A Clue To The Petraeus Scandal In The New York Times?

Many people I follow on Twitter, including several journalists, are wondering if there’s any connection between the Petraeus scandal and this letter to Chuck Klosterman, author of the The New Times’ “The Ethicist” column that appeared on July 13, 2012:


My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me?NAME WITHHELD

It’s likely just a bizarre coincidence, but it’s written vaguely enough that it really does make you wonder if it’s Paula Broadwell’s husband, doesn’t it?

Klosterman’s advice to “Name Withheld” can be found at the link.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. edmond says:

    I didn’t bother to read the answer but here’s my advice: If you need to ask the New York Times f pimping out your wife for “professional” advancement is unethical then you might want to reconsider your career choice.

  2. bill says:

    clue 2, the title of the book “All In”!?

  3. SKI says:

    I believe the Times has stated the letter writer was not Broadwell’s husband.