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Broadwell scandal not the first time Petraeus was sloppy with email — in 2010 he leaked his own emails scheming with neocon Max Boot

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David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell

As you probably know by now David Petraeus resigned as Director of the CIA yesterday when news of his extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell became public. It seems his resignation was not only due to his personal indiscretion, but because Broadwell had gained access to his email account and possibly classified information. The affair actually came to light through a FBI investigation of whether his Gmail account had been hacked. Pretty sloppy for the country’s #1 spymaster, but Mondo readers may remember this isn’t the first time Petraeus was fast and loose with his email account.

In July, 2010 Phil Weiss reported on an email exchange between Petraeus and neocon writer Max Boot. Petraeus contacted Boot for help spinning a report his office prepared for the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding Israel/Palestine which indicated that the conflict “[presented] distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests.” This statement was celebrated by critics of U.S. policy towards Israel, and Petraeus ran to Boot for help re-establishing his pro-Israel bona fides.

Here’s how Phil reported part of the Petraeus-Boot exchange:

at 2:37, Petraeus sent the story along to Max Boot (I’ve eliminated addresses):

To: Max Boot
Subject: FW: On the Middle East: It’s Palin vs Petraeus

As you know, I didn’t say that.  It’s in a written submission for the

Petraeus meant that the comments weren’t in his testimony. But they were in a 56-page document, titled “Statement of General David H. Petraeus, U.S. Army Commander, US Central Command before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the posture of US Central Command, 16 Mar 2010.”  

Four minutes later, at 2:31, Boot responded to Petraeus. No need to say Sir:

Oh brother. Luckily it’s only media matters which has no credibility but
think I will do another short item pointing people to what you actually
said as opposed to what’s in the posture statement.

Six minutes pass.


Thx, Max.  (Does it help if folks know that I hosted Elie Wiesel and his wife at our quarters last Sun night?!  And that I will be the speaker at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in mid-Apr at the Capitol Dome…)

2:45, Boot:

No don’t think that’s relevant because you’re not being accused of being anti-Semitic.

2:57, Petraeus:

Roger! :-)

That’s military talk. The emoticon means, I’m running for President.

Phil gained access to the exchange from activist James Morris who shared it after Petraeus inadvertently sent him the entire email conversation!

Again, here’s Phil:

On March 19, Morris sent Petraeus an email congratulating him on his views on Israel/Palestine. And the same day, Petraeus responded to Morris with one word, “FYI”, and the Commentary piece by Boot.

The commanding general obviously didn’t realize it, but his copy of the Commentary piece was pasted in above his email correspondence with the author, Max Boot, and Gfoeller.


Who know how many other email faux pas there are in General Petraeus’s past, but it does seem clear that any future mishaps will be taking place strictly from the private sector.

Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Executive Editor of

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110 Responses

  1. FreddyV on November 10, 2012, 3:40 pm

    And no one is even blinking an eyelid at the fact that the director of the CIA is receiving classified information via his Gmail account?

    Is this even registering? Government secrets are being disseminated via Google’s email client!

    There’s a guy in England facing extradition and life in prison for hacking US Government sites. OK, he’s got Aspergers and was looking for evidence of UFO’s, but it appears that he should have set his sights lower to Google’s servers.

    Oh dear, looks like Larry Page, Sergy Brin and the gang have got enough sh1t on the US to cause some real trouble………

    The CIA uses Gmail. Ha! Sorry, but what a bunch of f*ckwits…….

  2. Cliff on November 10, 2012, 4:11 pm

    Observe the game these two sociopaths are playing.

    Antisemitism is as ludicrous a smear as being called a socialist.

    And ‘pro-Israel bonafides’ translates to being smeared or not smeared as an antisemite.

    That’s our political culture.

    Devoid of morality. Completely consumerist. Completely corporate.

    Anti-Zionism is a NATURAL reaction to this banality of evil.

    • German Lefty on November 11, 2012, 9:12 am

      @ Cliff:

      Antisemitism is as ludicrous a smear as being called a socialist.
      I strongly object to that comparison. (Actual) anti-Semitism is a terrible thing, whereas socialism is a great thing. Being called a “socialist” is a compliment.

      Anti-Zionism is a NATURAL reaction to this banality of evil.
      I agree.

      • on November 11, 2012, 11:08 am

        “Antisemitism is as ludicrous a smear as being called a socialist.”
        you have to see that in the context of the American political culture.
        Being called a socialist or communist in America is equivalent to being anti-American. – When you consider yourself a socialist I wouldn’t assume you are anti-German on principle. This is so in other European countries also. A French communist isn’t considered anti-French.

      • German Lefty on November 11, 2012, 3:14 pm

        you have to see that in the context of the American political culture.
        Being called a socialist or communist in America is equivalent to being anti-American.

        Klaus, I know that. However, such a comparison is still not okay. To me as a socialist, mentioning socialism in the same breath as anti-Semitism is majorly insulting.
        While educated people can disagree on whether socialism is good or bad, no person with a properly working brain would ever consider anti-Semitism a good thing.

      • Cliff on November 11, 2012, 3:36 pm


        I thought it was clear.

        I am talking about American political culture and how cynical it is to use these smears.

        It’s inane to bring up the validity of antisemitism or the virtues of socialism.

        That’s not the issue.

        The issue is using the former and the latter as rhetorical bludgeons in shallow, corrupt, corporate political theater.

