Bell, Book and Broadwell

FILE - This Feb. 2, 2012 file photo shows CIA Director David Petraeus testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. When Defense
FILE - This Feb. 2, 2012 file photo shows CIA Director David Petraeus testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pointedly warned young troops last spring to mind their ways, he may have been lecturing the wrong audience. The culture of military misconduct starts at the top. At least five current and former U.S. general officers have been reprimanded or investigated for possible misconduct in the past two weeks _ a startling run of embarrassment for a military whose stock among Americans rose so high during a decade of war that its leaders seemed almost untouchable. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

It's a triangle of depravity; a mistress, her book and her general. A modern day witch casts a spell on a formerly staid, respected gentleman. It's a scandal that has rocked the country with cries of "breach of security," feigned outrage and mass disappointment. Another fallen hero.

Personally, I'm thrilled we finally have a worthy mistress making headlines after a lengthy dull period with nary a mirage on the horizon to quench one's thirst for glamour. Like Cristal after a draught. Like Valentine as the Sheik arriving over the tawny dunes. Hurrah! No more maids, hookers and twitters. No more Weiners, Spitzers and Schwarzeneggers with their skanky scandalettes. Not since Bill Clinton has high glamour been thrust back into the trysts of the high and mighty, the rich and the powerful and us gossip-hungry voyeurs. Sex and scandal has returned where it belongs on the front pages. After mops (Arnie's), hourly rates (Spitzer's) and unpaid parking tickets (Wiener's) it's so refreshing to see two fit and glistening lovers doing what attractive lovers do. Who doesn't understand the coupling? Hot hard bodies under a hot desert sky. A craggy faced general and his bicep bodalicious biographer. Bring it on. I'd sign up for the military if it meant more of that.

If a hero fell, he only fell for a woman. And what's not to adore about Broadwell? Not many pen-wielding hotties can keep up on five mile jogs over hill and dale or scrub and rocks. It's not strange bedfellows war makes but perfectly normal ones. That mistress gave her man everything he needed -- as all good mistresses do -- attention, sex, and she was smart enough to listen to his boring old war stories over and over. Do you think the Old Gray Bob back home was still listening? What better ego stroke to then have those boring old war stories published. Immortalized for life. An ode for the ages.

What the general public doesn't understand is how much mistresses can do, what mistresses are for. Not just sex -- though there is that. Mistresses better their men, their Earl's (no "john" in this mistress' vocabulary) status in life. Ms. Broadwell -- name says it all -- is the kind of mistress we have sorely lacked for so long. She is ambitious, smart, beautiful, and successful. Her only flaw I can see is she's married. Oh well, lest we forget, history does repeat itself.

While everyone seems to have their camo thong in a bunch over a general's extracurricular maneuvers, let us look back at history for a moment and see how much men of might and their maidenly mistresses have produced with a little embedding with their war toys during war.

I mean why the hysteria and disappointment? Does anyone really think those four stars aren't deserving of a little field exercise, a little war game of hide the machine gun, drop the bomb, dive on the drone?

As for Broadwell, she's a hip, stylish woman. And a four-star general is the new Birkin of accessories. Everyone wants one.

Cleopatra wanted one, but lucky Mesopotamian ended up with two generals. First Caesar then hunky Richard Burton, I mean Mark Antony. Look what general Caesar did for Cleo? He engaged in battle for her, killed her rival-brother-husband , that pesky Ptolemy XIII and assured the throne for his dark-haired seductress. No one back in Rome got their toga's in a bunch over their affair.

Considered in her time to be one of the most beautiful women of her day, Barbara Palmer, Duchess, Countess and Lady Castlemaine was mistress to King Charles II of England. Known as the "Merrie Monarch" because of his stable of fillies and I don't mean the kind kept in hay. Charles was a depraved young thing, always looking for a good time.

Climbing the ladder of success Barbara managed to have herself appointed Lady of the Bedchamber. Only the Queen thought Barbara was lady of her bed. Charles set her straight. So great was Bab's influence with the King, others took to rewarding her with money just to get near to the King. (Did we really need to condemn Fergie? Those near royalty always sold access. A girl needs pocket change for jewels and servants and such.) Barbara's home was a hotbed of sex and politics for the debased, orgy-loving court. And she was firmly at the center. One diarist wrote about her influence as such: "The King do mind nothing but pleasures, and hates the very sight or thoughts of business; that my Lady Castlemaine rules him, who, he says, hath all the tricks of Aretin that are to be practised to give pleasure."

