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Affairs of the heart and matters of the State
November 9, 2012 3:04 PM   Subscribe

David Petraeus, Director of the CIA, has resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair.

Petraeus served for over 37 years in the US Army, was Commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and was also head of US Central Command.

Lately he'd been dealing with CIA involvement in the Benghazi embassy attack.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (1027 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Petraeus was scheduled to testify next week on Capitol Hill in hearings on the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador and two CIA security officers, in Libya in September. U.S. officials said Friday that the controversy surrounding that attack — and the administration’s shifting explanations for it — played no role in Petraeus’s decision to resign.

*cough*
posted by mykescipark at 3:06 PM on November 9, 2012 [18 favorites]


Says Gawker: And The “Reporter” Who Had An Affair With David Petraeus Is…Paula Broadwell. His biographer.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:07 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's the next level beyond schadenfreude? Petafreude?
posted by Egg Shen at 3:09 PM on November 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


His intelligence seems more broadly distributed throughout his anatomy.

Bunch of prudes.
posted by flippant at 3:09 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're wondering why the affair matters, it seems that an investigation has to occur to see if Petraeus was compromised or did compromise anything. While that's occurring his security clearance is suspended, and you can't have a CIA Director who doesn't have security clearance.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:10 PM on November 9, 2012 [66 favorites]


I read that as extraterrestrial at first. The truth is mundane.
posted by edd at 3:10 PM on November 9, 2012 [28 favorites]


MonkeyToes: "Says Gawker: And The “Reporter” Who Had An Affair With David Petraeus Is…Paula Broadwell. His biographer."

Heh. His biography was titled, "All In."
posted by zarq at 3:11 PM on November 9, 2012 [41 favorites]


His biographer.

Let the All In jokes commence.
posted by neroli at 3:11 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Petraeus was scheduled to testify next week on Capitol Hill in hearings on the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador and two CIA security officers, in Libya in September. U.S. officials said Friday that the controversy surrounding that attack — and the administration’s shifting explanations for it — played no role in Petraeus’s decision to resign.

*cough*


Yeah he totally started the affair a year ago because like Benghazi something! It smells fishy but it doesn't have to be. Sounds like the dude was just bumpin' uglies.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:11 PM on November 9, 2012 [15 favorites]


MonkeyToes: "Says Gawker: And The “Reporter” Who Had An Affair With David Petraeus Is…Paula Broadwell. His biographer."

Here's the Jon Stewart interview with her when the book came out.
Awkward moments in hindsight!
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:11 PM on November 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


They called the book "All In" because "Balls Deep" seemed too obvious.

I'm here all night folks, enjoy the halibut.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:12 PM on November 9, 2012 [55 favorites]


Oh god, what a bloody waste of good talent! If his superiors had any sense at all, they would reject his resignation on the grounds that admitting the affair nullifies its quality as a trigger for duress and potential blackmail.

The security-intelligence world simply can't afford to loose good people over personal failings like this. It reminds me of the 'bad old days' in which officers would be drummed out of the service for being gay or meeting with mildly left-leaning political activists.

Having an affair is dumb and bad and reprehensible. But people aren't perfect, and any system that assumes that they are is a system that is going to throw away good people over straws.
posted by Dreadnought at 3:12 PM on November 9, 2012 [35 favorites]


From description of the biography on Amazon:
Afforded extensive access by General Petraeus, his mentors, his subordinates, and his longtime friends, Broadwell embedded with the general, his headquarters staff, and his soldiers on the front lines of fighting and at the strategic command in Afghanistan to chronicle the experiences of this American general as they were brought to bear in the terrible crucible of war. All In draws on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with Petraeus and his top officers and soldiers to tell the inside story of this commander's development and leadership in war from every vantage point.
*snort*

Yes, I am 12.
posted by brundlefly at 3:12 PM on November 9, 2012 [31 favorites]


I thought this was a bit... silly? suspicious? at first but a friend reminded me that affairs are pretty much a textbook example of a situation which compromises security clearance. Especially since the lady in question is married. ESPECIALLY since there are already allegations that she may have had access to his files.

Because I am slow, what Brandon Blatcher said.

If his superiors had any sense at all, they would reject his resignation on the grounds that admitting the affair nullifies its quality as a trigger for duress and potential blackmail.

Except he's the head of the agency. He can't be quarantined. literally cannot do his job for the next several months or more.
posted by muddgirl at 3:13 PM on November 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


It's not just the affair, Dreadnought. They are investigating whether she had inappropriate access to his email, including classified material.
posted by Justinian at 3:14 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah he totally started the affair a year ago because like Benghazi something!

Plenty of people have affairs. Plenty of people manage to keep their work lives distinct from their romantic lives. This does not seem to me to be one of those moments where one necessarily impinges on the other to the extent that a resignation seems like an obvious decision. I mean, bully for emotional integrity blah blah, but it just strikes me as a good excuse to gain immunity from testifying at this precise moment in time.
posted by mykescipark at 3:15 PM on November 9, 2012


but it just strikes me as a good excuse to gain immunity from testifying

He gains immunity from testifying?
posted by 2N2222 at 3:16 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: "If you're wondering why the affair matters"

Also, how good can you be at a career in the secrets industry if you haven't done a good job at keeping your own?
posted by radwolf76 at 3:16 PM on November 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Hormones are one hell of a drug.
posted by kinnakeet at 3:17 PM on November 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


At least this didn't come out a week ago. He must have really liked the President to hold it in until after the election.
posted by Renoroc at 3:17 PM on November 9, 2012 [24 favorites]


This will not Broadwell.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:17 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


PR 101: Bury news of a major resignation in a late-Friday announcement.
posted by limeonaire at 3:18 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Dreadnought: "If his superiors had any sense at all, they would reject his resignation on the grounds that admitting the affair nullifies its quality as a trigger for duress and potential blackmail."

It doesn't nullify the fact that he stupidly risked blackmail by keeping the affair secret in the first place.
posted by brundlefly at 3:18 PM on November 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Better now than a week ago
posted by edgeways at 3:20 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


He gains immunity from testifying?

Okay, sorry, "immunity" was the wrong word. To quote the article:

She also said Petraeus will not need to testify at hearings she is chairing next week into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
posted by mykescipark at 3:20 PM on November 9, 2012


Like Justinian said above the FBI were investigating her access to his e-mail. I don't think the affair matters.
posted by rdr at 3:20 PM on November 9, 2012


Resignation isn't optional in these circumstances.
posted by sfts2 at 3:21 PM on November 9, 2012


This is disappointing.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 3:23 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


James Bond never has to put up with this shit.

Because his wife was tragically murdered by SPECTRE.
posted by Artw at 3:23 PM on November 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


I'm at my folk's house for the weekend and have a delightfully unprecedented amount of access to Fox News and, unsurprisingly, this is being spun as "now we're not saying this is a coverup about Benghazi, but if it WERE coverup about Benghazi..."
posted by codacorolla at 3:24 PM on November 9, 2012


Hacking the CIA director's email is pretty fucking heinous. if it happened.

So... how can that happen?

(cheating on your spouse is rotten to the core.)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:25 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Petraeus was scheduled to testify next week on Capitol Hill in hearings on the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador and two CIA security officers, in Libya in September. U.S. officials said Friday that the controversy surrounding that attack — and the administration’s shifting explanations for it — played no role in Petraeus’s decision to resign.

His clearance is immediately suspended. He can't even look at his notes.

Benghazi is shit. During 1984, Reagan continued campaigning after 24 Americans were killed at the US Embassy in Lebanon. Here 4 were killed.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:25 PM on November 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


Benghazi is going to be a touchstone for stupid people for quite some time, I'm afraid.
posted by Artw at 3:25 PM on November 9, 2012 [38 favorites]


There's also the matter that rank-and-file government agents and military officers are forced to resign all the time over matters like this and also financial indiscretions and problems which may not seem like A Big Deal. To somehow make an exception for the head of an agency in his position would be setting a bad precedent.

And yes, it matters. A friend of mine (government, but not CIA) did work involving government secrets (ours) and attempts to pry it out of our people (by the other side). Surprise - it often involved sex. You don't need James Bond, it turns out; you just need a prostitute.
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:26 PM on November 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Plenty of people have affairs. Plenty of people manage to keep their work lives distinct from their romantic lives. This does not seem to me to be one of those moments where one necessarily impinges on the other to the extent that a resignation seems like an obvious decision.

He's not just some guy. The director of the CIA does not get to have an ordinary, fucked-up private life like he's some guy. If that's what he'd wanted, he could have retired from the military and done just that. Penalties for violating every rule he agreed to (and probably made) for someone in his position - the top one - should be heavy.
posted by rtha at 3:27 PM on November 9, 2012 [24 favorites]


He must have really liked the President to hold it in until after the election.

No. He misunderstood Ms. Broadwell, who told him to hold it in until after the erection.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:27 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Benghazi is going to be a touchstone for stupid people for quite some time, I'm afraid.

Very much so. When all you have to grasp are straws, a twig feels like wielding Excalibur.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:28 PM on November 9, 2012 [43 favorites]


Man, I am so fucking sick of hearing about the Benghazi thing. I mean, yes, I get it, it was tragic, people died, etc. But you know what? It was a bullshit election issue trumped up by Republicans because that's what they do to avoid talking about important issues. Like the fact that their candidate knew all of jack shit about foreign policy.

Remember the "Ground Zero Mosque"? Remember what a BIG BIG DEAL that was, and how horrible, how HORRIBLE, how DISRESCPECTFUL, how OH MY GOD, HOW DARE THEY!?!?! HOW DARE THEY!?!!?!?!? THEY'RE ONLY DOING IT SO THEY CAN DANCE ON THE GRAVES OF DEAD AMERICANS! BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT MUSLIMS DO!!!!

.... and, um.... what exactly ever happened with that? Are 'islamoterrorists' sitting in their Ground Zero Mosque right now giving each other high-fives and eating halal slim jims made from human flesh? Never really heard anything about that after the midterm election did we? Geez, it's almost like the Republicans have a habit of elevating the trivial and insubstantial if they think it can help them score cheap points with some ill-informed segment of the electorate....
posted by Afroblanco at 3:30 PM on November 9, 2012 [93 favorites]


Step up, Estes.
posted by Beardman at 3:31 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


So "hacking" here means looking at his laptop while he's in the bathroom?
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:32 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ok, I'm willing to moderate my original outburst. I mostly reacted in frustration that such an important and influential guy could throw it all away over something so stupid.

But, as a historian, I might also add that it was not ever thus, and it isn't ever thus in other parts of the world. The Americans are particularly concerned about sexual impropriety, and I think it has to do more with American culture than it does with the actual hard-and-fast demands of official security.

If Petraeus allowed this woman to see his classified email, then that's bad, bad, bad, and he should face the music. If he just had an affair, then it should be a matter between him and his wife (and her husband, one presumes), once it's been admitted to the appropriate people within the CIA.

But given this woman has probably been heavily vetted anyway, and given that Petraeus is not some relatively expendable, low-level analyst, but somebody whose skills and personal qualities (well... such as they are) are very important to international security right now, my cold-hearted view would be that he should be retained unless they know something really bad that we don't.

Yes, it's desperately unfair, but in the intelligence world, not everybody is made equal or held to the same standards.

Bill Clinton had the highest security access of anybody in the US government when he got a blow job in the oval office. He was retained in his position.
posted by Dreadnought at 3:33 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


I remember watching that episode of The Daily Show and thinking that something wasn't on the up-and-up with Petraeus' decision to be so candid with a random grad student coming over to write a book. We had just seen Stan McChrystal go down in flames after his far-too-candid discussions with Michael Hastings, and hearing her tell tales of going on long runs with Petraeus just sounded a little too intimate for a guy who wouldn't have been able to get to where he was at the time by being candid to outsiders.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:33 PM on November 9, 2012 [10 favorites]


why does an extramarital affair force his resignation? i mean, aside from thet fact that the Director of Secret Shit can't keep a secret?
posted by radiosilents at 3:34 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Michael Hastings was on Martin Bashir's MSNBC show earlier today . He said some fairly critical and unflattering things about Petraeus and was yanked off-air pretty fast.
posted by Auden at 3:34 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holly Petraeus, who works for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, sounds like a stand-up person when it comes to educating servicemembers and military families about not getting scammed financially. Here's hoping that she stays strong and continues to do good work during what's probably going to be a painful time for her.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:35 PM on November 9, 2012 [29 favorites]


So "hacking" here means looking at his laptop while he's in the bathroom?

Well, Bradley Manning supposedly used super secret specialised hacking software like... wget. So, obviously.
posted by hoyland at 3:37 PM on November 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


How old is Paula Broadwell?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:38 PM on November 9, 2012


I don't think Petraeus' skills and personal qualities are necessary at Langley, and, in fact, the idea of a celebrity 4-star taking control of the increasingly-militarized CIA upset me from the very beginning. The CIA obviously has a military component to it, but at this point, it's basically just another branch of the military that the White House can control with less oversight. The guy who's serving as acting director has held that position before, and seems to be a CIA lifer, so maybe he has a longer view of the CIA as more of a support agency than a calling-the-shots killing-the-brown-people type agency. </Wish cost="$0.00">
posted by tonycpsu at 3:38 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


I remember listening to a long radio interview with her when the book was released and thinking she seemed way too fanboyish about him. All makes sense now.
posted by davebush at 3:39 PM on November 9, 2012


Bill Clinton had the highest security access of anybody in the US government when he got a blow job in the oval office. He was retained in his position.

Doesn't this actually contradict your assertion that Americans are a bunch of uptight prudes who want to punish Petraus for his perceived sexual improprieties? Not only did Clinton successful keep his job, he's a revered politician and humanitarian.
posted by muddgirl at 3:40 PM on November 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Something tells me that after a few more months of this Benghazi santorum, I'm going to be well-nigh nostalgic for the good ol' birther days.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:41 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did Monica have a security clearance? Didn't she work at the Pentagon for a while?
posted by humanfont at 3:42 PM on November 9, 2012


Are 'islamoterrorists' sitting in their Ground Zero Mosque right now giving each other high-fives and eating halal slim jims made from human flesh?

No, but only because the fridge went out during Sandy.
posted by The Bellman at 3:42 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


why does an extramarital affair force his resignation?

Because the CIA Director should be a master of clandestine affairs, and this affair is not so clandestine?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:44 PM on November 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Part of it might be that he's holding himself to the same standard that other CIA employees are held. One of my sons works the the CIA, we've had a number of long conversations about how various decisions in his life might impact on his career. It was clear to me that he believed, and I'm sure most employees of the agency believe, that any sense of impropriety, or any hint of vulnerability, would result in termination from the agency. It changed a lot of decisions he might have made.

I don't think the director could have stayed.
posted by HuronBob at 3:44 PM on November 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


David Petraeus’s Rules for Living

via
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:45 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are 'islamoterrorists' sitting in their Ground Zero Mosque right now giving each other high-fives and eating halal slim jims made from human flesh?

I'm not sure what they're up to now, but around this time last year, they were recruiting for nefarious martial arts training sessions: the first class was free, but the second class would cost you ($10).

It looks like the community center hasn't updated its online calendar since June. Hope it's doing okay.

posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:46 PM on November 9, 2012


Extramarital affair = public resignation, name dragged through mud
War crimes = promotion, pat on back
posted by M Edward at 3:46 PM on November 9, 2012 [20 favorites]


What happens to Broadwell in this case. Does she get her PhD at Harvard or does that get axed too?
posted by gen at 3:48 PM on November 9, 2012


David Petraeus’s Rules for Living

Yeah, it's the first link in the post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:49 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


the idea of a celebrity 4-star taking control of the increasingly-militarized CIA upset me from the very beginning

The CIA has had military directors since before it was the CIA. Founded as the CIG in 1946, it was lead by admirals and generals until 1953, and even then Dulles had cut his teeth in the OSS, which was a very militarised organisation. This makes a lot of sense: the CIA's relationship with the armed forces is an important one. If they find themselves at odds with the service agencies (as happened in the late 1940's), the results can be messy to say the least. Yes, the military-industrial complex is something we should all be worried about but... well this is the CIA we're talking about. They're not exactly Gandhi to begin with.

Doesn't this actually contradict your assertion that Americans are a bunch of uptight prudes who want to punish Petraus for his perceived sexual improprieties?

I suppose it could be seen that way, but I don't think so. It was a big, big issue and Clinton was impeached for his misbehaviour. But it wasn't seen as a security issue (even though it patently was) because Clinton's talents were too great, and position too lofty, for the weight of the crime to outweigh the damaged caused by a resignation.

Now, I hasten to add that American public 'prudishness' (perhaps 'sexual propriety' would be a more neutral term) is not necessarily the worst way to be. The story of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a good example of a society going to an unhealthy opposite extreme.
posted by Dreadnought at 3:50 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it's the first link in the post.

Sorry! I was more interested that the Other Woman was tweeting it five days ago.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:52 PM on November 9, 2012


This is unfortunate, but I think resignation is the only option. We need someone with sound moral judgment to run our covert wars and secret drone assassination program.
posted by ecmendenhall at 3:53 PM on November 9, 2012 [21 favorites]


He - the CEO-to-be at Lockheed Martin also resigned today for the same reason. He was supposed to become CEO 1/1.
posted by JPD at 3:54 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I am well aware of CIA's history, and was making a normative statement about what I think is good for the country.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:54 PM on November 9, 2012


Yeah, I am well aware of CIA's history, and was making a normative statement about what I think is good for the country.

Oh, sorry.
posted by Dreadnought at 3:55 PM on November 9, 2012


According to that Daily Show interview, his nickname in High School was "Peaches"...
posted by GavinR at 3:56 PM on November 9, 2012


Why would her PhD be in jeopardy?
posted by spitbull at 3:58 PM on November 9, 2012


We need someone with sound moral judgment to run our covert wars and secret drone assassination program.

That basically sums it up. Whatever the reason for resigning, moral scruples over an affair has nothing to do with it. It's good cover for whatever the real reason might be, however.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:01 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I am well aware of CIA's history, and was making a normative statement about what I think is good for the country.

On the other hand, 'Beatle' Smith (a celebrity three-star general) was one of the best DCI's ever so...

Why would her PhD be in jeopardy?

I'm not sure whether this book was a part of her official research. If it was, this might be a serious ethics violation.
posted by Dreadnought at 4:01 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon: "Whatever the reason for resigning, moral scruples over an affair has nothing to do with it. It's good cover for whatever the real reason might be, however."

As many have said, it can be about the affair without being about moral scruples. The affair shows a lack of ability to be discreet, which is important not only for spies but also for the suits who oversee the spies. So, while you never rule out a cover-up, resigning over the affair does pass the smell test.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:06 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


She also said Petraeus will not need to testify at hearings she is chairing next week into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

He might not have been crucial to CIA testimony regardless.

But how does that conspiracy work, anyhow. He's forced to resign in order to hush him up, and that's that's somehow a disincentive to keep him from spilling the beans about Obama from Republicans? It's not as if Obama can threaten his job or his family reputation at this point.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:13 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fucking-a CIA man?
posted by orme at 4:14 PM on November 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Clearly the only solution is to chemically castrate our leaders.
posted by srboisvert at 4:16 PM on November 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


2N2222: " But how does that conspiracy work, anyhow. He's forced to resign in order to hush him up, and that's that's somehow a disincentive to keep him from spilling the beans about Obama from Republicans? It's not as if Obama can threaten his job or his family reputation at this point."

Silly rabbit, wingnut conspiracies don't have to make sense.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:17 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The dude is a spy. If he goes around engaging in potentially disastrous affairs he not only opens himself up to blackmail but also "honey traps". On the other hand, how do we know this isn't some sort of high level op in which the CIA director infiltrates the dangerous world of publishing. This shit is textbook, like the time when Picard was unceremoniously relieved of duty so he could lead a covert tiger team against the Cardsssians. Shit happens all the time.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:18 PM on November 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


Do recall that it is not just the CIA that is bound to rules of behavior but US military personnel under Article 134. Adultery is usually categorized under that article. Personnel are punished for violations of this article.

It is not my place to condemn the man, I leave that to the people he had personal loyalties to i.e., his wife and family. However, he knew the rules of engagement when it comes to certain behaviors and the ramifications in his position as a commanding officer/leader of an organization.

It is a common story, but it still does not make it a pleasant story. His narrative ends less gloriously then I thought it would.
posted by jadepearl at 4:19 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


The New Republic blog has a roundup of early conspiracy suspicions.

I don't really get this. The affair was real, obviously. And I can't see him choosing to end his career in dishonor to avoid testifying, that just seems too paranoid to be credible. (Paranoid in that whatever he was trying to cover up would have to be huge.)

So if he just delayed until after the election to avoid injecting this into election politics, is THAT a scandal? Does his resignation either now or earlier reflect badly on Obama? I feel like I'm missing something.
posted by torticat at 4:22 PM on November 9, 2012


If he just had an affair, then it should be a matter between him and his wife (and her husband, one presumes), once it's been admitted to the appropriate people within the CIA.

The whole point here is that having an affair leaves him vulnerable to being blackmailed. Admitting it to the "appropriate people within the CIA" wouldn't be enough, because there would still be ways to threaten him.

Though it is crap that this is what sinks his career and reputation instead of, say, the Afghanistan surge.
posted by lullaby at 4:27 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


ouch.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:28 PM on November 9, 2012 [22 favorites]


So, uh, I know this journalist who writes about technology and companies that do technology and stuff like that. In between long-term relationships, he was doing that Internet dating thing. One of his dates, which looked at one point like it might become Serious Like, was a woman who was a secretary to the board of a company that did technology. It was a big company, and had a significant and controversial presence in the market.

The relationship wasn't that hot, and it was becoming apparent that one party was rather keener on things getting Serious Like than the other, and that one party wasn't the journalist in question. Happens.

One time, that journalist was sitting in the flat of the woman, who had popped out for half an hour to get some tea and milk and other domestic essentials. On the kitchen table were various folders. While waiting for the woman to return, the journalist - being a journalist - idly picked up and flicked through one of the folders.

It was a board-level document setting out the possible strategies the company might take over the next five years. There were various options and projects detailed, all nicely code-worded and organised, and it swiftly became apparent to the journalist that here were the crown jewels of the company in question.

What to do? He put the document down, sighed, and left well alone.

Since that time, the chap in question has confided, he has wondered what would have happened if he'd taken advantage. And, moreover, what sort of rules could have been put in place to avoid such conflicts of interest - on both sides of the equation.

His conclusions? If you're entrusted with secrets and you're in an intimate relationship that you can't reveal to those whose secrets you guard, you're open to being compromised. That may be vastly unfair - vide Turing - and an enlightened organisation should have procedures for disclosure that set out clearly and dispassionately what you can do if you tell someone, but humans are humans and there will always be things you should not do in office because they fuck up your job. If you have to do them, then find another job.
posted by Devonian at 4:28 PM on November 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


The dude is a spy.

Exactly. An affair makes him a security risk, not even counting the access his ladyfriend may have had to possibly secret stuff.

The only interesting thing I see is the timing, presumably to keep from being an irrelevant political football.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:31 PM on November 9, 2012


I can see it looks bad, but I don't understand why this requires a resignation. Unless there's more they aren't telling. . .
posted by seachange at 4:33 PM on November 9, 2012


He slept with a journalist who's now under investigation for accessing his email. Even if he were single they'd have to revoke his clearance while they investigated. Hell, probably even if he'd been married to Broadwell.

It doesn't matter if he's a world-historical figure or whatever, you can't be D/CIA with that big a security breach swirling around you.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 4:34 PM on November 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yes, if you are in any sort of position where you have to have complete integrity, you have to deal with that. Normally, I find American views on sexual relationships ridiculous. But this is clear-cut. He is adult, has chosen a very specific job, has a family. He should have been responsible and wasn't.
posted by mumimor at 4:35 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Author Tom Ricks with Wolf Blitzer on Petraeus resignation

"My guess is at the CIA, if you haven't had an affair, you're not considered a player."
posted by homunculus at 4:39 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


A nation of hypocrites. How is he compromised if the affair is public? Here, we live among sex-saturated media, with Kardashian bimbos as idols; little kids walk through malls and see half-nude mannequins in compromising poses; parents take their 4-year-olds to R-rated movies; etc. etc. So, a person of note has an affair? This is not a schadenfreude moment, it's just another nail in the coffin of common sense - whose corpse lies rotting right in front of us.
posted by Vibrissae at 4:46 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


A nation of hypocrites. How is he compromised if the affair is public?

The affair isn't public because he came forward, the affair is public because he got caught. That's a hugely different situation.
posted by Justinian at 4:50 PM on November 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Now, I hasten to add that American public 'prudishness' (perhaps 'sexual propriety' would be a more neutral term) is not necessarily the worst way to be. The story of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a good example of a society going to an unhealthy opposite extreme.

These are not on a continuum. DSK's problem was not that he had an affair, it's that he raped someone.
posted by threeants at 4:57 PM on November 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


A nation of hypocrites, etc.

As many, many others in this thread have pointed out, it's the fact that one of these people compromised his level of personal security as director of the CIA, and the other person is being investigated for possibly having access to his e-mails. It has nothing to do with "bimbos" or how mannequins are arranged in storefront windows.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:58 PM on November 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


> How old is Paula Broadwell?

39.

(If she graduated from HS in 1991, she was born in 1973, which makes her 39.)

Did Broadwell *have to* be a grad student when she met Petraeus?

The differences between Broadwell and Holly Petraeus are also pretty striking -- frumpy midwester recruit's wife vs. Ivy League, would-be supermodel.
posted by vhsiv at 5:00 PM on November 9, 2012


As a Federal employee under the same ethical and financial disclosure laws as Petraeus, I understand why he did what he did. I don't condone marital infidelity, but I understand why he tried to keep it under wraps.

The only times I don't like reading Metafilter are the times I read about government workers, and I realize how no one (really, no one) understands how it works. We do the best we can with what we're given, and we're not given much. Our goal is to serve the public, and it's hard when the public is vehemently anti-gov.

Imagine wanting to help, and being shat on every day. But, then, we go back to work the next day and help out more. We figure out new ways of doing things and new ways of helping. That's what we, as Federal employees, do. Every day.
posted by kinsey at 5:00 PM on November 9, 2012 [38 favorites]


How is he compromised if the affair is public?

If you like, you could read some of the links in the post or the comments in this thread and find an answer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:05 PM on November 9, 2012 [16 favorites]


This relevation can only help sales of her book.
posted by exogenous at 5:09 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


> This relevation can only help sales of her book.

Do they teach a "Memoir" class at the Kennedy School of Government?
posted by vhsiv at 5:13 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


kinsey: " The only times I don't like reading Metafilter are the times I read about government workers, [...] and it's hard when the public is vehemently anti-gov. "

The public is anti-incompetence, and the GOP has spent decades trumping up every minuscule example of public sector mistakes (SOLYNDRA!) and papering over the colossal cock-ups of the public sector (such as the recent financial crisis) while simultaneously railing against (but voting for) government rescues of entities that participate in those colossal cock-ups.

I worked for seven years in the finance sector, and I now work for a federally-funded research and development center where I work on civilian government and military-funded projects. I've seen both sides of the private/pubic sector divide, and I've seen abundant incompetence on both sides. People have this mistaken notion that their tax dollars don't work for them, and it's easy to blame government incompetence because the incompetence is generally a matter of public record. The many behind-the-scenes failures of private entities are hidden in board meetings and investor conference calls that most people don't have a window into.

I will quibble with the broad brush of "we're not given much." Individual departments and agencies are woefully underfunded, but the Pentagon gets every dime it needs and many more rolls of dimes it doesn't need, and many civilian agencies involved in security/anti-terrorism work are flush with cash as well. Maybe your agency is in the shoestring budget category, but some others aren't, and I think this contributes to the perception that government doesn't work.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:22 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Let's just make things up about what happened and how Americans are prudes and how it doesn't matter if the head of the CIA is lying to his or her spouse and/or associates, and potentially giving his or her extramarital partner access to materials he or she is far from cleared to see!

Obviously this could never be an actual issue, it's just prudishness, Jesus Christ.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:22 PM on November 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


The affair isn't public because he came forward, the affair is public because he got caught.

Justinian, just curious what you're basing this on? Are you just assuming he was caught? I mean it's quite possible he couldn't tolerate being in a compromised position any longer and came forward on his own. Or maybe he confessed to his wife and she said he had to do the right thing with regard to his job, who knows?

The WaPo report says, "CIA officials declined to explain the timing of his resignation, or discuss what prompted his decision to admit to the affair."
posted by torticat at 5:31 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the subject of affairs in the abstract: I look forward to the day when a prominent American is exposed for having an extramarital relationship -- husband or wife, regardless -- and both spouses just shrug it off, say they've known all along, and figured it was nobody else's business, and already had it handled within the marriage. Sooner or later, such a scandal will reveal spousal consent rather than I-saw-no-way-out tolerance.

In this specific instance, though: yeah, this was dumb, and this dude should not be the CIA director. If nothing else, he should be held to the same standards as every Agency employee lower on the ladder. I feel very bad for his wife. If it really was Broadwell, I seem to recall her being married, and I feel quite bad for her husband, too.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:31 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Talk about embedded reporters...
posted by Pudhoho at 5:32 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


...oh I see. Okay, he was caught (don't know if that's new info or if I just missed it first time around).
posted by torticat at 5:34 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"My guess is at the CIA, if you haven't had an affair, you're not considered a player."

Yeah, turns out when the US gov't recruits spies and people who will have high security clearances, they want squeaky-clean, trustworthy people. Yes, the gov't wants these people to lie, and maybe cheat, and maybe steal... for the US gov't. And the gov't wants to be able to trust these people they're sending out to lie, cheat and steal on its behalf.

Presuming otherwise is awful silly.

(Unless that dude was just trying to make a pun, in which case I clearly didn't get it and should go back to humor school...)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:34 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, that Daily Show interview is something else. There is a part near the 6 minute mark where she refers to how her husband wanted her to say Petraeus was running for President as it would sell more books, and she laughs and says "sorry honey". I'm trying to write a joke to go with that but there are too many possibilities; I just can't do it.
posted by Potsy at 5:34 PM on November 9, 2012


>>The affair isn't public because he came forward, the affair is public because he got caught.

Justinian, just curious what you're basing this on? Are you just assuming he was caught?


Via FoxNews: "The FBI had been investigating an unrelated and much broader case before stumbling on the affair. Fox News has learned that during the course of this investigation, the name of biographer Paula Broadwell came up. The FBI followed that lead and in doing so, uncovered his affair with her. The FBI for some time was concerned that perhaps Petraeus was some sort of victim, but there has been no evidence discovered to back up such concerns."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:37 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


While waiting for the woman to return, the journalist - being a journalist - idly picked up and flicked through one of the folders.

Is this really what journalists think their job description includes? Snooping through everyone's private stuff all the time, in every setting?

Imagine wanting to help, and being shat on every day. But, then, we go back to work the next day and help out more. We figure out new ways of doing things and new ways of helping. That's what we, as Federal employees, do. Every day.

Now imagine being the Director of the CIA and allowing the highest level of CIA security to be infiltrated by your mistress. I've been a government employee, and I didn't compromise national security. I did notice that a lot of other government employees seemed to have bizarre notions of just how ethically lax they assumed the private sector is, and their attitude toward their own jobs seemed to be affected by those incorrect assumptions.

I don't work for the CIA. But I do work with sensitive documents and information - documents protected by such things as court orders and HIPAA and other measures. I expect the Director of the CIA to exercise at least as much prudence with the confidential information with which he is trusted as I am expected to exercise with the confidential matters that I handle in the private sector.
posted by The World Famous at 5:39 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


From the NYT article torticat linked to:
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Mr. Petraeus said in his statement, expressing regret for his abrupt departure.
and then
Mr. Petraeus has been married for 38 years and has two children.
posted by lullaby at 5:39 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


So the affair apparently started last year?
posted by The World Famous at 5:46 PM on November 9, 2012


Is this really what journalists think their job description includes? Snooping through everyone's private stuff all the time, in every setting?

Not really, no. I mean you're pretty much always on in terms of looking for source material, but the people I work and worked with haven't "snooped through private stuff", usually because it's actionable and also violates union regulations on journalistic ethics. Should also be noted that the guy in this story apparently did nothing with the material he found.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:46 PM on November 9, 2012


Patraeus(37.8) => "Over 37 years"
NYT(37.8) => "38 years"
posted by I-Write-Essays at 5:48 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow, that Daily Show interview is something else

What is the timeline here. It has got to be somewhere but there is so much to worth through.

Stuart Comments that the book is extrodinaily generous. I think there may be some possibility Petraeus initiated the affair to control the content of the book. It is also possible he purposely let her access selected material in order to manage the story.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:50 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Patraeus(37.8) => "Over 37 years"
NYT(37.8) => "38 years"


No, Patraeus said that he started having an affair when he had been married over 37 years, and the NYT points out that he has now been married 38 years. That means he started having an affair last year, when he had not been married as long as he has now. Time marches on.
posted by The World Famous at 5:56 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Sorry, my comment was a bit rude and I may be mistaken. That's just the way I interpreted what was written.)
posted by The World Famous at 6:01 PM on November 9, 2012


I think there may be some possibility Petraeus initiated the affair to control the content of the book.

Come on. I (and Occam) humbly suggest the simpler and more likely explanation is that working closely and intimately for an extended period of time with an extremely physically fit, hot, very intelligent former army officer with an education from West Point, Harvard, and King's College led to having wild monkey sex.

Broadwell is one of those TV characters that challenge our suspension of disbelief except she is real.
posted by Justinian at 6:02 PM on November 9, 2012 [20 favorites]


Benghazi is going to be a touchstone for stupid people for quite some time, I'm afraid.

To be fair, Petraeus was ultimately responsible for security at Benghazi. The consulate was just a cover for a CIA mission and the CIA was responsible for security, not the State Department. When extra security was requested beforehand, it was for the real State Department embassy in Tripoli 400 miles away, not for Benghazi. Benghazi was the CIA's responsibility and it was the CIA that responded when the attack occurred.
posted by JackFlash at 6:03 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here is an interesting interview with Paula Broadwell. The interviewer, Arthur Kade, acts a bit awkward, and naive, but Broadwell is extremely articulate and likeable. They discuss Petraeus and her book. At 10:12 she says, "It's not a hagiography; I'm not in love with David Patraeus." But hey, that was last February.

This is going to make a great movie. It has all the elements.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:07 PM on November 9, 2012


Broadwell is one of those TV characters that challenge our suspension of disbelief except she is real.

So is Petreaus no? Incredibly powerful and no doubt in pretty good shape himself. She selected him to do her dissertation about correct?

It may not be incredibly likely but I don't think you get to Petreaus' level without knowing how to manipulate people.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:08 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look it would be a surprise if they HADN'T hooked up.
posted by wuwei at 6:09 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is going to make a great movie. It has all the elements.

'The Affair' Affair.

Ok, the title needs work.
posted by mazola at 6:10 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


According to the guy on CNN, Broadwell broke up with Petraeus a few months ago and part of the investigation involves him basically cyberstalking her (sending thousands of emails pursuing her, etc). That doesn't mesh with the master manipulator theory. They were just talking about it 5 minutes ago so I think this is new information.
posted by Justinian at 6:10 PM on November 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


(Neither CNN nor, I guess, I have independently verified these reports.)
posted by Justinian at 6:12 PM on November 9, 2012


Assuming the "stumbled upon the email during the course of an unrelated investigation" story is true... why is the FBI investigating the CIA?
posted by neroli at 6:14 PM on November 9, 2012


Ok, I retract the "Master Manipulator" theory. I am probably just imagining some sort of super human cold-blooded ess needed to rise all the way to Commander of USCENTCOM and later director of CIA. In a very real sense, the commander of USCENTCOM is the one of the most powerful people in the world.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:22 PM on November 9, 2012


This is going to make a great movie. It has all the elements.

The Petraeus Affair: Part I of the Tip of the Spear Trilogy!
posted by Renoroc at 6:22 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a military guy, this, plus the Navy SEAL thing and previously with McChrystal really bums me out.


All of these folks get allured to being in the spotlight - so they talk to reporters or write books so everyone knows how cool they are. The problem is, since the coolest part about being super cool is that no one should know about it, it's not so cool if nobody knows about it...
posted by AndrewKemendo at 6:23 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


The interviewer, Arthur Kade, acts a bit awkward, and naive, but Broadwell is extremely articulate and likeable.

I remember watching her Daily Show interview when it aired, and thinking she just seemed amazing. Strong, intelligent, witty, professional, charismatic. And, sure, goddamn nice to look at. The only thing I didn't like was that dress.

I really hope this turns out to be a case of Petraeus stalking her and NOT a case of her having slept with him (leading to nasty fallout), if only because that means I lose respect for only one person rather than two.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:23 PM on November 9, 2012


It's not just the affair, Dreadnought. They are investigating whether she had inappropriate access to his email, including classified material.

You know, my WIFE doesn't even have access to my email and I'm not head of the CIA. Of course I'm trying to imagine my wife wanting to look at all the crap I get from Yahoo Groups and failing miserably, but still.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:24 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


BETRAY US (2 hrs 30 min) - R

During one of the most heated election seasons in recent memory, the director of the CIA cyberstalks his mistress-biographer, leading to an investigation of the Agency by the FBI. Tom Berenger stars.
posted by gerryblog at 6:25 PM on November 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


oh man, how terrifying it must be to be facing the reactions of a spurned CIA director. the gift of fear doesn't cover that situation, i wouldn't think.
posted by nadawi at 6:26 PM on November 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


Is it too cynical to think someone who was director of the CIA should be able to conduct an affair without it reaching the national news media?
posted by fullerine at 6:29 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Of course, when I made this joke on Twitter, someone pointed out the Coens had already gotten there.
posted by gerryblog at 6:29 PM on November 9, 2012


Certainly changes the equation from "America , y u so prude?" to, "guy shouldn't be at the helm of the largest covert organization in the world" if he cyberstalks ex-girlfriends.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:31 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it too cynical to think someone who was director of the CIA should be able to conduct an affair without it reaching the national news media?

It reached the news media because he publicly cited it as a reason for resigning.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:36 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


An alternative take on the affair.
posted by squorch at 6:37 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Neroli, according to Reuters "a U.S. national security source said the FBI had stumbled across evidence of Petraeus' affair during an apparently unrelated investigation of news leaks."
posted by compartment at 6:40 PM on November 9, 2012


On the positive side for Broadwell, for many authors finding a topic for that second book can often really be a challenge.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:56 PM on November 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


i can't really see an argument for him keeping his job if the following allegations are true: she had access to emails/documents, he went stalker-y when she broke it off, and the fbi discovered it. i'm inclined to agree with him that he "showed extremely poor judgment".
posted by nadawi at 6:57 PM on November 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Benghazi - lessons learned.

I think "Jesus Fucking Christ" is an acceptable answer to any Republican congressman's question on the matter.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:59 PM on November 9, 2012


These are not on a continuum. DSK's problem was not that he had an affair, it's that he raped someone.

What I meant was that, following his arrest, there was much soul searching in the French press about how rumours about his predatory sexual behaviour had been ignored a media determined to protect his privacy. That's clearly even worse.

An alternative take on the affair.

A wise and humane take, in my view.
posted by Dreadnought at 7:14 PM on November 9, 2012


Oh god, what a bloody waste of good talent!

Top spy can't keep an affair a secret.....are you sure that is the kinda person one wants to see in charge of secrets if they can't keep the affair a secret?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:41 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can we stop commenting on hot and attractive Broadwell is? Maybe also not refer to his wife as a frumpy Midwesterner? It sounds like you're all saying, "yeah, how could he help himself?"

Grrrr.
posted by Hop123 at 7:44 PM on November 9, 2012 [38 favorites]


Can we stop commenting on hot and attractive Broadwell is? Maybe also not refer to his wife as a frumpy Midwesterner? It sounds like you're all saying, "yeah, how could he help himself?"

Grrrr.


It must be hell on Mrs. Petraeus right now to be portrayed as a faceless ball and chain (I've never even seen a picture of her). I can understand not insulting her by such characterizations. And I wouldn't. But in the interviews, Broadwell absolutely comes across as charming, attractive and professional. The scenario she describes in the videos absolutely paints a picture of two very compatible souls in a very close relationship, scandalously so in light of today's news.

The interviewer, Arthur Kade, acts a bit awkward, and naive,

Kade is a complete goofball in that interview.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:15 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Patraeus(37.8) => "Over 37 years"
NYT(37.8) => "38 years"


They apparently got married shortly after Petraeus graduated from West Point in 1974, which would mean their 38th anniversary was this past summer. Sounds like he was referring to when the affair started. He served as COMISAF until July 2011 and retired the next month, so I guess I'm curious if he was still in Afghanistan and/or still in the military when this started.
posted by lullaby at 8:20 PM on November 9, 2012


Check out the second letter to the NYTimes Ethicist (titled "My Wife's Lover").
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:34 PM on November 9, 2012 [38 favorites]


Wow.
posted by stargell at 8:43 PM on November 9, 2012


Wasn't there an episode of NCIS that started out like this? 'Cause that's what this sounds like.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:56 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


That NYT ethicist letter.. it just... it can't be...

Viral marketing for movie projects is getting out of hand.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:58 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Gee, Mr. Ethicist, is it ethical of you to publish the letter after chiding the writer that his submitting of the letter to you is unethical (as pointed out by first commenter there, as well)?
posted by mollweide at 8:59 PM on November 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


The CIA obviously has a military component to it,

They have their own air force. Their insignia is a playboy bunny.
posted by ovvl at 9:00 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I did notice that a lot of other government employees seemed to have bizarre notions of just how ethically lax they assumed the private sector is, and their attitude toward their own jobs seemed to be affected by those incorrect assumptions.

Lol. The private sector at the highest levels has always been about what you can get away with within the confines of the law. The private sector is amorality defined. I'll give you one recent example: Boeing. A family member and his fellow senior-level engineers were roped into mandatory ethics training after the some higher-ups got caught paying off the government to try to land a contract. The executives weren't obligated to do ethics training, but, rather, the people doing the actual work — in order to limit the company's liability. I could name another corporation in Boeing's neck of the woods that employs just about every tax-avoidance scheme that it knows of, not only in the US, but around the world, which would absolutely make your head spin if you knew the extent. The idea that people leading corporations have morals, scruples, ethics or whatever you want to call it when it comes to business affairs is a complete joke.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:06 PM on November 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Summer 2014: An Affair to Disavow
posted by blue_beetle at 9:13 PM on November 9, 2012


It sounds like you're all saying, "yeah, how could he help himself?"

That would seem to be a terribly inaccurate summary of basically anything in the thread.
posted by Justinian at 9:13 PM on November 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


The differences between Broadwell and Holly Petraeus are also pretty striking -- frumpy midwester recruit's wife vs. Ivy League, would-be supermodel.

From what I can tell Holly Petraeus is an army elite brat and Broadwell is more of a "midwester" from North Dakota who went to a public high school. Lookism is dumb.
posted by fleacircus at 9:16 PM on November 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


ctrl-F "angleton" nothing? Srsly?

Any kind of subversion- dishonesty or subterfuge, infidelity abnormality or just plain actin' sneaky- at any level of CIA, much less the highest, has institutional echoes that shd give anyone pause, whether they're on The Game or not. Probably I read too much Le Carre, but at this point I figure the burden is on the national intelligence apparatus itself to suggest why we should even listen to them at all.
posted by hap_hazard at 9:24 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll give you one recent example: Boeing. A family member and his fellow senior-level engineers were roped into mandatory ethics training after the some higher-ups got caught paying off the government to try to land a contract. The executives weren't obligated to do ethics training, but, rather, the people doing the actual work — in order to limit the company's liability.

It's an old story. When Grandma passes gas, kick the dog.
posted by JackFlash at 9:31 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I deliberately keep myself out of the loop as far as US current events go. I was also out of town for September so didn't even have the chance to accidentally hear about this Benghazi business until a few days ago. So my understanding is that there was some kind of attack on the US "embassy" in Benghazi, Libya. On 9/11. In an election year. When half the country is convinced the president is the personification OF ALL THAT IS EVIL AND UNAMERICAN.

Turns out it was something like a bungled CIA operation? And the White House was being pretty opaque about what actually happened? And now the head of the CIA is resigning, immediately after said election, for a completely unrelated affair.

You'll have to forgive me if I just quietly assume there is some sort of cover-up/spin deal happening. I could bother to figure out what the hell is going on, but that would require directly engaging with the US "news" media and I would rather bind my own feet.
posted by eurypteris at 9:41 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


It sounds like you're all saying, "yeah, how could he help himself?"

Actually, when I look at someone with the decorations Petraeus carries (I have some sense of what all that crap on his uniform means), I think that among other things he must have some pretty impressive self-control and at least above-average intelligence.

So I think he could've controlled himself just fine.

Yes, I think Broadwell came off as remarkably attractive in the one interview I saw. I've also met lots of remarkably attractive women in my life, and some even seemed to take a shine to me, and yet I never once did anything cheater-ish... and I'm a nobody. I expect more of someone who quite literally wears his impressive accomplishments on his coat like Petraeus does. So no, I'm not excusing a damn thing regardless of Broadwell's relative hotness, because when you're a responsible adult that sort of thing just shouldn't fucking matter.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:45 PM on November 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


It wouldn't surprise me if we find out that he granted Broadwell some sort of inappropriate access to classified information, and that was what forced his resignation. Or maybe it was just that he felt that he couldn't lead if he couldn't command moral respect. (Though I'm really not sure what a man's private sexual mores have to do with his ability to lead a spy organization. I mean, blackmail is one thing, but that doesn't seem like much of a risk here. The French, no doubt, are wondering what on earth is going on here.) Channeling Dan Savage for a minute, it would all be so much easier if people didn't have to lie in order to sleep with more than one person for more than half their life.
posted by Dasein at 9:55 PM on November 9, 2012


Dasein: I'm inclined to agree that sexual habits shouldn't be that big a deal. Regardless, Agency rules would punish virtually any employee for having such an affair. The rules shouldn't be applied differently for the head of the agency.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:58 PM on November 9, 2012


It's impressive the extent to which other high-profile people's affairs have made it so blase to have an affair. Sometimes you have a "loyal" wife who stands by you throughout it all, and perhaps you would still be able to do your high-profile job just fine, but maybe his wife isn't cool with the whole "sleeping with another woman thing"? I mean the breach of security is definitely the bigger deal, but I saw people making comments about being shocked he was stepping down "just because of an affair." Maybe this tiny affair is causing his life and marriage to fall apart and he's not in any emotional or mental state to run our Central Intelligence Agency with the level of attention it obviously deserves.
posted by DynamiteToast at 10:00 PM on November 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's an old story. When Grandma passes gas, kick the dog.

I know, I know.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:02 PM on November 9, 2012


Regardless, Agency rules would punish virtually any employee for having such an affair. The rules shouldn't be applied differently for the head of the agency.

If those are the rules, then I agree he has to resign. Hypocrisy can't be tolerated, and leaders need to hold themselves to a higher standard. I guess the CIA's concern is regarding blackmail, which is legitimate.
posted by Dasein at 10:04 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


You'll have to forgive me if I just quietly assume there is some sort of cover-up/spin deal happening.

you'll have to forgive me if the impressions from someone who admits that they don't know what they're talking about don't carry much weight. here's a handy graphic to help you sort it out. if this attack had happened at any other time (especially during GWB's reign), the republicans wouldn't have even mentioned it.
posted by nadawi at 10:09 PM on November 9, 2012 [23 favorites]


anyone who has relations outside of marriage is obviously unfit for public service. i am glad that this was nipped in the bud by the sinner himself before his sex-crazed zombie humping destroyed our country.
posted by camdan at 10:13 PM on November 9, 2012


So an FBI investigation causes the CIA director to resign? That's got to be good for inter-agency relations. I wonder how much more to the story there was.
posted by stp123 at 10:20 PM on November 9, 2012


Regarding the "head of the CIA couldn't even keep his own affair secret" trope: I'd think it's better to have a CIA director who, confronted with the revelation of compromising information, immediately took the issue public himself. The director who's willing to break the news would, presumably, be less susceptible to coercion.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:23 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


As in most things of this nature, it's not the crime that will get you, but the coverup.

Acting like this is all just about sex and prudery and private lives blahblah is just....what? Is the deceit nothing? The deception? The indiscretion? The poor judgement?
posted by rtha at 10:24 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Acting like this is all just about sex and prudery and private lives blahblah is just....what? Is the deceit nothing? The deception? The indiscretion? The poor judgement?

Well, deception only matters if the issue is relevant in the first place. If Petraeus dresses up in a gorilla suit and beats off to pictures of Tom Cruise every night, then denies it when found out, who cares?
posted by Dasein at 10:34 PM on November 9, 2012


So my understanding is that there was some kind of attack on the US "embassy" in Benghazi, Libya

Consulate. The US Embassy is in Tripoli, which is Libya's capital and is at least known to Americans who know the words to the "Marines' Hymn." Benghazi is a place most just heard about in September.

(Meanwhile, I don't see how the woman's crazy attractiveness is not Something Which Shall Not Be Mentioned. The mention of the wife's looks is mean and stupid, but there's an older. powerful guy being flattered thing going on here, of course.)
posted by raysmj at 10:36 PM on November 9, 2012


there's an older. powerful guy being flattered thing going on here, of course

We have absolutely no way of knowing the dynamics of the affair. You could just as easily say, "there's a younger, overawed woman being wooed thing going on here, of course." Both statements are equally baseless. Maybe they were both just attracted to each other.
posted by Dasein at 10:55 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dasein: That's awfully generous and fair, but ... I dunno. We do know she wrote what has been described as a hagiographic, or fawning, book about thim. (Oh and not to you, but related to my comments above: Not even the people at Free Republic are going on about Benghazi in a thread about this. Just checked. There's a couple of comments about this in a thread regarding the resignation/affair story, but there is not an overarching "this is a cover up, look at the timing" thing going on there.)
posted by raysmj at 11:11 PM on November 9, 2012


i think speculating on the intimate workings of their relationship will quickly devolve into sexist stereotyping. lets not be like gawker commenters. lets be better than that.
posted by nadawi at 11:13 PM on November 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


It takes two to tango, always, and they were adults who were well educated and not young in either case. I'm not blaming either party alone. They're both responsible, ultimately.
posted by raysmj at 11:16 PM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Definitely check out the advice column. Someone already linked to it, and a lot of people think it might have been the husband. The dates do match up.
So "hacking" here means looking at his laptop while he's in the bathroom?
I'm not sure how the FBI would discover that, but even if it were the case - not still not cool when you're the director of the CIA
But given this woman has probably been heavily vetted anyway, and given that Petraeus is not some relatively expendable, low-level analyst, but somebody whose skills and personal qualities (well... such as they are) are very important to international security right now, my cold-hearted view would be that he should be retained unless they know something really bad that we don't.
You can't be serious. I don't think an affair is a big deal in general, but if it's against the rules, and you break the rules and you're the director of the CIA it's a serious problem. It means you can be blackmailed, susceptible to being seduced by spies for other countries, etc.

Also, the idea that this guy is some super-hero genius is just ridiculous. He's a competent guy who's good at playing the Washington DC power lunch circuit and hob-knobbing with the right people.

(Seriously... all these people saying he's such an awesome guy - how would they even know? Other then news reports, which are almost always heavily tilted towards flattery of high level sources.)

Plus, there's the old "If you can't keep an affair secret, you probably aren't qualified to be the director of the CIA". Especially if you get caught because the FBI caught your girlfriend trying to hack your emails.
Bill Clinton had the highest security access of anybody in the US government when he got a blow job in the oval office. He was retained in his position.
Yes, because he was an elected official who could not be fired.
Justinian, just curious what you're basing this on? Are you just assuming he was caught? I mean it's quite possible he couldn't tolerate being in a compromised position any longer and came forward on his own. Or maybe he confessed to his wife and she said he had to do the right thing with regard to his job, who knows?
Hahahahah.
Assuming the "stumbled upon the email during the course of an unrelated investigation" story is true... why is the FBI investigating the CIA?
The CIA isn't allowed to engage in any activities inside the U.S. So if broadwell was doing something illicit, it would be the FBI that would be doing the investigation.
posted by delmoi at 11:18 PM on November 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


I guess this is a sidetrack, but since when does Chuck Klosterman write the Ethicist column in the NYT?
posted by koeselitz at 11:22 PM on November 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yes, because he was an elected official who could not be fired.

