So says Peggy Noonan in interesting column in the Wall Street Journal. Comparisons between the pictures of the two Generals, Eisenhower and Petraeus, seem to support her theory. Whatever happened to modesty and not blowing your own horn? “The brass sure is brassier than it used to be”!
For the first time since the story of the General Petraeus’ affair was made public, Paula Broadwell and her physician husband, Scott, have returned to their home in an upscale Charlotte, NC neighborhood. Paula wore sunglasses and carried one of her two young sons. She was also wearing her wedding band ( whatever that means). She did not speak with any of the press camped outside her home. The family had been staying at her brother’s home in Washington, DC. More here, here and here.
So it would seem. Petraeus has hired an elite, Washington lawyer, Robert Barnett, known for helping Washington pols negotiate big book deals. He previously represented President Obama and Sarah Palin. Now that Petraeus’s mistress’s book is in print, I guess he wants to get his version of his life into print and make a buck or two now that he’s unemployed.
Holly Petraeus is a very interesting woman who, along with her children Anne and Steven, have sacrificed throughout their lives to support the General’s military career. A very interesting article is here, reporting 10 things we should know about Holly Peteraeus. I love this picture of young Holly and David when they were dating at West Point.
Three days after the attack on our embassy in Benghazi on 9/11, that resulted in the death of four Americans, General David Petraeus told the House Intelligence Committee that it had been a spontaneous uprising that began over a protest of film trailer for “The Innocences of Muslims”. Details here. We now know that was not true. We also know that the state department watched the attack in real time and they knew that it had nothing to do with a film. The time line for the attack is here. For two weeks the President continued to say that the attack was about the film, and not an Al Quada terrorist attack. This fit his election narrative that his administration had Al Quada on the run. He repeated it frequently. We didn’t need more forces anywhere, the administration had everything under control. From the timeline, we know that isn’t true. The President also knew it wasn’t true. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew it wasn’t true. Yesterday at his press conference the President said that Susan Rice went on 5 Sunday News programs after the 9/11 attack and repeated the story about the film causing a spontaneous uprising because that’s what she was told to say by the White House and the Intelligence community. The followup question should have been, “who told her to say that”? Who thought up this silly idea and told Susan Rice to promote it?
Another question remains, why did General Petraeus go along with this lie and and why did he lie to Congress? He had to know the truth, the FBI knew the truth, the state department knew the truth, the department of Defense knew the truth and had told the truth in their testimony the previous day. It’s impossible to believe that the CIA didn’t know. Charles Krauthammer has proposed that the reason why Petraeus lied, because he still hoped to save his job after the FBI had discovered his affair and informed the White House. Krauthammer said the following in an interview earlier this week:
“I think the really shocking news today was that General Petraeus thought and hoped he could keep his job. He thought that it might and it would be kept secret, and that he could stay in his position. I think what that tells us is really important. It meant that he understood that the FBI obviously knew what was going on. He was hoping that those administration officials would not disclose what had happened, and therefore hoping that he would keep his job. And that meant that he understood that his job, his reputation, his legacy, his whole celebrated life was in the hands of the administration, and he expected they would protect him by keeping it quiet.
And that brings us to the ultimate issue, and that is his testimony on September 13. That’s the thing that connects the two scandals, and that’s the only thing that makes the sex scandal relevant. Otherwise it would be an exercise in sensationalism and voyeurism and nothing else. The reason it’s important is here’s a man who knows the administration holds his fate in its hands, and he gives testimony completely at variance with what the Secretary of Defense had said the day before, at variance with what he’d heard from his station chief in Tripoli, and with everything that we had heard. Was he influenced by the fact that he knew his fate was held by people within the administration at that time?
Of course it was being held over Petraeus’s head, and the sword was lowered on Election Day. You don’t have to be a cynic to see that as the ultimate in cynicism. As long as they needed him to give the administration line to quote Bill, everybody was silent. And as soon as the election’s over, as soon as he can be dispensed with, the sword drops and he’s destroyed. I mean, can you imagine what it’s like to be on that pressure and to think it didn’t distort or at least in some way unconsciously influence his testimony? That’s hard to believe.” The video is here.
Did Petraeus lie to save his own skin? Will he do it again on Friday when he testifies in a closed session on Capitol Hill? Will he remain loyal to the President when he testifies now that he has nothing to lose? Why would he remain loyal when the White House has not been loyal to him? Will he refute his own prior testimony? Seems unlikely but it also seems unlikely that he will continue to lie. Of course everything about this scandal has been one unlikely thing after another. So who knows what will happen during the Petraeus testimony on Friday?
Will Paula Broadwell soon be looking like this, minus the wine glass?
According to this source, she might. It seems her home was the source of a treasure trove of classified documents that the FBI found when they raided her house earlier this week. She has admitted to the FBI that she took documents from secure military buildings. What the heck was she thinking? Did she think she was above the law? Or did she think that General Petraeus would protect her? For such a brilliant woman, she has behaved very stupidly.
It seems I omitted two additional cast members in my previous post about The Real Housewives of West Point.
First is Natalie Khawam (pictured below). She is Jill Kelley’s sister and has been embattled in a nasty divorce and custody fight with her husband over their 4 year old son. Her estranged husband, Grayson Wolfe (not a made up name), lives in Washington DC with their son. Both General Allen and General Petraeus have written to letters to the court on her behalf praising her as an exemplary mother, urging the court to return custody to her. Earlier in the case a Superior Court judge criticized Khawam “for a lack of honesty and “misrepresentations about virtually everything”.
Another additional cast member is the Shirtless FBI agent who Jill Kelley’s friend and who she originally spoke with about the threatening emails she received from General Petraeus’ girlfriend, Paula Broadwell. The Shirtless FBI Agent sent Jill pictures of himself without a shirt and was later removed from the case because his superiors believed he had become ‘obsessed’ with it. Or was he obsessed with Jill Kelley? Perhaps both. It was Shirtless FBI Agent who passed along information about the case to Washington state Congressman Dave Reichert. Congressman Reichert then took the information to the majority leader, Congresman Eric Cantor on October 27th, well before the election and two weeks before the affair was made public. It is not clear why Congressman Cantor did not share the possible security breach with others in Congress, the President, or the FBI.
UPDATE: The Shirtless FBI agent has been identified as 47 year old Frederick Humphries, picture below:
The story continues!
Today we learned that the FBI was investigating General Petraeus because his mistress, Paula Broadwell, sent threatening emails to a woman who worked with General Petraeus, Jill Kelley. In an interview with Fox News on Sunday Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called the General’s relationship with Kelley as ‘close’. Mrs. Kelley is described here as “the State Department’s liaison to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command”. Other sources say that is an unpaid, position that requires a security clearance.
Mrs. Kelley is married to Dr. Scott Kelly an esophageal oncologist in Tampa, Florida, where the General also resides. It is unclear if their relationship was more than one of friends. However, Paula Broadwell thought the relationship was more, which lead her to send threatening emails to Mrs. Kelley telling her to ‘stay away’ from the General. Mrs. Kelley felt so threatened by Mrs. Broadwell that she contacted the FBI. While investigating the threatening emails, the FBI uncovered General Petraeus’ affair with Mrs. Broadwell.
Earlier today Senator Feinstein said that the FBI is supposed to notify her, and other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, when they discover a possible breach of security like this one. She was not notified and first learned of it when news sources covered the story on Friday. The news hit her ‘like a lightening bolt’. She was not happy that she had not previously been notified by the FBI. That will also be investigated by her committee. Senators and Congressmen hate to blindsided by a story! Feinstein is no exception.