David Petraeus (R) stands alongside his wife Holly during his swearing in ceremony as the new CIA Director, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, in this September 6, 2011 file picture. Petraeus replaced Leon Panetta. REUTERS/Jason Reed
It really should be obvious by now: The Internet doesn`t keep secrets. You might suppose a top-ranking spy cheating on his wife would already know not to leave juicy e-mail breadcrumbs lying around – however, cleverly he might think they are stashed. Or that, if the allegations are true, the adulteress would realize it`s unwise to send jealous, threatening e-mails to a friend of her lover`s wife – even if she didn`t sign her name to them. And, when that friend calls the FBI to investigate, it`s not overreaching to suggest to the FBI agent called in on the case that he might want to rethink replying with half-naked pictures of his pecks.
Love might make you stupid, but come on, people! To quote the Guardian`s Michael Wolff , this is one “super weird” story – and it gets weirder with every passing hour. (Now there`s another general involved who apparently sent 20,000 to 30,000 e-mails to the harassed friend, a “socialite” named Jill Kelley.) The only character acting with any good sense at this point appears to be Holly Petraeus, the betrayed wife who is beyond “furious” – but keeping quiet about it.
It`s still not clear whether David Petraeus actually spilled any national secrets during pillow talk with Paula Broadwell, who was writing a book about the head of the CIA. (Both denied this, though the FBI are still busy carting boxes out of her house.) But if that didn`t happen, it`s reasonable to question whether Petraeus` resignation to U.S. President Barack Obama was necessary – after all Broadwell isn`t an enemy spy, nor an employee. She was, CNN reports, a fellow West Point Graduate, with her own military background, and some level of security clearance herself. As Diane Brady, at Bloomberg Businessweek points out, that shifts the legal and even moral grounds of the affair.
But as more than one online commentator has asked: Didn`t anyone in this mess think leaving an e-mail paper trail was risky business? As the website Lifehacker details, it was easy-peasy to find them once the whispers started: Jill Kelley`s complaint linked the harassing e-mail to a Gmail account traced back to Broadwell. That led to another Gmail account where Broadwell and Petraeus were communicating by leaving e-mail drafts in the account for each other to read. That account was then linked back to their individual IP addresses.
Seriously, it was simpler to track those damaging e-mails than actually understand the salacious details happening in real-world time. If you wanted to do a better job of hiding an off-the-book dalliance, Lifehacker suggests a more optimal approach.
But then, as Lifehacker reminds all those tempted to lead double lives, “the only real way to keep private information entirely private is to hand over that information in person.”
Or, since people are unpredictable, not leave a paper trail at all – that`s just basic James Bond. Especially when texts and e-mails are left waiting to be uncovered in a dozen digital nooks and crannies, your secrets almost always find a way to spill themselves.
©2012 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Lebanese connection: CIA and FBI brought to brink by one woman`s charms
November 13, 2012
A combination photo shows Jill Kelley (L), a friend of former U.S. General David Petraeus` family, in Tampa, Florida on November 12, 2012 and Petraeus` biographer Paula Broadwell, in an ISAF handout image, originally posted July 13, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Blanco/ISAF/Handout
Civilian casualties in Iraq and a failed offensive in Afghanistan did nothing to dent his reputation, but the emails of his mistress have forced the resignation of CIA director, David Petraeus.
Ironically for the superpower`s intelligence services, the woman behind the crisis is none other than an Arab `social liaison` with a penchant for parties and the charm to flaw American men.
According to U.S. news sources, Jill Kelley, a Lebanese Maronite whose family moved to Philadelphia in the 1970s, was allegedly approached by Petraeus`s lover, Paula Broadwell, telling her to stay away from her man. Although the General insists his relationship with Kelley was only ever platonic, his mistress clearly felt her Levantine sex appeal was too much to handle.
The emails became public and Petraeus was forced to resign from his post as CIA director on Friday. On Tuesday the scandal widened to the top U.S.commander in Afghanistan, General John R. Allen. Apparently, this second official had less success resisting the Lebanese lady`s charms and was caught with a slew of “inappropriate communications”.
