EXCLUSIVE – Petraeus: The Plot Thickens
By Douglas Lucas and Russ Baker on Feb 5, 2013
All (Taken) In?
Was the ambitious General David Petraeus targeted for take-down by competing interests in the US military/intelligence hierarchy—years before his abrupt downfall last year in an adultery scandal?
Previously unreported documents analyzed by WhoWhatWhy suggest as much. They provide new insight into the scandalous extramarital romance that led to Petraeus’s resignation as CIA director in November after several years of rapid rise—going from a little-known general to a prospective presidential candidate in a stunningly brief time frame.
Among other revelations the documents show that:
-Petraeus was suspected of having an extramarital affair nearly two years earlier than previously known.
-Petraeus’s affair was known to foreign interests with a stake in a raging policy and turf battle in which Petraeus was an active party.
-Those providing the “official” narrative of the affair—and an analysis of why it led to the unprecedented removal of America’s top spymaster— have been less than candid with the American people.
According to internal emails of the Austin-based private intelligence firm Stratfor, General David Petraeus was drawing attention to his private life much earlier than previously believed. Because it was his private life that resulted in his being forced out as CIA director, alterations in our understanding of the time frame are significant.
Until now, the consensus has been that Petraeus began an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, in the fall of 2011, after he retired from the military and took over the CIA.
Lt. Col. John Nagl, a friend of Petraeus, claims the Petraeus-Broadwell extramarital affair did not begin until after Petraeus became CIA director, which was in September 2011. And retired US Army Col. Steve Boylan, a former Petraeus spokesperson, says the affair did not begin until several months after August 2011, when Petraeus retired from the Army.
But documents—researched by WhoWhatWhy and published for the first time as part of an investigative partnership with WikiLeaks—suggest otherwise. These documents characterize Petraeus as having regular dinners in early 2010 with Abdulwahab al-Hajri, then Yemen’s ambassador to the US, and note that Petraeus brought to at least one of those dinners a woman “not his wife”—whom the Yemenis believed was “his mistress.” It’s possible—although not confirmed—that this woman was Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s biographer and mistress, who sent allegedly threatening emails that spawned the strange FBI investigation that precipitated the former Army general’s resignation on November 9, 2012.
Stratfor has a longstanding position of not commenting on the emails obtained by WikiLeaks. The company’s boilerplate public response regarding the internal documents in WikiLeaks’ possession is that it “will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them.”
Petraeus’s attorney, Robert Barnett, declined to comment.
THE PETRAEUS SCANDAL EXPLAINED FROM MOTHER JONES
Click here for the latest few updates. Or read on for essential background to this astonishing and confusing saga, or jump to select highlights:
Jill Kelley dined at the White House two days before the presidential election
The “shirtless” PHOTO: The fabled shot of the FBI agent emerges
FBI agent Humphries reportedly tipped off “a friend” who went to GOP lawmaker
Investigators find “substantial classified information” on Paula Broadwell’s computer
National security? Jill Kelley requests diplomatic protection, dabbles in diplomacy
Kelley’s sketchy cancer charity, her sister’s bankruptcy, and the generals’ intervention
No, Gen. Allen didn’t send Kelley 30,000 emails—but did they exchange pictures?
Petraeus and Allen both helped Khawam with a messy child-custody battle
The FBI “whistleblower” with an anti-Obama agenda—and shirtless photos
The start of this crazy scandal:
Last Friday, David Petraeus—a retired Army general revered for his roles in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars—resigned as director of the Central Intelligence Agency after revealing that he’d had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. It soon emerged that the FBI had been investigating Petraeus’ paramour for months, eventually stumbling across their relationship.
Wait—who did what, now?
Petraeus, who at different points in the past decade oversaw the Iraq War, Afghanistan, and the CIA’s drone program, engaged in an affair with Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer and commentator on military affairs. The two met in 2006, when Petraeus addressed Broadwell and her graduate school colleagues at Harvard. Two years later, she began a Ph.D. in war studies and started to compose a book-length analysis of Petraeus’ wartime leadership. He eventually granted her unfettered access, including lodgings on his Kabul base when he took control of the war in Afghanistan in 2010.
Broadwell’s access continued after Petraeus retired from the Army and took over at the CIA in late summer of 2011. Her research culminated in an glowing biography titled All In: The Education of David Petraeus, which was released earlier this year. According to news reports, sources close to Petraeus insist that the affair began after he left the Army; if it began before then, he (and Broadwell) could potentially be prosecuted for adultery under the military’s legal codes.
Re: INSIGHT – YEMEN – why champagne hangovers suck
Released on 2013-02-05 13:00 GMT
Date 2010-02-05 22:14:51
On the money angle, it’s a perfect example of how opportunistic the tribes
and players are in Yemen. Great stuff.
