Thursday's developments: Gen. David Petraeus' CIA sex scandal
The latest news on the alleged extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell that led to Gen. David Petraeus' resignation as director of the CIA, the FBI investigation of her alleged email harassment of Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, and the Pentagon investigation of Kelley's alleged email correspondence with Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
FBI agent Frederick W. Humphries II
Frederick W. Humphries II helped make the FBI's cases against a would-be bomber on the West Coast and a university student in Tampa. But the investigation he is most certainly going to be remembered for is one that led to the downfall of CIA director and retired Gen. David Petraeus.
Seattle Times — What was up with that shirtless photo he emailed to Kelley? "The FBI agent who initiated the investigation that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus said Thursday a shirtless photograph of him found in the email of Tampa socialite Jill Kelley 'was a tongue-in-cheek joke' sent to dozens of friends and acquaintances and was meant to be self-effacing, not sexual. The picture, which was sent to a reporter at The Seattle Times in 2010, was taken following a 'hard workout' with the SWAT team at MacDill Air Force Base. He's posed between a pair of target dummies that have a remarkable likeness to the buff agent. The caption on the photo, which was sent from a personal email account, reads, "Which One's Fred?" [Image credit: seattletimes.com]
The Pentagon investigation
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta withheld Gen. John Allen's nomination to become supreme Allied commander of NATO pending an investigation into emails between him and Jill Kelley.
CBS News — Panetta says it appears the Petraeus scandal won't widen: "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday he knows of no other senior U.S. military officers being linked to the David Petraeus investigation that has ensnared the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen."
Washington Post — Department of Defense orders review of U.S. military leaders: "Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has ordered the Pentagon to find out why so many generals and admirals have become embroiled in legal and ethical problems, a trend exacerbated by recent investigations of two of the military's best-known commanders. … But aides insisted that he had been considering the review for some time and that it was not prompted by revelations that the FBI has been investigating former CIA director David H. Petraeus, a retired Army general, and Marine Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan."
Paula Broadwell, her computer and her emails
Investigators continue to look for sensitive materials on Broadwell's computer, and sources are talking more about the email messages she sent to Gen. David Petraeus, Jill Kelley and Gen. John Allen.
Washington Post — Emails to Allen and both Kelleys used the alias 'KelleyPatrol': "The first message Allen received came in May from a sender using the alias 'KelleyPatrol,' according to a person close to Kelley. The message made clear the sender knew that Allen was likely to see Kelley at an upcoming event at the residence of an ambassador in Washington and that he should stay away from her, according to the person. Subsequent messages, also anonymous, were sent to Kelley and her husband, Scott. One of them asked whether Scott Kelley knew that his wife would be meeting Petraeus in Washington at an event scheduled for the next week, the person said."
Associated Press — It was a single spiteful email to Allen that unraveled the scandal: "It started in May with a spiteful email to the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. An anonymous writer warned Gen. John Allen that a friend with whom he was meeting in Washington the following week was trouble and he should stay away from her. Allen thought the email was a joke because he didn't know how anybody else would know about his personal plans with his friend, Florida socialite Jill Kelley, a person close to Kelley said. That email started a chain of events that led to the downfall of CIA Director David Petreaus, put Allen's career on hold and landed a decorated FBI agent in hot water for talking about an ongoing investigation. The FBI traced that email and others of a similar vein to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus' biographer, who agents would soon learn had also been his lover."
Tampa's unusual social scene
Jill Kelley's involvement in the Petraeus-Broadwell scandal has opened a window on an aspect of Tampa Bay society that most of us hear about but rarely get to see: the way MacDill Air Force Base and U.S. Central Command officers have become local celebrities, respected for their work but also sought-after targets for party hostesses and event organizers.
WTVT-TV Fox Ch. 13 — Despite drama, no 'Real Housewives' for Tampa: "Indeed, the Petraeus saga has sparked rumors that Bravo is developing a Tampa version of its popular 'Real Housewives' series. But senior staff members at the network's headquarters in New York told FOX 13 those rumors are, in fact, false. Which is just as well. Who needs a reality show when reality is unfolding on Bayshore with the whole world watching?"
Benghazi consulate attacks
Former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus had been scheduled to testify before Congress about Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, but that testimony was postponed when he resigned over an extramarital affair. He has been scheduled again to testify before a closed-door session.
CNN — I didn't quit over Benghazi, Petraeus says: "Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, is concerned about possible links between the timing of Petraeus' departure and a congressional inquiry into the September attack in Libya, which killed four Americans. Some of his Republican colleagues share Graham's unease. Petraeus offered to keep his appointment to testify before the House committee even after his resignation because he 'did not like the conspiracies going around that somehow he had something to hide on Benghazi,' [Petraeus' aide, retired Col. Peter Mansoor] said."
Lessons for the rest of us
New York Magazine — How 'Mean Girls' explains the Petraeus scandal: "It's a depressing paradox: Even though high-achieving women have the most to gain from forming alliances with other women, they're often the worst toward each other. In the male-dominated national-security world, Broadwell and Kelley could have been powerful allies if they'd kept their high-school jealousies and rivalries in check. At the very least, they wouldn’t be at the center of a very public scandal."