Following an FBI investigation, up to 30,000 email exchanges were found between the pair during 2010 and 2012, working out at around 30 emails a day. But Kelley`s affect on the official male population didn`t stop there: the hapless FBI agent sent to investigate the emails was found sending shirtless pictures of himself to the 37-year-old Lebanese bombshell.
Meanwhile, the revelations that married man, Petraeus, had a mistress at all, despite keeping away from Jill Kelley, have rocked the CIA. Sensitive emails, allegedly containing “secret” information, were found on Paula Broadwell`s computer and Barack Obama has been left to find a replacement with a less wandering eye.
Kelley may have left her Lebanese roots behind in the motherland, but you certainly can`t take the Lebanese socialite out of her. The hostess of lawn parties attended by the Petraeuses is married to a cancer surgeon and has their three daughters and a $1.2 million mansion.
The lady of sudden global interest is facing down the revelations by allegedly hiring the same `Crisis Manager` as infamous presidential mistress, Monica Lewinsky. She is rumored to be in seriously financial trouble already with a number of lawsuits pending against her. Sadly, her charm and good looks are unlikely to see her through a mess stretching all the way from one end of theU.S. intelligence services to the other.
Should officials be forced to resign because of extramarital affairs or should we be more concerned with their job performance? Tell us what you think below.
© 2012 Al-Bawaba. Provided. All Rights Reserved.
General, husband, lover, spy
November 14, 2012
Commander of the International Security Assistance Force/U.S. Forces in AfghanistanGeneral David Petraeus shakes hands with author Paula Broadwell in this ISAF handout photo originally posted July 13, 2011. The FBI investigation that led to the discovery of CIA Director David Petraeus` affair with author Paula Broadwell was sparked by “suspicious emails” from her to another woman and Petraeus was not the target of the probe, U.S. law enforcement and security officials told Reuters. REUTERS/ISAF/Handout
General David Petraeus has staunchly defended freedom
WITH the need for constant vigilance against honey traps and potential blackmail, the world of intelligence and national security takes a stern view of the sort of personal indiscretion that has led to General David Petraeus` abrupt departure as head of the CIA. Once his extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was disclosed, and he was caught in the crossfire of jealous emails between her and another woman, his position became untenable and he had no alternative but to resign. As his career thus comes to an inglorious end, at least for now, amid a frenzy of embarrassing gossip and salacious innuendo, it would, however, be unjust if sight was lost of the enormous contribution he has made as the US`s pre-eminent military commander and strategist of the post-9/11 period in the battle against Islamic extremism — especially in leading coalition forces, including Australia`s, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Not for nothing was General Petraeus invested with the Order of Australia in 2009. The citation highlighted his service to the International Coalition Against Terrorism and as commander of coalition forces in Iraq, a post he was assigned to by president George W. Bush in 2007 when the war was an unmitigated disaster. With a surge in troop numbers and a radical change in counter-insurgency tactics, he masterminded a strategy that turned the tables. The jury is still out on Afghanistan, but there, too, his genius is credited with turning around what was a similarly hopeless situation, again using a troop surge and new counter-insurgency tactics to at least give hope that coalition forces, when they withdraw in 2014, will not leave a complete shambles behind them. As head of the CIA, he has masterminded the use of drones to strike al-Qa`ida targets in Pakistan, the pivotal country in the battle against global terrorism, as well as Yemen and countries across North Africa. His achievements are legion. As partners in the coalition fighting extremism,Australia has benefited from them. It is a pity he has now sullied his reputation by showing, as he puts it, “extremely poor judgment“ and cheating on his wife of 38 years. Not unreasonably, the question being asked is why incredibly smart people sometimes do the dumbest things.
That General Petraeus has been foolish is unquestionable. Despite that he remains one of the pivotal figures in the post-9/11 battle against terrorism.
© 2012 News Limited. All rights reserved.
Fars Cites French Analyst`s Claim Petraeus Resignation Result of Political `Plot`
Fars News Agency
Monday, November 12, 2012
TEHRAN (FNA)- CIA Director General David Petraeus was forced to resign as a result of a well calculated plot hatched to prevent his possible nomination in the next US presidential election, prominent French journalist and political activist Thierry Meyssan said.
