A Covert Affair: Petraeus Caught in the Honeypot?

My Catbird Seat November 13, 2012 6

So who would have an interest in getting rid of Petraeus? Here’s where the Cantor connection comes in. The tip by an anonymous “FBI employee” that wound up in Cantor’s office two weeks ago came through Rep. David Reichert, Republican of Washington state, who has a friend who knows the whistleblower. Cantor then spoke to the whistleblower directly, who put him in touch with FBI Director Mueller.

by Justin Raimondo

Antiwar.com

The outing of Gen. David Petraeus as an adulterer, and his subsequent resignation as CIA Director, was carried out by an unknown FBI “whistleblower” who leaked the facts of the FBI investigation into the General’s private life to Rep. Eric Cantor. The New York Times reports:

Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, said Saturday an F.B.I. employee whom his staff described as a whistle-blower told him about Mr. Petraeus’s affair and a possible security breach in late October, which was after the investigation had begun.

“’I was contacted by an F.B.I. employee concerned that sensitive, classified information may have been compromised and made certain Director Mueller was aware of these serious allegations and the potential risk to our national security,’ Mr. Cantor said in a statement.

Mr. Cantor talked to the person after being told by Representative Dave Reichert, Republican of Washington, that a whistle-blower wanted to speak to someone in the Congressional leadership about a national security concern. On Oct. 31, his chief of staff, Steve Stombres, called the F.B.I. to tell them about the call.”

The FBI probe apparently started in late spring, when several people associated with Petraeus — not just the one woman, as has been reported elsewhere — received harassing emails. The emails were traced to 40-year-old Paula Broadwell, national security analyst, military intelligence veteran, and author of a biography of Petraeus. Authorities believed his email account may have been hacked, and this led to a remarkable irony: the CIA chief’s emails were monitored, without his knowledge, whereupon it was discovered Broadwell may have either had access to his account or tried to obtain access. In any case, in the course of their spying, FBI monitors discovered a large volume of emails to and from Broadwell. Looking for evidence of a security breach, all they found was evidence of a “human drama,” as one anonymous FBI official put it: an illicit affair between Petraeus and Broadwell.

Petraeus was only informed of the investigation on October 25 or 26. So here we have the astonishing fact of the CIA’s head honcho being spied on for a period of months by our own law enforcement officials.

Editor’s note:Joe Scarborough Slams FBI’s Handling Of Petraeus Situation:

‘Somebody Needs To Be Fired Here’

Have a look, courtesy of MSNBC:

Or maybe it wasn’t a simple case of complaints about “harassing” or threatening emails. Fox News avers:

The FBI had been investigating an unrelated and much broader case before stumbling on the affair. Fox News has learned that during the course of this investigation, the name of biographer Paula Broadwell came up. The FBI followed that lead and in doing so, uncovered his affair with her.”

What was this “much broader case”? Almost certainly it was a counterintelligence investigation, i.e. a pushback against efforts by some foreign entity to penetrate or otherwise compromise US secrets. We can only guess at the specifics, however we do know that in the course of that investigation Broadwell’s name “came up.”

On the surface, at least, Broadwell is not the sort of person whose name would come up in a counterintelligence investigation: a West Point graduate, where she earned degrees in political geography and systems engineering, she seems like the veritable embodiment of All-American red-white-and-blue super-patriotism. This biographical account on her high school website says

Paula pursued a military intelligence career abroad, serving in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During her service, especially after 9-11, Paula’s intensity was directed toward the war against terror; her contributions and efforts to thwart terrorism have been commended by the U.S. Army and by Europe’s Special Operations Forces Commanding General. In this arena, she has planned counter-terrorism initiatives presented to NATO and worked on transnational counter-terrorism issues with foreign and domestic agencies, U.S. Special Forces, and the FBI.”

Graduate studies at the University of Denver in Middle East studies enabled her to travel to “Jordan and Israel,” and make a swing through the Persian Gulf and Europe where she spoke at various conferences. This triumphal tour was capped by a Harvard fellowship “for study in Syria and Iran.”