Yes he could, via conviction and removal by the Senate, on impeachment charges brought by the House. Those charges were given more than enough vetting and deliberation (gawd were they ever), however, and the president was allowed to keep his job. Difference circumstances, yes, but presidents can be forced out. Nixon resigned before that happened, much in the way this CIA chief just did.
posted by raysmj at 11:22 PM on November 9, 2012


Just in case there's any confusion about how this was discovered, from the nyt:
Government officials said that the F.B.I. began an investigation into a “potential criminal matter” several months ago that was not focused on Mr. Petraeus. In the course of their inquiry into whether a computer used by Mr. Petraeus had been compromised, agents discovered evidence of the relationship as well as other security concerns. About two weeks ago, F.B.I. agents met with Mr. Petraeus to discuss the investigation.
We don't know if she personally was the source of the 'hack', or what.
Yes he could, via conviction and removal by the Senate, on impeachment charges brought by the House.
Impeachment isn't really the same thing as "being fired", IMO. Technically you're only supposed to be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors", and the republicans argued that perjury, not the affair itself was the problem. If you're not an elected official, (or appointed to certain positions like a judgeship or the fed chair) then there are different rules governing when you can be fire and for what.
posted by delmoi at 11:35 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Impeachment is akin to an indictment. Conviction and removal is what can throw a president out (but never has, although Nixon left before he would have been removed). But, as noted, different circumstances. In any case, the director wasn't fired here, but resigned, so ... back to the subject at hand.
posted by raysmj at 11:44 PM on November 9, 2012


There's a couple of comments about this in a thread regarding the resignation/affair story, but there is not an overarching "this is a cover up, look at the timing" thing going on there.

My awesome Facebook friends are saying exactly that.
posted by LionIndex at 11:56 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the director of the NSA giggles quietly to himself.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:10 AM on November 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's an NBC article, specifically indicating she was personally under investigation:
The biographer for resigning CIA Director David Petraeus is under FBI investigation for improperly trying to access his email and possibly gaining access to classified information, law enforcement officials told NBC News on Friday.
posted by delmoi at 12:24 AM on November 10, 2012


A few things:

First, this is something he absolutely should have had to resign for. You don't engage in major level security violations when you're the head of the CIA. When I was briefly attached to a three letter agency once upon a time, they gave us wet-behind-the-ears total-nobodies long lectures about not letting anyone fall asleep in our rooms because of our access badges and paperwork and suchlike. If you did and got caught at it, you get dinged for a security violation. Fuck, even forgetting your cellphone in your pocket is a major security violation. Hiding an affair, and letting your mistress have access to your email is such a big fuckup I have no words. For the director of the CIA to get away with it would be beyond ridiculous. This is not about the sex.

Secondly, I think people are absolutely right when they say that this is about the election, not Benghazi. I think he was waiting until Obama's re-election because he wasn't sure if it would alter the political climate and didn't want to.

Thirdly, I want to share with you some of the hilarious conspiracy theories going around. Wildest one I've heard thus far is that the whole thing was invented "Soviet-Style" and he only is going along with it because people are threatening to kill his family over Benghazi.

I can't make this stuff up, but apparently other people can.
posted by corb at 12:27 AM on November 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


mr_crash_davis: "Check out the second letter to the NYTimes Ethicist (titled "My Wife's Lover")."

BONKERS. Klosterman's kind of a nag at the end no? Points against you for seeking help in a tough spot where you literally cannot talk to ANYONE about this.
posted by stratastar at 12:44 AM on November 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted. As always, let's avoid "here's my personal assessment of female news subject's appearance," and euphemistic jokes or spoonerisms as a way of calling a woman something offensive also not so great. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 12:58 AM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is going to be a right wing fling for months, I can just feel it. Resigning does not somehow immunize him from testifying/being subpoena'd on Benghazi, not that there's much to testify about that people aren't already aware of (hence, a DEMOCRAT in the Republican run House of Reps is in charge of the initial push on this and not, say... Darrel Issa).
posted by Slackermagee at 1:54 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Government officials said that the F.B.I. began an investigation into a “potential criminal matter” several months ago that was not focused on Mr. Petraeus. In the course of their inquiry into whether a computer used by Mr. Petraeus had been compromised, agents discovered evidence of the relationship as well as other security concerns. About two weeks ago, F.B.I. agents met with Mr. Petraeus to discuss the investigation.

I am so rewatching No Way Out.

Hiding an affair, and letting your mistress have access to your email is such a big fuckup I have no words

I really have to agree. It's unfortunate because he really has been among our best and brightest, but if we truly are a meritocracy on these matters (i.e. intelligence, defense of the realm, etc.) we'd better be fair and hold leaders to the same standard their subordinates must match.

For that matter, she's been a rising star in her own right, and this will probably mean she can never come anywhere near the intelligence and counterinsurgency establishment on which much of her academic reputation rests. I'll await blaming one party or the other until more information emerges, but two smart people clearly ended up at the wrong end of the stupid stick here. Sadly, both have spouses and families who will also suffer. Meanwhile, there are political consequences for the country; this could obviously have come at a worse time, such as a week before the election, but the intersection with the unfolding Benghazi issue-cum-scandal is highly unfortunate.

And God, do I want to know if that letter is the aggrieved husband. The thing that least fits is that a radiologist could benefit from the "generosity" of a D/CIA.
posted by dhartung at 2:29 AM on November 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Boy, if there's one place that doesn't have the right to put "reporter" in air quotes, it's Gawker.
posted by jscott at 2:54 AM on November 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh it may be vanity on my part, but may I call hour attention to this notable example of a NYT
house trope of some fascinating elegance here:

A self-described “soccer mom” and an ironman triathlete, Ms. Broadwell became a fixture on the Washington media scene after the publication of her book about Mr. Petraeus, who is 60. In a Twitter message this summer, she bragged about appearing on a panel at the Aspen Institute, a policy group for deep thinkers.

“Heading 2 @AspenInstitute 4 the Security Forum tomorrow! Panel (media & terrorism) followed by a 1v1 run with Lance Armstrong,” she wrote. “Fired up!”


...which accomplishes efficiently :

* linking her to a since disgraced public figure...
* also known for lapses of the, uh, spandex...
* reinforcing the image of the developing affair by the principals...
* while subtly implying potential parallel entanglement, aka the slut shaming syndrome.

Stay classy, Times.
posted by dhartung at 3:23 AM on November 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised to learn that the director of the CIA is allowed to use a private email address. Honestly, I would have expected that all senior intelligence staff would have their email go through government servers, and that it would be a firing offense to use anything else.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:25 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finally, one would be remiss not to recall the situational precedent of John Deutch -- who is likely hoping to be overlooked in current coverage.
posted by dhartung at 3:33 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stay classy, Times.

some people really will twist any narrative into absurd degrees of tortured logic to grind that one sided axe. I'm really not even sure what you are saying or trying to imply, the New York Times is slut shamming? I suspect it more your imagination than anything else...
posted by Shit Parade at 3:48 AM on November 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


koeselitz: I guess this is a sidetrack, but since when does Chuck Klosterman write the Ethicist column in the NYT?

He's been writing the entirety of every issue of the New York Times since early summer. Didn't you notice? The paper has inserted speculations about what this means for a couple of middle-aged guys from the Midwest into every single story.
posted by Kattullus at 5:31 AM on November 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


if this attack had happened at any other time (especially during GWB's reign), the republicans wouldn't have even mentioned it.

Good thing 'round these here Blue parts each thing Obama does that is like something Bush did is met with the same number of front page posts along with the same commentators who called Bush on action X are calling out Obama when he is in charge of action X.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:48 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Government officials said that the F.B.I. began an investigation into a “potential criminal matter” several months ago that was not focused on Mr. Petraeus.

Looks like they were watching GMail, looking for access patterns suggestive of compromise of sensitive users (I'm guessing Chinese hackers) & stumbled across Broadwell at least trying to login to his account & it just unraveled from there.

From CIA's Petraeus Resigns Over Affair:
A Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into use of Mr. Petraeus's Gmail account led agents to believe the woman or someone close to her had sought access to his email, the people said.
Someone's always watching.
posted by scalefree at 5:53 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


the New York Times is slut shamming? I suspect it more your imagination than anything else...

posted by Shit Parade at 6:48 AM

Oh they are shameless whores. Is it not obvious what they are doing there.
posted by clavdivs at 6:35 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that my question may be answered now.
posted by Danf at 7:44 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


* while subtly implying potential parallel entanglement, aka the slut shaming syndrome.

Huh? You think that publishing her tweet bragging about being a power player implies she slept with Lance Armstrong?
posted by Dasein at 7:53 AM on November 10, 2012


Yes, unfortunate what's going to happen to their careers but they both have military backgrounds. (She went to West Point too.) A LOT of times in the military, you fuck up, you die.
posted by BibiRose at 8:40 AM on November 10, 2012


I don't think quoting her tweet was slut-shaming, but it would certainly make me think twice about tweeting anything to do with work. Nature of the medium that it can sound very air-headed.
posted by BibiRose at 9:03 AM on November 10, 2012


Paula Broadwell is an alumna of the University of Denver, where I work editing the alumni magazine. We had a profile of her scheduled to run in our winter issue, which went to the printer yesterday. When the news about Petraeus broke yesterday we considered editing or swapping out the story, but when we found out Broadwell was the other woman, we had to call the printer and explain the situation, and I had to drive a new page to them at 8:30 last night. The lede of the Broadwell story was "If you're going to write a book about one of the most famous generals of the last 20 years, you might as well go all in." Yikes.
posted by Clustercuss at 9:26 AM on November 10, 2012 [49 favorites]


Regarding the "head of the CIA couldn't even keep his own affair secret" trope: I'd think it's better to have a CIA director who, confronted with the revelation of compromising information, immediately took the issue public himself. The director who's willing to break the news would, presumably, be less susceptible to coercion.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:23 AM on November 10


I've heard that General Petraeus is an honorable man, but I don't think this tells you very much: going public is standard crisis management for these kinds of things. (And so is: "If you don't come forward, I will.")
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:35 AM on November 10, 2012


I don't know why this has been portrayed as anybody going after anybody. You take two attractive, respected, intelligent people with a wealth of common interests, put them together for long periods of time, have them discuss emotionally intimate subjects, and, well, I don't really think either of them would've required much seduction from the other. Isn't this how most work affairs start?

Also: Petraeus was a hell of a lot more than some guy who knew how to play politics. Saying that displays a real ignorance for his accomplishments and the effect he had on the military. Sometimes our leaders actually are leaders for a reason.
posted by schroedinger at 9:55 AM on November 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good thing 'round these here Blue parts

one major difference is we're people typing on the internet and they're members of congress. our responsibilities differ somewhat.
posted by nadawi at 10:23 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The NYT "ethicist" thinks it's unethical for the husband to write the letter, so he publishes it in the New York Times
posted by dirigibleman at 10:30 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The New York Post Wins The Petraeus Headline Contest
posted by homunculus at 10:32 AM on November 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


going public is standard crisis management for these kinds of things

Um, no, far from standard. The standard is "I am resigning to spend more time with my family."

Huh? You think that publishing her tweet bragging about being a power player implies she slept with Lance Armstrong?

No, it implies that the NYT was twisting the knife by subtly suggesting that readers connect those dots. Petraeus is one of those public figures they love to celebrate, and here I think they are hating on her for bringing him down. It's more than a little sexist, it's more than a little hierarchist. It doesn't mean they thought the two of them had an affair, but it is surely no coincidence they chose that particular tweet to publish in full (something completely unnecessary in an article of this nature). There's more than a hint that she basically slept her way to the top.

I've been reading the Grey Lady for many a year, and while there is much that I love and respect about them, they have little compunction about using their power to shape the narrative when they feel it's their place to do so.

Isn't this how most work affairs start?

Probably, but there was a power imbalance also present in many work affairs (an O-10 with an O-5). And of course the Army not only has strict prohibitions about this sort of thing, they are currently embroiled in the trial of an officer for just such fraternization-turned-harassment.

Anyway, the more nuanced details of this seem to be trickling out, indicating that she was stalking him through Gmail by sending anonymous notes to people in his Gmail address book. However it started, it ended badly.
posted by dhartung at 11:14 AM on November 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rather than focus on the sexual dimension of this or the infidelity more important is the fact that this journalist was snooping around the personal email account of the head of the CIA and that she may have also been leaking national security secrets to others in the press. I'm a bit suprised that she isn't in jail at this moment given the current state of things.
posted by humanfont at 11:26 AM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


it is surely no coincidence they chose that particular tweet to publish in full (something completely unnecessary in an article of this nature). There's more than a hint that she basically slept her way to the top.

The tweet might make her look like a dingaling or a name-dropper, but you are reading into it that it suggests she and Lance Armstrong had an affair. I don't think one reader in a hundred would infer that.

Also this is the same NYT that reports, under the headline "Woman Linked to Petraeus Is a West Point Graduate and Lifelong High Achiever," that she "was the valedictorian of her high school class and homecoming queen, a fitness champion at West Point with a graduate degree from Harvard, and a model for a machine gun manufacturer... [as well as] state student council president, an all-state basketball player and orchestra concertmistress."

They are not suggesting she slept her way to the top.
posted by torticat at 11:28 AM on November 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's more than a hint that she basically slept her way to the top.

No, there just isn't.
posted by Dasein at 11:29 AM on November 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Apparently, the FBI investigation started with an unnamed person who complained that Broadwell was harassing her:
The F.B.I. investigation that led to the resignation of David H. Petraeus as C.I.A. director on Friday began with a complaint several months ago about “harassing” e-mails sent by Paula Broadwell, Mr. Petraeus’s biographer, to an unidentified third person, a government official briefed on the case said on Saturday.
---NY Times
posted by bonehead at 11:33 AM on November 10, 2012


Something I have to confess I saw on another site:

Now we see what happens when we allow openly heterosexual people to serve in the military.
posted by spitbull at 11:38 AM on November 10, 2012 [29 favorites]


The Washington Post story is compelling.

I saw Gen. Petraeus speak at a Chicago Council of Global Affairs thing a couple of years ago. Before the talk I met my friend in the lobby/bar of the hotel where the talk was given and the General was there with an aide also waiting for someone. We spyed a bit and just found him impressive up close. In the Q and A after his remarks I was most impressed by his candor and incredible knowledge and background. I thought at the time that if he ever decided to enter politics he would be formidible.
posted by readery at 12:04 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Petraeus scandal is reported with compelled veneration of all things military: The reverence for the former CIA Director is part of a wider religious-like worship of the national security state.
posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


From that Washington Post story:

The collapse of the dazzling career of CIA Director David H. Petraeus was triggered when a woman with whom he was having an affair sent threatening e-mails to another woman close to him, according to three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the episode. The recipient of the e-mails was so frightened that she went to the FBI for protection and help tracking down the sender, according to the officials.

So Broadwell was jealous of another women, sent anonymous, threatening emails to her, and the FBI traced them back to her email account leading to the Petraeus thing. Sounds like she's a "high-intensity" woman in all areas of life.
posted by schroedinger at 12:45 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah the big counterinsurgency expert -- "give me more soldiers and I'll extend the stalemate" is what passes for strategy in Bush's wars.

I always thought the Prez put him at Langley to keep him from running for office or endorsing the republican nominee, ole whatshisname with the hair.
posted by spitbull at 12:48 PM on November 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe the Armstrong '1v1' reference is code for getting together and juicing up.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:51 PM on November 10, 2012


Actually, I wonder if she had an IRB for her "research."


Of course a Kennedy School of Govt PhD dissertation is sort of bullshit as scholarship in most cases anyway.
posted by spitbull at 1:01 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I see Kevin Spacey as Patraeus in the forthcoming movie. You saw it here first.
posted by Danf at 1:09 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lots of good articles at the Washington Post, including: Why David Petraeus's Gmail account is a national security issue
posted by halonine at 1:17 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm glad the police state is eating itself first.
posted by Renoroc at 1:34 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


this is the same NYT that reports .. that she was the valedictorian

Precisely why the full, precise quoting of the tweet stood out for me. Look, you can give them and her the benefit of the doubt here, but that's my reading and I stand by it. It's a variation on the dictum that if you want to make someone look bad, quote them accurately, grammar and all. It would have been unremarkable for them to simply say "She attended the Aspen Institute conference this last summer" and at most append "including taking in a run with Lance Armstrong". If you want a softening from me, it's to say that they wanted readers to have the impression that she was a climber and focused on male celebrities. And yes, this as a "buried lede" counterpoint to the overall article with an apparently opposite angle.

(Do we need to have another discussion about how the NYT writes about, say, hipsters doing that new thing in the downtown cafes, which seems to celebrate them but is really making them look shallow and awful? This is a thing they do.)
posted by dhartung at 1:38 PM on November 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, now I have to wonder why Petreaus had a GMail account at all. And dude, two factor authentication maybe?
posted by spitbull at 1:40 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why David Petraeus's Gmail account is a national security issue

From the article:
The beginning of the end came for CIA Director David Petraeus when Paula Broadwell, a younger married woman with whom he was having an affair, “or someone close to her had sought access to his email,” according to the Wall Street Journal’s description of an FBI probe. Associates of Petraeus had received “anonymous harassing emails” that were then traced to Broadwell, ABC’s Martha Raddatz reported, suggesting she may have found their names or addresses in his e-mail.
Jesus, what the hell? She hacked into his account to send harassing emails from it?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:41 PM on November 10, 2012


My bad, she didn't send harassing emails from Petraues's account, but an anonymous one.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:42 PM on November 10, 2012


Huh. So the guy on CNN was right about stalkery emails but got the direction reversed. I wonder if he was talking out of his ass completely or just misinterpreted his source.
posted by Justinian at 1:43 PM on November 10, 2012


Probably a variation on the 'fog of war'. Information is trickling out, perhaps when it isn't supposed to, causing people to guess and guess wrong. It's definitely getting weirder and weirder.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:51 PM on November 10, 2012


spitbull: "Yeah, now I have to wonder why Petreaus had a GMail account at all. And dude, two factor authentication maybe?"

Two-factor auth, yes, but the idea that anyone up to and including President Obama ought not to have a personal email account is silly. Being the head of the CIA obviously means you have to exercise discretion about who accesses your email (nobody except you) and what you say in it (not very much, because "nobody except you" also includes the service providers), but banning them from using personal accounts is not workable and not necessary.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:05 PM on November 10, 2012


Two-factor auth, yes, but the idea that anyone up to and including President Obama ought not to have a personal email account is silly.

No, it isn't. I'm not saying it has to be done, but clearly it needs to be considered. There are groups and people who are looking hard for the smallest piece of information and personal emails are an easy target.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:15 PM on November 10, 2012


The Times magazine has fact-checked the Ethicist column and announced that it is unconnected to the Petraeus affair.
posted by dhartung at 2:18 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


So do we also keep top officials from having a personal cell phone? From sending personal letters via U.S. Mail? Where does it stop?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:21 PM on November 10, 2012


Two-factor auth, yes, but the idea that anyone up to and including President Obama ought not to have a personal email account is silly.


Not really. There are certain sacrifices that need to be made in exchange for accepting a position of great power and influence. If you are taking a position where you can directly influence (and are directly responsible for) the security of an entire nation, giving up your gmail and facebook accounts seems to be a no-brainer.
posted by modernnomad at 2:34 PM on November 10, 2012


Your description describes anyone with access to classified documents and systems. That's... a lot of people.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:38 PM on November 10, 2012


I'm quite happy to draw a line somewhere between "any analyst with a security clearance" and the "director of the CIA", and that line would obviously be closer to the latter than the former.
posted by modernnomad at 2:46 PM on November 10, 2012


There are groups and people who are looking hard for the smallest piece of information and personal emails are an easy target.

Given the effort the Chinese government makes to hack into Google accounts, if the person put in charge of a spy outfit has a Gmail account, that might be a weak spot that would raise red flags with his bosses. No pun intended.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:52 PM on November 10, 2012


bet you any amount of money they would communicate via drafts saved in the account. spouses can't see emails that are never sent. would explain how she had the password.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:55 PM on November 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


Anyone who's risen to the level of director of the CIA is supposed to understand what you do and don't do on non-classified email accounts. Everyone with access to classified material is required to complete yearly training on information security, what you can and can't do with your public email and social media accounts, etc. I'm sure at some point you have to give the big-wigs non-attributional personal accounts with fake names, etc. but in this day and age, it's almost impossible to live life without access to an Internet-connected email account.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:58 PM on November 10, 2012


CIA officers long had expressed concern about Broadwell's unprecedented access to the director.
posted by gemmy at 3:00 PM on November 10, 2012


Um, no, far from standard. The standard is "I am resigning to spend more time with my family."

Not to derail, but if you think the story is already out there, it's fairly standard to try to get ahead of the story. See for example Jim McGreevey. Even Mark Sanford held a press conference to announce that he had been unfaithful to his wife. Admittedly Larry Craig did not, but there was a lot of other stuff going on there, clearly.
posted by Comrade_robot at 3:20 PM on November 10, 2012


I was going to link to that WaPo story. I'm kind of amazed that that Broadwell managed to be so dumb about this that she would send threats to potential rivals, and get into all this e-drama. She damaged Petraeus' career, but he'll be fine. He's well-loved in DC and won't have trouble getting another job. But she's completely killed her own. From the interviews she did she seemed like someone you would expect to be level-headed and responsible. I guess not.

Also, I'm pretty sure Google can increase the security level on some sensitive Gmail accounts if they need too. You can turn on two factor authentication yourself if you want to, and you can view the IP addresses used to access your account to check and see if anyone else might be using it.

Google has some of the best security people in the industry, given how often they get attacked. Obviously if the director of the CIA were using Gmail, it could be an account that would get special handling (If they knew about it)

The problem here wasn't that he had a gmail account, but rather that he was having an affair with a woman who apparently tried to hack it. (or something - it's still not totally clear if she actually hacked the account, or just made an attempt. If she did get the password, was she just able to guess it, or did she install spyware on one of her own computers, or his? I guess we'll never know the complete details, since it doesn't sound like there will be an indictment)
It's unfortunate because he really has been among our best and brightest, but if we truly are a meritocracy on these matters
How would you even know, when most of what he does is secret? He's certainly done a good job of shmoozing with washington journalists Micheal Hastings wrote about him in rolling stone back in january, and he certainly hasn't been very positive on him since the scandal broke.

This whole idea that he's some heroic genius just seems a little over the top, there are probably lots of really competent people in the military who just don't schmooze with reporters as much. Washington journalists tend to rate people mostly on presentation and style - for the most part they aren't really competent to evaluate people, just look how they all fawned over Paul Ryan and claimed he was some kind of economics genius, when really he was just what Paul Krugman called a flim-flammer
it is surely no coincidence they chose that particular tweet to publish in full (something completely unnecessary in an article of this nature). There's more than a hint that she basically slept her way to the top.
She obviously was sleeping her way to the top. She got incredible access to the guy and used her relationship with him to write a book and in doing so got her all over TV as a military expert/pundit. That isn't even remotely fair to all the people who couldn't (or didn't want to) use their looks and body to get ahead by sleeping with powerful men.
posted by delmoi at 3:22 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


the idea that anyone up to and including President Obama ought not to have a personal email account is silly.

Anyone with access to your Gmail account can set up a forwarding rule and have copies of all your email sent to another account. Would I trust an official to never, ever, ever, leave their computer logged into Gmail when they leave the room? No. Obama has no personal failings, of course, but we know that Petraeus's mistress had access to his account; are you confident that future US Presidents are going to be more careful than the director of the CIA? And that Gmail's security is flawless? And proof against external attacks, like keyloggers on the President's computer?
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:35 PM on November 10, 2012


Every one of your concerns is addressed by the official in question never using the account for official purposes. In fact, letting the officials have personal accounts lessens the likelihood that they will use one of their more critical official accounts for non-official purposes, which leads to information spillage, compromised accounts, etc.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:41 PM on November 10, 2012


Every one of your concerns is addressed by the official in question never using the account for official purposes.

No, it isn't. An email between him and his wife about a kid's upcoming event could tell a lot based on how Petreaus responded. Does he write "looking forward to"? if so that, indicates where he'll be at a particular time. Does he write "give'm a hug for me", meaning he won't be at the event, which means somewhere else in an official capacity?

The smallest bits of information can be useful in the bigger picture, especially if the spy has no idea the account is compromised.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:46 PM on November 10, 2012


Again, this is about the individual's discretion in what they say on the insecure channel. You trust your officials to do the right thing, knowing full well that you can't control whether they create a personal account or not.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:50 PM on November 10, 2012


I'm not sure why you keep insisting it's okay for officials with high security to have personal accounts when this post is about an instance when it was not ok.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:56 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


My point is that it's what he did with the personal account was not okay, not that he used it.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:57 PM on November 10, 2012


No, it's what someone else did with his Gmail account that caused the problem.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:02 PM on November 10, 2012


Ironmouth, can you explain more about them potentially communicating via drafts? I don't understand how that would work.
posted by gentian at 4:04 PM on November 10, 2012


It's pretty simple. You log in to an email account, write your message, and save it as a draft but do not send it. Log out. Later, the intended recipient logs in to the account and opens the drafts folder. Presto, your message is there. They reply in the same way.

Thus you communicate without having to actually send any email.

Not a bad way to do it but I woulda set up a dummy email account for just that purpose rather than giving someone access to my actual personal account. Of course there is as yet no evidence that Petraeus did purposefully give her access.
posted by Justinian at 4:07 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: "No, it's what someone else did with his Gmail account that caused the problem."

Uh, her access to his personal email only causes a problem insofar as it relates to his infidelity, which is what led to the resignation. If he was using the GMail account just to place Amazon orders and correspond with West Point classmates, there is no issue.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:12 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Juan Cole: Real Petraeus Issue was Evaluation of Afghanistan
posted by homunculus at 4:16 PM on November 10, 2012


She obviously was sleeping her way to the top. She got incredible access to the guy and used her relationship with him to write a book and in doing so got her all over TV as a military expert/pundit.

What the hell? What proof do you have that this was some kind of calculated career move on her part, and not, say, the pursuit of a hero, or the development of mutual respect between two similar people followed by a sexual relationship?

How would you even know, when most of what he does is secret?

Delmoi, have you actually done any reading about Petraeus beyond this article? It doesn't take more an a cursory Google to find out the massive, positive effects he had on the American military pre-CIA. He was a huge proponent of approaching counterinsurgency as a social rather than solely military issue. He brought in civilian experts on specific regions to provide sociological and anthropological data to aide in developing strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan that went beyond "bomb the shit out of everything." He modernized the approach of a system that is extraordinarily resistant to change. Don't let your resistance to hero-worship blind you to recognizing excellence where excellence exists.
posted by schroedinger at 4:28 PM on November 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I see Kevin Spacey as Patraeus in the forthcoming movie. You saw it here first.

I see Bruce Willis.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:37 PM on November 10, 2012


The director of CIA having his own Gmail account is a consequence of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) culture we have these days. The absolute height of this is, obviously, Obama having his own iPad (and he reputedly reads Andrew Sullivan frequently), but anyway.

What's amazing to me, OTOH, is that this Broadwell woman somehow had access to Patraeus' Gmail account. That's just completely mind-boggling, for a CIA director; that in itself should be a fireable offence, zipper-control problems or otherwise.
posted by the cydonian at 5:23 PM on November 10, 2012


It's pretty simple. You log in to an email account, write your message, and save it as a draft but do not send it. Log out. Later, the intended recipient logs in to the account and opens the drafts folder. Presto, your message is there. They reply in the same way.

Thus you communicate without having to actually send any email.

Not a bad way to do it but I woulda set up a dummy email account for just that purpose rather than giving someone access to my actual personal account. Of course there is as yet no evidence that Petraeus did purposefully give her access.


Yeah, Broadwell had access to other information in his account which she used to blackmail. She *was* improperly accessing information that she wasn't supposed to. (Whether that information was _classified_ or not is a moot point; that's just adds legal, and national-security consequences. The principle holds for private information as well.)
posted by the cydonian at 5:28 PM on November 10, 2012


Obama having an iPad doesn't mean he uses it for any official business. Again, people who have classified or otherwise sensitive accounts can maintain a separate personal account without jeopardizing their mission, and preventing them from having personal accounts does not solve the problem, and carries with it the problem of "people will then use the official accounts for non-official communications."
posted by tonycpsu at 5:30 PM on November 10, 2012


The arguments against gmail also apply to cell phones, land lines, US mail, semaphores, speaking out loud...
posted by 2N2222 at 5:40 PM on November 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


leave their computer logged into Gmail when they leave the room?
The same problem would come up with their official government email anyway.
And proof against external attacks, like keyloggers on the President's computer?
If there are keyloggers on the presidents computer, then there are far bigger problems then his Gmail getting hacked.

Also, Gmail's security is really good. If you're worried about your password, you can use two-factor authentication. No security is perfect; including the government's internal communications systems (Just ask Bradley Manning). Google actually sells email services for corporations; it wouldn't surprise me if lots of government agencies use Gmail's cloud services for their own email.
I'm not sure why you keep insisting it's okay for officials with high security to have personal accounts when this post is about an instance when it was not ok.
It still isn't clear at all that she actually hacked his account, first of all. She sent a threat to a potential rival, and that triggered an investigation, which lead the FBI to find out about emails between the two of them. In the initial reporting it was less clear but now it seems clearer. Maybe we'll get the exact story at some point, and maybe not.

In any event, the problem here wasn't the email account; she still could have sent threats to the other women if he didn't have it. And more importantly, the problem here was the affair, and her paranoid jealous behavior , not the email account. How would email run by the federal government be any better? If she could get into his Gmail, she would be able to get into any web-available email. The fact the account was Gmail isn't really relevant.

If someone could hack gmail entirely, the way the Chinese tried to do, that would be a huge security risk - but the individual possibility of having a lover get into your account isn't enough of a risk to justify banning Gmail for important administrators.
posted by delmoi at 5:59 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Delmoi wrote: The same problem would come up with their official government email anyway.

Government email can be set up to be as paranoid as you would like. Not only would you disable forwarding, but you could have a secure front end that would, e.g., use the camera to log the user out every time he or she moved away from the computer. The government email would be under the control of the government, not sitting on Google's servers. The government email could be logged and, in the event of a crisis, analysed immediately without requiring a court order and relying on the user not to have deleted anything. The government email could store anything that might be relevant in the event of a crisis: the email, the IP address the user was at, the computer at which email was written, the computer at which the email was read. Even if Google records this information, how could you rely on it?

Also, Gmail's security is really good.

Google has been hacked several times, and I recall an occasion where someone was fired for improperly accessing someone else's Gmail. In any event, are you really saying that you're cool with outsourcing the NSA's functions to a private company? I am willing to bet that there are any number of Google employees who could figure out a way to access private Gmail if they really, really wanted to.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:39 PM on November 10, 2012


Am I reading this right? She "hacked into his gmail", which may or may not have consisted of, say, logging into his computer when he was over or something, got the contact address of another lady, and sent nastygrams from another email? This kind of sounds like...garden variety crazy/not-crazy girlfriend stuff. In fact, I can almost see the AskMe now. "When my boyfriend was over, I went through his email account and found some sexy emails to another woman. Now I have her email address. Should I confront her or say something to him?" And I can see about half of us saying, "Whoa, dude! Privacy! His email account!" and the other half saying "You caught him cheating, you do what you want!"

Unless there's something else, I really want to know how this is a matter for the FBI.
posted by corb at 6:45 PM on November 10, 2012


The FBI has jurisdiction over online harassment -- full stop. "The other other woman" filed a complaint with the FBI, they investigated, and followed the bread crumbs.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:49 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm also amused by,
One of the officials said that the recipient of the e-mails complained to Petraeus about them and that the FBI later obtained e-mails between Petraeus and Broadwell in which they discussed the harassment.
"Honey, this is not okay. You are being crazy. Please stop it. I love you."

I also wonder who exactly the other woman was, and why she thought contacting the FBI was the right move. Did she suspect what was going on?
posted by corb at 6:59 PM on November 10, 2012


corb: “Am I reading this right? She 'hacked into his gmail', which may or may not have consisted of, say, logging into his computer when he was over or something, got the contact address of another lady, and sent nastygrams from another email?”

Yeah, that sounds about right.

delmoi: “She obviously was sleeping her way to the top. She got incredible access to the guy and used her relationship with him to write a book and in doing so got her all over TV as a military expert/pundit. That isn't even remotely fair to all the people who couldn't (or didn't want to) use their looks and body to get ahead by sleeping with powerful men.”

schroedinger: “What the hell? What proof do you have that this was some kind of calculated career move on her part, and not, say, the pursuit of a hero, or the development of mutual respect between two similar people followed by a sexual relationship?”

More to the point, it strains credulity a mite to claim that someone who was engaged in "sleeping her way to the top" would pause in her upward climb to send random threats to various people in such a way that the affair would be discovered and Petraeus (and her) would come toppling down.

Never ascribe to malice, &c. Just a garden-variety affair.
posted by koeselitz at 7:00 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had assumed that the FBI was investigating because the woman Broadwell emailed was a member of the FBI, and the emails were descriptive enough to make her worried she was being stalked or something. Like: "I know you were with Petraeus X night at Y place, and you better cut that out if you know what's good for you!" She reported it to her superiors and the rest is infamy.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:04 PM on November 10, 2012


"Honey, this is not okay. You are being crazy. Please stop it. I love you."

Uhoh. Petraeus would get pilloried for this if he were on Metafilter!
posted by Justinian at 7:10 PM on November 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had assumed that the FBI was investigating because the woman Broadwell emailed was a member of the FBI, and the emails were descriptive enough to make her worried she was being stalked or something. Like: "I know you were with Petraeus X night at Y place, and you better cut that out if you know what's good for you!" She reported it to her superiors and the rest is infamy.

Oh, this would make perfect, perfect sense. Thank you, this actually helps make it way more comprehensible. Or even some other kind of government official, rather than Random Lady Y.
posted by corb at 7:16 PM on November 10, 2012


Wouldn't you expect the FBI to investigate even if it was Random Lady Y? Given the harassment came from the email account of the head of the CIA?
posted by Justinian at 7:18 PM on November 10, 2012


I also wonder who exactly the other woman was, and why she thought contacting the FBI was the right move. Did she suspect what was going on?

I bet the other other lady knew bringing "Stay away from retired four-star general and curent CIA director David Petraeus" would get preferential FBI treatment where most "Leave mah mayne alooooone" email campaigns might not. Depending on the nature of the emails she may have also felt legitimately frightened (for instance, if Broadwell posed as some shadowy agent threatening assassinating her if she didn't back off).

They said the woman was not a government official, but you don't have to realize if the subject of you email involves a CIA director you'll probably be able to get some personal attention from the Feds in tracking down your opponent.

Broadwell's kind of got the crazy eyes. Maybe she started heading into astronaut diaper territory. "Hacking" does not need to mean sophisticated cracking programs. It is also used to describe "Looked through his logged-in account while he was in the shower".
posted by schroedinger at 7:20 PM on November 10, 2012


Justinian: “Wouldn't you expect the FBI to investigate even if it was Random Lady Y? Given the harassment came from the email account of the head of the CIA?”

No – as corb said, this doesn't appear to be what happened. The emails came from a completely separate account. Blackwell looked at Petraeus' personal account, saw a number of email addresses, and then logged out and logged into a different email account to send the threats.
posted by koeselitz at 7:22 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is kind of a weird story. That Jon Stewart clip made it seen as if there was already some knowledge of the relationship between Broadwell and Petraeus.

Also, if this is a rival, how many other people was Petraeus seeing as well?
posted by carter at 7:22 PM on November 10, 2012


So. Any guesses on how long it will take for this to become a Law and Order episode?
posted by orrnyereg at 7:22 PM on November 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


"Hacking" does not need to mean sophisticated cracking programs. It is also used to describe "Looked through his logged-in account while he was in the shower".

Yeah, I'm just saying we need to be fair about this. How many Very Special Posts are there that are all about "I looked through my honey's email and saw X Disturbing Thing"? I can't remember a single one where anyone called it hacking. Just because the fella in this case happens to be the CIA director doesn't make it any more nefarious, it seems pretty clear that Broadwell was just garden-variety crazypants.
posted by corb at 7:28 PM on November 10, 2012


Which isn't to say it isn't a security breach--it is, it's the same level as pillow-talk spying. The director of the CIA should not be leaving his logged-in email around anyone.
posted by schroedinger at 7:35 PM on November 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


As far as I can tell, there isn't actually specific information that Petraeus's email was necessarily hacked or accessed at all, but I don't know what media has the most accurate info.

For example, from what I'm reading at the Washington Post in this article, the following scenario could be (one of the many possibilities of) what happened:
* Broadwell has some gmail account with a non-identifying address which she uses to communicate with Petraeus

* Petraeus & Broadwell engage in sexy talk on Broadwell's anon gmail account

* Broadwell becomes jealous of other woman for whatever reason (not necessarily because she had access to DP's email)

* Broadwell acquires email address of OW (Other Woman)... this takes no hacking; virtually everyone has an easily accessible email address where they can be contacted

* Broadwell sends harrassing email about Petraeus to OW from her anon gmail account

* OW tells Petraeus she's getting scary anonymous email

* Petraeus talks to Broadwell about it via email to her anon account

* OW, apparently unsatisfied with outcome, speaks to FBI, and since the scary/harassing emails reference Petraeus, they respond

* FBI discover that the anon email belongs to Broadwell, and see sexy talk from someone who is apparently Petraeus, and presumably check it out to see if it is actually him, or someone either hacking his email or pretending to be him, ultimately determining it is, in fact, him.
In this scenario, there is no "hacking" of any type involved, except by the FBI... and the emails to Broadwell from Petraeus could have been from either his own anon gmail account (likely) or his official account, but in any case, tracing the IP would have shown a startling origin if he ever mailed from work.

Again, I don't know whose information is best, but considering that at least one mainstream media source first identified Petraeus as the cyberstalker, I think we can only take what's out there with a grain of salt at the moment.
posted by taz at 10:43 PM on November 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's pretty amazing he would even try something like this. I would think the Director of the CIA would take it for granted that he is under 24 hour surveillance by other agents, other countries and any number of other organizations. To think none of them are going to notice you are having an affair seems unbelievable.
posted by sophist at 1:26 AM on November 11, 2012


Unless there's something else, I really want to know how this is a matter for the FBI.
My understanding is that the third woman who received the email was so freaked out she contacted the FBI herself. What I read earlier suggested she might have done that from his account but now I'm reading she might have just gotten the email that way, or it's possible she never had the account at all.

I personally doubt the threat was so scary that she contacted the FBI herself, she might have done it because she herself is a high level person with a security clearance.

I don't think there is any evidence to think that the woman was herself a member of the FBI. The fact that the situation involved the CIA director would be enough to warrant government investigation, and the FBI is the only agency at the federal level with jurisdiction here. Just to be clear, CIA couldn't investigate this themselves.
This is kind of a weird story. That Jon Stewart clip made it seen as if there was already some knowledge of the relationship between Broadwell and Petraeus.
She was his official biographer, and she didn't pretend she wasn't friends with the guy. She also called him her mentor.
Just because the fella in this case happens to be the CIA director doesn't make it any more nefarious, it seems pretty clear that Broadwell was just garden-variety crazypants.
Sure, it was garden-variety crazy pants, but the woman who received the threats had no way of knowing that. If she had known what was going on, she might not have contacted the FBI.
It's pretty amazing he would even try something like this. I would think the Director of the CIA would take it for granted that he is under 24 hour surveillance by other agents, other countries and any number of other organizations. To think none of them are going to notice you are having an affair seems unbelievable.
The thing to remember is that they were already spending a lot of time together. All they would need to do would be to add sex to the meetings they were already having. Also, people at the CIA were a little concerned about how much access she had.
are you really saying that you're cool with outsourcing the NSA's functions to a private company?
Handling email for government officials is not the NSA's job. It obviously works with private companies in the US on their own 'cyber security' , and it's obviously capable of working with Google to make sure that any government gmail accounts are extra secure. Obviously, the FBI was able to figure out what was going on here, so it's not like the account was opaque to the government anyway.

Forcing people to use systems they don't like is a bad rule in general, because people end up ignoring the rules and using the systems anyway, without your knowledge - which means you can't keep track of it and can't do things to make them more secure.

I don't know why you're so insistent that Gmail itself is insecure. All the problems of password sharing or people getting into their boyfriends/girlfriends accounts also applies to government systems if they could be accessed at home or on the road. And if they couldn't be, then those government officials would still need to use something else when they were at home / on the road. You can already make gmail more secure using two-factor authentication as well, and you could require that people use it. It's not a realistic problem, especially if people follow the rules and don't send any classified information in their personal accounts.

I'm sure the people at the CIA/NSA have looked into it and decided it was OK, and they probably know a lot more then you about how secure it actually is.
posted by delmoi at 1:53 AM on November 11, 2012


Delmoi wrote: I'm sure the people at the CIA/NSA have looked into it and decided it was OK, and they probably know a lot more then you about how secure it actually is.

It turns out that (at least until a couple of years ago) a suicidal, recently demoted, US Army private had unfettered access to literally hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of classified documents. That he had been briskly copying them to CD ROMs and/or flash cards. That he had been chatting to various people including other members of the US Army about releasing them, and that he had in fact sent a whole bunch of them to Wikileaks.

You could write an entire "How Not To" security training manual just from this one event.

The US government's response was to clarify that Bradley Manning's actions were illegal, and to start torturing him. To the best of my knowledge they have not yet instituted e.g., a strict division of classified material into various circles and workgroups of need-to-know privilege with a rigorous logging mechanism that would alert them if someone was burning databases to a CD ROM. Nor, as far as I know, have they issued staff with locked-down devices that have no ports accessible to anyone but IT staff. They quite obviously allow their senior staff to use public mail servers, potentially exposing them to any amount of mail-carried viruses.

If I were to speculate, I could easily believe that General Petraeus bought his laptop from some guy on Craigslist and that he downloads his mail via WiFi. Except when he is abroad, when he nips into an Internet cafe and uses a public terminal. I would also believe that he thinks password security means leaning forward over the keyboard so that it's hard for people to see what you're typing. Because it is now public knowledge that the US Army has less concern for security than a flock of ducklings on a freeway; and if the People's Republic of China does not have free and unfettered access to the US Army's computer network it can only be because Bradley Manning's replacement has tripped over a cable while reheating a pizza on a server.

But go on, tell me what the CIA/NSA were doing while your country's secrets were being laid bare. They probably know a lot more than me, so perhaps this is all 9-dimensional chess?
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:59 AM on November 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I presume the US government could provide personal encrypted multi-factor-authentication (biometrics anyone? they had fingerprint scanners in laptops 5 years ago) email accounts on secure encrypted servers for functionaries who hold the highest security clearance and are, I don't know, like Director of the Fucking CIA or something. Either Petraeus didn't *want* his private email known to his colleagues or he's not as smart as all that, is he?

Years back I saw a bumper sticker on what was obviusly a sysadmin's car (a nice VW Jetta, black, tricked out, driven by a sharply dressed Asian kid who looked 18) that said "I READ YOUR EMAIL."

Unencrypted public provider email is so insecure it is a joke. Every time you hit send, imagine a kid in Kazakhstan might read it.
posted by spitbull at 5:01 AM on November 11, 2012


The Manning episode was indeed a prime example of how not to do information security, but it was a human failure. The military does have procedures in place to stop classified information from leaking, but they failed in the Manning case because people didn't do their job. They do, in fact, limit the availability of flash drives, USB ports, and writable media drives on classified machines, and there are supposed to be procedures in place to limit who has access to these machines, but obviously those procedures were not followed. The military does also use encrypted email with hard tokens for official communications, but neither they nor the civilian government can place limits on what people do with their own computers on their own networks.

The Petraeus case is clearly one where he was using a private, personal account for private, personal communications, and this is how it should be. It's that he was compromising himself with his behavior that is at issue, not that he was using a personal email account to do it.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:06 AM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Petraeus case is clearly one where he was using a private, personal account for private, personal communications, and this is how it should be.

Well, actually we don't know that. What we do know is that Broadwell got access to his private account Gmail and began using some of that information to harass someone else.

What else was in his private account is unknown to us.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:18 AM on November 11, 2012


Petraeus’ downfall reveals ... that some of us who egotistically thought our coverage of Petraeus and counterinsurgency was so sophisticated were perpetuating myths without fully realizing it.
posted by gemmy at 9:26 AM on November 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Here's The Saddest Detail So Far In The Petraeus Affair...
posted by homunculus at 10:10 AM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: " What else was in his private account is unknown to us."

I was not trying to prove the negative statement that there was no sensitive information in his personal account, I was just re-stating the positive statement that we do know he was using it to discuss his extramarital affair. Of course if he was misusing his GMail to send operationally-sensitive emails that's a problem, but it's not a problem that is solved with a blanket prohibition on the use of personal accounts, which, again, carries its own risk.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:13 AM on November 11, 2012


Anonymous May Have Hacked Petraeus Mistress: Broadwell's personal email appears on a list of compromised accounts of the commercial intelligence firm Stratfor.
posted by homunculus at 10:18 AM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounds like the FBI decided that no sensitive info was actually compromised; they were left with the only wrongdoing being the affair and the attendant susceptibility to blackmail, compromise of info, etc. After meeting with Petraeus two weeks ago (showing him their evidence and telling him no charges would be pressed against him), it was only Tuesday that the FBI director took it to director of national intelligence, and that is who decided to ask Petraeus to step down.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:19 AM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Intelligence officials have suggested that Petraeus was first questioned over the nature of his relationship with Broadwell a fortnight ago.

But it was only on the night of the presidential election that national intelligence director James Clapper was notified of the affair. It is thought that Clapper then advised the CIA chief to resign."


OH and

Petraeus Throws Obama Under the Bus
6:05 PM, Oct 26, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL

A fortnight ago? do not belive it.
posted by clavdivs at 10:22 AM on November 11, 2012


It's called payback.
posted by clavdivs at 10:23 AM on November 11, 2012


Pertraeus, not the first CIA director to have affairs.
posted by Xurando at 10:32 AM on November 11, 2012


Kudos to Ackerman for his mea culpa. It can't be easy to publicly admit that you bought into the hero-worship surrounding Petraeus. I will say in his defense that in an era where the only way you can cover the wars is to embed with the military units, it must be exceedingly difficult to report in an unbiased enough manner to get the truth out without being sent home. I'm sure a lot of reporters hang on to whatever access they have, thinking that the alternative of a total media blackout would be worse, when in reality, we have many counterexamples where the lack of media coverage would have been preferable to a situation where the press imbues the military spin with the credibility of a supposedly neutral media (paging Judith Miller.)
posted by tonycpsu at 10:43 AM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to understand this "payback" meme. Let's assume something untoward happened in the administration's handling of security in Benghazi. How does pushing Petraeus out keep that under wraps?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:45 AM on November 11, 2012


Why Would a Whistleblower Go to Eric Cantor?
posted by homunculus at 11:04 AM on November 11, 2012


I was not trying to prove the negative statement that there was no sensitive information in his personal account, I was just re-stating the positive statement that we do know he was using it to discuss his extramarital affair.

Well no, this is what you wrote: The Petraeus case is clearly one where he was using a private, personal account for private, personal communications, and this is how it should be.

So yeah, you were stating an unknown and attempting to use it as "proof" that it's totally fine for individuals with sensitive information to have private accounts.

Well that backfired to such an extent that the FBI got involved. Is you honestly think there's no lesson to be learned from individuals with highly classified information using private accounts, then I don't know what to say.

Should those individuals be allowed to have private accounts? It's hard to say. If it's explicitly not allowed, it'll probably still happen. If it is allowed, then problems can still arise in unexpected ways, as seen in this case. Remember Broadwell was a reservist and had some security clearance.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:11 AM on November 11, 2012


So yeah, you were stating an unknown and attempting to use it as "proof" that it's totally fine for individuals with sensitive information to have private accounts.

I neither said nor implied that he was using a private, personal account exclusively for private, personal communications. We do not know of anything other than details of his infidelity that was communicated on the GMail account, and my point was that it was the activity itself (the infidelity and talking about it publicly) that was problematic, not his use of the account. Talking about his infidelity from any of his .gov or .mil accounts would have carried the same risks, plus some other risks that come with using the official accounts.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:18 AM on November 11, 2012


Also, why is Eric Cantor injecting himself into this? What's his angle?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on November 11, 2012


Is you honestly think there's no lesson to be learned from individuals with highly classified information using private accounts, then I don't know what to say.

Why should there be a lesson to be learned? There's been private communication since security clearances were invented. It's not like no one ever wrote letters. The part of the point of a giving someone a security clearance is that you've convinced yourself they can follow rules.
posted by hoyland at 11:22 AM on November 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, why is Eric Cantor injecting himself into this? What's his angle?

Based on the report Marcy Wheeler's citing, it sounds like more of a case where the FBI chain of command wanted to inject Cantor into it, not that he injected himself.

I don't see a clear sequence of events that starts at the infidelity and the online harassment and ends with Cantor and the GOP getting a political victory, but I do reckon he would want to be in the know on anything that came out of the investigation so he could claim victory in any scandal that went above Petraeus' pay grade. The fact that Petraeus is perceived as a Republican while serving under a Democratic executive branch complicates the situation for everyone involved, but if Cantor doesn't take the phone call or respond to the letter, he can't be part of shaping the narrative once more information comes to light.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:31 AM on November 11, 2012


From the big Wash Post article:
Officers close to Petraeus grew concerned about her posts on Facebook, which they believed sometimes divulged sensitive operational details. The posts, intended for friends back home, were often playfully written and aimed at showing off her adventures in the war zone.

Jumpin' Jehozaphat.
posted by spitbull at 11:45 AM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


clavdivs: A fortnight ago? do not believe it.

I think they meant to say twelve parsecs.
posted by JackFlash at 11:52 AM on November 11, 2012


Lawmakers with authority over intelligence and national security expressed consternation on Sunday that the F.B.I. investigation that led to the resignation of David Petraeus as director of central intelligence could have been conducted without the knowledge of officials in the White House or Congress. They also voiced puzzlement that it came to a head within hours of President Obama’s re-election.

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a Democrat and the intelligence committee chairwoman, said she wanted to know why the F.B.I. had not notified her and other intelligence committee leaders about Mr. Petraeus’s affair; she said she learned of it only from news reports Friday and was dumbstruck when he confirmed it later in a phone call with her.
posted by futz at 11:57 AM on November 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


WASHINGTON — A senior U.S. military official says the author who had an affair with David Petraeus sent harassing e-mails to a woman who was the State Department's liaison to the military's Joint Special Operations Command.

The official told the Associated Press that 37-year-old Jill Kelley in Tampa received the e-mails from Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell that triggered an FBI investigation.

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly, spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Another person who knows Kelley and Petraeus confirmed their friendship and said she saw him often.

Petraeus quit as CIA director last week after acknowledging an extramarital relationship with a woman — later identified as Broadwell.

posted by futz at 12:48 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


That last story adds this besides the identity of the woman who was harassed:

Broadwell is married with two young sons. She has not responded to multiple e-mails and phone messages. She'd planned to celebrate her 40th birthday in Washington this weekend. Many reporters had been invited. Her husband e-mailed guests to cancel the party.

Yeah, I guess so.
posted by readery at 1:08 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


FBI agent's call didn't affect Petraeus-Broadwell probe, official tells NBC News
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has suggested that if not for the agent's call, the matter might never have been disclosed, or at least, not when it was revealed.

But the official insists that's not the case.

[...]

The official says the call to Capitol Hill came from an agent who was initially involved in the investigation but who was later removed from the case because he knew an associate of one of the people being investigated.
Curiouser and curiouser. I don't see how the agent's call to Cantor after being taken off the case wouldn't run afoul of FBI rules.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:14 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Petraeus Puzzle: Were Politics Involved?

I reckon this is one of those cases where Betteridge's law doesn't apply.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:25 PM on November 11, 2012


I see Kevin Spacey as Patraeus in the forthcoming movie. You saw it here first.
posted by Danf at 1:09 PM on November 10


Petraeus: Ed Harris
Broadwell: Angelina Jolie
posted by invisible ink at 10:06 PM on November 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ben Stiller and Emily Blunt.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:31 PM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Emily Blunt is a great choice.
posted by Justinian at 11:50 PM on November 11, 2012


Alleged Petraeus Mistress Suggested She Was Privy to State Secrets [aka The Daily Beast reports on one of its own, sorta]

There are now two claims about Jill Kelley, the third woman who was the recipient of the harassing e-mails: that she was "the State Department’s liaison to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command" or that she was merely a volunteer "social liaison" on the Tampa base. Thus far, it is looking like her worldwide notoriety is undeserved.
posted by dhartung at 12:06 AM on November 12, 2012


Officials Say F.B.I. Knew of Petraeus Affair in the Summer

But under the Attorney General Guidelines that govern domestic law enforcement officials, agents must notify F.B.I. headquarters and the Department of Justice whenever they are looking at a “sensitive investigative matter,” which includes cases “involving the activities of a domestic public official.”

F.B.I. agents interviewed Ms. Broadwell for the first time the week of Oct. 21, and she acknowledged the affair, a government official briefed on the matter said. She also voluntarily gave the agency her computer. In a search, the agents discovered several classified documents, which raised the additional question of whether Mr. Petraeus had given them to her. She said that he had not. Agents interviewed Mr. Petraeus the following week. He also admitted to the affair but said he had not given any classified documents to her. The agents then interviewed Ms. Broadwell again on Friday, Nov. 2, the official said.

posted by futz at 2:20 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it's not cool to speculate about the dynamics of the relationship in any way whatsoever, why is it OK to speculate in detail about what Petraeus was doing with his laptop? And what info he was or was not keeping there? Because Bradley Manning torture?
posted by raysmj at 4:41 AM on November 12, 2012


Has anyone said that it's not OK to speculate what he was doing with his laptop? I've read nothing that has mentioned any particular laptop of his in regards to this scandal -- just that his GMail account may have been involved.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:03 AM on November 12, 2012


If you, like me, were fairly confused by all the different information out there, this New York Times story futz linked above does a fairly good job of puzzling it all together into a coherent picture.
posted by Kattullus at 6:28 AM on November 12, 2012


muddgirl: Bill Clinton had the highest security access of anybody in the US government when he got a blow job in the oval office. He was retained in his position.

