by Ray Fleming

The best comment I have seen on the Petraeus affair in the United States was in a Letter to the Editor of The Times yesterday : “Sir, We should thank God that Nelson did not resign over Lady Hamilton. Michael Smith, London SW18.” Brief and to the point. In America the case of Kay Summersby is being recalled. Remember her? She was President Dwight D Eisenhower's driver, and allegedly more, when he was Supreme Commander in World War Two, and may have had access to military secrets. No need to go into details about President Clinton. At his impressive press conference on Wednesday night President Obama made clear he still had a high regard for David Petraeus and as yet knew of no evidence that there had been “a negative impact on national security” as a result of his affair with Paula Bradwell. The only reason he accepted his resignation as director of the CIA, Obama said, “was Petraeus' own assessment that his behaviour had been inappropriate”. There is something in this scandal for almost anyone who thinks they can take advantage of it. On behalf of the Republican Party Fox News is certain that Petraeus' affair in some way contributed to the killing in Behghazi in September of Christopher Stevens, the American Ambassador to Libya, which the news channel had tried but failed to make an important presidential election issue.