Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!!

You may have heard this already, but last night the Washington Post reported that Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is being considered for the post of Defense Secretary.

President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus.

Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with the transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

John O. Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, is a leading contender for the CIA job if he wants it, officials said. If Brennan goes ahead with his plan to leave government, Michael J. Morell, the agency’s acting director, is the prohibitive favorite to take over permanently. Officials cautioned that the White House discussions are still in the early stages and that no decisions have been made.

That’s a surprise about Kerry. The bad news would be losing a Democratic Senate seat and giving Scott Brown another chance to run as a replacement. Let’s hope Massachusetts Democrats have someone who can beat him.

You also probably heard that there was a huge explosion in Indianapolis over the weekend. It leveled four houses completely and seriously damaged eighty more. The explosion was so powerful that homes 2-3 blocks away in all directions were affected–garage doors were blown open, windows broken and so on. So far there no cause for the explosion has been announced. The latest speculation has been that a gas furnace or some other appliance blew up. From NBC News:

With no hint of a problem in advance, in particular no tell-tale smell of a gas leak, authorities and residents in a southern Indianapolis neighborhood are trying to make sense of an enormous blast that obliterated two homes and made dozens more uninhabitable.

Fire officials expressed amazement that only two people died in the late Saturday explosion so powerful that the devastation spread for blocks from its epicenter. Hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate their Richmond Hill homes, some never to return. Windows and doors were blown in. The blast rocked several houses entirely from their foundations and was so loud it awoke people three miles away. A fire burned for hours, engulfing dozens of homes.

“We have done initial testing throughout the neighborhood and have not found any gas leaks,” Dan Considine, Citizens Energy spokesman, told IndyStar.com Monday.

“We are still doing additional testing of the gas main and the lines to the homes on Fieldfare Way,” he said. “We have not at this point found any problems with any external gas lines.”

This is so strange. I did hear that authorities have determined that the explosion wasn’t caused by a meth lab or by explosives.

There are some new developments in the Petraeus episode. Yesterday morning ABC News’ Martha Raddatz explained why the FBI investigation of Petraeus wasn’t revealed to the White House earlier.

The FBI withheld its findings about Gen. David Petreaus’ affair from the White House and congressional leaders because the agency considered them the result of a criminal investigation that never reached the threshold of an intelligence probe, law enforcement sources said today.

The sources said agents followed department guidelines that generally bar sharing information about developing criminal investigations. The FBI is also aware of its history under former director J. Edgar Hoover of playing politics and digging into the lives of public figures. As one official said, the rules are designed to protect people (both private and elected officials) when negative information about them arises in the course of a criminal investigation that is not a crime.

The FBI’s focus was on whether laws were broken, in this case whether federal cyber-harassment statutes were violated. The sources emphasized that Petraeus himself was never the focus of the investigation, nor did it turn up evidence he broke any law.

The focus was on his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he had the affair that ended with his resignation as CIA director last week.

Then last night the Wall Street Journal reported that:

A federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors’ concerns that he had become personally involved in the case, according to officials familiar with the probe.

New details about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case suggest that even as the bureau delved into Mr. Petraeus’s personal life, the agency had to address questionable conduct by one of its own…

As Dakinikat said the other day, this is sounding more and more like a Lifetime movie as time goes on.

The FBI agent who started the case was a friend of Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman who received harassing, anonymous emails that led to the probe, according to officials. Ms. Kelley, a volunteer who organizes social events for military personnel in the Tampa area, complained in May about the emails to a friend who is an FBI agent. That agent referred it to a cyber crimes unit, which opened an investigation.

However, supervisors soon became concerned that the initial agent might have grown obsessed with the matter, and prohibited him from any role in the investigation, according to the officials.

The FBI officials found that he had sent shirtless pictures of himself to Ms. Kelley, according to the people familiar with the probe.

These are the same people who are setting up stings to entrap young men into planning “terrorist acts.” Do you feel safer now?

Last night on MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell reported that this FBI agent may have had political motivations and wanted the information made public before the election. According to the WSJ story, this was the FBI source who contacted Rep. Dave Reichert, who in turn passed the information to Eric Cantor.

