Lots of breaking news today on L’Affaire Petraeus and lots of bullshit info being put out into the press.
Let’s deal first with the facts we know:
1. FACT–David Petraeus had an extra marital affair with Paul Broadwell.
That’s it. That’s the fact.
AP is out with a story claiming that Broadwell was sending threatening messages to another woman, Mrs. Jill Kelley, who per AP:
A senior U.S. military official identified the second woman Jill Kelley, 37, who lives in Tampa, Fla., and serves as the State Department’s liaison to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, where among other duties, secret drone missions are worked on.
The military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation, said Kelley had received harassing emails from Broadwell, which led the FBI to examine her email account and eventually discover her relationship with Petraeus.
A friend of Kelley and Petraeus, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the two saw each other often, but the nature of their friendship was unclear.
Okay, here is your bullshit alert.
Jill Kelley is not a State Department officer and Joint Special Operations is not located in Tampa. Tampa is home to two military commands–Special Operations Command aka SOCOM and Central Command aka CENTCOM. State Department officers assigned to SOCOM and CENTCOM are known as POLADS. Kelley was not a POLAD. It appears she was working for some other government agency. The press is implying that Kelley was another paramour of Petraeus. Be very careful about that. There is no proof of a romantic relationship.
This story is going to get much messier. With Petraeus now outed the White House will be unable to continue the coverup of what was actually going on in Benghazi.
The Affair Petraeus is a tragedy on several fronts. Paula Broadwell has destroyed her family, especially the lives of her two your children. Remains to be seen if Petraeus is able to save his marriage. Then there is the matter of whether or not Petraeus lied during his background investigation before accepting the CIA post.
It now is clear that the reason the FBI became involved in this is because of the threatening emails a woman tied to him received. I originally assumed it was his wife. Now, based on news reports, it is some other woman. That raises a whole new raft of questions. In any event, threatening, harassing emails reportedly is the reason the FBI got involved. What we do not know is whether or not the emails were actually sent by Broadwell or if someone, say her husband, sent the emails using her account.
We also know that someone who sounds a lot like Broadwell’s husband, writing anonymously, was speaking out about an affair with a “government executive.” The following letter appeared in July in the New York Times:
My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me? NAME WITHHELD
This still does not answer the question of the timing of the Petraeus resignation. Dave Petraeus politicized the intelligence. What do I mean? His job was to ensure that policymakers got the truth. When he testified before members of Congress he lied. He deliberately obfuscated what the CIA was doing in Benghazi and, more importantly, tried to steer Congress away from knowledge that an intel operation not under the control of the CIA was being implemented there.
Then there was the failure of Petraeus to authorize CIA security forces to go immediately to the aid of the Consulate when it came under attack. If the Obama’s White House was shipping arms to jihadists in Syria, then he needs to explain why he was arming Al Qaeda. That is the real scandal. Petraeus diddling his biographer is side show.