Speaking to FNA on Monday, Meyssan pointed out that the plot to force the CIA director to resign due to extramarital affairs was carried out just in 3 days.
As regards elements behind the plot, Meyssan said, “Those behind this plot and its implementation knew that General Petraeus has good ties with Obama and intended to become the Democratic Party`s candidate in the next presidential elections after the second term of Barack Obama and through Obama`s support.”
“Hence, they felt threatened and rapidly embarked on forcing Petraeus to resign after President Obama`s reelection,” he added.
Petraeus resigned Friday, citing an extramarital affair and “extremely poor judgment”.
Petraeus disclosed the affair in a letter released to the CIA work force on Friday afternoon, writing, “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”
Petraeus told President Obama of his affair and offered his resignation during a meeting Thursday, a senior official said.
In a statement, Obama said he accepted Petraeus`s resignation on Friday.
(Description of Source: Tehran Fars News Agency in English — hardline semi-official news agency, headed as of 24 July 2011 by Nezameddin Musavi; http://www.english.farsnews.com)
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Pakistan Article Says US Spy Agencies Morally Corrupt, Must be Controlled
Pakistan Observer Online
Monday, November 12, 2012
Article by Zaheerul Hassan: “Petraeus and FBI”
Former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, retired four stars General and CIA Director David Petraeus has resigned after proven of his extramarital relations with a married lady researcher Paul Broadwell. Petraeus`s 14-month tenure as CIA director is one of the shortest in agency history. Michael J. Morell, who served as Petraeus`s deputy at the CIA, will serve as interim director.
Broadwell is a West Point graduate and a research associate at HarvardUniversity. She is the co-author of “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.” (The book`s co-author was Vernon Loeb, local editor at The Washington Post.). In earlier interviews, Broadwell stated that first meeting with Petraeus in 2006 at Harvard, where she was working on a dissertation about leadership. She said they soon started e-mailing and discussing her research. CIA Director Petraeus is also married to Mrs. Holly Petraeus back in 37 years. According to the law enforcement officials, Paula Broadwell is under FBI investigation for improperly trying to access his email and possibly gaining access to classified information. She is the author of Petraeus` biography, “All In.” Broadwell had extensive access to Petraeus in Afghanistan and has given numerous television interviews speaking about him.
In the preface to the book, Broadwell also disclosed that after Obama picked Petraeus to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan in June 2010, he invited her toKabul, and she decided to turn her dissertation into a biography. She made repeated trips to Afghanistan to spend time observing Petraeus. Thus, she got closer and started complying with the demands and desires of Commander Petraeus.
In fact, officials of CIA, FIA and some renowned political elite like Bill Clinton, David Vitter survived their own sex scandals. Moreover, embarrassing photos fanned the flames around Rep. Anthony Weiner and “Craigslist Congressman” Chris Lee is also available on internet. According to the western media , The common denominators in the career-ending sex scandals of former Sens. John Edwards (love child cover-up) and John Ensign (affair with aide), former N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer (high-priced call girls), and former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros (lied about payments to mistress).
Earlier, Mark Foley resigned after suggestive emails to former pages; S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford ended political career over affair; Former Rep. Bob Livingston denounced Clinton`s affair then confessed to his own; Sen. Larry Craig left politics after solicitation arrest. Authorities of Guantanamo Jail and U.S. Armed forces based in Afghanistan have been found in urinating on dead bodies and insulting Taliban abusively.
Moreover, the current case of Petraeus have also confirmed that officials of U.S. Supreme intelligence agencies are indulged in nefarious activities like, smuggling, sexual assault, raping, spying, militancy in Pakistan and Iran. Some sympathizers of CIA Director believe that FIA investigation against Broadwell and Petraeus were somehow biased and an effort of maligning and forcing the General to quit the office. In this connection Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated that she believed Petraeus`s infidelity did not require him to resign. She described that Petraeus`s resignation as an “enormous loss for our nation`s intelligence community and for our country.”
