We were sitting around our favorite table at The Holy Land Quickee's. DinkyDau Billy was pensively slurping a diet rootbeer - it was Veteran's Day, after all - and absent-mindedly adjusting his new AFDB. The Petraeus Affair had his Paranoia Meter pegged.
Leece was delicately sipping a crappuccino, and nibbling at a chocolate fudge Grandma's cookie.
"Well, the Petraeus thing is really growing some legs, hey wot?" I tossed out, to get things moving.
"Yeah. Yeah. Now it's coming out that the whackjob he was boffing is leaking confidentshul info," Billy replied.
"Pillow talk, do you think? Like, 'Wow, that was great! Hey, guess what! My boys had a couple of Libyan militiamen in their compound. We think maybe that Benghazi thing was over trying to get them out," I asked.
"And what? She replies, 'Oh, you savage you, I just love it when you reveal secrets, it just gives me tingles up my leg?" Leece was rather scathingly scoffing.
"Well ... yeah."
"Hah. You were ready to write it all off as a 'boys will be boys' thing, with no attachment to security risks," she added, rather intensely, I thought.
"Well ... no, you'll note that I included a caveat there, that that is all it was. I've known guys who would cheat on their wives and lie through their teeth over it - yet would cut out their own tongues before they would betray the country." That was true. It doesn't make the matrimonial betrayal right, but the two sets of circumstances are not necessarily related.
"It seems to me that a fellow who would break his vows to his wife would be a fellow whose word could not be trusted in other matters, either, " she insisted.
"You raise a good point, and in a rational world, in theory, you would be correct. But the two sets of circumstances are often sharply separated in practice. If you want a classic example, we have Eisenhower and his Jeep driver. Which is why I will hold to my original position on this," I countered, "What I really did not like was his fallback on that alleged 'code of ethics and sense of honor'. That came out as a matter of convenience, to help him look better, when he really couldn't look any worse. That's a dog that don't hunt."
"She's a whackjob," DinkyDau Billy repeated, "she's a wrapped-too-tight ring-knocker junior officer who got too close to the nosebleed heights, and got infatcherated with the power factor. What got it all started with the FeeBees was her whackjob harassing emails to that other woman. You gotta be a whackjob to first engage in that harassing behavior, and you gotta be dummer than dogpoop to do it by email. She's a psycho."
"Yes, and Petraeus is clearly not thinking with the right body part, not to have seen that," Leece went on, "and that right there is enough to can him."
That statement was pretty hard to dispute.
"And lookit this," Billy added, "they knew about this back in 2011, and it never came out? Who are they kidding? Petraeus, as either the head generalissimo over in the sandbox, or as CIA director, is never really alone. He has a security detail; his movements are logged, all that. It's like Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. People knew; they just kept it quiet. Same with Petraeus."
"Well, the tinfoil hat crowd is going nuts over it. No offense, Billy ... "
"None taken," he replied. Leece can get away with things that would lead Billy to otherwise end a life-long friendship.
"... but some of the fact patterns emerging really do smack of conspiracy, just not the whackjob kind."
"No kidding," I added. I was thinking of Nixon and Operation Menu, and Nixon and Laos, and Nixon and Watergate, and that was just the start.