      • Stephen Shenfield on November 11, 2012, 4:21 pm

        This is true of the political culture of the US establishment. Nevertheless, despite the incessant efforts to inculcate fear of the “S-word” an opinion poll in 2009 found that no fewer than 20% of respondents considered “socialism” a better system than “capitalism” and this rose to 36% among young women. For further analysis, see my site:

      • on November 11, 2012, 6:08 pm

        Stephen – your page you link to is a very good analysis of the US in 2009 (!)
        You say at the end:
        “How might these very hopeful findings [greater acceptence of socialism]
        be explained?” – It isn’t hopeful, it’s awful ! :-)

        Look, the socialist countries were …
        – economically inefficient
        – politically repressive
        – culturally (music, art) boring

        Unlike Nazi-Germany which had to be bombed to surrender – the socialist countries just imploded without a shot being fired.

        Were they more egalitarian? Was that something to their credit?
        In socialist East Germany only 10% had a telephon in 1989. You guess who?

        You and my German Lefty friend may carry your socialist flags high.
        Sorry, but I can’t take that flag seriously any more.

      • on November 12, 2012, 9:50 am

        Lefty –
        The way the “anti-Semitic” smear is used is similar to the way someone was called an “anti-Communist” in the old days in the Soviet block.

        Anti-Communist = counter-revolutionary = enemy of the progress of mankind.
        Here is something that Bismarck is supposed to have said around 1890:

        “Maybe we should try out Socialism in practice – if we could only find a people whom we don’t have to feel sorry about.” – Well, this people turned out to be the Russians first.

        When we apply Bismarck’s saying to Zionism, it would read:

        Maybe we should try out a Jewish state in practice – if we could only find a people whom we don’t have to feel sorry about. – Who is this people?

      • LeaNder on November 12, 2012, 11:18 am

        Maybe we should try out a Jewish state in practice – if we could only find a people whom we don’t have to feel sorry about. – Who is this people?

        Interesting twist, Klaus. But shouldn’t we consider the Palestinians in this context as the ones we should “feel sorry about”? How would that change your argument? Or do you think we shouldn’t sympathize with them first and foremost? I may of course have missed the intricacies of your argument, as always.

      • Stephen Shenfield on November 12, 2012, 1:07 pm

        Klaus — This survey suffers from the limitation that it doesn’t ask people what they think “socialism” means. However, in American political language the old Eastern bloc countries are usually referred to as “communist” rather than “socialist.” My impression is that most of the Americans who say they favor “socialism” associate the word with “socialized medicine” (which you in Europe take for granted) and if they have a foreign model in mind it is probably Sweden. Even most of those who want something more radical than this do not have the Soviet-type system in mind, they want to combine socialism with democracy.

        As for economic inefficiency, political repression and cultural boredom — of course “communism” was all those things. But do you acknowledge that the same can be said of capitalism in many countries and periods? Surely the current crisis, with its waste of human and material resources, is pretty inefficient? And what could be more boring than the mass culture churned out by Hollywood?

      • on November 12, 2012, 2:36 pm

        “the Palestinians in this context as the ones we should ‘feel sorry about’?
        Well, Bismarck said: “… find a people we DON’T have to feel sorry about.”

        Bismarck’s supposed statement on ‘try out socialism in practice’ is cynical
        on face value but humanitarian on second thought.

        He was pretty sure that a large field experiment in socialism would be a desaster for the people involved. – So, his statement means: Since we CAN’T find a people that we don’t care and feel sorry about, trying out socialism in practice can’t be done – although such an experiment would be a good proof that it doesn’t work.

        My analogy: ‘try out a Jewish state in practice’ and see whether it works is indeed a twist. One wonders: Who are the ones that we don’t have to feel sorry about? The Jews or the Palestinians?

      • marc b. on November 12, 2012, 2:42 pm

        stephen, i presume that most who support ‘socialism’ simply mean the equitable opposite of capitalism. jodi dean insists that ‘communism’ be used as it is the only word that clearly states unequivocal opposition to capitalism. (i think it’s a non-starter here in the states, but that doesn’t mean a new vocabularly can’t be built. in fact, i think that building a new vocabulary is necessary before a real dialogue is even possible.)

        B&C: Build­ing on this dia­gnosis, you intro­duce an altern­at­ive vocab­u­lary with the term ‘com­mun­ism’ at its cen­ter — a dif­fi­cult term, one could say, if only for stra­tegic pur­poses given that it is widely regarded as his­tor­ic­ally discredited.

        JD: First, there has been the return of com­mun­ism in the the­or­et­ical dis­cus­sion that star­ted with the con­fer­ences Sla­voj Zizek and Alain Badiou have organ­ized. Hardt and Negri have been talk­ing about com­mun­ism for a long time already. It’s import­ant to return to the lan­guage of com­mun­ism because that is the one word that says ‘no to cap­it­al­ism’. No mat­ter what, if people say that they are com­mun­ist, you know that they are against private prop­erty and the private own­er­ship of the means of pro­duc­tion and for the people’s con­trol over these means. There’s no nuance about their rela­tion to cap­it­al­ism, and that’s what is import­ant. A third reason is that the right in the US still believes in it, they are con­stantly attack­ing com­mun­ism which means that they know that it is the lan­guage of anti-​capitalism that appeals to some kind of eman­cip­at­ory egal­it­ari­an­ism. So I don’t think that com­mun­ism is as dead as the left seems to assume. The right knows it’s alive.

      • on November 12, 2012, 5:32 pm

        I agree and I hope I did’t offend you and my German Lefty friend with the “socialist flag” (which is not quite the same thing as the ‘hammer and sickel’ communist flag) .