While Broadwell’s current academic affiliation is with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, her previous post was deputy director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. The Center, according to its self-description, “distinguishes itself by a philosophy that maintains counter-terrorism should be predictive, preventive and preemptive, with the latter being a last resort.” Founded in 2005, the Jebsen Center was made possible by the generous donation of one Jan Henrik Jebsen, heir to the Norwegian shipping fortune, who gave $1.3 million to set it up. Jebsen, a former investment banker with Lazard Freres, is the principal of Gamma Applied Visions Group, an international octopus with tentacles all over the place: part arms dealer and weapons developer, part “green” energy company. As one might expect from someone who has so much of his multi-billion dollar fortune invested in making and selling armaments, Jebsen is on the board of directors of the distinctly warlike Hudson Institute, where Scooter Libby, Douglas Feith, Michael Ledeen, and practically every neocon you’ve ever heard of have found refuge.

While, in true neocon fashion, Hudson scholars conjure a wide diversity of imminent “threats” to the US, including China and Russia, their main focus is the threat of Islamist radicalism, especially as it impacts Israel. Indeed, Hudson operates inside Israel, where it pushes the far-rightist views of the most extreme elements in Israeli society: the settler movement, and the faction of Likud angling for war with Iran. It has also focused its attention on purging universities of academics who don’t toe the right-wing ultra-nationalist Likudnik line.

More recently, former Hudson president and “trustee emeritus” Max Singer — who has since moved to Israel, where, as a “public policy consultant” at Bar Ilan University, he spends his time inciting violence against Palestinians — is on a mission to protect Israel from the alleged threat posed by the President of the United States.

The Jebsen Center has been equally useful to the neocons. Richard H. Schultz, head of Tufts’ International Studies program (of which the Center is a part) was a signatory to the Project for a New American Century’s “open letter” to President Bush urging war with Iraq and a number of other Middle Eastern actors in the wake of 9/11. Here he is recommending the importation of Israeli “anti-terrorist” techniques to pacify the restless natives of Iraq. Here is another Jebsen Center scholar describing alleged terrorist actions engaged in by Iran worldwide. And then there’s the testimony of this guy:

The idea of overthrowing the Iranian government through covert but peaceful means is not original. The project was first brought to my attention in August 2006 when I worked as an intern research assistant at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Diplomacy’s Jebsen Center for Counter-terrorism. I worked for the then director of the center Brigadier General Russell Howard (Ret.) on a project titled Bringing Down Iran Without Firing A Shot. I wasn’t very experienced in the world of covert operations in the field or in the academic realm but I was very interested in becoming involved in it. General Howard, on the other hand, was not only a counter-terrorism strategist but a veteran Special Forces officer, an academic, and a tutor. It was General Howard who introduced me to the idea of targeting factors specific to Iran in order to adapt to the country’s specific needs. He had six factors which he believed were important: The military use of ongoing insurgencies within Iran, political strife, economic strife, declining oil revenues, demographics, and deteriorating infrastructure.”

Interestingly, in November of 2006, during her tenure at the Jebsen Center, Broadwell led a group of Fletcher School students on a trip to New York City to meet with then Iranian UN representative Javad Zarif. Both are alumni of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

All this establishes a context that goes far beyond the titillating details of the alleged affair between Petraeus and Broadwell — and this is no doubt what set alarm bells ringing in the intelligence community when it was revealed. Is there really any need to point out the uses of the “honeypot” in intelligence-gathering and other covert activities regularly engaged in by spooks of all nations? From Mata Hari to the Mossad agent who lured Israeli nuclear scientist Mordecahi Vanunu, sex is a time-honored weapon in the war of spy-vs-spy. A secret affair with the CIA Director is the equivalent of the Honeypot Olympics, and we have to ask: was the remarkably fit Ms. Broadwell a lure? If so, she’s won a Gold Medal.

Broadwell’s actions — sending emails that were bound to be traced back to her — appear to make little sense on the surface. But if the goal of luring a 60-year-old geezer into an affair with a much younger woman was to expose him, and get him fired, then surely her antics succeeded in accomplishing that goal.

So who would have an interest in getting rid of Petraeus? Here’s where the Cantor connection comes in. The tip by an anonymous “FBI employee” that wound up in Cantor’s office two weeks ago came through Rep. David Reichert, Republican of Washington state, who has a friend who knows the whistleblower. Cantor then spoke to the whistleblower directly, who put him in touch with FBI Director Mueller.

Cantor is a great friend of Israel, and Petraeus — not so much. The General was attacked, as you’ll recall, by partisans of the Lobby, including Abe Foxman, when he delivered testimony before Congress citing Israel as a strategic liability in the Middle East. As the executor of the new Obamaite policy of sidling up to Islamists, not only in Libya but also in Syria and Egypt, Petraeus was no doubt seen by the Israelis as an enemy to be neutralized.

