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Should Petraeus Have Resigned?

Should Petraeus Have Resigned?
Mike A.
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#1 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 6:55 AM:
Subject: Should Petraeus Have Resigned?
So, a person has an affair. The affair is between two consenting adults. A promise has been broken between one of the consenting adults and his wife. A promise has been broken between one of the consulting adults and her husband.

Should, by virtue of that broken promise, a person resign from his public position? Should a person who has years of accumulated and varied practical experience resign from a position where the continued application of that experience might be considered critical to a nation's interest?

Is the individual more important than the State?

Another scenario between another public figure and an intern might intrude in one's consideration.

Is it possible hubris dictated the outcome or would have dictated either outcome - retiring or remaining?

Has Petraeus reclaimed a title of ethical individual by his resignation or has he simply underscored his indiscretion?

Why not just a 'my bad' and a continued career?

So many questions, so little time.
prothero
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#2 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 7:14 AM:

Besides the ethical and integrity questions that the behavior raises, there are additional considerations:

He is bound to have problems with his family over this, thus be emotionally distressed and distracted from his job.

Not everyone will take your view, and thus his effectiveness as the cheif will be compromised by others negative views and knowledge of this behavior.

He is an extroidinarily talented man, and it is a shame to lose him from national service, but no one is irreplaceable and some positions require individuals who can command universal respect and whom can devote their full attention to the job at hand.
Hurlock
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#3 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 7:26 AM:

The individual in this case more or less represents the state. Therefore, if his virtue can be questioned, then the virtue of the state can be as well. He is a representative of the people (in a sense) and has a responsibility to them to abide by the morals of the people. If someone in such a public position of high authority doesn't follow the accepted morality, what about the nation itself? He will not reclaim the tittle of an ethical individual by resigning. Precisely because he has shown himself as an unethical individual he must let go of his position of authority. Ideally only virtuous people shoud be in such a position. Do you want a person who has no regard for morality to govern your life or have some authority over you? I don't suppose you do.
Of course the individual is not more important than the state. That's precisely why the resignation is necessary.
Mike A.
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#4 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 9:39 AM:

Personally, I admit to ambivalence.

That a person holds him or herself to a high standard and takes personal responsibility for her or his actions in re that standard, I'm impressed.

I suppose, in some cultures, such an acknowledgement of individual failure would be accompanied by a forfeiture of life, while in others it might be accompanied by winks, grins and 'who's your uncle?'

It looks fair strange, in a world that seems to value excess, and indeed reward it, an individual... For sure it seems to too many that a marriage vow is at best a short term promise of fidelity.

You do the crime and you do the time. For years the individual pursued a career in an environment where adultery is viewed as a crime if it, among other concerns, is shown to be "prejudicial to good order and discipline" and/or "is of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces."

So... What was/is the individual to do?

I truly do not know what the answer is, nor am I advocating for an individual's course of action.

Ethically it for the individual to arrive at a theoretical assessment of a situation. Morally it is for the individual to decide to or not to act on such an assessment.

Or some thing.


chazwyman
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#5 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 9:53 AM:

What is the matter with Americans?

People have sex. Sometimes with spouces, sometimes with others. Sex is not a crime.

Does having extrmarrital sex adversely affect his job? NO.

Did it matter if Clinton screwed is secretary? NO.

Did Chester Star really give a damn or did he simply use the information to discredit a political opponent?
On Nov 11, 2012 - 11:19 AM, prothero responded: Well it is true in Italy or France, having an affair enhances ones political image of virility.
Intelligence
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#6 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 11:52 AM:

1) Yes, having an affair can create personal problems that may serve as a distraction from the job.

1.5) Yes a security threat was created, but not on the level as the media made it out to be. The security threat can be dealt with. The question to ask: Is the threat created worth the firing of a an individual whose firing can create larger problems in the administrative level?

2) The solution is not the firing of a brilliant and exceptional employee of the people. The solution is a temporary leave, marriage counseling and getting personal affairs in order and returning to the job.