The story also gives more detail on the so-called harassing e-mails that Broadwell sent to Kelley:

The accusatory emails, according to officials, were sent anonymously to an account shared by Ms. Kelley and her husband. Ms. Broadwell allegedly used a variety of email addresses to send the harassing messages to Ms. Kelley, officials said.

One asked if Ms. Kelley’s husband was aware of her actions, according to officials. In another, the anonymous writer claimed to have watched Ms. Kelley touching “him” provocatively underneath a table, the officials said.

The message was referring to Mr. Petraeus, but that wasn’t clear at the time, officials said.

I’m getting the feeling that Broadwell is not going to get her Ph.D. from the Harvard School of Government, especially not after this from the Charlotte Observer: FBI team searches Broadwell home.

Three days after Paula Broadwell entered the center of national controversy, FBI agents Monday evening entered her family’s Dilworth home and appeared to be searching both floors.

The four or five agents brought cardboard boxes used for carrying papers and were on both floors of the home for the search, which began shortly before 9 p.m. About two dozen members of the local and national media gathered. It wasn’t immediately clear what the agents were focused on.

The agents appeared to start their search in the rear of the house in the kitchen and began turning on lights as they moved into different rooms. As the agents reached the two-hour mark, lights in most rooms appeared to be turned on.

Broadwell’s apparent affair with retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, who is married, led him to resign Friday as CIA director. Broadwell’s Charlotte neighbor Sarah Curme said Monday that Broadwell, her husband and two young sons were doing pretty well considering the circumstances. Broadwell marked her 40th birthday over the weekend with family in Washington, D.C.

Still, Amy Bishop managed to get her Ph.D. from Harvard.

UPDATE: Overnight it came out that another four-star general, John Allen, is under investigation for exchanging massive numbers of inappropriate e-mails with Jill Kelley. From CNN:

The spiraling scandal that took down former CIA Director David Petraeus has apparently ensnared another powerful general, as authorities announced that Gen. John Allen is under investigation for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to Jill Kelley, a woman who has been linked to the Petraeus scandal.

Allen, who is the commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, has denied any wrongdoing, a senior defense official said.

What the hell is going on with these generals?

Some details about Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, came from an overnight statement by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, while he was on his way to Australia.

“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 (or ISAF) in Afghanistan,” part of the statement said. “Today, the secretary directed that the matter be referred to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense for investigation.”

A defense official told CNN there is a “distinct possibility” that the investigation into Allen is connected to the investigation that led to the resignation of Petraeus.

Allen had been nominated to be the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, but that appointment is now on hold.

I’ll put any further updates in the comments to this post.

You’re gonna love this. Callista Gingrich talked to Barbara Walters about the Petraeus story, saying that “affairs are ‘painful’ for the family.”

The woman who married former House Speaker Newt Gingrich after cheating with him while he was married to his second wife says that former CIA Director David Petraeus’ extramarital affair is “sad” and “painful” for his family.

“I think it’s personally very sad for he and his family,” Callista Gingrich told ABC’s Barbara Walters on Monday. “I think he did the right thing by resigning. But this is painful and they’ll have to work together through this as a family. And that will take some time.”

Maybe Barbara should have talked to Newt’s previous wives to find out what being cheated on really feels like. But I suppose Callista will find out eventually. Maybe she’s preparing herself for the inevitable.

I’ll end with something non-political. According to research by Stanford Professor Gerald Crabtree, humans are becoming less intelligent with time because of mutations in the brain.

A Stanford University professor presented evidence Monday that mutations in the human brain — brought on by advances in society that have made survival less stressful — are eroding our intellectual and emotional capabilities.

Gerald Crabtree, lead author of the study published in the journal Trends in Genetics, claims the brain drain has been going on for centuries.

Crabtree, a professor of pathology and developmental biology, suggested our intellectual peak came when humans were mostly nonverbal and were stressed out trying to think of ways to not get eaten by wild animals.

He said survival was once a driving force for intelligence. But the development of agriculture and the rise in urban living has probably weakened the natural selection towards intelligence and made us less smart.

