Last Updated:November 28 @ 07:44 am

Patton: Petraeus’ Testimony Will Make Little Difference

By Doug Patton

The fall of retired Army General David Petraeus is a story as old as the Garden of Eden. Sin has consequences. It does not undo a lifetime of service, nor does it negate every good deed ever performed, but it leaves a mark, a scar, like nails driven into a fine table top. The nails can be removed, just as transgressions can be forgiven, but the scars will remain.

As anachronistic as it may sound in this day and age, David Petraeus has betrayed his own wife, debased another man’s wife, dishonored his profession and generally defamed the four stars he wore so proudly. And all that fruit salad on the uniform now hanging in his closet cannot erase the shame he has brought upon himself, his family and his nation.

The explanations for the Petraeus scandal run the gamut, from “it’s just sex” to “the White House has blackmailed him.” As usual, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. It is doubtful that a man willing to jeopardize his marriage, his family and his distinguished career for sexual pleasure in the arms of another woman would be so honorable as to resign from his post in disgrace if he were not forced to do so.

That said, many questions remain unanswered, the most important being this: Will a Congress that has allowed itself to be made largely irrelevant during Barack Obama’s first term have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to him and demand accountability now that he has been returned to office for another four years?

During Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, even the supposedly honorable Joe Lieberman, who on the Senate floor spoke so disapprovingly of the president’s loutish behavior, in the end voted against Clinton’s conviction for lying under oath. As David Schippers, chief investigative counsel for the proceedings, wrote in his book, “Sellout, the inside story of the Clinton impeachment,” a member of the Republican Senate leadership assured him that if video evidence could be shown that Bill Clinton shot someone dead in broad daylight, they still could not get the two-thirds majority necessary to convict him — because Democrats would never vote to remove him from office.

My own sense is that there is not a single Democrat — and only a handful of Republicans — who would be willing to speak truth to power and then follow through on their words. Mitt Romney certainly did not make a major issue of the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya.

So as David Petraeus prepares to testify before a closed congressional committee about that shameful night, a resolve settles over those of us who do not believe the whole truth will ever be known. The newly reaffirmed tyrant, Barack Obama, will not allow it to be known.

After all, this is a president who has bullied his way through four years in office and been re-elected to a second term.

He has shipped guns illegally into Mexico and watched as people on both sides of the border were murdered by the drug cartels using them.

He has borrowed trillions from China in order to spend tax dollars to be collected from generations yet unborn, to fund stimulus programs that stimulate nothing be the growth of government.

He has rammed through a health care bill opposed by a majority of the American people, which will surely bankrupt the nation, then managed to see it ruled constitutional by a Supreme Court that apparently no longer understands what the Constitution even says.

He apparently went to bed while brave Americans were fighting for their lives in a foreign consulate, got up the next day and made up a flagrantly false story about the reasons for the attack, and then flew off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser.

And because he has disregarded the whole process of submitting a budget to Congress, none has been passed during his entire first term.

And yet we gave him a second term!

He believes, with some justification, that those who returned him to office will believe whatever ridiculous story he tells them about anything — which is why it will likely make little or no difference what David Petraeus says behind closed doors before the United States Congress.


Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton. For info on using Doug’s columns at your publication or website, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at

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  1. westtexaslibraryladyComment by westtexaslibrarylady
    November 15, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    I so wish I could argue that your cynicism is exaggerated, but I can’t. If anything, you probably understate the severity of the problems. It’s bad enough that so much corruption exists without question; it’s even worse when so many of the very people we have elected to counter that corruption are complicit in allowing it to go unchecked.

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    • pypypypyComment by pypypypy
      November 15, 2012 @ 9:41 am

      Could not have said this any better. Did you see BO yesterday during his Press Conference. Ths man is now so emboldened that he has the audacity to say that he is angry that we are questioning Amb Rice and taunt Sen McCain and Graham to go after him! See how almost everyone, one press esp was drooling and fawning all over him (the shameless one who sat next to Mr Henry)
      Folks, elections certainly does have consequences and it is not a good one. well done folks! well done!

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  2. jdb121Comment by jdb121
    November 15, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    It is what we do, as individuals, not what is evaluated as representative of the “collective” for which we are responsible.
    Americans and American freedom and democracy are differentiated
    the totalitarian regimes of the world by this very fact. Not having voted for this administration, either in the election of 2008 or the election of 2012, I accept no responsibility for any of it. Neither should anyone else who did not. We submit to the authority of government because it is the will of the majority who succeeded in the election. This could be problematic.

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  3. arwenusaComment by arwenusa
    November 15, 2012 @ 10:07 am

    “Will a Congress that has allowed itself to be made largely irrelevant during Barack Obama’s first term have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to him and demand accountability now that he has been returned to office for another four years?”

    I would bet money that the answer to that question is “No” – wish it weren’t so.

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    • mrwilsonComment by mrwilson
      November 15, 2012 @ 11:09 am

      You are very funny and cool; only betting on a sure thing. That person, Harry Reed, stated yesterday “no game.”

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    • pypypypyComment by pypypypy
      November 15, 2012 @ 11:16 am

      There were several occasions that Congress became irrelevant during BO’s 1st term. this 2nd term they will become even more irrelevant and will be retired by “the executive pen”

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  4. Pingback: Flash! If Obama Had Himself Executed The Four Americans: Democrats Would Not Impeach - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  5. mrwilsonComment by mrwilson
    November 15, 2012 @ 11:07 am

    Mr. Doug Patton; it does not sound “anachronistic.”

    ” like nails driven into a fine table top. The nails can be removed, just as transgressions can be forgiven, but the scars will remain.”

    Sounds like a trite, contrived, and sophmoric use of similes.