Pietro Aretino writing in the 1500s is believed to have invented literate porno. Imagine that? Someone invented pornography. What the rest of us were doing naturally. Go figure.

On his kingly deathbed, Charlie begged his brother to take care of his mistresses after he departed for Aretin. Barbara during her height in the mid-1600s was acknowledged as the most beautiful woman in Britain. Her image was fodder for the toothless masses, selling on all sorts of items such as vases, glasses and chamber pots. Barbara became the protagonist in much modern day literature such as Bernard Shaw's play "In Good King Charles's Golden Days." I'm sure Broadwell will have her moment too. Perhaps a Lifetime movie? Lohan needs another job.

Red-headed lovely Harriet Howard provided her body and money to support Louis-Napoleon's coup d'état in 1851. Described as being "a little man, four and a half feet high... with huge moustaches and pigs' eyes," Harriet must have had to turn a blind-eye to his short-comings. Louis' wife however could not. She refused to perform her wifely duty -- as most wives tend to and that's why Paula, Barbara and Harriet move to the forefront, glittering with diamonds and tiaras. Louis found comfort nestled in the soft white arms of Harriet. Full of power, and false contrition when he became Emperor Louis foolishly cast Harriet aside, but, full of remorse, gave her the title Countess de Beauregard. Which makes me think Ms. Broadwell deserves a title. After all if that Tampa Tart can be Honorary Consil Ms. B should at the very least be Honey Consel. Very James Bond.

In 1780 Major Patrick Ferguson, fighting for the Brits during the Revolutionary War, rode into battle in the hills of North Carolina with two mistresses alongside his dashing Scottish figure, which might explain why one mistress was left dead on the battlefield. Hell hath no fury... when Paula thought Jill made a threesome... all hell broke loose. Always does. Always will.

What do the do-gooders, the critics really think all those generals are doing during war between skirmishes. They are practicing their maneuvers. Do they not deserve a little field exercise in the face of death? A hero's welcome?

When assigned to chauffeur Dwight D. Eisenhower around a blacked-out London (what mistress isn't good at navigating?) sexy former ambulance driver Kay Summersby fell for the five-star general. The ebullient Kay was quickly promoted to his secretary and though their affair was at first disputed, she would later write a book about her general in glowing terms. Dwight was not reputed to be the most virile of generals -- or men for that matter -- but Kay knew how to make his weapon discharge. Another mistress earning her pay.

Was General George S. Patton any less the hero, was he any less deserving of his four stars because of his affair with Marlene Dietrich? Under General Patton, the Third Army went farther and faster than any other army in the history of warfare. And so did Marlene.

Besides polishing Patton's pistol in her spare time the uniform-loving songstress bedded another general, James "Jumpin Jim" Gavin. We can only guess at the "jumpin'" part. Gavin, a handsome and hard-bodied man was supposed to have said about women "they are my solace." Now honestly, isn't that all we want from our men in uniform? Respect and adoration? Not the oft repeated "mistake" or a "lack of judgment." Lies to sooth wives and the media. True mistresses are certainly not mistakes. Those aren't the words I recall having whispered in my ear during conflict.

After relentless touring with the troops for several years Dietrich was asked why she dedicated herself so tirelessly. She said "out of decency." Well, a good mistress is always decent. Even when she's not.

If we can trust our generals with our national security, our secrets, our bombs and whatnot can we not trust them to engage in love skirmishes with the right woman? Is it really our job to tell them when and where to shed their uniform?

There have been less than 250 four-star generals in history. So many generals, so little time, I say. If I had some brass for every time I've had some brass...

Finally, let us remember, Yehonala, born in Rural China sometime around 1835. She rose through the ranks of the ambitious and combative Xianfeng Emperor's concubines. When Xianfeng died, mistress Yehonala took the seat of power and ruled China for the next five decades. Mistresses are quite capable of running a country. They run a very busy schedule after all (hair appointments, nails, workouts, lunches, shopping... on and on... there aren't enough hours in the day, and then to throw in writing a lover's bio? I'm impressed with Ms. Broadwall's management of time. I can barely get my Rolls gassed and washed.

While the media is mourning the fall of a hero -- I say instead -- to the victor go the spoils. He's a tough nut. After being shot in the chest in 1991 he was seen doing push-ups shortly after the operation to dislodge the bullet. During a skydive in 2000 he broke his pelvis. (Note to self -- have to ask Paula about that one.)

Let's give our military might a break. Every foxhole needs a fox, every G.I. Joe an Action Barbie.

After all, all's fair in love and war games.

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