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10 November 2012


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Will Reks

I'd say 0%. Say what you want about him but this is a guy who valued his reputation above all else. No, not with lives he undoubtedly ruined on his climb up the ladder but in the media and with the elites. This loss of prestige and and respect will kill any such ambition.

In a year or two he'll be back doing the speech circuit or taking a position somewhere.

Republicans politicians are typically a shameless bunch but I don't think Petraeus is quite that sort. But if Newt Gingrich can become relevant again.. who knows?

The Beaver


Like Wolfowitz ,Bolton and Perle

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

A couple of things to offer:

- Petraeus will (pardon the expression) lay low for a while until he comes up with a more suitable name than "Petraeus, LLC" for his consultancy. Said consultancy will likely be tied, quite profitably, with suitable anonymity to the more conservative organizations. Really, I think his name will be publicly toxic for a while.

- If it makes the Army folks here feel any better, yeah, we had this sort of crap in the Air Force. I don't know when the Air Force last had a G.O. with as high a profile as King David, but we've had our share of them w/ zipper problems as well as female officers whose "charms" were skillfully applied with salutary effects on their careers.

- Every pic of this Broadwell that I've seen has her in a clearly practiced pose with a smarmy, cunning smirk where a smile usually is seen. Her Tweets are largely no more than inspirational quotes from management books or seen on the black bordered posters.

- To lighten up a bit, I saw that last night's New York Post's headline was "Cloak and Shag Her."

Bill Wade

Walrus, A woman I met online and later had an intimate relationship with wasn't born with multiple personalties but she adopted that way after studying some sort of Indian (or, perhaps Iranian) concept of "all things woman": lover, mother, sex kitten (Yum), molested as a child, scolder, celibate, etc.. It was perplexing to me until I figured out that all I had to do was tell her, "that's it, I'm out of here". She couldn't stand that.

After spending 20 years as an enlisted man in the Air Force I can count on 3/5s of one hand of Officers that were either sociopaths or abject liars (one in the same?). On the other hand, I'd need at least several hundred fingers to count the rest: Appreciating perfection but understanding that only people who really do work make mistakes, smart, brave, no hidden agendas, not your friend but, yet, someone who has your back -no matter what, a real friend. Apparently, General Petraeus is not my kind of Officer.

The Beaver

DP: Being sloppy with e-mail. I remembered reading it on Mondoweiss and I was looking for another case whereby Petraeus sent a draft for review to someone either at APAiC or journo and I landed on this one again:

The comments are very edifying :-)


Are there comparisons to be made with Horatio Nelson and Lady Hamilton?



A comparison to Nelson is inappropriate. Whether or not a comparison to Nelson's doxie is appropriate is beyond my ability to judge. BG(ret)"Spider" Marks was on CNN tonight praising them both as superior specimens of humanity. As a fellow member of the West Point Protective Association he was only doing his duty. pl

The Beaver

The other woman is from Florida


George Maschke


Yes, I am a co-founder of AntiPolygraph.org and a co-author of our e-book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. I'm also an Arabic linguist like yourself and a former interrogator and reserve military intelligence officer. My interest in polygraphy began when I was falsely accused of deception during an FBI pre-employment polygraph.

I was prepared at the time to believe that I had been the unfortunate victim of the small margin of error associated with a valid test for deception. But upon reviewing the scientific literature on polygraphy, I found that it lacks scientific underpinnings, is inherently biased against the truthful, and yet is vulnerable to simple countermeasures that anyone can learn. (There's no need to go to spy school.)

I became motivated to speak publicly on polygraph matters when I learned, some years after my experience with the FBI, that what happened to me is annually happening to thousands of others.

I'll grant you that the polygraph can be a useful interrogational prop with individuals who don't understand that it's a sham. But in the Internet era, such individuals are becoming ever fewer in number, and official confidence in the pseudoscience of polygraphy has caused serious harm to national security. You'll find some of that harm documented in Chapter 2 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector:


Back to the subject of Petraeus and the polygraph, Bloomberg is reporting (albeit based on a single, anonymous official source) that Petraeus was not subjected to a CIA polygraph pursuant to his appointment as director. Because he had earlier passed a military polygraph, the CIA polygraph requirement was waived:


I think that this point merits further journalistic inquiry. My understanding is that military veterans hired by CIA are generally not exempted from the CIA's pre-employment polygraph screening requirement by dint of prior military polygraphs. If there is now a polygraph reciprocity agreement in place, that is newsworthy. On the other hand, if there is no such reciprocity agreement in place, and Petraeus was given special dispensation, that too is newsworthy.



