Whatever his virtues as a military leader — and they are said to be substantial — Gen. David Petraeus has badly violated what should be the professional ethic of a military under civilian control by allowing himself to be made into a partisan figure. He shouldn’t be giving an exclusive interview to Fox News, and he should act quickly to distance himself from the lunatic McArthurite fantasies being fostered by the editors of the New York Sun.
Manifestly, the White House-friendly views Petraeus has been pushing do not reflect any consensus among the top brass. They may not even reflect his own professional judgment, as opposed to his political strategy. The hidden significance behind the lack of the written “Petraeus report” the Bushies have been hyping for the past two months may well be that the general wasn’t willing to put his signature on the rah-rah document drafted for him by the White House spin team.
The people in the best position to call him on that fundamental error in judgment are retired senior military commanders. Any volunteers?