A little more from Raw Story:

Humans are slowly losing their cognitive capabilities as adverse genetic mutations fail to be weeded out by evolutionary pressures, according to a bold hypothesis put forward by Dr. Gerald Crabtree of Stanford University.

“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas, and a clear-sighted view of important issues. Furthermore, I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues,” the leading geneticist began his article in the scientific journal Trends in Genetics, adding the same could be said of the “inhabitants of Africa, Asia, India, or the Americas.”

Crabtree explained that human intelligence and emotions relied on thousands of genes, which acted together as links in a chain rather than individual components. A mutation to any of one of these genes can produce intellectual or emotional disability — and research has found that most of these genes are particularly susceptible to mutations.

Under the harsh circumstances that ancient humans endured, even a slight reduction in cognitive abilities could doom an individual. Those with lower cognitive abilities were more likely to die before reproducing, leaving only those with more refined cognitive abilities to pass on their genes.

Could this explain the development of the Tea Party?

Now it’s your turn. What are you reading and blogging about today?

63 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. Hey more news came out early this morning…There is another general involved…and boy oh boy: General Dynamics: The Digital Tale of John & Jill and Dave & Paula | emptywheel

    Another giant shoe has dropped in L’Affaire Petraeus. Not simply more specifics, but yet another General:

    Gen. John Allen, the top American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, is under investigation for what a senior defense official said early Tuesday was “inappropriate communication’’ with Jill Kelley, the woman in Tampa who was seen as a rival for David H. Petraeus’s attentions by Paula Broadwell, the woman who had an extramarital affair with Mr. Petraeus.

    In a statement released to reporters on his plane en route to Australia early Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said that the F.B.I. had informed him on Sunday of its investigation of General Allen.

    Mr. Panetta turned the matter over to the Pentagon’s inspector general to conduct its own investigation into what the defense official said were 20,000 to 30,000 pages of documents, many of them e-mails between General Allen and Ms. Kelley, who is married with children.

    Really, at this point, what can you even say about the secret storm soap opera that roils within the rarified brass air of the US Military? This was just the last hit for a night that saw the emergence of the Shirtless FBI Guy (now under investigation himself by the Office of Professional Responsibility at DOJ) to a nightime search of Paula Broadwell’s home by the FBI.

    There are too many tentacles, evolving too quickly, to go too deep on all the facts that have rolled out even in the last twelve hours. But the General Allen/Jill Kelley bit is fascinating. Remember, the handful of emails Paula Broadwell sent to Kelley reportedly did not mention Petraeus by name. This latest report at least raises the possibility Broadwell was referring to an inappropriate relationship between Kelley and Allen, and not Kelley and Petraeus. I am not saying such is the case, but it is also arguably consistent with the currently known substance of Broadwell’s emails to Kelley, so the question is valid to be raised.

    Read the rest of the Emptywheel piece, and then look at this: Another Shoe Drops in Petraeusgate Investigation | Mother Jones

    The FBI probe into the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday.

    According to a senior U.S. defense official, the FBI has uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Tampa woman whose close friendship with Petraeus ultimately led to his downfall….The senior defense official said the voluminous collection of emails sent between Allen and Kelley occurred between 2010 and this year, but did not give details. The official also declined to say whether Allen sent or received any of the messages from his military or government email accounts, or if classified material was compromised.

    That works out to about 20 pages of emails per day for the past three years. WTF?

  2. surfric says:

    if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions,

    That may well be, but one should remember that a citizen of Athens was by no means an average person of that time and place. Of about 300,000 people living in Attica in the 4th century BC, only 10 percent were citizens eligible to vote. Women, foreigners, and slaves were second class or worse.

    You can’t really compare a society like that with ours, with our conceit that we can educate and provide a high quality living for everybody, in theory that is. I would bet a random sampling of our prep school and Ivy educated elites would stack up pretty well against the “average” Athenian citizen of ancient Greece.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    “Those with lower cognitive abilities were more likely to die before reproducing, leaving only those with more refined cognitive abilities to pass on their genes.”

    “Could this explain the development of the Tea Party?”

