Sunday, December 10, 2017
Opinion

Ruth: Kelley's privacy crusade: Look at me

Our own huckstering, wanna-be faux socialite Jill Kelley wants to recast herself as the Angela Merkel of Tampa Bay — in Christian Louboutin red lacquered stiletto heels.

In a recent Wall Street Journal column headlined "How the Government Spied on Me," Kelley bemoaned her plight after she set in motion events that led to the resignation of Gen. David Petraeus as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency amid disclosures he was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

In her twisted interpretation of the scandal, you would think Kelley was more hunted than Richard Kimble, Butch and Sundance and whoever holds the career-killing title of the No. 2 leader of al-Qaida.

A year ago, Petraeus' reputation imploded, from distinguished military commander and the nation's head spook to the country's head schlemiel. That happened after Kelley contacted the FBI upon receiving anonymous emails telling her to stay away from the General Halftrack of coo-coo-ca-choo.

Kelley knew Petraeus from his time at MacDill Air Force Base, when he was invited to soirees at her Bayshore Boulevard manse. So anxious was Kelley to ingratiate herself to anyone in uniform, it is a wonder Sgt. Bilko, McHale's Navy the Dirty Dozen weren't invited to roam around the front yard munching on crab claws. She argues her privacy was invaded by the black helicopter crowd after the FBI ignored her specific order to only look "at one threatening email we received and only that email." Good luck with a social-climbing butterfly telling the FBI how to do its job.

It never occurred to the aspiring Pearl Mesta of the Big Guava that her call to law enforcement implicated the head of the world's foremost intelligence agency? It never dawned on her she was creating a national security crisis? Did she truly believe the FBI would confine its investigation to a single, anonymous email?

Kelley whined the FBI probe led to an "intrusive investigation without just cause." Who wrote this drivel? Baghdad Bob?

This wasn't as if the feds were being tasked to investigate how the Kelley family's cat got stuck in a tree. The emails (plural, mind you) mentioned the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. It didn't take Dr. Phil to figure out the missives just might be related to an extra-marital affair involving the Gen. Jack D. Ripper of rustling sheets, though it should be noted there has never been any suggestion Kelley was the other woman.

Intrusive? You betcha. Without just cause? What part of potential compromise of national security does Kelley not grasp?

At some point Kelley's name made its way into the news media. You cannot be the pivotal player in bringing down one of the most powerful figures in the United States government and expect reporters aren't going to notice.

But nothing tops Kelley's delusional logic that her experience somehow compares with recent revelations the National Security Agency tapped into the communications of American citizens.

This is a bit like a Kardashian du jour kvetching about the omnipresence of paparazzi.

With her Wall Street Journal piece Kelley tried to rebrand herself as a crusader for privacy rights against oppressive big government intrusion. "I hope my family's story is a case study about the damage that can be caused by the government's electronic overreach," she wrote with all the sincerity of Jerry Springer.

The NSA's abuses notwithstanding, if Kelley wants to find the culprit who compromised her privacy she should look in a mirror. It was Kelley who courted the society pages. It was Kelley who schmoozed her way into having virtually unfettered access to MacDill. And it was Kelley who first invited the FBI into her life.

She is no more a "case study" of government snooping than the Miami Dolphins' Ritchie Incognito is a role model for civility.

Kelley was well on her away to achieving the phony privacy she claims to crave, only to churn up the story all over again in the pages of a national newspaper. Tampa's Princess of Pâté was willing to violate her privacy again — for a chintzy scoop.

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