      • on November 12, 2012, 7:28 pm

        “eman­cip­at­ory egal­it­ari­an­ism” of communism. – marc b.
        Well, that’s the key word. – But talking about ’emancipatory egalitarianism’ in a communist state is the same nonsense as talking about equal rights for Jews and Palestinians in a Jewish state.

        In a communist state you have to be a communist – and in a Jewish state you have to be a Jew. – There is no ’emancipatory’ thing to both of them.

      • marc b. on November 13, 2012, 8:25 am

        “eman­cip­at­ory egal­it­ari­an­ism” of communism. – marc b.

        klaus, those aren’t my words. my issue is language. if you have a chance to read the rest of the piece, dean’s broader point is that there is no space, no terminology that people can use to discuss an alternative political model. every conversation is turned back to the system that inevitably led to the theft of 100’s of billions of dollars.

      • Stephen Shenfield on November 13, 2012, 8:34 am

        No offense taken on my part, Klaus.

      • Stephen Shenfield on November 13, 2012, 8:49 am

        Marc, this is a terminological minefield. Misunderstanding can only be minimized by never using an -ism word without explaining as clearly as possible what you mean by it. Unfortunately, most people understand “communist” to mean a supporter of a system similar to what existed in the Soviet Union, in which the means of production were controlled not by the people as a whole but by the state and party leadership. That system was neither emancipatory nor egalitarian. I know that when you say “communism” you have in mind the ideal, but if you are discussing with Klaus for instance you need to explain that to him because he associates “socialism” and “communism” with the “really existing” systems that went by those names. And in that regard he is like millions of others, especially in the countries that experienced those systems.

        I agree that a person’s “relation to capitalism” is important, but it is not the ONLY thing that is important. What you are for is also very important, not just what you are against.

      • HemiFaulk on November 13, 2012, 10:53 am

        damn thats nearly devastating, excellent conversation had by all

      • Keith on November 13, 2012, 12:16 pm

        MARC B- “…dean’s broader point is that there is no space, no terminology that people can use to discuss an alternative political model.”

        Sure there is, it is called English. Marxism is a power seeking ideology which misrepresents reality in furtherance of its power seeking objectives. A dictatorship of the proletariat run by a vanguard of the elite is a dictatorship run by elites. Marxist analysis misrepresented the reality of the 1800s, and is hopelessly archaic now. Ownership of the means of production? Get real. It’s the money. Ours is a monetary controlled society. Capital is power. Unless and until you gain democratic control of the financial system, nothing will change. Marxist terminology and analysis inevitably leads to an intellectual and conceptual cul de sac. If one is interested in analyzing political economy, it is highly advantageous to expunge your vocabulary of both Marxist and capitalist terminology wherever possible and simply describe the system in plain English, then work from there.

      • Mooser on November 14, 2012, 12:52 pm

        “mentioning socialism in the same breath as anti-Semitism is majorly insulting.”

        You don’t think ‘mass insulting’ is more the mot juste?

      • Chu on November 14, 2012, 1:29 pm

        “Marxism is a power seeking ideology which misrepresents reality in furtherance of its power seeking objectives. A dictatorship of the proletariat run by a vanguard of the elite is a dictatorship run by elites.”

        well stated Keith..

  3. Helena Cobban on November 10, 2012, 4:30 pm

    No, it’s not just Larry Page and Sergy Brin. Google has a HUGE (and imho very threatening) data center just north of Tel Aviv. That’s why we should all try to reduce our Google-exposure as much as possible.

    • pipistro on November 10, 2012, 5:19 pm

      Do you really think that Mos-Sad hasn’t got the bunch of all our emails (search/chat), gracefully shaped into a leather-bound book, ready on a table if we have had the chance of landing in Tel Aviv?

    • annie on November 10, 2012, 5:29 pm

      here’s a video describing the kind of work they do at Google’s Israel R&D Center

      Our engineers work on problems in a variety of areas including information-retrieval algorithms, massive scalability and storage solutions, and cool applications that enrich the user experience. We also work extensively on networking systems, advertising systems, and complex transaction systems in consumer applications. We are very proud of the key projects that were launched from our site (see a few examples below). Our teams are leading many projects as well as working with teams globally.

      lots more at the link for techies.

    • seafoid on November 10, 2012, 5:50 pm

      And Facebook too. All that data is stored indefinitely and if Anwar al Awlaki can be murdered without due process who is to say that any of us couldn’t be incriminated without any reason given in a future post democratic US oligarchy ?

    • AmericaFirstforaChange on November 14, 2012, 3:59 pm

      Helena, and keep in mind the Israeli contractors spying on Americans for AT&T and Verizon as James Bamford mentioned in the following ‘Democracy Now’ broadcast!:

      James Bamford: “The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America”

      AMY GOODMAN: So you have these companies, AT&T and Verizon, that are secretly working with the NSA and tapping Americans’ phone lines, and these companies actually outsource the actual tapping to some little-known foreign companies?

      JAMES BAMFORD: Yeah. There’s two major — or not major, they’re small companies, but they service the two major telecom companies. This company, Narus, which was founded in Israel and has large Israel connections, does the — basically the tapping of the communications on AT&T. And Verizon chose another company, ironically also founded in Israel and largely controlled by and developed by people in Israel called Verint.

      So these two companies specialize in what’s known as mass surveillance. Their literature — I read this literature from Verint, for example — is supposed to only go to intelligence agencies and so forth, and it says, “We specialize in mass surveillance,” and that’s what they do. They put these mass surveillance equipment in these facilities. So you have AT&T, for example, that, you know, considers it’s their job to get messages from one person to another, not tapping into messages, and you get the NSA that says, we want, you know, copies of all this. So that’s where these companies come in. These companies act as the intermediary basically between the telecom companies and the NSA.