Doesn't this actually contradict your assertion that Americans are a bunch of uptight prudes who want to punish Petraus for his perceived sexual improprieties? Not only did Clinton successful keep his job, he's a revered politician and humanitarian.
Not if you recall that he's only the 2nd president in US history to be impeached.

"Successful[ly] kept his job" is... well, it wasn't that black-and-white.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:49 AM on November 12, 2012


From that NYT article Kattullus linked to:
The involvement of the F.B.I., according to government officials, began when Ms. Kelley, alarmed by about half a dozen anonymous e-mails accusing her of inappropriate flirtatious behavior with Mr. Petraeus, complained to an F.B.I. agent who is also a personal friend.
So that's how it got the FBI's attention, she had an agent as a friend. Can you imagine how this would have blown up if the regular police had dug deep enough?

There's more:
Meanwhile, the F.B.I. agent who had helped get a preliminary inquiry started, and learned of Mr. Petraeus’s affair and the initial concerns about security breaches, became frustrated. Apparently unaware that those concerns were largely resolved, the agent alerted the office of Representative Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, the House majority leader, about the inquiry in late October. Mr. Cantor passed on the agent’s concerns to Mr. Mueller.
That agent is going to have some major explaining to do for dragging the politicians into it.

Can't believe Congress wants hearings to look into why they weren't informed. On second thought, it's probably not too surprising.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 AM on November 12, 2012


Impeaching Clinton was a political manouver, not a defense of ethics or morality (note that he wasn't impeached for getting a blow job or for sexually harassing women - he was impeached for committing perjury in front of a grand jury). If the House had been Democratic or Clinton had been a Republican, he wouldn't have been impeached. If the Senate had been Republican, he would have been convicted (although I imagine he would have resigned before that happened).
posted by muddgirl at 7:02 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Impeaching Clinton was a political manouver, not a defense of ethics or morality

Well... It was made possible by a horseshit sense of ethics and morality.
posted by Artw at 7:04 AM on November 12, 2012


Impeachment conviction needs a supermajority, so actually it's unlikely he would have been convicted even if the Republicans held a majority.
posted by muddgirl at 7:04 AM on November 12, 2012


I am so rewatching No Way Out.

I am so rewatching Burn After Reading.
posted by mazola at 7:09 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well... It was made possible by a horseshit sense of ethics and morality.

"It's only wrong if my political enemy does it" is the sort of morality that I reject. Considering the number of Republican congresspersons outed as having an ongoing affair (including Newt Gingrich), I find the idea tht the House was acting on any sense of morality to be laughable.

As for the American public, the majority of Americans approved of the Senate's vote not to convict If there's anything Gingrich is good at it's a dog and pony show.
posted by muddgirl at 7:15 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


fleacircus: The differences between Broadwell and Holly Petraeus are also pretty striking -- frumpy midwester recruit's wife vs. Ivy League, would-be supermodel.

From what I can tell Holly Petraeus is an army elite brat and Broadwell is more of a "midwester" from North Dakota who went to a public high school. Lookism is dumb.
"Lookism" is about appearance discrimination, which that comment doesn't make. Pointing out that one of the ladies is a good deal more attractive than the other is pertinent to a discussion of incidents that are based upon sexual attraction.

People like fucking pretty people; deal with it.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:53 AM on November 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Juan Cole on Democracy Now: Real Petraeus Failure Was Counterinsurgency in Iraq, Afghanistan
posted by homunculus at 9:24 AM on November 12, 2012


Mistress Revealed CIA Ops as Petraeus’ Mouthpiece
In an October 26 alumni symposium at the University of Denver, Paula Broadwell said that the CIA annex at the Benghazi consulate came under assault on Sept. 11 because it had earlier “taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. It’s still being vetted.” (That information was not part of the CIA’s timeline of the Benghazi assault, and Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reports that the CIA has denied any such detention.) “I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this,” Broadwell prefaced her remarks by saying.

It was a surprising disclosure, given the deep classification of the CIA’s detention policies — and the enormous political stakes surrounding the Benghazi assault. But in many ways, it was only natural for Broadwell, given her evolution from Petraeus protegee to biographer to paramour and unofficial spokesperson.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:28 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


There has to be more to this story. If it's really just about marital infidelity, then the only thing that's rank is our hypocrisy.
posted by adamvasco at 10:26 AM on November 12, 2012


Michael Hastings was on Martin Bashir's MSNBC show earlier today . He said some fairly critical and unflattering things about Petraeus and was yanked off-air pretty fast.

Michael Hastings: The Sins Of General David Petraeus - Petraeus seduced America. We should never have trusted him.
posted by homunculus at 10:41 AM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some of the more recent articles indicate that this account was one Petraeus setup pseudonymsly, possibly for the soul purpose of sending and receiving saucy emails with Broadwell. So it might have been against CIA regulations. But I haven't seen anything indicating it was.

Also, the NYT has said that the letter to "The ethicist" was not, in fact, about the Petraeus/Broadwell affair.
Kudos to Ackerman for his mea culpa. It can't be easy to publicly admit that you bought into the hero-worship surrounding Petraeus. I will say in his defense that in an era where the only way you can cover the wars is to embed with the military units, it must be exceedingly difficult to report in an unbiased enough manner to get the truth out without being sent home
The thing is, the affair really has nothing to do with whether or not he was a great man or whether or not the "Cult of Petraeus" was creating a reality distortion field. It's kind of ironic and somewhat ridiculous that suddenly the fact that he had sex with an attractive women who was totally into him means he wasn't what he said he was - or whether or not he was just a master of self-promotion (which is what I think).

So it's kind of sad that the only way people are willing to criticize him are in the wake of a sex scandal.
To the best of my knowledge they have not yet instituted e.g., a strict division of classified material into various circles and workgroups of need-to-know privilege with a rigorous logging mechanism
To the best of your knowledge? I'm sorry but, seriously, how would you even know? These comments are just completely ridiculous. You have no idea how things work in the classified echelons of the US government.
But go on, tell me what the CIA/NSA were doing while your country's secrets were being laid bare. They probably know a lot more than me, so perhaps this is all 9-dimensional chess?
This is the other bizarre thing here, you're not even an American. How is it even any of your business? Why do you even care so much?

As an American citizen, I don't have a problem with CIA employees having Gmail accounts that they can use to order stuff on Amazon. Forcing people off social media and email would make recruiting more difficult, since talented people could chose to work for corporations and not be cut off from the internet. And it would make people more likely to cause people to go around those regulations which can cause all kinds of security problems that are even harder to control.

It's a well-known bit of knowledge security engineering that if you make security systems and policies too draconian, people will find ways around them.
What we do know is that Broadwell got access to his private account Gmail and began using some of that information to harass someone else.
Actually, we don't know that at all. In fact, that seems to have been incorrect early reporting.
Well that backfired to such an extent that the FBI got involved. Is you honestly think there's no lesson to be learned from individuals with highly classified information using private accounts, then I don't know what to say.
Um, hello. Nothing got leaked through the email, and no rules were broken by Petraeus. The FBI recommended he resign because he broke the CIA rule about having affairs. What if the person he was sending sexy chats too had been his wife, not a woman he was having affair with? The problem was the affair and the fact it had been discovered because the FBI got an email warrant on Broadwell.

The only roll Petraeus's email played here is that the FBI discovered his affair. Having affairs was against the rules, and Petraeus decided to step down because it had been discovered he was breaking the rules.

Surely you're not arguing that it's bad for CIA employees to have email accounts because it might result in their affairs being discovered and fired as a result, right? Because that's all that happened here.
posted by delmoi at 11:26 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doesn't this actually contradict your assertion that Americans are a bunch of uptight prudes who want to punish Petraus for his perceived sexual improprieties? Not only did Clinton successful keep his job, he's a revered politician and humanitarian.
Not if you recall that he's only the 2nd president in US history to be impeached.
The other thing: It seems possible that Petraeus could have kept his job. Maybe he didn't want all of this to come out, or come out in slow drips and drabs while he tried to run the CIA. According to the reporting, Obama was reluctant to accept his resignation right away. Of course, Obama might not have known all the sordid details that have come out.

Either way, it seems like most of the really problematic behavior was Broadwell's. Given how well loved Petraeus was in the media, it's possible he could have kept his job.

That said, it would have been a big distraction and embarrassment, so it might have been the right choice, I guess?

But I don't think you can draw the conclusion that the director of the CIA would actually get fired for just having an affair.
posted by delmoi at 11:34 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Um, hello. Nothing got leaked through the email, and no rules were broken by Petraeus. The FBI recommended he resign because he broke the CIA rule about having affairs. What if the person he was sending sexy chats too had been his wife, not a woman he was having affair with? The problem was the affair and the fact it had been discovered because the FBI got an email warrant on Broadwell.

the FBI did not recommend anything. It conducted a criminal investigation. It determined no criminal conduct occurred. It told Petraeus' superior, the Director of National Intelligence, a guy named Clapper. Clapper told him it would be a good idea to resign. He resigned.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:41 AM on November 12, 2012


The other thing: It seems possible that Petraeus could have kept his job.

Not with his clearance suspended for months. CIA OIG would have to do its own investigation.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:44 AM on November 12, 2012


Petraeus Rules
posted by homunculus at 1:15 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is that Buzzfeed illustration meant to suggest that he's a boozehound too?
posted by BibiRose at 1:56 PM on November 12, 2012


Gmail Location Data Led FBI to Uncover Top Spys Affair
Every year careless hackers, cyberstalkers and others are undone by the digital trails they leave behind for law enforcement to collect and trace back to them.

But who would have thought the nation’s top spy chief would be undone so easily by digital footprints left behind in Gmail?

In the irony of ironies, the distinguished career of CIA Director and former Afghanistan war commander David Petraeus appears to have come unhinged after authorities traced the location of the sender of threatening e-mails that were written from an anonymous Gmail account and sent to a woman in Florida.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:58 PM on November 12, 2012


the "mea culpas" from the like of ackerman are not heroic -- they're creepy.

They're basically a bunch of folks who by their own description got invested in a "cult". They didn't have to do that.

There are a shitload of things to criticize Petraeus for, and they're things that have been publicly known for a long time. I can very distinctly remember critical stories about how he wasn't really following his own COIN doctrine, how his performance in Iraq or Afghanistan was a far cry from his "what have you done today to help in Anbar?" days.

It was silly to make a hero of him in the first place. From what I could see, he was darned effective as a leader and was good at accomplishing the tasks to which he was assigned. In a political war (and all counter-insurgency wars are political, these consummately more so), any good general will be lying to you most of the time, at some level. Expecting otherwise would be negiligently naive.
posted by lodurr at 2:06 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ackerman et. al. didn't have to get involved in the cult, but they did. Why did they? I would like to believe most journalists start out with at least some level of idealism about telling the truth. You can't tell the truth about war if you're not there to cover it, so there's a tendency to not want to lose your access to the decision-makers. There are many problems with this, especially with the US policy of embedded journalists, and we knew about these problems long before this affair. So, in that respect, Ackerman deserves some level of scorn for allowing himself to be corrupted by the military's PR machine.

But imagine an alternate universe where Spencer Ackermans and Thomas Rickses aren't the ones being assigned to cover the war beat. Do you assume that there are going to be principled, totally incorruptable journalists to take their place? At some point, we do have an interest in having someone there in the theater, and the logistics of freelance reporting on the front lines of these wars are such that it's going to be hard to do it effectively without being embedded with units that can save your ass. I would like to believe that if every journalist decided to "freeze out" the military PR machine then it would wither on the vine, but of course we know that this would just lead to even worse pro-military hacks getting embedded. Better to at least have someone whose heart was in the right place when they started, even if they probably end up getting consumed by the spin cycle in the end.

Just as I would not a priori blame an actual cult member for becoming involved, I can't blame the journalist for being corrupted when the machine that corrupts him is so powerful. I think this post gets into some of these issues from a slightly different angle, but comes to a similar conclusion, which is that warmaking itself is always going to produce these kind of outcomes, so let's place the blame where it belongs -- with those who start the wars that create the need for someone to cover them.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:24 PM on November 12, 2012


I should have included the most relevant excerpt from the piece I linked to for the tl;dr contingent:
Spencer Ackerman is nobody's idea of a neocon. But like a lot of American liberals, he seems to struggle to reconcile a belief in the equal dignity of foreign people and their right to self-determination with the assumed superiority of the foreign policy of unrestrained American power. I don't blame him too much for that assumption; after all, that anything resembling a non-interventionist foreign policy is inherently unserious is one of the few universal truisms of contemporary media. The result, though, is a craving for like men like Petraeus, messianic figures who can resolve the inherent contradictions within the liberal interventionist philosophy.

I admire Ackerman for the willingness to revisit his past work and expose himself to public scrutiny. But as long as he imagines that the problem lies within his individual failures to maintain appropriate skepticism-- as long as anyone in the media does-- these problems will manifest themselves. We are ready to believe in hegemony with a lighter footprint, the benevolence of drones, the capacity to wage war without getting our hands dirty, the ability to occupy a country without violating its rights, and the magic morality of Barack Obama, from whose fingertips springs righteousness-- ready to believe, that is, in any fantasy, as long as it ends with American victory and American blamelessness. Petraeus is only a symbol.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:26 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's what I don't understand.

According to this Wired article the FBI investigators traced threats coming from an anonymous account to Paula Broadwell. OK, I think it's unlikely that they'd have spent similar effort for a random person in similar circumstances, but their actions were reasonable. They then identified her other accounts and checked those. Well, I suppose that if the first step is reasonable, then this is not unreasonable. But it's already the second degree of separation - they had shown that Paula Broadwell was making threats, the case was proved. But given all this, why did they go to the effort of tracing the people who communicated with her via those secondary accounts? Were the messages in the secondary accounts innocent (other than being about her bouncy spanky fun-times?) If not, what possible relevance could this third-degree trace have to the investigation? Something here doesn't make sense.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:33 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


How old is Paula Broadwell?

39.


Looks like her 40th birthday party was supposed to be last Saturday.

The party is canceled on Saturday. Thanks!

Couple interesting Ponyter links:

Media blames itself for ‘the cult of Gen. David Petraeus’

Images of Petraeus and Kelley appear to tell a different story.

Can we stop commenting on hot and attractive Broadwell is? Maybe also not refer to his wife as a frumpy Midwesterner? It sounds like you're all saying, "yeah, how could he help himself?"

Grrrr.


That would seem to be a terribly inaccurate summary of basically anything in the thread.

Seriously. It's like that comment was written without reading any of the other comments. It's like you came in wanting to be mad about something that hadn't and hasn't happened.

I think speculating on the intimate workings of their relationship will quickly devolve into sexist stereotyping. lets not be like gawker commenters. lets be better than that.

Let's also be better than pre-emptive scolding for misbehavior that hasn't occurred.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:00 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Post-Petraeus CIA Should Kill Less and Spy More, Former Chiefs Say
posted by tonycpsu at 4:51 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


the "mea culpas" from the like of ackerman are not heroic -- they're creepy.
Can't be both? (Well 'heroic' is a bit much here, but 'good' certainly applies)

The other interesting thing about this, it's kind of interesting how much criticism of Petraeus over long-simmering issues have cropped up in the wake of this scandal. I bet a lot of "insider" journalists didn't want to publish negative things about him because they were worried about going up against what was "popular" in terms of their carriers.

The other thing, blurring the line between military and civilian roles was problematic. Everyone kept calling himself "General" - I read that he showed up to white-house correspondents dinner parties in his military uniform, rather then a suit.

this article, for example, explains why it's important that the military keeps it's tight rules about adultery. But the entire article completely ignores the point that Petraeus wasn't in the military anymore. He was a retired general and he was a civilian when he started the affair.
posted by delmoi at 6:25 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everyone kept calling himself "General" - I read that he showed up to white-house correspondents dinner parties in his military uniform, rather then a suit.

That's within the bounds of standard practice, I think.

Now, that said, part of me says that it's inappropriate for the head of the CIA to be addressed as 'General', even if he's a retired general, because the CIA is a civilian organisation and it's inappropriate for there to be the appearance of military involvement in a civilian intelligence agency. (I also think it's at least mildly inappropriate to appoint a former general in the first place, so maybe I'm an extreme outlier.) The CIA is not, I don't know, HUD, where I wouldn't care if you called him 'General'.
posted by hoyland at 6:47 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, this is just getting ridiculous now.
WASHINGTON—A federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors' concerns that he had become personally involved in the case, according to officials familiar with the probe.

New details about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case suggest that even as the bureau delved into Mr. Petraeus's personal life, the agency had to address questionable conduct by one of its own—including allegedly sending shirtless photos of himself to a woman involved in the case.
I'm thinking the porn parody is released before the Hollywood production.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:54 PM on November 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is really an amazingly weird tale.

Petraeus ghostwriter ‘clueless’ to affair - The guy that actually wrote the book was looking forward to hopefully finally meeting Petraeus at Paula's birthday party Saturday. She emailed him Thursday to confirm he was coming.

I hadn't realized the book was ghost written.

Wikipedia Speculation About Petraeus Affair - 10 Months Ago

I follow foreign affairs people on twitter and even long time intelligence analysts (maybe especially long time intelligence analysts) can't stop digging.
posted by readery at 7:11 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I came here to post the same 'Petraeus ghostwriter' link readery found! It's kind of an amazing look at the process of how the book was written. Vernon Loeb, just to be clear, has always been credited on the book cover, so he's not a ghost writer in the sense that I have always understood it, but a co-author. Here's an excerpt:
We began our work as Petraeus was assuming command of a faltering war effort. Broadwell began reporting, relying on extensive military contacts, among them numerous members of Petraeus’s inner circle. She made her first of four or five lengthy reporting trips to Afghanistan in the late summer of 2010, somehow managing to juggle her responsibilities as a mother of two small boys with trips to a war zone.

As someone who has found himself closer than I ever wanted to be to incoming fire, I was impressed by her energy and commitment to the book. My role was far less dramatic: I sat in my basement in Maryland and wrote what was virtually a real-time narrative fashioned from the torrent of e-mails, documents and interview transcripts Broadwell sent my way.

From the outset, the editors at Penguin Press were quite clear about what they wanted: a book on the rigors of command told from an inside point of view. The ultimate narrative tracked what turned out to be a year in command for Petraeus. The book is not a traditional biography, although it does contain a series of biographical digressions about him. I had no say over the book’s ultimate take on Petraeus, which some have found excessively laudatory. Broadwell was free to make whatever revision or modifications she desired to the text, and did so liberally. To my mind, in any event, the book remains a valuable chronicle of his year in command and makes clear that the war wasn’t going all that well.

Full access

Before Broadwell’s first trip to Afghanistan, I wondered whether she really had the kind of access necessary to deliver the book we’d promised. But she wore down whatever resistance Petraeus may have had to the project, which he never agreed to make an authorized biography.

By the time of Broadwell’s last reporting trip to Afghanistan, her access was exclusive: She flew out of Kabul on Petraeus’s jet after an emotional change-of-command ceremony and accompanied him during a barnstorming tour he made of European capitals on his way back to Washington.

I always thought that Broadwell’s motives were pure, and I always wondered why Petraeus was granting her the access that he did. The two must have seen a lot of themselves in each other — they shared the West Point bond, an addiction to physical fitness and running and an uber-optimistic, never-say-die outlook on life.
There's also a video interview with Loeb that adds a lot of detail.
posted by Kattullus at 7:31 PM on November 12, 2012


If she didn't actually write the book then what was she supposed to be doing, other than hanging out with Petraeus? What was her official role?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:52 PM on November 12, 2012


...and now the FBI is searching Broadwell's home. After the investigation was allegedly closed.

Maybe they're just covering their asses for a shoddy initial investigation?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:03 PM on November 12, 2012


Ironmouth:
bet you any amount of money they would communicate via drafts saved in the account. spouses can't see emails that are never sent. would explain how she had the password.

This appears to be the case. It also explains why they seemed to have Petraeus's side of the exchanges, though no reports have said the FBI looked into Petraeus's email account(s). (This could have been through quoted material of course; but the draft system no doubt made it easier for them.)
posted by torticat at 9:04 PM on November 12, 2012


If she didn't actually write the book then what was she supposed to be doing, other than hanging out with Petraeus? What was her official role?

I think she was passing on her observations and transcripts of her discussion with Petraeus to Loeb, who then wove it into a narrative. Then Broadwell edited Loeb's text. It still seems to me that Loeb did most of the work, writing-wise.
posted by orrnyereg at 9:32 PM on November 12, 2012



TPM has some delicious commentary
Later, the agent became convinced — incorrectly, the official said — that the case had stalled. Because of his “worldview,” as the official put it, he suspected a politically motivated cover-up to protect President Obama. The agent alerted Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who called the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, on Oct. 31 to tell him of the agent’s concerns.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:45 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is such a weird story. I really wouldn't be surprised if the real reason for Petraeus' resignation was in anticipation of a bigger scandal yet to come.

I mentioned this upthread, but early Reuters articles that I read cited a "national security source" saying that the affair was exposed as a result of investigations into leaks:
There were indications, however, that the affair was first uncovered a few months ago during an investigation by the FBI. A U.S. national security source said the FBI had stumbled across evidence of Petraeus' affair during an apparently unrelated investigation of news leaks.
And at a University of Denver talk last month, Broadwell suggested that the Benghazi consolate attack may have been an attempt to free prisoners held at a separate CIA site:
During a talk last month at the University of Denver, author Paula Broadwell said the CIA had detained people at a secret facility in Benghazi, and the attack on the U.S. Consulate there was an effort to free those prisoners. President Barack Obama issued an executive order in January 2009 stripping the CIA of its authority to take prisoners.
Fox News (I know, I know) cites anonymous/unnamed sources saying that there were prisoners at the CIA annex in Benghazi:
A well-placed Washington source confirms to Fox News that there were Libyan militiamen being held at the CIA annex in Benghazi and that their presence was being looked at as a possible motive for the staged attack on the consulate and annex that night.

According to multiple intelligence sources who have served in Benghazi, there were more than just Libyan militia members who were held and interrogated by CIA contractors at the CIA annex in the days prior to the attack. Other prisoners from additional countries in Africa and the Middle East were brought to this location.

The Libya annex was the largest CIA station in North Africa, and two weeks prior to the attack, the CIA was preparing to shut it down. Most prisoners, according to British and American intelligence sources, had been moved two weeks earlier.
I hope that the Republican hard-on for some kind of Benghazi scandal results in an actual investigation, because it seems very plausible that the CIA is running secret, illegal prisons in violation of an executive order.

Broadwell's comments on Benghazi are transcribed here. It's a really weird quote. First she says that they are vetting the info that it was a prisoner rescue attempt, then she suggests that we put ourselves in the shoes of Secretary Clinton or the president, where we have signal intelligence showing that the the Mohammed video galvanized the militia members in Libya.

That suggests (to me, at least) that the Obama administration was not fully aware of what the CIA was doing in Benghazi. I very much hope that this leads to something like the Church Committee, which was formed in the aftermath of Watergate to investigate illegal intelligence gathering by the CIA and FBI.
posted by compartment at 10:14 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought the book was supposed to be part of her dissertation? But she wasn't even writing it?

OK, summary of the facts so far:

BROADWELL
- married
- proposes biography of Petraeus to him, plans it as dissertation--has someone else write it
- enters relationship with Petraeus
- communicates via secret email account
- sends harassing email to other other woman
- gains access to classified materials and blabs about them in public

PETRAEUS
- married
- bangs Broadwell
- pursues? doesn't pursue? other other woman
- shows shockingly poor security practices despite being CIA head
- tanks career
- sex under the desk?

JILL KELLEY
- married
- involved with Petraeus?
- involved with FBI agent? Object of agent's affection?
- instigates investigation into emails through friendship with said FBI agent

FBI AGENT
- instigates investigation out of interest in banging Kelley
- sends Kelley shirtless pics
- is deemed so obsessive about case superiors remove him from it
- decides to go totally outside chain of command and call up Cantor due to obsession with case and apparent belief Obama likes watching his diplomats die in Middle Eastern countries (or whatever the right wing line is about that these days)

HOLLY PETRAEUS & SCOTT BROADWELL
- wondering when they got transported back to middle school
- hopefully throwing up their hands and saying "fuck this shit"
posted by schroedinger at 10:18 PM on November 12, 2012 [16 favorites]


It's almost too good to be true, isn't it? - Also, it looks like Broadwell was busted because the IP addresses on the emails sent to Kelley coincided with Broadwell's book tour to promote All In ...
posted by carter at 10:22 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm tempted to work on some kind of fake Coen brothers script for a movie of this, but I don't have the time, unfortunately.
posted by carter at 10:27 PM on November 12, 2012


You mean like Burn After Reading?
posted by Justinian at 10:28 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know, it's almost like they jumped the gun with that one. I can see Brad Pitt as the topless obsessed FBI officer ...

Anyway, working title: Loose Lips ...
posted by carter at 10:31 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


And at a University of Denver talk last month, Broadwell suggested that the Benghazi consolate attack may have been an attempt to free prisoners held at a separate CIA site

The WSJ speculated today that Broadwell was just quoting Fox News at the time:
"Earlier in her address, she cited findings of a report that day by Fox News. Immediately after, she mentioned the possibility that the CIA had held militants at the site, which the Fox report also mentioned."

This seems much more plausible to me than that she was revealing information leaked to her by Petraeus or anyone else at the CIA. The affair was long over (reportedly) before the Benghazi attack even happened.
posted by torticat at 10:34 PM on November 12, 2012


Scandal probe ensnares commander of U.S., NATO troops in Afghanistan: The FBI probe into the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday.
posted by homunculus at 10:47 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I Was David Petraeus's Bitch in the 90s and I Hated Every Second of It
posted by homunculus at 10:50 PM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I just did a reverse lookup of the address on the wikipedia edit, 64.101.72.113.
Here's what I got:
NetRange: 64.100.0.0 - 64.104.255.255
CIDR: 64.104.0.0/16, 64.100.0.0/14
OriginAS:
NetName: CISCO-GEN-6
NetHandle: NET-64-100-0-0-1
Parent: NET-64-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
RegDate: 2000-05-24
Updated: 2012-03-20
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-64-100-0-0-1

OrgName: Cisco Systems, Inc.
OrgId: CISCOS-2
Address: 170 West Tasman Drive
City: San Jose
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 95134
Country: US
RegDate: 1986-02-05
Updated: 2011-09-24
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/CISCOS-2

It's Cisco. Who could this be...
posted by wuwei at 10:58 PM on November 12, 2012


From now on I think I'm just going to assume everybody is banging everybody else. Seems like it would be easier that way.
posted by Justinian at 10:59 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whaaaaa....?

From homunculus's link:

According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” e-mails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Tampa woman whose close friendship with Petraeus ultimately led to his downfall. Allen, a Marine, succeeded Petraeus as the top allied commander in Afghanistan in July 2011.

For crying out loud, don't these people have more important matters to attend to??
posted by orrnyereg at 11:12 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I Was David Petraeus's Bitch in the 90s and I Hated Every Second of It

Ah, that's what I wanted. Thanks. That sounds just right.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:14 PM on November 12, 2012


From homunculus's link Scandal probe ensnares commander of U.S., NATO troops in Afghanistan
According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” e-mails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Tampa woman whose close friendship with Petraeus ultimately led to his downfall. Allen, a Marine, succeeded Petraeus as the top allied commander in Afghanistan in July 2011.
Can someone check my understanding of the present story?

Broadwell bangs Petraeus while acting as a front for a ghostwritten biography of him. She is jealous of Petraeus' link with Jill Kelley, who is a apparently a serial banger of US Commanders. Broadwell sends anonymous threats to Kelley, who reports them to a sexting FBI guy whom she was possibly not banging. He gets an investigation started before being removed for his obvious interest in banging Kelley, at which time he starts ringing up Congresspeople to tell them about "Broadwell and Petraeus up in a tree, bee ayy enn gee eye enn gee." The investigation confirms the truth of both the Broadwell/Petraeus and the Broadwell/Kelley stories, but incidentally reveals that Kelley was banging Allen. So bang, bang, bang, bang, bang; they're all screwed.

Firstly, this is getting confusing. Secondly, twenty to thirty thousand pages?! Thirdly, did I say it was getting confusing? I'm confused.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:17 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails?! Jesus H. Christ, he's the fucking COMISAF. Apparently GEN Allen has way more free time in Afghanistan than I ever did.
posted by lullaby at 11:26 PM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


TPM's most recent headline is gold: "Petraeus Apparently Most Mentally Balanced Individual in His Own Scandal".
posted by Justinian at 11:46 PM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Somebody needs to make a flowchart of this thing.
posted by orrnyereg at 11:47 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


With Paula Broadwell, Gen. David Petraeus let his guard down

And his pants, but here's the interesting line: "Paula Broadwell, then 37, had never written a book and had almost no journalistic experience. "

OK: she would have been a really odd choice to write his biography and in fact she really wasn't writing his biography. So was she simply his mistress? That's what it looks like. Who was paying for her to accompany Petraeus? A bit of adultery can be forgiven, but once the auditors get their hooks into you you're sunk.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:58 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's within the bounds of standard practice, I think.

Now, that said, part of me says that it's inappropriate for the head of the CIA to be addressed as 'General', even if he's a retired general, because the CIA is a civilian organisation and it's inappropriate
Sure, people keep their titles in retirement: president, senator, governor, etc. My problem is that when you're the director of the CIA you really shouldn't be calling yourself "general" as much or hitting up DC parties in your generals uniform.
New details about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case suggest that even as the bureau delved into Mr. Petraeus's personal life, the agency had to address questionable conduct by one of its own—including allegedly sending shirtless photos of himself to a woman involved in the case.
Oh he was totally just trying to do a reverse honey trap where he sleeps with her and then checks to see if she'll leak classified material! He was doing it for his country!
I'm thinking the porn parody is released before the Hollywood production.
Sounds like a Cohen brothers film, even without the obvious parallel to Burn After Reading
Wikipedia Speculation About Petraeus Affair - 10 Months Ago
Hah. My guess is it was just based on her demeanor or the Daily Show and other TV appearances. Earlier I linked to an MSNBC segment she did where she was talking about their runs together in Afghanistan "I graduated at the top of my class, physically, so I could give him a real run for his money, so to speak". Looking back it looks like she might have been trying to slip in a sly innuendo.

Anyway, not too surprising that some people would make jokes like that.
I mentioned this upthread, but early Reuters articles that I read cited a "national security source" saying that the affair was exposed as a result of investigations into leaks:

There were indications, however, that the affair was first uncovered a few months ago during an investigation by the FBI. A U.S. national security source said the FBI had stumbled across evidence of Petraeus' affair during an apparently unrelated investigation of news leaks.
I wonder if the "national security source" isn't the same agent who had the hots for Kelly. At this point, people seem to be leaking all kinds of stuff - and not all of it accurate. My guess is that a lot of people who have been hearing rumors about this in the FBI and CIA are "leaking" to their reporter friends so they can feel like they're "in the loop" and reporters are running with it because saying anything about this will get you pageviews and plaudits.
Can someone check my understanding of the present story?
A bunch of bored, ambitious, socially climbing, and extremely physically fit people with were fucking each other.
posted by delmoi at 12:45 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who was paying for her to accompany Petraeus?

Her advance on the book, would be my guess. Though now I am wondering what she wrote her dissertation on; it couldn't be this book if someone else did most of the writing. Could it?
posted by orrnyereg at 1:11 AM on November 13, 2012


OK: she would have been a really odd choice to write his biography and in fact she really wasn't writing his biography. So was she simply his mistress? That's what it looks like.

Well, I can believe the story as posited. There's an interesting background in this 2010 blog post (note that 99% of the comments are recent snark).

Paula returned to graduate school earning dual masters degrees in International Security and Conflict Resolution from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also studied Arabic and Middle Eastern culture at the University of Jordan in Amman.

Becoming the Deputy Director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at Tufts University in 2006, Paula found her professional outlet. The Center’s mission was to increase the understanding and competency of counter-terrorism professionals at various levels. When General David Petraeus assumed command of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq, the Jebsen Center provided his command group with robust research and analysis of counter-terrorism alternatives.

Paula’s research to support Gen. Petraeus led her to develop expertise in counter-terror financing, political risk analysis, social network modeling and the strategic leadership of national security organizations. It also inspired her to pursue a doctoral degree in organizational management. But as she got to know Petraeus, her interest in transformational leadership grew.


Later that year, she guest-posted on Tom Ricks's blog at Foreign Policy.

It does look like her dissertation began to evolve once she and Petraeus had a meeting of the minds, and it's been said that the book started when they were running partners along the Potomac, before he was deployed to Afghanistan. It isn't surprising that given her lack of prior publishing experience she found a co-author, who was of course local (that is, in DC).

Her husband is a medical specialist, so they probably have a fairly decent income (US median $300K or more?), plus any book advance, plus benefits of being a reservist like free flights (at least in the US). Of course the general broad likely thinking would be that this sort of embedding is good PR so worth the extra mile on the Pentagon's part, but I don't know what the actual rules would be for someone who has a journalist's, academic's, and a reservist's hat. (In Iraq, apparently, at least initially, the military was footing the entire bill. See also.) I really can't fathom the suggestion that she was ONLY there because Petraeus took a shine to her in the under-the-desk way, given all the above-board background on this.
posted by dhartung at 2:21 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


My understanding from the Loeb article and interview is that Broadwell generated the raw text, i.e. interview transcripts and observations of Petraeus and Afghanistan, which she sent to Loeb as soon as she wrote them and he figured out how to fit it into a coherent narrative, which she then edited. Loeb got a co-author credit on the book cover. I'm presuming that there was also an editor from the publisher involved at a later stage as well. From Loeb's description of the process it seems completely fair to call Broadwell the main author of the book.
posted by Kattullus at 4:34 AM on November 13, 2012


Ok now an article actually titled You're Not Going To Believe The Latest Developments In The Petraeus Sex Scandal which contains the litany of thru the rabbit hole facts as they developed in the last 24 hours, with the addition of "General David Petraeus showed up at a party at this (Jill Kelley's) woman's house in a 28-car motorcade" and...

Paula Broadwell's Father: 'This Is About Something Else Entirely, And The Truth Will Come Out'

This scandal + Twitter = ?. Think of back in the dark ages of a couple of years ago, this would have taken an extra day to all come out. : /
posted by readery at 4:35 AM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I bet this ends up being about sex, and not the vanilla kind.

By the time this is done, Dominic Strauss-Kahn is going to look like a punter.
posted by spitbull at 5:09 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Broadwell in her role as machine gun spokesmodel for KRISS recoil-attenuated weapons, she comes in at 1:26 (YouTube)
posted by spitbull at 5:16 AM on November 13, 2012


Co-author/ghostwriter Vernon Loeb: "My wife says I’m the most clueless person in America."
posted by exogenous at 5:32 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


You could not make this shit up.

When I saw Petraeus speak a couple of years ago it was before what is now called "the clown car of potential GOP candidates" began to amass to both frighten and entertain us. I assumed being military that he was a Republican and thought that as erudite and charming as he seemed, he'd be a very plausible, Ike-like candidate at some point.

Well, that ain't gonna happen.

and obvs a bit more charming than I had thought - or the right wing nut ladies just love a man in a uniform. sheesh
posted by readery at 5:32 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I"m just catching up now. Reading this thread alone took me 1.5 hours and I really need to get on with my day, but...jezus the details! 20 to 30,000 emails! Sexting! Ghostwriting! Stalking! It went from "simple affair of the heart" to Bizarre Soap Opera twisty plotline pretty fast.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:49 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


See what happens when you fuck a general on the base????
posted by Danf at 6:29 AM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, that ain't gonna happen.

I said the same thing about barry getting re-elected. And clinton impeached for a blowjob. IF he ran, this could only help him. You have to see the big picture. Obama has the problems not the general. He will probably come through this with his family and walk into millions for books and speeches....just like obama.
posted by clavdivs at 6:44 AM on November 13, 2012


The Other Petraeus Scandal: The Sex Police
posted by tonycpsu at 6:56 AM on November 13, 2012


Is anyone else a little surprised at how little Paula Broadwell has to show for all that education? I was so impressed by all of her achievements when I first read about her-- all of her fitness stuff, her 3 degrees, her writing. Now I'm wondering how it is that someone with all that drive, all those degrees ended up here. She has cp-authored a book, written a few newspaper articles, spoken to a group of Republican women, and been made lieutenant colonel in the Reserves. It just seems a little bit skimpy. Of course she has children, of course she is married, but when I first read of her background I would have assumed that by age 40 she would have done more.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:24 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


General Dynamics: The Digital Tale of John & Jill and Dave & Paula
A couple of other data points to note. First, Broadwell’s father made a somewhat cryptic comment yesterday that may be being explained now:
“This is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out,” he told the Daily News.

“There is a lot more that is going to come out … You wait and see. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye.”

He said that his daughter, who’s at the center of the controversy that prompted CIA director David Petraeus to resign from his post, is a victim of character assassination, and that there’s something much bigger lurking behind the curtain.
Second, as I noted early yesterday morning, Jill Kelley has hired some of the most astoundingly powerful criminal defense and PR help imaginable:
They hired Abbe Lowell, a Washington lawyer who has represented clients such as former presidential candidate John Edwards and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. And the couple are employing crisis PR person Judy Smith, who has represented big names like Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick and Kobe Bryant.
Now, let’s be honest, an innocent recipient of a handful of crank non-threatening emails, as Kelley was commonly portrayed when her name first came out, does NOT need that kind of heavy hitter professional service. Seriously, Abbe Lowell is not only a great attorney, he is as preeminent a counsel as exists for spook and national security defense cases. No one in their right mind pays for that unless they need it, especially 1,000 miles away from his office.

Another oddity occurred last night: The North Carolina home of Paula Broadwell was searched for nearly four hours by a full on execution team from the FBI. From the New York Times:
On Monday night, F.B.I. agents went to Ms. Broadwell’s home in Charlotte, N.C., and were seen carrying away what several reporters at the scene said were boxes of documents. A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case remains open, said Ms. Broadwell had consented to the search.
The key word in that quote that strikes me is “consensual”. Broadwell has lawyered up too, having hired prominent Washington DC defense attorney Robert F. Muse. If an attorney feels his client is the target of a proposed search, he does not consent, he makes the officers get a warrant and search for only what a court orders and nothing else. You have to wonder what was being searched for that Broadwell and her counsel were not more worried about?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:24 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Every time I think I understand how life works in "grown-up world," I find I am wrong.
posted by chinston at 7:27 AM on November 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Daily Beast's 5 Mysteries About David Petraeus, Paula Broadwell, and Jill Kelley:
1. Was Jill Kelley involved with Petraeus too?

Kelley unwittingly found herself at the middle of this scandal after reportedly receiving several threatening emails from an anonymous account. The 37-year-old Tampa resident, who is married to a cancer surgeon and volunteers with the military, got to know Petraeus when he was stationed in Florida, and the Kelleys are said to be family friends with the general and his wife. There are plenty of pictures to prove the two couples spent some time together. While most news accounts include an anonymous source saying Kelley and Petraeus weren’t romantically involved, it’s still not entirely clear why Broadwell felt the need to send the harassing emails. Was it just a misunderstanding or did Broadwell know there was more going on between Petraeus and Kelley?
That was the first question I had. When Broadwell wrote all those "hands off my man" e-mails was it just because she was being insanely possessive? Or is Petraeous a serial philanderer?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:30 AM on November 13, 2012


No one in their right mind pays for that unless they need it, especially 1,000 miles away from his office

If you look around the net, you find stories of the Kelleys being big spenders. They just might be use to dropping coin, even when they don't need to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 AM on November 13, 2012


New from Micheal Hastings: The Sins Of General David Petraeus A summary of his critique of Petraeus and the Petraeus "cult".
posted by delmoi at 7:36 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


clavdivs: He will probably come through this with his family and walk into millions for books and speeches....just like obama.
So, in your fantasy alt-earth, Obama is making millions for books and speeches right now?
posted by IAmBroom at 7:55 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would have assumed that by age 40 she would have done more.

Not piling on nor really commenting about what's required of a life, but she was in school at 36. Had 2 kids. Some people take time. Yes, I'm talking about me. Minus the school. What have you done? I've succeeded at office jobs. Whee.

I bet this ends up being about sex, and not the vanilla kind.

Yes. (I'm further and further convinced every year that no one has "vanilla" sex any more).

Paula Broadwell's Father: 'This Is About Something Else Entirely, And The Truth Will Come Out'

...

Krantz also said that he supports his daughter "100 percent," and that he can't elaborate any further.


Sniff sniff. SHENANIGANS. If he had a real story, it would be out by now.

When Broadwell wrote all those "hands off my man" e-mails was it just because she was being insanely possessive? Or is Petraeous a serial philanderer?

What do you think? Maybe it's the stereotypical high-testosterone man in me, but time and time again, it's been demonstrated that wealthy men will fuck around when given the chance, often paying for sex. My money is on sex parties, and that's why he was asked to resign. My money is also not on the table, b/c I don't think the whole truth will come out. This whole thing really is Burn After Reading, without the bodies (yet).

Petraeus Apparently Most Mentally Balanced Individual in His Own Scandal

Yeah, that's kinda my favorite part of it. It's pretty clear all the dude wanted to do was get his nut on, and then whoa, what the fuck just happened, lolkthxbye. And seriously, ladies, dude looks like Gomer Pyle with a worse haircut. I'm sure he has a lovely schlong and wonderful bed skills, but c'mon. (OK, now you can chastise me. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 7:55 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


And seriously, ladies, dude looks like Gomer Pyle with a worse haircut

He is a powerful and competitive man, that practically breeds groupies. The description of Petreuas testing Broadwell by running reads like foreplay.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:02 AM on November 13, 2012


very time I think I understand how life works in "grown-up world," I find I am wrong.

The Coen brothers said idiocy was a major central theme of Burn After Reading; Joel said he and his brother have "a long history of writing parts for idiotic characters" and described Clooney and Pitt's characters as "dueling idiots." ...

Pitt, who plays a particularly unintelligent character, said of his role, "After reading the part, which they said was hand-written for myself, I was not sure if I should be flattered or insulted." Pitt also said when he was shown the script, he told the Coens he did not know how to play the part because the character was such an idiot: "There was a pause, and then Joel goes...'You'll be fine'."


lol.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:03 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


What are the odds that the "secret prison" Broadwell hinted at is actually Petraeus and the generals secret BDSM prison, or one of many that exist in military bases worldwide? That's my favorite conspiracy theory so far, and as more and more participants get added I'm liking my odds.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:04 AM on November 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


How many times do you have to write “I am in the desert and I have a boner” to fill up 30,000 pages?

The answer is 2,820,000, if you use 12-point Arial, but that is beside the point.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:09 AM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, has anyone used the headline "Love Pentagon" yet, because we're up to 5 lovers including the FBI agent and the second General.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:11 AM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Now I'm hearing that the "Threats" that Broadwell sent may not have even been about Patraeus at all, but rather Broadwell may have just thought Kelly was being inappropriate or indiscreet in terms of her relationship with Allen.

From this article
The first email sent anonymously to Jill Kelley, the Tampa, Fla., woman who reported the threatening emails to the FBI, in May referred to Kelley socializing with other generals in the Tampa area and suggested it was inappropriate and should stop, according to the source close to Kelley, who spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity.
So was this really even a "Threat" at all, or just catty criticism?

I'm really starting to wonder if there ever should have been an FBI investigation at all here. It doesn't sound like there was any real crime here for the FBI to be investigating in the first place.

It sounds like the only reason the FBI was involved was because some random Agent had the hots for Kelly, and was trying to impress her or something.
posted by delmoi at 8:11 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Y'know, when this was just Davis Petraeus sleeping with his hagiographer, it was boring. I really like what the showrunners have done bringing in the extra people though. I think I'll keep watching for a bit.
posted by tyllwin at 8:16 AM on November 13, 2012 [28 favorites]


clavdivs: He will probably come through this with his family and walk into millions for books and speeches....just like obama.

So, in your fantasy alt-earth, Obama is making millions for books and speeches right now?


He's still making close to millions (per year) on his books right now, and he made $5.7 million from Dreams of My Father in 2009. In 2007, he made $4.2 million, mostly from books (though the speeches probably helped too. ;) He's giving away a fair chunk of the revenue now, so it's hard to tell how much he's making except from the tax returns ... It looks like he made about half a million in 2011.

/derail
posted by mrgrimm at 8:17 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


You guys- 20,000 to 30,000 emails between Kelley and Allen?? Over how long a period? Someone do the math on this!

All these people were fools for carrying on affairs on the interwebs in their position, but I really cannot believe Broadwell's threatening anonymous emails mentioning the comings and goings of high level military officials. That takes some real effort. And is legit crazy. Especially for someone with an intelligence background!

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

I'm really starting to wonder if there ever should have been an FBI investigation at all here. It doesn't sound like there was any real crime here for the FBI to be investigating in the first place.

It sounds like the only reason the FBI was involved was because some random Agent had the hots for Kelly, and was trying to impress her or something.


The emails referred to non public info regarding high level officials- though not specifically named.
posted by murfed13 at 8:26 AM on November 13, 2012


DynamiteToast: "Also, has anyone used the headline "Love Pentagon" yet, because we're up to 5 lovers including the FBI agent and the second General."

Ask and ye shall receive.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:30 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The one thing I am certain of is that the director of the CIA is too powerful a figure to be removed from office over adultery - or even the killing of a US ambassador - unless he has even more powerful enemies.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:36 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


He wasn't removed from office. He resigned.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:38 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait; so...

1.) random right wing FBI agent has hots for some Tampa housewife who throws parties.
2.) Tampa housewife is apparently having a tryst with General Allen.
2.) Tampa housewife gets catty anon emails that are not threatening.
3.) Tampa housewife boo-hoos to FBI agent about emails, because apparently she's really stupid, or completely ignorant of how intelligence investigations tend to spiderweb out.
4.) FBI agent sends shirtless photos to Tampa Housewife.
5.) FBI agent is had no training in cybercrime, was not part of the cyber squad handling the case and was never assigned to the investigation.
6.) FBI agent is miffed that he's not allowed to investigate, so he runs off and tells Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who called the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III.

Meanwhile:
1.) General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell have been making with the sexy time under his desk in a war zone.
2.) She writes a hagiographic book.
3.) They continue to run and frolic, or whatever it is that military brass call it.
4.) They each create an anon gmail account, and share login info; basically they would write letters to each other and leave them in the "drafts" folder. Which ya know...pretty clever, actually.
5.) Somehow, the FBI traces all this activity from Section 1, sub clause 3: Tampa Housewife Boo Hoos to Shirtless FBI Teahadist.

Subsequently:

General Petraeus is out. (Will make fine money on the speaking circuit.)
General Allen is out. (See above.)
Broadwell is going to be publicly vilified forever. (Totally unfair, but she's the new Monica.)
Tampa Housewife has lawyered up with some of the biggest guns you can buy. (WTF?)

Leaving me with this question:
What possible mandate from investigating anon emails to BooHoo Party Wife could justify investigating the sexy time email investigation? What I mean is; why was the investigation expanded from "finding out who sent these emails to Party Wife", which was answered: Paula Broadwell (allegedly), to "Who is this anon sexy time emailer that knows Paula Broadwell." It seems like a really overly broad jump in investigation.

All that said: There has to be more to this story than we're hearing. Else, it just doesn't make sense that it would blow up like this.
posted by dejah420 at 8:39 AM on November 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


I really like what the showrunners have done bringing in the extra people

Even with the new characters, I'm still having a hard time finding an interesting plot or wondering why I should give one fuck.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:40 AM on November 13, 2012


Didn't Clapper ask him to resign? That's basically being removed with a bit of face-saving.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:40 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


He wasn't removed from office. He resigned.

When Stalin's generals shot themselves with pistols they found placed on their desks, it would have been misleading to describe it as "suicide".
posted by Egg Shen at 8:42 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


All that said: There has to be more to this story than we're hearing. Else, it just doesn't make sense that it would blow up like this.

Didn't it say that Kelley's parents were Lebanese nationals? For the FBI, that could possibly transform it from "Random socialite" to "Possible foreign-influenced honeypot."
posted by corb at 8:43 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I'm with Dejah420 in my understanding. Do I have the plot right here?

OK, so Kelley gets emails she doesn't like. (Are there excerpts somewhere?)

Kelley goes to FBI agent who has it bad for her, asks him to (quietly?) look at it.

FBI agent involves actual experts, who get interested because some of the stuff in the emails seems to be non-public info about high-ranking military. They start real investigation, which leads to Broadwell and Petraeus on one prong and Allen on the other prong.

Original FBI agent gets frozen out and without consulting Kelley runs outside the Bureau to a congressman he thinks shares his political views. Political shitstorm ensues.

Is that what seems to have happened?
posted by tyllwin at 8:46 AM on November 13, 2012


How do married-with-children people have enough TIME for these salacious email-based affairs? Look, guys, I'm a married lady with a kid, and some job-type-activities, and a muscular/bearded SF operator in Afghanistan could start emailing me about all my favorite topics (sustainable agriculture... cheese... etc.) and after a while I'd have to be like "Um, hey, this has been fun but I just don't have the time for these TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF EMAILS YOU KEEP SENDING ME."
posted by thehmsbeagle at 8:46 AM on November 13, 2012 [23 favorites]


(Are there excerpts somewhere?)

"I was with Ganrl Patrais? He came to my haws."

Is that what seems to have happened?

That's about it.

How do married-with-children people have enough TIME for these salacious email-based affairs?

Nannies/childcare. When they really want to get saucy, they combine the two pastimes.

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF EMAILS YOU KEEP SENDING ME

Yeah, the 20,000-30,000 pages (that's a pretty big range) seems like bullshit. That's 40-50 pages per day. Fucking Stephen King can't do that for a serious stretch.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:51 AM on November 13, 2012


(to be completely transparent, the misspelling is from Kelley's 7 y.o. daughter.)
posted by mrgrimm at 8:53 AM on November 13, 2012




Yeah, the 20,000-30,000 pages (that's a pretty big range) seems like bullshit. That's 40-50 pages per day. Fucking Stephen King can't do that for a serious stretch.

I wonder if that is pages, or individual messages.

I mean, yeah, that's a lot. But so far today my wife and I have sent 10, maybe, each. Although we're particularly chatty today.

I guess if those people have a lot of free time at work, maybe.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:55 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I agree. "xoxo" probably = 1 page. But still, that's a LOT.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 AM on November 13, 2012


And this loose cannon FBI Teahadist? Has he been fired? Does he still have a badge and a gun, cause that seems like the sort of thing that should get you blackballed from places like the FBI and the CIA. Going outside your command and intelligence structure to leak something in the hopes that it will damage the commander in chief...seems kinda treasonous to me. No?
posted by dejah420 at 8:57 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


What possible mandate from investigating anon emails to BooHoo Party Wife could justify investigating the sexy time email investigation? What I mean is; why was the investigation expanded from "finding out who sent these emails to Party Wife", which was answered: Paula Broadwell (allegedly), to "Who is this anon sexy time emailer that knows Paula Broadwell." It seems like a really overly broad jump in investigation.

That's how I initially read it. Now I'm understanding that anon emails had way too much non public info about high ranking mil/intelligence officials. So step (1) who is this person? (2) does she actually have a connection to petraeus et al? (3) did he leak anything really important re: national security?

The rest is history.
posted by murfed13 at 8:59 AM on November 13, 2012


Please don't do the "everything is treason" thing. We get enough of that from the teabaggers.

Based on what we know, he should definitely be relieved of his duties and barred from .gov employment for a very long time. But I wouldn't call "trying to take down the President with a political scandal" treason -- just a major dick move.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:00 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The best way to sort this out is put all of them on Jerry Springer.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:04 AM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I do a fair amount of correspondence with .gov and .mil types as part of my day job, and with the way they use email, it occurs to me that many of the "pages" are probably ridiculously-long strings of reply quotations. This can quickly turn a few hundred pages into thousands.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:05 AM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


The one thing I am certain of is that the director of the CIA is too powerful a figure to be removed from office over adultery - or even the killing of a US ambassador - unless he has even more powerful enemies.

It's not the adultery itself, it's the fact that him being in a compromising position makes holding a clearance difficult due to "hi, tell us about XYZ or we'll tell the world about your playing chanky-chank under the desk". And it's really hard to be effective as the director of the CIA if you don't have a clearance.
posted by Runes at 9:06 AM on November 13, 2012


I do a fair amount of correspondence with .gov and .mil types as part of my day job, and with the way they use email, it occurs to me that many of the "pages" are probably ridiculously-long strings of reply quotations. This can quickly turn a few hundred pages into thousands.