    LOL!!!!! Thanks BB, I needed a good laugh this morning

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Has anyone taken a closer look at both Petraeus and Allen? Not exactly “Colin Firth” material we are working with here. This one might renew all men over 60 into thinking they “still may have a chance”.

    It also gives a whole new meanig to the words “biographer” and “volunteer”.

    You gotta love anyone seeking out Calista Gingrich for comments regarding “fidelity”. Next up, Casey Anthony discussing “truth”.

    And really, 30 thousand e-mails passed between two people? Don’t you begin to run out of things to say?

    This entire group of actors have given an entire new meaing to “family values”. You need a scoreboard to keep up with who’s boffing who.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think those upcoming cuts to the military budget may be justified. I can’t wait to see the Republicans defend the need for more money for the Pentagon party boys while they refuse to renew extended unemployment benefits and try cut food stamps and Medicaid.

      Let’s go off the cliff!

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Let’s also not forget that while these fools were playing “slap and tickle” with one another young service men and women were being killed and wounded while these idiots sat there sending inappropriate and salacious e-mails back and forth.

        While these young kids were sent into war zones under the command of these morons they were spending their time in useless displays of sexual misconduct unbecoming anybody let alone military commanders.

        No wonder sexual harassment claims made by women service staff were largely ignored. The atmosphere was already “approved” from the top on down.

      • bostonboomer says:


      • Fannie says:

        You nailed it Pat – BB, about women in military being harassed, and raped…………….

    • Fannie says:

      I think Jill had the scoreboard, with how many Generals she could screw.

    • peggysue22 says:

      Makes me proud of my Philly roots [even though I wasn’t born in Philly, I spent a good portion of my young adulthood in the city]. Of course, if you listen to the tea baggers, this is a sure sign of voter fraud. Maybe not. Maybe it’s an argument to the Crabtree thesis that we’re all dumber than our ancestors. The folks in Philly sure knew a fool when they saw [and heard] one. :0)

      As to the Petraeus scandal and now the implication of another general involved in an indiscreet liaison? Maybe this will stop this nonsense of pols deferring to “the Generals” in all things regarding peace and war. Clearly, they put their pants on [and pull them off] like everyone else. The real scandal is while these men have been playing patty-cakes, we have our young soldiers bleeding in the field as well as our female soldiers being compromised by sexual predators.

      Time to topple the military brass from their pedestals, me thinks.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Good for the people in those wards.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Jill Kelley was an “unpaid social liaison” who hosted military parties. WTF?!


    • bostonboomer says:

      Before long, the Kelley mansion became the place to be seen for coalition officers. Gen. David Petraeus, leader of U.S. Central Command at MacDill, marked his first celebration of the Gasparilla pirate parade on the Kelleys’ lawn.

      “Jill was such an awesome client,” said Linda Baldwin, the owner of Events by Amore, which catered that party. “Did so much for the military, fabulous mother and amazing wife; can’t say enough nice things about her. She never spared anything for the military. It was all about them.”

      Just three months after they posed with David and Holly Petraeus, strands of Gasparilla beads hanging from their necks, the Kelleys were hit with a foreclosure lawsuit.

      The suit, brought by Central Bank against the Kelleys and Kelly Land Holdings, centered on a three-story office building at 300 E Madison St. in downtown Tampa. Court records show they owed the bank nearly $2.2 million, including attorney fees.

      In 2011, a judge ordered the property to be put up for sale.

      In the decade since the Kelleys arrived from Pennsylvania, it proved one of several examples of court cases seeking payment of real estate and credit card debts intermingling with catered parties and A-list guests as the couple sought to establish themselves in Tampa.

      The Pentagon couldn’t afford to pay her for her entertainment services?

      • Fannie says:

        I tried to put up the trailer for Charlie Wilson’s War – The sexist Women Ever with Hanks and Julie Roberts……….you really got to see it, so spot on.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “She never spared anything for the military. It was all about them.”

        She never spared anything? Brghahahahahahahahaha. Damn this stuff gets better by the second.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “Jill Kelley was an “unpaid social liaison”’

      UNPAID SOCIAL LIAISON? Brghahahahaha!!!! That’s not what we called it when I was young.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    This stuff is beginning to disgust me even more.

