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Opinion: Bond Behavior

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Perfect timing doesn’t happen too often. We frequently find ourselves running late to meet a friend that always shows up early, or have our internet drop out just before we were ready to hit that send button on a time sensitive email. Though once in a blue moon the perfect set of circumstances comes together, what may be ideal for you may not be quite so ideal for others. General Petraeus is learning that the hard way.

Bérénice Marlohe is the newest in a beautiful line of ladies on the silver screen known simply as “Bond Girls.” She represents the fictional and far more glamorous version of our nation’s newest obsessions – real life spy girls Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley, the two women at the center of the Petraeus adultery scandal. Though in a long line of “Bond Girls,” perhaps none more perfectly line up with the story forcing CNN into their best TMZ impression than Lupe Lamora and Pam Bouvier in the 1989 Bond film “License to Kill.”

The obvious parallel here being the title of the film itself – with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in part giving our government executive authority to kill an American citizen who is simply suspected of being a terrorist, CIA Chief Petraeus in many ways had his own “license to kill” before his recent resignation.

But the parallels don’t stop there. In “License to Kill,” James Bond rejected Lamora in favor of Bouvier. With Paula Broadwell being cited by the FBI for sending threatening emails to Jill Kelley for fear that she was essentially stealing Petraeus, it’s fair to speculate that a similar chain of events occurred at CIA Headquarters in Langley this summer.

If any news executive feared a post-election cycle dip in ratings, this scandal has all but crushed those fears. It has talking heads all over doing their best Maximus Meridius impression as we entertain ourselves with this newest brand of national gossip.

If you wanted a set of circumstances ideal for some but not for all, there you have it. For the news cycle, this is the definition of perfect timing. But what about for our military and political leaders? For them this is another pockmark on what is growing into an increasingly scarred leadership structure in this country.

In this past year alone, as outlined in a recent New York Times report, we have seen a disturbingly large number of senior officers investigated and even fired for other lapses in moral judgment.

Gen. William Ward allegedly misused “tens of thousands” of government dollars for personal travel and lodging purposes. Brig. Gen. Jefferey Sinclair faces a potential military trial over “adultery, sexual misconduct and forcible sodomy” with five different women. Col. James Johnson III was expelled from the army after being convicted of “bigamy” due to an improper relationship with an Iraqi woman. The list goes on to include rape and adultery allegations involving six male instructors at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and begins to taper off shortly after.

It seems that our military and political leaders are suffering from an ever-growing epidemic of personal success manifesting itself into ethical failures. This occurence can be observed all the way back to the Old Testament when King David seduced Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, and was subsequently punished by the Lord. Though today’s punishments often come from a less holy source known as Nancy Grace, the career ramifications are often just as damning.

As we sit back and speculate over these real life spy tales of sex, lies and deceit, it is our natural human instinct to allow ourselves to fascinate over a sinful secret world that will never be our own. But it would behoove all of us to keep it that way.

Decorated officers like Gen. Petraeus often seem to lose sight of the people that supported their paths to power in the first place, like his wife Holly Petraeus. Meeting your perceived soul mate in a sea of millions is perfect timing, and if you’re lucky enough to experience perfection, don’t give her up for a Bond girl.

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