If I were a responsible, dedicated citizen, I would be more concerned with national security and chain-of-command issues than with the lurid details of the sex scandal itself. That's a fact. I'd be more concerned with the larger picture. But I'm not a responsible, dedicated citizen. I'm more or less a lecher, a pilgrim whose idea of serious literature is Jackie Collins.
And to me, this David Petraeus escapade is simply too bizarre, too titillating, too mind-boggling to leave alone. It's like catnip to a cat.
Just consider what we know so far. America's top soldier -- its most admired and revered military hero, a man renowned for his integrity, the holder of a Ph.D. in International Relations from Princeton University, married for 38 years, and the head of the world's most formidable intelligence agency -- is found to be having an affair with a woman 20 years his junior, the mother of two young sons, whose husband is a physician.
She's not only a married woman and mother (a self-described "soccer mom"), but she's a runner, a former homecoming queen, a West Point grad, a Ph.D. candidate, and the author of a biography of Petraeus himself. In fact, it was while conducting research for her book that she and the general first met and, alas, eventually jungled-up.
Then we learn that this 40-year old woman, Paula Broadwell -- her high school valedictorian and, in addition to West Point, a Harvard graduate as well -- sent threatening emails to another woman, one Jill Kelley, a fetching, 37-year old Tampa socialite, warning her to stay the hell away from Petraeus. The plot thickens.
While there is absolutely no evidence so far indicating that Petraeus and Kelley were romantically involved, we still have a ways to go in the investigation. Considering the number of oddities that have already been revealed, who knows what will turn up?
But there's more, way more. Next, we learn that another soldier, General John Allen, the officer who replaced Petraeus as commander in Afghanistan, is alleged to have sent as many as 30,000 pages of emails to Jill Kelley, the fetching Tampa socialite whom Broadwell had threatened. I don't care how fast a typist you are, 30,000 pages is one prodigious body of work. More to the point, what could one possibly say in 30,000 pages of emails?
But there's more. Then we learn that one of the FBI agents investigating the case is suspected of having sent shirtless photos of himself to Kelley, the Tampa socialite. Really? An FBI agent took off his shirt, photographed himself, and then sent the shirtless photos to the same young woman who had received those 30,000 pages of emails from General Allen?
You couldn't make this stuff up. Call me wildly ambitious, but my hope, my dream, is that we find out that David Petraeus was born in Kenya, that Anthony Weiner has sent photos of his penis to both Broadwell and Kelley, and that at some point in this story the Kardashians get involved. I'm telling you, this stuff is like catnip to a cat.
David Macaray, an LA playwright and author ("It's Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor," 2nd Edition), was a former labor union rep.