      • Citizen on November 14, 2012, 5:06 pm

        On Fox News now: Broadwell’s free pass to McDill killed.

  4. dimadok on November 10, 2012, 5:35 pm

    There is no data center in Tel Aviv and no Mossad tracking on any of you here. Grow up.

    • seafoid on November 11, 2012, 1:30 am

      I find it hard to buy the Mossad hype when the country is slowly YESHAing itself out of existence.

    • Obsidian on November 11, 2012, 5:09 am

      C’mon Dima. Leave then to their paranoia, rareified knowledge and most important, their ‘mission’, without any of which, they would just be ordinary folk living their ordinary lives of quiet desperation.
      Perish the thought.

      • Mooser on November 12, 2012, 1:25 pm

        “C’mon Dima. Leave then to their paranoia, rareified knowledge and most important, their ‘mission’, without any of which, they would just be ordinary folk living their ordinary lives of quiet desperation.”

        What a succinct description of Zionists, thanks.

    • Ellen on November 11, 2012, 5:42 am

      right, there is no physical google data center in Israel, as location of data is irrelevant in the cyberb world. Data is everywhere. but R&d of all data is conducted in Israel.

      Google will follow IT resources and talent where it is. Is r&d conducted in India? Is the pool of talent so great in Israel for Google to specifically have “a goal from the beginning to be in Israel.”

      “Google has been in Israel for about five years, and “from the beginning the goal was to build a research and development center in Israel, and to innovate global products and technology,” says Yossi Matias, director of Google’s R&D center in Israel, which employs about 250 people at facilities in Haifa and Tel Aviv.”

    • eGuard on November 11, 2012, 12:50 pm

      dimadok : There is no […] Mossad tracking on any of you here.

      Glad you took away that concern convincingly, dimadok. Good you know these things.

    • eGuard on November 11, 2012, 12:57 pm

      The timing of the problem (before the election) and the behaviour of the third woman could reveal more of the political angle. Now who would benefit from such an Obama mishap in say pre-election October?

      • HemiFaulk on November 13, 2012, 2:03 pm

        exactly, you may be on to something here, a 2012 October Suprise, Surprise, the Prize.

  5. Kathleen on November 10, 2012, 5:54 pm

    The number one spy master making these kinds of mistakes is clearly messy. As someone said over on some other thread about this issue “the name of Broadwell’s biography about Petraeus “All In” takes on a whole different meaning after this news got out”

  6. atime forpeace on November 10, 2012, 6:32 pm

    “after Petraeus inadvertently sent him the entire email conversation!”

    Yeap that’s the guy you want to pick as the head of cia.

    the other great trait that the Gen exibited during the email exchange with Max Boot was his groveling before that tribal power.

    oh please mr boot help me not look anti something or other, please please, i’m only a general of the united states of america, possibly the strongest military power this side of heaven. grovel grovel grovel, and an american general at that.

    • Mooser on November 13, 2012, 11:48 am

      “Yeap that’s the guy you want to pick as the head of cia.”

      What is the matter with you? Don’t you think that our intelligence agencies and military know exactly what kind of man they need to carry out the “mission”?
      And if their idiocy and lack of integrity leads to other consequences, it’ll just have to be dealt with. But the primary requirement is that they have the idiocy and lack of integrity to carry out the “mission”.
      I mean, who else besides Petraeus could’ve commanded the “surge” in Afghanistan (or was it Iraq?). Took a tremendous amount of corruption and some first-class idiocy to take on that one.

  7. Kathleen on November 10, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Clearer article about this situation over at Washington Post FBI probe of Petraeus triggered by email threats from biographer, officials say” Oy vey. So the married woman that Petraeus was having the affair with (Broadwell) felt threatened by another woman that she thought Petraeus was interested in (or something like this) and e mailed this other woman and threatened her. The threatened woman contacted the FBI. Aye yi yi. Unable to link

    • bilal a on November 11, 2012, 1:24 am

      Most of the stories are speculative leaks, we dont even know who really sent these emails, Broadwell, or someone who had her gmail account. (recall the placed NY times advice letter in the Ethicist), and now there are other political sources going after Petraeus, ie:

      ““I was contacted by an F.B.I. employee concerned that sensitive, classified information may have been compromised and made certain [FBI] Director Mueller was aware of these serious allegations and the potential risk to our national security,” [Congressman] Cantor said in a statement”

      Read more:

  8. on November 10, 2012, 10:33 pm

    the way I see it…petraus was not providing the ….”right” …info on Iran

    time to do him in….

    just a matter of time…

    just a matter of time…………………………………

  9. Nevada Ned on November 11, 2012, 12:04 am

    Even if you’re NOT a highly placed CIA official, a good rule to follow is:

    never put anything in an email that you don’t want on page 1 of the newspaper.


    email is not private.

    Don’t believe me? Ask (former) Congressman Anthony Wiener.

  10. on November 11, 2012, 2:32 am

    is she an israeli …spy…


  11. NickJOCW on November 11, 2012, 5:02 am

    Surely the one to keelhaul over this fracas is whoever leaked the contents of a document clearly headed For official use only until released by the Senate Armed Services Committee. As for Petraeus’ exchange with Boot, dealing with that particular fallout without expert help would be like trying to calm a demented Rottweiler on your own. I never understand America’s prurient obsession with other people’s sex lives; so long as he doesn’t break the law what does it matter where he parks the damn thing.