IMPORTANT NOTE: From a Kafkaesque perspective we will never really now the truth of what happened. You cannot trust with any serious reliable certainty that it happened they way the government said it did. His firing may be political, personal, or otherwise related to some other faculty.
mayor of simpleton
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Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 12:04 PM:

No.

Reason... non sequitur correlation regarding "breaking trust".

Was being "faithful" to his wife in any way a job requirement? So far this has not been presented as part of the deal. If it was, then it would depend upon the written consequences his job status would face in the event that he had an affair. Then again... if this was part of his contract; I'd fear that there was an infringment upon his private affairs by the government, but does anyone know if his contract included such a constraint?

Seems to me this is more an issue of "pop politics" and not an ethical issue at all... two very different sections of value theory.

Meow!

GREG
Hurlock
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Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 12:17 PM:

mayor of simpleton wrote:
No.

Reason... non sequitur correlation regarding "breaking trust".

Was being "faithful" to his wife in any way a job requirement? So far this has not been presented as part of the deal. If it was, then it would depend upon the written consequences his job status would face in the event that he had an affair. Then again... if this was part of his contract; I'd fear that there was an infringment upon his private affairs by the government, but does anyone know if his contract included such a constraint?

Seems to me this is more an issue of "pop politics" and not an ethical issue at all... two very different sections of value theory.

Meow!

GREG

When someone is in a position of such a high authority his personal affairs become public. This has been true through the whole of history to the present day. When there is a set of morals accepted by the state and the state wants the people to abide by those morals (obviously), it follows necessarily that the people who have a position of authority in the state must abide by those morals, otherwise they would be contradicting the ideology they themselves accepted. If you do not agree with the morals of the goverment of the state, don't try to get a job in the goverment. It's that simple.
mayor of simpleton
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Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 12:32 PM:

Hurlock wrote:

When someone is in a position of such a high authority his personal affairs become public. This has been true through the whole of history to the present day. When there is a set of morals accepted by the state and the state wants the people to abide by those morals (obviously), it follows necessarily that the people who have a position of authority in the state must abide by those morals, otherwise they would be contradicting the ideology they themselves accepted. If you do not agree with the morals of the goverment of the state, don't try to get a job in the goverment. It's that simple.


So... to single out people in the public eye to fulfill a "higher moral agenda" is supposed to assure "equal justice for all"? WOW! I thought that the USA fought a good number of wars to prevent such a bias and selective system of justice (dictatorships and the like). I was not aware that they were a tyranny...

btw... Since when are the laws of the land established upon a clandestine set of moral agendas? As far as I can tell, laws of the land are founded upon constraints to assure fairness, so that those who are within the land can have the freedom to make moral decisions as long as they are within this constraint of fair play... a system founded upon a specific moral agenda is a tyranny, making it a government of men (a biased moral authority) and not of law (equality under the law).

It's not that simple... sorry to disappoint.

Meow!

GREG
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#10 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 11, 2012 - 12:44 PM:

That kind of bizarre "moralismus" could only possible happen in the USA, I say...
On Nov 11, 2012 - 12:49 PM, mayor of simpleton responded: USA - "Uptight States of America"
On Nov 11, 2012 - 1:01 PM, Mr. Gorbag responded: Petraus resigned to avoid a fate worse than public disgrace and moral contempt...
On Nov 11, 2012 - 1:10 PM, mayor of simpleton responded: He's in the CIA... why can't he just "wag the dog"... oh wait! That's what they're doing with him.
On Nov 11, 2012 - 1:15 PM, Mr. Gorbag responded: Interesting title on his biography written by his mistress though; "All IN", LOL...
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On Nov 15, 2012 - 8:44 AM, mayor of simpleton replied internally to BitterCrank's Apparently adultery ....
On Nov 15, 2012 - 3:32 AM, Benkei replied internally to ssu's Yep, coolazice, it s....
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On Nov 12, 2012 - 4:04 PM, Hypothesis replied internally to Mike A.'s But... Would Petrae....
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