    The investigation seems to be widening to some extent and it raises the question of who is in charge on national security levels when the top members of this echelon are all busy setting up “play dates” with their paramours.

    Thirty thousand e-mails in a 2 year period? False e-mail accounts set up to avoid detection? FBI agents sending provocative pictures of themselves via Twitter? Married women with children seeking out old men for fun and games?

    All while our kids in uniform were under their command and held to much higher standards not to mention being placed in harm’s way while these miscreants spent their time e-mailing one another in secret.

    Who the hell was in charge here?

    • bostonboomer says:

      The party boy generals were in charge. Was anyone doing actual work? I suppose that fell to the lower echelon grunts. No wonder the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are epic fails.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Pat….I have several family members in the military, 2 in Afghanistan right now, and these are their commanders, their leaders? Obama needs to clean house, bring our troops home from Afghanistan NOW and kick some asses at the top of the Officer Corp. The enlisted personnel deserve men who take the sacrifice of those in harms way more seriously.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Jill Kelley: ‘I’ve Done Nothing Wrong. I’m The Victim Here’

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/jill-kelley-victim-2012-11#ixzz2C6nncFn5

    According to this story, the FBI agent with political motivations and General Allen separately sent inappropriate e-mails to Kelley. How many more men were doing that? This mess is obviously going to keep unraveling for some time to come.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      She’s all “lawyered” up now.

      Surprise, surprise!

      Throwing parties for themselves and paying “party planners” to celebrate whatever small achievement they regard as worthy is another drain on the military budget that need not be.

      Bad enough we are paying for these “follies” in making more weapons that become obsolete within a year but to be “paying” for party events just to pump up their chests and seek conquests while they are at it while young service people are placing their lives at risk is obscene.

      This Jill Kelley must be “something” if an FBI agent placed his career on the line just to impress her while a 4 star general spent his time tapping out sloppy messages all day long from the combat zone.

      Disgusting and disgraceful just don’t describe it.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Petraeus and Broadwell tried to hide their e-mails to each other in the same way terrorists do it.

    In examining her e-mail account, investigators found messages from Petraeus of a highly personal nature. The FBI suspected the communications were being sent by someone who had hacked into the CIA director’s personal account.

    The mistake apparently came in part from steps Petraeus and Broadwell took to conceal their relationship. According to the Associated Press, instead of sending e-mails to each other’s accounts, the two composed the messages and then left them in a “draft” folder where they could be accessed with a shared user name and password. The method, often used by terrorists, makes it harder to trace e-mail traffic. But in this case, it may also have fueled law enforcement concerns that a hacker was accessing the accounts.

    • bostonboomer says:

      But some of his closest advisers who served with him during his last command in Iraq said Monday that Petraeus planned to stay in the job even after he acknowledged the affair to the FBI, hoping the episode would never become public. He resigned last week after being told to do so by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. on the day President Obama was reelected.

      “Obviously, he knew about the relationship for months, he knew about the affair, he was in it, so yes, he was not going to resign,” said Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and Petraeus’s executive officer during the Iraq “surge,” who spoke Monday with the former general for about half an hour. “But once he knew it was going to go public, he thought that resigning was the right thing to do. There is no way it would have remained private.”

    • Pat Johnson says:

      The Right is trying desperately to tie the administration into this scandal that the “conspiracies” are taking on a creative slant.

      Best to remember – if the timeline is accurate – that this investigation started before Benghazi occurred. It was supposed to have taken place sometime in May and Benghazi took place on September 11th.

      Broadwell is videotaped at some event where she spoke about the possibility that the attack itself was set up to free Al Qaeda agents who were being held prisoner at the consulate. No one else had made that claim before.

      Was she speculating or revealing information she received from top level sources?

      What we are seeing may be more of a “politicization” of these agencies who are supposedly to act independently of political affilations.

      I am beginning to see a more sinister turn of events since some of these women have ties to the Republican Party.

