Scandals Without Perspective

by CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

It is good it all came to light just after the elections were over.  The media would really not have had the time to simultaneously give the election and sex the extensive coverage they richly deserve.  Elections are, of course, happily behind us and we can focus all our attention on sex.

When last we examined the subject of sex and public faces, we were enjoying the explanations of Messr. Strauss Kahn and his lawyer about Mr. Strauss Kahn’s attendance at assorted sex parties in France and elsewhere.  In explaining that he didn’t realize there were prostitutes in attendance at those gala events Mr. Strauss Kahn explained that he often arrived late when attendees were no longer fully clothed.  His lawyer further explained that “At these parties, people were not necessarily dressed, and I defy you to tell the difference between a naked prostitute and any other naked woman.” Apparently in France, at least, prostitutes wear distinctive markings on their clothing that enable the casual observer-participant to know in what line of work they are engaged.  We have now learned that the pleasures of the flesh enjoyed by Mr. Strauss Kahn have not been strangers to France’s former Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati.

Three days after the U.S. election an Associated Press report described in some detail the love life of Rachida Dati.  While serving as Justice Minister she gave birth to a daughter and is now suing to force Dominique Desseigne, a multimillionaire businessman to submit to a paternity test.  He is resisting her efforts and a hearing will be held in December to determine whether or not he can be forced to comply.  The French paper Le Monde reported that at the same time she was seeing Desseigne, Ms. Dati was involved with a number of other suitors.  In response to those stories Ms. Dati said, appropriately:  I have a complicated private life.”  She went on to say:  “What bothers them about me? That I have a life. .. that I’m a free woman.”  She is of course right and she and Messr. Straus Kahn demonstrate that we in the U.S. are excessively up tight about such matters.

The same day we learned of Ms. Dati’s affair we learned that David Petraeus was resigning as director of the CIA because of an affair he had carried on with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.  That came to light because Ms. Broadwell had sent e mails to Jill Kelley, a woman in Tampa Florida telling her to mind her public manners and stay away from General Petraeus.  Those e mails caused Jill Kelley such discomfort that she reported them to an FBI agent who was also such a good social friend that he had, some months earlier,  sent her e mails of himself shirtless. He caused an investigation into the e mails (not the ones he sent) to be conducted.

A few days later it was disclosed that Ms. Kelley, herself someone star struck by stars on uniforms, had exchanged 30,000 pages of e mails with General John Allen, the general who replaced General Petraeus in Afghanistan and who had been nominated to be the NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe.  That seems like an awful lot of pages and some wondered whether they bespoke a relationship that was more than literary. (That very same day it was announced that a much lesser figure, Christopher Kubasik, Lockheed Martin’s incoming chief executive was to be its outgoing chief executive without having spent so much as one day on the job since his new position was not to begin until January 1.  His resignation was effective on November 9, the day it was disclosed that he had had what was described as an “improper relationship” with a subordinate.  Although the word “improper” was not defined, someone familiar with the company said he had been in a long-standing relationship with a female employee who is no longer with the company.) What the United States lacks is perspective.  We used to have it.

The day after General Petraeus resigned from the CIA the New York Times reported that he was not the first CIA director to engage in conduct that didn’t involve spying.  Allen Dulles, who was its director in the 1950s and ‘60s, had, what was described by his sister, as “at least a hundred” affairs.  Although many of them preceded his tenure as director of the CIA he enjoyed at least a few while serving in that capacity.  They included, according to the NYT, Clare Booth Luce and Queen Frederika of Greece.  In those days no one cared.  They didn’t care because it didn’t make any difference.  It still doesn’t make any difference.  It just gives journalists something to write about and famous figures an opportunity to express contrition for the human condition.

The French have much better attitudes about sex than do we.  They also have much better food.

Christopher Brauchli is a lawyer in Boulder, Colorado. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 03, 2015
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future