With the “resignation” of Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for his secret liaisons with the Russian government and subsequent lies about it, an old name has resurfaced as a potential replacement: David Petraeus. The criminal Petraeus — convicted of passing on secret information to his girlfriend Paula Broadwell when he was head of the CIA under Obama — met with Trump after the election to discuss the position of Secretary of State.

Clearly, despite his breach of the most important security laws (and attempt to cover it up by lying the the FBI about it), Petraeus’ rehabilitation is almost complete — indeed, the foreign policy establishment, which relentlessly demonised Ed Snowden, WikiLeaks and Chelsea Manning for revealing a vast array of crimes, including war crimes, has been happy to overlook Petraeus leaking information to impress a young lover. But what about the woman so often described in the media as his “mistress”, Broadwell?

She kept a low profile throughout the scandal, but had both her military and academic career wrecked. No rehabilitation for her — just the usual double standard that means adulterous men are to be admired while adulterous women are sluts, predators and home wreckers. Broadwell gave an interview to Vanity Fair in December about the impact on her, with surprisingly little vindictiveness toward Petraeus, who threw her under a bus when the scandal emerged. Her current work? She heads an NGO she established looking at bias against women in the media. Who can blame her?

Peter Fray

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