Oh, you know, you're probably right, because unlike normal humans counting it, they probably do count everything, down to reply-quoted sigs.
posted by corb at 9:07 AM on November 13, 2012


You guys- 20,000 to 30,000 emails between Kelley and Allen?? Over how long a period? Someone do the math on this!
It's over a two year period, so about 30-40 a day. But I would imagine they were probably using it like IM, rather than writing whole letters.
3.) Tampa housewife boo-hoos to FBI agent about emails, because apparently she's really stupid, or completely ignorant of how intelligence investigations tend to spiderweb out.
4.) FBI agent sends shirtless photos to Tampa Housewife.
I think he sent the shirtless pictures before she ever came to him with the threatening emails.
1.) General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell have been making with the sexy time under his desk in a war zone.
2.) She writes a hagiographic book.
3.) They continue to run and frolic, or whatever it is that military brass call it.
Supposedly... supposedly the affair only started when he was a civilian back in DC, and after she'd written the book. But of course we don't really know.
All that said: There has to be more to this story than we're hearing. Else, it just doesn't make sense that it would blow up like this.
It sounds to me like bored FBI agents decided to use their fancy wiretapping ability to snoop into people's love lives.
posted by delmoi at 9:08 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't care so much what people do with their naughty bits, but that hint about an illegal secret CIA prison in Libya 3 years after Obama supposedly ordered those closed certainly got my attention.

Though I am too cynical to be surprised or to even think much would happen if it's true, it would be kind of wonderful if a giant evil thing like that were brought down by high-ranking people simply being unable to keep it in their pants.

Too soon to tell on that score though.
posted by emjaybee at 9:11 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the 20,000-30,000 pages (that's a pretty big range) seems like bullshit. That's 40-50 pages per day.

If they're including headers, 40-50 pages/day seems hardly weird, even if they're not inserting pagebreaks between emails.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:12 AM on November 13, 2012


So, is it the FBI guy who will turn out to have the sex machine in his basement, or this other general?
posted by bonehead at 9:12 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Greenwald:.... it appears that the FBI not only devoted substantial resources, but also engaged in highly invasive surveillance, for no reason other than to do a personal favor for a friend of one of its agents, to find out who was very mildly harassing her by email.
posted by adamvasco at 9:15 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Based on what we know, he should definitely be relieved of his duties and barred from .gov employment for a very long time. But I wouldn't call "trying to take down the President with a political scandal" treason -- just a major dick move.
Last I checked, we have not declared war on congressional republicans.

That said, talk about a dick move. The entire reason this thing even got started was because Shirtless Joe here wanted to impress Jill Kelly. And here's the thing, my guess is that if he'd never gone to Cantor and the house republicans the FBI would have just buried this after finding out nothing illegal had happened - and it's not the FBIs job to investigate people's sex lives.

But, because Cantor ended up calling Mueller (the FBI director) the FBI now knew they couldn't do that, at that point the FBI knew this was going to come out eventually.

So, because of Special-Agent No-Shirt's dumbass political paranoia, he ended up blowing up Jill Kelly's life! Not to mention the rest of the collateral damage (Petraeus, Broadwell and Allen)

Smooth man.

---

Also, this scandal doesn't even have a '-gate' name yet. Petraeus-gate doesn't sound right since they're not usually named after people. email-gate is obviously way to general and could apply to a bazillion scandals.

Drama-gate? Sext-gate? Jr. High-gate? The cyber-love affair?
posted by delmoi at 9:24 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like "Spyfall."
posted by tonycpsu at 9:27 AM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


FBI's abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation: That the stars of America's national security establishment are being devoured by out-of-control surveillance is a form of sweet justice
posted by homunculus at 9:31 AM on November 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Here's how I actually (hilariously) am calling this one:

Kelley, for whatever reason, is amassing a network of high-ranking power players. This doesn't have to be for a reason, but it might be. People enjoy it even without a purpose.

Meanwhile, Petraeus and Broadwell have an affair. This is pretty much a humdrum, garden variety affair. They're close to each other, it builds, blah blah blah.

Kelley, for whatever reason, targets Petraeus. Broadwell sees something or hears about some potential hanky-panky, and flips out. She is new to this whole game, and thinks that there is a Special SoulBond between her and Petraeus. She, already being in his email, gets Kelley's info and emails Kelley some variant on, "I saw what you did with the General. Stay away from him."

Kelley doesn't know which General is being referenced, because she's got links to multiple generals, and so she gets nervous. She pulls up her FBI contact, who there's been mild flirtation with, nothing major - which is why only shirtless photos. They're flirty-friends. She says, "Hey, I'm so alone and scared and worried. Can you use your resources to look into this for me?"

FBI agent wants to be the big hero to the pretty lady. Except he doesn't know that Kelley's actually guilty of anything, because she certainly wouldn't tell him that. In his eyes, she's innocent - so why not use other resources? He wants to make her happy. He pulls in a few of his buddies. They start looking in - and find out about Broadwell, and the affair. Someone winds up calling it in.

Then, the chaos.
posted by corb at 9:31 AM on November 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah, and Petraeus finds out about the emails, because of his contacts, is upset at Broadwell, and that and the exposure coming is why they break up their relationship.
posted by corb at 9:33 AM on November 13, 2012


Sweet fancy Moses. In retrospect, I guess I was naive not to realize how similar the military/CIA/NATO establishment is to the American Pie movies.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:35 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Afghanistan Commander Gen. John Allen Investigated; Meanwhile, Afghanistan sinking
posted by homunculus at 9:38 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


At this point, an international Cthulhu worshipping sex cult is the only thing that would make sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:40 AM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Petraeus finds out about the emails, because of his contacts, is upset at Broadwell, and that and the exposure coming is why they break up their relationship.

A love too beautiful to last.

"My wife does't hagriographize me the way you do."
posted by Egg Shen at 9:41 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Washington Post seems to have updated their article:
the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of documents — most of them e-mails — that contain “potentially inappropriate” communication between Allen and Jill Kelley
And, like tonycpsu said above, also:
The senior official also emphasized that the volume of communications between the two “was nowhere near” 20,000 to 30,000 personal messages. The official said the high page count reported by the FBI may have been the result of printing numerous individual messages that contained lengthy threads of earlier exchanges.
posted by lullaby at 9:43 AM on November 13, 2012


Andy Cohen must be kicking himself that he didn't greenlight the Real Housewives of Tampa. That could have been like capturing the Salahis crashing the White House, times a million.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:48 AM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Be sure to proofread those Google Images results, folks.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:48 AM on November 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Don't leave out one step. The crazy FBI guy did not contact Eric Cantor first -- he contacted Cong. Dave Reichert (R-WA). This completes the continental web connection literally from Tampa to Seattle. The movie is going to have to spend a fortune on location shots.

Why pick Reichert, a dim-bulb back-bencher? Probably because Reichert was once the county sheriff on the Green River Killer task force so had lots of connections to FBI agents.

The interesting thing is that Reichert didn't send the crazy FBI guy to impotent figurehead John Boehner. He sent him to Eric Cantor, the real leader of Congress. Bumbling idiot Reichert, as usual, has no idea what he is involved in and has gone to radio silence.
posted by JackFlash at 9:51 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I, personally, have been calling this the Petraeus Affair Affair. Or, Petraeus Affair^2. It's almost too crazy to really be true, but I suspect crazier things are to come. I vote for Kelley as a society madam for the high ranking military type. This "military liaison" stuff is a perfect front.

Mostly, on a real level, I don't care who gets on with who and I pretty much assume all highly driven, ambitious, fit people are all fucking each other behind the backs of us mere mortals. If I had that money, access and body I might be doing it too. But it's the lack of discretion that kills me especially in the world of clandestine affairs. No, I mean, real ones, not pants optional ones.
posted by marylynn at 9:53 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The interesting thing is that Reichert didn't send the crazy FBI guy to impotent figurehead John Boehner. He sent him to Eric Cantor, the real leader of Congress. Bumbling idiot Reichert, as usual, has no idea what he is involved in and has gone to radio silence.

I hate to drag Electionfilter into this, but has anyone seen any speculation on why Cantor sat on this? And if Obama really didn't know, does that mean Cantor knew before Obama? Two weeks before the election?

This thing seems crazy, crazy, complicated.
posted by corb at 9:59 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


You guys- 20,000 to 30,000 emails between Kelley and Allen?? Over how long a period? Someone do the math on this!

It's 20k-30k pages, no? So he could have sent her, for example, several PDFs over 1000 pages each.
posted by The World Famous at 10:01 AM on November 13, 2012


Kelley, for whatever reason, targets Petraeus. Broadwell sees something or hears about some potential hanky-panky, and flips out. She is new to this whole game, and thinks that there is a Special SoulBond between her and Petraeus. She, already being in his email, gets Kelley's info and emails Kelley some variant on, "I saw what you did with the General. Stay away from him."
Actually, it sounds like Broadwell's letters might not have anything to do with her relationship to Petraeus at all.
The emails that Jill Kelley showed an FBI friend near the start of last summer were not jealous lover warnings like “stay away from my man,” a knowledgeable source tells The Daily Beast.

The messages were instead what the source terms “kind of cat-fight stuff.”

“More like, ‘Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch,’” according to the source, who was until recently at the highest levels of the intelligence community and prefers not to be identified by name.

The base described is MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, where Kelley serves as an unpaid “social liaison.” The source reports that the emails did make one reference to Gen. David Petraeus, but it was oblique and offered no manifest suggestion of a personal relationship or even that he was central to the sender’s spite.

Kelley herself seemed mystified as to what was behind the emails, much less who sent them.

“I don’t know who this person is and I don’t want to keep getting them,” she told the FBI, as recounted by the source.

When the FBI friend showed the emails to the cyber squad in the Tampa field office, her fellow agents noted that the absence of any overt threats.

“No, ‘I’ll kill you’ or ‘I'll burn your house down,’” the source says. “It doesn’t seem really that bad.”

The squad was not even sure the case was worth pursuing, the source says.

“What does this mean? There’s no threat there. This is against the law?” the agents asked themselves by the source’s account.
So yeah, who knows what the beef here was. When we only knew about Petraus and Broadwell's relationship, and nothing about Kelly and Allen and the rest, it made sense to assume that the broadwell->Kelly emails were related to Petraeus at all. But at this point, we can't even really assume that the emails had anything to do with her affair with Petraeus. It could have been some totally unrelated beef.
posted by delmoi at 10:05 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


What do you mean by 'sat on this'? It seems Cantor got the info and went to the FBI director, and then kept his mouth shut about an active investigation like an adult.
posted by lullaby at 10:06 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know it's bad when it involves a General, the Director of the CIA, and the FBI, and the only person acting like an adult is Eric Cantor.
posted by The World Famous at 10:11 AM on November 13, 2012 [25 favorites]


So far as I know, this is Eric Cantor's finest hour.
posted by tyllwin at 10:15 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


What do you mean by 'sat on this'? It seems Cantor got the info and went to the FBI director, and then kept his mouth shut about an active investigation like an adult.

Maybe I'm just incredibly cynical, but the notion of a politician, particularly a Party-loyal enough politician to have the House Majority seat, doing what...is right...rather than what is politically expedient...seems strange to me. Particularly this close to an election, when something like this could have shaken things up. It is the right thing, which is just maybe why it seems so /weird/. I'm not used to politicians with souls.
posted by corb at 10:17 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


What do you mean by 'sat on this'? It seems Cantor got the info and went to the FBI director, and then kept his mouth shut about an active investigation like an adult.


I'm sure I'm not the only one who was surprised that this didn't make it's way to the media before the election. It actually makes me respect Cantor a very small amount.
posted by murfed13 at 10:19 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


It probably just means that Cantor's calculation of who wins by leaking before the election wasn't a slam dunk either way, and given how convoluted this thing is, I don't blame him.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:20 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


(As a reminder, the House voted to condemn MoveOn.org for the "Betray Us" ad, so the GOP was pretty heavily-invested in the Petraeus legend.)
posted by tonycpsu at 10:23 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is no honor in Cantor's action. There was simply no political advantage to him in exposing a Republican icon like Patreaus based on unsubstantiated rumors. The right wingnuts would have had his head. Now, if this had been Leon Panetta instead of Patreaus, Cantor likely would have played it differently.
posted by JackFlash at 10:24 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Although many politicians seem to forget this important fact in the heat of political fury, it is almost always politically expedient to not engage in conduct that, if discovered, could result in getting called before a grand jury, losing your political position, and getting thrown in a federal prison.

I assume that Cantor remembered that little fact - if he did do the right thing, as it appears. He probably also realized that the outcome of the Presidential election would not have had a whole lot of effect on his own position of power in Congress. And maybe he wasn't particularly eager to stick his neck out to try underhanded tricks to get Romney elected, when a new Republican President would mean nothing to Cantor quite so much as a new boss in town eager to tell Cantor what to do.

If I were House Majority Leader under a President of the opposing party, the only reason I would want a President of my own party to be in the White House would be to actually be able to pass my own legislative agenda. To the extent that Cantor either thinks he can accomplish what he wants to without a Republican in the WH or doesn't actually care much about getting anything done, I can't imagine he was all that eager to put one more powerful Republican above himself on the pyramid.
posted by The World Famous at 10:25 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


For me, the question isn't "why didn't this come out before?" but "why has this come out now?" Who benefits?

I suspect the real play here has nothing to do with Benghazi but getting Petraeus replaced with John Brennan.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:31 AM on November 13, 2012


Jezebel has a new flow chart.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:36 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


For me, the question isn't "why didn't this come out before?" but "why has this come out now?" Who benefits?

The media. I've spent more time in a workday reading about this than when the election was going on reading about election stuff.
posted by DynamiteToast at 10:40 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm just incredibly cynical, but the notion of a politician, particularly a Party-loyal enough politician to have the House Majority seat, doing what...is right...rather than what is politically expedient...seems strange to me. Particularly this close to an election, when something like this could have shaken things up.
I don't really see how it could have helped. The republicans were pushing Bengazi, Bengazi, Bengazi. The fact that Petraeus might have been banging his biographer would have taken the focus off Bengazi - and Petraeus had been embraced by the republicans as much as Obama. He was practically idolized by them during the Iraq war.

---

It sounds like we have a pretty clear picture of the love pentagon. I'm wondering what happened with the FBI. It seems like at first this might have just been prurient interest - they really had no reason to try to find out who Broadwell was sexting with, since it was totally unrelated to the "crime" of the rude emails. And on the other hand they at some point discovered classified material. So now there's a potential national security issue - so now they can't even really shut down the investigation.

And in the middle of all of this they end up discovering the shirtless picture in Jill Kelly's inbox from the very same agent who brought the whole thing in, so of course they kick him off the investigation.

Eventually they figure everything out. They realize that no crime has taken place and at this point they figure they can just close the file and forget about all this ridiculous drama.

Except then they find out that Eric Cantor of all people has heard about this because Special Agent No-Shirt turns out to be a tea-party nutjob who thinks he was kicked off the case because they had discovered something about Bengazi!?

So now three people's careers are ruined, Jill Kelly's life is fucked up and Special Agent No-Shirt is under investigation by the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility for being an idiot. And all of this from an FBI "investigation" that came into existence despite the fact that no crime had ever been committed by anyone.
For me, the question isn't "why didn't this come out before?" but "why has this come out now?" Who benefits?
It sounds like this was in the works, but they wanted to avoid doing it before the election. Obviously, if Petraeus had resigned a couple weeks before the election the republicans would have flipped out and claimed it was all part of some Bengazi conspiracy/coverup/whatever.
posted by delmoi at 10:40 AM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Kelley is a "volunteer military social liaison". Is that like groupie?
posted by Justinian at 10:50 AM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Okay, so I just found out about Natalie Khawam, Jill Kelly's twin sister, who Petraeus wrote a letter on behalf of in a custody battle.
posted by delmoi at 10:55 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kelley is a "volunteer military social liaison". Is that like groupie?

Yes, that is exactly what it is like. "Socialite" is the more polite term.
posted by The World Famous at 10:55 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


This entire matter makes less and less sense to me as more and more facts come to light.
posted by humanfont at 10:59 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is pretty shitty for Kelley and General Allen to be dragged through the mud if they are not, in fact, involved in any affairs, but she is just organizing high-ranking social gatherings/connections. But, the CIA Director and top brass can't be having secret affairs or sending covert messages sent through draft emails.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:01 AM on November 13, 2012


Oh wait, one piece from the Jezebel article is useful. Apparently Broadwell sent the email to a "shared" email account that Kelley AND HER HUSBAND used. (seriously? Couples who share email accounts? Creepy.) But that explains why Kelley was worried enough to go somewhere to get it to stop.
posted by corb at 11:04 AM on November 13, 2012


It sounds like this was in the works

If the power structure wanted Petraeus to remain in his job, what impediment would it have faced in burying the results of the investigation? Especially since, apparently, no crime was involved?

I say the adultery was simply a convenient lever for Holder - presumably at someone else's behest - to get rid of Petraeus once the election was over.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:05 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I am getting the gist that this (behavior) is pretty normal for the top brass in the military. With rank goes perks, and one of those perks is the, um, access to a range of sexual opportunities in this culture. Those little gold stars must have some mad aphrodisiac qualities.

A coworker of mine went through boot camp (signed up for the reserves) and noted to me that he had plenty of chances for NSA hookups even in BOOT CAMP!

So folks are just living their lives as per rules of the culture and this little perfect string of unlikely connections gets made and BOOM! it gets out into the news, in a country generally so repressed that we are starving for anything vaguely salacious to come our way through the media.
posted by Danf at 11:09 AM on November 13, 2012


It is pretty shitty for Kelley and General Allen to be dragged through the mud if they are not, in fact, involved in any affairs, but she is just organizing high-ranking social gatherings/connections.

I cannot think of any legitimate reason why the top commander in Afghanistan would need to exchange daily emails with Jill Kelley to organize parties, of all things. People have assistants.
posted by murfed13 at 11:11 AM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


It looks like their emails date back to 2010, when GEN Allen was still the deputy commander of CENTCOM, which is in Tampa. The number of emails exchanged still strikes me as strange and probably inappropriate, but he was at least in the same town as her for a year or so of it.
posted by lullaby at 11:16 AM on November 13, 2012


The Kelley/Allen emails were specifically described as "inappropriate" - I can't see how that could be the case if they were just planning parties.
posted by delmoi at 11:17 AM on November 13, 2012


Anyone watch the WH press conference? Any new info?
posted by murfed13 at 11:19 AM on November 13, 2012


Pat Robertson, moral relativist.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:25 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Were these emails that were ostensibly sent by Broadwell to Kelley sent from the same anonymous gmail account used by Petraeus and Broadwell to communicate with each other?
posted by syzygy at 11:26 AM on November 13, 2012


It is pretty shitty for Kelley and General Allen to be dragged through the mud if they are not, in fact, involved in any affairs, but she is just organizing high-ranking social gatherings/connections.

That sentence is so much better if you use appropriate quotation marks for "organizing" high-ranking "gatherings" / "connections."
posted by The World Famous at 11:32 AM on November 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Were these emails that were ostensibly sent by Broadwell to Kelley sent from the same anonymous gmail account used by Petraeus and Broadwell to communicate

No. I believe Broadwell used a variety of anonymous email addresses sent from many different cities and hotels. FBI somehow found it coincided with her book tour. Once they connected Broadwell to the emails, they got a court order for access to her email accounts.
posted by murfed13 at 11:33 AM on November 13, 2012


It is pretty shitty for Kelley and General Allen to be dragged through the mud if they are not, in fact, involved in any affairs, but she is just organizing high-ranking social gatherings/connections.

As noted earlier:

[Kelley's new lawyer] Abbe Lowell is not only a great attorney, he is as preeminent a counsel as exists for spook and national security defense cases. No one in their right mind pays for that unless they need it, especially 1,000 miles away from his office.

If all she was doing was hosting parties in Tampa, she'd hire a PR agent rather than the heaviest legal muscle available.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:37 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


You forgot the quotation marks, Egg Shen.

If all she was "doing" was hosing "parties in Tampa," she'd hire a PR agent rather than the heaviest legal "muscle" available.
posted by The World Famous at 11:39 AM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Simon's take on this is an excellent read.
posted by Gary at 11:41 AM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have to say, I'm kind of loving this quotation mark thing, The World Famous.
posted by corb at 11:43 AM on November 13, 2012


corb: "Didn't it say that Kelley's parents were Lebanese nationals? For the FBI, that could possibly transform it from "Random socialite" to "Possible foreign-influenced honeypot.""

A “Self-Appointed” Go-Between with Lebanese Officials
posted by tonycpsu at 11:52 AM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Self-Appointed." Heh.
posted by The World Famous at 11:54 AM on November 13, 2012


Real Housewives of Kandahar.
posted by Justinian at 12:35 PM on November 13, 2012


David Simon's take on this is an excellent read.

"[Allen] Dulles, by every fair historical assessment, was a Georgetown player and backroom bullshitter who led the agency into some of the worst intelligence failures in American history, then created an alternate myth of success for the agency. Shame on the American press corps of those years for buying into the professional myth, of course, but hey..."

Everything old is new again.
posted by Egg Shen at 12:42 PM on November 13, 2012


David Simon's take on this is an excellent read.

"the odd, notable vagina wandering off the path and rubbing against the wrong tree." - am I the only one who finds this an adorable metaphor?
posted by corb at 12:44 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't be the only one to have the old King Missile classic Detachable Penis stuck in my head (or, as The World Famous would have it, "stuck" in my "head") after reading the David Simon peace.
posted by Kattullus at 12:52 PM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


From the Jezebel comments that roomthreeseventeen linked to, a whiteboard summary which is a really nice catch-up for those of us who have been confused or haven't kept up.

That said, this is all a soap opera that doesn't really matter. It's the perfect story for a media that needs to come down from the election horse race.

But they will pretend like it does matter because this is the shit they report rather than policy. And that's why this makes it such a big deal.

I really wish the media would get their cheap thrills and fan boy natures on by watching Revenge and professional sports and actually spend their days reporting shit that matters. But, alas, I know that isn't happening any time soon.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:54 PM on November 13, 2012


That the stars of America's national security establishment are being devoured by out-of-control surveillance is a form of sweet justice

Indeed. The schadenfreude is very, very high here.

David Simon's take on this is an excellent read.

Except he sort of ignores the whole notion of access to confidential information, sharing email accounts, etc.

It would be one thing if this were a scandal that could have compromised the CIA or American intelligence, if this were some honeypot trap set by foreign entities.

How is he so certain it's not? What makes David Simon omniscient?

It was the case of a national sportscaster — I won’t name him, but, alas, most of those old enough will remember the name, which is regrettable — whose sex life had suddenly become the media chow.

Marv Albert, and yeah, that was an embarrassing time to be in "news media" ... which I was at the time. Between that and "Whitewater" i.e. driving up to Berkeley at 5am to get the first video of Clinton's depo, I quit.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:54 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Feinstein says she'll push for Petraeus to testify

Petraeus Makes Poorly-Timed Cameo in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

"Petraeus also denied to these associates that he had given Broadwell any of the sensitive military information alleged to have been found on her computer, saying anything she had must have been provided by other commanders during reporting trips to Afghanistan."

- Petraeus "shocked" at e-mail
posted by mrgrimm at 12:57 PM on November 13, 2012


Petraeus also denied to these associates that he had given Broadwell any of the sensitive military information alleged to have been found on her computer, saying anything she had must have been provided by other commanders during reporting trips to Afghanistan.

That dog don't hunt.
posted by Egg Shen at 12:59 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sensitive military information? That's not my bag, baby!
posted by tonycpsu at 1:03 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


“I am in the desert and I have a boner”

I love that. I love that so much that in my mind this has become DesertBonerGate.

But back to the emails. So the Kelleys share an account? Is that the same account being stuffed daily by General Allen? Because I'm thinking that a husband, even one with complete faith and trust in his wife, might get a bit shirty about his wife getting bombarded by emails from generals and shirtless FBI agents. Unless he was a partner in her "party hosting."

Man, my emails are as boring as shit.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:09 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


This came to mind for some reason.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:13 PM on November 13, 2012


It would be one thing if this were a scandal that could have compromised the CIA or American intelligence, if this were some honeypot trap set by foreign entities.

How is he so certain it's not? What makes David Simon omniscient?


How did General Petraeus know it wasn't a honeypot? That's the real problem.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:13 PM on November 13, 2012


FBI agent whose 'world view' was hostile to Obama pushed bureau and Congress to intervene in days before the election
posted by orrnyereg at 1:22 PM on November 13, 2012


Google: Transparency Report: Government requests on the rise

Petraeus is all "tell me about it!"
posted by tonycpsu at 1:25 PM on November 13, 2012


Gary: David Simon's take on this is an excellent read.
Thank you. That's a great read, and really gathers and directs some vague thoughts I've been pushing around for a while.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:25 PM on November 13, 2012


My questions at this point are:

1. Why was someone else brought in to write the Petraeus book? It was Broadwell's dissertation, she had unfettered access, and she seems to be well educated so I assume she can string some sentences together.

2. What is Jill Kelley's job/hobby? Is she a Madame or is she just a party girl who likes to flirt?

3. What was in the 20 to 30,000 communiques from General Allen?

4. Why did Broadwell feel the need to write threatening emails to J. Kelley?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:28 PM on November 13, 2012


In retrospect, I guess I was naive not to realize how similar the military/CIA/NATO establishment is to the American Pie movies.

Think lots of deployments. Lots and lots of deployments.

Of course she has children, of course she is married, but when I first read of her background I would have assumed that by age 40 she would have done more.

The first part of her career was strictly hum-drum military. West Point, five year commitment, probably another five re-up, then automatic reserve status. That's when she started working on the graduate degrees, and combined with her MILINT background, rose rather quickly in the academic side of the establishment. Had all gone well and the affair never been uncovered she would probably be in the running for significant fellowships or even the directorship of a small think tank (her retirement rank was likely Major, meaning she would have been in the top command of a battalion -- around 1000 soldiers). I feel with the whole "adaptive leadership" angle she was possibly going to take this to a more civilian (and lucrative) motivational center direction, as well. From the way I see it, the book was her chance to make her name, after amassing all these contacts and education. On the other hand, her pre-academic career doesn't seem to have been exceptional, in keeping with average progression by age.
posted by dhartung at 1:29 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


"One of [Broadwell's] messages accused Kelley of touching Petraeus under a table in an intimate manner and warned her to stay away from the general."

Tables, desks, Jesus this is turning into an Ethan Allen Furniture commercial.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:30 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I would like to add to Secret Life of Gravy's list of questions:

5. How did the FBI "get access" to Broadwell's email account? Are we assuming that the abusive emails allegedly sent anonymously resulted in a warrant that gave the FBI backdoor access to not only that anonymous account but Broadwell's emails generally?
posted by modernnomad at 1:32 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


egg shen: Especially since, apparently, no crime was involved?

There are potentially several crimes involved. Not likely to be prosecuted, but Petraeus and Broadwell are both potentially criminally culpable, given what's known at the present.
posted by lodurr at 1:33 PM on November 13, 2012


What is Jill Kelley's job/hobby?

She organized fundraising parties for military causes to make a name for herself in Tampa society.

Her lawyer better make sure he gets paid up front.
Just three months after they posed with David and Holly Petraeus, strands of Gasparilla beads hanging from their necks, the Kelleys were hit with a foreclosure lawsuit.

The suit, brought by Central Bank against the Kelleys and Kelly Land Holdings, centered on a three-story office building at 300 E Madison St. in downtown Tampa. Court records show they owed the bank nearly $2.2 million, including attorney fees. ...

Since the Kelleys have been in Tampa, records show, one or both have been subjects of lawsuits nine times — including an $11,000 judgment against them that originated in Pennsylvania.

Ongoing cases, the court records show, include an indebtedness case from Chase Bank; a foreclosure case from Regions Bank; and a credit card case from FIA Card Services.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:34 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Simon misses the point. How does he know that no harm has been done here? Petraeus was the Head of the CIA. If he or Allen were loose with nonpublic info to these women and maybe more, that's problematic.
posted by murfed13 at 1:34 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


... also, moderately surprised that no one's mentioned the similarity between Jill Kelley's name and a certain more infamous, homonymically-named woman of a similar age.
posted by lodurr at 1:35 PM on November 13, 2012


5. How did the FBI "get access" to Broadwell's email account? Are we assuming that the abusive emails allegedly sent anonymously resulted in a warrant that gave the FBI backdoor access to not only that anonymous account but Broadwell's emails generally?

As I said above, court order. It's not that hard.
posted by murfed13 at 1:36 PM on November 13, 2012


Are we assuming that the abusive emails allegedly sent anonymously resulted in a warrant that gave the FBI backdoor access to not only that anonymous account but Broadwell's emails generally?

Warrants? You're living in the past.

Under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, federal authorities need only a subpoena approved by a federal prosecutor — not a judge — to obtain electronic messages that are six months old or older.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:37 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


resulted in a warrant

How quaint.
posted by tyllwin at 1:38 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I stand corrected.
posted by murfed13 at 1:39 PM on November 13, 2012


From the Petraeus shocked at emails link
Petraeus, 60, told one former associate he began an affair with Broadwell, 40, a couple of months after he became the director of the CIA late last year. They mutually agreed to end the affair four months ago, but they kept in contact because she was still writing a dissertation on his time commanding U.S. troops overseas, the associate said.
So wait, the commercial biography and the dissertation are two different things? The book came out in January but the dissertation is still being written? After the affair had ended? Wow, that's a little awkward. Who would want to carry on writing about someone that they had stopped having an affair with? Who would want to carry on corresponding with someone they had stopped having an affair with?

also, moderately surprised that no one's mentioned the similarity between Jill Kelley's name and a certain more infamous, homonymically-named woman of a similar age.

It showed up on the Whiteboard linked earlier.

So if the Kelleys are so broke how are they affording all of this high powered muscle? Could it be that someone else is footing the bills?


Aaaaaarrrgh I have things to do and I have to get out of this chair and do them! So farewell for now, dear thread, I shall return at a later date.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:40 PM on November 13, 2012


How the CIA Became the 6th Branch of the Military
posted by homunculus at 1:43 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Are you kidding? High powered legal muscle have probably been coveting this from the second it broke. Sometimes the appeal is in the publicity.
posted by murfed13 at 1:44 PM on November 13, 2012


I thought JSOC was the 6th. Hard to keep up these days.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:44 PM on November 13, 2012


High powered legal "muscle".
posted by Justinian at 1:45 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is anyone else starting to think "social liaison" is code for something?
posted by drezdn at 1:58 PM on November 13, 2012


Is anyone else starting to think "social liaison" is code for something?

I'm holding out hope for stories of Eyes Wide Shut style orgies in Tampa McMansions with MacDill AFB top brass in masks sodomizing botoxed social x-rays to the music of Ligeti.
posted by Egg Shen at 2:05 PM on November 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


We need someone with sound moral judgment to run our covert wars and secret drone assassination program.

Speaking of which: Dronestagram – the website exposing the US's secret drone war
posted by homunculus at 2:06 PM on November 13, 2012


Obama picks Predator Drone to replace Petraeus at CIA
posted by homunculus at 2:07 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, federal authorities need only a subpoena approved by a federal prosecutor — not a judge — to obtain electronic messages that are six months old or older.

Incorrect. A federal prosecutor can subpoena email but must notify the target beforehand which allows them to fight the subpoena in court. To secretly access email requires a judge's approval.
posted by JackFlash at 2:12 PM on November 13, 2012


So, I find the story interesting not because of the prurient aspect of it, but more because of the high-powered people from the intelligence community and military who were involved. Maybe this'll end up just a stupid sex scandal, or maybe we'll learn that there's more behind it. In the meantime, I'm curious because of the potential that there is more going on than just an affair.

So, one thing I'll note is that Jill Kelley's twin sister, Natalie Khawam, had a LinkedIn profile (now deleted, link to google cache) in which she listed herself as president of her own law firm and listed her motto as "successfully defending whistelblowers." May or may not be interesting.

I've also found that her ex husband is an attorney, as well as a partner in an investment firm that seems to be focused on large infrastructure projects paid for by agencies such as the World Bank and the US Export Import Bank. He previously managed infrastructure projects in Iraq and managed projects for the Homeland Security department.

Definitely some interesting people in the mix, here.
posted by syzygy at 2:14 PM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm holding out hope for stories of Eyes Wide Shut style orgies in Tampa McMansions

Eyz Wide Shut is Tampa’s Premier Lifestyle Nightclub, a Couple’s Playground with Unique Adult Lodging.
posted by dhartung at 2:16 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Definitely some interesting people in the mix, here.

Khawam "dated" Charlie Crist.

We're through the looking glass here, people!
posted by Egg Shen at 2:17 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


According to this article, when a Reuters reporter went to the address listed by Akkadian Private Ventures (twin's sister's ex is a founding partner) as their Washington, DC location, the reporter found that the address was for a private residence that had no relation to Akkadian.

Starting to sound like something out of the Bourne series.
posted by syzygy at 2:24 PM on November 13, 2012


Akkadian, you say?
posted by orrnyereg at 2:29 PM on November 13, 2012


VICE: I Was David Petraus' Bitch In The '90s And I Hated Every Minute Of It
Whenever Petraeus testified in the halls of power, they all showed up to pump his fist and spew superlatives. Someday, they said, Petraeus would be included in the prestigious pantheon of West Point military gods: Grant, MacArthur, Patton, and Eisenhower.

But now that’s all out the window. Now, he’s just another big man who fucked around and got caught. He’s in the process of being disgraced. His friends are turning their backs. At least one reporter who used to belong to King David’s “cult,” Spencer Ackerman, has publicly disowned him. The salacious details about his under-the-desk romps will probably continue to be splashed all over tabloid pages for months like the chief spook’s warm jizz.

The man’s career is unraveling by the minute, and I’m enjoying every second of it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:36 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I grew up in Tampa, went to the right schools for hobnobbing with these families. So far no names are familiar, but I distanced myself after leaving. This makes for fascinating stuff - Tampa, for all its size, is really a very small town at the top.

Hell, they were even in the 'society magazine' Tampa Bay Magazine.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:57 PM on November 13, 2012


That Vice article actually made me like Petraeus more, and the author less.
posted by wuwei at 3:21 PM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Starting to sound like something out of the Bourne series.

Really? I was thinking more of a Pat Conroy novel.
posted by lodurr at 3:28 PM on November 13, 2012


That Vice article actually made me like Petraeus more, and the author less.

Yeah, the tone was vituperative, and what he describes is pretty consistent with stories I've heard from guys I knew who were in the service in the 90s. Yeah, it sucked and it's stupid, but dude, you're in the army.
posted by lodurr at 3:29 PM on November 13, 2012


Another strange Wikipedia edit:

On 9 February 2012, a US Central Command IP added "Jill Kelley, amateur ambassador and chess player" to Arcadia University's Wikipedia page.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:53 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Shit, I was just hear a few hours ago saying that I wanted this story to go away.

But now I hear Jill Kelley has a fake cancer charity and goes around saying stuff like this:
Kelley also seems to think she has something called “diplomatic inviolability” perhaps tied to her made-up role as “unofficial social liaison”?

Over the weekend she called 911 over the weekend to help chase people off her yard. And this is what she said, according to transcripts of the 911 call …

“You know, I don’t know if by any chance, because I’m an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property. I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well,” she told the 911 dispatcher, who agreed to pass the information along to police.
There are certain types of people whose downfall I'm just going to get too excited about, no matter how I much I try to deny it and act like a better person.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:58 PM on November 13, 2012 [19 favorites]


the man of twists and turns: None of these people were actually from Tampa, they had all moved there from other parts of the country (the twins from Philadelphia, the ex from Maryland / DC, and the husband from Philly, as well, I think).

So, unrelated, but I'm just going to give the crazy conspiracy theory that comes to my mind. And I do mean crazy, off the wall, so don't think I take it seriously.

This is somehow related to Benghazi, but more like it was an inside job, maybe with Romney's knowledge or at least by someone who wanted him to win. Recall the 47% video - someone in the audience mentioned that it would be great if a situation like the Iran hostage crisis that doomed Jimmy Carter's presidency came up. Romney responded, "by the way, if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity."

I always found the whole Sam Bacile releases a silly movie highly offensive to Islam shortly before September 11 a little outlandish, really. It also seems a little weird to me that Broadwell was interviewed by Fox News about Benghazi. There you have it. You'll find that theory starting to pop up in some weird places on line. Real weird, and not of my doing ;-)

Again, my disclaimer: I don't believe the above theory, and I am not a conspiracy theorist. With 99.9% certainty, the previous paragraph will prove to be bunk, but I thought I'd float it as an interesting and perhaps entertaining off-the-wall theory.
posted by syzygy at 3:59 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rumor of an affair between Broadwell and Petraeus was added to Broadwell's Wikipedia page by an anonymous editor about an hour after the page was created, back in January, shortly after she appeared on The Daily Show. The sentence was flagged as libel and removed.

Also, Rupert Murdoch (I know, I know) tweets: Petraeus affair has not been a secret for months. Must be more to story.

Mysterious :)
posted by syzygy at 4:14 PM on November 13, 2012


Petraeus, Broadwell, Kelley, Allen, FBI Guy. It's not a love triangle, it's a love pentagon!
posted by scalefree at 4:19 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let's not gloss over the substance of Broadwell's statement at the University of Denver...

If you take her word over that of the CIA, as soon as we set up shop in Libya, the agency established another of its secret prisons. Only this one got the US ambassador killed.

Now you can believe that the power structure was upset about the secret prison. Or that it was upset that the director's mistress shot her mouth off about it. (I have my own opinion.) But either way, it sets the stage for the decision to get rid of Petraeus with extreme prejudice.

So, not a gentlemanly private meeting telling him to step down so he can "spend more time with the family". Instead, a public shaming that ruins the lives of his family.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:21 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


About that fake cancer charity...
Based out of the couple's mansion, the Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation claimed on its tax forms that it "shall be operated exclusively to conduct cancer research and to grant wishes to terminally ill adult cancer patients."

By the end of 2007, the charity had gone bankrupt, having conveniently spent exactly the same amount of money, $157,284, as it started with -- not a dollar more, according to its 990 financial form. Of that, $43,317 was billed as "Meals and Entertainment," $38,610 was assigned to "Travel," another $25,013 was spent on legal fees, and $8,822 went to "Automotive Expenses."

The Kelleys also listed smaller expenses that appear excessive for a charity operating from a private home, including $12,807 for office expenses and supplies, and $7,854 on utilities and telephones....
How is it that everybody in this story leads such fantastically complicated lives? I'm just thinking about Broadwell who juggled being a "soccer mom" (as she referred to herself) a book, jaunts all over the world, a dissertation, and a love affair. I mean the mom and the dissertation bit would have been more than enough for most people, don't you think?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:31 PM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


MCMikeNamara: "hit, I was just hear a few hours ago saying that I wanted this story to go away.

But now I hear Jill Kelley has a fake cancer charity
"

Yeah, this is the gift that keeps on giving. The lurid sexytime stuff is actually the most boring part of this.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:34 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Kelleys also listed smaller expenses that appear excessive for a charity operating from a private home, including $12,807 for office expenses and supplies

Clearly they haven't shopped for printer ink lately.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:37 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where are Jill Kelly and her sister from originally? I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out they have ties with foreign intelligence.
posted by empath at 4:38 PM on November 13, 2012


General Petraus is the final bubble of the Bush era. Why are we shocked to learn that the great general is not the asset we thought he was but instead mostly just a mountain if bullshit. I feel so stupid.
posted by humanfont at 4:38 PM on November 13, 2012


Ties to foreign intelligence? I'd be surprised if Kelley has any intelligence at all.
posted by Justinian at 4:39 PM on November 13, 2012


About the "honorary consul"....check out this twitter pic of her license plate.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:40 PM on November 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


How is it that everybody in this story leads such fantastically complicated lives? I'm just thinking about Broadwell who juggled being a "soccer mom" (as she referred to herself) a book, jaunts all over the world, a dissertation, and a love affair. I mean the mom and the dissertation bit would have been more than enough for most people, don't you think?

This is amazing to me, too. I am stealing time away from playing with puppets with my small child to write this very comment and now he is lying on the floor at my feet and yelling "There's a lot of stuff under this chair! I don't like it!"

I literally cannot imagine also trying to run a fake charity and have (maybe) an affair or even a couple of semi-flirtatious email relationships in addition to the ordinary daily life I can already barely cope with. I read this stuff and feel weak and amazed. Other people must really terrific organization skills, or at least have kids who are much easier to ignore. My kid is balancing on my shoulder like a parrot and shouting "I want to play with trains and nurse and play with puppets! And I want bread and I want to change the laundries around, I want all of these things!" - I feel like this would be a huge mood-killer if I were trying to write a flirtatious email back to the hot FBI agent who just sent me shirtless pictures of himself.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


That license plate is something else.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 4:46 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Daily Kos: Jill Kelley (Khawam). The Lebanese Mata Hari?
posted by adamvasco at 4:47 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


thehmsbeagle, your kid is seriously cracking me up.
posted by orrnyereg at 4:52 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, LOL forever at that license plate. I wonder what she had to show the DMV to have it made. We're getting into Salahi territory here.
posted by orrnyereg at 4:55 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Neil Gaiman once said something along the lines that sometimes it felt like your life had abruptly switched screenwriters. You could be living in a hospital drama and then, out of the blue, you were suddenly in a slapstick comedy. It definitely feels as if sometimes during yesterday afternoon the screenplay of The Petraeus Affair was taken from the tragedy screenwriters and given to the soap opera screenwriters. And sometimes earlier today they ate some peyote and it's just starting to kick in now.
posted by Kattullus at 4:57 PM on November 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


I feel like this would be a huge mood-killer if I were trying to write a flirtatious email back to the hot FBI agent who just sent me shirtless pictures of himself.

On the internet, nobody knows you've got a toddler on your shoulder shouting demands. Until you tell us. Now we know.
posted by The World Famous at 4:58 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


During affair, Paula Broadwell praised Petraeus' 'wonderful marriage' with his wife Holly
posted by Egg Shen at 4:58 PM on November 13, 2012


She probably is a Honorary Counsel for Lebabon. It is exactly the kind of gig a social climber would take. No pay but a fancy title, lets you sound important.
posted by humanfont at 4:59 PM on November 13, 2012


TBH the title of "honorary consul" tends to have a fairly low bar. The State Department requires the authorizing country to file a form, that's about it.

Honorary consuls are American citizens or permanent resident aliens who perform consular services on a part-time basis. Honorary consuls, unlike career consuls, are permitted to carry on another business. These persons have “official acts” immunity only and immunity from the obligation to provide evidence as witnesses only in respect of official acts. They do not enjoy personal inviolability and may be arrested pending trial if circumstances should otherwise warrant. Family members enjoy no immunity or personal inviolability.

Honorary consuls are issued official identification cards by the Department of State.

posted by dhartung at 5:04 PM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just hearing Kelly's call to the police on Anderson Cooper asking the police for diplomatic immunity or whatever it is as an honourary consul ... very funny. What a circus.
posted by jamesonandwater at 5:13 PM on November 13, 2012


Post Petraeus Scandal Google Releases Stats Showing Uptick in Gov Requests for Data
posted by homunculus at 5:36 PM on November 13, 2012


Nothing like being rich to give yourself options.
posted by spitbull at 5:42 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why do I have a feeling the only Arabic phrase Ms. Kelley knows is "Do you know who I am???"
posted by tonycpsu at 5:45 PM on November 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Karl Rove And Paula Broadwell Took A Photo Together
posted by readery at 6:04 PM on November 13, 2012


As always, the Onion is right up on its game:

Nation Horrified to Learn About War In Afghanistan While Reading Up on Petraeus Sex Scandal
posted by corb at 6:14 PM on November 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Broadwell could have leaked Benghazi info to Fox News and then, after Fox News reports it, Broadwell cites Fox as her source in public.
posted by drezdn at 6:15 PM on November 13, 2012


Apparently Kelley is an Honorary Consul of South Korea.

"The position of honorary consul is symbolic and has no official responsibilities, [an] official said."

I assume this is legit.

I just don't know anymore.
posted by carter at 6:18 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the South Korea story:
"She is an ‘honorary consul' of the Republic of Korea," the official said. "She assumed this position last August thanks to her good connections and network."
So apparently honorary consul titles are given out based on Klout score?
posted by tonycpsu at 6:22 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


With the South Korean connection I'm forced to conclude that this entire thing is an epic prank by some guys on a message board somewhere. I stand in awe of their total pownage of our once great nation.
posted by humanfont at 6:28 PM on November 13, 2012 [17 favorites]


pownagegate
posted by rosswald at 6:47 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more:

"She is an ‘honorary consul' of the Republic of Korea," the official said. "She 'assumed this position' last August thanks to her 'good connections' and 'network.'"
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:53 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paula Broadwell lost her drivers license in a Washington D.C. park where it was found by a jogger.
Park Police planned to hold it for 90 days, per policy, and then send it back to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Broadwell's attorney, Robert F. Muse, confirmed that Broadwell, a North Carolina resident, lost her driver's license in the park.
I swear to god I don't what the hell is going on with this story.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:55 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I swear to god I don't what the hell is going on with this story.

Somewhere in Asgard, a smile dawns on Loki's face.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:00 PM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


This Telegraph article about the Florida twins has quite a few details including the financial woes of both Jill and her sister. Jill and her husband are being sued for millions by their banks.
Miss Khawam filed for bankruptcy in April this year, filings show. She owed more than $3 million spanning taxes, property debts, legal fees and personal loans to associates – including $800,000 from Mrs Kelley and her husband, who have taken her in at their Tampa mansion.

Separately she is being sued in Maryland for $100,000 in legal fees and in Florida by her former boss Barry Cohen, a prominent Tampa lawyer, who claims in his lawsuit that she "fraudulently omitted Rolex watches, sable mink furs and a diamond ring" from her bankruptcy filing, which she denies.

Mr Cohen's action came in response to a lawsuit against him from Miss Khawam, who accused him of breach of contract and failing to take action to a complaint of sexual harassment. Mr Cohen denies the allegations.
A "Republican source" is quoted as saying that they are fun, friendly people who "have hit difficult times." Really? Difficult times? I would say that they are careless people who have gone into millions of dollars in debt while throwing lots of fabulous parties.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:15 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really hope there are senate hearings on this. I honestly cannot wait to see that clusterfuck unfold. It'll be better than Jerry Springer.
posted by empath at 7:15 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah this is hilarious. I wish our military and intelligence agencies did more of this soap opera bullshit and less murdering.
posted by Justinian at 7:42 PM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


One detail that Rachel Maddow brought up on her show last night is the question of when, exactly, did the affair start. If it started when Petraeus was still serving in the army, they could bring charges against him. They still prosecute people for adultery.

I'm finding it difficult to follow the timeline on this. When did the affair start? When was it over? When did the FBI start investigating? When did the White House find out about it?

If I remember correctly, The FBI started the email investigation in August. Petraeus was questioned about the affair by the FBI in late October. He then flew to Benghazi to debrief the CIA team there. He came back ready to testify to the National Security Council but the day before he could testify he handed in his resignation. I can see why some people think there is a cover-up because the time-line is so crazy.

According to the Washington Post Eric Cantor found out about the affair from shirtless guy on Oct. 27. He told his Chief of staff to inform the head of the FBI (who did not already know this?) Cantor's chief of staff waited 4 days-- until Oct. 31-- to inform the head of the FBI. Cantor did not tell anyone else. Which is truly baffling.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:47 PM on November 13, 2012


So...since the story has already gone considerably further off the rails than one could have anticipated, I'll throw out this tidbit of completely unreliable and probably untrue salaciousness: I heard from a friend, who heard from a friend, who heard from this other socialite in Tampa, that the FBI agent is a woman...AND...that the Twins have officer fetishes, and like to work as a team, as it were.

Of course, you didn't hear that from me...
posted by dejah420 at 7:47 PM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


that the FBI agent is a woman

Shirtless guy? Wow, that would be interesting.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:50 PM on November 13, 2012


I heard from a friend, who heard from a friend, who heard from this other socialite in Tampa, that the FBI agent is a woman...AND...that the Twins have officer fetishes, and like to work as a team, as it were.

OMFG
posted by sallybrown at 7:54 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somewhere in Asgard, Loki is muttering to himself "Wtf?!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Now I've got to go back and read all the articles I already read to see if they mention the sex of the FBI agent.
posted by Justinian at 8:00 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


ABC has a timeline (with lots of pictures)

ABC also has a 3 page story on the twins, Mostly old news but there is this
ABC News has learned that Gen. Allen also received an anonymous e-mail traced to Paula Broadwell, claiming Jill Kelley was a seductress.
So Paula wasn't just sending emails to Jill, she was sending them to other people as well. I really have to wonder why she had such a bee in her bonnet about Jill Kelley.

There is also this about Natalie, Jill's twin, who lost custody of her son
The judge wrote that Khawam "has exhibited an utter disregard for the child's interest" in maintaining a meaningful relationship with his father, that she "has extreme personal deficits in the areas of honesty and integrity," and that she has exhibited a "willingness to say anything, even under oath, to advance her own personal interests at the expense" of her husband, the child, and others.

"The court fully expects that Ms. Khawam's pattern of misrepresentations about virtually everything, including the most important aspects of her life, will continue indefinitely," the judge wrote.
That's pretty devastating. And remember that Petraeous and General Allen both wrote letters to the court praising Natalie's character.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:19 PM on November 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


NMA from Taiwan gives this story their typical treatment.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:35 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somewhere in Asgard, a smile dawns on Loki's face.

Hiddleston! We should have known!
posted by orrnyereg at 8:47 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


On a positive note, remember that in 2009 Petraeus was treated for prostate cancer? Obviously the treatment was very successful, so successful that hot monkey under the desk sex was possible. So there's that.
posted by readery at 8:57 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Petraeus: A Thrice-Failed Trainer?
posted by homunculus at 9:02 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every time a thread is pulled on this story, a new douchebag or douchebaguette is revealed:
One of the odd subplots in the Petraeus story is the decision of Gens. Petraeus and Gen. Allen to intervene in the intense custody dispute between Jill Kelley's sister Natalie and her estranged husband Grayson P. Wolfe. Wolfe turns out to be a former Bush administration official who worked in Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad (Bremer's outfit) opening Iraq up to private sector investment.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:02 PM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I heard from a friend, who heard from a friend, who heard from this other socialite in Tampa, that the FBI agent is a woman...AND...that the Twins have officer fetishes, and like to work as a team, as it were.

I WANT TO BELIEVE
posted by Egg Shen at 9:27 PM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm still hoping for the Cthulhu sex cult.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:00 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


On Tuesday, people familiar with the case said that at one point in the summer, after the investigation began pointing to larger potential national security issues, Ms. Kelley tried to get the FBI to drop the matter. The people said she made the request because she was worried about the personal information being provided to investigators.

Ms. Kelley, a 37-year-old volunteer who organized social events for military personnel, developed misgivings after friends in her Tampa social circle urged her to drop the matter, saying the probe would only cause bigger problems, the people familiar with the case said.

Ms. Kelley's apparent regret points to one of the more unusual aspects of the case: what began as a seemingly minor case of cyberstalking mushroomed into fears that the Central Intelligence Agency director's personal email account had been hacked, which spawned concerns the CIA director might have passed sensitive information to his mistress. Each of those fears ultimately proved unfounded, U.S. officials familiar with the probe said. But the investigation eventually exposed Mr. Petraeus's relationship with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, leading to his resignation, according to U.S. officials familiar with the probe.


From the Wall Street Journal.
posted by medusa at 10:28 PM on November 13, 2012


CIA Superior: What did we learn, Palmer?
CIA Officer: I don't know, sir.
CIA Superior: I don't fuckin' know either. I guess we learned not to do it again.
CIA Officer: Yes, sir.
CIA Superior: I'm fucked if I know what we did.
CIA Officer: Yes, sir, it's, uh, hard to say
CIA Superior: Jesus Fucking Christ.

(If there isn't a dildo chair by the end of all this, I'll be disappointed)
posted by dirigibleman at 10:43 PM on November 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


A colleague of mine says a relative of hers was working in Afghanistan for Petraeus when Broadwell was there, and says that the affair was very open knowledge among the staff there. So there's another dubiously-sourced tidbit.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:02 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I heard it from a friend, who heard from a friend, who heard from another you've been messing around.

Take It On The Run
posted by Ironmouth at 11:09 PM on November 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


God Bless America
posted by ob1quixote at 11:25 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"familiar with the probe."
posted by The World Famous at 12:07 AM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Klosterman: Did I accidentally force David Petraeus to resign? No. Do people believe I did? Maybe.
posted by dhartung at 12:10 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Businessman gives his take on Jill Kelley’s role as ‘honorary consul’ to South Korea

TransGas Development President Adam Victor told us he met Kelley in August at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where she was introduced to him as a close friend of then-CIA Director David Petraeus who had many business contacts in South Korea.

Victor arranged for her to visit his New York office to discuss potential opportunities in the South Korean coal industry, but he began to question Kelley’s credentials after the meeting. “David Petraeus arranged for her to get that position,” Victor said of Kelley’s honorary consul title. “She may have contacts but she hasn’t negotiated large deals before.”

Victor said Kelley asked for a coal gasification finder’s fee of two percent if a deal materialized – about $80 million in this case –a fee Victor said far exceeds market standards.