      If the FBI agent sought out a Republican operative in Washington state who then informed Eric Cantor’s office there may be a “trail” here that is far more interesting than a bunch of morons cheating on their spouses.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The military has long been politicized. It has also mostly been taken over by fundamentalist Christian right wing groups.

        The “republican operative” is Rep. Dave Reichert. He became famous after he solved the Green River killer case. It’s probably a good thing that he did tell Eric Cantor about this, because none of them might have come out otherwise. Petraeus was planning to cover it all up and hang onto his job and Gen. Allen would have become NATO Allied Commander.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        You know, you are absolutely correct! Remember General Boykin with “my god is stronger than your god”?

        And the Air Force Academy was under scrutiny for demanding their recruits pledge themselves to Christ which angered a Jewish father enough that he “blew the whistle” on them.

        Then the guy who owned Blackwater – was it Eric Prince – basically said the same thing.

        No wonder these “guys on the ground” are able to influence the civilian population to continue deployment and instigate “surges” as easily as they do.

        Also there was talk at one time of pushing Petraeus to run for POTUS as a Republican.

        You can’t dismiss the “intrigue” that is working behind the scenes.

      • peggysue22 says:

        I did some reading over the weekend which led me to believe there’s a whole lot of Ugly running just beneath the surface of all this. And it is highly politicized. I can’t help feeling that the whole Benghazi mess was suppose to be the October surprise. Joe Cannon did a piece early on about that perfectly timed anti-Muslim film release, how the whole thing smelled like a deliberate setup by people working behind the scenes, setting the stage for a political takedown. Remember Romney’s smirk after delivering his statement on Benghazi and the right-wing’s obsession in tainting Obama, Hillary and every Dem in the Universe? Plus there’s some indication that the Benghazi consulate may have been the center of negotiating weapons for the Syrian rebels.

        This is a real hornet’s nest.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Paula Broadwell’s Father: ‘This Is About Something Else Entirely, And The Truth Will Come Out’

    Paula Broadwell’s father Paul Krantz gave the New York Daily News a strange, cryptic quote this afternoon outside his home in Bismarck, N.D.

    “This is about something else entirely, and the truth will come out,” he told the Daily News.

    “There is a lot more that is going to come out … You wait and see. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye.”

    He said that his daughter, who’s at the center of the controversy that prompted CIA director David Petraeus to resign from his post, is a victim of character assassination, and that there’s something much bigger lurking behind the curtain.

    Krantz also said that he supports his daughter “100 percent,” and that he can’t elaborate any further.

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    For those out there who were “mourning” the loss of Joe Walsh, take heart.

    He is considering a run for either Senator or Governor of IL in two years.

    Lotsa luck there, Joe.

  11. pdgrey says:

    “humans are becoming less intelligent with time” well this story confirms that story.

  12. bostonboomer says:


    As a threshold matter, it appears that both Petraeus and Paula Broadwell did things that have gotten others–people like Thomas Drake–prosecuted and stripped of their security clearance. Obama can’t continue his war on leakers if he goes easy on Petraeus after compromising his own email account. In addition, it appears that as the FBI closed in on Petraeus, he and Broadwell may have pushed back by revealing (or claiming) CIA had prisoners in Benghazi. That is, in some way Petraeus and Broadwell’s response to the investigation appears to have colored how they treated the Benghazi pushback going on at precisely the same time.

  13. bostonboomer says:

    Very good piece by Frank Bruni on the sexist media coverage of the Petraeus scandal.

    • RalphB says:

      Bruni is spot on. Personally I’m sorry any of this ever saw the light of day and, if no crime was committed by Petraeus or Broadwell, I don’t believe it should have come out.

      So far the only crime I see was committed by the FBI agent who pushed this story to Cantor and assured it would become a scandal. That goes against their own guidelines for handling investigations. It seems he had a political agenda. The FBI agent is being investigated by the OPR and they’ll probably handle that without much fanfare.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I don’t think they would have searched Broadwell’s house for four hours last night if it was just the affair. It’s already been reported that classified info was found on her computer. Furthermore, both Broadwell and Kelley have hired very expensive DC attorneys. Unfortunately there is more here.