    • Citizen on November 11, 2012, 1:10 pm

      @ NickJOCW
      Hey, cheer up! There’s some evidence the key to Wilson getting the doughboys to go “over there” was threatened exposure of his private letter exchange while married with another woman, blackmailed by Zionists.

  12. Citizen on November 11, 2012, 6:49 am

    Statement of Gen Petraeus to US Sen Armed Svs Com (Chair Levin), 3-16-2010:

    C. Cross-cutting Challenges to Security and Stability

    While this statement will describe in greater detail the dynamics and challenges in the
    sub-regions of the AOR, there are a number of cross-cutting issues that serve as major
    drivers of instability, inter-state tensions, and conflict. These factors can serve as root
    causes of instability or as obstacles to security.

    Insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace. The
    enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct
    challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. Israeli-Palestinian
    tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The
    conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism
    for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth
    of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the
    legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and
    other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also
    gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and

    This excerpt reveals US favoritism benefiting Israel at expense of the natives as the General’s first bullet point listing how the US foreign policy in his (then) area of command directly harms the key US interests in the area (also named in his report).

  13. Citizen on November 11, 2012, 7:02 am

    Seems the whole world knows Uncle Sam has not been an honest broker as it always claims to be–except for Americans. Clearly Betrayus
    knows the score and chose not to say it to the investigating committee when that hearing was broadcast on CSPAN. The truth was in the briefcase at his feet. What the f&*K kind of American is he?

  14. Ellen on November 11, 2012, 8:58 am

    What seems really strange is that Broadwell used his personal email account to write multiple threatening emails to another still-unamed woman. Broadwell must have known EXACTLY what she was doing — setting the General up for a potential inestigation.

    the other unamed woman in this bizzare story knew that those emails were coming from Petreaus’s account when she went to the FBI.

    Cat fight or not, both knew they were bringing the General down.

    as an aside, it might be significant that Vernon Leob, a propagandist, was the co-author of Broadwell’s ridiculously titled biography “All In….” Leob, who has been “embeded” with the intelligence community was one of the most vocal cheerleaders for the Iraq war and promotor of the WMD myths.

    to read this this interview with him years ago, it is amazing he is still running around with any modicum of credibility.

    • Ellen on November 11, 2012, 2:17 pm

      correction: there are conflicting reports if the harrasement emails came from the Petrtraus’ account or Broadwell’s. Either way, unamed lady X knew she was ultimately calling for an investigation of Petraeus.

  15. CitizenC on November 11, 2012, 9:24 am

    Bad move by Paula. If she’d kept her knickers on she’d be a TV news star by now, with her book and military/intel record and academic chops and looks. Instead she became a general’s groupie, and a news scandal. Duty, honor, country. Gen Petraeus went from staying kosher for president with Rabbi Max Boot, to resigning in disgrace. Hubris in Iraq and Afghanistan and private life. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    • CitizenC on November 11, 2012, 6:36 pm

      The NYT said Paula wanted to be a “member of the national security elite”, so give her more credit than aspiring to be a TV news star. She played on her ties to Petraeus, toward that end, in the view of his staff, over 6 visits to Afghanistan. After all that West Point crap about leadership, and courage and cool under fire, and manic fitness and triathlon competition, she couldn’t resist the fire from the general’s eyes. Had she kept her knickers on she could have parlayed Petraeus’s crush on her into a job at the CIA easily, and been on her way.

      Instead her life campaign has suffered an irreversible defeat. Very bad command performance, Major Broadwell. If she’s lucky, she will be a radiologist’s wife in Charlotte for the rest of her days. Her national security career is as dead as the general’s. Even if she finishes her PhD; she will presumably get a new topic, not pursue the general’s command of the 101st Airborne in the invasion of Iraq, as case study in organizational innovation.

  16. atime forpeace on November 11, 2012, 2:17 pm

    Col Pat Lang has this over at his site…it’s interesting to hear the perspective from someone who comes from the military.

    “Don’t cry over this guy. He has had a hell of a run. IMO someone “dropped a dime” on him with the FBI. Once that happened an investigation into the limits of his lover’s access to classified information through her relationship with him was inevitable. The FBI has the power to investigate anyone in the US Government, including the director of the CIA, and they relish the responsibility. It is in the grand tradition of J. Edgar Hoover. A secondary consideration that is unappreciated by civilians is that as a retired US Army officer Petraeus is still subject to UCMJ and its prohibition of adultery, a crime under UCMJ punishable by a dishonorable discharge and a year in prison. It is unlikely that this would happen but it is still the law. If you don’t like that, tell Congress to change the law.

    Who would have “squealed” on him over his paramour? There are various candidates so far; her husband, someone at CIA who did not appreciate everything he did, someone or some group in the US Army.

    He was never much liked in the Army. “Clever” is a term of art in the Army for someone “foxy,” slippery and politically adroit. He was always clever. At West Point, which is, after all, a college like all others, the appreciation of teachers can be carefully cultivated by students. He excelled at that. Every WP graduate becomes an Army officer. Relationships established with officer staff there affect the rest of an officer’s career. Petraeus married the daughter of the superintendant (president) of the place. This officer was a major general. Later he was a four star general. Throughout his career Petraeus carefully maneuvered to maximize his potential for promotion. He has a terrible reputation in the Army for egomania smoothly concealed beneath the appearance of the warrior scholar. He can and has charmed all, or almost all. His fluency in the English language and his ability to interact with congressmen and the press are superb.

