Regarding Richard Cohen's Nov. 16 column, "Petraeus should stay, and U.S. should grow up about sex":

Cohen seems to be mixing apples and oranges. Agreed, the United States carries on in an immature manner when it comes to sex.

But our rather adolescent fixation on breasts, rear ends and having sex is not the issue here. Cohen mentioned sitting across from Holly Petraeus at a dinner party and about how "charming" and deeply concerned she was about the welfare of our troops. He also mentioned how hurt she must be over this affair business. He said that Mrs. Petraeus was betrayed, not the country, and that the general needs to get back to work.

Betrayal is a powerful word and concept. The lurid details emerging from this ugly business certainly catch our attention, but the genuine issue here is not sexuality. The issue is betrayal. David Petraeus' position as chief of CIA makes the fact that he allowed himself to participate in a sexual liaison with Paula Broadwell - despite both their marriages - a reason to be concerned, very concerned.

Before we learned of the affair, the attack on our embassy in Benghazi happened. How much energy and attention was spent on the affair before, during and after the attack on our consulate? What are the implications of betrayal when it involves an individual of such key importance to our nation's security? Something is radically wrong in Washington.

JIM McMANUS

Ocean City