The PJ Tatler

Meanwhile, the Fall of King David Is Complete

The only question is: did Gen. David Petraeus fall on his own or was he set up? Either way, a possibly potent rival to President Precious was taken off the playing field:

David H. Petraeus, the best-known military commander of his generation, has reached a plea deal with the Justice Department that will allow him to avoid an embarrassing trial over whether he provided classified information to a mistress when he was the director of the C.I.A.

Mr. Petraeus will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. Mr. Petraeus has signed the agreement, said Marc Raimondi, a Justice Department spokesman.

The plea deal completes a spectacular fall for Mr. Petraeus, a retired four-star general who was once discussed as a possible candidate for vice president or even president. He led the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was the architect of a counterinsurgency strategy that at one time seemed a model for future warfare.

The mistress, Paula Broadwell, is a former Army Reserve officer who had an affair with Mr. Petraeus in 2011, when she was interviewing him for a biography, “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.” Mr. Petraeus resigned as the director of the C.I.A. in 2012, three days after President Obama was re-elected. At the time, Mr. Petraeus acknowledged the affair. He has since denied any criminal wrongdoing.

I have friends who worked with Petraeus in Iraq and they only ever spoke highly of him. A brilliant military commander and student of history has been outmaneuvered by a bunch of cheap, hustling crooks from Chicago. A real American tragedy.