"I Was David Petraeus's Bitch in the 90s and I Hated Every Second of It"
With Petraeus and MacChrystal out. And Gen. Allen under investigation for leaking secret data to reporters. And ANOTHER general being demoted for abusing his expense account it really, really looks like a big housecleaning is happening in the upper tiers of the military now that our several wars are winding down.
Let's hope this shatters the wall the press have built around senior officers.
I’ve detested Petraeus for a long, long time. I’ve tried writing about him for a decade, but nobody seemed to listen. He was bulletproof back then—not so anymore. Now’s the time for me to tell you all about this self-serving shithead and what it was like being his bitch for years.
Back in 1996, I was a starry-eyed West Point lieutenant in the storied 82nd Airborne Division. I had just graduated from Ranger School and the 2nd Battalion of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was my new home—my first assignment. I loved the Army back then.
When I showed up for duty, our brigade commander was a reasonable guy named John Abizaid. Morale was decent under him, because each battalion in the brigade was pretty much left alone. Colonel Abizaid let us solve our own problems. We were all competent adults and his laid-back, hands-off leadership style made us feel important and trusted.
But after a few months, Abizaid left and in came “Mr. Burns.”
Mr. Burns was our nickname for Petraeus, who was only a colonel back then. We called him that, in case it’s not obvious, because he looked and acted like the wiry, hand-rubbing villain in The Simpsons.
After Petraeus showed up, my life and the life of every soldier under his command went to complete shit. Back then, the ever-calculating Petraeus, who had married the West Point superintendent’s daughter after graduating, was on his way up. The general’s star was within reach—he was only one rank away—and being in command of the “Devil Brigade” (our brigade), was absolutely vital to getting him there. During his tenure with the 504th, he had to kiss and lick as many hairy, hemorrhoidal assholes as possible. He had to guffaw and slap all the right backs; he had to seriously impress. He had to do whatever was necessary to reach the pinnacle. No bridge too far for that son of a bitch. Can do. Will do. Yes sir, whatever you want, sir.
What did that mean to us servile dopes under his command? Well, first he mandated that each and every officer in the brigade get what he called a “Devil Haircut,” which was a “high-and-tight”—pretty much a shaved head with a weed-like tuft of hair left to its own devices at the top of the cranium. We all looked like Beaker from the Muppets. He then made all of us, every member of the brigade, walk around with our hands firmly on our AR-15s. Normally, when we carried our weapons, we kept one finger, the trigger finger, at the ready next to the trigger mechanism in the event we had to quickly engage the enemy, but that wouldn’t fly under Petraeus, who introduced the “Devil Grip,” since apparently everything with him had to involve the fucking devil. Essentially, this just meant keeping your trigger finger out of the trigger well. If he showed up and saw anyone under your command without the Devil Grip, you were fucked. You got a dressing down and a bad performance review. You got Mr. Burns’s spittle in your face.