“Why would Petraeus appoint her to that position?” Victor asked. “She got a position she wasn’t qualified for through David Petraeus and I have no idea why. I feel that I wasted my time.”

posted by dhartung at 12:16 AM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Jill Kelley, An Embarrassment to Honorary Consuls Everywhere

Of note, Marshall points to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which specifies the level of legal protection applicable to official consular staff and honorary consuls. It does seem that Article 59 actually backs up her 911 call (if in fact her home is the designated consular premises and there was trespassing):

The receiving State shall take such steps as may be necessary to protect the consular premises of a consular post headed by an honorary consular officer against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity.

I suppose if I were in fact an honorary consul I would be sending keep-off-my-lawn requests through the embassy, and it still makes her seem like a self-important twit. Anyway, I was a little more interested in Article 60, though:

1. Consular premises of a consular post headed by an honorary consular officer of which the sending State is the owner or lessee shall be exempt from all national, regional or municipal dues and taxes whatsoever, other than such as represent payment for specific services rendered.

2. The exemption from taxation referred to in paragraph l of this article shall not apply to such dues and taxes if, under the laws and regulations of the receiving State, they are payable by the person who contracted with the sending State.


Although she was apparently only appointed in August, and §2 may in fact eliminate her taking advantage of the exemption, I wonder if this was an attractive part of the job to her, given the aforementioned money troubles.
posted by dhartung at 12:36 AM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Side issue but can someone please explain to me how this thing Broadwell wrote is both her dissertation and a book ghostwritten by someone else? My opinion of the Kennedy School of Government is pretty low, but...
posted by naoko at 12:41 AM on November 14, 2012


naoko: two different things. Sounds to me like she provided the research/background/interviews for the ghostwritten book 'All In' (as well as being the public face) and then turned around and is using the same source material for her dissertation.

from a VF article that I'm not going to link (because what's the point?):
As the Petraeus story becomes more and more convoluted, two things because clearer and clearer: one, essentially none of any of this relates to national security in any way and is therefore none of our business; and two, the more apparent that fact becomes, the more we—shamefully, uncontrollably—want to know.
Yup!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:50 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm absolutely amazed that Roger Simon says Petraeus was "dumb" for not having lied to the FBI. Is he out of his mind? Yes, Clinton lied and look what it got him. Usually when people lie to the FBI they go to jail. Had he done so, this would have become a criminal issue. And on top of that it would have made the FBI suspect that there could have been a lot more than just an affair going on, it would have forced them to do more investigation and could have resulted in charges. Roger Simon is a complete idiot.
Except he sort of ignores the whole notion of access to confidential information, sharing email accounts, etc.
Well, again, the FBI has said nothing illegal happened, and that Broadwell said some of the confidential information on her machine didn't come from him. Broadwell does have a security clearance herself

As far as the "sharing email accounts", well, so what? If all they were doing was writing sexy notes to each other, then it's not a security risk.
Petraeus also denied to these associates that he had given Broadwell any of the sensitive military information alleged to have been found on her computer, saying anything she had must have been provided by other commanders during reporting trips to Afghanistan.
That dog don't hunt.
I realize that there are a lot of details here, but the FBI has said specifically Broadwell told them that the documents didn't come from Petraeus, and that they believed her. Presumably they do know who sent them to her. And again, she has (or had, anyway) a security clearance.
How did General Petraeus know it wasn't a honeypot? That's the real problem.
Maybe because she was a west-point graduate and had a security clearance herself? She wasn't some random person off the street. She was his biographer. She had access too him for months, got classified information as a part of that job, and wrote a book about him. All of this (supposedly) before they started having sex. I mean, it is possible to have a reasonable confidence that a person is not a spy, right? That's what the whole security clearance system is supposed to do, and Broadwell passed, before she knew Petraeus, and she had a ton of access to him before the affair started. That's why the affair began.
There are potentially several crimes involved. Not likely to be prosecuted, but Petraeus and Broadwell are both potentially criminally culpable, given what's known at the present.
What are you talking about? I'm pretty sure the FBI itself determined that nothing illegal had taken place.
I think Simon misses the point. How does he know that no harm has been done here? Petraeus was the Head of the CIA. If he or Allen were loose with nonpublic info to these women and maybe more, that's problematic.
I don't know about Kelley, but again, Broadwell had a security clearance - and she had ton of access for the purpose of writing her book, all before and unrelated to the affair.

That said, now that I think about it though that she might have "mishandled" classified material if she left it somewhere the FBI could get at it. Presumably hackers might have been able to as well.
Daily Kos: Jill Kelley (Khawam). The Lebanese Mata Hari?
Wow, that's pretty racist. She's from a Lebanese Christian family; therefore, she's probably a spy? And OMG look at her foreign sounding maiden name!
Where are Jill Kelly and her sister from originally? I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out they have ties with foreign intelligence. -- empath
Right, because everyone who spent their childhood in another country ought to be suspected of being a spy. I mean, Obama spent most of his childhood in Indonesia, how could anyone trust him with national security secrets!?

She was an "honorary consul", to South Korea, but she got that because of her connections to US intelligence, namely, being friends with the director of the CIA.
---
So Paula wasn't just sending emails to Jill, she was sending them to other people as well. I really have to wonder why she had such a bee in her bonnet about Jill Kelley.
Here's the thing - I don't think Broadwells emails to Kelley had anything to do with her worrying about Kelley "stealing" Patraeus. She just thought she was a skank and maybe worried that she might end up causing problems for the other generals. (Or in other words, as a military mistress she thought Kelley was giving military mistresses a bad name, or not doing it right, or whatever. Too Indiscrete) . She may also have worried that Kelley might have messed up Allen's careers, which she obviously ended up doing and so it might have just been concern over Allen getting involved with a "bad influence"

I think everyone has jumped to the conclusion that the emails from Broadwell to Kelley were due to jealousy over Patraeus, because when this started that's all anyone knew about the situation. But now we know that 1) The emails weren't actually "threats" they were just critical and "catty" and 2) They didn't even mention Patraeus, except in passing.

So maybe she saw Kelley as a rival, or maybe she just thought she was being a slutty slut slut who was trying to get into the pants of guys she knew (despite the fact she was having an affair with one of them)

I kind of think Broadwell is getting a worse name then she deserves here.
TransGas Development President Adam Victor told us he met Kelley in August at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where she was introduced to him as a close friend of then-CIA Director David Petraeus who had many business contacts in South Korea.
The seedy underbelly of the military industrial complex. People in high positions getting super-swank deals solely because of who they're connected too. IMO this is quite a bit less "ethical" then affair with broadwell, but it would never have been reported if not the sex scandal.
posted by delmoi at 2:18 AM on November 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


VF: none of any of this relates to national security in any way and is therefore none of our business

I don't know about that.

You know that cold fear you get sometimes when you sort of get the feeling that just about everybody running all the big important life, death, liberty, law, war and peace stuff is way, way dumber than you, and you know that you're way too dumb to run all that stuff? That's pretty much how I'm feeling mostly all the time now.

All these people seem like total idiots.

The seedy underbelly of the military industrial complex. People in high positions getting super-swank deals solely because of who they're connected too. IMO this is quite a bit less "ethical" then affair with broadwell

Yes. This is exactly this sort of thing that, writ large, has put Greece where it is today.
posted by taz at 2:42 AM on November 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


I think I said it above, but in my opinion a Kennedy School PhD is the academic equivalent of a vanity plate saying "Honorary Consul."
posted by spitbull at 3:33 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, how rare is it for an upper class woman to lose custody of her child, be chastised by a judge for filing false domestic violence reports, and have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars toward her ex-husband's legal fees?

Common grifters, these twins appear to be.
posted by spitbull at 3:50 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


All these people seem like total idiots.

I think the far more interesting part is the whole Kelley/Allen/Shirtless FBI dude. Broadwell made a dumb mistake by emailing Kelley, But Kelley was downright moronic to ask the FBI to start investigating her email. Shirtless FBI dude seems to have been a nutjob and ended up destroying the life of the girl he was trying to impress.

The only mistake Broadwell and Patraeus made was the assumption that they wouldn't come under investigation by the FBI if they weren't doing anything illegal. Seems like a reasonable assumption.

However, there is a whole collection of side players connected to Kelley who seem to be pretty dumb, and relatively corrupt.
Yes. This is exactly this sort of thing that, writ large, has put Greece where it is today.
Well, I kind of think it's what's put the US where it is throughout the 20th century. It's something that's gone on forever.
posted by delmoi at 4:36 AM on November 14, 2012


Although as it turns out Ashley Judd and Bill O'Reilly both have MPAs from the Kennedy School, so perhaps I am mistaken.
posted by spitbull at 4:37 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


delmoi: What [potential crimes] are you talking about? I'm pretty sure the FBI itself determined that nothing illegal had taken place.

a: I am not at all sure of that, and see no reason to be;
b: just garden variety potential stuff, some of which is clearly as yet not deterministically settled. E.g., lying under oath, violation of various rules regarding the handling of confidential information, etc. I'm not thinking of anything grand or trying to make a big moral case here, just saying that there probably have been laws broken, given the office he was filling at the time.
posted by lodurr at 4:46 AM on November 14, 2012


FYI, the doctoral program is in the war xtudies dept at King"s College London, not the Kennedy School.
posted by dhartung at 4:46 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Patraeus Scandal: Paula Broadwell in Classified Document Probe (warning - autoplay video w/audio at link)
Paula Broadwell, the author who allegedly had an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus, is suspected of storing significant amounts of military documents, including classified material, at her home, potentially in violation of federal law.

A source familiar with case told ABC News that Broadwell admitted to the FBI she took the documents from secure government buildings.
posted by syzygy at 4:47 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


So what I'm hearing in general here is that this is the Pat Conroy novelization of Burn After Reading.
posted by lodurr at 4:49 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or maybe Jim Thompson's screenplay for a Pat Conroy novel.
posted by lodurr at 4:59 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


b: just garden variety potential stuff, some of which is clearly as yet not deterministically settled. E.g., lying under oath, violation of various rules regarding the handling of confidential information, etc. I'm not thinking of anything grand or trying to make a big moral case here, just saying that there probably have been laws broken, given the office he was filling at the time.
Lying under oath? What oath? Petraus and Broadway both admitted everything when they were questioned by the FBI, and they've never been under oath. I agree that broadwell might have mishandled some classified material, but it was apparently not something the FBI was interested in at the time (maybe now with all the media coverage, they are trying to cover their asses by re-opening a closed investigation so that they can claim there was some legitimate reason for them to be doing this)

Anyway, you wrote:
but Petraeus and Broadwell are both potentially criminally culpable, given what's known at the present.
So you said 1) Given what we know at the moment and 2) Petraeus and Broadwell potentially broke laws.

But how can you make that claim without saying what laws you think were broken and what actions you think broke those laws. One of the examples you gave is actually something we already know hasn't happened (lying under oath) and there isn't any evidence Petraeus did anything.

And finally, like I said, the FBI closed it's investigation without finding any criminal actions.
posted by delmoi at 5:06 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, one of the many articles about this did say that 1) The FBI had already closed the case and 2) They didn't find that any laws had been broken.

If they're going back to re-investigate Broadwell, it sounds like they want something to show that they had any reason to be doing the investigation in the first place, a sort of post-hoc justification.
posted by delmoi at 5:15 AM on November 14, 2012


Broadwell made a dumb mistake by emailing Kelley, But Kelley was downright moronic to ask the FBI to start investigating her email. Shirtless FBI dude seems to have been a nutjob and ended up destroying the life of the girl he was trying to impress.

The only mistake Broadwell and Patraeus made was the assumption that they wouldn't come under investigation by the FBI if they weren't doing anything illegal. Seems like a reasonable assumption.


I don't know about Petraeus, but you're going way too easy on Broadwell here, delmoi. Sorry, her behavior doesn't come off any better than Shirtless FBI dude's, and had about the same effect. Why would you assume you wouldn't come under investigation after sending anonymous emails to a 4-star general warning him off a socialite, plus stalkerish emails to the socialite herself telling her to back off? Did she think they wouldn't compare notes and wonder what the hell was going on, maybe look into it?

Coming from anyone what Broadwell did would be immature, busybody behavior. Coming from someone who is at the same time sleeping with the chief of the CIA, it seems unbelievably stupid.
posted by torticat at 5:18 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why would you assume you wouldn't come under investigation after sending anonymous emails to a 4-star general warning him off a socialite, plus stalkerish emails to the socialite herself telling her to back off?

Because you're a starry-eyed West Pointer, who dreams of the flag at night and just doesn't think anyone would misuse their authority like that.

Because, in the world of "what should have happened," there is no reason this should have gotten to the FBI. Anonymous emails that someone is a slutty slut slut and dangerous are not, in any way, shape, or form, a threat. They're not even illegal. There's no reason Broadwell should have been investigated. The only reason she was is that shirtless FBI (dude/lady - has anyone seen a gendering in the papers?) wanted to get in with Kelley. This is not a thing she should have anticipated.

That said, if memory serves, it might not have taken a Federal prosecutor. I believe that when you gain certain levels of clearance, you essentially consent to be monitored at any time, in any way that the government sees fit, to ensure you're not misusing it. This could extend to reading email, and it seems most of the people involved in this had clearances.
posted by corb at 5:25 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Coming from anyone what Broadwell did would be immature, busybody behavior. Coming from someone who is at the same time sleeping with the chief of the CIA, it seems unbelievably stupid.

Coming from someone who graduated from West Point and was a Reservist is just sad. This was not behavior of the best and brightest.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:28 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Victor said Kelley asked for a coal gasification finder’s fee of two percent if a deal materialized – about $80 million in this case –a fee Victor said far exceeds market standards.

This is crazypants. So Kelley assumed that just by virtue of her "knowing" some people she could make deals and be given $80 million? The more I hear about this lady and her sister the more I think drugs are involved-- the kind that make you feel important and that make you feel like throwing elaborate parties when you are broke.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:33 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I doubt she expected 80 million, but by asking for it, she might be able to get something.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:36 AM on November 14, 2012


I'd feel really shiity if these people were using Democratic party politics to work their deals and assignations. They must have been awful busy when the convention was in town. So many people to impress with your 'honorary consul' credentials!

And with both Jill Kelley and Paula Broadwell, I get the feeling that their husbands were in on the deal, at least the using sex appeal to get favors from men part. uuuggghh, creepy.
posted by readery at 5:45 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anonymous emails that someone is a slutty slut slut and dangerous are not, in any way, shape, or form, a threat. They're not even illegal

That is not established. Under anti-stalking laws, they might well be illegal if they are part of a pattern of conduct.

Having unauthorized classified documents on your computer obtained through unofficial channels is, however, clearly illegal. I think that's the crime in question here.
posted by spitbull at 5:45 AM on November 14, 2012


So Kelley assumed that just by virtue of her "knowing" some people she could make deals and be given $80 million?

Remember those pallets of cash in Iraq?

I am certain that portions of them were disposed of in exactly such a manner.
posted by Egg Shen at 5:46 AM on November 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


I get the feeling that their husbands were in on the deal,

Yeah, no way they were clueless in either case. Something strange about them both being doctors and such clearly ambitious strivers.

There is a missing big piece here. We just don't know what it is. It ties this stuff together. It is either sex, espionage, money, or some combination thereof, and all these connections will make sense when it comes out.

But I do think the Tampa connection seals that this whole thing is a *GOP* scandal at root, and that when it comes out it will be, at a minimum, embarrassing to Republican people and interests, not the Obama administration (as many people on the right seem to think) except indirectly, and okay Barack can we please not have any more Republican appointments to major positions?

My guess is there was an election-interventiona angle to some of this -- October surprise/Benghazi stuff -- as indicated by the rogue FBI agent reaching out to Reichert and Cantor. It went south somehow, or Cantor and co. calculated the risk to be too great. But I smell GOP all over this.
posted by spitbull at 5:50 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


There is a missing big piece here. We just don't know what it is. It ties this stuff together. It is either sex, espionage, money, or some combination thereof, and all these connections will make sense when it comes out.

My bet is on the sisters providing themselves and other society groupies to military brass as party favors.
posted by Egg Shen at 6:00 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, one of the many articles about this did say that 1) The FBI had already closed the case and 2) They didn't find that any laws had been broken.

It might be that someone with authority at the FBI took a look at this clusterfuck, said "What is this, I don't even..." and backed slowly away. But man, there is something shady about the two sisters and the tampa thing and all their ties to the military and GOP operators.
posted by empath at 6:37 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know what, that faux William Gibson thread has made me think that reality itself has become a faux William Gibson novel.

So, if I've got my facts straight, what we have here is a retired US general in charge of espionage and robot assassinations who is brought down when, through FBI hacking, his affair with a major in the military intelligence branch of the Army Reserve program, said major being a super-fit PhD student at Harvard and King's College who's a crack shot with a machine gun and who travels around Central Asia wearing minimalist clothing and shades, AND then it turns out there's whole 'nother plotline involving shady military business dealings, cybersex between a woman with weird South Korean diplomatic credentials and an active four star general, FBI agents going rogue and shirtless, fake charities and businesses, AND we're not halfway through the book yet. If someone presented that story to me I'd probably tell them off for spoiling the last William Gibson novel.
posted by Kattullus at 6:39 AM on November 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


I feel sorry for anyone whose name is "David Petraeus". I've been there, guys.
posted by growabrain at 6:39 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe because she was a west-point graduate and had a security clearance herself? She wasn't some random person off the street. She was his biographer.

As someone who is totally clueless about the biography-writing industry, I am fascinated by how one gets to be the biographer of such a BFD guy. How do you get started?
Broadwell: Hello General Petraeus sir, you are neat and I would like to write your biography.
Petraeus: A writer noticed me and wants to write my biography, yay!
Braodwell: I am not a writer in the sense of, like, having written anything before, but I promise it will be awesome because I am also West Point grad. Also I will be sure to make it all about how super you are. FYI I will need a loooooot of your time.
Petraeus: Ok!
posted by naoko at 6:44 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I heard from a friend, who heard from a friend, who heard from this other socialite in Tampa, that the FBI agent is a woman...AND...that the Twins have officer fetishes, and like to work as a team, as it were.

Here's the weird thing about that comment. It struck me because I remembered reading an article that referred to the FBI agent as "she" the one time a personal pronoun was used. I went back and looked and it was this Daily Beast article: When the FBI friend showed the emails to the cyber squad in the Tampa field office, her fellow agents noted that the absence of any overt threats. (bolding mine)

It's most likely a typo or sloppy writing, and it's the Daily Beast, but odd enough that I remembered it.
posted by hollygoheavy at 6:46 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Man, this whole thing just keeps getting crazier and crazier. What I want to know now is who got TwinOne the consulate gig. Generally those are given to people who have ties to the country they represent. So, in August of this year, someone convinced the South Korean government to make sure her appointment went through in time for the Republican Convention in Tampa.

Why? It just doesn't make sense.
posted by dejah420 at 6:52 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


there is no reason this should have gotten to the FBI. Anonymous emails that someone is a slutty slut slut and dangerous are not, in any way, shape, or form, a threat.

They are potentially threatening. They're on the borderline, where the recipients may very well feel them to be threatening and want to discover the sender.

I have questions too about why the FBI got involved in this and would love to see better justification (or more specificity anyway) than what's been reported so far. But I was talking about prudence, not legality, and it doesn't appear that Broadwell has much of it. IF you are boinking the head of the CIA and have evidence of an explosive scandal in your own inbox (or drafts folder), you probably don't want to do anything that even potentially might make you the subject of an inquiry.

Anonymously emailing Kelley was rash, but Allen too?? That's batshit. I mean we'd been hearing the last couple days that the FBI was concerned that the anonymous emailer seemed to know the "comings and goings" of military personnel. The news yesterday that Allen himself was a recipient, well, that is kind of a different story. While the FBI might not care much about anonymous emails to Kelley, they might well take an interest if a general is getting emails from the same source.
posted by torticat at 6:55 AM on November 14, 2012


Here's the weird thing about that comment. It struck me because I remembered reading an article that referred to the FBI agent as "she" the one time a personal pronoun was used. I went back and looked and it was this Daily Beast article: When the FBI friend showed the emails to the cyber squad in the Tampa field office, her fellow agents noted that the absence of any overt threats. (bolding mine)

Interesting. It might also explain the strange lack of pronouns in most other articles, and also why a shirtless photo was perceived to be a big deal that would make things inappropriate.

I have to say I kind of....weirdly respect either the papers or the FBI, whoever is like "This is totally not the agent's fault other than stupidity, let's keep them out of this shitshow."
posted by corb at 7:01 AM on November 14, 2012


But man, there is something shady about the two sisters and the tampa thing and all their ties to the military and GOP operators.

This reminds me of a nvoel that gleefully played up Florida, and Tampa in particular, as shady bazaar of politics, money deals and drugs. Florida Roadkill was the title, it was a hoot and this entire scandal would fit perfect in that book, as a subplot.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The agent is definitely being referred to as a "he" elsewhere, for example here in WaPo:

that agent was subsequently told by his superiors to steer clear of the case because they grew concerned that the agent had become obsessed with the investigation, the official said. The agent was a friend of Kelley and long before the case involving Petraeus got under way, the agent had sent Kelley shirtless photos of himself, according to this official.

But who knows.
posted by torticat at 7:05 AM on November 14, 2012


All I know is that if the Special Agent Shirtless is a woman - thus introducing bared breasts into the the story - it will take months to clean up the spooge from the resulting mediagasm.
posted by Egg Shen at 7:17 AM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


corb: "I believe that when you gain certain levels of clearance, you essentially consent to be monitored at any time, in any way that the government sees fit, to ensure you're not misusing it. This could extend to reading email, and it seems most of the people involved in this had clearances."

I do not think this is accurate. There are requirements to (a) report and in some cases pre-clear foreign travel, (b) report any close and ongoing contact with foreign nationals, and (c) consent to the possibility of a random polygraph, but consent to being monitored at any time is not a prerequisite at any classification level. Maybe it exists for specific TS/SCI compartments, but that's not something that would be general knowledge, and I don't think would be relevant to any of the principals in this case with the exception of Petraeus himself.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:19 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Of course, anything that happens on USG-owned systems is monitored, and it's not like there are any onerous legal impediments to monitoring someone who's suspected of doing something wrong.)
posted by tonycpsu at 7:23 AM on November 14, 2012


whoever is like "This is totally not the agent's fault other than stupidity..."

Special Agent Shirtless exploited the FBI's... well, let's be generous and call it "wide-ranging" surveillance powers, not to investigate the appearance of a serious crime [sorry, "who do you think you are strutting around the base like that?" does not qualify as even potentially threatening], but as a personal favor to someone they were sexually pursuing.

They deserve to get nailed to the wall.
posted by Egg Shen at 7:24 AM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


delmoi: Also, one of the many articles about this did say that 1) The FBI had already closed the case and 2) They didn't find that any laws had been broken.

I understand where you're coming from, and agree that this may turn out to be nothing more than a salacious story about marital infidelity.

But I also have a little skepticism, mainly because this affair was apparently an open secret for some time, and nothing happened for months.

Now, two days after the election, Petraeus turns in a hurried resignation letter, citing the affair as the grounds for his resignation. But, really, if that's all there is to the story, would Petraeus have resigned so quickly / would those above him have demanded his immediate resignation?

My question is whether there may be more behind the resignation, and the affair was just used as a convenient excuse.
posted by syzygy at 7:25 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Special Agent Shirtless exploited the FBI's... well, let's be generous and call it "wide-ranging" surveillance powers, not to investigate the appearance of a serious crime [sorry, "who do you think you are strutting around the base like that?" does not qualify as even potentially threatening], but as a personal favor to someone they were sexually pursuing.

And when the FBI removed them from the investigation, ran to the nearest available politician to complain.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:26 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


The agent is definitely being referred to as a "he" elsewhere

There was really awkward pronoun usage on the Today Show this morning that stuck out to me. Remote correspondent was like "The agent sent a shirtless photo of [long pause] themselves to Kelley."
posted by sallybrown at 7:49 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


And when the FBI removed them from the investigation, ran to the nearest available politician to complain.

Not only a politician, but Newsmax as well.
posted by drezdn at 7:52 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


But, really, if that's all there is to the story, would Petraeus have resigned so quickly / would those above him have demanded his immediate resignation?

My understanding is that Petraeus wasn't going to quit, then it became clear the affair would become public knowledge, but now I can't find the link.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 AM on November 14, 2012


My understanding is that Petraeus wasn't going to quit, then it became clear the affair would become public knowledge

"[The search of Broadwell's home] came on the same day that two longtime military aides to Petraeus said that he did not intend to resign until it became clear that his extramarital affair with Broadwell would become public after the first phase of the FBI investigation of his e-mail accounts." - Washington Post
posted by Egg Shen at 8:00 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The David Petraeus Bimbo Eruption

Posting this mostly for the headline, which I found entertaining :)
posted by syzygy at 8:10 AM on November 14, 2012


"I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well"

I realize this is a tiny thing, but hearing the tone of her voice in this snippet on the break-room TV just drove me over the edge. It's that passive-aggressive "you might want" of the wealthy and privileged who consider themselves above even making a request. They just put the idea out there and of course you'll do it.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:19 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


The David Petraeus Bimbo Eruption

Was anyone else at their show at Pitchfork last year? It was fucking nuts.
posted by COBRA! at 8:22 AM on November 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


At one point, Kelley is said to have made known her desire to jump with the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team, composed of paracommandos from the nation’s most elite units. She was told such jumps are a rare privilege reserved for VIPs. She is said to have replied, in essence, “I’m a VIP.”

By one knowledgeable account, Kelley was allowed to make the jump. She is not said to have made a particularly favorable impression with the team. ...

Do not ever bring that lady back here again,” the team leader is supposed to have said afterward, according to [a] former intelligence officer.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:28 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Buried in WaPo
A military officer who is a former member of Petraeus’s staff said Kelley was a “self-appointed” go-between for Central Command officers with Lebanese and other Middle Eastern government officials.
Yes, why not put that in the 24th paragraph or whatever.
Methinks this is just scratching the surface.
Which Cenral Command Officers and which Middle East Gov. officials? Keep digging. The shit can´t be far from the surface.
posted by adamvasco at 8:36 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm a bit uncomfortable with the speculation that the women involved are madams, call girls or bimbos. It seems a bit misogynistic.
posted by humanfont at 8:45 AM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


From Egg Shen's link:
The chain of events that followed would see the agent shamed for supposedly sending Kelley a shirtless picture of himself, although according to one knowledgeable law-enforcement source, it actually was a photo of himself with what appears to be a prominent politician and some other guys at a casual outing where they had their shirts undone.
posted by enn at 8:55 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit uncomfortable with the speculation that the women involved are madams, call girls or bimbos.

Fair enough. All we can be sure of at this point is that they operate fake charities, lie to the courts during custody proceedings, leave their bills unpaid, and shamelessly suck up to the powerful.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:06 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


it actually was a photo of himself with what appears to be a prominent politician and some other guys at a casual outing where they had their shirts undone.

Come on. Who among us hasn't, on at least a few occasions, had a few beers and snapshots with a topless Hillary Clinton impersonator?
posted by The World Famous at 9:12 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sexual transgressions? eh

Frivolous bankruptcies and fake charities (that have expensive 'automotive expense' charged to them while Jill drives around in a Mercedes) ?
BURN THEM IN HELL!

I do some not for profit accounting and also have done bankruptcy work. That is really dirty stuff
posted by readery at 9:13 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Nick Denton connection. Is not much of a connection, but he's only two degrees of separation from the whole thing.
posted by drezdn at 9:23 AM on November 14, 2012


I'm a bit uncomfortable with the speculation that the women involved are madams, call girls or bimbos.

Right. I agree. Let's not give madams, call girls or bimbos a bad name.
posted by tyllwin at 9:25 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Most of the company and field grade officers I've known or studied are exemplary human beings. It seems like there is something that happens once they get to flag rank and start working in the Pentagon that causes all the instincts they developed and lessons they learned as junior officers to evaporate.

Then again, perhaps it's that the skills that make for an outstanding commanding officer at the company and field grades are a liability once one reaches the Pentagon, so only the politicians and double-dealers thrive there. Do "good" officers mostly wind up retiring as Colonels and Captains, leaving only those who can play the Pentagon games to advance?

That makes it seem like the culture at the Pentagon is badly broken. Maybe the first order of business is to shine a bright light on goings on there. Then again, maybe it's just that too many of them think that the world is really like a W. E. B. Griffin novel. God knows this whole sorry affair reads like one.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:39 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Sexy-Time Exception to Retaining Classified Information
posted by homunculus at 9:44 AM on November 14, 2012


shamelessly suck up to the powerful

Isn't that what the Vice article from yesterday morning explained about Petraeus? The price of entry in these circles is some combination of money and lack of shame.
Back then, the ever-calculating Petraeus, who had married the West Point superintendent’s daughter after graduating, was on his way up. The general’s star was within reach—he was only one rank away—and being in command of the “Devil Brigade” (our brigade), was absolutely vital to getting him there. During his tenure with the 504th, he had to kiss and lick as many hairy, hemorrhoidal assholes as possible. He had to guffaw and slap all the right backs; he had to seriously impress. He had to do whatever was necessary to reach the pinnacle. No bridge too far for that son of a bitch. Can do. Will do. Yes sir, whatever you want, sir.
Do "good" officers mostly wind up retiring as Colonels and Captains, leaving only those who can play the Pentagon games to advance?

It seems like this is the heart of it. The kind of officer who advances is the kind of officer who thrives inside this culture. It's self-perpetuating.
posted by gladly at 9:50 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


drezdn: The Nick Denton connection

According to that link, Natalie Khawam's ex husband, Grayson Wolfe, worked (under the auspices of Akkadian Private Ventures) with a group variously known as Iraqex, The Lincoln Group, Fulcra Worldwide and Strategic Social. Among other things, these companies were hired to run propaganda operations in Iraq (and elsewhere), trying to generate positive sentiment for the US. It seems Fulcra was operating as recently as 2010 in Iraq, when they won a $5.7MM pentagon contract to manage propaganda efforts in the country.

Interestingly, on the above-linked Washington Post entry on Fulcra, one of the company's listed specialties is Psychological operations, which is described as:
Traditional psychological operations, including the creation and delivery of messages via leaflet, loudspeaker, radio or television; the newer "influence operations" associated with the creation of Web sites and the use of social media to extend U.S. influence, both overtly and covertly; and the separate clandestine and covert activities associated with influence, deception and perception management.
So, back to my crazy conspiracy theory (just for fun) - could an company like Fulcra, or whatever it's called, help produce a film that is maximally offensive to Muslims, then use various channels to stoke the fire to try to manufacture anti-American sentiment and / or riots, the kind we saw on September 11 of this year? I know, huge stretch, and if you look hard enough, you'll always be able to find evidence for whatever pet theory you want to support. But until the info comes out, it's fun to poke around and speculate :)
posted by syzygy at 9:52 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Have you ever heard a woman described as "shirtless"? They are almost always described as "topless". Also, if she had been a woman, I'm sure it would have been mentioned. Why would the FBI agents leaking all this stuff to the media keep that particular detail secret, when they've already told the whole world he sent a shirtless photo to Jill Kelly?
If it was a woman, it would be such a juicy detail that it's impossible it wouldn't have been released. Sources have talked about this guy Here's a paragraph from the NYT:
Later, the agent became convinced — incorrectly, the official said — that the case had stalled. Because of his “worldview,” as the official put it, he suspected a politically motivated cover-up to protect President Obama. The agent alerted Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who called the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, on Oct. 31 to tell him of the agent’s concerns.
So presumably the 'official' would have described him as a him to the reporter who got that quote. People who know this guy have been talking about this guy, there's no reason to think that she's a woman and everyone involved is hiding that while at the same time mocking him for being an idiot.
Oh, and just saw this from the daily beast:
Kelly later dialed the number on the card to tell the agent she had been receiving a series of unnerving emails. The chain of events that followed would see the agent shamed for supposedly sending Kelley a shirtless picture of himself, although according to one knowledgeable law-enforcement source, it actually was a photo of himself with what appears to be a prominent politician and some other guys at a casual outing where they had their shirts undone.
Yeah, a topless female FBI agent at a 'casual outing' with a prominent politician... There is no way the media would keep that quiet.
Now, two days after the election, Petraeus turns in a hurried resignation letter, citing the affair as the grounds for his resignation. But, really, if that's all there is to the story, would Petraeus have resigned so quickly / would those above him have demanded his immediate resignation?
Maybe he just wanted to avoid a drawn out media frenzy. Obviously the press would be even more interested in the story if he continued at the CIA. Didn't help because the media was so bored after the election (seriously, who cares about this "fiscal cliff" B.S? That's not going to get many clicks)
Then again, perhaps it's that the skills that make for an outstanding commanding officer at the company and field grades are a liability once one reaches the Pentagon, so only the politicians and double-dealers thrive there. Do "good" officers mostly wind up retiring as Colonels and Captains, leaving only those who can play the Pentagon games to advance?
Probably. People identify with people like them, so fi the people in charge are all a bunch of shameless suckups, they're going to recruit new sameless suckups into the group.

They also might feel like they "earned" the right to do these things for all the years and years of hard work, plus the fact that they are so powerful and important. "Power corrupts" is a concept that's been around forever.
posted by delmoi at 9:55 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


According to that link, Natlie Khawam's husband, Grayson Wolfe, worked (under the auspices of Akkadian Private Ventures) with a group variously known as Iraqex, The Lincoln Group, Fulcra Worldwide and Strategic Social.

Grayson Wolfe? Fulcra Wolrdwide? Strategic Social? I'm pretty sure we've left the thread and started discussing a new TV show that combines Revenge and Alias.
posted by The World Famous at 9:57 AM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Or maybe Fringe.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:59 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Natalie Khawam is not Jill Kelley's twin. She is Jill Kelley from the alternate universe.
posted by The World Famous at 10:03 AM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I guess this is a sidetrack, but since when does Chuck Klosterman write the Ethicist column in the NYT?

"Did I accidentally force David Petraeus to resign? No. Do people believe I did? Maybe."

"I Lived a CIA Conspiracy Theory" by Chuck Klosterman (Warning: Grantland)

The navelgazing power around this story is nearing black-hole proportions.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:22 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


This all is rather sad, despite its entertainment side. A bunch of people's lives are ruined who committed no crime. There may have been moral failings but that doesn't merit having it dragged in the mud in public. And the affair may have come out eventually, but without all the collateral damage.

The only person who did anything illegal is crazy FBI guy. This guy was not even on the case. He reported the emails to his superiors and they handled the case appropriately. They determined there was no criminal actions and were prepared to just let it all go. It was a private matter between consenting adults. Except the crazy FBI guy, because of his "world view" was all -- "Benghazi! Cover up! Impeachment!" -- so illegally leaked the contents of the investigation to NewsMax and Cantor. Investigations are supposed to be secret because they can ruin people's lives even if no criminal conduct is found. Crazy FBI guy should go to jail. Hopefully they have at least taken away his gun and badge.

The person I really feel for is Holly Patreaus. She has done exemplary work for military families. Her latest job is as the military branch of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau set up by Elizabeth Warren. Military families are horribly exploited by the financial industry as targets for all sorts of mortgage, investment and credit schemes. Holly is fighting for their protection. She doesn't deserve all this grief.
posted by JackFlash at 10:28 AM on November 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


And yet crazy FBI guy is the only major player here that gets to remain anonymous...
posted by mazola at 10:34 AM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


The US government's response was to clarify that Bradley Manning's actions were illegal, and to start torturing him.

As Bradley Manning Offers Guilty Plea, Admin Wins Dismissal of Torture Suit Against Donald Rumsfeld
posted by homunculus at 10:43 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


And yet crazy FBI guy is the only major player here that gets to remain anonymous

So far. His name will be leaked, and his career at the FBI ruined. Unlike some others in this case, he richly deserves it. Sadly, I expect that instead of prison, he'll find himself addressing Tea Party gatherings.
posted by tyllwin at 10:45 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Natalie Khawam is not Jill Kelley's twin. She is Jill Kelley from the alternate universe.


That explains the sash and goatee.
posted by modernnomad at 10:48 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Aww...
Jill Kelley... has lost the privilege of visiting MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa without an escort. ...

A Defense official confirms to ABC News that Kelley participated in a base program known as the "Friends of MacDill" where she was placed on a master list that allowed her to clear security when entering the base.

A person must be nominated to enter the program, and must pass a background check by the wing's security office. The official did not know who nominated Kelley for the program.

The Defense official said Kelley's privileges under the program have been taken away "as she is involved in an ongoing investigation."
posted by Egg Shen at 11:12 AM on November 14, 2012


From Egg Shen''s same article:

A U.S. official previously told ABC News that Kelley would sometimes omit "honorary" and tell people she was an "ambassador."

You can't make this stuff up.
posted by tyllwin at 11:22 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want you people to start referring to me as Ambassador.

Wait. Make that Am-bad-ass-ador.

That will be all.
posted by mazola at 11:28 AM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


I want people to start referring to me as Lord of the Dance.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:34 AM on November 14, 2012


Wait, Paula Broadwell "lost" her driver's license in the park where they "found" Chandra Levy's body? Metafilter, I love you, but analysis of this meta-meta-meta-mess calls for the psychedelic minds of Rigorous Intuition. Yep, on it.
posted by Scram at 11:45 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paula Broadwell "lost" her driver's license in the park where they "found" Chandra Levy's body?

Has anyone at all seen Broadwell since the story broke?
posted by Egg Shen at 11:49 AM on November 14, 2012


Yup.
posted by Kattullus at 11:53 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know we're all supposed to feel horrible shame for being interested in this story, but... I am fascinated by Jill Kelley now. The entire life attitude that seems to be on display is so, so compelling and weird to me, I can't get enough. Nagging your way onto some kind of fancy SEAL parachute flight and then being such a dick about it that the team leader is like GTFO, lady! Amazing.

If this were a movie from the 80s, Jill Kelley would be played by Goldie Hawn and pretty soon she and the SEAL team leader (Kurt Russell) would accidentally get dropped into a jungle somewhere and have to evade capture while bickering, and Goldie would experience a change of heart and become an upstanding person, and I would love this movie and watch it three times a year forever.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 11:59 AM on November 14, 2012 [16 favorites]


Love how they black out the numbers on Kelley's "Honorary Counsel" license plate, like, people might think if they saw it that it could be someone else's Honorary Counsel plate driving around Tampa.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Keep in mind that the classified data Broadwell had on her computer could just be files downloaded from Wikileaks or anonymous. In our weird system even the document might be easily obtained from some public site, they can still be considered classified and people with active security clearances have to treat them as such or risk prosecution for mishandling classified information.
posted by humanfont at 12:19 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


delmoi: " How did General Petraeus know it wasn't a honeypot? That's the real problem.

Maybe because she was a west-point graduate and had a security clearance herself?
"

Quite a few security clearance holders have been convicted of espionage. The clearance process is merely a reasonable precaution, not an infallible guarantee.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:24 PM on November 14, 2012


One thing is for sure. Broadwell possess more than the usual amount of forehead.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:26 PM on November 14, 2012


Getting far and wide, but maybe still interesting. In 2011, Fulcra (aka "Alliance Corporation," in addition to the several other names listed here) seems to have lost its 'propaganda' contract in Iraq to a company called SOS International, Ltd. (aka SOSI). SOSI had submitted a much lower-priced bid for the contract Fulcra was trying to re-up. Fulcra sued the US government, alleging that CENTCOM (headquarted at MacDill Air Force Base, right around the corner from the Kelleys' house) and said they should have rejected SOSI's bid as too low. I've seen some reports that suggest that Fulcra won in the end. Haven't figured out the final outcome, yet.

Anyway, SOSI has a location in Tampa. The company announced on October 4, 2011 (and again on October 15, 2011, in a slightly different release) that they, in conjunction with a company called AC4S, had won a contract to "provide local life support services to U.S. State Department in Libya." From the release:
SOS International, Ltd. (SOSi) and its partner, Advanced C4 Solutions, were awarded a contract to provide the U.S. Department of State with local facilitation and life support services in Libya. Leveraging its experience supporting contingency operations in semi- and non-permissive environments, the SOSi/AC4S team will provide the State Department with the necessary logistical support and resources to secure and sustain the U.S. embassy staff.
I have to say that just the web of strange, private 'intelligence' and 'operations support' companies is quite intriguing to delve into, even if there is no connection to any of this other stuff. Makes you think about how much our country spends annually on these kinds of operations, and how much of that is wasted. I'd bet these operations 'waste' a lot more than social services operations do. A lot more pork here to be handed out to cronies.
posted by syzygy at 12:41 PM on November 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


Advanced C4 Solutions is also based in Tampa. I never knew Tampa had so much interesting stuff going on.
posted by syzygy at 12:52 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Arab Reading of the Petraeus/Allen Affair: Jill Kelley is Gilberte Khawam, a Lebanese
posted by homunculus at 12:52 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


syzygy, you're about 2 or 3 weird connections to Benghazi away from me stroking my chin and saying "Hmm..." a lot. Keep at it.
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:54 PM on November 14, 2012


Regarding the FBI obtaining emails: the Electronic Communications Privacy Act includes provisions relating to stored electronic communications in the Stored Communications Act,18 U.S.C. §§ 2701-12. In particular, 18 USC § 2703 "Required disclosure of customer communications or records" says:
(a) A governmental entity may require the disclosure by a provider of electronic communication service of the contents of a wire or electronic communication, that is in electronic storage in an electronic communications system for one hundred and eighty days or less, only pursuant to a warrant .... A governmental entity may require the disclosure ... of the contents of a wire or electronic communication that has been in electronic storage in an electronic communications system for more than one hundred and eighty days by the means available under subsection (b) of this section.
(b)
(1) A governmental entity may require a provider of remote computing service to disclose the contents of any wire or electronic communication to which this paragraph is made applicable by paragraph (2) of this subsection—
(A) without required notice to the subscriber or customer, if the governmental entity obtains a warrant issued using the procedures described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (or, in the case of a State court, issued using State warrant procedures) by a court of competent jurisdiction; or
(B) with prior notice from the governmental entity to the subscriber or customer if the governmental entity—
(i) uses an administrative subpoena authorized by a Federal or State statute or a Federal or State grand jury or trial subpoena; or
(ii) obtains a court order for such disclosure under subsection (d) of this section;
except that delayed notice may be given pursuant to section 2705 of this title.
tl;dr: older emails can be had with an administrative subpoena (no judicial oversight) with prior notice, or secret access with a court warrant as jackflash wrote; and email 180 days old or newer require a warrant.

As far as communicating through unsent draft messages, it sounds like the 180 day clock starts once the draft is first saved.
posted by exogenous at 12:54 PM on November 14, 2012


The Surveillance State Takes Friendly Fire

Petraeus and the Cloud
posted by homunculus at 12:57 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


It well remains to be seen if there's A Thing here of larger and lasting import. But what I do smell in the air is the stench of desperate social climbing. There are some Real Housewives PIIIIISSSSSSED they didn't know they too could be honorary counsels for some foreign land. At least 3 are ret-conning such a thing for themselves as we speak.
posted by marylynn at 12:57 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Kelley's abrupt metamorphosis into persona non grata at the base she was accustomed to freely strutting through suggests that the MacDill brass whose favor she so grovelingly sought will find her party invitations less attractive in the future. If she ends up destroying a 4-star general's career, she will be positively radioactive to them.

The thought of this warms me inside - like a long swallow of smooth bourbon.
posted by Egg Shen at 12:58 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


People keep trying to make me feel bad about watching this case unfold but god help me I do not feel bad.
posted by Justinian at 1:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


I have to say that just the web of strange, private 'intelligence' and 'operations support' companies is quite intriguing to delve into, even if there is no connection to any of this other stuff.

I agree completely.

While the Broadwell-Petraeus aspect is interesting (and don't think that I have forgotten that Paula's dad claimed there was more to the story) it is the Florida Twins who have me rivited to my computer screen. In a very broad way they remind me of Donald Trump, the braggart-- an over-confident, wheeler dealer who got into deep debt. Getting an empty title like "Honorary Consul" and slapping that on your license plate is totally something The Donald would do. My question is, did Jill ever try to get a "Special Passport" and when the passport office laughed in her face, did she have one printed up?

But seriously, I want this multi-million dollar debt to have some consequences. It kind of frosts me that Natalie got to file for bankruptcy and write all that bad debt off yet still maintain her lifestyle (albeit in her sister's house.) I hope something is done about this fake charity and that the Kelley's lose their mansion and all the other goodies. Let's see how easy it is to be a socialite when you are living in an apartment and shopping at J.C. Pennys.

That makes me sound bitter but I'm tired of seeing hard working, honest people worry about how they are going to pay vet bills or keep the house warm or fix the car because they don't want to use or don't have access to credit cards. These people thought throwing lavish parties would pay off for them. It didn't work out. Time for another strategy. Maybe they will have to learn how to live on Scott's income as a surgeon. Boo fucking hoo.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:11 PM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


I hope something is done about this fake charity and that the Kelley's lose their mansion and all the other goodies.

Under Florida's generous homestead exemption, they probably wouldn't lose the mansion even in bankruptcy. [see O.J. Simpson]

But yeah, I wish them a devastating reversal of fortune and am having difficulty working up even a small amount of guilt about it.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:20 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


ABC also has a 3 page story on the twins,

Dammit! My lazy reading combined with my 7 year stint in the UK had that as a Page 3 story at first.
posted by srboisvert at 1:29 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


And about that fake charity....

The Atlantic article linked before mentions that Jill and her husband set the charity up.
By the end of 2007, the charity had gone bankrupt, having conveniently spent exactly the same amount of money, $157,284, as it started with -- not a dollar more, according to its 990 financial form," HuffPost's Jason Cherkis and Christina Wilkie report. "Of that, $43,317 was billed as 'Meals and Entertainment,' $38,610 was assigned to 'Travel,' another $25,013 was spent on legal fees, and $8,822 went to 'Automotive Expenses.
I just wonder who contributed to the charity and do they feel cheated? Did she get checks from her favorite Generals? It reminds me of politicians who set up re-election PACs and then live on the proceeds-- some, like Sarah Palin, never even run for election. I wonder how her contributors feel about that?

Under Florida's generous homestead exemption, they probably wouldn't lose the mansion even in bankruptcy.

At the very least she should lose her Mercedes and her credit cards. But a question about the exemption. Let's say the Kelleys file for bankruptcy, but get to keep the house. Surely they don't get the house free and clear? That's like handing them 1.3 million dollars. Would they not still have a mortgage on it? And do they get to sell it afterwards and pocket the proceeds?

I'm also hoping that the court looks into those allegations by her former boss that Natalie kept back jewelry and furs from her bankruptcy settlement. The funny thing is that Paula Broadwell is going to end up punishing The Twins with her emails more than she could have ever imagined. In fact, I sort of hate the idea that Paula could be quite gleeful over their downfall.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:33 PM on November 14, 2012


I sort of hate the idea that Paula could be quite gleeful over their downfall.

Even if we assume that Broadwell has no regrets about ending her former lover's career, she has destroyed her own professional credibility, been exposed to her family as an adultress, has had her home searched by the FBI, and will go down in history alongside the likes of Monica Lewinsky.

At best, the collateral damage she has wrought on Kelley would be a small sprinkling of sugar on a large shit sandwich.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:41 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


And we get the sugar without the sandwich!!

Well, Jill Kelley seems to have wanted to be a minor celebrity. Monkey's Paw time....
posted by tyllwin at 1:43 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


At the very least she should lose her Mercedes and her credit cards.

Nah. The more fitting punishment would be for someone to break a few mechanical things in the Mercedes and not tell her or her mechanic what's broken and for her to get to keep her credit cards but have them just not work.
posted by The World Famous at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2012


Looks like Jill Kelley got nervous about the FBI investigation and tried to get it called off
On Tuesday, people familiar with the case said that at one point in the summer, after the investigation began pointing to larger potential national security issues, Ms. Kelley tried to get the FBI to drop the matter. The people said she made the request because she was worried about the personal information being provided to investigators.

Ms. Kelley, a 37-year-old volunteer who organized social events for military personnel, developed misgivings after friends in her Tampa social circle urged her to drop the matter, saying the probe would only cause bigger problems, the people familiar with the case said.
Whoopsy.

Also, shirtless guy is in deep doo-doo:

In fact, we noted that the FBI found the behavior of the agent who Cantor championed so inappropriate that they ordered him to cease and desist from involvement in the investigation and is currently conducting an inquiry into his actions. The agent, furthermore, had no cybersecurity expertise and normally would have had little or no role in the investigation, except that he appeared to have an apparent yen for Jill Kelley and dislike of President Obama that an anonymous FBI spokesman has termed "obsessive." The latter he obviously shared with Eric Cantor.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jill Kelley seems to have wanted to be a minor celebrity. Monkey's Paw time....

She achieved her goal of becoming the most prominent name in Tampa society.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:50 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


the most prominent name in Tampa society

The talk of every party.
posted by tyllwin at 1:53 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


The thought of this warms me inside - like a long swallow of smooth bourbon.

I hope you don't mind that I am reading this using my inner Ron Swanson voice.

I never knew Tampa had so much interesting stuff going on.

Well, the thing is that when CENTCOM was created in '83 we actually weren't fighting in the Middle East all that much -- all that came later. After two Gulf wars, one in Afghanistan, and responsibility for everything from Yemen to Pakistan, not to mention Egypt (and formerly other parts of Africa), it became pretty much the HQ for the War on Terror, and then you get the creation of the Special Operations Command which then centralizes pretty much all of the Pentagon-run black ops -- well, that's how Tampa gets interesting and a hotbed of international delegations and grey-market security companies.
posted by dhartung at 2:00 PM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Let´s have a look at Grayson Wolfe husband of the twin Natalie.
...........He previously served as Director of Broader Middle East Initiatives and Iraqi Reconstruction and Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. He was appointed to the bank by President Bush in June 2002.
Wolfe worked extensively on the ground with senior Iraqi and Kurdish officials, and with the Ministries of Finance, Trade and Oil.
Akaddian are heavily involved in Pakistan and here is a possibility that Akaddian may be involved in Libya and Yemen
Now rember Natalies sister Jill Kelley is the ''self-appointed'' go-between for Central Command officers with Lebanese and other Middle Eastern government officials.
Keep digging.
posted by adamvasco at 2:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Interesting story with a very tenuous connection, Panetta just ordered the demotion of a 4-star General to 3-stars and retirement. General Kip Ward has to repay the government $82,000 for money spent schlepping his wife around with him and staying in luxury hotels and spas.
The demotion came after retired Army Gen. David Petraeus resigned as CIA director because of an extramarital affair and Marine Gen. John Allen was being investigated for potentially improper communications with a woman.

"Secretary Panetta insists that leaders within the Department of Defense exemplify both professional excellence and sound judgment," Little said. "The secretary is committed to ensuring that any improprieties or misconduct by senior officers are dealt with swiftly and appropriately."
That does not bode well for General Allen.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:02 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow, SLoG. That's quite an article.
posted by orrnyereg at 2:09 PM on November 14, 2012


adamvasco: I might not have made this clear enough, but apparently Grayson Wolfe worked for Fulcra via Akkadian. Akkadian shows an operation in Libya on their 'transaction' map, but doesn't have any details about it. They definitely ran 'propaganda' ops in Iraq that caused a minor uproar, and they seem to have lost a bid on a contract to this SOSi company, who won a bid last year to provide services to the State Department in Libya.
posted by syzygy at 2:09 PM on November 14, 2012


I'm just going on record as saying that if, by the end of this, we don't get to see the shirtless FBI agent's picture, I'm going to be disappointed.

There -- I feel much better having got that off my chest.

(pun intended)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:14 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Scarlet Letter—the Monica Lewinsky-ing of Paula Broadwell
“We’re Lewinsky-ing Paula Broadwell,” said Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker who produced Miss Representation, a documentary dissecting biased media portrayals of women and girls.
As with Lewinsky, much of the coverage of Broadwell has focused on her exchange with another women. Even an intelligence community source described emails Broadwell sent to Petraeus family friend Jill Kelley (who’s also the woman whom General Allen reportedly had “inappropriate communications” with over email) as “kind of cat-fight stuff.”

Women have long been unfairly assigned the role of gatekeepers of sexuality morality, a designation that makes them easy to blame when men fall short, said Occidental College professor of politics Caroline Heldman. “The onus should be on Petraeus,” she said. “He has a lot more to lose and he’s a lot more to blame in that breach.”

Instead, said Heldman, media coverage give “the impression that Broadwell’s the bad woman, the slut, manipulative and conniving, a climber.”
The article goes on to say that Monica Lewinsky's life was forever damaged...but oh yeah, she has just signed a $12 million deal to tell her life story.

I am sort of conflicted about this aspect of the story. Yes, Broadwell is being blamed by many (See: Pat Robertson) for the affair, on the other hand, crazy emails. So I don't see her as a helpless victim.

And that goes for Monica. She did not have to give Clinton blowjobs and she most certainly did not have to save the stained blue dress. She chose to do those things. I really don't know what she thought was going to happen when she confessed to the world that she sucked off the President but she could not have imagined that she was going to come out the darling heroine.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:15 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sort of interesting - there's an article at Harper's, unfortunately behind a paywall, entitled "Misinformation intern - My summer as a military propagandist in Iraq," about a guy who worked for the Lincoln Group, one of the many names of the company that Grayson Wolfe's employer, Akkadian, seemed to be working for.
posted by syzygy at 2:16 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


More on the FBI involvement
Metadata can include not only your IP address, but to whom and when you're sending emails, and in other cases, the exact location of your cell phone for weeks or months at a time. And police get this type of data in everyday investigations without a warrant at a staggering and alarming rate.

