Who knew that the lives of some of the country’s top generals resembled an episode of “Jersey Shore”?

First came retired Gen. David Petraeus, who stepped aside as CIA director on Nov. 9 after acknowledging an extramarital affair with a woman named Paula Broadwell. That little liaison dangereuse “won” Petraeus the worst week in Washington a week ago. Little did we know that it was only the first chapter of an increasingly tawdry novel.

In the past week, we have learned the following: 1) The affair between Petraeus and Broadwell was exposed after Broadwell sent threatening e-mails to another woman, Jill Kelley, whom she thought was flirting with the general. 2) Kelley told an FBI friend about the threatening e-mails. There are conflicting reports as to whether the FBI agent was ultimately removed from the case because of an unusually high level of interest in Kelley. 3) In the course of the FBI examination of Broadwell and Kelley, the bureau came across scads of e-mails between Kelley and Gen. John Allen, who was in line to become the next head of the U.S. European Command — a posting that is now on hold.

All of this proves for the umpteenth time that fact is stranger than fiction and that, yes, life really does imitate high school.

Generals, for watching your sterling reputations be tarnished, perhaps permanently, you had the worst week in Washington. Again. Congrats, or something.

Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at

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