November 14, 2012

Lawmakers probe generals scandal with national security in mind

President Barack Obama is expected to make his first comments on the widening scandal Wednesday, during a news conference at the White House.

Kimberly Dozier and Nancy Benac/Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Jill Kelley leaves her home Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012 in Tampa, Fla. Kelley is identified as the woman who allegedly received harassing emails from Gen. David Petraeus' paramour, Paula Broadwell. She serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where the military's Central Command and Special Operations Command are located. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

AP

click image to enlarge

FILE POOL - In this July 9, 2011 file photo, USMC Gen. John Allen, left, and Army Gen. David Petraeus, top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and incoming CIA Director, greet former CIA Director and new U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, as he lands in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, July 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul J. Richards, Pool)

AP

Additional Photos Below

Related headlines

A cast of characters in the Petraeus sex scandal

WASHINGTON — One day CIA Director David Petraeus was sending out signals he'd like to stay on for President Barack Obama's second term. The next he was hurrying to the White House to offer his resignation and remorse over an extramarital affair. In rapid succession, other characters have emerged in North Carolina, Florida and Afghanistan with story lines that resemble the latest installment of "Real Housewives."

And the scandal's become so complicated you need a scorecard to keep track:

DAVID PETRAEUS: A highly decorated four-star Army general lauded for his leadership of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Petraeus, 60, moved into the civilian world to become CIA director in September 2011. He shocked official Washington on Friday by admitting an extramarital affair with his biographer and resigning his post.

PAULA BROADWELL: The other woman. Now a 40-year-old author and married mom of two young children, she met Petraeus while she was an Army reservist and graduate student at Harvard in 2006. She later embarked on a case study on his leadership of the Iraq War. After he took the helm in Afghanistan, Broadwell expanded her work into a biography, gaining unprecedented access to Petraeus and his commanders. It's called "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

Their affair began in November 2011, a couple of months after he became CIA director, according to retired Army Col. Steve Boylan, a friend of the Petraeus family. It ended last summer, Boylan said.

The relationship was exposed after Broadwell of Charlotte, N.C., sent emails to another woman, Jill Kelley, warning her to stay away from Petraeus, officials said.

JILL KELLEY: All threads in the story trace back to this Tampa, Fla., socialite.

A surgeon's wife and mother of three young girls, Kelley is a sort of self-appointed social ambassador for the nearby U.S. Central Command and other officers at MacDill Air Force Base. The Kelleys opened their bayside home to lavish parties where military brass mingled with Tampa's elite. In this role, she befriended Petraeus and his wife, Holly, when he took over Central Command in October 2008.

Kelley, 37, stayed in close contact with Petraeus after he left to take command of the Afghanistan war. They exchanged nearly daily emails in an account routinely monitored by his aides, according to two former staffers, who said those messages weren't romantic in tone.

In May 2012, Kelley started getting anonymous, harassing emails warning her away from Petraeus. She reported the email to the FBI.

The FBI traced the messages to Broadwell, uncovering her affair with Petraeus. The FBI notified Petraeus' boss, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who urged him to resign.

And the FBI found something more.

It unearthed "inappropriate communications" between Kelley and another top military officer, John Allen, according to Pentagon officials.

JOHN ALLEN: The four-star Marine general who followed in Petraeus' footsteps at Central Command and then as Afghanistan commander is now following him into choppy waters.

The Pentagon is investigating 20,000 pages of documents and emails involving Allen, who is married, and Kelley. Some of the communications were "flirtatious," according to a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Like Petraeus, Allen, 58, was part of the Tampa social circle; he moved up to acting commander when Petraeus left for Afghanistan. When Petraeus came home from Afghanistan, Allen moved into the top job there — his current post.

President Barack Obama has nominated Allen to take over U.S. European Command and lead all NATO forces in Europe. That's been put on hold. He denies any wrongdoing and remains in his job.

NATALIE KHAWAM: Kelley's twin sister also socialized with the two generals. Both Petraeus and Allen wrote letters lauding Khawam as a devoted mother to help her in a bitter child custody battle with her ex-husband. Earlier in that divorce case, Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz had criticized Khawam for a lack of honesty and "misrepresentations about virtually everything."

HOLLY PETRAEUS: Petraeus' wife of 38 years, mother of their two grown children, is in charge of service member assistance at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is a well-known advocate for military families. Mrs. Petraeus is said to be devastated by her husband's infidelity. "Furious would be an understatement," family friend Boylan told ABC's "Good Morning America."

THE SHIRTLESS FBI AGENT: And then there's this unnamed character: The FBI agent to whom Kelley first took her complaint was a longtime friend. And he had once sent her shirtless photos of himself, according to a federal law enforcement official.

He passed the information along to others for investigation, and was subsequently told to steer clear of the case because his superiors worried that he had become obsessed with it, the official said.

But the agent passed along a tip about Petraeus' affair to Republican Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington state, who got word to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Oct. 27, nearly two weeks before the scandal became public.

A senior U.S. official told The Associated Press that other senior U.S. officials who read the emails determined that the exchanges between Allen and Kelley were not sexually explicit or seductive but included pet names such as "sweetheart" or "dear." The official said that while much of the communication — including some from Allen to Kelley — is relatively innocuous, some could be construed as unprofessional and would cause a reasonable person to take notice.

That official and others who described the investigation requested anonymity on grounds that they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

Kelley served as a sort of social ambassador for U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., hosting parties for Petraeus when he was commander there from 2008-10. The friendship with the Petraeus began when they arrived in Tampa, and the Kelleys threw a welcome party at their home, a short distance from Central Command headquarters, introducing the new chief and his wife, Holly, to Tampa's elite, according to staffers who served with Petraeus.

Such friendships among senior military commanders and prominent local community leaders are common at any base.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers complained that they should have been told about the investigation earlier. Morell, who took over Petraeus' duties at the CIA, met with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia on Tuesday. He was expected to meet with the leaders of the House intelligence committee on Wednesday.

Asked by reporters if there was a national security breach with the Petraeus affair, Feinstein said, "I have no evidence that there was at this time." She said she expected Petraeus to testify this week or next.

The Senate Armed Services Committee planned to go ahead with Thursday's scheduled confirmation hearing on the nomination of Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, who is to replace Allen as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, if Allen is indeed promoted.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Petraeus should still testify about the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, "if he has relevant information."

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

FILE -- In an April 28, 2011 file photo Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Allen, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The sex scandal that led to CIA Director David Petraeus' downfall widened Tuesday with word the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is under investigation for thousands of alleged "inappropriate communications" with another woman involved in the case. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak/file)

AP

click image to enlarge

Paula Broadwell holds a drink in the kitchen of her brother's house in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. Broadwell is CIA Director David Petraeus' biographer, with whom he had an affair that led to his abrupt resignation last Friday. It was Broadwell's threatening emails to Jill Kelley, a Florida woman who is a Petraeus family friend, that led to the FBI's discovery of communications between Broadwell and Petraeus indicating they were having an affair. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

AP

 


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)