Sent from my iPhone
On Feb 5, 2010, at 2:41 PM, Michael Wilson
ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR source
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Yemeni diplomat based in DC
SOURCE RELIABILITY: B
ITEM CREDIBILITY: 2
SUGGESTED DISTRIBUTION: analysts
SOURCE HANDLER: Reva
This was a bit of a hectic, late night mtg so I didn’t get a focused discussion. King Fahd’s youngest son, Prince AbdelAziz was in town and
challenged everyone to a champagne bottle drinking contest. He’s a total
goof-off. I have a more serious mtg scheduled with the Yemeni diplomat
for next wk.
Source just came back from Yemen last week. Seems like they are making
decent progress against AQAP and the Houthis. You know that song,
moneymoneymoneymoney moonaaaay, monaaaay? well, that’s yemen right now.
The Saudis are pouring cash in to buy off militants, defectors, etc.
through the tribes and it’s working. Source claims that AQAP is heavily
infiltrated because of this. And their concerns over OpSec show. It’s
just become a huge money-making business now. That’s why the Houthis
want to negotiate directly with Saudi, and not through Sanaa and why
Sanaa wants to be the mediator. They know whoever deals with the Saudis,
gets money as part of the deal. Everybody wants a cut.
An example on the money angle — this one commander tells the Saudis
give me 40,000 riyals, I’ll make the Houthis come down from XXXX (i’m
forgetting the name of this hilltop right now). The commander takes the
money, hands out 10,000 Riyals, keeps the rest for himself and they all
come down. Because of deals like this Abdel Malik al Houthi doesn’t have
control over the entire Houthi insurgency., just sub-factions here and
Yes, the Houthis were able to seriously raise their profile and
embarrass Sanaa and Riyadh, but they’re pretty beaten down right now.
The towns are all bulldozed. THey have nowhere to go. Just hiding out on
hilltops right now.
The delay in the release of Echo is because the Yemenis got the intel to
bomb their ‘computer’ labs in Arhab.
The Saudis and Americans aren’t giving any attention to the rehab
proposals. Yemen has been asking them for support, but they’re not
interested in that initiative right now. Nothing’s being done on it.
What the Yemenis really want are more helos, which the US isn’t giving
them. US says they already have enough transport and firepower, but is
also blocking the Yemenis from striking any deals with the Russians,
Chinese, etc to get them.
The Yemeni CT units are slowly (well, trying) to come up to speed.
There’s a body that was created about a year ago, called the OSSF –
office of strategic security forces or something like that. It’s 100,000
strong, trained by Jordanian and US intel, NSA. There’s a change in
attitude by Sanaa on the CT front. Whereas before, the US would provide
the coordinates on a target and the Yemenis would stall and stall, now
they’re ready to take them out.
Whenever the source met with Saleh, Saleh was completely obsessed with
the Houthi rebellion. THat’s at the top of the list of his priorities.
he wants to end this for good.
Petraeus has become BFF with the Yemeni ambassador here. Dinners every
other week at the amb’s house. Last time he came with this woman, not
his wife. The Yemenis think she was his mistress, but i seriously doubt
that he’d be that stupid considering how high profile he is.
You can see Petraeus taking a much deeper interest in Yemen these days though.
Petraeus (after he drinks a few) says privately there is an Iranian link in Yemen, but it is not yet critical.
Didn’t get much of a chance to go into any depth on the southerners and
al Fadhli, but i will next wk.
(512) 744 4300 ex. 4112
Re: INSIGHT – Yemen – Counterterrorism turf wars in DC
Released on 2013-02-05 13:00 GMT
Date 2010-09-04 23:33:33
Well, at this point Awlaki is a more serious threat than UBL. It’s not
just a PR thing.
From: “Reva Bhalla”
To: “Analyst List”
Sent: Saturday, September 4, 2010 3:23:19 PM
Subject: INSIGHT – Yemen – Counterterrorism turf wars in DC
ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR source
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: discussion over sheesha with Yemeni diplomat source
and two of Saleh’s younger sons
SOURCE Reliability : B
ITEM CREDIBILITY: 2
SOURCE HANDLER: Reva
Update on those leaks from a couple weeks ago on CIA recommendations to
the administration to carry out drone strikes in Yemen…
The administration has tasked out all the main agencies to give their
recommendations on US counterterrorism policy toward Yemen, with a policy
decision due by the end of the year. There’s a huge turf war between CIA
and JSOC over this, which is why all these leaks are coming out. First the CIA leaked their rec for drone strikes. Then CENTCOM leaked their rec for $1.2 billion assistance funding for Yemeni special forces (this was all
Petraeus, who has a very good relationship with the Yemenis and goes to
the Yemeni ambo’s house pretty regularly for dinner.) The Yemenis are
nervous about Mattis taking over Centcom. THey could deal well with Petraeus, whom they consider a ‘diplomat.’ Don’t know yet how to read Mattis.
There’s been a ton of media spin and leaks later about Anwar al Awlaki
being the next bin Laden. OBL is becoming old news now. CIA and JSOC want
a new target to claim success, so there’s a concerted campaign going on
right now to play up al Awlaki as the #1 terrorist. Al Awlaki is much
easier to target anyway and they have leads on him, so every agency wants
to be the one to say they got him.
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