But finding the location of the sender was just the beginning. From there, "armed with information about where the messages originated, the FBI is believed to have drawn up a list, as far as was possible, of who was at those locations when messages were sent," the BBC reported. Because the IP addresses were hotel WiFi hotspots, the FBI obtained the hotel records at the various locations.

But how, exactly? Again, we don't know the precise procedure used, but hotel records -- which are private -- can also be obtained with just a subpoena and do not require a judge to sign off on anything.
Yet another aspect of the story that is taking off in a different direction-- how did the FBI investigation start and why did it continue? And is this a call to curb the Surveillance State?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:29 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am sort of conflicted about this aspect of the story. Yes, Broadwell is being blamed by many (See: Pat Robertson) for the affair, on the other hand, crazy emails. So I don't see her as a helpless victim.

I sort of feel for Broadwell. The more I learn about Kelley, the less I like her. I've certainly entertained thoughts about crappy behavior towards some people who annoy me, too. I can imagine Broadwell never thought her (apparently casual and lowkey) affair would blow up like this. Frankly, the I think the emailing Kelley thing was dumber than the affair is.

That said, the best way to avoid drama backblow is to not start any, and people like Kelley are best kept at arms length and you should avoid engaging them at all costs.

But then, I'm just some anonymous IT dude. What do I know about social climbing ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:32 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


That said, the best way to avoid drama backblow is to not start any, and people like Kelley are best kept at arms length and you should avoid engaging them at all costs.


I'm at a loss to understand what Broadwell hoped to accomplish. Did she honestly think that sniping at Kelley through anonymous emails would change Kelley's behavior, because that is pretty dumb thinking. It would have been far more profitable to drop a word in Petraeous' ear about how she viewed Kelley's actions. I think that Petraeous did admire Broadwell and she might have been able to change his mind about Kelley. Especially in a post-coital moment...

Then again I'm still not completely sure about the time line. Did the emails start up after the affair was over?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:41 PM on November 14, 2012


So far the timeline says the emails were early summer, affair ended in mid-summer.

syzygy, thank you for doing all this digging!
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:45 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really don't know what she thought was going to happen when she confessed to the world that she sucked off the President but she could not have imagined that she ...
Just a guess, she probably thought it would be better then going to prison for obstruction of justice? since that would have been the only other choice offered to her by the special prosecutor?

You do realize that she was forced to testify before a grand jury, right?
posted by delmoi at 2:50 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Then again I'm still not completely sure about the time line. Did the emails start up after the affair was over?

Reports have said that Petraeus asked Broadwell to lay off the emailing, and that their breakup happened around that time. Not clear on whether there was any cause and effect there.

Did she honestly think that sniping at Kelley through anonymous emails would change Kelley's behavior

Well, exactly. Or that broadcasting anonymous warnings to military officials would result in Kelley's getting the cold shoulder? It was all risk with no potential upside.

I don't find the comparisons with Monica Lewinsky all that compelling. Lewinsky gets some leeway for acting like an adolescent because she practically was one. Allowance should be made for being young and stupid. Broadwell's 40 and has no excuse for actions suitable to a 7th grader.
posted by torticat at 2:56 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, exactly. Or that broadcasting anonymous warnings to military officials would result in Kelley's getting the cold shoulder? It was all risk with no potential upside.
Except, a normal person would expect there to be any risk. The only risk a normal person would think of would be that Kelley might find out she sent them and that would cause... what? some drama in what sounds like an already drama filled social scene?

I think the vast majority of people don't think that sending anonymous criticisms to someone will result in an FBI investigation into their sex-lives.
posted by delmoi at 3:06 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


You do realize that she was forced to testify before a grand jury, right?
Wow, Delmoi, it's been so long I barely remember the story. I remember that she was confessed the story to some woman and announced that she had kept the dress. That was always the detail that made me think she wanted to get Clinton in trouble.

Some tiny, tiny tidbits for you from CBS News
The military has revoked U.S. Army security clearance for former CIA director David Petraeus' mistress

Good thing the book is finished. I wonder about her dissertation, though.
Warren said it was decided the pass suspension would be in the best interest of the Air Force base community. Kelley can still enter the base but now must report to the visitor center and sign in like everyone who doesn't have a pass.
So she can still go on the base but she has to sign in...like a peasant. Think she will bother?
Kelley was also appointed honorary consul for South Korea for the city of Tampa several months ago, and still holds that position, said Kristen Smith, executive assistant at the South Korean consulate in Atlanta, which also covers Florida. Smith didn't know how Kelley got the honor and did not know specifically what she did on behalf of South Korea.
I'm waiting for this thing to be revoked. I have an idea it must mean something but so far no one seems to know what.
A senior official told CBS News correspondent David Martin the vast majority of the emails between Allen and Kelly were "completely innocuous" and the general believes many of the 20-30,000 pages under scrutiny are duplicates.
Kelley would write things like, "saw you on television and you were terrific," and Allen was respond, "thanks, sweetheart." The official said the two never discussed sex and that Allen had never been alone with Kelley.
Interesting. "The vast majority" does not mean all.
Nonetheless, Pentagon and FBI sources told CBS News correspondent Bob Orr the communications are "potentially inappropriate" and "flirtations," and another source said they were likely more than just innocent exchanges - noting that the Pentagon's Inspector General is involved for a reason.
Bingo.
Broadwell allegedly warned Gen. Allen that Kelly was "a seductress."
Broadwell allegedly sent similar warning to other military officers at the U.S. Central Command.
This is the first we are hearing that other officers were contacted by Broadwell in regards to Kelley. I notice none of the others are being named or investigated like General Allen.
an investment by the Kelleys in a Tampa office building turned into a dispute with the tenant over $28,000-a-month rent. The couple didn't pay the mortgage and entered into foreclosure.

Attorney Barry Cohen represented the Kelleys in the case, but they turned around and sued him over legal fees, claiming he overcharged them by $5,000. The suit was dismissed, but court documents did not say what happened.
Oh they sound like swell people. If you recall Natalie also sued her bankruptcy lawyer (who happened to be her ex-boss.) See a pattern here?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:08 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


And now the icing on the cake: Charlie Crist denies ever having dated Natalie Khawam.

So is she just a little liar or is he worried that her cooties will rub off on him? The Kahwam twins are toast.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:14 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


About that "honorary consul" title:
South Korea may strip Jill Kelley of her status as “honorary consul” in light of the scandal that involves top U.S. national security brass, an embassy spokesman told POLITICO.

“We’re looking very closely at what’s happening around this person, this scandal, and her reputation,” said TJ Kim, a counsellor at the South Korean embassy in Washington, D.C.

He added that there “could be some possibility” that she would lose the title.(snip)

There are between 10 and 20 people in the United States who carry South Korea’s honorary consul title, Kim said. Kelley’s role is to serve as a liaison between the Atlanta consulate and the Korean community in Florida, but Kim added that because she was given the title in August, she hasn’t yet done much in the actual role.
But what will she do with her shiny new license plate?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:19 PM on November 14, 2012


I don't find the comparisons with Monica Lewinsky all that compelling.

Lewinsky didn't have a husband and two young children. My sympathy for Broadwell is zero.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:22 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, Delmoi, it's been so long I barely remember the story. I remember that she was confessed the story to some woman and announced that she had kept the dress. That was always the detail that made me think she wanted to get Clinton in trouble.
Linda Tripp. But Lewinsky thought of her as a friend, that she was just sharing what was going on in her life with someone she could trust. Who happened to be recording it, and Tripp went directly Ken Starr herself
Kelley’s role is to serve as a liaison between the Atlanta consulate and the Korean community in Florida, but Kim added that because she was given the title in August, she hasn’t yet done much in the actual role.
Somehow I kind of doubt much was ever going to happen for the South Koreans even without the scandal.
posted by delmoi at 3:26 PM on November 14, 2012


First email sent in May:
A person close to the woman who triggered the investigation that ended the CIA director David Petraeus' career says the first anonymous email in the case was sent to Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

The person says the mysterious email in May came from someone who used the handle "kelleypatrol." Allen forwarded it to Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. The person close to Kelley spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

That email, which investigators traced to Paula Broadwell, the CIA director's mistress, warned Allen to stay away from Kelley. In the email she said she knew Kelley and Allen had a meeting scheduled.

Kelley received as many as five anonymous emails in June, and one noted an upcoming meeting with Petraeus.
Kelleypatrol? I can't stop laughing. So the first email warned General Allen to stay away from Jill Kelley? Oh wow, that was sure to be effective. Who thinks like this? It is as if Broadwell has the mentality of a 10 year old.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:28 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


And the big winner in all this? The publishing industry.
With demand for all things Petraeus at an all-time high, the publisher will release [Fred Kaplan's The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War] on Jan. 2, 2013, two weeks earlier than originally planned.

Military scandals have been a cash cow for publishers this year. No Easy Day—former Navy SEAL Matt Bisonnette's account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden—managed to knock Fifty Shades of Grey off its perch, spurring publishers to find their own Navy SEAL memoirs to hawk to eager readers. And while Paula Broadwell's All In doesn't address the scandal its become so closely linked with head-on, but we're guessing its brisk climb up the charts has something to do with her and Petraeus' steamy affair. It's just a shame neither Simon & Schuster or Penguin will be able to get these new books on shelves before the holiday season.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:39 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Something interesting from that article linked above..
And, who knows, her inherited culture may have had something to do with her reaction to Broadwell’s emails. Lebanon is a place where you kind of have to take threats seriously. And, reaching out to a friend in the government in a way a lot of Americans might consider inappropriate is routine in Beirut (hence seeking “wasta” or a personal connection via the shirtless FBI guy).
It may actually explain one non-spy reason why she might have done what she did and also why she would seek to cultivate as many connections as possible.
posted by corb at 3:44 PM on November 14, 2012


Except that her parents moved here in the "late 1970s" and the twins were born in 1975 (no one seems to know yet whether or not they were born here.) Meaning they have spent their whole lives here. I think their culture is probably "Floridian Party."

And the big losers? Well besides Holly Petraeus, there is Paula Broadwell's family now holed up in her brother's home in DC.
"It's just crazy. It's like a small big town," commented a woman walking by the stakeout at Paula Broadwell's brother's home. It includes about a dozen photojournalists from the major news organizations.

"I thought it was a movie set," said neighbor Vedoster Ingram.

Some photographers are on the sidewalk in the front of the stately yellow house and some are in the public alleyway behind the home.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:51 PM on November 14, 2012


Who knows? Maybe fake charities are a cultural thing in Lebanon too.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:51 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fox News and those Benghazi detainees
Twelfth in a series about Fox News’s Oct. 26 story on Benghazi, Libya.
So the CIA had taken a few detainees. No big deal, right?

Right, until biographer Paula Broadwell came along. As news of her affair with CIA Director David Petraeus emerged, folks started mining the Broadwell public record. As first reported by IsraelNationalNews.com, Broadwell had given some remarks at the University of Denver on Oct. 26, the same day of the Fox News piece that frames this sprawling series of posts. And Broadwell was up on the news; she took a question about Petraeus’s handling of Benghazi and steered her audience to Fox!
posted by syzygy at 3:53 PM on November 14, 2012


For someone who was in the Army long enough to make major, Broadwell has an astonishing lack of situational awareness. And frankly I'm disappointed that someone who could have been a real role model has been carrying on like Regina George.

As for the honorary consul: I'm still baffled that it's from the South Koreans. How would she be connected to them in the first place? This is so fascinating and bizarre; I can't look away.
posted by orrnyereg at 3:55 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The FBI agent has been identified. It's a dude. Curse you, false rumors!
posted by Justinian at 4:02 PM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Last month, as the FBI was closing in on his affair with Paula Broadwell and the political fight over Benghazi was heating up, David Petraeus made an undisclosed trip to Tripoli, Libya. The purpose of the trip, according to congressional and U.S. officials, was to examine what remained of the CIA’s presence in the country after the United States abandoned the agency’s base and nearby U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi after the Sept. 11 assassination of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Determining "what remains of the agency's presence" doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would necessarily require a personal visit from the director.

At the very least, such a visit is suggestive of an unusually large mess needing to be cleaned up.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:05 PM on November 14, 2012


Right Wing spin coming atcha: Some of the congressional Republicans are talking bravely now about getting to the bottom of the sordid story, and the Democrats give every sign of attempting to squelch and evade: let’s move on, nothing to see here.
The Wall Street Journal reports that FBI investigators discovered classified documents on the paramour’s computer. Where did Paula Broadwell get them? And now the account surfaces of a speech Mrs. Broadwell made at the University of Denver on Oct. 26 in which she revealed the news that the CIA had been holding two terrorist prisoners at the consulate and the attack was an attempt by terrorists to rescue them. Where did she get this information? Was she making stuff up to sell her book or did she inadvertently spill a state secret coaxed from a lover?
The CIA says that story is not true, and maybe it isn’t, but you would expect the CIA to deny it even if it were. (snip)

We’re asked to believe that the FBI investigation into the general’s affair, with its enormous national-security implications, was conducted over a period of weeks and the president was never told anything about it until Mr. Petraeus submitted his resignation. A half-dozen government agencies, in this fanciful telling of the story, treated the president as if he were a virgin in a bordello, all to preserve his “innocence” in the final weeks of a bitter election campaign. If the president didn’t know what was going on upstairs, this is incompetence bordering on criminal malfeasance.

With no facts, we have only the tangled web of lies in the changing official stories. Was the general intimidated — if not blackmailed — into joining the president, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in their ridiculous story, told over and over, that the Benghazi attack was set off by demonstrations protesting that obscure video?
You know I had an idea earlier today that this was going to turn into a White House Scandal, not because I believe the President had anything to do with this sordid mess but because my local news group (WRAL) carried the story this morning and every single comment brought up Obama. It is the timing. People (FOX news watchers) are sure that there is no coincidence here. Benghazi attack-election-Petraeus resigns. They connect the dots (or FOX connects the dots for them) and are convinced Obama is at the center of it all.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:05 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Veteran F.B.I. Agent Helped Start Petraeus E-Mail Inquiry
The F.B.I. agent who helped start the investigation that led to the resignation of David H. Petraeus as C.I.A. director is a “hard-charging” veteran counterterrorism investigator who used his command of French in investigating the foiled “millennium” terrorist plot in 1999, colleagues said on Wednesday.

The agent, Frederick W. Humphries II, 47, took the initial complaint from Jill Kelley, the Tampa, Fla., hostess who was socially active in military circles there, about e-mails she found disturbing that accused her of inappropriately flirtatious behavior toward Mr. Petraeus.
posted by syzygy at 4:06 PM on November 14, 2012


The FBI agent has been identified. It's a dude. Curse you, false rumors!

And he's been identified as Frederick W. Humphries II -- because the story isn't ridiculous enough.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:07 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


What do you want to bet his nickname is Hump?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:11 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here is a picture of Special Agent Humphries in happier times - alas with his torso covered.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:12 PM on November 14, 2012


Mr. Berger took issue with news media reports that have said his client sent shirtless pictures of himself to Ms. Kelley.

“That picture was sent years before Ms. Kelley contacted him about this, and it was sent as part of a larger context of what I would call social relations in which the families would exchange numerous photos of each other,” Mr. Berger said.

The photo was sent as a “joke” and was of Mr. Humphries “posing with a couple of dummies.” Mr. Berger said the picture was not sexual in nature.
He was posing with dummies?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:14 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are there any reports yet of a pet rabbit being boiled on the stovetop?
posted by futz at 4:17 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I notice none of the others are being named or investigated like General Allen.

well, GEN Allen is the only one who was up for a promotion to Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Wouldn't be surprised if that was relevant to the way his involvement in all this was reported at first.
posted by lullaby at 4:19 PM on November 14, 2012


WTF?

In May 2010, after he had moved to the Tampa field office, Mr. Humphries was attacked outside the gate of MacDill Air Force Base by a disturbed knife-wielding man. He fatally shot the man, and the shooting was later ruled to be an appropriate use of force, according to bureau records and colleagues.

WTF??
posted by Egg Shen at 4:19 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


He was posing with dummies?

Well, none of them appear to be particularly smart ...
posted by carter at 4:19 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Humphries was part of this case too.
posted by stagewhisper at 4:23 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, this: The military has revoked U.S. Army security clearance for former CIA director David Petraeus' mistress

means that Broadwell won't be in the Army much longer.
posted by lullaby at 4:27 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's some background on the Lincoln Group.
posted by scalefree at 4:29 PM on November 14, 2012


I think the vast majority of people don't think that sending anonymous criticisms to someone will result in an FBI investigation into their sex-lives.

Sorry to keep harping on this, but delmoi, seriously! 1) The vast majority of people don't have much to hide, much less evidence in their email of an affair with the CIA chief and 2) The vast majority of people sure as hell WOULD think twice about sending fishy anonymous emails to a freaking 4-star general. You don't get much better connected than that. Leave the FBI out of it, I'd be afraid of the general's asking his personal assistant to look into the email. Then Broadwell sends her kelleypatrol emails to a bunch of other military officials plus multiple notes to Kelley herself. No, sorry, I don't think this is normal behavior at all, nor that your typical Joe would feel comfortable doing it.

When Allen got the email from "kelleypatrol," he forwarded it to Kelley. And why wouldn't he? So then Kelley starts getting freaky anonymous letters too, reportedly including stuff to her husband like "Do you know what your wife is up to?" Hello, this is going to be reported to law enforcement; it would be more surprising if it weren't.
posted by torticat at 4:29 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Limbaugh is sure the White House is blackmailing Petraeous.
RUSH: Okay. So, as far as Krauthammer is concerned, the Obama regime held the scandal over Petraeus' head for favorable Benghazi testimony. But now? Now Petraeus has resigned, or been pushed out, whatever is the case. So now the theory is that Petraeus is free to tell the truth and so his testimony on September 13th -- which was, by the way, "It was a spontaneously combustible little protest out there brought about by the filmmaker."

Petraeus did say that, that he traveled to Benghazi himself and did his own investigation. Now he's been fired, or allowed to resign, because somebody who knew about this affair for a long time finally went public with it. You know, it's a reasonable thing to think he might have been blackmailed over this, and it's reasonable to think that he might have wanted to get out from under the blackmail by resigning.

So now everybody's waiting with bated breath for his testimony tomorrow and/or Friday before the Senate and/or House in their off-site, closed-door committees. And there's a bunch of conventional wisdom that's sprung to life that says, "He's gonna go in there and he's gonna tell everybody that it wasn't the video! He's gonna go in there and tell everybody it was not spontaneous-combustion protest.

"He's gonna go in there and tell 'em it was Al-Qaeda, and Al-Qaeda was there, and they were building up, and they planned the attack, and it was for a whole bunch of reasons, but the video had nothing to do with it." I'm sorry; that's not what I think is going to happen. I just don't think it works that way. I mean, a lot of people are holding out hope for honesty and integrity and the American way and doing the right thing.

But would somebody tell me where that's happening in our government?

Would somebody tell me where that can be relied on anywhere, by anybody, at the government level?

I don't see it.

And I think they've still got something to hold over Petraeus.
Well that is quite a little theory Rush has got. Heads, he wins, tails, he wins. Petraeous was being blackmailed but now the affair is out, he can tell the truth. If the truth is not something that the Right Wing wants to hear, well then Petraeous is still being blackmailed.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:32 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like sands through the hourglass, y'all.
posted by orrnyereg at 4:33 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can "kelleypatrol" please become an Internet meme?
posted by Egg Shen at 4:34 PM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


So now we get the Reichert connection.
FBI agent in Petraeus scandal was once based in Seattle

The agent was identified as Frederick W. Humphries II. His connection to the Pacific Northwest -- and hence to Reichert -- dates back to the 1999 Millennium bombing plot. [snip]
Reichert represent's the 8th District, which is encompasses a large part of suburban King County east of Lake Washington. Before being elected to Congress, he served as King County's sheriff.
I guess they became friends during that case.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:38 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


In May 2010, after he had moved to the Tampa field office, Mr. Humphries was attacked outside the gate of MacDill Air Force Base by a disturbed knife-wielding man. He fatally shot the man, and the shooting was later ruled to be an appropriate use of force, according to bureau records and colleagues.

WTF??


Are you thinking the rabbit hole goes deeper and the man was related to Kelley too? Otherwise this doesn't seem too weird. At least, not for this saga.
posted by corb at 4:46 PM on November 14, 2012


Well that is quite a little theory Rush has got.

He comes up with some real gems.

Rush Limbaugh: Al-Qaeda ‘Gave Up Osama Bin Laden’ To Make ‘Obama Look Good’
posted by homunculus at 4:47 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


At this point, I don't see how Hollywood does all this justice in one film -- definitely enough material for a trilogy already.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:57 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are you thinking the rabbit hole goes deeper and the man was related to Kelley too? Otherwise this doesn't seem too weird. At least, not for this saga.

I don't know about Kelley. But the news report from May 2010 doesn't say anything about Humphries being attacked by a disturbed man with a knife.
A man who sped away from base security on a motorcycle after an altercation at MacDill Air Force Base was shot and killed Wednesday evening, the military said. ...

At about 6 p.m., security was called to the altercation, which wasn't described, at a camping area inside the base, said a statement from the Air Force. A veteran was involved in the altercation with another person, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the incident publicly.

One of the people sped away on his motorcycle and security tried to stop him, the news release said.

He evaded them and went to the Dale Mabry Gate. Law enforcement engaged him and he was shot, the military said.
Fuck this. I want a complete investigation. Special prosecutor. The whole shmear.
posted by Egg Shen at 5:02 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


For those curious about the incident (his involvement was apparently coincidental):
Motorcyclist shot by off-duty FBI agent at MacDill Air Force Base gate (May 20, 2010)

Post-incident report (this does point out that the at-the-time unidentified agent was "off duty"):
Vet killed at MacDill was charged in 1994 with threatening official

It does note as well that he was apparently the "FBI liaison" to MacDill AFB, which may or may not have some bearing on why he was chosen by Kelley.
posted by dhartung at 5:02 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


So let me see if I've got this straight...

The off-duty Humphries is at the gate of the base where he liases when security is presumably alerted by radio that a man fleeing the MPs after a dispute is headed their way on a motorcycle.

The man arrives and gets off his motorcycle. He is presumably told to freeze. Being a Vietnam veteran disabled with PTSD, he pulls out his fishing knife and keeps coming.

Rather than letting gate security handle it, the off-duty Humphries advances on the crazy man with the knife and shoots him dead. The FBI rules it a righteous shooting.

Is that the gist of it?
posted by Egg Shen at 5:43 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just me, or does MacDill have too many "liaisons"?
posted by orrnyereg at 5:54 PM on November 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Up to your last paragraph, Egg Shen. The TBO story says he "assisted gate security" and that Bullock ignored repeated commands to drop the weapon.

Although Humphries certainly did not know it, years ago Bullock had attacked someone with a meat cleaver. Not sure why you think this is odd.
posted by dhartung at 5:58 PM on November 14, 2012


Justinian: "The FBI agent has been identified. It's a dude. Curse you, false rumors!"

Damnable liars, that pack of friends of friends of socialites! Still, hot lesbian crushes would have been way more interesting. Now Special Agent Poses With Dummies is just a creepy teahadist free-range soldier-killer with crazy eyes. How is *that* more interesting?
posted by dejah420 at 6:00 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't understand, why does he think the Obama administration is covering up that it was al queda? They've said it was a terrorist operation since a few days after the event. What does he think they're hiding?
posted by empath at 6:00 PM on November 14, 2012


Not sure why you think this is odd.

I would expect gate security at an AFB - at least one guy with an automatic rifle, yes? - to be able to handle a deranged vet with a fishing knife without needing the assistance of an off-duty FBI liaison who happened to be in the area.

Even assuming the man needed killing, Humphries seems to have volunteered for the task without his services having been necessary.
posted by Egg Shen at 6:09 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh: Al-Qaeda ‘Gave Up Osama Bin Laden’ To Make ‘Obama Look Good’
You've got to hand it to Al-Qaeda for their bipartisan efforts. They paved the way for Bush's crazy wars, but they are happy to help Obama out too. With enemies like that, who needs friends?
posted by b1tr0t at 6:29 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh boy.. More "evidence" for an Obama cover-up. Silencing General David Petraeous
We now know that the existence of a personal relationship between Mrs. Broadwell and Gen. Petraeus had been suspected and whispered about by his senior-level colleagues and by his personal staff in the military, who worried that it might become publicly known, since before the time that he came to run the CIA.

We also know that when he was nominated to run the CIA, that nomination was preceded by a two-month FBI-conducted background check that likely would have revealed the existence of his relationship with Mrs. Broadwell. The FBI agents conducting that background check surely would have seen his visitor logs while he commanded our troops. They would have interviewed his military colleagues and regular visitors and those colleagues who knew him well, working with him every day, and thus learned about his personal life. That’s their job.

That information would have been reported immediately to President Obama and to the Senate Intelligence Committee, prior to Gen. Petraeus‘ formal nomination and prior to his Senate confirmation hearing.
Except that I thought their affair began after he was confirmed. They spent time together because she was his official biographer, but they keep saying the affair began in January of this year and was over by the summer.
It’s obvious that someone was out to silence Gen. Petraeus. Who could believe the government version of all this? The same government that wants us to believe that FBI agents innocently and accidentally discovered the Petraeus/Broadwell affair a few months ago and confronted Petraeus with his emails a few weeks ago is a cauldron of petty jealousies. From the time of its creation in 1947, the CIA has been a bitter rival of the FBI. The two agencies are both equipped with lethal force, they both often operate outside the law, and they are each seriously potent entities. Their rivalry was tempered by federal laws that until 2001 kept the CIA from operating in the U.S. and the FBI from operating outside the U.S.[snip]

Isn’t it odd that FBI agents would be reading the emails of the CIA director to his mistress and that the director of the FBI, who briefs the president weekly, did not make the president aware of this? The FBI could only lawfully spy on Gen. Petraeus by the use of a search warrant, and it could only get a search warrant if its agents persuaded a federal judge that Gen. Petraeus himself — not his mistress — was involved in criminal behavior under federal law.
There's plenty more if you want to bother reading it all.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:50 PM on November 14, 2012


A Poem Dedicated to General David Petraeous.
This weekend, we were supposed to salute our soldiers on Veterans Day,

But this year, we celebrated it in a different way.

It's tough to deal with when a leader has been found to betray us.

Therefore, it was sad to hear about the scandal of Gen. David Petraeus.

The problem is that whenever one messes around with the females,

They will always share the details to the public circle by word-of-mouth or through e-mails.
There is more, of course, but I have to warn you it contains this, " You have to understand the sort of pressure he was under in Afghanistan which probably caused for him to cheat on his wife.

He was about to retire from being a military general, which meant that this was probably the last chance for him to have sex with a young woman for the rest of his life."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:58 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good lord, I hope that sounds better in the original Vogon.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [19 favorites]


The NeoCon Waterloo

And I know it's only tangentially related, but the killing of Ronald Bullock by Special Agent Poses with Dummies seems really weird to me. I've spent time on MacDill. I know where the campgrounds are, and I'm not sure why anyone who was trying to get off the base while under pursuit would go to the main gates. There are much closer exits from the campground. As well, I'm having no luck tracking down the existence of mystery person with whom Bullock allegedly had a altercation.

I dunno; maybe the whole love pentagon thing, and the twins, and the whole idea that the FBI is claiming that they just took it upon themselves to investigate the head of the CIA without informing anyone higher up the food chain...so much is bullshit and maybe it has just pushed me over line into tinfoil habberdashery...but damn it; something smells fishy about the execution of Ronald Bullock by Special Agent Poses with Dummies.
posted by dejah420 at 7:01 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Petraeous Irony. The List Goes On...
Did you catch last week’s Top 12 list on the back page of Newsweek?

Yes, it was disgraced CIA director David Petraeus giving “Rules for Living” and it was penned by his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell.[snip]

4.) There is an exception to every rule. (To a limit)

5.) We all make mistakes. (Some are too big to fix, though.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:03 PM on November 14, 2012


dejah420, as much as I loved the moniker "shirtless FBI guy" I must admit "Special Agent Poses With Dummies" makes me laugh every time. Plus, it makes me think of Indian camp when everyone had fake Indian names.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:07 PM on November 14, 2012


the killing of Ronald Bullock by Special Agent Poses with Dummies seems really weird to me. I've spent time on MacDill. I know where the campgrounds are, and I'm not sure why anyone who was trying to get off the base while under pursuit would go to the main gates. There are much closer exits from the campground. As well, I'm having no luck tracking down the existence of mystery person with whom Bullock allegedly had a altercation.

There's also the matter of Bullock's uncle describing the whole episode as "totally out of character".
posted by Egg Shen at 7:11 PM on November 14, 2012


Randolph native and Vietnam veteran killed outside gate at Florida Air Force base

Authorities said the incident began with an altercation at an on-base camping area that is open to anyone with a military identification card.

Reports from Tampa also said Bullock had been on probation in Texas for using a meat cleaver to threaten a police officer investigating a domestic incident at Bullock’s home.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:32 PM on November 14, 2012


Ron Bullock served with the 101st Airborne Division, 47th Infantry (Dog Power!) This platoon diary is fascinating to read all the way through, but you can ctrl+F for "bullock" to just see entries about him. Apparently, he was injured by an RPG when he offered to replace a new arrival on a mission. For the record, these dudes jumped out of helicopters with dogs. I can't get my dog to climb out of a minivan.
posted by dejah420 at 8:29 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama Meep-Meeps The Generals?, Letter to the Editor, The Dish, 14 November 2012
The Petraeus case is an excellent example - he was denied the post he most cherished (chair of the JCS) and instead given CIA. But he was required to set aside his uniform and give up his entourage of 50 (amazing!) who followed him in his final appointments. He was denied "special" access to the White House and the president while he ran CENTCOM and Afghanistan. He and other generals were told to treat the chain of command seriously.

Obama also has become the biggest general slayer since Harry S. Truman. He fired Stanley McChrystal and now David Petraeus, the man who flogged rumors about his own suitability for high political office.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:00 PM on November 14, 2012


*adjusts shiny foil hat*

Intriguing theories of the role of Jill Kelley from a comment on emptywheel:

6. Kelley is being used by a spook service not our own... she has serious social talents and is easily manipulable through sticks (blackmail) and/or carrots (money to throw parties that make her and her clan fell like they’re Somebodies). [This is seeming to me to be a pretty damn intriguing hypothesis, supported by some very circumstantial but nonetheless tantalizing clues. To wit: Abbe Lowell. Paula's ominous communiques. (Paula --with intel and military background, some serious clearance, and fanatical devotion to The Man Called Petraeus and the military in general -- certainly thought Kelley was up to something, and I don't believe for a minute that that something was "horning in on Paula's priority as Petraeus's squeeze.")
posted by Neneh at 10:17 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Candidate for CIA Chief Jane Harman Advocated Ethnic Breakup of Iran
posted by homunculus at 1:10 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Investigate the FBI: The real Petraeus scandal is why the bureau was rummaging around in his private communications in the first place.
posted by homunculus at 1:12 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Kelley is being used by a spook service not our own... she has serious social talents

Tampa is not a hard society to inject yourself into, and buying a big house on Bayshore, throwing Gasparilla parties, joining the local yacht-and-country-club and sending your kids to the right school are pretty much standard stuff. I'd be more impressed if she pulled this off from, say, Avila or was heavily involved in the arts scene.

Also, not hard to ingratiate yourself with prominent people who have to move there, and make instant friends by showing them around the town.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:42 AM on November 15, 2012


Charting a post-Petraeus era
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:10 AM on November 15, 2012


The Petraeus Affair - The Man And His Myth
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:35 AM on November 15, 2012


Pat Robertson on David Petraeus: He's lonely and here's a good-looking lady throwing herself at him

One of the things that really gets my goat is the common 'who knows?' construction. "Who knows?" and here's a scenario I just made up with no factual basis, presented as truth.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:52 AM on November 15, 2012


They remind me of Donald Trump, the braggart-- an over-confident, wheeler dealer who got into deep debt.

The wheeling and dealing is only a symptom. Insecure social strivers with ignorant and gaudy but cheap tastes, no inner lives, suspicious of everyone else because they have no moral core themselves, shallow, vulgar, empty. Everything is about the next score or mark, the next unearned social distinction, how to use the next person you meet to get ahead.

It's why I called the Kelleys (and it fits Trump too) "common grifters."
posted by spitbull at 5:08 AM on November 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


Pat Robertson on David Petraeus: He's lonely and here's a good-looking lady throwing herself at him

Well, the very first thing the Bible teaches us is that men lured into sin by hussies is a serious problem.

Why couldn't that devil woman leave the poor man alone? Did she covet his essence that fiercely?
posted by Egg Shen at 5:16 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Kip Ward scandal is interesting. Maybe the Pentagon *should* cover the costs of luxuriously bringing wives along on command assignments. Look what happens when wives aren't around.

And poor widdle general Ward, now he's really going to pay, what with his retirement pensions going down from $240k a year to $206k a year, how will he ever keep his wife happy now?

Band of burglars these generals are.
posted by spitbull at 5:19 AM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


The wheeling and dealing is only a symptom. Insecure social strivers with ignorant and gaudy but cheap tastes, no inner lives, suspicious of everyone else because they have no moral core themselves, shallow, vulgar, empty.

You expressed it better than I did, spitbull.

6. Kelley is being used by a spook service not our own..

I'm going with Theory #2:
2. She’s just a social climber, albeit a pretty damn canny one. On this view, Kelley and Sis (and Hubby, but especially the twins) really want to fit in with and be High Society with all the trimmings (consistent with not-nice Lebanese stereotype bruited on another thread). And the way to be Somebody in Tampa is to rub shoulders with The Nice Men at the Local Military Base — who just happen to be in charge of carrying out the country’s entire overt and covert warmaking. It’s Salafi-esque, all about the McMansion on the Bay, rubbing shoulders (or hands under the table) with the mighty, the Merc, the “consul” honorific (calls herself “Ambassador,” sez someone), et nauseating cetera.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:24 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


General Ward has been under public investigation for at least a month, IIRC. It was obvious he was going to be punished for overspending.

What I find more interesting about Ward is that he was also accused of being verbally abusive to staff. Several other US generals have also been accused of treating staff very badly. Which just kind of goes along with the talk above of how generals are political animals, and the really talented military talent never make it that high.
posted by QIbHom at 5:39 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


War Nerd: Duke Of Petraeus
There’s absolutely zero to be shocked about that Broadwell went for the conqueror, the winning general. That’s what it’s always been all about, down the centuries and across the Risk board. If Genghis Khan had been in the room, Petraeus would have been dumped faster than a Texas liberal. Now you may want to say that Petraeus hasn’t exactly scored one of the great military victories in history, and I’m with you on that. All he did was use his Counterinsurgency 101 readings to start basic, obvious CI tactics in Iraq, because, unbelievable as it might seem, we had none, none whatsoever, until he started the Surge.

Still, that was more than enough for the US press to make him the best thing since Belisarius.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:53 AM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oops:
A computer used by Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with CIA Director David Petraeus led to his resignation, contained substantial classified information that should have been stored under more secure conditions, law enforcement and national security officials said on Wednesday.

The contents and amount of the classified material - and questions about how Broadwell got it - are significant enough to warrant a continuing investigation, the officials said.
posted by Egg Shen at 6:58 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Several people during the thread have asked why the FBI were dealing with this and other than the fact that they were contacted in the first place the answer is fairly simple in that the FBI is tasked with Counter-Espionage. Anything involving a suspected breach of security by members of the US Intelligence services would be within their bailiwick and they would take on primary agency. The conspiratorial crap about the CIA and FBI is just that. Since 9/11 there has been a vast improvement in relations between the two agencies and there should certainly be no misunderstanding between them regarding their individual mandates.

Personally I have literally no problem with the FBI in their role having access to the private emails of CIA executives. Aldridge Ames was responsible for the deaths of between 50 and 70 foreign agents whilst he was passing data to the Soviets and there is no guarantee that an executive level Intelligence officer is not doing the same. But then I would say that as I have spent the past few weeks reading everything I can lay my hands on relating to Kim Philby. Had Burgess and Maclean not been uncovered by VENONA he may have risen even higher in the ranks of SIS and the NKVD/KGB access to UK Intelligence would have been devastating.

Better safe than sorry or, to put it another way quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
posted by longbaugh at 7:25 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Panetta orders Pentagon investigation of legal, ethical issues among military leaders, from WaPo.

He claims this decision predates the current 5 ring circus. It includes recaps of other recent problems with top brass.
posted by QIbHom at 7:26 AM on November 15, 2012


All of this has brought a Leonard Cohen verse to the front of my mind. . .

I can run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're gonna hear from me.

posted by Danf at 7:40 AM on November 15, 2012


So, more gossip from the Tampa Ladies who Lunch brigade: apparently when mrs Kelly came to town, she went knocking on doors on bayshore drive asking if people wanted to sell their home. She was desperate to buy in to that neighborhood. Also, her husband, who was recruited to the big oncology hospital, was asked to leave, and has started a clinic in Lakeland fl, that doesn't have his name on it. THe Kelly tribe is well known in military circles, but never made inroads into the real movers and shakers of the Bay society.

Of course, you didn't hear that from me...
posted by dejah420 at 7:47 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


QIbHom: Several other US generals have also been accused of treating staff very badly. Which just kind of goes along with the talk above of how generals are political animals, and the really talented military talent never make it that high.
Now, come on - what about Gen. Colin Powell? Author of the Powell Doctrine, which helped get us into the second Iraqii War; proponent of the strategy of "Shock and Awe", which was as effective for us in Iraq and Afghanistan as it was for everyone else - dating back as far as Alexander the Great's elephants; and of course the genius who presented unimpeachable proof of Iraqii WMA development to the UN.

On second thought... maybe you're right.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:08 AM on November 15, 2012


Now, come on - what about Gen. Colin Powell? Author of the Powell Doctrine, which helped get us into the second Iraqii War; proponent of the strategy of "Shock and Awe", which was as effective for us in Iraq and Afghanistan as it was for everyone else - dating back as far as Alexander the Great's elephants; and of course the genius who presented unimpeachable proof of Iraqii WMA development to the UN.

Colin Powell's career goes all the way back to Mai Lai...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:20 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Several people during the thread have asked why the FBI were dealing with this and other than the fact that they were contacted in the first place the answer is fairly simple in that the FBI is tasked with Counter-Espionage. Anything involving a suspected breach of security by members of the US Intelligence services would be within their bailiwick and they would take on primary agency.

Just a reminder that there was not the slightest suggestion of intelligence services involvement when Special Agent Shirtless started ransacking people's e-mail as a favor to a rich asshole with pull on base.

If you're going to claim that this action was retroactively justified by the possible security breach that has since been uncovered, you'll need to decide that the government has the right to spy on every peep you ever make in the pious name of Homeland Security.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:28 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just Devil's advocating here, but my understanding is that the first email from KellyPatrol was sent to general Allen. There's been some mention that emails from KellyPatrol indicated that the sender knew about the movements of top military personnel (perhaps general Allen).

Would either of those things, plus the weird, cozy relationship between Jill Kelley and the military in Tampa possible make the emails worth looking into? We don't really know, at this time, what the content of the emails was, and we might never know, but is it possible that something in them made them 'worth' at least looking at?
posted by syzygy at 8:33 AM on November 15, 2012


Also, her husband, who was recruited to the big oncology hospital, was asked to leave, and has started a clinic in Lakeland fl, that doesn't have his name on it.

That actually corresponds to something I read a couple of days ago when the Kelleys were fist being dragged into the limelight. Sorry, I can't remember now which article but there was one sentence: When contacted, (?) Cancer Hospital stated that Scott Kelley was not on the staff. I wondered at the time what that meant.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:35 AM on November 15, 2012


Michael Hastings on Piers Morgan, about Petraeus:
He manipulated the White House into escalating in Afghanistan. He ran a campaign in Iraq that was brutally savage."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:26 AM on November 15, 2012


It has been almost a whole day since the shirtless FBI agent's name and prior shootout experience was revealed. As a media junkie I'm going to go into withdrawal if there isn't another crazy twist soon.
posted by humanfont at 10:56 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I paid for a whole week of scandal here, and now it's run out of gas a day early!
posted by dhartung at 11:04 AM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Last night I kept checking twitter expecting new twists. And then look again in 10 minutes.

Soon I will start singing " Is that all there is?.."
posted by readery at 11:24 AM on November 15, 2012


Don't worry; they'll all be on Dr. Phil before long.
posted by orrnyereg at 11:24 AM on November 15, 2012


Unfortunately, I think everybody (and everybody they know) has gone into full shutdown mode by now.
posted by carter at 11:35 AM on November 15, 2012


Unfortunately, I think everybody (and everybody they know) has gone into full shutdown mode by now

Oh, no. I wouldn't worry. There are always peasants they stepped on, with sharpened knives waiting. Look at that Vice article above.
posted by tyllwin at 11:42 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, the newest twist seems that possibly Special Agent Poses With Dummies was maybe sort of shafted on this? At least that seems the leaning of this Seattle Times explanation of the shirtless photo.
posted by taz at 12:04 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


@KelleyPatrol. Not much yet.

I am juvenile, but this picture of Freddie Humpy made me laugh. OOPS.

Soon I will start singing " Is that all there is?.."

You know, I was totally on board with the sex party thing, but I think this story is going to turn out to be the most boringest story EVER. I think the larger sized lady has already sung.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:11 PM on November 15, 2012


the newest twist seems that possibly Special Agent Poses With Dummies was maybe sort of shafted on this

Uh, he wishes he could spin it that way, but it is what it says. A shirtless photo. I mean ... what is the joke? You can't say it's a joke if there's no joke ... oh, that he looks like the dummies? He doesn't: his pecs are way smaller and he's sucking in his gut.

This photograph shows FBI Special Agent Frederick W. Humphries posing with target dummies following a SWAT practice. This is the "shirtless image" that has been alluded to in the investigation into emails that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus

Yep, that looks like a "shirtless image" to me.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:16 PM on November 15, 2012


Petraeus Affair Lesson: Army Is Better At Planning Soirees Than Wars

But it might shock some war veterans to learn that CENTCOM's Army Ball that year was organized to the smallest detail in a whopping 17-page official op order with 13 appendices.

No, it would not.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:27 PM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


How to tell if you are part of the scandal
posted by dejah420 at 12:28 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I've learned from all of this: a 'garden-variety affair' in the CIA is somehow going to involve:

1) a shirtless rogue FBI agent
2) a cleaver wielding maniac
3) a faux ambassador / socialite
4) twins
5) a questionable charity
6) conspiracy!
7) lizard people

And those aren't even the primary participants!

Ho-hum. Just another day at the office...
posted by mazola at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, if he sent that photo to a mailing list of friends, it's not a proof of a sexual obsession with Jill Kelley (nor does it preclude one). But it is a pretty good indication of a personal relationship close enough that he shouldn't be involved with her case.

Not that there should ever have been a case, nor would have been, if she (Kelley) hadn't had a pet FBI agent at her beck and call.
posted by tyllwin at 12:42 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paula Broadwell’s drive and resilience hit obstacles
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:52 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


The infamous photo. Rawr!
posted by tonycpsu at 1:05 PM on November 15, 2012


The snapshot shows Humphries — bald, muscular and shirtless — standing between a pair of equally buff and bullet-ridden target dummies on a shooting range.
Punctuation matters!

I confess I sort of got lost in this scandal about a week ago, so I don't quite know how to triangulate Shirtless Agent in this mess, but I gather this photo is much less scandalous than assumed. Disappointing.
posted by muddgirl at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2012


I confess I sort of got lost in this scandal about a week ago, so I don't quite know how to triangulate Shirtless Agent in this mess, but I gather this photo is much less scandalous than assumed. Disappointing.

Considering for a while the frenzy had hit the high point of "FBI agent is actually a topless woman" I think it's safe to say we're all coming down at this point.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:33 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for that article, Golden Eternity. It finally clears up the book/dissertation confusion.

tl;dr version: The book is based on her Harvard dissertation, which was never completed because she was asked to leave the PhD program. Apparently she then went to the PhD program at King's College London but I can't tell if she finished her doctorate there.
posted by orrnyereg at 1:34 PM on November 15, 2012


You guys...his skin is exactly the same color as those dummies. No one else noticed this?
posted by orrnyereg at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


In Unusual Report, TV Journo Divulges Her Recent Conversations With Petraeus, David Taintor, Talking Points Memo, 15 November 2012
posted by ob1quixote at 1:49 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


orrnyereg, everything I've read is that she is "pursuing" her doctorate at King's. The dismissal from Harvard's program is new to me, and the whole "red team" angle is pretty damning of her.
posted by dhartung at 1:53 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


ob1quixote beat me to the TPM report on the weird HLN segment. At this point, it would be irresponsible not to speculate about whether Petraeus is tapping Kyra Phillips.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:53 PM on November 15, 2012


Yes, orrnyereg, I definitely noticed. It is everything I hoped the picture would be. When I first heard that Shirtless FBI guy was downgraded to Poses With Dummies, I have to admit I was a tiny bit disappointed, but that picture is fantastic. It is strangely unerotic in a nonaware sort of way, as though he sent the thing around hoping to titillate the ladies ("Har Har, Check me out!") but managed instead to make himself into a creepy laughingstock. It is exactly the sort of image I would expect to get if I signed up for a dating service where I could meet Real Christian Military Men.

That article, Golden Eternity, is fantastic and a mandatory read for anyone interested in the case. It clears up so much of what was confusing me about Paula Broadwell-- like the fact that she was 40 and had all this impressive education...and yet....

When I first started reading about her accomplishments, I was in awe. Valedictorian AND Homecoming Queen. West Point Grad. Fitness Champ. Official Biographer of Petraeous. Jesus this lady was insanely driven, a shooting star. Then little things started to bother me, like the fact that she didn't seem to be actually writing the book, just collecting information. Like the fact that she was a Machine Gun spokesperson-- hardly a job that requires graduate degrees. Like the fact that she seemed to spend an awful lot of time just traveling around with Petraeous-- years in fact.
In the summer of 2009, Broadwell told several prominent experts on counterinsurgency warfare that she had been asked by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the newly installed Afghan war commander, to assemble a team of first-tier academics and experts who would conduct an outside evaluation of McChrystal’s highly anticipated review of his war strategy.

She pressed experts in Washington and Cambridge, Mass., to join her review panel and lobbied senior U.S. military officials in Kabul to back her fledgling “red team” effort, military jargon for an outsider evaluation. The prospective team held a couple of meetings, according to one person who was involved.

But senior military officials who were on McChrystal’s staff said Broadwell was not asked to spearhead an evaluation. The officials, who like others requested anonymity to speak freely about Broadwell and Petraeus, said her attempt to assemble a “red team” review panel was rejected after McChrystal’s aides decided that her experience, her connections and her academic credentials were too thin.
Does this remind anyone of Jill Kelley asking for an $80 million dollar finder fee in her one meeting with the Petroleum guy? It is as if they don't even know how little they know.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:04 PM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Does this remind anyone of Jill Kelley asking for an $80 million dollar finder fee in her one meeting with the Petroleum guy? It is as if they don't even know how little they know.

In the U.S. Military, we call those "unknown unknowns." That's one of the few useful bits of information ever to come from the Bush Administration's press briefings.
posted by The World Famous at 2:13 PM on November 15, 2012


I don't know, Secret Life of Gravy. I'm reluctant to criticize Broadwell for trying to get involved in things above her pay grade--she's hardly the only one in DC. At least she has some qualifications. It's not clear to me that Jill Kelley has any qualifications.
posted by orrnyereg at 2:14 PM on November 15, 2012


Oh, I think they know, I think they just realize that at a certain point it doesn't really matter. They just have to get to that point, which only requires a little convincing of the Right People usually by dropping A Name.

I figured this out a few years ago: that there are far more people (and in strikingly powerful and/or prestigious and/or lucrative places) who are there not because of talent or hard work on The Thing but who instead substitute enormous balls, complete lack of shame and, yes, hard work but only on climbing the ladder, not doing The Thing itself. I'm going to say: it was revelatory. And the striking there here is that I think we don't see women do this so much (or at least get caught doing so) as we do men in professional spheres. Where we do see it is in social ones, like with Jill Kelley. It's the same naked striving but differently applied.

That isn't to say that Paula Broadwell isn't intelligent or talented or worthy of achieving many things but she definitely knew that to get where she wanted to be she had to be a gamer.
posted by marylynn at 2:14 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


At this point, it would be irresponsible not to speculate about whether Petraeus is tapping Kyra Phillips.

Jesus Christ, has the man learned nothing? I'm not saying he IS sleeping with Kyra Phillips, but her report does live the door open. She is hardly a cool, dispassionate journalist but comes across as a groupie.
Phillips account included her personal reaction to the news of Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell as well as her personal vouching for Petraeus’ honesty.

“I also have never known him to tell me something that is not true,” Phillips told Meade. Phillips added that she never experienced Petraeus acting “flirtatious” or “inappropriate.” But she did report that Petraeus confidants describe Broadwell as “aggressive” and a woman who “works her magic.”

“Not taking Petraeus off the hook at all, but there are two people, obviously, in this situation,” Phillips said.
And what the hell is that supposed to mean? "Not taking Petraeous off the hook at all, but there were two people" We know there were 2 people; no one ever suggested it was a rape. A love affair is TWO people. What passes for "journalism" these days is mind-boggling.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:15 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not knowing someone to have lied to you usually just means they're a really good liar. The problem here is that, as head of the CIA, Petraeus turned out to be not so good a liar.
posted by marylynn at 2:16 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is as if they don't even know how little they know.

Yeah, all I could think of was that scene from Fargo.

She is hardly a cool, dispassionate journalist but comes across as a groupie.

In a word, this is the entire point of the embedded journalist program.
posted by dhartung at 2:16 PM on November 15, 2012


Just Devil's advocating here, but my understanding is that the first email from KellyPatrol was sent to general Allen. There's been some mention that emails from KellyPatrol indicated that the sender knew about the movements of top military personnel (perhaps general Allen).
Oh please. It should have been obvious that whoever was sending the emails knew about the generals because she was a member of the same "community" Agent Shirtless is just a paranoid nutjob.
posted by delmoi at 2:19 PM on November 15, 2012


Shorter Kyra Phillips: How dare that hussy use her aggressive magic to force General Petraeus into bed with her!
posted by tonycpsu at 2:19 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh just caught this from the WP article: "A spokesman at the military academy said Thursday that Broadwell did not win the fitness award, which went to another female cadet in her graduating class."

What a stupid thing to lie about. Broadwell's character is taking a drubbing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:24 PM on November 15, 2012


Shorter Kyra Phillips: How dare that hussy use her aggressive magic to force General Petraeus into bed with her!

Yeah, it goes against all of my feminist instincts but perhaps if you are caught having an affair-- an affair which has ended your career and disgraced your name--- maybe giving exclusive interviews to a stunningly beautiful journalist who is willing to give you a tongue bath is not the best step toward reclaiming your life.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:28 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Busy Mom Wishes She Had Enough Spare Time To Fuck CIA Director
posted by Egg Shen at 2:29 PM on November 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


maybe giving exclusive interviews to a stunningly beautiful journalist who is willing to give you a tongue bath is not the best step toward reclaiming your life.

Not just that, but why HLN, which exists mainly to cover the Missing White Girl of The Week (tm) genre? Kyra Phillips is still a reporter for the CNN mothership, isn't she? I'm sure she could have dialed into CNN's morning programming (reaching more viewers) if she wanted to. The only reason I can think they'd run that on HLN is because that kind of "I was hanging with the General, and here's what he told me to report" style doesn't even meet CNN's journalistic standards -- which aren't known for being very high to begin with.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:46 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., is scrubbing its list of 800 civilian “friends” to head off any future embarrassments in the wake of former CIA Director David H. Petraeus‘ sex scandal.

I bet there are some ladies and gentlemen who would like to punch Jill Kelley in the snoot for ruining their social lives.

More on the Kelley-South Korea connection:
“The process of appointing an honorary consul calls first of all for the recommendation of our embassy in Washington,” says the official, requesting that his name not be used because of the sensitivity of the issue. “Then the ministry will consider that proposal, and we will discuss the issue with the State Department.”

The official portrays Kelley as fitting the ideal for an honorary consul. “She’s a very social person, very active in the social scene.”[snip]As an aggressive hostess with high-level military contacts, she reportedly made an indelible impression on [Han Duk-soo] before he returned to Seoul early this year to become president of the powerful Korea International Trade Association. He saw her as an influential go-between as Korea and the US expanded economic ties after approval of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.[snip]

In the case of Kelley, one of 15 honorary Korean consuls in the US, she provided lines of communication to senior officers at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, headquarters of CENTCOM, the US Central Command.
In other words the Koreans thought they could meet important military personnel through Ms. Kelley and so gave her an empty, worthless title. Which she took as something on a par with a real ambassadorship. They should have at least showered her with gifts, if she could actually get them what they wanted. Her "honorary Consul" title is unpaid and rather pathetic, just like Ms. Kelley herself.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:52 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Petraeus and paramour seen at event after probe
Their brazen appearances at the annual Office of Strategic Services Dinner in Washington D.C. on October 27 came just two weeks before Petraeus' dramatic resignation last Friday.