Earlier in nineties, shocking proof has surfaced to summons a former FBI Division 5 director for lying about his marriage to Church of Satan heiress, Diana Rively, Anton LaVey`s ex-wife, to keep a secret child-trafficking sex-slavery network hidden. But CIA and FIB failed to stop a network of child traffickers from kidnapping, raping, and sexually enslaving hundreds, possibly thousands, of American children annually.
The reasons were only that many officials of CIA and FIA were having illicit relations with notorious ladies. The officials even do not spare in molesting their own colleagues. According to New York Daily News, in the handwritten letter, recovered from 1998, Ted Gunderson, a retired FBI/CIA official and informant on matters of a satanic network of pedophiles and child traffickers wrote, “The marriage (to Diana Rively) . . . didn`t work out. It only lasted 2 and one half weeks and I left. It would have been a catastrophe to stay there”.
The letter, signed with kisses and hugs, was sent to Gunderson`s professional associate, Barbara Hartwell, who was programmed to serve in the CIA`s psychological operations unit. She trained in psychological profiling and in debriefing military and intelligence personnel, and later toured with Gunderson to “disseminate intelligence on government corruption,” according to Hartwell. Their assignments included a child-trafficking operation linked to officials of the CIA, U.S. military, Church of Satan, and Justice Department. “Barbara case” openly pitched CIA and FBI against each other.
The New York Daily News has also published photographs of the 24 year old Colombian “prostitute” at the centre of the CIA sex scandal which has so far seen three officers lose their jobs. The woman, Dania, went back to a hotel with one of President Barack Obama`s bodyguards. An argument broke out after he refused to pay her the amount they had agreed on. She told the New York Times earlier this week that the men did not tell her they were secret service agents or that they were protecting Obama. She said: “This is something really big. This is the government of the United States. I have nervous attacks. I cry all the time.” In this case CIA officials thought that it was FBI who has played against her.
Basically, after OBL killing General Petraeus came closer and in the good books of Obama. The differences between CIA, Pentagon and FIA came into limelight when before elections political elite against some of military elite announced exit strategy from Afghanistan. At that time covert controversy over political leadership gave birth to the rumours of Martial Law in U.S. Anyhow, FBI got a golden opportunity of punching back CIA while revealing General Petraeus Case but off course FBI waited for U.S. Presidential elections results. I would also highlight here that CIA and FBI both organizations are morally corrupt and need to be controlled since they consider that everything is fair in love and war.
(Description of Source: Islamabad Pakistan Observer Online in English — Website of the pro-military daily with readership of 5,000. Anti-India, supportive of Saudi policies, strong supporter of Pakistan`s nuclear and missile program. Chief Editor Zahid Malik is the author of books on nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan; URL: www.pakobserver.net)
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Italian paper says CIA head`s “outing” conditioned by US Puritanism
BBC Monitoring European
November 11, 2012
Commentary by Piero Ostellino: “Adultery, However, Is a Private Matter”
General David Petraeus openly taking blame for an act of adultery -of which nobody had said a word -and his subsequent resignation as CIA chief, which nobody had called for, are the paradigmatic outing of a public personage influenced by the social conventions of a Puritan society that, in the course of its recent history, has gradually morphed individual ethics into collective ethics, thus going against the grain of one of its founding principles: the separation between sin and crime, between State and Church, between the private and the collective sphere.
That conjugal fidelity, a quality still appreciated even in Old Europe as well as in frolic-prone Italy, and that adultery, which consequently represents its blameable violation, are social conventions shared even by any hardened two-timer is a well-established fact. What instead is novel, in this gesture by theUS general, is the “outing” part, which is apparently unjustified even in light of the Puritanism that permeates US society. For the average American, a public figure that betrays his wife is probably prone to also betray his country.
The question our cynical friends can ask, therefore, is this: Why this public admission of adultery? And there can be only one explanation: the guilt feeling, and the relative sense of oppression, that the adulterer must have felt when faced with the prospect of the general reprobation his violation of the conjugal pact would have elicited. Especially if, sooner or later, it were to become public knowledge. This proves that deviant behaviour modes are universally perceived, and as such avoided, more in light of how society views them than out of fear of punishment.