    He was not the originator of the armed forces current doctrine on COIN. He did not triumph in Iraq employing that doctrine. The improvement in the security situation there happened because he was clever enough to accept marine and Special Forces sponsorship of the “awakening” of the Sunni Arabs to the fact that they did not wish to live under Al-Qa’ida rule. This led to the creation of the “Sons of Iraq” who, for a time, virtually wiped out the Sunni jihadis. This gave the Shia Arab dominated government a chance to at least partially assert its power in some parts of the country. This serendipitous set of events was carefully parlayed in the US media into the creation of an image of Petraeus as the heir of George Marshall. Iraq is slowly becoming a satrapy of Iran. Should Petraeus have credit for that as well?

    His success” in Iraq led to sending him to Afghanistan to apply the supposedly victorious doctrine of COIN there as well. We see the reult.

    As I said, don’t grieve for him. He had a long run and will now make a lot of money somehow. He is clever.” pl

    • doug on November 11, 2012, 4:41 pm

      I remember Lang commenting about the “surge” months before it became a policy in Iraq. The success had little to do with COIN but subsequently policy makers and their military accolytes tried to apply COIN to everything (aka Afghanistan). He, and a number of other analysts, have watched with horror as it was (ab)used there with completely predictable results.

  17. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 11, 2012, 4:42 pm

    General Petraeus’s leaked emails about Israel

    Blogger Philip Weiss has them, and they’re not pretty.

  18. wiserman on November 11, 2012, 7:31 pm

    This scandal has far graver implications that cursory glance would indicate:

  19. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 11, 2012, 8:27 pm

    Woman who got harassing emails from ex-CIA director David Petraeus’ girlfriend asks for privacy:

    Official IDs Tampa woman who sparked Petraeus inquiry:

    Petraeus Affair: Woman Who Received Harassing Emails Identified

  20. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 11, 2012, 9:07 pm

    Meet The Woman Who Exposed David Petraeus’ Affair With His Biographer:

  21. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 11, 2012, 10:18 pm

    FBI Scrutinized on Petraeus

    Complaints by Female Social Planner Led to Email Trail That Undid CIA Chief:

  22. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 11, 2012, 11:05 pm

    U.S. Officials Say Petraeus’s Affair Known in Summer:

  23. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 11, 2012, 11:06 pm

    James Morris mentioned his email exchanges with General Petraeus in the following Press TV interviews!:

    Press TV Talks to James Morris on Republican CNN debate about Ron Paul on Iran:

    Pro-Israel Biased Media Threat to US Security:

  24. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 12, 2012, 12:03 am

    Paula Broadwell Emails Sent To State Department Military Liaison: AP Source!:

  25. Ellen on November 12, 2012, 12:03 pm

    A take is that if Romney won, we’d never even hear about Petraeus’s women. And now there are questions as to why Eric Cantor was involved and holding onto this information when it was not his to hold?

    Why was it that the un-named FBI employees was told to go to Cantor? That the supposed whistle blower was instructed by his Congressman to go to Cantor could be an error by his Representative. (But that is a leap.) But once Cantor got a hold of it, why is it that he did nothing?

    Israel is freaked with the prospect that Petraus could have run in 2016. It was time to snuff him out.

    His briefing last spring calling for CENTCOM to cover Palestine and concluding that US interests and safety are compromised by Israel was the reason he had to go. The risk that he could be taken seriously was simply too great.

  26. Mooser on November 12, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Maybe when it’s all over, Petraeus and Greta Berlin will fall in love, meeting at a class on “Controlling and using your e-mail features”
    Wouldn’t that be cool?

  27. bilal a on November 12, 2012, 1:41 pm

    Eric Cantor was involved in the Broadwell Honeypot which involved traficking in classified documents but to whom? Perhaps Israel affiaited Hudson Neocon Institute:

    “When Cantor pledged to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he and his fellow Republicans “will serve as a check on the administration” in regard to the President’s policy toward Israel, he was clearly aligning himself with a foreign leader against American interests as perceived by the White House. But would he really go this far — deliberately taking down a key figure, one beloved by Republicans, in order to keep his promise to Netanyahu?


    Update: This morning [11/12/12] the New York Times reports:

    “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.”


    • annie on November 12, 2012, 11:39 pm

      wow, that is one awesome link bilal, a must read. thank you very very much.

      • Kathleen on November 14, 2012, 7:44 am

        this article is being referenced at Emptywheels quite a bit. Used to go read Justin Raimando all of the time especially in the run up to the invasion and after. Glenn Greenwald has an interesting take at the Guardian all about the who the FBI can investigate and how. Interesting take but hope Glenn goes deeper on this issue.

  28. dbroncos on November 12, 2012, 1:52 pm

    @Mooser :D

    Amusing to consider these two uber warriors thrashing about. I can picture him bound up in animal skins and her in a kevlar thong with a dagger in her teeth.