A photograph shows Broadwell at the event, according to NBC sources, and guests noted she was confident - rather than a woman under investigation for potential national security breaches.
I just had to link because of the language: Paramour and brazen! Sounds positively Victorian. I'm just missing the word hussy; how dare she be confident! (I'm a little curious as to how she should have looked? Contrite? Embarrassed?)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:00 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't make much of a Daily Mail piece syndicated by the Moonie Times, SLoG.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:03 PM on November 15, 2012


First Charlie Crist, now Marco Rubio. Twins took photo with Rubio
She said Thursday that the twins, Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawam, came to the party uninvited, took their photo with Rubio and quickly left without donating money to his Senate campaign. Aviles posted a photo of the twins with Rubio on Twitter.

A Rubio spokesman says the senator doesn't recall meeting the twins and added that Kelley has invited him to parties but he never attended. An attorney for Kelley did not return a phone call.
Ya gotta hand it to those socialites, they worked their butts off trying to make the GOP scene. Odd that they didn't throw any money into his campaign. I guess if it is not a party supply or a jewel or gown for themselves, they are cheapskates. It reminds me of someone who makes a big show of going to church but doesn't throw any money into offering plate.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:07 PM on November 15, 2012


When I first heard that Shirtless FBI guy was downgraded to Poses With Dummies, I have to admit I was a tiny bit disappointed, but that picture is fantastic.


This is almost exactly what I came in here to say. It is not titillating and more ridiculous than you could even imagine -- which makes it the perfect illustration for the details of this story.

Also, if he loses his job with the FBI, it made me think that he and the dummies could form a group -- Right Said Fredericks. Because seriously isn't the world ready for an "I'm Too Sexy" cover.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:09 PM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm a big Ted Levine fan (he was Buffalo Bill in "The Silence of the Lambs"). And I try to catch everything he's in. So a bit back I'm watching this not great but oddly very compelling film (Bullet) about this Jewish ex-con "Bullet" (Mickey Rourke) and black gangster "Tank" (Tupac Shakur) who is looking to straighten out an old score with him.

So Tank hires a guy to beat him up (yeah, it's hollywood) and Bullet wins. 'Cos he's so badass of course. Despite shooting tons of heroin.
And the story gets convoluted with Bullet's crazy brother and Bullet's mom and robbing the Mafia guy who lives next door - but ultimately there's this showdown and Bullet goes down.

Ok, so it's a sort of downbeat 'street' tale, great atmosphere but otherwise fairly pedestrian.

But!
The movie doesn't end. Some time goes by. Ted Levine - who in this film paraded around in his Fruit of the Looms, pretended to be a Vietnam vet and demanded his mom buy him a stun gun or he would go off to fight in Israel - pretty much the epitome of Bullet's dysfunctional family - rappels off of an El track, performs a stealth kill on Tank, leaves a rat (named Tony Kurtis) on his body, and takes off.

Holy Toledo! The crazy man-panty guy really was a goddamn commando!

And then I think of it all from Tanks perspective which made the movie for me:
Here's a guy who's made it to the top of the food chain, a bad ass. An upper case G. He's survived all kinds of hits, essentially ruthless and knows how to play his enemy and his friends, plays the game well, and out of nowhere this guy who no one had ever thought twice about, who Tank didn't even know about, was a 500lb gorilla who radically outclassed him. Wasn't any part of the drug/gang environment. Who completely torpedoes him. Just wanted some payback for his otherwise worthless brother.

Last thing (Levine) says before he cuts Tank's throat is "Payback's a motherfucker."

And the - by all other accounts very hardcore - Tank dies in the street not knowing what the hell just happened to him or why, with no one else understanding either (or why the hell the rat is on him, or how the hell anyone got close enough to him to cut his throat) unable to even fathom that there are motives outside of the sphere of the drug trade or people well beyond his conception of violence, subtlety and secrecy, who might be connected to someone everyone else thinks of as a nobody, and unconnected to everything else they think of as "going on."

And that's about all I have to say about Gen. Petraeus.

The infamous photo. Rawr!
Little known factoid: He's wearing "Shirtless Kirk" cologne.
Big Trekkies, the FBI.
The CIA, of course, big Star Wars fans.
Which is where all the friction REALLY comes from.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:11 PM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Now The CIA Is Investigating Ex-Director Petraeus
Meanwhile, off the record, current and ex-CIA officers are telling the press that they never liked Petraeus in the first place. A package of stories in Time portrayed CIA analysts bristling at Petraeus’ martinet style. “The agency’s not a militaristic organization,” one ex-official huffs to the magazine, “They don’t welcome people barking orders without debate.” That follows on a story in the New York Times before Petraeus’ downfall that CIA officials were disinclined to fall in line behind the ex-general. “The attitude at the agency is, ‘You may be the director, but I’m the Thailand analyst,‘” went one memorable quote sourced to an anonymous CIA veteran.

“Military guys tend not to do well, because they treat senior people like Lt. Colonels on their staffs,” one former intelligence official tells Danger Room. “He tried to avoid that. But the bearing is the bearing.”

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden took pains not to criticize Petraeus in any way. But in an interview with Danger Room, he made it clear that the Agency has to go beyond the drone strikes that characterized the Petraeus Epoch at Langley.
I did remember reading that the CIA does not like having outsiders appointed to the directorship and there was a lot of speculation when the affair broke that it was someone inside the CIA that started the ball rolling.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:13 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Damn. The Shirtless Kirk cologne is sold out! Just when I was getting ready for a little role play this weekend. Well I will just have to see if I can round up a couple of dummies instead.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:17 PM on November 15, 2012


Before he was in Tampa, shirtless FBI guy was a liason between the FBI and CIA in gitmo.
posted by drezdn at 3:21 PM on November 15, 2012


Tom Junod: The Real Petraeus Scandal: His CIA Killing Machine
posted by homunculus at 3:25 PM on November 15, 2012


Here's a working link for Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley's South Korean link

Perhaps a little unnecessarily bitter, SLoG -- there are plenty of honorary consuls out there. And incidentally, Han Duk-soo has served many high-level functions for S. Korea including the Premiership. Did their investment in Kelley pay off? Certainly not as it turned out. But it might easily have if only in networking terms.
posted by dhartung at 3:25 PM on November 15, 2012


Related news: Fanatics continue to find all information reinforces their worldview. (Scandal amuses Taliban)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:26 PM on November 15, 2012


Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawam crashed a Mark Rubio fundraiser in 2010. Took a picture with him and left the party immediately, without donating to his campaign or introducing themselves to the party's host (according to the party's host).

This social climber stuff is hilarious, somehow.
posted by syzygy at 3:31 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a Daily Mail piece about the Twins. Not much new information but lots of pictures: the house, the folks, Scott, Grayson Wolfe.

Here's a working link for Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley's South Korean link


Whoops. Sorry.

Perhaps a little unnecessarily bitter, SLoG -- there are plenty of honorary consuls out there. And incidentally, Han Duk-soo has served many high-level functions for S. Korea including the Premiership. Did their investment in Kelley pay off? Certainly not as it turned out. But it might easily have if only in networking terms.

I think Duk-Soo might have been a little overly impressed, but then Mrs. Kelly seemed to specialize in surface glamour. It cost him nothing to bestow an empty title on her, well nothing except an embarrassing link for South Korea but how was he to know she would soon be embroiled in a national scandal. No, I am laughing at her. She was so impressed with the title that she put it on her car license and tried to use it as a tool to mobilize the police. I think she was far more impressed by the honor than anyone else was. It is like someone being given the "Keys to the City" and trying to use it to unlock the doors at city hall.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:43 PM on November 15, 2012


But Khawam's troubles don't just end there. She is also currently being sued in Montgomery County for failing to pay the lawyer's fees in her divorce - believed to be in the region of $100,000.

The case has been on the court docket for nearly a-year-and-a-half but took a backward step in April when she filed for bankruptcy.

On the bankruptcy filing, Khawam lists $3.2 million in unpaid debt, plus $53,000 she owes the Internal Revenue Service.
So if she is declared bankrupt, will she be able to write off her taxes as well?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:47 PM on November 15, 2012


will she be able to write off her taxes as well?

Depends
posted by tyllwin at 3:58 PM on November 15, 2012


Paula Broadwell Planned To Introduce Petraeus To Lance Armstrong As Birthday Gift

And here's me thinking things or activities when I should have been thinking people. Well, to be fair meeting Lance would be an activity. Better or worse than a blow job?
Broadwell had been hunting for the perfect gift for Petraeus over the summer and nearly sealed the deal at a security forum in Aspen on July 28. She had allegedly implored Facebook friends for a connection to the then-reigning Tour de France champion. “Can anyone introduce me to Lance Armstrong?” a source who spoke to The New Republic said she wrote.

Broadwell, a noted networker, apparently found that connection: just days before news of the affair appeared in the headlines, she bragged in a tweet that she was scheduled to meet Armstrong on a run in Aspen. “Heading 2 @AspenInstitute 4 the Security Forum tomorrow! Panel (media & terrorism) followed by a 1v1 run with Lance Armstrong,” she tweeted.

While attending the Aspen Security Forum, Broadwell began sharing her plans to introduce the two high profile figures, telling at least six people there about her scheme to hook the two up for a bicycle ride.
She sounds a bit driven for someone who was no longer having a physical affair.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:01 PM on November 15, 2012


She was so impressed with the title that she put it on her car license

This is fairly normal. I've seen any number of honorary consul plates over the years. I mean, they do issue them, so if you're eligible, how does it indicate that you're "so impressed" that you get one?

tried to use it as a tool to mobilize the police

I did indicate that while h/c does not confer diplomatic immunity, it does confer under the Vienna Convention a responsibility for the receiving state to maintain the dignity of the consular premises. It was spoken stupidly, but (assuming she had no other "premises") she wasn't actually wrong.

So if she is declared bankrupt, will she be able to write off her taxes as well?

Bankruptcies have a variety of scenarios and are also affected by state law. She may be able to eliminate things like back income taxes in a Chapter 7 (write-off) bankruptcy. But it depends on her income and remaining assets. In a Chapter 13 (repayment plan) bankruptcy, generally you will be expected to fulfill your income tax obligations, along with all other secured debt (e.g. property).
posted by dhartung at 4:02 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


it does confer under the Vienna Convention a responsibility for the receiving state to maintain the dignity of the consular premises

Everything I've read said it was just a meaningless piece of paper, but here is a story of a Florida man who became an Honorary Consul for Austria just by asking nicely. And what do you know, his license gets him out of tickets. I guarantee that a lot more people are going to be checking into this honorary consul gig.
The U.S. Department of State says foreign governments have 1,038 honorary consuls in America, and Austria has just over two dozen of them.

To start the office in late October, Unwin received a map of Austria, stamps for official documents, a CD and sheet music of the national and European anthems, and three flags. He has been studying German and plans to visit Austria this summer.
On the other hand this article states "Honorary consuls do not have the same rights as permanent diplomatic officials, and Kelley's home is not entitled to any specific protection." So maybe she can't get a ticket, but the premises are not protected.

Here is a CNN blog article that states that "it carries no legal or diplomatic privileges."

So I don't know what exactly it means. All I can state for sure is that never have so many people been interested in the title of "Honorary Consul."

Not that it means much, but my ex-husband worked in the Japanese Consulate in LA. That was a far different situation and the place had a great deal of official work to do. Plus, special passports!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:24 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


As CIA Chief Scandal Looms, Lawmakers Consider Tightening E-Mail Privacy
posted by homunculus at 4:38 PM on November 15, 2012


John McCain Explodes After CNN Reporter Asks Him Why He Didn’t Attend Benghazi Briefing: ‘Who the Hell Are You?’
posted by homunculus at 4:45 PM on November 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Taliban Rep Literally LOLs at Petraeus Sex Scandal
posted by homunculus at 4:46 PM on November 15, 2012


Well, honorary consul is certainly enough of a thing that there are clear delineations in the Vienna Convention [pdf] of how they differ from official consuls.

Kelley's home is not entitled to any specific protection

Article 59: "The receiving State shall take such steps as may be necessary to protect the consular premises of a consular post headed by an honorary consular officer against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity." This assumes that her home serves as the consular premises, which hasn't been clarified.

All I can state for sure is that never have so many people been interested in the title of "Honorary Consul."

Indeed. In part it's the utter obscurity of the office that meant lots of countries have been perfectly OK with handing them out rather freely, and maybe they might think twice from now on. But they do perform actual services and augment the diplomatic staff, especially in a large country like the US. Usually they are given to socially prominent members of the expat or immigrant community of the "sending" (even if they're citizens or permanent residents) state. I'm sure that many of them are serious servants of their expat communities and spend their days taking care of emergency visas and the like, but obviously it can also be a sort of bullshit gig. Nevertheless, a lot of early commentary implied that it wasn't even a real thing and that's clearly wrong.
posted by dhartung at 4:50 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you Lance Armstrong and Aspen Institute for keeping this scandal fresh.
posted by humanfont at 5:03 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


For declining values of fresh, I suppose. But hey! Now they're all in the same club together! I wonder if there's a special handshake.
posted by dhartung at 5:16 PM on November 15, 2012


I expect info about the Kelleys to spin off in a new direction after this bit from the LA Times article:

City police also received dozens of calls from the Kelleys. Their police file, released Wednesday, fills nearly 100 pages, with reports of bike thefts, burglaries, prowlers and harassing callers.

Really? These people leave a pretty big footprint. If they ever received a payout from an insurance policy tied to one of their bike thefts and burglaries, I bet they'll be getting a second look.

Did they have more people harrassing them besides Paula Broadwell? Maybe bill collectors.
posted by readery at 5:27 PM on November 15, 2012


John McCain, along with several of his fellow Republicans, skipped a classified Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee briefing on the Benghazi consulate attack to hold a press conference about the lack of information on the Benghazi consulate attack.
Really this partisanship shit is getting out of hand.
McCain said, "I'm upset that you keep badgering me."

McCain's spokesman Brian Rogers later told the media McCain missed the Benghazi hearing "due to a scheduling error."
So he was caught in a ridiculous position and therefore he had to act like an old lion with a sore paw to get over his embarrassment. I wonder if he just forgot he had a meeting? Alzheimers or incompetent staff?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:47 PM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why are you getting your serious business in my salacious gossip?
posted by Justinian at 5:51 PM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


From readery's link
Even before the scandal broke, she had begun to wear out her welcome, flooding senior officers' inboxes with emails and requests for help organizing her social functions. Her constant presence caused some officers' aides to worry about the appearance of an attractive, outgoing woman cozying up to senior military leaders
I think I have figured out what went wrong with Jill Kelley's life-- she was trying to do too much, too fast. The life she wanted, accomplished Socialite Hostess, takes years and big money and bigger connections. It seems like she and her sister and her husband were all running out of money and therefore she got too pushy and frantic trying to make it happen faster.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:53 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh God. I just had a terrible thought. What if the Twins get their own reality TV show?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:57 PM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Remember those letters that General Petraeous and General Allen wrote on behalf of Natalie? Yeah, that might be trouble.
Even so, the letters were unwise and inappropriate, according to military and intelligence analysts who say the expressions of support for Khawam have become symbols of questionable behavior by two of the nation's top warriors.[snip]

The letters from Petraeus and Allen - written as the FBI was uncovering the scandal - suggest they did not follow military and intelligence guidelines that warn senior officers to avoid linking their official work with personal activities in their civilian lives.
I think this is going to be another black mark against General Allen who is already being investigated for unseemly behavior.

And here is some information on the custody battle I had not seen previously
The letters from Petraeus and Allen to the judge in Khawam's custody case, which appear in the court record, were submitted five months after Khawam's divorce was finalized on April 6.

She was ordered to pay child support of $982 a month to her ex-husband, Grayson Wolfe, a lawyer in Washington. He has not responded to requests for comment.

Khawam filed for bankruptcy less than a week after the divorce was final.
The article goes on to give more details on the allegations by Natalie of physical abuse which the judge dismissed as complete fabrication.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:09 PM on November 15, 2012


Hollywood scrambles to cash in on Petraeus scandal
Of course. Almost goes without saying. But if you have a screenplay, now is the time to get get it in. In fact it may already be too late, since "Studio executives have been huddled in meetings since Monday, sifting through potential scripts that can be tweaked." Monday. Petraeous resigned Friday. Those weekend scripts must be hella good.


Petraeus makes cameo in ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’ (Video)
‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’ [...] was just released this past week.

The story line, written by David S. Goyer, includes Petraeus in several key scenes in the game. We first see him as part of the game in a preview where in one of the single-player cut scenes where he is given one of the prisoners to board onto the aircraft, which was named the ‘USS Barack Obama’. The Petraeus character is also seen talking with Admiral Tommy Briggs about the possibility of a geopolitical conflict that starts the game. In a later cut scene, Petraeus is seating on a military plane with the fictional Commander in Chief
I saw a clip of this on the Rachel Maddow show a couple of days ago. The game itself looks pretty good. He looks OK, same build, same face with grey hair, although I'm not sure I would know it was him unless someone told me.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:25 PM on November 15, 2012


About that Video Paula Broadwell made in Dec. 2011 for the Kriss Vector.
The Virginia Beach company, Kriss Arms, would say nothing about how Broadwell came to star in the six-minute promotional video, sharing her insights on the combat benefits of a lightweight automatic weapon. Nor would they say if Broadwell was paid for the appearance – though her co-star in the video told ABC News that he was provided airfare and hotel accommodations, but no other compensation.
But while she may or may not have been paid, watchdog groups are "troubled" by her appearance
"It's one of these basic things that you see in Washington constantly, which is access for contractors to help them get a foot in the door," said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight, a non-partisan group that seeks to expose abuses of power, mismanagement, and government waste.

Brian said she suspects the company saw an opportunity to put its little-known product in view of one of the most powerful voices on military policy in the country. "I think it's honestly pretty brilliant on the part of the company," she said. "But it's one of these sad things that we're fighting so hard. It's an uneven playing field. That is not how a contract should be decided."
I would find it extremely surprising if she didn't get more for her time (and proximity to Petraeous) than hotel accommodation and airfare-- otherwise why would she bother? Her book was coming out in January with a big book tour to follow. Don't forget she has 2 kids and a husband, so I doubt she had a lot of extra time on her hands.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:48 PM on November 15, 2012


Strange story out of North Carolina. I don't know what to make of it. More items removed from Broadwell's Dilworth home
A man and woman arrived to the home on Mount Vernon Avenue before dusk Thursday, but the FBI confirmed the two people were not federal agents. After 15 minutes inside, the pair left with a gray sweater and a black bag of unknown items.
and sure enough there is a picture of a man carrying a wadded up item of clothing and a woman carrying a black trash bag with some stuff.

My first thought was that possibly they were friends of the family getting some personal things for the kids and the husband. But in a trash bag? And a wadded up gray sweater? That is bizarre.

So if they are not FBI, I suppose they could be CIA. What would the CIA want with a gray sweater?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:57 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mistressville.com
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:59 PM on November 15, 2012


What if the Twins get their own reality TV show?

Halfway there. But this has had a serious Kardashian vibe from out of the, uh, gate.

Those weekend scripts must be hella good.

Lesson: Always have a slush pile, for emergencies.

Saga has all the elements sought by filmmakers

Yeah, well, so does The Honorary Consul, with Richard Gere, Michael Caine, and Bob Hoskins. Watch the whole thing (really!) before somebody figures out it should have a DVD release.
Not an endorsement of product quality.

Welcome to Mistressville
Charlotte's Best Kept Secret

There’s a reason Paula Broadwell and Rielle Hunter – mistresses of Gen. David Petraeus and former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, respectively – call Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood home.


OK, is there more to this? Because it took me two browsers to get that far.
posted by dhartung at 7:23 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


What would the CIA want with a gray sweater?

I don't know why this would make me laugh like a hyena, but it did.
posted by orrnyereg at 7:34 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


These folks remind of the people who came out of the woodwork during the OJ Simpson trial. People like Faye Resnick and Kato Kaelin. (A small part of me just died because I remembered their names). Not to mention the Kardashian spawn.
posted by marxchivist at 8:21 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Mind-blowing Hypocrisy of John McCain: WMD Lie is Good, Repeating Intelligence is Bad
posted by homunculus at 8:37 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think McCain has Alzheimer's. I know that sounds snarky, and I know I'm prone to snark; but I've watched the progression of it in two members of my family; and the thing that struck me as I've dealt with other Alzheimer's people and their families is the anger. It's an angry, angry disease. Long before the memories disappear, the irrationality appears, it seems.

I really do believe something is wrong with John McCain, not that there's anything we can do about it. I think there should be a law that mandates that all elected and nominated members of all branches of the government should have to be evaluated by medical professionals once a year for competency.
posted by dejah420 at 9:34 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


<img src="old_man_yells_at_cloud.png">
posted by tonycpsu at 10:33 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hope the CIA and the Pentagon aren't getting too distracted by all of this.

NY Times: Pentagon Says 75,000 Troops Might Be Needed to Seize Syria Chemical Arms

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has told the Obama administration that any military effort to seize Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons would require upward of 75,000 troops, amid increasing concern that the militant group Hezbollah has set up small training camps close to some of the chemical weapons depots, according to senior American officials.


Hezbollah fighters have been training at “a limited number of these sites,” said one senior American official who has been briefed on the intelligence reports and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “But the fear these weapons could fall into the wrong hands is our greatest concern.”

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:36 PM on November 15, 2012


deja420: I think McCain has Alzheimer's.

Yeah, I'm certainly not a medical professional, and not in any position to make a diagnosis, but his recent behavior seems way out of character, to me. This is not the McCain who I remember from ten or even four years ago. Maybe I just wasn't paying as much attention back then, but I used to have a healthy amount of respect for this man, and it seemed like he was reasonably honorable, as politicians go. (I know, I know, the Keating Five - his vest wasn't snow white)

Dunno, maybe I was just allowing myself to be hoodwinked. The way he's acting right now, however, is, in my opinion, completely devoid of honor. Seems to me he would have been better off quitting while he was ahead, going out with a solid reputation. You almost have to wonder whether he's being taken advantage of, a la Ronald Reagan with Alzheimer's. He's a big gun in DC, and I can imagine that some people would like to have an easily-manipulable big gun around to give credence to their wild theories.

Dunno, I just with him well, and hope he doesn't have a health-related total flame-out in the harsh glare of media scrutiny.
posted by syzygy at 12:46 AM on November 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


orrnyereg: "What would the CIA want with a gray sweater?

I don't know why this would make me laugh like a hyena, but it did.
"

Probably because you're hearing it in your head in a Bill Shatner cadence to the same rhythm as "What would God need with a starship?"

Or is that just me?
posted by radwolf76 at 1:18 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess generals getting down is a thing. Please read the following op ed and prepare to cringe:

When the strains of war lead to infidelity

From the wife's point of view. "She alleged sexual assault, and no such allegation should ever go unanswered. We are confident that the charges will be dropped." yeesh

You would think they'd consider the pension that they would have to give up if found guilty of adultery. The pensions for officers are not bad, plus the ability to get consulting jobs once they've retired. From the article in The Army Times "highest current pension, $272,892, paid to a retired four-star officer".
posted by readery at 4:31 AM on November 16, 2012


When did socialite become an insult. (Me, I'm gonna have to blame reality tv for that...)

Ok, I'll admit it; I grew up in the Tampa Bay area...or at least that was "home base". I'm also fairly familiar with the "real" Ladies who Lunch, the pretenders, and the transient social climbers.

The real Ladies who Lunch are people you've never heard of, have never seen, do not appear in the paper with the possible exception of black tie events, and are likely to have their names on things like libraries and other public service buildings. They/their families have been in their location for generations and they are generally old, old, ooooold money.

The pretenders are people like the Real Housewives. They have a metric ton of cash, or appear to have unlimited budgets, but they don't have polish, or class, or noblesse oblige. They ape the behavior they believe the Real LWL have, but it comes off as burlesque. Those are the people who are rude to their staff, rude to anyone they consider a "lesser" like waitstaff and bellmen. They do not join the boards of museums or charities. As a rule, do not spend money unless they are doing it to further aggrandize themselves.

Getting accepted to "real society" (yeah, I used scare quotes), is much harder than just having cash. You have to have connections, and to get those connections you have to start at the bottom of the social ladder. Serving tea at the Junior League, joining the Library Board, volunteering at a charity, buying top tier season tickets to the local arts scene and then showing up at every Opening Night...in a different dress, but nothing flashy or sexy, and always, always, always keeping your eye on the Queen of the scene and never upstaging her. It's a fuckton of work, costs more money than I can comfortably think about, and I can't imagine why anyone wants to do it; but there you have it. In the Tampa area, it's a very closed, very southern, very wealthy, clique of women who have mostly known each other since they were embryos.

But military society is a whole different kettle. Pretenders and Social climbers don't have to worry about generations of built in resistance to new-comers. Everyone on a military base is transient. It is dead simple, without needing stupid levels of cash, to create a social scene that cycles out every couple of years, so your legend grows as people leave for new assignments, and new people hear about you as they come in. However, as a rule, the Queens of that society are generally the wives of officers who have retired near a base, or who died in service. Military Career Wives have a code of conduct that makes the LWL look practically wanton. (Which is why you'll notice Holly Petraus looking so pained in all of those pictures.)

You can look at pictures of Jill Kelly and tell that it is unlikely that the LWL would have accepted her. She doesn't fit. Her makeup is too harsh, her hair is poorly chosen, her clothes are knockoffs, she looks like she's trying too hard...she's just way too fake for the real money. She's the sort of person that the LWL would meet, and be very, very polite to, and would never call her again.

But she would be an astonishingly vibrant human in a world of olive drab. The only chance for social climbing Jill Kelly had was to try and find a transient society that cycled people out before they got tired and annoyed by her.

Unfortunately for her, Jill forgot that she was a climber, and she seemed to think, like the generals she seduced into becoming her admirers, that she was due some sort of deference from the rest of the world. Hubris. It'll getcha every time.
posted by dejah420 at 6:18 AM on November 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


The Lost Art Of The Classy Paramour
My friend astutely pointed out that not only did she dishonor her career, she also dishonored the affair itself and her life as a mistress: “She went Fatal Attraction,” my friend commented. “She had no dignity for her affair. I do think there is such a thing as a classy mistress, dignified infidelity.” But instead Broadwell “put her career, his career, her family, his family, on the line.” Indeed, their destructiveness as lovers has been morbidly elegant, and total.

It might sound paradoxical, the idea that there is a dignified way to have an affair, or what another friend calls “controlled and managed adultery,” but there is indeed an art to being a discreet, non-vindictive, classy paramour.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:11 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just a little info on the meaning of Akkadian (Natalie Khawam's ex husband's firm that seems to have done work for the US government in the Middle East), plus a little history about the Maronite Christians in Lebanon.

There was an ancient Akkadian empire about which not a whole lot is known, but what I think is maybe a little more interesting is that the later Assyrian empire is also known as an Akkadian empire. It stretched across Mesopotamia, and included present-day Syria and Lebanon. It's likely or at least possible that the Khawams consider themselves to be Assyrian Lebanese, and thus, to be descendants of the Assyrian empire, an Akkadian empire. So maybe a connection between the name of Wolfe's firm and the ancient heritage of his ex-wife. Definitely a connection between the name of the firm and Mesopotamia, including Iraq, though.

The Maronites consider themselves to be the rightful inhabitants of Lebanon, having settled there long before Arab Muslims came into the picture (before Islam was even founded). In the 1976 war, two massacres between the Maronites and the PLO occured. On January 18, 1976, members of the Phalangist Militia (a nationalistic militia comprised mostly of and supported mostly by Lebanese Maronites) massacred somewhere between 300 and 1,500 Muslims. Two days later, the PLO carried out a revenge massacre, in which approximately 700 Maronites lost their lives.

So, it would seem that the Maronites, as a group, have multiple reasons to harbor ill will toward Arabic Muslims in the region. I could imagine that the Maronite diaspora might be involved in raising funds for the Maronites left in the region, and in trying manipulate world actors into making pro-Maronite decisions.

Interesting stuff. Hope it's enough to keep everyone satiated until we learn more :)
posted by syzygy at 7:16 AM on November 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Lost Art Of The Classy Paramour

Reminded me so much of this bit of Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal":
Topsy leaned forward. “I never minded about Honey, you know,” she said, slightly lowering her voice. “Quite a nice girl, but thick as a yard of lard. She wasn’t the first, either. Not by a long way. I was Joshua’s mistress once myself.”

“Really?” He knew he was going to hear it all, whether he wanted to or not.

“Oh, yes,” said Mrs. Lavish. “People understood more then. It was all quite acceptable. I used to take tea with his wife once a month to sort out his schedule, and she always said she was glad to have him out from under her feet. Of course, a mistress was expected to be a woman of some accomplishment in those days.” She sighed. “Now, of course, the ability to spin upside down around a pole seems to be sufficient.”
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:22 AM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hubris. It'll getcha every time.

Fortunately, I'm too clever to fall victim to hubris.
posted by Egg Shen at 7:50 AM on November 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


dejah420: "I think McCain has Alzheimer's. I know that sounds snarky, and I know I'm prone to snark; but I've watched the progression of it in two members of my family; and the thing that struck me as I've dealt with other Alzheimer's people and their families is the anger. It's an angry, angry disease. Long before the memories disappear, the irrationality appears, it seems.

I really do believe something is wrong with John McCain, not that there's anything we can do about it. I think there should be a law that mandates that all elected and nominated members of all branches of the government should have to be evaluated by medical professionals once a year for competency.
"

He has a lot of reasons to be angry at his lot in life which don't have to be caused by a medical condition. His political and personal history show that he has a quick temper and carries a grudge. He's not a kindly grandfather figure. He's a career politician and aggressive infighter.

The battle he lost to George W. Bush in 2000 for the GOP nomination was pretty nasty, and McCain spent the ensuing years sniping at Bush and publicly tearing him down. I've always suspected that McCain felt there was no possible way he could lose to Obama in 2008 -- the same bubble of false Conservative / GOP confidence that we saw in the current election was in effect back then. It seems clear that McCain did not expect to lose -- especially not to someone as inexperienced and polarizing as Obama. And he probably did not expect GOP and Tea Party supporters to swing so hard to the Right. He's had to swing along with them, and in doing so has clearly sold his soul to keep his Senate seat. (I made a post about that article here.)

I don't think his political stances are about competence, Alzheimers or him getting older. I think he's revealing his true nature. He's not the honorable person people thought he was. He just talked a good game.
posted by zarq at 7:55 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


When did socialite become an insult. (Me, I'm gonna have to blame reality tv for that...)

Nah, it was definitely an insult in the '70s and '80s.

My guess is 1929.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:03 AM on November 16, 2012


zarq: [McCain] has clearly sold his soul to keep his Senate seat.

Thanks for sharing that - I hadn't seen it before. I guess this might go along with my personal saying about politics and politicians, which goes:

All politicians are corrupt. They either got into the business because they were corrupt, or the business corrupted them.

It has to be hard to weigh your principles against your desire to be elected or reelected. I can imagine tradeoffs where even an honorable man could convince himself that a small concession of his principles might be justifiable in a "the ends justifies the means" sense. Even if one gets into politics with the honest desire to do good, how easy must it be to fudge on principles, if it seems like that's the only way to get into or stay in office, in order to have the power and opportunity required to do the good you want to do.

Tough, and one reason I'd never want to get into politics. I guess we'll never know whether McCain got into politics because he was corrupt, or was corrupted by the business of politics. Sad, either way, to see him squander what used to be, I believe, wide-ranging respect from members of both political parties.
posted by syzygy at 8:07 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks syzygy.
It is worth remembering that Akkadian was started with funds from the a particularily shady bunch still goung strong in psy ops. namely the Lincoln Group.
Still waiting for some names of the Central Command officers and Lebanese and other Middle Eastern government officials schmoozed by Jill Kelley and her sister Natalie Khawam.
Big silence out there which leads me to believe the other shoe is about to drop very loudly.
$$$$ all round. Your tax $$$$$ that is, all going to sleezy middle men in pursuit of what?
posted by adamvasco at 8:16 AM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


adamvasco: namely the Lincoln Group.

Right - don't miss the other names of the Lincoln Group and associated companies that I listed earlier in the thread: Iraqex, Fulcra Worldwide, The Alliance Corporation and Strategic Social.

Seems some of these companies are believed to provide a range of 'interesting' services to customers. The Washington Post has the following list of services offered by Fulcra Worldwide: Counter-IED explosives operations, Cyber operations, Intelligence analysis, Psychological operations, Specialized military operations.

Interesting stuff :)
posted by syzygy at 8:25 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even aside from political stuff, McCain has always seemed really twitchy about certain things, and I think that's as a result of his time in captivity, which wouldn't have been a nice experience for anybody. For example, I remember how vociferously and angrily he blocked some measures a few years ago that were intended to help veterans and their families who were struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. He was very, very adamant that this is not a problem for our boys and we need to drop this right now. Which seemed more than a little strange, but somehow the amount he took it personally made it seem to me that he was really trying to prove something, maybe even just to himself.

In cases like these, where lives were lost overseas to a surprise attack, I think John McCain has a lot of personal feelings that get tied up in what's being debated.
posted by koeselitz at 8:27 AM on November 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


syzygy: "Sad, either way, to see him squander what used to be, I believe, wide-ranging respect from members of both political parties."

Agreed.

If McCain had not picked Palin as his running mate, I might very well have voted for him back in '08. Before that point, I felt he was more honorable than most, and would be willing to do what he felt was best for the country, rather than his own self-aggrandizement. I didn't buy Obama's message. Thought his lack of experience would be dangerous. Felt he was a figurehead candidate presented by a slick and well-designed PR team. And I was pissed about the way Hillary Clinton supporters like me had been treated by Obama supporters during the primary. In my mind, electing Hillary would be like electing Bill for a third term.

But man... Palin. The creepy, fundamentalist, idiot successor to the throne. McCain was no Spring chicken, and his choice of a running mate should absolutely have taken into account what could happen if he died in office. The moment she was announced it became apparent to me that McCain was willing to sacrifice what was best for the American people in order to get elected. I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

So I voted for Obama back then because ye gods, he couldn't be worse than the alternative. But I voted for him this month because I think he's done a damn good job. Along the way I've come to the conclusion that my problem wasn't really with McCain, but with his party. The GOP has consistently proven that they don't give a damn about anyone who doesn't support them. They're not interested in bipartisanship or negotiation except as a means to an end. And the party will shamelessly shift positions on just about any issue in order to gain power, at which point they feel they can act with impunity. So, perhaps McCain's corruption is a symptom of the GOP's deeper political philosophy?
posted by zarq at 8:32 AM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, only tangentially related; but it strikes me as passing odd how many Generals we're losing this month. And I'm pretty sure I remember a couple of other cases as well, but my google fu is no match for my cold meds.
posted by dejah420 at 8:33 AM on November 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, well, so does The Honorary Consul yt , with Richard Gere, Michael Caine, and Bob Hoskins. Watch the whole thing (really!) before somebody figures out it should have a DVD release.
Not an endorsement of product quality.


OK, so I did watch this last night. I wish I could recommend it, but other than seeing the actors (including a few who became famous later), there wasn't much that was worthwhile about it. But hey, free movie on YouTube.

Anyway, as for juicy political drama, just in time Netflix dropped its first trailer for House of Cards, the Americanized version with Kevin Spacey. Not sure yet, since the Ian Richardson adaptation is close to perfect, but it looks suitably thriller-y with an aura of satire. Few real hints of sex, though.

but there is indeed an art to being a discreet, non-vindictive, classy paramour.

Not a new problem, necessarily; see The Rules of the Game^, for instance.

As to McCain, it's worth noting that there is an extensive section in his Wikipedia coverage labeled Temperament.

When did socialite become an insult.

Sometime postwar, at least -- originally the whole thing was very structured, but later on you had the nouveau riche climbers and it was probably the 1960s when the cultural divide emerged that cast your average (say) Connecticut WASP as hopelessly out of touch. But I would definitely agree that it was the 1980s when this idea of the wholly de novo socialite emerged -- see Bonfire of the Vanities for one treatment.
posted by dhartung at 8:34 AM on November 16, 2012


Oh yeah; General Carter Ham has been removed as head of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette was reassigned as the commander of the USS John C. Stennis strike group.
posted by dejah420 at 8:46 AM on November 16, 2012


zarq: Felt [Obama] was a figurehead candidate presented by a slick and well-designed PR team.

That's interesting. I was 8 years into living in Austria for the 2008 election, and I didn't pay quite as much attention to it as I have to this one. I had supported Bush in 2000 (am from Texas and started out very conservative), semi-supported him in 2004 and was ready for anybody but neoconservatives by 2008. So I started out in 2008 being against McCain, just for his neocon foreign policy team. I'd had enough of being lied to and starting wars, and having to defend myself to angry Europeans.

But my brother, whose swing to the left is probably a little behind mine, was in the States. For much of the 2008 campaign. He didn't like Obama, and described him to me the same way you have. I appreciated his input, but the neocon deal was a killer for me. And Palin was the final straw.

This time around, I supported Obama with more conviction, not just as the lesser of two evils (although he certainly isn't perfect) - I agree that he's done a great job, given the situation he had to start out with. I'm really hoping he'll make us proud in his second term.

I'd like to see the GOP get back to reality and moderate some of their crazier positions. A two-party democracy works best when both of the parties are sane, I think.
posted by syzygy at 8:54 AM on November 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, only tangentially related; but it strikes me as passing odd how many Generals we're losing this month.

As noted by an anonymous reader of Andrew Sullivan's,

Obama also has become the biggest general slayer since Harry S. Truman. He fired Stanley McChrystal and now David Petraeus, the man who flogged rumors about his own suitability for high political office. I don't see anything remotely Machiavellian about this. It was all rigorously application of good governance principles and rules of command authority. But the result we are now coasting towards is an unwinding of the distortions introduced by Bush and a restoration of America's historic notions of civilian-military relations - under which the generals are to be kept firmly out of politics and clearly accountable to elected civilian authority.

I think it's an interesting conclusion.
posted by dhartung at 9:49 AM on November 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Andrew Napolitano, in Reason: Silencing General Petraeus
In the modern era, office-holders with forgiving spouses simply do not resign from powerful jobs because of a temporary, non-criminal, consensual adult sexual liaison, as the history of the FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Clinton presidencies attest. So, why is Petraeus different? Someone wants to silence him.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:40 AM on November 16, 2012


1. We do not know that Holly Petraeus was a "forgiving spouse."
2. "Because of his infidelity" and "because someone wanted to silence him" are not the only two possible explanations for his dismissal.

(I know, Andrew Napolitano, Reason magazine, fish, barrel, etc.)
posted by tonycpsu at 10:45 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this is more important:

3. How in God's name is forcing someone to resign publicly an effective way of "silencing" them? If anything, it invites speculation, subpoenas, inquiries, and intrigues. Petraeus isn't suddenly immune from being called to testify about Benghazi, as the Republicans have gleefully reminded us regularly since this happened.
posted by koeselitz at 10:53 AM on November 16, 2012


The Real Reason You Should Care About The Petraeus Affair: Privacy

The Petraeus Illusion
Petraeus’s downfall is only as great as we choose to make it. He was an exceptional military officer, and he helped steer a turnaround in what had been a hopeless, bloody mess of a war in Iraq. But his lionization by admiring and opportunistic politicians and fawning journalists and biographers—such as Paula Broadwell, the woman he was involved with—has been craven and boundless: Petraeus as America’s Prometheus. This derived in part from our habit of turning flesh-and-blood men into Paul Bunyans, but it was also the product of a gigantic official spin campaign in which the Bush Administration sought, through Petraeus, to retell the U.S. war in Iraq as a success story.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:54 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if you want to silence someone you don't take away their nice things, you *threaten* to take away their nice things.
posted by leopard at 10:56 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Obama wanted to keep Patreaus under control, he would have let him keep his job. Now that he's a civilian, he can do anything he wants. If he still had an office, he would have something to lose, and Obama would have more leverage on him.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:00 AM on November 16, 2012


Yeah, if you want to silence someone you don't take away their nice things, you *threaten* to take away their nice things.

Then Petreaus' silence so far would be an indication that he is still scared of losing nice things, no? I wonder what those nice things are.
posted by The World Famous at 11:03 AM on November 16, 2012


koeselitz: "I think this is more important:

3. How in God's name is forcing someone to resign publicly an effective way of "silencing" them?
"

Yeah, I thought we already smacked that aspect of the conspiracy down upthread, but I guess these zombie lies never die.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:04 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps outing Petraeus et al is a warning shot that the military cease with sexcapading.
posted by Feisty at 11:06 AM on November 16, 2012


The World Famous: " Then Petreaus' silence so far would be an indication that he is still scared of losing nice things, no? I wonder what those nice things are."

Petraeus hasn't been silent. He spoke to Congress today and to a HLN reporter yesterday.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:06 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This scandal won't be done unravelling until Kevin Bacon is involved.
posted by srboisvert at 11:26 AM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


possessing pornography while deployed

!
posted by srboisvert at 11:29 AM on November 16, 2012


Petraeus hasn't been silent. He spoke to Congress today and to a HLN reporter yesterday.

How can you possibly know what information he is not disclosing? There's no question that he knows volumes of information that he will not disclose.
posted by The World Famous at 11:40 AM on November 16, 2012


How can you possibly know what information he is not disclosing? There's no question that he knows volumes of information that he will not disclose.

How can you possibly know what information he is disclosing? There's no question that he knows volumes of information that he may have disclosed in congress today.

Just saying, your logic is a little faulty on that one.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:43 AM on November 16, 2012


The World Famous: "How can you possibly know what information he is not disclosing?"

First you said he was being silent, now you're moving the goalposts to suggest that he may not have told Congress everything. I am the last person who's going to defend the guy, but you're going several steps further to assert that he's hiding something specific and concerned about "losing nice things" at the hands of... who? Be specific.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:52 AM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


How can you possibly know what information he is disclosing? There's no question that he knows volumes of information that he may have disclosed in congress today.

Just saying, your logic is a little faulty on that one.


I think it's a little bit safe to assume that, in his meetings with Congress, he is not disclosing every single thing he knows about everything ever.

First you said he was being silent

He is, in fact, being silent about a great many things.

to suggest that he may not have told Congress everything.

There's no question that he is not telling Congress everything.
posted by The World Famous at 12:04 PM on November 16, 2012


So you're now retreating from your clear implication that he is or was hiding something, and was concerned about losing some unspecified things at the hands of some unspecified person or persons, to a position of "he didn't download every bit of information in his brain to a thumb drive and hand it over to Congress"?

That's some bush league stuff right there.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:19 PM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's no question that he is not telling Congress everything.

What is he not disclosing?
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:30 PM on November 16, 2012


Which Conservative Think Tanks Was David Petraeus Courting? The Washington Post says staffers from at least two "were given permanent office space at his headquarters and access to military aircraft."
posted by homunculus at 12:30 PM on November 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


In other news: Taliban fails to BCC an e-mail, reveals its entire PR mailing list. Fundamentalist militant groups sometimes fail at e-mail, too.
posted by homunculus at 12:43 PM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


WaPo: Jill Kelley and twin sister visited White House three times
posted by rosswald at 1:03 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


So you're now retreating from your clear implication that he is or was hiding something

Not at all. I have no doubt that he is hiding something.
posted by The World Famous at 1:33 PM on November 16, 2012


Since you've refused to answer the question, despite it being asked multiple times, I'm just going to assume that you're not comfortable specifying what it is that you have no doubt he's hiding. He probably did not share the combination to his gym locker or his secret love of The Spice Girls to the House intelligence committee, but you're obviously trying to insinuate that it's something more sinister, without actually specifying what that sinister thing is.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:50 PM on November 16, 2012


This scandal won't be done unravelling until Kevin Bacon is involved.

The Oracle of Bacon:

David Petraeus appeared in Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience (2011) with Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld was in Being W with Jim Meskimen (note: voice of George W. Bush)

Jim Meskimen was in Apollo 13 with....
posted by dhartung at 1:51 PM on November 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Since you've refused to answer the question, despite it being asked multiple times

Sorry, I didn't realize there was an actual question being asked of me. What was it?

You were asking me what secrets that are extremely damaging to national security and/or the CIA, the U.S. Military, etc. the former Director of the CIA is keeping and not disclosing?

How the hell would I know?

I'm just going to assume that you're not comfortable specifying what it is that you have no doubt he's hiding.

I guess you can assume that if you want. Or you can read what I'm saying, which is that I have no doubt that he's hiding something.

He probably did not share the combination to his gym locker or his secret love of The Spice Girls to the House intelligence committee, but you're obviously trying to insinuate that it's something more sinister, without actually specifying what that sinister thing is.

Yeah, because I have no idea what that sinister thing is. I do know that no one has ever testified before Congress and given complete, full disclosure - ever. To suppose that this guy is the one guy in the history of ever who leaves the top spot in the CIA without having any sinister, damaging secrets and that he is also the first guy in the history of ever to disclose every single sinister damaging secret he knows seems a bit ridiculous to me.
posted by The World Famous at 2:02 PM on November 16, 2012


homunculus: Which Conservative Think Tanks Was David Petraeus Courting? The Washington Post says staffers from at least two "were given permanent office space at his headquarters and access to military aircraft."

Betcha dollars to dimes that the American Enterprise Institute was one of them.
posted by syzygy at 2:11 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, I give up, The World Famous. You were clearly making a more direct implication that he was "being silent" about something that would cause him to "lose nice things", but if you want to play semantic games by twisting the logic so that "being silent" becomes the obvious tautology of "there are things he knows that he's not saying", then I don't think we're going to get anywhere.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:21 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're not alone by the way tonycpsu, I just didn't feel like commenting when you'd already pointed out the flaw succinctly and he ignored it.
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:27 PM on November 16, 2012


I, for one, am ABSOLUTELY and INCONTROVERTIBLY convinced that The World Famous isn't telling us everything he knows. Some might say he's hiding something, but me, I'm not gonna make any accusations.

Now, how about derail over and move ahead :)
posted by syzygy at 2:30 PM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


OK, I give up, The World Famous. You were clearly making a more direct implication that he was "being silent" about something that would cause him to "lose nice things", but if you want to play semantic games by twisting the logic so that "being silent" becomes the obvious tautology of "there are things he knows that he's not saying", then I don't think we're going to get anywhere.

Honestly. How the hell would I know what highly-damaging state secrets the Director of the CIA knows that are sufficiently damaging to motivate the powers that be to shut him up about them? I can speculate all day long, and I can certainly think of things that they might be, but I don't think it's productive to sit here posting speculative guesses at what might be the super secret secrets of the most secret secret keeper in the world.
posted by The World Famous at 2:31 PM on November 16, 2012


motivate the powers that be to shut him up about them

Where are you getting the idea that powers that be are shutting him up? If it's not productive to post speculative guesses, why are you presenting speculative narratives about why Petraeus left CIA as fact?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:39 PM on November 16, 2012


Love ya tonycpsu but you are like a dog on a bone at this point. WTF is not going to explain himself at this point because he can't.
posted by futz at 2:48 PM on November 16, 2012


Where are you getting the idea that powers that be are shutting him up? If it's not productive to post speculative guesses, why are you presenting speculative narratives about why Petraeus left CIA as fact?


I have posted no speculative narratives.
posted by The World Famous at 2:50 PM on November 16, 2012


The World Famous: Here's a clue for you. If you don't know with 100% certainty of at least one thing Petraeus is hiding, you don't know with 100% certainty that he's hiding anything. How about you drop this faulty line of reasoning?
posted by syzygy at 2:52 PM on November 16, 2012


A plate of beans is, quite often, round. A circle, one might say.
posted by dhartung at 2:55 PM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


The World Famous: Here's a clue for you. If you don't know with 100% certainty of at least one thing Petraeus is hiding, you don't know with 100% certainty that he's hiding anything. How about you drop this faulty line of reasoning?

Are you asserting that there is some possibility that Petraeus is hiding nothing? If so, what is your assertion based on?
posted by The World Famous at 2:55 PM on November 16, 2012


No, it's the other way around. You asserted first that he's hiding something. And your assertion is based on circumstantial evidence, not incontrovertible proof.

I'm sorry, but the burden of proof is on you, and you've already admitted that you have no proof. You have a strong conviction, but you do not know that he is hiding anything. Knowing requires that you are aware of actual factual incontrovertible evidence of a thing, something you've already told us you don't have.
posted by syzygy at 2:58 PM on November 16, 2012


Let's discuss more unknown unknowns. That will be productive.
posted by dhartung at 2:59 PM on November 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


The World Famous, you most certainly did post a speculative narrative, that being that there are "powers that be" who are shutting Petraeus up.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:59 PM on November 16, 2012


Alrighty then, back to the Jill Kelley Hour! Jill Kelley pleads to Tampa mayor, calls Paula Broadwell ‘criminal’
The social climber complains to Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn that she, along with former CIA director David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen have been “exploited by the media,” in e-mails obtained by the Tampa Bay Times Friday.

"I wouldn't care — if they got the facts right and the focus was on the criminal that stalked all of us," she wrote on Tuesday, in an apparent reference to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s biographer and mistress. "But the truth will one day prevail." Kelley is said to know the mayor socially.
Who is writing her dialog? "But the truth will one day prevail?" Who talks (er..writes) like that?
"to put insult to injury, your police dept gave the local 911 tapes to the press!" Kelley’s cell phone number was released in the police dispatch recordings and as a result, she says she has been “receiving threats all night."

Buckhorn told the newspaper that he didn’t act on Kelley’s complaint and called the police tapes "public record."
I think Buckthorn is going to find his party invitations are dried up. Oh who am I kidding. Once the parties start up again the Mayor will be just as welcome as ever.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:59 PM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


dhartung, I don't see this as beanplating. I'm frankly much more interested in the national security and political implications of this story than the salacious sexytime bits, and if someone's going to imply that Petraeus is keeping quiet to protect someone else, I think that someone has a responsibility to be specific about what they're suggesting.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:03 PM on November 16, 2012


[Folks, this "what is he hiding?" line of discussion is verging on self-parody at this point. Maybe drop it if you don't have a substantive point to make?]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:07 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, it's the other way around. You asserted first that he's hiding something. And your assertion is based on circumstantial evidence, not incontrovertible proof.

Sorry, I didn't realize this was the thread where people are only posting facts supported by incontrovertible proof. Good to know.

The World Famous, you most certainly did post a speculative narrative, that being that there are "powers that be" who are shutting Petraeus up.

First, it's really not a narrative. Second, it's not speculative to note that the former Director of the CIA most certainly and without any doubt whatsoever is in possession of state secrets and other damaging information that those still in power in the U.S. Government will have urged him in the strongest possible terms not to disclose. This is not speculation. It would be outrageously stupid to suggest that it is not the case. I'm sorry if my use of the term "powers that be" threw you for a loop or something. The fact is, at the highest levels of U.S. Government, there are, in fact, powers that be.

if someone's going to imply that Petraeus is keeping quiet to protect someone else, I think that someone has a responsibility to be specific about what they're suggesting.

For crying out loud. If you're going to accuse me of keeping quiet, at least have the decency to say, specifically, what you think I'm being quiet about.
posted by The World Famous at 3:07 PM on November 16, 2012


The World Famous, when you say:
Then Petreaus' silence so far would be an indication that he is still scared of losing nice things, no? I wonder what those nice things are.

...you are suggesting that Petraeus, if not being actively blackmailed to keep quiet, at least has something hanging over him that might motivate him not to make waves.

When you were asked what evidence there is that he is hiding anything because he has something to lose by speaking up, you responded by saying basically "everybody has secrets, no one tells the WHOLE truth." Which is true, but irrelevant. The question was, where's the evidence he's hiding anything worth being blackmailed over?

I'm interested in the reports today that Petraeus testified the reason the administration didn't emphasize "it was terrorism!" right away after Benghazi was so as not to broadcast their knowledge to AQ. Hmm.
posted by torticat at 3:09 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


torticat: I'm interested in the reports today that Petraeus testified the reason the administration didn't emphasize "it was terrorism!" right away after Benghazi was so as not to broadcast their knowledge to AQ.

I found that a little odd, at first, until I read a better report on it at nytimes where they went into more detail. They didn't want to tip al quaeda off that they were monitoring their communications, apparently. This is common counterintelligence - if you have found something out about your enemy, you don't want to let them know where the leak is.

Makes sense, at least. It will be interesting to learn more.
posted by syzygy at 3:13 PM on November 16, 2012


the reason the administration didn't emphasize "it was terrorism!" right away after Benghazi was so as not to broadcast their knowledge to AQ.

I've felt this from the beginning, and I've been appalled that the whole Republican approach to this has been "play your cards out on the table with the organization we deem the world's most dangerous". I mean, the fuck? This entire angle is rather obvious from a tactical standpoint and has received just about zero discussion since the incident.
posted by dhartung at 3:17 PM on November 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


When you were asked what evidence there is that he is hiding anything because he has something to lose by speaking up, you responded by saying basically "everybody has secrets, no one tells the WHOLE truth."

