After CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus resigned from his post on Friday over an extramarital affair, a number of media sources reminded that back in July, an unnamed man wrote to the New York Times Magazine’s “ethicist” over a similar dilemma.
According to the unnamed man, his wife was having an affair with a “government executive” whose “progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership.”
Everyone was quick to note that the links to Gen. Petraeus were far from tangible, but it certainly presented an interesting case.
The Weekly Standard relates the man’s letter to “ethicist” Chuck Klosterman:
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 [Emphasis added]
Now, however, the magazine’s editor Hugo Lindgren is saying on Twitter that the letter is not related to Petraeus’ admitted infidelity.
At first he wrote that they would explore the matter, but concluded: “This @theethicist column http://nyti.ms/Scgf8j (2nd Q) is NOT about the Petraeus affair, based on our factchecking. Strange, I know.”
The true identity of the “government executive” having an affair remains unknown.