10 November 2012, 21:40

CIA Director Petraeus resignation: 'The higher a person is the more people it affects' - former classmate of Petraeus dishes on gaffes of General’s career

CIA Director Petraeus resignation: 'The higher a person is the more people it affects' - former classmate of Petraeus dishes on gaffes of General’s career
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Stepping down, Petraeus admitted to having had an extramarital affair, saying he was guilty of "unacceptable" behavior. Voice of Russia American Edition talked to Michael O’Brien, the author of the America’s Failure in Iraq and a former member of the George W.Bush Administration and also Department of Defense former contractor.

Why is that the extramarital affair would cause the resignation of someone from the CIA. I mean, it seems like OK, it’s morally wrong, but what it has to do with his job?

Well, you know, technically, if he really wanted to get down to it as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, someone could use that to blackmail him. And when you have the highest levels of security clearance, you don’t want to have anything that somebody can blackmail you for to get secrets. They take that really seriously. It’s funny though, we ask that question, I wonder if it was the affair or that they lied about the affair. I’ve had TS/SCI-clearance top secret sensitive compartment of information which is above TS and it’s not so much, we may give you an interview and give you a polygraph and all that. It’s not so much what you’ve done, it’s if you lie about it...

To read the full interview, visit Voice of Russia American Edition

Identity of second woman emerges in Petraeus' downfall

New details emerged on Sunday about the extramarital affair that abruptly ended the career of CIA chief David Petraeus, including the identity of a second woman whose complaints about harassing emails from the woman with whom he had the relationship, Paula Broadwell, prompted an FBI investigation.

A person familiar with the investigation identified the second woman as Jill Kelley, a long-time friend of the Petraeus family and a Tampa, Florida volunteer social liaison with military families at MacDill Air Force Base.

Kelley went to the FBI after receiving threatening emails that eventually were traced to Broadwell, law enforcement and security officials have said, prompting an investigation that turned up evidence that Petraeus and Broadwell were having an extramarital affair.

Petraeus has made no public comment since he announced his resignation on Friday.

'There's more behind CIA chief Petraeus' resignation than just moral issues'

Stepping down, Petraeus admitted to having had an extramarital affair, saying he was guilty of "unacceptable" behavior. Ex-military intelligence officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Tony Shaffer told Russian TV that there's more behind the resignation than just moral issues.

CIA Chief David Petraeus has announced he will resign from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Petraeus, age 60, released a statement on Friday obtained by CNN confirming that his resignation has already been accepted by US President Barack Obama, who nominated him to replace General Stanley A. McChrystal as the commander of US Forces in Afghanistan in June 2010. A four-star general, Petraeus retired from the Army in August 2011 and was sworn in as new CIA chief one month later.

According to the statement, Petraeus’ stepping down is due to personal reasons, namely an affair he now admits to having outside of his relationship with his wife.

“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment from engaging in an extramarital affair,” writes Petraeus. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”

Petraeus says he informed President Obama of his decision on Thursday and writes, “This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”

Multiple sources speaking to NBC News suggest that Mike Morrell, the deputy CIA director and a long time CIA officer, will be the likely replacement for Petraeus.

Petraeus relationship began through running

The woman at the center of the extramarital affair that led to the resignation of the head of the Central Intelligence Agency is a highly accomplished, extremely competitive person who got to know the high-profile general, in part, by going running with him in Afghanistan.

Paula Broadwell met Gen. David Petraeus six years ago, when she introduced herself after he gave a speech at Harvard's Kennedy School, where Ms. Broadwell was working on a master's degree.

She now lives in Charlotte, N.C. with her radiologist husband and two children, according to an online biography page associated with her book about Petraeus, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," which was taken offline shortly after her name was linked to the scandal.

Ms. Broadwell was scheduled to have a 40th birthday party Saturday night at her brother's house in Washington, D.C. An email sent Friday announced the party had been canceled.

Ms. Broadwell is, like Mr. Petraeus, a West Point graduate, according to the online biography. There, she excelled at track, and later competed in triathlons.

