Petraeus not paid for mea culpa, USC says

Were you wondering what former Gen. David Petraeus got paid for his mea culpa speech at the University of Southern California on Tuesday night?

Me neither.

But my boss was, so he had us put out some calls.

“Needless to say, I join you, keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago,” Petraeus said Tuesday night to an audience of mostly veterans at USC’s annual ROTC dinner at a hotel in Los Angeles.

“I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing,” he continued. “So please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret — and apologize for — the circumstances that led to my resignation from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters.”

You know, having an affair.

It’s a familiar track — public figure goofs, public figure makes public apology, public moves on. Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, Milli Vanilli — the list goes on and on.

Some, like New Yorker magazine science writer Jonah Lehrer, who made up Bob Dylan quotes, get paid for coming clean. Lehrer was given $20,000 by a journalism foundation for his speech.

So what did the former head of all coalition forces in Afghanistan earn for his speech?

According to USC spokeswoman Merrill Balassone, “Gen. Petraeus was not paid.”


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