Everybody who is the Director of the CIA, sure. As well as other high-profile national security positions. Come on.

The question was, where's the evidence he's hiding anything worth being blackmailed over?

The evidence that the former Director of the CIA and commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is in possession of national secrets worth blackmailing him over? Well, to start with, there's the fact that he's the former Director of the CIA and commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. I would have thought that would be enough to satisfy the initial burden. I guess you disagree. Oh well.
posted by The World Famous at 3:18 PM on November 16, 2012


More on Jill Kelley's emails (she loooooves to name-drop)
After hosting a reception for Buckhorn in April 2011, Kelley frequently traded emails with him and dropped names ranging from the King of Jordan to Allen and Petraeus, whom she referred to informally as "Dave."

Among the dozens of emails were Kelley's description of her role as "ambassador to the coalition," hosting visitors to Central Command at her home for a 15-course Lebanese meal at her home. Kelley's family is originally from Lebanon.

And in March 2012, when a Tampa DJ nicknamed "Bubba The Love Sponge" said he was going to "deep fat fry" a Koran as a stunt, Kelley emailed the mayor, claiming that Petraeus and Allen asked her about "getting this dealt with." She said she considered getting her "1st Amendment lawyer" to sue the DJ.

The mayor responded that the city was "working on it."

"OK keep me in the loop," Kelley wrote. "Gen Allen will be calling me from Afghanistan at 1 p.m on this-and our next step."

Just days before the scandal broke, Kelley emailed Buckhorn, a Democrat, and gushed about visiting the White House.

"I was at the WH with my friends in the Administration this weekend - the stress was surreal!" she wrote. "But glad POTUS has been reelected!"
A textbook case of how to be a social climber. "I was at the WH with my friends in the administration" You almost have to admire her. Anyone familiar with the Lucia books will recognize how to exaggerate brief encounters and imply intimate connections with people who are acquaintances.

And are we really supposed to believe that the head of the CIA and the General in charge of the war in Afghanistan care two hoots about what some dumb ass DJ in Tampa said?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:19 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


dhartung: I've felt this from the beginning, and I've been appalled that the whole Republican approach to this has been "play your cards out on the table with the organization we deem the world's most dangerous".

Interesting. The possibility of trying to hide the eavesdropping hadn't crossed my mind, but what I never could figure out is WHO THE F*** CARES what we call it a day or a week afterwards, when we're still gathering intelligence? It's like they want up-to-the-second information, with no gaps and no confusion on a chaotic situation that's happening 4,000 miles away in a lawless country. Totally unrealistic, in my view. This totally exact parsing of the minutiae of who said what, when has always seemed like a total joke to me, and I could never really see a strong enough motivation for the administration to try to cover up al Quaeda involvement, knowing the danger that comes along with a coverup.

It's seriously as if the GOP is filled with a bunch of insane idiots with no sense of propriety or reality. It's been very frustrating discussing this issue with my conservative friends who are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the president has committed an impeachment-worthy crime. Insanity.
posted by syzygy at 3:24 PM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


syzygy:
Oh yes, it seems fairly credible to me. I haven't been overly worried about this whole terrorism-or-not thing from the start, though, and I'm wondering if this line of argument will satisfy Fox viewers. At least it's coming from Petraeus and not Rice this time, which might help. Although clearly Petraeus is afraid of losing nice things (unspecified) and therefore not credible. o_O
posted by torticat at 3:24 PM on November 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've felt this from the beginning, and I've been appalled that the whole Republican approach to this has been "play your cards out on the table with the organization we deem the world's most dangerous"

Yeah I'm not too bright and even I thought the same thing. The idea that the President who would obviously be fully informed is supposed to announce what he knows, the minute he knows it, has been jaw-dropping to me. I don't want the President revealing everything within hours of it happening. Of course there are going to be things that should not be broadcast to the world. And actually the Republicans would be the first to be outraged if the President shared all of his top secret briefings.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:27 PM on November 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


And in March 2012, when a Tampa DJ nicknamed "Bubba The Love Sponge" said he was going to "deep fat fry" a Koran as a stunt, Kelley emailed the mayor, claiming that Petraeus and Allen asked her about "getting this dealt with." She said she considered getting her "1st Amendment lawyer" to sue the DJ.

So I read that as "deep fat fry a Korean", and thought "So is that what honorary consuls do, they protect the culture of the mission from horrible radio stuff?" and it kind of made sense. So now I am a little disappointed.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 3:31 PM on November 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


what I never could figure out is WHO THE F*** CARES what we call it a day or a week afterwards

Exactly -- it's utterly meaningless. Does Al Qaeda in the Maghreb give a rat's ass if we use the word "terror" or the word "terrorism" (that is the actual distinction here) the next morning? I certainly hope that the people who are actually privately dealing with the incident and the intelligence at the top don't even let such thoughts trouble the merest glancing blow off the corner of their mind and that this is simply a well-focus-grouped thing for low-information voters. In other words (as is so often the case) the best-case scenario is that the GOP is being cynical as hell.

Of course there are going to be things that should not be broadcast to the world. And actually the Republicans would be the first to be outraged if the President shared all of his top secret briefings.

It's an utterly incoherent position, particularly since there's a secondary tussle over who was the most reckless in revealing the activities of the CIA in country.

"But glad POTUS has been reelected!"

Oh God no. My worst nightmare. She's on our side.
posted by dhartung at 3:36 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


thehmsbeagle, I misread it the same way! I think we are so blinded by Jill's Honorary Consul status that we automatically assume everything she is connected to has something Korean about it.

I did wonder why a DJ thought he could get away with deep frying a human, so I was a little bit relieved it was just a book.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:36 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This has been the best thread ever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:44 PM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


From the ever-delightful Godlike productions...UFOs, Conspiracy Theorists, Lunatic Fringes:Congress was Obviously Concerned Petraeus Might have been Assassinated before his Testimony Today Hint: It is because there is a cover-up to cover-up the cover-up.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:56 PM on November 16, 2012


Heh. Bon Apetite has their own spin on the scandal. The Last supper of Paula Broadwell.
On Friday morning, Paula Broadwell was seen furiously texting during breakfast, but the couple's mood remained light. Later that day, news would break of Gen. Petraeus's resignation. That evening, around suppertime, Slate would identify Paula as the general's ex-mistress. But for now, apparently, things were good.

For dinner, Scott Broadwell pulled out all the stops and took the mother of his two children to the kind of place locals propose marriage in--the Inn at Little Washington--the kind of restaurant that could serve as the setting for whatever scene a Julia Roberts or Renee Zellweger rom-com spends 90 minutes leading up to. The place champions local farmers and food artisans, and encourages diners to visit their gardens and orchards by walking the path through what it describes as "the Field of Dreams." It also has bizarrely personalized menus.

The Broadwells arrived at the restaurant a happy couple. They didn't leave that way.

What happened in that hour or so between the seating and dessert is anyone's guess (a spokeswoman for the Inn said it was the restaurant's policy not to comment on guests).

Did Paula Broadwell laugh in the face of fate and order the "Tin of Sin" American osetra caviar with peekytoe crab and rillette to start?

Did they debate the merits of the "Marriage of Hot and Cold Foie Gras" with Sauternes jelly and fig marmalade?
God. The timing. Of course you have to wonder if her husband knew about the affair before the weekend. I hope he did because taking your wife on a romantic weekend to celebrate her 40th birthday only to be told a) I had an affair, honey and b) and by the way it is going to be national news, would put a damper on the weekend.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:28 PM on November 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wait a minute. John Kerry is now involved?
However it started, the ramifications will continue to flow. Gen. John Allen, Petraeus' successor in leading NATO troops in Afghanistan, insisted the 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails he shared with Kelley are not evidence of an affair. Both Petraeus and Allen are friends of Kelley. Their names appear in the court file of Kelley's twin sister's tumultuous divorce, according to the New York Post. Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., are also mentioned. This has a bad look to it on its own.
Also mentioned? In the divorce proceedings?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:43 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somebody isn't going to be Secretary of Anything
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:18 PM on November 16, 2012


The John Kerry Connection: Beyond two generals: The political ties of Jill Kelley and her sister
Central to some of the other political associations is the man who was the vice chair of finance for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign: Democratic fundraiser and lobbyist Gerald Harrington. According to those who know Harrington, he has had an "on-again off-again" relationship with Khawam, who got divorced last April and lost a contentious battle for custody of her four year old son. He extended Khawam a large personal loan worth $300,000, according to her bankruptcy records.
Wow. You know, the sheer scale of the grift here is just amazing. I mean, part of me almost admires the chutzpa it would take to pull this sort of long con off.
posted by dejah420 at 5:20 PM on November 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


She said she considered getting her "1st Amendment lawyer" to sue the DJ.

Is that what first amendment lawyers do? Sue DJs for free speech?

Also "Keep me in the loop, I'm expecting a call from Gen Allen." GAH. I am truly baffled that intelligent people (?) took this woman seriously. She sounds like a nightmare.
posted by torticat at 5:39 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, so remember I said something earlier about generals being dismissed right and left? I'm not the only one who noticed. Oh glorious cloud cuckooland of conspiracy, I tip my tin foil chapeau to thee.
posted by dejah420 at 5:42 PM on November 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


He extended Khawam a large personal loan worth $300,000, according to her bankruptcy records.

I remember that a private loan from her sister for $800,00 was listed in her bankruptcy proceedings. What the hell. Natalie is an attorney. She must have made a pretty good living because she was hit with $1000 a month child support. Yet somehow even with all these private loans she got herself $3.5 million in debt. Now far be it from me to tell anyone else how they spend their money, but jimminy christmas.

Is that what first amendment lawyers do? Sue DJs for free speech?

Well apparently that's what Jill thinks first amendment lawyers do. Also, Two generals are counting on her to take care of this matter! She is Important.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:58 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Petraeus hasn't been silent. He spoke to Congress today and to a HLN reporter yesterday.
Update, 4:52 p.m.: According to the Associated Press, the CIA excised mentions of terrorist groups from the talking points “so as not to alert them that U.S. intelligence was on their trail.” Pentagon spokesman George Little had said the day following the attack that the U.S. would retaliate, but did not give any specifics as to who was responsible.
posted by homunculus at 6:15 PM on November 16, 2012


Republican Desperation Grows as Benghazi Backfires and Scandal Talk Fizzles
posted by homunculus at 6:16 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cirque du Benghazi
posted by homunculus at 6:26 PM on November 16, 2012


This thread gives me life. The shenanigans just keep on coming!
posted by orrnyereg at 9:07 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Slate: What Military Spouses Know About Infidelity
But there’s a wary undertone to these discussions because few military spouses believe that adultery is worthy of the tabloid-like headlines it has received during the last few days, particularly if there are no national security issues at stake (which there don’t appear to be in the current scandal). Many military spouses feel that the avalanche of media interest in the Petraeus affair is disingenuous at best—at worst, prurient with a pinch of schadenfreude. Not only do none of us want our marriage parsed by others, but we hear the profound truth in the Onion’s recent headline, “Nation Horrified to Learn About War in Afghanistan While Reading Up On Petraeus Sex Scandal.” Ten years of combat, and this is what grabs America’s attention?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:36 AM on November 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Petraeus Saga
These headlines reflect (and they are not cherry-picked) the Weekly Standard’s investment in Petraeus and his consistent advice that America remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. This view was echoed on talk radio and Fox News—that President Obama was somehow “weak” for wanting to withdraw from Afghanistan too quickly, and that Petraeus was the man whose advice we should ultimately follow.

It has become common rhetoric in both major political parties to “defer to the generals” on foreign policy—the notion that military experts know more than the President. But we are not a banana republic: In the United States, the President is the Commander-in-Chief and the generals follow his command. This does not mean generals and other experts are not consulted. It does not mean that they are the ultimate arbiters of war. The Constitution outlines that Congress declares war, presidents devise it, and generals wage it. Our Founders preferred civilian rule to military, knowing full the dangers of the latter.

That generals should have a primary or even final decision in our foreign policy runs counter to the core principles of our constitutional republic. So does the concept of perpetual war itself.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:25 AM on November 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


A Late-Night Petraeus Explainer
The Rise And Fall Of David Petraeus - career timeline slideshow
Everything You Need to Know About the Media’s Coverage of the Petraeus Sex Scandal (Hint: It’s Sexist)
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:43 AM on November 17, 2012


Jill Kelley's World
TAMPA — Her business card is utterly ordinary. No big titles. No hint of connections with the military and political elite. It lists her address, her phone number and her name in elegant script:

"Honorable Jill G. Kelley."

But the outsized portrait of herself that Kelley presents to the world will fit on no card. It's seen in her emails to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and others. She drops names. She mentions lunch at the White House in a casual aside, one of three visits she has made there in the last six weeks.
She puts "Honorable" on her business cards? Of course she does. I'm amazed she left it at "Honorable" and didn't add "Consul, Ambassador, and White House Liaison."
In his day every social invitation and meeting with a civilian was examined by his staff to make sure it would not reflect poorly on the military, said Zinni, a Virginia resident who is now an outside director of the aerospace company BAE Systems.

Zinni said his staff judge advocate — an office providing legal support to a military commander — helped him navigate these sometimes perilous shoals.
Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni was chief of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base 10 years ago. I guess things have loosened up since he left allowing Jill, the human shark, more than enough wriggle room to snork up all the generals carelessly left lying around unguarded.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:32 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Jill Kelley] didn't exactly impress the leader of the Henry B. Plant Museum Board in the three years after then-Mayor Pam Iorio appointed her.

"She was a wild-card appointment from the mayor and has not been active or effective," Executive Director Cynthia Gandee e-mailed city officials in April. "However, we felt we should talk with her."

Despite the weak endorsement — and the fact that she showed up at only seven out of 24 meetings her first term — Mayor Bob Buckhorn reappointed her in May to another three years
Boy, I bet Buckthorn is regretting that decision now. It is amazing how many pies she had her fingers in and how many people now claim they were lukewarm on her personae. Yet she scampered up the social ladder like an overly-caffeinated monkey and may yet profit from someone else's adulterous affair; TV show, book, or exclusive interview, somehow she will elevate her status and bask in the profitable glow of publicity
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:49 AM on November 17, 2012


From Tampa Bay Times blog "Lets Talk":
Merriam-Webster Online — Trend watch » 'Inviolable':"Lookups spiked on November 14, 2012.
Yeah I bet they did. Lets not forget that this is the same woman who declared, "The truth will prevail."
Petraeus accepted an award in a ceremony at the Kelleys' home last year: A photo (right) shows Petraeus kissing Jill Kelley on the cheek after he was presented with an award in the summer of 2011.
What award and why in the Kelley home? I don't dare hope this was some made-up award from Jill herself. Because that would be spectacularly delicious (and sure to be residing in a land fill by now.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:08 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's seriously as if the GOP is filled with a bunch of insane idiots with no sense of propriety or reality. It's been very frustrating discussing this issue with my conservative friends who are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the president has committed an impeachment-worthy crime. Insanity.
posted by syzygy at 6:24 PM

If the events take place, and from the get-go a chronological approach is the only way to get to the light of day on this issue, if they took place then Gen.P told the truth except about his affair which is really the who-ha of the caper here.
It could be a impeachable offense. This president is offensive enough to lie about an issue alot of americans care about.

They viewed security video from the consulate and surveillance footage taken by an unarmed CIA Predator drone that showed events in real time.


that's the piece of tape over the doorjam
posted by clavdivs at 7:53 AM on November 17, 2012


In cases like these, where lives were lost overseas to a surprise attack, I think John McCain has a lot of personal feelings that get tied up in what's being debated.
Koselitz
I think the strong personal feelings are more recently motivated, as in "Fuck that N----- so and so who beat me out of my lifelong ambition when it was within my grasp, and by outright kicking my ass no less." Sore loser extraordinaire, you can feel it in his bearing. Mr. Big War Hero Maverick got shot down again.

Sorry, not inclined to excuse it all because he was a POW. I'm sure it was hell and you were a major hard case leader and now it haunts you, Senator. So fucking show it by being decent and honest now when it counts for the country even more than it did when you were in the Hanoi Hilton. Among other things, admit that the guy who beat you has been and will be far better at national security and far better at taking care of veterans than you or your successor-loser asshole buddy Mitt would ever have been, and in another league entirely from the prior loser Republican fool who got us into these stupid wars and evaded service when you were a prisoner and ran for reelection (after beating you in 2000 by the most scurrilous means imaginable) by painting their 2004 opponent, a decorated wounded Vietnam colleague of yours, as a coward, with a campaign of lies you knew were lies. Never mind Sarah Fucking Palin, because what else is there to say?

Being a POW does not give you free reign to be a callous, hypocritical douchebag.

And I was once a fan, I am ashamed to admit.

And also too,

I dreamed up a background plot. The whole damn affaire Petraeus is a smokescreen. Behind the scenes we are having a military coup, but it's gone horribly wrong. That's why it happened right after the election. Run with it peeps.
posted by spitbull at 9:52 AM on November 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Daily Mail:Petraeus and Allen 'asked' Jill Kelley to wade into diplomatic row over Hulk Hogan sex tape husband's threat to deep fry a Koran

Oh, Florida.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:54 AM on November 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


And I swear I had not yet read that presstv link before I dreamed up the military coup theory!

Shit, I'm a wing nut.
posted by spitbull at 10:04 AM on November 17, 2012


And shoot, *free rein,* dammit. Missed the edit window and that cannot stand uncorrected.
posted by spitbull at 10:12 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the military coup speculation is definitely wackadoodle. Right?


but can we maybe get a Nate Silver bar graph on the odds?
posted by taz at 10:21 AM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Say what you will about Jill but when you need the husband if Hulk Hogans paramour to back down from his threats to deep fry a Koran. She gets it done. I find myself cheering for this social climber.
posted by humanfont at 10:37 AM on November 17, 2012


She puts "Honorable" on her business cards? Of course she does.

Honestly, you keep stretching to find offense here. The style is correct:
In international diplomatic relations, representatives of foreign states are often addressed as "The Honourable". Deputy chiefs of mission, chargés d'affaires, consuls-general and consuls are always given the style. All heads of consular posts, whether they are honorary or career postholders, are accorded the title according to the State Department of the United States.

Whatever you may think of her motives for seeking the position, she is a diplomatic representative accorded recognition by international treaties. Whether she "deserves" the position is a matter, as I see it, for the Republic of Korea to determine.

What award and why in the Kelley home? I don't dare hope this was some made-up award from Jill herself.

All I can find is that it had to do with "community service". But frankly, having been to more than a few, keep in mind these are pretty much all bullshit awards.

There's plenty of offense in this whole affair to go around; no need to invent it in everything tangentially connected.
posted by dhartung at 11:05 AM on November 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do the 'Spyfall' scandal women maybe need makeovers? [USAToday]

Possibly a candidate for the most sexist ostensibly professional news article headline yet, but on the other hand, there's probably a point here: Imagine how differently the principal women would be treated if they wore less obvious make-up and charcoal gray business attire.
posted by dhartung at 12:07 PM on November 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


In Petraeus sex scandal and others, a double standard: Notoriety harder for women to escape than men
Note: Both this and the article I posted immediately prior were written by women.

I already know how this movie ends, eventually. Somehow, the men will be fine — time will pass, and they'll get invitations to join corporate boards and speak at management seminars about leadership and motivation.

The women? They'll be invited to pose in Playboy....

It may have a particularly inimitable cast of characters — who could have guessed the words "Tampa" and "socialite" would ever be uttered in the same breath, let alone "shirtless" and "FBI agent?" But in the end, it feels like it's following an all-too-familiar plot line: powerful men, grasping women and, inevitably, shaming....

No one comes out looking good in this, whether you're the jealous Broadwell warning Allen to stay away from the "seductress" Kelley, or the seemingly all too easily flattered Petraeus or the perhaps politically motivated and shirtless FBI guy. And yet, the biggest punch line has been Kelley, who for now doesn't seem guilty of anything but being kind of silly.

posted by dhartung at 12:13 PM on November 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Vienna Convention defines the difference between Honorary Consuls and career Consular Officers. Honorary Consuls do not benefit from the same privileges and immunities as diplomats and are not usually referred to as diplomats. See articles 63-67 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Most honorary consuls are businessmen. They leverage the position as a networking opportunity. South Korea was misled by J. Kelley's hostessing skills and contacts into assuming she was someone who could advance South Korean interests. She failed. The title is an empty one and she should be ashamed to use it.
"Didn't she only get accreditation three months ago?" says John Gokcen of Kirkland, honorary consul general for Turkey and the current president of the Consular Association of Washington.

"Then she thought she was queen of the world. When we see this kind of thing, it's a disgrace to the consular corps. We feel embarrassed."
From the same article about the real lives of Honorary Consuls
Four hours' free parking at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport — "if you're on consular duties, like picking up a VIP."

Another perk is being invited to hear the governor give the State of the State address, which some might argue perhaps isn't a perk, and also an invite to watch a newly elected governor being inaugurated.

As for a common perception of honorary consuls not having to pay parking tickets: not true, says Gokcen.

He says he tells his family, "Be careful. Watch how you behave. I don't want somebody saying the Turkish consul was violating the speed limit."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:30 PM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I see how she is an embarrassment to consuls everywhere. I fail to see why that is our business to follow up on. Abusing an empty title is not exactly a crime, at least, not one that should merit 24/7 cable television coverage. Kelley is not the villain here unless you see her as the catalyst for bringing down an exalted male figure of power. This is basically the tawdry, substance-free vertex of the scandal pentagon.

Petraeus and Allen had it well within their power, though apparently not their willpower, to keep her disentangled from their important professional lives. That they failed to do so is on them. Similarly Broadwell brought her own dishonor upon herself through overt acts. I guess I'm still waiting to see what being an awful person has to do with any of this, and why it's worth our time to keep beanplating. To me, it just feels like a 15 minutes' hate.
posted by dhartung at 1:20 PM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


homunculus: "Cirque du Benghazi"

Huckleberry Closetcase is already campaigning on Benghazi for 2014.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:43 PM on November 17, 2012


Huckleberry Closetcase is already campaigning on Benghazi for 2014.

You're the second person I've seen call him Huckleberry Closetcase this week. Where did this come from?
posted by drezdn at 6:14 PM on November 17, 2012


Charles Pierce, the giver of epithets -- supposedly. The first part is citeable here, along with use of "closet case" in a sentence by a commenter.
posted by dhartung at 6:30 PM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Calling someone gay as an insult is wrong. Please stop.
posted by humanfont at 5:03 AM on November 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


If there's a point, it's that Graham is widely suspected to be gay, but as a Republican frequently exercises his political power in the anti-gay direction.
posted by dhartung at 10:42 AM on November 18, 2012


That is indeed the point of the moniker, but it was wrong of me to let my disgust over his anti-gay record and crass political opportunism in exploiting Benghazi get the best of me. That was a cheap shot, and I apologize for it.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:51 AM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


FBI detoured from usual path with Petraeus case
The bureau probably would have ignored Kelley's complaint had it not been for information in the emails that indicated the sender was aware of the travel schedules of Petraeus and Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Instead, the FBI considered this from the earliest stages to be an exceptional case, and one so sensitive that FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder were kept notified of its progress.

....

An AP review of court records found only nine cases over the past two years that identified cyberstalking or cyberharassment as the underlying crime in federal criminal complaints.
posted by dejah420 at 1:57 PM on November 18, 2012


Wait, that's all? I was hoping we could drag this out a few more days.
posted by orrnyereg at 9:56 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Daum: The frump factor and Holly Petraeus - a pretty good look at the popular take on Holly Petraeus (happily absent from this conversation).

... except it was absent from pretty much every conversation, save the depths of immoderate comment boards. Also touches on why Kelley recieves so much attention:
As a long-haired Lebanese-American socialite usually photographed in bright, tailored dresses, Kelley has more photogenic glamour than an academic from Bismarck who favors a severe hairstyle. Bluntly put, Kelley looks the part of the stereotypical homewrecker more than Broadwell does—which is, I’m guessing, a large part of why her visage, not Broadwell’s, has become one of the iconic images burned into the public mind in regards to this affair.
Also, a look at the four-star lifestyle.
Although American generals have long enjoyed many perks — in World War II and in Vietnam, some dined on china set atop linen tablecloths — the amenities afforded to today’s military leaders are more lavish than anyone else in government enjoys, save for the president.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:18 AM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Although American generals have long enjoyed many perks — in World War II and in Vietnam, some dined on china set atop linen tablecloths — the amenities afforded to today’s military leaders are more lavish than anyone else in government enjoys, save for the president.

I think it's actually interesting more in terms of our luxury-shaming than anything else. The things that we're horrified at - it's not people taking baths in exotic oils or having dancing girls for their amusement or being fanned by hosts. It's...lawncare and cooking and pressed uniforms. Dinner on china with a linen tablecloth is the heights of luxury now? There are people on social security who do that, who I'm sure would be incredibly interested to know.

It's also a fundamental misunderstanding of how the military works. For example: the generals have soldiers cleaning up their lawns? So does everyone else who lives in military housing, or who works in a military building. Periodically, enlisted soldiers will be tasked with "police call", or picking up every piece of trash, raking up all the leaves, picking up cigarette butts, etc. Only recently on some few military installations has this been replaced with hired contractors, who are paid to do it, but for the most part, it's soldier labor - they're already paid on salary, and do not receive overtime.

In terms of military aides, it's not on taxpayer dime. Those are soldiers who are already salaried, and do not receive any extra money for assisting generals. They engage in menial labor - which is pretty common in the military - in exchange for getting an intimate, up-close-and-personal look at how the top generals lead. It's a privilege that a lot of people would undergo a lot more deprivation in order to participate in. And ideally, those generals would be good enough leaders to make it worthwhile to get those young leaders training.

And these things aren't even unreasonable. But we have this distaste for them. It's our Puritan sensibilities, the same ones that hated Christmas and any kind of conspicuous consumption.

There's a lot wrong with recent generals. But it's in terms of their war policies, how willing they are to send people to die, not in terms of whether or not they have other people to do their labor for them.
posted by corb at 7:16 AM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


You're the second person I've seen call him Huckleberry Closetcase this week. Where did this come from?

Charles Pierce, the giver of epithets -- supposedly.


What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days?
posted by homunculus at 11:58 AM on November 19, 2012


In an inevitability, Natalie Khawam has hired Gloria Allred.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:49 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's only one source for that Gloria Allred story, so I'm not sure I'd put it in the "facts" column yet. Edit: Sorry, forgot to add link.
posted by dejah420 at 2:17 PM on November 19, 2012


it seemed like gloria allred used to do some good work and then she started whatever she's doing now under the veneer of women's rights. it really makes me sad. i'm sure it's lucrative, but, man...
posted by nadawi at 2:22 PM on November 19, 2012


Pierce: Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze, Journamalism Edition

"Innkeeper, a double Prestone, and see what the faded socialites in the backroom will have."
posted by tonycpsu at 2:41 PM on November 19, 2012


There's only one source for that Gloria Allred story, so I'm not sure I'd put it in the "facts" column yet.

Of some things it can be said: If it's not true, it should be. This is one of them.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:04 PM on November 19, 2012


Jill Kelley took multiple flights at tax payer expense
Tampa, Florida -- Not only did Jill Kelley have MacDill's top brass over at her house, but 10 News has learned she also took multiple flights on military aircraft at taxpayer expense.

In at least one instance, Kelley flew to the nation's capital with General John Allen, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan.

Top officers have access to VIP planes like the C-40, a sort of mini-Air Force One with special communications gear. There's also a modified corporate jet, the C-37A, reserved for high-level officers.

10 News has made numerous requests for flight records to see just how many times Kelley has flown on government-owned planes, but so far the Pentagon says it has not been able to track down the answer.
So not just emailing Gen. Allen, but flying around with him?

In the Other Jill Kelly News:
Retired porn star Jill Kelly should thank her lucky stars General Petraeus couldn't keep it in his pants because his sex scandal scored Kelly a major job offer from porn giant Vivid Entertainment!!! TMZ obtained a letter from Vivid head honcho
It's important that somebody is profiting from this sex scandal, and who better than a porn star? I can't wait for the title to be revealed, hopefully it will use the word peter.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:39 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


SEC Rocked By Lurid Sex-and-Corruption Lawsuit: "Move over, adulterous generals. It might be time to make way for a new sexual rats'nest – at America's top financial police agency, the SEC."
posted by homunculus at 5:49 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it's actually interesting more in terms of our luxury-shaming than anything else. The things that we're horrified at - it's not people taking baths in exotic oils or having dancing girls for their amusement or being fanned by hosts. It's...lawncare and cooking and pressed uniforms. Dinner on china with a linen tablecloth is the heights of luxury now? There are people on social security who do that, who I'm sure would be incredibly interested to know.

corb, did you read the article? First off, I believe the "linen tablecloths and china" refer to dining on the battlefield. Not a luxury at home, no, but when all of the other soldiers are eating out of mess kits in their tents while a battle is raging a few miles away? Anyway, this is a description of the perks generals have now:

The commanders who lead the nation’s military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.

The elite regional commanders who preside over large swaths of the planet don’t have to settle for Gulfstream V jets. They each have a C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737, some of which are configured with beds.


This isn't about having privates mow their lawns. Earlier they also mention that the generals arrived at parties with 20+ member escorts.
posted by schroedinger at 1:01 AM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Natalie Khawam Business Partner Builds Top-Secret Weapons For U.S. Military
This patent work involves a well-established physicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Dr. Clifford Krowne, who is listed as a managing member of FullProof LLC's four-person team.

Krowne is a highly regarded expert on Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) technology, one of the military's most controversial and secretive research programs. His esteemed research background seems at odds with the tawdry details of the Petraeus sex scandal.

Reached by phone Monday, Krowne told The Huffington Post that FullProof's work concerned science, but said he couldn't comment on the work "because it's a private business." Still, Krowne insisted that whatever was going on with FullProof did not concern him or his work.

"I have nothing to do with it," Krowne said, adding that he did not know why his name was listed on the FullProof incorporation documents filed with Florida's Division of Corporations in mid-August. "I'm not doing anything ... I can't talk to you about it," he said.

Krowne then warned: "News people pursuing stories that is of no relevance to anyone should be very careful."
posted by syzygy at 9:52 AM on November 20, 2012


"News people pursuing stories that is of no relevance to anyone should be very careful."

What the hell does that mean?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:57 AM on November 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it means Dr. Krowne should probably stick to 'no comment' when reporters contact him :D
posted by syzygy at 10:00 AM on November 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


dejah420: ...but damn it; something smells fishy about the execution of Ronald Bullock by Special Agent Poses with Dummies.

Fishier than the usual 'cop shoots man armed with [knife/hammer/baseball bat/wallet] while in company of several other cops' story?
posted by lodurr at 12:06 PM on November 20, 2012


Also, you deserve special commendation for "Special Agent Poses With Dummies".
posted by lodurr at 12:07 PM on November 20, 2012


The World Famous: Everybody who is the Director of the CIA [has national security secrets], sure. As well as other high-profile national security positions. Come on.

I would just interject here to point out that for anyone (who is not a member of the press) to reveal national security secrets would be to open themselves to prosecution and (given that we live in a National Security State) likely conviction. So if there are secrets, and the General does not want to be put on trial for revealing them, he will, as you say, 'keep silent.'

Now, if he knows about Obama's secret full-moon midnight meetings with the Al Quaeda / Taliban / Cuban Communist Party Central Social Committee, then I'm sure people will be willing to make an exception, but until such time I think it makes more sense to suppose that he's doing what loyal, honorable officers (be they Army or Company) are supposed to do, and not, you know, spilling state secrets for political gain.*

--
*sadly, the times require that I note parenthetically the naivete of my own position on this last bit...
posted by lodurr at 1:32 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


dejah420: part of me almost admires the chutzpa it would take to pull this sort of long con off.

In all fairness to long-con grifters, I don't think this is really a long con. I think it's a long-ish term goal, but the thinking is tactical. Long cons are strategic. These folks were grifters alright, but it was really just a short game hooked up to a dream.
posted by lodurr at 1:38 PM on November 20, 2012


lodurr: "it was really just a short game hooked up to a dream."

Yeah, I see that. Perhaps that's why the whole Kelly thing is just so baffling; because there doesn't seem to be an end goal...other than to have parties...which...wha..why? It seems like so much setup, and no payout. Which is why, I swear, I keep picking around the edges of this thing, because I expect it to unravel and reveal *something*.

I cannot see the logic in having all these parties, attended by some of the most powerful men in the military, without there being a reason. Why was this woman allowed to slip past the sort of screening that is common for anyone entering the base, much less someone who is standing next to Centcom commanders.

A few months ago, when my mother and some other of the Ladies Who Lunch were at MacDill for some charity thing, a lieutenant (female) would walk the ladies to the bathrooms and wait outside in the hall, then walk them back to the banquet room because the Generals and their staff were in that building. If a bunch of retired officer's wives and retired business women are a big enough threat that they have to be escorted to the powder room; how in the name of all that is procedure did this Kelly woman get on military planes, and jump-teams, and on and on.

It is completely a deviation from how things work on base, and it would be insane for a General to do that, unless, and here is where I don my shiny chapeau, there is a lot more to the Kelly story than we're being told...or the Kelly story is the smoke and mirrors to distract us from noticing the rapid replacement of many high ranking military officers in the last month or so.
posted by dejah420 at 7:11 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Key E-Mail-Privacy Senator Denies a Turn to the Dark Side
posted by homunculus at 7:14 PM on November 20, 2012


Second Act of a Scandal: Cue the Superlawyers and the Spinmasters
posted by homunculus at 7:46 PM on November 20, 2012


dejah420, I think you've mostly explained what the end goal is for kelley & her ilk: to become like your mother. what they don't grasp is, as you put it so eloquently ;-), what a shit-ton of work that is. Or maybe they get it, but they want a short cut (remember, they're grifters, they're all about the short cut).

As for how it happens, well, we've all seen bullshit artists at work.

that having been said, I too keep thinking there could be more to this. I mean, she is exactly the sort of person that intelligence services have traditionally cultivated as a soft-intel source, and often that soft-humint has been incredibly useful. It's entirely plausible and not at all tinfoil-hattish to hold her in suspicion, not the least reason being that she might not even know she's a source. Someone that vain, you don't need to connect to her directly or even pay her -- you just have somebody with good flattery skills make friends with her.
posted by lodurr at 7:50 PM on November 20, 2012


homunculus: "Second Act of a Scandal: Cue the Superlawyers and the Spinmasters"

See; it's just nuts. Why would Twin2 need Gloria Allred? (EggShen was right.) Why would they have press conferences? This would have mostly disappeared from the front pages if they would quit doing stupid stuff and reminding everyone.

Damn it, I really want there to be a conspiracy, just because I really don't want to believe the Generals are so obtuse and ego-hungry that they could be captured by that ship of obvious fools.
posted by dejah420 at 8:09 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


lodurr: "what the end goal is for kelley & her ilk: to become like your mother."

Good lord, I can't imagine why.
posted by dejah420 at 8:14 PM on November 20, 2012


dejah420: there doesn't seem to be an end goal...other than to have parties...which...wha..why? It seems like so much setup, and no payout.

Here's one theory: Khawam and Kelley were simply trying to build a network of military and political contacts in order to get in on some of that delicious military industrial complex gravy.

I won't bother to link everything, since it's all been linked elsewhere in this thread, but here are a few facts that could lend credence to that theory.

1. Natalie Khawam was married to Grayson Wolfe, who, as we know, worked in and around Iraq, both for the US ExIm Bank and for private security/intelligence/reconstruction companies. This may be where she learned about the outsized contracts awarded in the defense, reconstruction and intelligence arenas. She probably took note of the fact that contacts rather than qualifications are often what's important in this arena - who you know, not what you know.
2. The Kelley/Khawams move to Tampa, home of MacDill AFB, HQ of CENTCOM and SOCOM, where they shop for a mansion just outside of the base. They needed to be close to the action to beef up their 'who they know' chops.
3. Khawam dated Gerald Harrington, Vice Chair of Finance for John Kerry's 2004 pres. campaign and "defense department lobbyist." Harrington loaned Khawam $300K, which Khawam, allegedly, hasn't paid back.
4. Jill Kelley requested an $80M commission for help brokering a coal gasification deal between Adam Victor, president of New York-based TransGas Development System, and the South Koreans (for whom she serves as an honorary consul).
5. Khawam has started a firm with Lisa Krowne that appears to be devoted to protecting patents on EMP weapons technologies developed by Krowne's father, Clifford, a "scientist and inventor" who works at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and who has already invented four patented devices. Lisa Krowne, btw, has loaned Khawam $250K, which, allegedly, Khawam has not paid back.
6. The parties were just the Kelley/Khawam's way of building up their network of contacts in the defense, political and intelligence communities, hoping they would eventually hit pay dirt by capitalizing on these connections.
7. Interestingly, in Khawam's bankruptcy filings, 3 of her biggest creditors are friends and/or family (Krowne, Harrington, the Kelleys), which makes me wonder whether she's trying to scam the bankruptcy process.

In this scenario, the Kelley/Khawams are just bottom-feeders trying to position themselves to catch some of the scraps dropped by a wasteful military industrial complex. They hope that by being in the right place at the right time and looking like players, they will eventually become the players they're mimicking. You had similar actors during the dot com and real estate bubbles. This is the same exact thing, except they're trying to profit from the defense bubble surrounding Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terrrrrrrr.
posted by syzygy at 3:14 AM on November 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Paula Broadwell, a Hanger-On in King Petraeus’s Court
Like most meritocracies, Petraeus Inc. started off as a force for good. The brainy outsiders took over from flabby, self-satisfied insiders, making the world a little more just and a lot more efficient along the way. (By most accounts, the counterinsurgency manual Petraeus produced during the Iraq war was a major advance in military doctrine.) But, as Young predicted, the outsiders eventually became entitled insiders themselves. They filled their ranks with cronies. They resisted new ways of thinking and become overly susceptible to flattery. The Post describes how Petraeus welcomed the growing hoards of groupies who descended on his command posts, including conservative think-tankers from Washington, for whom he arranged office space and aircraft. Not for nothing did he earn the nickname “King David.”
How Washington Makes Love For War
There is one anecdote about Broadwell that perfectly captures the pathology of the foreign-policy establishment: according to one account, when Broadwell would be mildly challenged on aspects of her presentations, she “would frequently become defensive and beg off,” offering responses along the lines of, “Whoa, I thought we were just having a friendly discussion here, not a debate.” In the Beltway foreign-policy community, strategy debate is inherently unfriendly and to be avoided.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:28 AM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


In this scenario, the Kelley/Khawams are just bottom-feeders trying to position themselves to catch some of the scraps dropped by a wasteful military industrial complex. They hope that by being in the right place at the right time and looking like players, they will eventually become the players they're mimicking

Fantastic comment. You have pinned down and supported the inchoate thoughts that I've been having the last several days. I kept coming back to the ludicrous $80 million finder fee request. On the surface, a ridiculous demand, much mocked. But I could not let go of the thought that under different circumstances she might have gotten it right and -- boom! -- all of her money troubles would be over. Furthermore she would then be in a good position to make more money just by being in the inner circle.

J. Kelley has only had her Honorary Consul title for 3 months. The Kelleys and Ms. Khawam were interrupted in their work and a year or two longer might have seen some of their networking paid off in fat stacks. As it is they have ruined their prospects in that direction. They will have to make their fortunes through book and TV movie deals.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:27 AM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


syzygy: "In this scenario, the Kelley/Khawams are just bottom-feeders trying to position themselves to catch some of the scraps dropped by a wasteful military industrial complex."

Yeah...yeah...ok, yeah. I totally see that. Not as as much fun as the Twin1 and Twin2 being a sweet, sweet honeypot of sex and spy drama; but infinitely more rational and likely. Well done, you!
posted by dejah420 at 9:31 AM on November 21, 2012


"In this scenario, the Kelley/Khawams are just bottom-feeders trying to position themselves to catch some of the scraps dropped by a wasteful military industrial complex."

I totally get this aspect of it, but there's also the wanna-be, smattering of self importance. "hey, look at me I'm allowed on base with just a wave and have lots of pics taken standing with VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE."

The fact that people can be their own publicists thru Facebook puts a whole different spin on getting the powerful and famous to stand still enough for the photo op.
posted by readery at 9:40 AM on November 21, 2012


The menacing emails sent by David Petraeus’ ex-mistress to a Florida socialite promised to make the apparent rival “go away” and boasted of her friends in high places,
Broadwell was wishing she never made the leap from Petraeus’ biographer to bedfellow. Her brother says she is “devastated” and racked by guilt over the affair that ended the 60-year-old retired four-star general’s career and jeopardized his 38-year marriage.

“She’s been devastated by this,” Stephen Kranz told People magazine. “She is filled with guilt and shame for what she’s done.”

The revelation of Broadwell’s regrets came as she bloodied a female news photographer’s forehead Monday in a confrontation outside the biographer’s Charlotte, N.C., home. Broadwell smacked the photographer with the driver’s-side door of her Nissan Pathfinder SUV.

“I had my camera and in all the chaos the door slammed and I got hit in the head with the flash,” said Nell Redmond, a freelancer for The Associated Press. Redmond suffered a small cut and is not pressing charges.
"Jeopardized his marriage"? this is the first I've read that his marriage is in jeopardy. It certainly would not surprise me, especially if Petraeous' retirement means Holly is cut off from the volunteer work she was doing, but I would feel sad for her if the marriage does end over this nonsense.

The emails do sound a bit more serious than a "catfight." Promising that you will make someone "disappear" and that you have friends in high places is enough to give anybody the willies and puts J. Kelley's actions (reaching out to Poses With Dummies for help) in perspective. I would probably do the same thing myself.

I also note that the article has the first picture of Scott Broadwell that I have seen. He is certainly boyishly good looking. Another marriage that will have to be re-evaluated.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:29 PM on November 21, 2012


Matt Taibbi, One Interesting Thing about Paula Broadwell's Petraeous Biography
if you read All In carefully, the book's tone will remind you of pretty much any other authorized bio of any major figure in business or politics (particularly in business), and it will most particularly remind you of almost any Time or Newsweek famous-statesperson profile.

Which means: it's impossible to tell the difference between the tone of a reporter who we now know was literally sucking the dick of her subject and the tone of just about any other modern American reporter who is given access to a powerful person for a biography or feature-length profile.[snip]

The real scandal in the Petraeus episode isn't that a would-be journalist was sleeping with her subject, it's that lots and lots of other journalists are doing the same thing – metaphorically, anyway.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:41 PM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well, that was the brother relaying the thoughts of P. Broadwell concerning the issue, SLoG. But, uh, "volunteer work"? Holly Petraeus is a top official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [org chart]

The real scandal in the Petraeus episode isn't that a would-be journalist was sleeping with her subject, it's that lots and lots of other journalists are doing the same thing – metaphorically, anyway.

That's about the least purple of Taibbi's prose I've ever seen. Because it's pervasive and true and how can you even gin up any outrage about something everyone does?

In this scenario, the Kelley/Khawams are just bottom-feeders trying to position themselves to catch some of the scraps dropped by a wasteful military industrial complex.

I completely agree, and I don't think you need to advance this as a "scenario" or hypothesis or whatever. It's clearly what they were up to, to the extent that careerism and seeking low-hanging fruit on a very heavy tree is being "up to" something.
posted by dhartung at 2:49 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Senator Broadwell?
Nor was Broadwell without a larger plan. After running with Lance Armstrong in July, she volunteered her secret purpose to at least six new acquaintances at the Aspen conference. That evening, over drinks, she told a small group that she had been arguing with her mentor about the direction of her career. Republican moneymen, she said, had approached her about a Senate run in North Carolina. She was tempted. Petraeus, she said in an irritated tone, rejected the idea out of hand. What was her position, he asked, on abortion? Climate change? Gun control? Gay marriage? Tax cuts? Social Security vouchers? Her answers, he told her, would not fit either party, and she should not sell herself out.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:55 PM on November 21, 2012


But, uh, "volunteer work"? Holly Petraeus is a top official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [org chart]
But then, after years of volunteering at Army posts, the couple settled down in Virginia, and Holly dove into the unglamorous world of financial scams and illegal foreclosures that threaten military families. She worked as director of the Better Business Bureau’s Military Line for six years, providing financial education and advice to soldiers and their wives. Inspired by her and David’s own mistakes—she has said that their first purchases as newlyweds were a red convertible sports car, an apartment they hadn’t seen, and a foosball table—she devoted herself to helping others in financial trouble.[snip]

In January 2011, Elizabeth Warren recognized Holly’s passion for assisting military families by appointing her the assistant director of service-member affairs at the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a post she still holds
I had read about her volunteer work, I did not know that it was parlayed into a job.


Well, that was the brother relaying the thoughts of P. Broadwell concerning the issue, SLoG.


It's not just the brother, apparently.

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:07 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Being "bottom feeders" or trying to insinuate themselves into the military industrial complex is simply the specific area in which they have been attempting to grift. It's all still the grift.

Plus, grifting is never really about the money. If you want to make money, grifting is really not a very good way to do it -- there are much faster, more efficient (though not necessarily more honest) ways. So being grifters is also totally consistent with the wannabe-famous behavior.

Finally, intelligence services the world around have traditionally made great and frequent use of just this type of grifter, as I've noted. They may or may not (usually don't) know the military secrets -- but they often know the secrets that can get you leverage to get the secrets. And if they don't, they might know the people who do.

Grifting is really the skeleton key, here, AFAIAC.
posted by lodurr at 3:11 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, I'm just not willing to keep fooling myself that there's a there, there, just because the juicy parts of the scandal have fallen by the wayside.

Her answers, he told her, would not fit either party, and she should not sell herself out.

Fascinating. I'd almost said, somewhere above, a few times, that one of the things that impressed me about Petraeus was his non-partisanship and his flexibility in working with both a Republican and a Democratic President. I remembered him being on the dais with W at one of his promotions when he was clearly already being mooted as a future GOP candidate for $ANYTHING, and he looked so uncomfortable -- very clearly not a man meant for politics.
posted by dhartung at 3:22 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, Jill Kelly strikes again. U.S. Central Command cancels holiday party
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:25 PM on November 21, 2012


Jill Kelley was awarded Joint Chiefs' No. 2 medal for civilians

There must be something about her (her perfume? Her bosom?) that causes men to shower her with things, honorary consulships, free passes to the air base, ambassadorships, parachute drops.
Before she became enmeshed in a controversy that would take down the director of the CIA, Jill Kelley was considered so valuable to the MacDill Air Force Base community that she was awarded the Joint Chiefs of Staff's second-highest honor to a civilian.

The award was approved by then-Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, and presented to Kelley on March 18, 2011, by then-Gen. David Petraeus at a ceremony in Washington.

The award recommendation initially was made by Petraeus while he was commander of U.S. Central Command, said Navy Cmdr. Patrick McNally, spokesman for the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Who knew you could get an award for "introducing the Commander, early in his tenure, to local and state officials, particularly the Mayor of Tampa and the Governor of Florida"?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:34 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Fall of the American Empire (Writ Small): History, Farce, and David Petraeus
posted by homunculus at 3:36 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is more on J. Kelley's work at MacDill and a picture of Petraeus pinning her medal on.
Col. Otero says the award also speaks to favoritism. He says it is an unusually high honor.

"Soldiers that work in that command -- the captains, the majors, the sergeants, the master sergeants -- they don't have access to the four-star [general]. It's impossible to have access to the four-star."
Hmmm. I have to wonder if she would have received that honor if she was 6o years old and frumpy. I am also beginning to wonder about the nature of her relationship with Petraeus. He may just be susceptible to flattery, but he seems to be the one behind many of her special awards.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:44 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jill Kelley addresses military members

I'm curious, can anybody guess what she might be lecturing about? Because I cannot imagine what she could be speaking about to that group. How to have a good time in Tampa? What the mayor's name is? Anecdotes about her buddy, "Dave" Petraeus?


.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:59 PM on November 21, 2012


To use my local paper's hed,
Scandal puts scrutiny on war chiefs turnover

For former CIA director David Petraeus, it was a one-year stint as top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. His replacement is scheduled to leave next year after 18 months in the job.

And now the sex scandal that draws them together — Petraeus' career toppled and Marine Gen. John Allen's possibly on hold — also has placed greater attention to the quick turnover of American battlefield chiefs in the 11-year war.


Or maybe on the fact that THE WAR IS IN ITS ELEVENTH YEAR????
posted by dhartung at 4:55 PM on November 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


just finished reading this and am... well.... baffled: Elite Intrigues and Military Purges: It’s Not About Sex, Stupid!. the intrigue just writes itself.
posted by liza at 1:42 PM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


King David: Why generals shouldn't run the CIA.
posted by homunculus at 11:50 AM on November 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


In other CIA news: Farewell, CIA Climate Center. We Hardly Knew Ye.
posted by homunculus at 8:01 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama’s pick for CIA could affect drone program
posted by homunculus at 12:05 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fox News Abruptly Ends Interview After Guest Calls Out The Network For Hyping Benghazi Scandal
posted by homunculus at 9:24 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Leniency for Generals, Jail Time for Whistleblowers
posted by homunculus at 9:30 PM on November 26, 2012


Petraeus scandal figure to lose 'honorary consul' title, South Korean official says
posted by dhartung at 1:12 AM on November 27, 2012


SLoG: I am also beginning to wonder about the nature of her relationship with Petraeus. He may just be susceptible to flattery, but he seems to be the one behind many of her special award.

People are too quick to assume actual canoodling IMO. The insinuation that canoodling might at some point occur is usually much more powerful. Just ask a successful stripper.
posted by lodurr at 9:35 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Blog post by Dan Drezner of Foreign Policy The Broadwell Recognition "As near as I can figure, the David Petraeus/Paula Broadwell story is the ultimate pundit Rorschach Test. Whatever axe one had to grind against the foreign policy community prior to the story breaking, Petraeus and Broadwell merely sharpens it. It's evidence about the sexism and double-standards at play in Washington! It shows the insularity and kiss-assedness of the foreign policy community!! It shows that COIN doesn't work, or that Petraeus was a big phony!! "

Drezner links to the Boston Globe story of the 14th with this quote:

One of Broadwell’s former professors at Harvard described her as a self-promoter who would routinely show up at office hours.

“It was very much, ‘I’m here and you’re going to know I’m here,’?” said the professor, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of ongoing investigations. “She was not someone you would think of as a critical thinker. I don’t remember anything about her as a student. I remember her as a personality.”

It seems very odd that Paula Broadwell got any kind of contract to write a book.
posted by readery at 6:32 PM on November 27, 2012


Really? You just cited someone remembering her 'as a personality', and describing her as a self-promoter, and it you still think it seems odd she'd get a book contract?

If you tell me that you really meant "unjust" or "dumb" that she got a book contract, I'll probably be with you, but I don't find it in the least surprising.
posted by lodurr at 6:35 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


This ws a bit farther in the Boston Globe piece

The professor said when Petraeus chose Broadwell to write his biography, there was shock among the national security faculty at Harvard because “she just didn’t have the background — the academic background, the national security background, or the writing background.”

If Petraeus started his affair with her while he was still in the army, he could lose his pension. He claims it started after he started his CIA post, but eh...
The thing is, would anyone investigate that part of it? Once someone has stepped down, would the powers that be want to take him down further? Even if his wife divorced him due to infidelity, she would stand to lose the marital portion of that pension if it's proved he lied about adultery during his military career. That would injure her unfairly.

i miss the constant updates on this crazy thing
posted by readery at 6:46 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley goes on the attack
Kelley's attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter to New York businessman Adam Victor; a complaint to the Florida bar against Tampa attorney Barry Cohen, and a letter to the U.S. Attorney's Office demanding that it investigate to find out who in the FBI leaked her name to the news media. Representatives of attorney Abbe Lowell emailed copies of the letters to The Associated Press.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:25 AM on November 28, 2012


Louie Gohmert Is On The Libya Case
posted by homunculus at 12:26 PM on November 29, 2012


Roger Ailes Tried to Convince David Petraeus to Run for President in 2011, Said Rupert Murdoch Would “Bankroll” It
posted by homunculus at 1:18 AM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Petraeus gave Afghanistan away to NeoCon Think Tanks
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:37 AM on December 4, 2012


lodurr: SLoG: I am also beginning to wonder about the nature of her relationship with Petraeus. He may just be susceptible to flattery, but he seems to be the one behind many of her special award.

People are too quick to assume actual canoodling IMO. The insinuation that canoodling might at some point occur is usually much more powerful. Just ask a successful stripper.
lodurr, while I agree with the points you are making... her actual influence and access are far more dangerous than the fact that his tab-A did or did not go inside her slot-B.

And, as you pointed out, she can have influence and access via flirting, while remaining "technically faithful to her husband.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:10 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tom Ricks: Today's Generals Are Well-Trained, But Ill-Prepared for Battle
posted by homunculus at 11:33 AM on December 5, 2012


Fascinating segment on Maddow last night discussing some of the lesser-reported aspects of the leaked Petraeus phone call, including his comments about how moving from the military to the intelligence community was a good career move because that's where the money has been going.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:14 PM on December 5, 2012


...and Marcy Wheeler digs into the Libya connection.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:20 PM on December 5, 2012


Maddow: Secret Petraeus audio means Fox News ‘officially’ part of the GOP
posted by homunculus at 10:27 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


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