Four amusing things about the Petraeus affair

1. Clandestine methods of military intelligence are awfully similar to the clandestine methods of teens

David Petraeus is a master practitioner of Counter-Insurgency. His mistress, Paula Broadwell, was formerly a Military intelligence officer. Yet their methods and tactics for hiding their affair were and are, according to the Los Angeles Times, also used by teenagers. Must admit that I was slightly offended upon hearing this. I too have been known to use this tactic on occasion, and take great offence at any comparison drawn between myself and teens covered in Twilight glitter(which is how I imagine most teens to be).

Petraeus and Broadwell transferred files within their shared Gmail account by saving them to the drafts folder of their shared account. But while most people use this tactic to transfer files within say student club, or a social group pre-Google Drive, Petraeus was using it to tell Broadwell where and when he wanted to slip her his bayonet.

However, even your duller-than-average member of #TeamEdward knows that you don’t then go and use that same account to send anonymous death threats. Especially if you haven’t merely used the Drafts folder, but you’ve actually also used the account to send extraordinarily intimate love letters to someone’s email address. And if you do use that account for your extraordinarily personal love letters, then you probably make sure that those letters aren’t addressed to an already-married Director of the CIA.

2. Suggestive use of quotation marks

The other lady in this affair, Jill Kelley, is described everywhere as an ‘unpaid social liason‘, quotation marks included. As if describing her as a young non-military woman who liked hanging around the base offering ‘services’ to soldiers wasn’t derogatory enough!

No newspaper seems willing to go on the record confirming that Kelley was actually interested in Petraeus, but those quotation marks sure don’t affirm her innocence.

3. Nobody is innocent

Almost nobody in this scandal seems to be innocent. Except perhaps Petraeus’ wife and Broadwell’s husband.

You’ve got Petraeus and Broadwell, who are clearly not innocent. But then you have Jill Kelley, the married lady Broadwell was making death threats against. She somehow had enough swing with an FBI agent to get him to launch an investigation that would allow him to tap into somebody’s email address. Then this same FBI agent had to be taken off the case because he’d been sending topless pictures of himself to Kelley(and if these pictures had been willingly received then that might explain the ‘swing’ Kelley had to launch such an investigation).

Even people completely unconnected to anything appear not to be innocent. The US commander in Afghanistan has had his candidacy for NATO Commander in Europe suspended because of thousands of pages of emails that suggest that he had an inappropriate relationship to a Floridian woman with some sort of a link to the Petraeus/Broadwell case.

4. “All In”

Paula Broadwell wrote a book about Petraeus describing him as ‘All In’.


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