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  6. oldfart1Comment by oldfart1
    November 15, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    I would not try and relate a situation where the president of the U.S. had an affair with a White House intern to one where the president of the U.S. has lied to the citizens trying, for reasons we do not know, to cover-up a situation in which a piece of America was attack and American citizens were killed. I would be very hopeful that Congressman would have more courage to stand up against a tyrant for having lied and continues to roll heads to cover it up than to impeach someone who had sexual perversions. Someone wrote yesterday that the re-election of a person such as Obama refected the declining of our culture. I don’t know if “declining” is the proper term as it seems to have fallen off a cliff.

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    • mysticComment by mystic
      November 15, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

      For OldFart1 (love that handle btw!) Couldn’t agree more with your post. I’ll take it one step further…. relating a president’s infidelities (which come on guys, Kennedy? Please..and no one put him through congressional hearings. *roll eyes*)with that of someone in the intelligent community is an apples to oranges comparison. No one within an appointed or elected seat should be comporting himself or herself in such a manner..not only for possible intelligence leaks and or blackmail..but for the seated honor of said position in serving the American people.

      What is needed is a full congressional public hearing to pull back the layer upon layer of cover up, deceit, lies, and corruption that this Admin. is quickly becoming notorious for.


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  7. nancyjComment by nancyj
    November 15, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    You know, Mr. Patton, it must be wonderful to be such a perfect human being that you can pass judgement on another man. Incidentally that “other man” has done more to serve his fellow man than you have in your lifetime. In anybody’s lifetime.

    Shame on you. Get your nose out of other people’s private business. This man has been totally tried and found guilty by people who have no business doing so.

    I am so weary of the modern day writers. I can’t say journalist because they are beyond a dying race. They are already gone.

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      November 15, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

      Character does matter. Is anyone perfect? No. But this may be a serious breach of security on top of the moral perfidy. A person trusted with top-secret information should be able to keep his mouth shut about that information when in the sack. If he cannot, he does not need to be in that type of position. Failure to maintain confidence can result in the death of our servicemen and intelligence sources.

      I will leave the judgement of his sins to God, but he still needs to be held accountable by the proper authorities if he has committed any crimes.

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    • usafoldsargeComment by usafoldsarge
      November 15, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

      NO! Nancyj, Patton’s perfection has nothing to do with it…Patreus was commissioned an OFFICER and a GENTLEMAN, by an act of Congress many years ago… before he put the eagles on his shoulders, he should have understood that the indiscriminate use of the penis could have unforeseen consequences…. with his acceptance of his commission as a 2nd Lt., he, in reality agreed to keep himself morally straight.. This has always been expected of military leadership…. Not only by we in the military, but the civilians who controlled us.
      Adultery is a violation of article 134 of the UCMJ….Presume that you would readily accept this from your husband (you would spin the treads off the tires in your haste to get to the lawyers) As to his service, not to be made light of, for sure, but greater than anybody in anybody’s lifetime- that is a big crock of ****- 2/3 of those ribbons on his chest are nothing more than prestige ribbons.. Heros, which is the pedestal you are putting him on, earn that status in actual combat, not in a bunker watching a battle take place on TV.
      He is the one that placed himself in this position and it makes no difference whether she seduced him or not.There is a military code of conduct that the general violated, as well as the 10 commandments. Your willingness to accept this conduct says volumes about your moral integrity.. No, when you elect to be in the spotlight, you have no private life, or at least none that you would be ashamed to let the world know……….

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  8. jthompso53Comment by jthompso53
    November 15, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    What would American hero, General George Patton have to say about this general’s behavior?

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  9. anne01Comment by anne01
    November 15, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    It’s possible (probable?) that the whole truth will never be knows, but I want to believe that Petraeus will shed enough light on the time line that will make even some dems question Obozo and his cabal.

    It’s not that Benghazi is the first incident that Obozo and his admin. in question.

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  10. kpjlawComment by kpjlaw
    November 15, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    I hope that Petraeus exposes Obama and Benghazi, but the Democrats will never believe him and will do nothing. Obama has already smeared Petreaus to discredit his testimony.

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  11. juicyfruit56Comment by juicyfruit56
    November 15, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

    Are you absolutely sure this man really had the affair? Something does not smell right with this whole thing. Has he been threatened if he did not go along with this Administrations cover up of Bengazi. Why are We the People letting this go on without rallying to the defense of those who were killed in Bengazi because of Obama and his administration?

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  12. diamondjimComment by diamondjim
    November 15, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

    Obama is going to regret throwing down the gauntlet at his press conference and daring Republican leadership (and, we would assume, Fox News and conservative bloggers) to take him on. Remember Gary Hart, who thought he was so above it all that he laid down the same challenge when rumors about another Rice…that one named Donna..were flying? Catch me if you can! And we all remember how that turned out.

    Obama is such a narcissist, and thinks the media are so in the tank for him, that he’s confident he’ll get to skate on Benghazi and it will eventually go away. Never happen. Even some Democrats are calling his hand. The man seems to be incapable of labeling Muslim terrorists for what they are. He is still referring to the shooting at Ft. Hood (which killed a lot more Americans than died at Benghazi) as an incidence of workplace violence.

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  13. steven LComment by steven L
    November 15, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

    The left & far left do not care if the country sink further. That will bring them more poor people and more control of the country.
    It appears clear that General 4 stars lied to the Americans. Will he recant Friday?

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  14. nkqx57aComment by nkqx57a
    November 16, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    Just maybe General Petraeus has had second thoughts about his lies to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees on September 14, 2012.

    General Petraeus has disgraced himself and he knows it; but being the honorable man he is, he felt that resigning would free him to tell the whole truth; not only about what happen in Benghazi, but the before and after as well. I truly hope he does tell ALL.

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