Broadwell’s affiliation with the Jebsen Center, and the Center’s connection to the neoconservative network, sets the scene: a young, attractive woman with impeccable national security credentials throws herself at Petraeus, and he takes the bait. Whether she’s been recruited by a foreign intelligence agency at this point or not is irrelevant: he’s already put himself in a vulnerable position, and there are any number of actors on the international stage more than willing to press their advantage.

Will we ever know the full story? At this point, the story is so hot that it may burn the cover story — “it’s all about sex” — right off the wrapper. Because there’s more — a lot more — here than meets the eye. When Cantor pledged to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he and his fellow Republicans “will serve as a check on the administration” in regard to the President’s policy toward Israel, he was clearly aligning himself with a foreign leader against American interests as perceived by the White House. But would he really go this far — deliberately taking down a key figure, one beloved by Republicans, in order to keep his promise to Netanyahu?

Stay tuned to this space, because this story is moving fast….

Update: This morning [11/12/12] the New York Times reports:

F.B.I. agents interviewed Ms. Broadwell for the first time the week of Oct. 21, and she acknowledged the affair, a government official briefed on the matter said. She also voluntarily gave the agency her computer. In a search, the agents discovered several classified documents, which raised the additional question of whether Mr. Petraeus had given them to her. She said that he had not. Agents interviewed Mr. Petraeus the following week. He also admitted to the affair but said he had not given any classified documents to her. The agents then interviewed Ms. Broadwell again on Friday, Nov. 2, the official said.”

Bingo!

 


NOTES IN THE MARGIN

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Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (ISI, 2008), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is a contributing editor for The American Conservative, a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, and an adjunct scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

Read more by Justin Raimondo

 

6 Comments »

  1. mikael November 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    To be honest, I dont even bother to read about what ever cause they serve, what I belive is that this is what we in my world calls, routing out the oposition. I belive this is the final preps for a major war, and anyone that opose it, is removed. This is not even a new strategy, its an old way of coputiing a person's credibility and integrity. Like my country, they label you, "mentaly instable" and whowill belive in a "nuttcase", right. No matter how truthfull it may be, the coruption is still there, a very efficient way, infact. And i am stunned if there comes more, "convinient" firing.

    peace

  2. mikael November 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Sorry about this missspell, I meant to say was this, there will be more people, fired, causes is invented as they move along, closer to the war.
    And that war will come, acordingly, because the lunatics have a time table, and that timetable is closing, for reasons I will not disqus, simply because they as so far off anything regarded sane, that I just hope that I am wrong. The final stage is the inihiliation of Israel, that happens only when they reatch the end of their wars, planned a long time ago.
    Never have the time for a devestating Black flagg be present, and this is what I am waiting for, I know it will come, and possibly a "dirty nuk", somewhere, does not matter, its the spinn that counts, the rest is meer "bonus". Because Israel will intiate their final push for Eretzh Israel. Palestina first. It will come, and whitin a period of a year or to, Palestina(gaza and the west bank, will sees to exist and will be erazed from present history, pushed into oblivion and hostorical darkness. When Abbas stated, that he does not need to go "home" I new Palestina is dying and will be gone. That moment I knew We lost it. I am sorry, for the hypocrasy, dobbel moral end the neverending lies and forgerys, and a massive scale of genoside and ethnic cleansing.
    And nobody cared, they all talked, to covard to do anything, and we have winesed a slow murder of a land, and that in 2012.
    After all this years, I know we lost, what I feal is irrelevant, but its not a god feling at all. My soul is bleading, my hart turned into stone.
    We live in barbaric and evil times, where night is coming, good night Palestina, once a living land is dying.
    Sleep well, Palestina, I am sorry that we wher so few. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjEBQ_bE7uA
    This is a hymn to you from me, my world.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X91yW6uajKo&feature=related
    The Bear is wandering in the wilderness and have no soul, untill it regains it, there will be drakness and humanity will lose.
    With all my love
    peace

  3. jim November 13, 2012 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    So, in a nutshell, the Three Generals and One Admiral have been fired to prevent their testimony against Obama before Congress over Benghazi.

  4. Rex November 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Petraeus, the be-medalled glamour boy of the military, almost vulgar in his highly decorated media outfits, has fallen from grace.

     

    But don’t despair. There will be a second coming Why did he commit hari kari, however temporary?