  29. wiserman on November 12, 2012, 2:39 pm

    Despite his truthful comments regarding Israel’s belligerent and murderous acts against its neighbors being a detriment to US foreign policy and a danger to US troops, Petraeus was the last vestige of Zionist-neocon appointed members of the Obama administration. Perhaps the way is now clear for a new direction that is predicated more on the needs of America rather than on the wants of the psychopathic regime in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

  30. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 12, 2012, 6:57 pm

    James Morris (activist who made Petraeus email exchanges available to Phil Weiss) also in ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ film via his exchange with former 9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton from youtube. See John Mearsheimer’s response to Lee Hamilton exchange with James Morris in the ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ trailer at as ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ screened at the Venice Film Festival (world’s oldest and most prestigious film festival) and screens soon on November 21 & November 22nd at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival as well:

    Valentino’s Ghost (Valentino’s Ghost: The Politics Behind Images of Arabs & Muslims in the Media):

  31. Kathleen on November 12, 2012, 11:10 pm

    What is with an FBI agent going outside the agency to warn Rep Reichart and then to Cantnor. One would think the FBI agent going outside the agency to discuss an investigation is way out of line. Jill Kelley had to know this would take Petraeus down. There has to be so much more to this than a “cat fight” Someone big wanted Petraeus gone

    • annie on November 12, 2012, 11:27 pm

      kathleen, as i mentioned the other day, it’s about benghazi.

      have you read

      also check out empty wheel

      I’ve got a half-done post backstage talking about the conflicting evidence regarding the February 17 Brigade’s behavior the night of the Benghazi attack. Suffice it to say that, while they had been reliable in the past, and while CIA and State timelines differ about what kind of help they provided the night of the attack, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest they had allowed the attack, if not participated themselves.

      Thus, it seems another “friendly” force potentially trained by David Petraeus’ people turned on the Americans.

      • Kathleen on November 13, 2012, 1:53 pm

        Thanks Annie You know I generally go over to Marcy Wheelers place daily to read what she has to say. She is almost always on top of critical issues

      • Kathleen on November 13, 2012, 2:26 pm

        Annie have you read Emptywheel’s post “why would a whistleblower go to Eric Cantor”

      • bilal a on November 13, 2012, 7:40 pm

        Suppose the CIA was using sub contractors to torute, and encountered blowback by one of its trained militias in Benghazi, then why would Cantor go along with the Tampa socialite’s requested investigation into Broadwell-Petraeus? And why would Obama insist on a resignation letter disgracing petraeus and broadwell?

        Perhaps the disgrace of two generals and two social climber cougars was defensive in response to a Cantor attempted October surpirse , tied to the concurrent film trailer controversy , and Benghazi?

        We know the film was a dud until someone translated it and pushed it in Cairo Liberal Media circles, timed to concur with the attack on the CIA annex , and that the FBI investigation of Petraeus cam shortly .

        How many of General Allen and Petraeus emails went to Max Boots Krauthammers ?

      • Kathleen on November 14, 2012, 8:06 am

        Remember reading some article where the team that went into to take out those from the U.S. consulate had prepared for I think 10 individuals and was surprised to find 30 or more individuals (forgot how many were allegedly CIA agents) And now Marcy Wheeler and others are talking more and more about it being an interrogation site. If this turns out to be the case and had come out before the election Obama could have been a one term President and then again maybe not. How many Americans actually pay any attention to this stuff especially when what Chris Matthews and others are focused on…all about Petraeus fall from grace and sex. Nothing about the strong possibility that what was going on at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was above board or that Paula Kranz Broadwell or Jill Kwaham Kelley could be working for foreign intelligence operations. Or all of the above and more I do hope Petraeus is required to testify in front of congress. The FBI clearly must have told Cantor keep his trap shut because of an ongoing investigation. The minute folks become aware of an investigation all sorts of potential leads must try to seal their doors.

  32. adele on November 13, 2012, 4:33 pm

    The plot thickens……

    Statements made by Paula Broadwell at speech she gave last month at University of Denver:

    In an answer to a question reading the CIA chief’s handling of the incident, the biographer said: “Now, I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually, um, had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.”


  33. mcohen on November 13, 2012, 8:29 pm

    Gilberte “Jill” Khawam Kelley (born January 1, 1975) is an American socialite and volunteer social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Bay, Florida.[1] She is a key figure in the government investigation into inappropriate communications by U.S. Generals David Petraeus and John R. Allen.

    Kelley’s family are Lebanese-American Maronite Catholics who immigrated from Jounieh, Lebanon, in the mid-1970s

    hohohohohohoho and away we go

    • bilal a on November 14, 2012, 3:13 am

      Broadwell apparently was protecting Petraeus from the security issue of contact with an arabic speaking maronite Christian immigrant with ties to foreign governments in the Middle East:

      “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. She was a fixture at social and charity events involving Central Command officials in Tampa. The officer said Kelley’s presence was often a bit puzzling to Petraeus’s staff, but the officer said there was never any indication that her relationship with the general was anything more than social.”

      As her father stated:
      “This is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out,” the retired high school basketball coach told the New York 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.”

      • Kathleen on November 14, 2012, 7:54 am

        On that I think we could all agree

      • CitizenC on November 14, 2012, 9:48 am

        I don’t agree. Broadwell approached Petraeus after a talk at Harvard where she was a master’s student. She then decided to do a dissertation in London on his “leadership style” as a study in innovation or something.

        If you want to get ahead on your merits in national security these days, you study history and politics of south and western Asia, and above all the languages, at a place like the Defense Language School in Monterey, where native speakers from the countries we are destroying try and give the warriors a clue in hope they will realize what they are doing (I hope. My nephew just finished there, in Arabic I think)

        Instead Broadwell became a Petraeus groupie, the female hetero counterpart of male journos and politicos fawning over Petraeus, David Ignatius being the chief example. Recent coverage of the book notes that many people in the publishing world who saw the MS had reservations about its uncritical judgments and the reasons for the special access to Petraeus, who had nothing to gain from it.

        Groupie syndrome is the simplest idea that fits the evidence, so far, to my mind. “Protecting” Petraeus from Jill Kelley was probably just groupie zeal. Petraeus learned of it and told Broadwell to back off. Maronite Christians are the last people US generals and diplomats need protecting from. They are overwhelmingly on our side, above all socialites in Tampa, home of the 2 key commands in the ME, Central and Special Forces.

