While it is disappointing that the most respected man in Washington has admitted to marital infidelity, that isn't a crime, at least not given that it occurred after he retired before the affair. Nor is it really difficult to understand it occurring. A younger, not unattractive woman was hanging on his every word, and literally writing a book about his life, and "genius." Every one of those medals, that reach the epaulette of his uniform, he wore in the military are just as earned today, as they were a year ago. He still turned the Iraq War around, and accepted a demotion to run the War in Afghanistan, for a President that had disrespected him. He is still an honorable man, even if he fell to human temptation.
But as the MSM and FBI continue into the mudpit of the affair, some common threads are becoming apparent. And those common threads are perhaps bigger than the original story, which took an honorable man out of the leadership of Our Nation's government. The common links are a Tampa socialite, Jill (Khawam-خاعم) Kelley, the FBI, and private emails.
"As they looked further, the FBI agents came across a private Gmail account that used an alias name. On further investigation, the account turned out to be Petraeus's." RICHARD LARDNER, AP
In the latest developments, the FBI conducted a middle of the night search of Paula Broadwell's house, General Allen is now being investigated, and the FBI agent that started the investigation on Jill Kelley's behalf has also been implicated. At the center of the web, remains Jill Kelley.
Mrs. Kelley appears to have great influence and access. She has enough influence to get the FBI to investigate what seems to have been anonymous emails from someone that simply knew too much about her private life. She's a civilian that has access to the top brass at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, those at Central Command that runs Military Operations in the Middle East, and to FBI agents. She is of Lebanese descent.
In contrast to initial reports, the email account used by Ms. Broadwell wasn't the General's/CIA Director's official account. It was instead a private email account, and anonymous, which means that the FBI conducted an in-depth search into private email, and IP addresses, and the personal computers attached to them, on behalf of a Tampa socialite. And they didn't just look at emails that were sent privately, but also the draft email folder, of emails that were never sent.
Apparently, the FBI struggled to find a justification for the investigation into an anonymous email account that sent unsavory emails to Mrs. Kelley, and the stricken FBI agent fired off letters to a Congressman to get the fire lit again. According to current reports, Mrs. Kelley did not know who Ms. Broadwell was.
So far, in all of this, no actual crimes or security threats have been confirmed. Marital infidelity is an issue of morality, and an issue for the parties involved: General and Mrs. Petraeus, and his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Sending email, or even using a draft folder in an anonymous, private email account to cover immoral, but not illegal activity is not a crime. Sending unsavory email is not a crime. Even the FBI agent's sending of an email with a topless picture of himself is not a crime, even though it was to a married woman.
The more troublesome details of the investigation are that so many FBI resources were diverted from investigating child-pornography (Cybercrimes Unit of FBI), and hunting terrorists, to satisfy the displeasure of a Tampa socialite and an FBI agent enamored with her, the amount of influence she appears to have attained, and perhaps more than anything the degree to which the FBI is willing to invade private communications in such a case.
"With subpoenas and warrants, the FBI and other investigating agencies routinely gain access to electronic inboxes and information about email accounts offered by Google, Yahoo and other Internet providers." RICHARD LARDNER, AP
And if the government is willing to go to such depths for a civilian socialite who was unhappy with the emails she received, what would they do for their political bosses? And evidently, if you want the FBI to have to get a warrant to look at your email, you need to delete the stuff that is 6 months old, though there is nothing in cyberspace that is truly deleted.
At present, at least two leaders troublesome to the Administration have gotten caught up in this: General Allen and General Petraeus.