Generals Gone Wild Open Thread

These two generals should become the poster boys for cutting defense spending. This story is getting stranger by the minute too. I thought I’d put up a few late breaking updates for your late night enjoyment.

So far President Obama is standing behind General John Allen, who is being investigated for sending masive numbers of “inappropriate” e-mails to Jill Kelley, a married socialite in Tampa, Florida who enjoys entertaining military brass at lavish parties. But Fox News reports that the general’s e-mails to Kelley were “like phone sex.”

The investigation focuses on emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a close friend of the Petraeus family. Kelley was the woman who originally notified the FBI when she received threatening emails from Petraeus’ mistress Paula Broadwell — and that investigation later uncovered the affair.

One senior defense official initially described the nature of the communications between Allen and Kelley as “flirtatious.” However, two U.S. officials later told Fox News that Allen’s contact with Kelley was more than just general flirting. One official described some of the emails as sexually explicit and the “equivalent of phone sex over email.”

Another official said Panetta would not have referred this matter to an internal investigator without knowing the devastating impact this would have on war efforts and on Allen and his family.
“This was a serious enough matter that those who examined the emails thought it should be referred to the secretary of defense, and the secretary made the decision to turn it over to the inspector general,” the official said. “He would not have thrust this into the limelight without good cause.”

Allen’s friends are shocked by the revelations about Allen, who was previously known as a “warrior monk.”

The four-star general, who succeeded General David Petraeus last year as head of the International Security Assistance Force, is known for his ability to work with tribal sheikhs, a skill that helped him turn the tide against al Qaeda in Anbar Province in Iraq five years ago and has served him well in Afghanistan.

So the news that Allen, a 36-year veteran of the Marine Corps, had been snared in the same investigation that prompted the resignation of Petraeus as CIA director last week was greeted with surprise at the Pentagon and elsewhere in Washington.

John Ullyot, who served under Allen at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina in 1993, said he was all about “setting the example” for those under him and it was “hard for anyone who ever served under Allen” to believe he had been pulled into the probe.

Allen, who is married and has two daughters, “was known as a kind of warrior monk,” said Ullyot, who was a spokesman for former U.S. Senator John Warner, a Republican who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Apparently the attraction to Kelley wasn’t based on her brainpower. My Fox in Tampa reports that

Media from around the world have convened on the two-story Bayshore Boulevard home of Scott and Jill Kelley. Jill is the socialite mother of three whose FBI complaint about harassing emails eventually led investigators to uncover the CIA director’s affair with his biographer and is now linked to the name of a second top general.

The Kelleys have kept a low profile since news of the scandal broke, and had to request police help to chase people from their yard.

Two 911 calls were made from the Kelleys’ home on Sunday. In the first recording, a man whose name was redacted says there is someone at the door who won’t leave his property. The second caller, who identifies herself as Jill, says there’s someone lurking in their yard.

As the call ends, she makes an apparent reference to her role at MacDill Air Force Base, which the Associated Press has described as an “unpaid social liaison.”

“You know, I don’t know if by any chance, because I’m an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property. I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well,” she told the 911 dispatcher, who agreed to pass the information along to police.

Meanwhile the media is dealing with their intense grief and disillusionment following the resignation of General David Petraeus because of his extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. At New York Magazine, Joe Coscarelli describes The Media’s Five Stages of David Petraeus Grief

Beneath the mess of sexy messages and shirtless FBI agents in the David Petraeus affair sits another fractured relationship: the one between the retired four-star general and the fawning press. For years, Petraeus represented an ideal American form, both brains and brawn, winning over not just Paula Broadwell, but many of the reporters and pundits charged with covering him, using his go-to moves like frequent e-mails and five-mile runs. Since the myth of his character was shattered on Friday, journalists have squirmed their way through incomplete, intertwined answers to the questions “How could he do this?” and “How could we not have known?” Their grief has followed a predictable pattern.

Read all about it at the link.

You may have hear that Paula Broadwell’s 40th birthday last Friday. She and her husband celebrated with a romantic weekend at an inn in Virginia. They were eating dinner when the news broke that Paul was the mystery girlfriend of General David Petraeus.

The most amazing detail about the Petraeus affair, which continues to serve up bizarre amazing details by the hour. According to Washingtonian magazine, Paula Broadwell and her husband Scott did in fact enjoy their romantic Friday night dinner at the Inn at Little Washington, following a romantic weekend out of an ad for the Virginia tourist association: hikes, bike rides, and a room at the romantic Middleton Inn. Have I used the “romantic” enough times? Having gotten engaged there myself, I can assure you that the Inn at Little Washington is a factory of “romantic,” with its intimate booths and lovely herb garden and paths outside and very personal treatment. (In fact, if I recall correctly, my husband and I had menus which listed our places of employment up top, which is maybe only a Washingtonian’s idea of what might turn a couple on.)