      • Kathleen on November 14, 2012, 10:07 am

        Why not the possibility of Broadwell sucking up to Petraeus to get all the way in? Just sayin

      • Rusty Pipes on November 14, 2012, 11:41 am

        Interesting link. The response of some prominent Zionists on the site is predictable. Not all Lebanese Maronites are falangists, members of the SLA or allied with Israel in other ways. However, some prominent Lebanese Christians like Brigitte Gabriel have such neocon politics. Considering this woman’s odd behavior of going into debt to suck up to military brass and sending volumes of explicit e-mail to General Allen, her motives are worth exploring.

      • CitizenC on November 14, 2012, 6:32 pm

        Jill Kelly’s family emigrated from wealthy Jounieh north of Beirut, seat of the Maronite Patriarch, and of the dominant, conservative Maronite politics. Michel Aoun, the Maronite allied with Hizbollah, is from a modest Shia-Maronite village south of Beirut. Until proven otherwise, Jill Kelly is just a flamboyant social climber.

        Israel had no interest in bringing Petraeus down. Tablet laments the fall of a true anti-Iran believer

      • CitizenC on November 15, 2012, 12:42 pm

        Take a look at this on the Khawam family’s close friend Jimmy Tayoun, Lebanese ex-pat and convicted Philly politician, and a rabid fan of Menachem Begin. I think this removes any doubts about Jill Kelly’s politics. She felt right home with the 2 Middle East commands in Tampa.

        Follow the enclosed link to the NBC summary

      • Rusty Pipes on November 16, 2012, 11:35 am

        No interest in bringing Petraeus down, possibly. But definitely an interest in cultivating top American brass and feeding them Middle Eastern contacts with anti-Iran and anti-Hizbollah analysis.

  34. piotr on November 13, 2012, 9:01 pm

    Someone was reporting news to me (much faster than actually watching in person), so I got “executive summary”: General Allen will not be dismissed, but his promotion is on hold. In the meantime, he is instrumental in assessing how many troops will remain in Afghanistan (once they dismiss all guilty of adultery?) and for what purpose (reading and writing steamy e-mails?). Make love not war?

    Which reminds me quite funny stories you get by searching “ministry of love affairs”, with hits to “ministry of foreign affairs” of Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Foreign Minister there looks quite a bit better than Ms. Broadwell, and the rumors spread by Bangladeshi tabloids and all over the subcontinent are beyond anything Americans may imagine, it gets to the point that young Indians have Facebook pages with photos of famous actresses, singers AND the Foreign Minister of Pakistan) and less colorful hits from Republic of Korea (here tabloids from Singapore are helpful) three staffers of Korean consulate in Shanghai were seduced by the same Chinese intelligence agent, upon discovery one fled to China and two were exiled to be clerks in Finance Ministry, (department of most boring work?).

    In the meantime, while American affairs are kind of bland, the investigation seems like the broom animated by sorcerer’s apprentice. FBI personel is also under investigation, who knows where it will stop.

  35. Kathleen on November 14, 2012, 10:05 am

    So if you are a member of the FBI and you believe U.S. National Security has been breached via access to say General Petraeus or General Allen’s computer/emails sure seems logical that you would tighten down the hatches as much as possible. Clearly the minute that those involved in a destructive way get wind of an FBI investigation all cracks and doors are sealed. Senator Feinstein not happy that she was not informed but one thinks about how Jane “waddling on over to interfere in the Aipac espionage investigation and trial” Harman undermined that investigation and trial. How the FBI raid of Aipac and immediate leak to Lesley Stahl of CBS sounded the alarm to possible espionage criminals no need to wonder why the FBI would try to keep the lid on such an investigation

    • bilal a on November 14, 2012, 1:02 pm

      First time it seems that an alleged subversive foreign agent is appointed to head the intelligence agency she sought to neutralize. Even now the history is being blue washed. Big article on alleged Israeli spy Jane Harmann at counterpunch:

      While Congressional Quarterly’s Roll Call contains an article in which Harman denies the espionage-related reports, the publication seems to have taken down the report to which Harman was responding and to which numerous other articleslink: “Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC,” by Jeff Stein, Congressional Quarterly, April 19, 2009. (It’s unclear whether the removal of Stein’s article is related to the fact that three months after the story broke, Congressional Quarterly was bought by the Economist Group.)”

      many lins to Israeli espionage of harman and AIPAC at same link

  36. Mooser on November 14, 2012, 12:48 pm

    I would think that Sibel Edmonds would know a bit about this.

    Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Broadwell. SHe’s really proud of those shoulders, isn’t she? And of course, she reserves the right to bare arms.

  37. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 21, 2012, 8:38 pm

    How Washington Makes Love for War

    What Paula Broadwell teaches us about the foreign-policy elite.

  38. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 22, 2012, 8:40 pm

    ‏RT @MacieBoughton Emily Yoffe’s colorful prose does nothing to restore David Petraeus as CIA Director..with friends like that … via @slate

  39. Citizen on November 23, 2012, 7:14 am
  40. AmericaFirstforaChange on November 23, 2012, 3:24 pm
  41. AmericaFirstforaChange on December 25, 2012, 11:18 am

    Listen to neocon advocate Eli Lake’s response to James Morris’ call about the neocon Kagans advising Petraeus (along with his mention of his email exchanges with Petraeus via from the UK New Statesman) near the end (about the 38 minute mark) of the video linked at following URL:

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