In a crunch of massive news events the last couple of weeks — Hurricane Sandy, President Obama’s re-election, a most-delightful Karl Rove meltdown, etc. — another chunk of headline material rolled out of DC.
Puffed-daddy warlord extraordinaire, Gen. David Petraeus, resigned his position as director of the CIA on Friday, stating he’d f*cked-up royally by showingÂ “…extremely poor judgement by engaging in an extramarital affair.”
Cheating on a wife of nearly 40 years ain’t the real reason to end a brilliant-bullshit career: A federal law enforcement official said the relationship was discovered by the FBI during the course of an unrelated security investigation. Subsequently, a number of e-mails concerning the relationship were discovered, said the official who is not authorized to comment publicly on the matter.
(Illustration found here).
Her name was the top search on Google Saturday morning, with more than 500,000 searches for the woman who according to two sources cited by the Associated Press was the partner in an affair discovered through an FBI investigation, after the agency learned she may have had access to Petraeusâ€™s personal email account.
Hours after the news broke, the New York Times already had a profile posted, followed by several follow-up pieces in The Daily Beast and the Huffington Post.
Broadwell was the four-star generalâ€™s biographer, the co-author of the book â€œAll In: The Education of General David Petraeus.â€
She has a number of media appearances under her belt, including one on â€œThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart.â€
When the story broke Friday afternoon, reports noted that when an individual who works in intelligence has an affair, concerns over blackmail and the possibility of leaked national security information emerge.
But Mark Zaid, a D.C. lawyer who works with the intelligence community, told POLITICO that extramarital affairs are nothing new in that world.
â€œNo offense to any of my CIA colleagues or friends, and this is a very generalized statement, but in my nearly 20 years of handling CIA cases, quite frankly, this is a way of life out there,â€ he said.
And in everything nowadays, politics plays a strong hand.
Jason Ditz at antiwar.com:
The timing of the resignation is also telling, as indications are this FBI investigation has been ongoing for quite some time, but the resignation waited until immediately after the presidential election.
President Obama has been a vocal supporter of Petraeus in numerous roles, and the revelation that he appointed a leader of the nationâ€™s most visible spy agency who couldnâ€™t even keep an affair under wraps would certainly have been politically damaging if it came out before the vote.
Obama went on to praise Petraeus after the resignation for his â€œintellectual rigorâ€ and â€œpatriotism,â€ insisting he made the nation safer.
Exactly how safe will likely only be apparent to people who have access to the classified data, like Broadwell.
King David is an asshole, and in the segment with Stewart earlier this year, I could tell Broadwell was into Patraeus well deeply, or maybe in reverse it was — andÂ a photo of Holly and Paula side-by-side is heart-gutting terrible.
Someone was getting nasty jealous…
From the Washington Post:
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.
The FBI investigation traced the threats to Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and Petraeus biographer, and uncovered explicit e-mails between Broadwell and Petraeus, the officials said.
When Petraeusâ€™s name first surfaced, FBI investigators were concerned that the CIA directorâ€™s personal e-mail account had been hacked and security had been breached.
But the sexual nature of the e-mails led them to conclude that Petraeus and Broadwell were engaged in an affair, the officials said.
The identity of the woman who received the e-mails was not disclosed and the nature of her relationship with Petraeus is unknown.
The law enforcement officials said the e-mails indicated that Broadwell perceived the other woman as a threat to her relationship with Petraeus.
Also from the Post:
The e-mail account was apparently Petraeusâ€™s personal Gmail, not his official CIA e-mail, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Thatâ€™s a big deal: Some of the most powerful foreign spy agencies in the world would love to have an opening, however small, into the personal e-mail account of the man who runs the United Statesâ€™ spy service.
The information could have proved of enormous value to foreign hackers, who already maintain a near-constant effort to access sensitive U.S. data.
This little episode will have a long shelf life, I suppose.