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article imageGroundswell of opinion favors Obama rehiring Petraeus

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By JohnThomas Didymus     Nov 23, 2012 in Politics
Washington - Analysts are saying that President Obama should rehire Petraeus because he remains the best man for the position of CIA director, and that after being "punished and paroled," he should be allowed "to get back to work."
The suggestion that Petraeus should be rehired appears to have been first suggested by Emily Yoffe, in an article for Slate. The political writer recommends that Obama should renominate the former CIA director.
Yoffe writes that rehiring Petraeus could "strike a blow for civil liberties and against the silly and destructive sexual Puritanism that has taken down so many public figures."
The Week points out that with the rising clamor that Petraeus should be rehired, the White House may find itself looking at the recommendation seriously.
The Inquisitr notes that most media analysts support the suggestion that the Obama administration should rehire Petraeus with the argument that he remains popular with both Republicans and Democrats.
The Inquistr also points that although his affair with Paula Broadwell caused some controversy and embarrassment for the Obama administration, he did not break any law and it has not been found that he committed any act that violated the nation's security.
Yoffe, writing for Slate, comments: “Thanks to our ever-faster cycle of humiliation and rehabilitation, [Petraeus] has already been punished and paroled. It’s time to let Petraeus get back to work. It would probably even please Mrs. Petraeus to see less of him around the house right now.”
Yoffe offers a view that seems widely shared in liberal political circles: "We have grown up enough to realize that just because you’re in public life doesn’t mean every aspect of your marriage is fair game... the Petraeus so-called scandal is just the old story of a long-married man who strayed with a younger woman..."
The writer raises a question that other observers have: Why did the FBI keep pursuing the investigation into Petraeus's fling with Broadwell even after it became clear that no crime had been committed? Yoffe comments: "Petraeus, realizing the affair had been discovered, did not then tender his resignation... he didn't think he should. He must have concluded that the matter was private and had no bearing on his ability to discharge his duties at the CIA."
According to The Washington Post, it was the Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr, who told him later that his actions had made him unfit for office.
But Yoffe argues that Clapper's opinion is not as obvious as it may have seemed to him, even if it had appeared, while congressional investigation of the Benghazi scandal was going on, that easing Petraeus out of office was the convenient thing to do.
CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus and his alleged mistress Paula Broadwell. David Petraeus stepped do...
CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus and his alleged mistress Paula Broadwell. David Petraeus stepped down from his position after admitting he had an extramarital affair
Handout / ISAF
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Diane Diamond, writing for The Daily Beast, concurs with Yoffe, saying it is a waste for the country to lose Petraeus's expertise and experience over a personal issue. Diamond writes: "This country has invested heavily in developing Petraeus... Look at Petraeus’s schooling alone: four years at West Point, where he graduated in 1974 in the top 5 percent of his class; Ranger School; the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; and Princeton University, where he earned both a master’s and a Ph.D. in international relations."
Diamond quotes retired Army Major Mike Lyons, a West Point graduate, and a senior fellow at the Truman National Security Project, who says: “Adjusted for inflation, it’s more than a million dollars just on his education.”
Diamond lists Petraeus's accomplishments: Commanding a division that helped liberate Iraq, steering the course for America’s exit from Afghanistan and developing the "Petraeus doctrine," —drawing from his study of the Vietnam War—"a deft counterinsurgency strategy that combines troop surges, on-the-ground, public relations with locals, media management, and political savvy." The writer goes on to extol Petraeus as an army officer who "has survived being shot in the chest during a training mishap, a broken pelvis from an ill-fated parachute jump, and prostate cancer."
Diamond concludes that Petraeus is a "valuable commodity" for the country and warns that the country may lose to the corporate world, the value he is still capable of delivering: "Corporations seeking to do business with foreign governments will be lining up with open wallets to tap into Petraeus’s considerable knowledge."
Dale McFeatters, writing for Newsday, goes straight to the point, describing Petraeus's "departure a waste of talent." McFeatters writes: "Petraeus was the model of what the modern military is seeking in its top officers: a combination of warrior, leader, diplomat and scholar with a doctorate from Princeton. It is not exaggeration to say he was the nation's most esteemed military leader."
He concludes that there is still a future for the general, drawing from the example of Bill Clinton: "Petraeus' career in public service is not necessarily over; this country does have an unwritten statute of limitations. Bill Clinton has been a senior statesman for years now."
ABC News notes that before the scandal broke, Petraeus was viewed so favorably by Americans that he was considered as a possible vice presidential candidate for the GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
A recent ABC New/Washington Poll, found that 45 percent still view him favorably, a drop of 10 points from March 2011 and 16 points from September 2007. The Inquistr notes that although the numbers are down, his popularity remains high enough to back the call for his rehire.
ABC News reports that the FBI's approach in investigating the Petraeus scandal has earned the agency deserved criticism and that Americas are divided evenly, 40-39 percent, on the agency's handling of the case.
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