The clock starts ticking on service time when they graduate, not before. She has 18 years service. she is a reservist and probably not very active so she is not amassing "points" for advancememt and retirement. Points are given for schools, command, etc. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

Don't know what Walt said but the policy resulted from a consensus of the dominant Establishment foreign policy elite. Intervention and nation building and COIN and so on. Steve Biddle at the Council on Foreign Relations was a strong advocate of Petraeus' COINism as were other influential "experts" in various think tanks to include the Belfer Center at Harvard. The roles of Susan Rice and Samantha Power for the Afghan intervention need to be taken into account and so on.

To reduce the policy to O and Dems not wanting to appear "weak" is a mistake in my view and avoids a serious analysis of the policy process.


Yes there has been at least one, but it inolved a general who had been involved with several women and was considered a quite egregeous case due to the circumstances.

Charles I

My shrink explained the relationship with reality in some spectrum disorders can be a blend of "objective" perception combined with "serial confabulation" of it that is so real there is heightened confidence in the manifestation one is riding/creating rather than fear of exposure or security breach.

I trust they don't let many liker, er, me, near a job that may lead to the machine.


It is eerie how similar all this was to the period of the late 50s and early 60s. Taylor's book, "The Uncertain Trumpet" was evidently intended as a corrective to Eisenhower's reliance on strategic air for MAD and starvation of the Army but the effect was to trigger the same kind of COIN madness. Academics came out of the woodwork everywhere scribbling away about the "specter" of guerrilla enabled revolution across the world. Greece, the Phillipines, Kenya, Cyprus, Cuba, Indo-China, etc were all cited as examples of this and a cottage industry in COINishness sprang up. This gave the Army pride of place and resources. Kennedy's crowd "bought" all this babble among the academics who were, after all, their pals, and the GBs were re-treaded into COIN specialists from their original role as the "leaven" in in a resistance movement to be created behind Soviet lines when and if the Soviets moved west. The fit was never very good. The COIN task is somewhat incompatible with the kind of men who are fantasized about in films like "The Guns of Navarone." We remained essentially that kind of people while also doing COIN work. I did COIN in Latin America with the 8th Group and in SE Asia. There were always academics lurking in the background, sniffing around at government expense to see if their theories were working and taking notes, always taking notes. So, what has been different this time around? pl

Neil Richardson

"Don't know what Walt said but the policy resulted from a consensus of the dominant Establishment foreign policy elite. Intervention and nation building and COIN and so on...
To reduce the policy to O and Dems not wanting to appear "weak" is a mistake in my view and avoids a serious analysis of the policy process."

Dear Prof. Kiracofe:

I haven't read Walt's comments either. However, I'd also emphasize the deliberative process at the highest level. Perhaps electoral considerations were part of it (at least subconsciously), but based on off-the-record comments of observers and participants, there were clearly drawn lines on two starkly different options. Woodward also reported this. Biden as wells as Douglas Lute from the WH advocated a "CT plus" option while clearly pointing out the likelihood of failure after COIN buildup. They were also aided by James Cartwright at JCS (IIRC he fleshed out Biden's CT plus proposal). There were leaked remarks of Mullen who told Lute that SecDef Gates and he felt that the general was not being "helpful" which clearly was a threat.

According to Woodward, Hilary Clinton, Gates and Mullen were strong advocates of COIN in Afghanistan. Dennis Blair suggested that both options be gamed out. According to contemporary reports and Woodward, DOD ran a "war game" which Blair described as a "seminar". I read that as another way of saying it was probably less than useless. Lute had refused to attend it as he probably knew how it would go. Blair had wanted more war games (hopefully real free-play), but nothing came of it. In fact it appears Obama kept sending Gates and Mullen back, because he was so dissatisfied with what DOD was putting forward (Gates and Mullen) with Petraeus abetting from outside. Mullen and Gates supposedly told Obama that they'd gamed out CT and it was not a viable option. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the President and I don't think he'd deny that either. But Gates, HRC, Mullen, and Petraeus essentially railroaded Obama on this, because he ended up "splitting the middle." As to why Mullen and Petraeus had agreed to a smaller-scale COIN, my guess is that they thought once committed Obama would have to deal with a tar baby in Afghanistan and would approve future increases in troop level. Otherwise I cannot imagine how they could conceivably think it would have been enough numbers wise and in terms of duration. (Of course the cynical side of me also thinks this was a built-in safety for them in case COIN fails as they could always blame Obama for not providing enough resources and manpower.)

I remember commenting here two years ago that the President should've rewarded Cartwright and Lute as the next generation of senior military leadership would toe the line. Well, we know that didn't happen even as these men along with Biden have been proven right. As far as the political dimension of the surge is concerned, I do suppose it is possible that a wholesale replacement of SecDef, CJCS and Petraeus would've been a political suicide for an inexperienced first term president. However, IMHO even Ike would've been challenged had he made such a change. Truman and Louis Johnson were in over their heads during the Revolt of the Admirals. Even Ike had to contend with Ridgway and Gavin in the late 1950s.