Though both the general and his biographer started their careers in the military, Ms. Broadwell, a North Dakota native, embarked on a solely scholarly career—one in which her main focus of study was the military, and Mr. Petraeus specifically.

Her academic study is what first put her in the orbit of Mr. Petraeus. After introducing herself to Mr. Petraeus in 2006, she described her research and he gave her his card. She later sought his advice for her Ph.D. dissertation.

When Mr. Petraeus assumed the command of the war in Afghanistan in 2010, she decided to turn her dissertation research into a book. He provided her unusual access to his world in Afghanistan, where she made six trips over roughly a year.

"I'm not sure he took me seriously, but I showed up,'' she told Jon Stewart in an interview earlier this year on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

As a much-scrutinized military leader, Mr. Petraeus was known to go running with journalists, and he also did so with Ms. Broadwell.

"I thought I'd test him, but he was going to test me—it ended up being a test for both of us since we both ran pretty quickly,'' she told Mr. Stewart. "That was the foundation of our relationship."

In her biography of Mr. Petraeus, Ms. Broadwell describes in detail Mr. Petraeus's courtship of his wife, Hollister "Holly" Knowlton.

"Soon, the two would find themselves commuting to each other's colleges whenever time allowed, sometimes braving fierce New York snowstorms to spend time together," Ms. Broadwell wrote. "Petraeus would sneak in the side door of the superintendent's home aside the Plain, the academy's parade field, to visit Holly when she made the trip back to West Point."

Efforts to reach Ms. Broadwell were unsuccessful. A spokeswoman for her publisher, Penguin, didn't immediately comment.

Ms. Broadwell is now a research associate at Harvard's Center for Public Leadership and she continues to work on her dissertation as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of War Studies at King's College London. Her dissertation is on innovation in the 101st Airborne Division in Northern Iraq in 2003, which then- Maj. Gen. Petraeus led.

FBI probe of Petraeus began with "suspicious emails"

The FBI investigation that led to the discovery of CIA Director David Petraeus' affair with author Paula Broadwell was sparked by "suspicious emails" from her to another woman and Petraeus was not the target of the probe, U.S. law enforcement and security officials told Reuters on Saturday.

But the CIA director's name unexpectedly turned up in the course of the investigation, two officials and two other sources briefed on the matter said.

The FBI was looking into "an issue with two women and they stumbled across the affair with Petraeus," a U.S. government security source said.

The FBI probe was triggered when Broadwell sent threatening emails to an unidentified woman close to the CIA director, a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was unclear what the relationship of the woman who received the emails was to Petraeus.

The woman went to the FBI complaining of cyber harassment and the law enforcement agency traced the threats to Broadwell, the security official said. The FBI then uncovered explicit emails between Petraeus and Broadwell, The Washington Post reported.

Attempts by Reuters and other news media to reach Broadwell, an Army reserve officer and author of a biography of Petraeus, have not been successful.

The FBI and CIA declined comment on Saturday.

Many questions in the case remain unanswered publicly, including the identity of the second woman; the precise nature of the emails that launched the FBI investigation; and whether U.S. security was compromised in any way.

Nor is it clear why the FBI waited until Election Day to tell Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who oversees the CIA and other intelligence agencies, about its investigation involving Petraeus.

In attempting to explain the time between Petraeus' FBI interview two weeks earlier and the DNI's notification on Election Day, the security official said there had been no evidence any crime had been committed.

The CIA director announced his resignation suddenly on Friday, acknowledging an extramarital affair and saying he showed "extremely poor judgment.

The developments likely ended the public career of one of the United States' most highly regarded generals, who was credited with helping pull Iraq out of civil war and led U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

New details emerged on Saturday about developments in the final days leading to Petraeus' departure from atop the CIA.

Clapper was notified by the FBI on Tuesday evening about 5 p.m. - just as returns in the U.S. presidential election were about to come in - about "the situation involving Director Petraeus," a senior intelligence official said. Clapper and Petraeus then spoke that evening and the following morning.

Voice of Russia, Reuters

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