His resignation Friday as CIA director because of an acknowledged extramarital affair aborts an almost four-decade-long career in public service defined by boundless ambition, political savvy and strategic acumen. And it almost certainly tarnishes the legacy of a man seen by many as the nation’s preeminent military leader in the post-Sept. 11 world, a commander who turned around the failing Iraq war and dealt the Taliban a bloody punch in Afghanistan.
He falls from a self-built pedestal that was based on more than battlefield heroics. As a general, his principal message to the troops under his command was not just about military tactics and high-concept strategy. He preached individual leadership above all else, often telling his charges that character meant doing the right thing when nobody was watching.
Read it all (my emphasis).
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