Just to get the timeline straight, Slate broke the name of Petraues’ mistress on Friday evening, just around the time when the couple would have been sitting down to dinner. It’s possible that they made a rule to keep their phones back in the room of another inn where they were staying, and had no idea her name had become public. If not, how could they possibly have made it through dinner without someone emailing Broadwell and telling her what was up? Its possible she did see a text or email and yet somehow made it through dinner. (Fellow diners who’d seen her at breakfast that Friday morning described her as texting throughout.)

It’s possible, and maybe probable, given these details that her husband found out along with the rest of the world. The Washingtonian also reports that when they checked into the inn, her husband had a bottle of Champagne and a bouquet of pink roses and white lilies waiting to mark her 40th birthday. And then they checked out “earlier than expected” on Saturday morning and Scott Broadwell was described as “not talkative.”

Perhaps it was after leaving the Inn that Paula lost her driver’s license. Or perhaps she lost it while running with her husband. What will happen next in this endlessly fascinating unfolding scandal?

What have you heard?

28 Comments on “Generals Gone Wild Open Thread”

  1. Thank you for doing this tonight BB, I still have a migraine and didn’t realize how late it was.

  2. Today the festival of lights,
    Face Of The Day – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast

    Sikhs and Jains also celebrate Diwali. The festival is an opportunity for Hindus to honour Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and other gods. Leicester’s celebrations are one of the biggest in the world outside India. By Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

  3. Eddie C says:

    Generals Gone Wild is a funny title. The situation is pretty sad but that lightens it a bit.

    I have to admit but at the risk of sounding like a snob from New York, Tampa socialite struck me as pretty funny too. I mean what ,she dresses to the nines at the Rocky Point Hilton and is the Belle of the Ball at the big Busch Gardens parties. I go there every spring and even if she has a skybox at Legend Field and a corner table at The Columbia Restaurant, it just doesn’t strike me a the town for socialites.

  4. RalphB says:

    Good grief, turns out she is an honorary consul after all. 🙂

    TPM: Jill Kelley, An Embarrassment to Honorary Consuls Everywhere

    It turns out that Kelley is actually an “Honorary Consul” of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). At first, I thought this was just another one of Kelley’s ridiculous faux titles, something you get for throwing a party or perhaps for anything as long as the ambassador drunk.

    But I was too quick to dismiss this. ‘Honorary consuls” are a real thing. Or at least they can be, whatever Kelley was doing with the title.


  5. RalphB says:

    And another tangential connection to this clusterfuck.

    Wow, Small World

    One of the odd subplots in the Petraeus story is the decision of Gens. Petraeus and Gen. Allen to intervene in the intense custody dispute between Jill Kelley’s sister Natalie and her estranged husband Grayson P. Wolfe. Wolfe turns out to be a former Bush administration official who worked in Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad (Bremer’s outfit) opening Iraq up to private sector investment.

    • dakinikat says:

      Did you see the sister do crazy go nuts things too? She lost custody for doing things like changing her kid’s name.

      • RalphB says:

        She seems like a real whack job, assuming the NY papers are correct about all the legal wrangling. Really disturbed and unstable individual. Frankly all these people seem unstable to me, including the generals.

  6. dakinikat says:

    It’s started ….

    Woman Denied Abortion Dies in Agony at Hospital

    Earlier today io9 reported on what happens to women who are denied abortions, and today we have a real life example of exactly what’s at stake.

    Savita Halappanavar, 31 years old and 17 weeks pregnant, presented with back pain at Ireland’s University Hospital Galway on October 21st, and was found to be miscarrying …

    Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

    This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.

  7. akbright says:

    It may be that Jill Kelley and her husband may have founded a questionable charity for cancer patients:

  8. Eddie C says:

    So now that Billionaires Crap Out In 2012 Elections with Paul Ryan blaming the city folk and inquiring minds wanting to know Did the G.O.P. Win the Election? I just came across these words of wisdom from Bill Maher.

    The host of HBO’s Real Time said it was now time to for progressives to “turn their fire” on Obama.

    “The conservatives lost, and now, now is the time for progressives,” Maher explained. “We can obsess about every stupid thing that conservatives do, and they will keep doing stupid things, but really what we need to do, I think, is turn our attention to the president and hold his feet to the fire on those issues like getting out of Afghanistan, civil liberties, stopping the drug war, climate change.”

    “These are issues where he was not able to do I’m sure as much as he wanted to do in the first term, but look, he has no more elections to run. If not now, when? This is the time.”

    Oddly enough the title was “Racist troglodytes dragging back the GOP,” when the most relevant issue of the election was that the gates to the White House are not locked to keep people like Richard Trumka out. The question is “How much of a commitment is really there?”