     

    It seems as though it is standard procedure with leaders in the ‘home of the brave’ ( and with all those medals, he must be brave), perhaps almost mandatory, to err from the straight and narrow. In this case, however, one cannot contemplate that the outing of this gallant soldier, with a chestful of "meritorious service" medals, one for almost any occasion, was engineered by a deep-throated Democrat hiding in the FBI just to eliminate a possible big “R” candidate for 2016.

     

    Now these are the kind of activities that one would expect from the Republicans, well schooled in such devious activities, Watergate, et al, possibly using the always-ready services of their buddies in the Mossad, probably funded by Sheldon Adelson, unsung hero of the First and hopefully the Last Israel Reich. They'll be in anything that's going, perhaps being regarded as a reciprocated payment, in part, for the billions received in US military aid. A way of saying, ‘Gee, thanks America. Here’s one for you’.

     

    But the Democrats? Hardly. Now that's what you call a conspiracy theory, along the lines of JFK, 9/11 and any number of other activities that keep the US tabloids and electronic media ticking, putting dollars into the coffers of the Zionist owners, 90% of the world's news purveyors…or is that perverters? In this case, the facts appear to be that his actions were just plain stupid, thereby bringing into question some of the other decisions he might have made over time that may have been stupid as well. But we'll leave that to the historians, those people with enough time to investigate such things.

     

    There might be a lot of mothers out there who really want to know what their boys have to do to be so well decorated. Even Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in the US in WWII couldn’t claim anything like nine rows of medals while being involved in many real battles. Such transgressions will be forgiven, as per Gingrich and Clinton and Johnson and on and on, because even though the level of tolerance is initially unbending and the reaction to such misbehaviours is frowned on in some circles in the US, it is soon spun into a sign of manhood, seen by the spinners along the lines of … "you know, it’s what real men do", or “perhaps he was overstressed” (always worth a run at times like this) and eventually adding substantially to their image as they go on to pursue a second career after a respectable quiet period, of course. Always ending up in politics, strangely enough, regarded by many as the bottom of the barrel, where tolerance knows no bounds, but never allowed to be accepted as part of the religious hierarchy of an American Church….. yet. But that will happen, sooner or later . After all, it is a good time for such a transfiguration, as the Churches have just found God, so to speak. They have had a large bout of conscience, albeit forty years too late, as they recently asked the Congress to reduce the relationship with Israel because of Israel’s cruel occupation of Palestine.

     

    By way of a 'humorous' aside, Israel complained to the United Nations this week that someone from Syria had fired a shell which landed in what they (but no one else) calls Israel. Must be something in the Jordan water supply or in the closely developed breeding of Israelis that could ever cause them to raise such a matter, seriously. What gall they have after forty years of inhumane treatment of Palestinians on the stolen land that they call Israel, to “cry wolf”. Who gives a fig?

     

    However, on the positive side and as a result of this misdirected shell, we should be thankful that they didn’t load up an American-supplied aircraft with phosphorous and bomb the hell out of Gaza, just for fun. They’ve done it before, against the Geneva Convention of course but this is the arrogant Israel (with the US veto) who regularly give such things the big finger. UN Resolutions a specialty. They enjoy doing things like that. The last time they did the “phosphorous thing” the Palestine Authority foolishly complained to the UN as well, as with thousands of other complaints over the past forty years, but the UN were not taking any calls on that day, sadly. The veto-on-request-service of the US may have been in session again and to add insult to injury, the canteen was closed. Perhaps some Jewish holiday or something similar (it is in New York, after all) and so to be seen as an indication of support for Israel, through the continually flexing muscles of the US in the Security Council, they all took the day off. Is that a plausible explanation? I mean to say, who wants to discuss Palestine in the UN? No better way to screw up a peaceful day in this highly respected organisation, full of good intentions (don’t mention Palestine, though), well and truly motivated to provide help to the world, providing you don’t mention Palestine, that is.

     

    As John Cleese said in “FaultyTowers”, …, “Don’t mention Palestine” (the war) or something similar. We can be sure that if there are any Palestinians still alive in another forty years (little chance of that) they may get one or two opportunities to ask for some humanitarian assistance from the UN again.

     

    Let’s hope that happens, but naturally, you won’t read about it in the media as the blackout conditions for the truth in the world media will still be in force. As well, the Anti Defamation League will still be functioning, though sadly not with Abraham Foxman, erstwhile keeper of the Holocaust flame in the US, whose body would have been transferred to the Golan Heights as a real Zionist hero, for services rendered to his country, Israel.