Leave it to New Yorkers to put some humor in the situation.


"Revolt of the Admirals" now that's a story my father told me when I was in grade school. (He was an NCO with the JCS organization and saw things first hand), How soon we forget. Thanks for jarring the memory, and for a clear analysis of the situation.


Iran's use of Curveball?


Chalabi was probably not so much a Iranian spy but someone duplicitous and adept at buttering his bread from both sides, and that meant inevitably dealing with both the Iranians and the Americans and playing one against the other, or, since the Bushies were so daft, playing the Bushies more than the Iranians.

Probably the relationship between Chalabi and the Iranians is transnational, because I think that the Iranians, unlike the neo-cons, don't live under the delusion that Chalabi is their friend. If his illustrious banking career is any indication, Chalabi is first of all Calabi's friend. And he has done well, for himself and his clan.

If the Iranians used him then probably only to the extent Chalabi allowed them to use him. since Curveball was one of the defectors sent out by Chalabi's INC, it was the Iranians too? Hmm.

I don't quite buy this "this responsibility by association" scheme.



"Chalabi was probably not so much a Iranian spy" His banking conviction in Jordan and the activities that led to it would indicate other wise. pl

robt willmann

Clifford Kiracofe in a comment above said, "Petraeus' case seems related to his zipper at first glance but there may be more". This is my thought, since the reporting about the e-mail situation is ambiguous, and Petraeus by emphasizing the extramarital affair in his resignation letter is drawing people's attention to that item which may lessen speculation and discussion about other possible aspects to the case.

For example, the Politico article cited in the main post says, "NBC and the Journal reported Friday that the affair was exposed after the FBI became concerned that someone was accessing his personal email". The Washington Post claims that threatening e-mails were sent to a woman close to Petraeus who was not his wife and who did not work at the CIA, and she went to the FBI for protection because she was frightened by the messages. Also, the FBI was concerned that Petraeus' "personal e-mail account had been hacked ...."


For the FBI to get involved when one woman sends harassing e-mails to another woman is intriguing. Go to the nearest FBI office and ask to talk to the agent handling walk-in complaints, and say that a woman is sending you harassing e-mails, and see what you are told.

And what is meant by Petraeus' "personal e-mail account"? Is that one he has at the CIA or in a government department? Or does "personal" mean an e-mail account unconnected to the government at a private Internet service provider?

Furthermore, what is meant by the concern that someone was "accessing" his e-mail? Does this just mean that messages from him were found on someone else's computer and the concern was that someone had hacked into his account and downloaded some e-mails? Or was someone, possibly Paula Krantz Broadwell, using Petraeus' e-mail account?

Here is a profile of her as an adult from her high school--


The description says that she "planned counter-terrorism initiatives presented to NATO and worked on trans-national counter-terrorism issues with foreign and domestic agencies, U.S. Special Forces, and the FBI". Further: "Graduate scholarships in Arabic and Middle East studies led her abroad to Jordan and Israel where she also spoke at various conferences in the Persian Gulf, as well as Europe". And: "... Paula was offered a full doctoral scholarship and a fellowship from Harvard University for study in Syria and Iran".

Study in Syria and Iran as part of a doctoral scholarship? When? Did she accept the scholarship and pursue that study? She graduated from high school in 1991.

At this time, no evidence has been made public that she had a nefarious agenda and that this was not solely a passion-generated or romantic affair.

Whether this situation is a simple one of passion or more complex is not known, and may not become known.

The beaver


"A senior U.S. military official says the author who had an affair with David Petraeus sent harassing emails to a woman who was the State Department's liaison to the military's Joint Special Operations Command.

The official says 37-year-old Jill Kelley in Tampa, Fla., received the emails from Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell that triggered an FBI investigation."

Bit by bit , info is being leaked or revealed .

The beaver

The woman she was harassing is :

"A State Department's liaison to the military's Joint Special Operations Command." as per another of my posts ( sorry didn't see your post)

Medicine Man

I think a return in the political arena is entirely possible for Petraeus. The nature of his self-inflicted retirement from public service is going to make that a bit harder though.


In a recent speech at the University of Denver Ms. Broadwell told the participants that the CIA Annex in Benghazi was also a prison holding some Libyan Militants amongst other things. Thus Loose Lips Sink Ships.

The only other anomalies was that Ms Broadwell and Ms Kelley both had husbands that were Doctors named Scott. For someone who can lead an Army but not two women says a lot about his true skills.


Actually, it was his banking conviction that suggested to me that he is an first of all embezzler and a fraud, and not a spy.

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