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Monday, November 12, 2012

How David Petraeus shot himself in the foot

The knives are out for Paula Broadwell.  David Petraeus has taken the blame for his love affair with his biographer but human nature being what it is, Broadwell will be the one vilified as the wicked woman who ruined a brilliant man's career.

Both are still married and Broadwell lives in  Charlotte, North Carolina. On Friday afternoon when the story broke, a media circus turned up at her house and written on the family's driveway in chalk was a message, "Dad loves Mom."

Mrs Broadwell and her radiologist husband Scott have two small sons, Lucien and Lando.  She planned to celebrate her 40th birthday this weekend and several reporters were invited but her husband emailed guests to cancel the event late on Friday.

Broadwell told another woman to stay away from Petraeus when she suspected he had found a new lover.  "I know what you did" she said "Back off."   Broadwell allegedly accessed the general's personal email account to send threatening emails to this woman who became so frightened, she contacted the FBI.  That's when they discovered personal emails which left no doubt that the Director of the CIA was having an affair with his biographer. 

CIA officials were concerned about Mrs Broadwell's close relationship and easy access to the Director.  She was a frequent visitor to CIA headquarters in Langley and often joined him on his 8 mile morning runs.  She also attended public functions with him as his guest.

The affair was deemed a national security risk because Petraeus was still married and as Director of the CIA, he was therefore a possible candidate for blackmail.

Descended from a distinguished line of military officers, Holly Petraeus is considered to be "Army Royalty".  She has been a relentless advocate for the financial education of military families and monitors their consumer complaints.

Biographer Blanche D'Alpuget and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke had a love affair that ended his marriage to long-time faithful wife Hazel. But it wasn't just an affair, he married her.