Yes, he occupied a public post. But he has a right to a private life, private interests and private judgment calls. Yes, the affair came to light during an investigation by the FBI into a potential security breach, but the investigation concluded there was no breach and the “classified information” that Broadwell allegedly came into contact with is not thought to have come from Petraeus.

Sure, it wasn’t wise of him to grant his paramour access to his personal Gmail account (apparently so they could send messages to each other). But this should be of no concern to us other than amusement at the results of his naive trust in his mistress. She went on to use it to send catty “back off” messages to another woman she suspected was a love rival. She should have known better. Drama is the last thing any high-profile married lover wants in his mistress.

For sure, the story is gossip-worthy. But worthy of a formal inquiry, which is what some congressmen are now demanding? No. The story is more human interest than public interest.

There have been too many cases where we have lost competent professionals, not because of a failure in their duties, but because of puritanical judgment over their irrelevant personal lives.