military, but it also could not tolerate this kind of leadership as an organization, and Gen. Petraeus was well aware of that.

I am very sorry to see such a brilliant career ended so abruptly when we needed his leadership in the global war against radical Islam. Gen. Petraeus' failure to meet his own high standards will be discussed for years to come, but he made the right decision for his family and for our nation. In the end, he had no other alternative.