News Reports of Petraeus Affair Lack Consistency
The Washington Post is reporting and the AP reported that an FBI investigation has discovered between 20,000 and 30,000 e-mails and other documents between Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan and Jill Kelley a volunteer socialite at MacDill Air Force Base. The documents were from 2010 to 2012.
The reports stated Allen denied that he acted inappropriately. The question not addressed in these reports is how could it be possible that he acted appropriately when Allen and Kelley would have to have sent 18 to 41 pages of documents per day every day for two to three years?
The Wall Street Journal reported that in May Kelley reported to a friend, who is an FBI agent, that she was receiving threatening emails. The FBI investigated and determined that the emails were coming from CIA Director David Petraeus’ mistress and biographer – Paula Broadwell.
The new report of Kelley’s emails to General Allen raises new questions.
Why did Kelley complain to the FBI over the email harassment when she was sending 25 pages of documents per day on average to a four star General? A General that would seem to be in a position to help her, particularly when the emails clearly identified the person has being someone very close to the CIA Director.
What sort of communications require an average of twenty-five pages of documents per day for two or three years?
Did Kelley see any classified information? Was she a security risk that went unnoticed?
Why was the Administration, press and Congress been kept in the dark about the details thus far? Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta suggests (see below) that he should have been contacted.
The New York Daily News reported the FBI had concerns that Broadwell had gained access to classified documents in September but also reported that agents took documents from Broadwell’s house only yesterday. Previously, The Wall Street Journal claimed that the FBI agent who was Kelley’s friend had been removed from the case but according to the New York Daily News the agent was one of the agents that removed documents from Broadwell’s house. The New York Times stated even more strongly that the agent was no longer involved in the case. Clearly, there are discrepancies between The Wall Street Journal and New York Times stories, and the The New York Daily News.
The New York Times article also stated that the time of the first FBI interview of Ms. Broadwell was incorrect. Previous reported stated the first time was July and late October. The New York Times stated Ms. Broadwell first admitted to FBI agents that she had an affair with Petraeus in September and at that time she showed the agents what was on her computer.
The time discrepancies raise another question. Why would the document removal have occurred yesterday when the classified documents were shown to the agents in September?
The statements below are the official press releases from the Department of Defense, a brief interview with the Secretary of Defense and David Petraues’ resignation letter.
Statement by the Secretary of Defense on General John Allen
On Sunday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation referred to the Department of Defense a matter involving General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
Today, I directed that the matter be referred to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense for investigation, and it is now in the hands of the Inspector General. I have informed the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The House Armed Services Committee has also been notified.
While the matter is under investigation and before the facts are determined, General Allen will remain Commander of ISAF. His leadership has been instrumental in achieving the significant progress that ISAF, working alongside our Afghan partners, has made in bringing greater security to the Afghan people and in ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists. He is entitled to due process in this matter.
In the meantime, I have asked the President – and the President has agreed – to put his nomination on hold until the relevant facts are determined. I have asked both Senators Levin and McCain that the confirmation hearing on General Allen’s pending nomination to be Commander of United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe be delayed.
The President has nominated General Joseph Dunford, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, to succeed General Allen at ISAF. I respectfully requested that the Senate act promptly on that nomination.
Secretary Panetta en route to Perth, Australia
Comments Relating to Former CIA Director Petraeus and General Allen
Q: On the resignation of the CIA director, can you tell us do you feel that was the right step that he took given what happened?
And, second of all, as the former director, are you concerned about the agency’s morale, the agency’s workforce and the agency’s effectiveness given this episode?
SEC. PANETTA: Yes. You know, first, obviously, it was a very sad situation, to have a distinguished career like that end in this manner. And I — you know my heart, obviously, goes out to him and to his family.
But I think he took the right step and I think it’s important when you’re director of the CIA with all of the challenges that face you in that position that — you know that personal integrity comes first and foremost.
With regards to the future, you know I — having served there the first two years of this administration, I think it’s really important to continue to have the CIA stay on track doing the job that is absolutely essential to our national security.
They have a very important mission focused on intelligence and intelligence operations and I think it’s very important because some strong and capable and dedicated to be able to continue that effort.
This is a critical time to make sure that with all the threats that we’re dealing with in the world, that we maintain a strong intelligence operation.
Q: Mr. Secretary, back to Petraeus, is there any indication that this affair started while he was on active duty? Do you think there’s any chance there could be prosecution involved? Would that be your call?
SEC. PANETTA: You know, I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that. I guess I’m reading the papers like you are to determine just what the committee finds out, what the ultimate investigation determines on that issue.
We, you know — we obviously are going to watch this closely to determine just exactly, you know, when that took place. But I think, right now, my view is let’s see what the investigation turns up and what the Congress, these committees, are able to determine as to what exactly took place.
Q: (Inaudible) do you think that Capitol Hill should have been briefed earlier?
SEC. PANETTA: You know that’s another issue I think we ought to look at because, you know, as a former director of the CIA and having worked very closely the intelligence committees, you know, I believe that there is a responsibility to make sure that the intelligence committees are informed of issues that could effect, you know, the security of those intelligence operations.
Message From former Director of CIA General David H. Petraeus (US Army Retired)
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.
As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation’s Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.
Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.
Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.
With admiration and appreciation,
David H. Petraeus
by Todd Miller
Sorry! No Links