F. Scott Fitzgerald famously uttered "there are no second acts in American lives" but bless his heart, the besotted scribe seems blissfully unaware of the loophole large enough to taxi a C- 130 through that exists for American politicians.
How is it that there is no palpable sense of soul searching associated with the 10th anniversary of a war based on officially concocted lies and a policy of torture? It is because the presumption of a unique American claim to an original and enduring innocence perseveres, no matter the death and destruction.
The Guardian has just published an exposé of interrogation teams run by two U.S. operatives acting under the authority of General David Petraeus in Iraq. It's clear that Petraeus not only knew of the "enhanced interrogation," but likely hired the thugs who were involved in it.
In Tampa, Jill Kelley was certainly not known to shy away from the press or the famous. David Petraeus was Tampa's George Clooney -- and she and her sister were blatant wannabe Stacey Keiblers.
While it's probably not a saying the president uses, Hagel is his choice, come hell or high water. Obama's getting more than a little of both in the bargain. He's going to get Hagel, too. But not thanks to Hagel's public performance skills.
The problem is that the U.S. media has no voice critical of the overall enterprise. Even liberal outlets like National Public Radio and The New York Times are all united in the project of occupation. No one bothers to examine the history.
As always with our technology, and especially the technology that trickles down from the military to civilians, we have to wonder if certain inventions are being used to advance life or death.
Last Sunday I got an email: "I think I have convinced Jill Kelly to speak with you if you are still interested?... She wants the promise of a cover and an assurance that the interview will be favorable." I laughed. Today I saw, to my astonishment, that Kelley appeared to have got her conditions -- in The Daily Beast.
The Army has a set of core values, including honor, integrity, courage, loyalty, respect, selfless service and duty. Many men have dishonored these values. So we are left with two questions: Why did they violate our trust and what can be done about it?
Though Paula and Jill made a mess of things in the long run, they used a couple of smart, steal-worthy strategies at the front end. They just should have quit while they were ahead.
Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that David Petraeus got caught having an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. After all he's not the first powerful government official to fall from grace. Is this just the way men are?
So now, we're reminded of the military laurels on which Gen. David Petraeus rode to four stars and near-Eisenhower immortality: the counterinsurgency ...
Who doesn't understand the coupling? Hot hard bodies under a hot desert sky. A craggy faced general and his bicep bodalicious biographer. Bring it on. I'd sign up for the military if it meant more of that.
Just what are we to make of the decade of military hagiography we've just passed through? What did it mean for two generals to soar to media glory while the wars they commanded landed in the nearest ditch?
America's military is astonishingly top heavy, with 945 generals and admirals on active duty as of March 2012. Such a dynamic leads to mediocrity rather than excellence.
Even four-star generals seldom make the front page unless they've been killed in action or involved in an extra-marital affair, as witnessed the sudde...