     

    So, I for one, am looking forward to the social resurrection of Mr. Medals, ex-General Petraeus, the flamboyant, loveable but unlikely roué, hero of the US, as he claws his way back into favour with the American people to run in 2016 for the GOP. .With his Zionist connections and the forgiving nature of the American people, I am sure that the Jewish owners of the “city of dreams”, Hollywood, Zionists one and all, can give him such a makeover and produce a prize-winning documentary of his achievments that will appeal to all the passionate American political affectionados who are capable of and still able to enjoy a good cry for a real American hero who made good. The GOP Presidential candidate in 2016. Nothing like a happy ending.

    • Debbie
      Debbie November 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Hey! Rex,

      I am tempted to quote good ol' Alan S' on Gen. Petraeus for President, who he considers way too political an animal compared to say McChrystal or a Fallon :

      Quote:

      "A McChrystal or a Fallon in the White House would probably drop Delta Force or SEALs on AIPAC's chummy offices if it tried something with them as it has with Obama, although of course, the type of general or admiral who might even dream of opposing AIPAC is not the type who has a snake's chance in mongoose heaven of staying in command, much less even being nominated for President.

       

      But Petraeus? …Hell, all AIPAC would have to do is offer him another medal (say, an Israeli medal) before he ran for office — I think he has some space for something on his uniform, perhaps inside a lower pocket on his banana-republic generalissimo's "suit of lights" — and he would probably make Ehud Barak his White House chief of staff in teary-eyed gratitude. Just remember that someone who grovels at the beginning of a contest is not exactly someone who is suddenly going to discover backbone and courage when the going gets tough….Hm, maybe I should send him a set of those "diplomatic kneepads." Either that, or send out copies of "Seven Days in May: A Sequel"…."

       

  5. David Krall November 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    From: David Krall email:truthatlarge@hotmail.com What I have just read in the above article blows me away, because this is exactly what I suspected or something close to it. The sex angle is nothing more than suds and window-dressing or smoke &mirrors…What I sense is some kind of: turf war, power play, a bureaucratic shadow dance between power blocs or enclaves here.Petraeus was going to bring in his own staff many, most assuredly who had served under him for several years.

     

    A president only has one very clear reason for naming a loyal, very experienced 4 STAR general to be named as head of the CIA.. & He's .bringing in HIS OWN loyal cadres/subordinates to run the show ! Iam sure and anybody who knows anythig about U.S. or world history would recognize The President'smove in this manner as a "shot off the bow"  to CIA heads/barons/oligarchs and/or Neo-cons still well entrenched within the CIA via Cheney & Gates. (Big mistake for Obama to leave him in there or a smart move as in "keep your enemies closer???).  Perhaps this is all an attempt to cripple the President  AFTER an election as opposed to "doing in" Carter or JFK BEFORE  an election as the political /social / economic  outlook or  situation warrants…why would Broadwell (come on! really her name??!!) send a trail of e-mails to another woman??? someone she supposedly doesn't even know? perhaps likea fuse or digital/electronic trail or bait to be noticed by someone intentionally and deliberately???

     

    Of course….this no doubt some type of short-term or long-term attempt to weaken the president, or at least to make him look inept…the utimate target wasn't  the General or the next one(or even the next one coming after this!) but the man and the policies he is acting upon. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, who appointed him…. & what is with this Kelly Family in Tampa Bay???CIA and / or Neo-Con Connected??? Its almost as if there's some sort of subterranean network or leviathin or hyrdra that show'd its ugly head for very brief moment that we caught a glimpse of :either you "get it" (see it) or you don't. It's made its opaque presence before:on a sun-light street, a hotel balcony, a restaurant/kitchen pantry and throughout the 1980 election….and of course for you random  -coincidence  theorists diehards there's Watergate, Iran-Contra, Enron and BCCI to remind you that the wolrd is indeed a complex sphere rotating on its axis and revolving around the sun and NOT some flat child-like game board of only 2 very flat dimensions.The beings on this planet are as complex and calculating as the sphere they are living on… its been that way since the dawn of Kings, Queens, and Empires…. so far one rook gone, one bishop tipped over. 2 divas (or were they dangles?) and this king today was fighting back…was his initial temperment at the press conf and his words a covert msg that he will fight back??? FROM: DAVID KRALL truthatlarge@hotmail.com

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