Privacy for Petraeus

This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "Petraeus makes bed" (Forum, Nov. 25), Eric Johnson argues that because Gen. David Petraeus withheld knowledge of his affair from his wife, family and the CIA, the resulting scandal amounts to more than "just sex." Is Johnson suggesting that one's employer is entitled to all information about an individual, including his or her private life?

Was Petraeus morally obligated to disclose details of his sex life with his wife? If not, what does his sex life have to do with his job performance? (Johnson did not allude to the possibility that the affair may have implicated national security).

Incredibly, Johnson likens having an extramarital affair to selling national secrets. Not selling secrets was an actual and relevant requirement for heading the CIA; whom one has sex with was likely not.

Johnson closes by stating that our government leaders must be held to the "highest standards." To whose standards is he referring? Johnson is free to adopt any ideas of morality, but he should recognize that they are just that — his.

For some of us, competently and faithfully performing the jobs with which our governmental leaders are charged is a sufficiently high standard.

Brian Jones

Spanish Fork