        A couple of serious issues that Emptywheel mentioned are that because the FBI agent told Kelley who was sending the harassing e-mails, both Petraeus and Broadwell were tipped off in time to get their stories straight. In addition, it sure looks like Petraeus kept info from the White House and Congress on Benghazi for weeks after he knew exactly what happened.

      • RalphB says:

        That’s why there was that “if no crime” in my comment. I have no idea what the FBI is doing now but they stated the search was a final step before clearing the matter. That means less than nothing though.

        Wasn’t his trip to Benghazi only the week or so before the election? Apparently there is no report on his findings at the CIA but I wouldn’t put much faith in that either. Chances are he will be called to testify in Congress about it.

      • RalphB says:

        By the way, from what I’ve seen so far, Petraeus was the sanest person involved in this whole scandal.

  14. janicen says:

    One theme that keeps getting repeated in these sex scandals is the use of electronic media. Where do I begin? It’s unbelievable how in this day and age, anyone would put compromising info in an email. But what make my head spin or stomach turn, take your pick, is the fact that men are sending shirtless photos, or photos of their junk to women and thinking that it’s a turn on!!! WTF! Am I just old or what? I don’t care if I was completely smitten and attracted to the point of obsession to some man, the moment he sent me a nudey picture of himself, that would be the end of it. It’s about the creepiest thing I can think of and I would have NOTHING to do with someone who would do that. Am I wrong, ladies?

  15. mablue2 says:

    I have two questions for the samrt Skydancers:

    – What the hell is a “Social Liaison”?

    – Why don’t I have one?

  16. RalphB says:

    Can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

    TPM: Dramatis Personae

    In the interests of national security and humor, I want to ask that we take a time out and identify everyone in this script before proceeding with this scandal.

    Just to keep you up to date, the late is Gen. John Allen, the commanding US general in Afghanistan. He’s now being investigated for “inappropriate emails” with Jill Kelley?

    As for Kelley that brings us to “inappropriate emails” with Allen, alleged (by Paula Broadwell) advances toward (or from?) Gen. Petraeus, and finally shirtless photos from the freak show FBI agent who was infatuated with Kelley, launched the whole investigation and also seems to have tried to expose it in the final weeks of the election in a desperate attempt to blow up the Benghazi story and make Mitt Romney president.

    Good times.

  17. RalphB says:

    For something non-Petraeus relater:

    TPM: It’s Still Election Day: 7 House Races Remain Outstanding

    Election Day has come and gone, ballots have been cast, winners and losers have been declared. Right?

    Wrong. There are still a handful of congressional races still yet to be decided, due to a variety of reasons — ongoing counting in some districts, Louisiana’s run-off system, and candidates who refuse to concede even though all the votes are in.

    Here’s a look at the races still being fought for the People’s House in Congress, even though it was determined last Tuesday night that Republicans would remain in control of the lower chamber.

  18. RalphB says:

    Let’s cut some DOD spending, OK?

    TPM: Four Star General Demoted For Lavish Spending

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has demoted a four star general and the former head of U.S. Africa Command for lavish unauthorized spending on travel and other expenses, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday:

    The official says Panetta stripped Gen. William “Kip” Ward of a star, which means that he will now retire as a three-star lieutenant general despite some arguments against the demotion. Ward will also repay the government $82,000.

  19. RalphB says:

    Colbert admits to ‘improper relationship’ with his autobiographer 🙂


  20. RalphB says:

    This is a very good article but I’d like to highlight the thoughts of one of my people.

    NYT: Concern Grows Over Top Military Officers’ Ethics

    Paul V. Kane, a Marine Corps Reserve gunnery sergeant who is an Iraq veteran and former fellow of Harvard University’s International Security Program, believes the military is not the only institution facing a problem. “The country is suffering a crisis of leadership — in politics, in business and in the church, as well as in the military,” he said. “We have lots of leaders, but we have a national deficit in true leadership.”

    He acknowledged that the post-9/11 stress on the military, from enlisted personnel to commanders, has fractured the very souls of people in uniform. “When you pull people out of family life, repeatedly, over the course of a decade, you are going to fray their most basic relationships with spouses, with children, with their own personal code,” Mr. Kane said.