The Petraeus affair reminds me of the first trial on bank robbery charges I happened to witness in China, another country where collective opinion has always conditioned the individual conscience. The two defendants -who had superficially wounded an employee of a bank they were in the process of robbing (and getting only a handful of cash under the threat of a homemade gun), and had made their getaway on bicycle -would have gotten off scot-free as there was absolutely no evidence against them. However, they spontaneously turned themselves in and confessed, simply because the newspapers had portrayed their action as an unacceptable social fault in terms of Chinese public ethics. They faced their inevitable sentencing because their sense of guilt had gradually turned into the conviction of having committed a violation that could be expiated only through confession. Their defence counsel even called for a harsher sentence than that requested by the public prosecutor.
All Machiavellian realism aside, and which we Italians readily -even if erroneously -translate as cynicism, I frankly view the Petraeus affair as a manifestation of anything but an exemplary case of social bigotry. Thus, one not to be imitated. Coming out with the truth with his wife, although not always the healthiest solution, and promising never to do it again -even if a promise hard to keep -would have been, in secular terms, the right way of righting the wrong.
Source: Corriere della Sera, Milan, in Italian 11 Nov 12 p 34
© 2012 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Iran Commentary: Petraeus` Resignation Possibly `Planned` by Obama
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Unattributed commentary: “One Scandal and a Few Analyses”
General David Petraeus, the former commander of American forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan, who in 2011 was appointed as the head of the American Spying Organization (the CIA), yesterday resigned his post as the director of the CIA. American media and political circles have claimed that in a letter, while admitting that he had been involved in illegitimate (extramarital) relations with a woman called Paula Broadwell, who also has a military and intelligence background, Petraeus had submitted his resignation.
Many views have been expressed regarding that resignation and its goals and consequences. First of all, in view of the prevalence of moral corruption among American officials at different levels, it is possible that the allegation of moral corruption in the case of Petraeus is also correct and that he has been forced to resign due to the exposure of that disgrace. In other words, in order to preempt the media from revealing that disgrace and engulfing (President Barack) Obama in a crisis during the first days after his reelection as president, Petraeus had decided to personally confess to his misdemeanor.
According to a second scenario, the investigation of Petraeus`s past record shows that he had managed to gain a considerable amount of power in political, military and intelligence fields in America, so much so that some people believe that he had managed to change the structure of the Pentagon into a militaristic structure. In view of Petraeus`s ever-increasing power, some are asking whether Obama and some other officials in the White House had prepared a plan for dismissing Petraeus from his post in the context of a moral disgrace in order to confront his growing power. In view of the fact that some time ago, certain reports had been published about Petraeus`s refusal to obey Obama`s orders, it is possible that the White House has used the weapon of moral corruption in order to, first of all, dismiss him from his post, as well as undermining his past record as the result of that disgrace.
Thirdly, there is another possibility for his dismissal, namely that contrary to the policies that have been adopted in the context of Obama`s smart power by making use of the tools of diplomacy, militarism and intelligence, that policy has not been very successful, and Petraeus (as published, presumably President Obama) needed to change that structure in order to implement his plans. In the diplomatic field, the American Foreign Minister (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton is leaving her post on the excuse of being tired. In the intelligence field, Petraeus has been dismissed on the excuse of moral corruption. In future, it is also possible that the American Defense Minister (Secretary of Defense Leon) Panetta, as the third leg of the smart power, will also be dismissed.
In view of the fact that the removal of those individuals from their posts in a normal fashion would have revealed the failure of Obama`s smart power policies, there is a view that each of those individuals would be removed from their posts, on the basis of a pretext different from their failure in their professional record, so that while being able to replace them with some new pawns, Obama can also cover up the failure of his smart power strategy.
(Description of Source: Tehran Hemayat Online in Persian — Website of hardline conservative Tehran daily, owned by the state Prisons Organization and affiliated with the Judiciary; published since 2003; www.hemayat.net)
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