Battleland

P4: Pulling No Punches on Petraeus and Paula

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David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell in Afghanistan

Sarah Chayes served as a special adviser to then-Army General David Petraeus as he settled into his final Army assignment: running the war in Afghanistan. Over at Foreign Policy, she pens her recollection on how the relationship between the general and his biographer, fellow West Pointer Paula Broadwell, played out in the war zone as it blossomed into an affair, ending Petreaus’ CIA directorship last month. She does not paint a pretty picture:

I can name a dozen people who knew things did not look right between Petraeus and Broadwell at the international military headquarters in Kabul in the first half of 2011, when Broadwell was working on her biography of Petraeus. It almost didn’t matter what was actually going on behind the closed door of that office. The pair spent too many hours in there, too late at night, the public affairs officer sent away. It is difficult to describe how dramatically such behavior clashes with the rigorously professional demeanor expected in a military headquarters, especially a deployed one. And that summer, when they returned from Kabul, the charged vibe between the two remained on display in Washington.

She wonders why no one, including herself, ever confronted Petraeus over their suspicions that something was up.

Full thing here.

15 comments
lordofthefly
lordofthefly

By the way, when will Petraeus's war record come under scrutiny?

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

So, Mr. Thompson, why didn't media blow Petraeus's hermetic cover long ago? Apparently, many of you were aware of his extravagant  spending, as well as his affairs. He abused his power, too. Very sad for the military.

This is the article that could and should sink the Petraeus Forgive Me Tour and Comeback. Let's hope it will get a lot of play (doubt it) and will get that self-serving, no-soul man off the public stage. Really, it's not about his sex antics but more about the way he lived large off taxpayer funds while the rest of us were struggling through a deep recession. Add his stupidity in the email caper.  He has also embarrassed the military - as well as the Senate INTEL Committee. Good. They obviously knew of his affairs while he commanded the Afghan War and winked and nodded him through to the CIA post.  The Washington Post has another scathing article about him today. Not looking good for Teflon Dave.

HannahShaya
HannahShaya

@lorna --  Yes it is apparent that Petraeus lied about the date the affair started. While it would seem that the military would conduct an independent investigation, they wont. They want to sweep this under the rug and move on. The same goes for Paula Broadwell and her shenanigans. She prays this will go away so she can plot her next "career" move. Meanwhile her cuckolded husband waits in the wings.

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@HannahShaya @lorna 

Broadwell is not the key player in this seedy saga. It is David Petraeus. He is the senior official well-paid by taxpayers to command two wars, as well as to provide security via the CIA post. He took her as her mistress. My guess is his wife is sticking with his sorry butt through the big cloud, and will quietly divorce him when he gets back on his small feet. He's the one who should get the focus. Paula Broadwell got her 15 minutes. She's a nobody.

onthebeach
onthebeach

I hold Patraeus and Broadwell accountable for every soldier we lost on his watch.  He spent his time in Afganistan playing the media and playing with Paula.  She took up his time and room on aircrafts and used government personnel and property to further herself (as did Patraues in a very big way).  Patraues should have been 100 percent focused on our troops, our husbands, our brothers that we lost while he and Paula were getting it on.

The media helped create him.  He spun you a line and you have so few ethics, you fell for it.  It just makes me sick that in 2 years time he will be back on top as will Broadwell (no pun intended), yet our husbands and brothers will not.

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@onthebeach

This is not about Paula Broadwell. It's all about Petraeus and his magnificent failure, all the time using taxpayer funds to make "his" plane available to his babe. He's a worm. And I am being kind.

fbueller
fbueller

What is Paula's current status in the Army reserve?  Has she now been formally stripped of her commission?  If this hasn't happened, what is the delay?

Too funny that she is trying to have friends spin the media.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

@fbueller Reportedly she was promoted to LTC in Army Reserves this past August. --Check out this photo and see if you can spot which one is not like the others. And how does that happen?

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0g2f6M37jF1h8/576x.jpg

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

@fbueller That photo, I just learned, was taken on June 23, 2011 when Gen. David Petraeus appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing on his nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Capitol Hill in Washington.

FranklinFord
FranklinFord

I totally agree that this affair began much earlier than the convenient timeline David Petraeus provided to keep his nose clean of impropriety as well as military illegality.  And for all we know, it is still going on today as well.  I agree with that comment here.  It is obvious that it takes a lot of political will in Washington to investigate a 4 star general, as per the slow way things are being revelaed now in this incident. 

But I do hope the revelations and momentum continue.  The affair partners really must suffer whatever penalties by the  military come with this behavior or risk insubordination by lesser troops who are becoming more cynical than they already are.  At the very least we Americans deserve answers and actions not a convenient timeline by the offenders!

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@FranklinFord 

People who are upset about this issue - because it pretty well represents the way our capitol works - should write your elected officials and demand accountability from Petareus. The Defense Dept. made one general pay back $85,000 for his abuses. I called the CIA and asked if we (taxpayers) are paying for his expensive attorneys and PR Counsel. I was told no, but I don't believe it. At least they know people are interested enough to contact them. Writing comments to people who can't do a damned thing about it is fun, but it makes no difference. I doubt if even Thompson reads these. Do something.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm also fascinated by the involvement of Michael O'Hanlon in this long-running sordid affair. O'Hanlon is another strap-hanger on the Petraeus Express. The two have a long relationship, from when they were students together. O'Hanlon, director of research for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, has often been a go-to guy on COIN, Afghanistan and Iraq, forever promoting Petraeus.

O'Hanlon's friendship with Broadwell is shorter; he says Petraeus introduced him to Broadwell in 2009. After Petraeus's resignation in November O'Hanlon wrote an Op-Ed: "The Paula Broadwell I know -- My friend is an accomplished, caring person who is being unfairly demonized for her mistakes."

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/27/after-petraeus-scandal-broadwell-grapples-with-normal-life/

O'Hanlon and Broadwell appeared at a recent Aspen Ideas Festival, where O'Hanlon intorduced Broadwell to discuss her book on Petreaus, of which O'Hanlon wrote: “This is the best book yet on General David Petraeus, written by a remarkable former Army officer who spent months on the ground in Afghanistan herself. Paula Broadwell captures his basic tenets of counterinsurgency and basic approach to leadership—as well as Petraeus’s personal qualities and character—in a highly readable and pithy fashion. No one gives a truer picture of the war, or of the finest general of this era and one of the greatest in modern American history.”

http://www.aspenideas.org/session/all-education-general-david-petraeus

In the audio from Aspen O'Hanlon calls Broadwell's book "a monumental accomplishment . .an exhaustive study . .of a remarkable American." Broadwell's remarks were not without humor regarding Petraeus: "Five years experience -- friend and mentor -- I know him in several capacities."

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ai-podcasts/AIF12_audio/AIF12_168.mp3

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

@Don_Bacon 

Thomas Ricks who now writes for Foreign Policy magazine is another Petraeus buddy. Ricks has just written a book about the poor state of military leadership. He praises Petraeus, of course, and still does in his FP column.

lorna
lorna

It was apparent that Petraeus was lying about when the affair started (I also happen to believe it is still ongoing and may still persist once the dust settles) because he is trying to avoid a military investigation. The military though MUST conduct an independent investigation because a rogue ex commander cannot be allowed to impact the military to this extent and walk away unscathed.  The military must go all out to prove that integrity, honesty, ethics and accountability to the public trump one man's actions and overblown ego. It is at these hard times that values are reinforced by an airing of the dirty laundry and the establishment of controls to make sure that actions such as Petraeus's do not reoccur.  I think it is important that the heart of mind of the troops in the midst of battle are valued over and above one self serving ex General.

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