The latest on the Petraeus scandal: Charity scam, social butterflies and lies
The latest chapter in “As the General Turns” has taken a decidedly different twist, with most of the focus on the female cast members in this drama.
Paula Broadwell, the lover of hastily resigned Gen. David Petraeus, reportedly had her classified clearance revoked because intel was found on her home computers. The FBI raided her Charlotte, N.C., residence on Monday night and was seen on television carting out numerous boxes. On Wednesday, CNN reported that classified information was found, but did not say how she came into possession of CIA secrets that were off limits.
Just why Broadwell had classified clearance to begin with is not quite clear. The first-time biographer penned “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” which became a New York Times bestseller, after spending a year with the general in Afghanistan in 2006 as part of her research.
The FBI has not yet said what the consequences are for Broadwell, but the Bureau did say that she was not a security risk. Petraeus has emphatically denied he passed those classified information to his lover.
The other woman in this “Spyfall,” which has snowballed into an avalanche of scandal—Jill Kelley—is having the skeletons in her closet rattled. According to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, she and her husband, Scott, are involved in a few questionable deals and legal wranglings.
First, Dr. Scott Kelley, a cancer surgeon, reportedly started a cancer charity where he and his wife raised more than $150,000. Strangely, there seems to be no record of them using any of that money for research or anything charitable. However, the Kelleys did spend large sums of money on things like dinners and cars.
Second, they then dissolved the charity in 2007—but even more intriguing, have never filed as a charity. Where did all the money go?
Third, while the Kelleys were entertaining generals and other top military brass by throwing lavish parties at their million-dollar home, they reportedly haven’t paid any mortgage since 2009. Banks are currently foreclosing on their home, and it gets even stranger: there are over nine lawsuits against the Tampa power couple.
Meanwhile, the identity of the shirtless FBI agent whom Jill Kelley called for help with Broadwell’s threatening emails has been revealed. His name is Frederick Humphries. (Read it here: Frederick Humphries: Shirtless FBI Agent in David Petraeus Scandal Revealed!).
The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, has said that Petraeus will testify during this week’s Benghazi hearings. All the conspiracy theories swirling around his resignation and its connection to the killings at the US Consulate there are still in full swing, even if they do not seem to make sense now in light of him testifying. Petraeus reportedly spoke out against those accusations, saying to HLN that his decision to resign had nothing to do with Benghazi.
Not much was reported about the FBI probe into the 20,000-30,000 pages of correspondence between Gen. John Allen and Kelley. Allen has vehemently denied anything inappropriate took place between him and the social liaison. Meanwhile, his appointment as head of NATO is on hold but he remains as head of operations in Afghanistan.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has now ordered the Joint Chiefs of Staff to conduct an “Ethics Training Review” for all generals in an attempt to clean up morale.
Every time I hear something new in the Petraeus sex scandal, this quote comes to mind: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” I’m paraphrasing, for it is a long time since my English literature class in high school.
The lies, twists and turns have woven a web so opaque, I suspect few except the key players can see all the way through. But while we in the media salivate over and poke fun at the growing saga, real lives are being changed, destroyed, hurt and humiliated. Yes, they started the whole sordid ball in motion. But, alas, they are as human as the rest of us. I’m sure some of the skeletons rattling around in many a closet could tell a tale or two that would shock the zippers off the most jaded.
The sex doesn’t shock me—human frailties, social climbing and power as a heady aphrodisiac are all at play here—but the unraveling of the plot does. As I said before, I expected more from our top spy guy, Petreaus. Secret agent 007 of "Skyfall" could teach the CIA a thing or two about spy games and how they’re played—effectively.
To read my previous articles on the scandal, click the links below: