FBI Agent Investigating Petraeus Scandal Under Investigation Himself

Unless you’ve been trapped under something heavy for the past few days, you probably know that David Petraeus, Iraq War surge enthusiast and CIA chief, resigned because it turned out he was having relations with a woman not his wife.

Well, it turns out that the federal agent who launched the Petraeus investigation is now under investigation himself for sending shirtless photos to the woman who received harassing emails from Petraeus’s side-boo, Paula Broadwell:

WASHINGTON—A federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors’ concerns that he had become personally involved in the case, according to officials familiar with the probe.

New details about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case suggest that even as the bureau delved into Mr. Petraeus’s personal life, the agency had to address questionable conduct by one of its own—including allegedly sending shirtless photos of himself to a woman involved in the case.

~snip~

The FBI agent who started the case was a friend of Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman who received harassing, anonymous emails that led to the probe, according to officials. Ms. Kelley, a volunteer who organizes social events for military personnel in the Tampa area, complained in May about the emails to a friend who is an FBI agent. That agent referred it to a cyber crimes unit, which opened an investigation.

However, supervisors soon became concerned that the initial agent might have grown obsessed with the matter, and prohibited him from any role in the investigation, according to the officials.

The FBI officials found that he had sent shirtless pictures of himself to Ms. Kelley, according to the people familiar with the probe.

I need people to stop sending unsolicited photos of their pecs and/or dicks to other people.

Get it together, America.

[via WSJ]

[cross-posted at ABLC]






186 replies
  1. 1
    celticdragonchick says:

    I need people to stop sending unsolicited photos of their pecs and/or dicks to other people.

    Spoilsport! You aren’t any fun at all.

  2. 2
    PreservedKillick says:

    Alrighty then.

    This is going to make a hell of a movie.

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    I sent a lot of people a picture of my huge tuna this summer!

  4. 4
    hildebrand says:

    Good god, this is just bizarre. The whole business is a big bag of stupid.

  5. 5
    IowaOldLady says:

    Honest to god, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

  6. 6
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    You know, sometimes I think it would be fun if commenters could post photos in threads. This is one instance in which I’m eternally grateful that they can’t.

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    @Raven: Did it have a large pec(toral fin)?

  8. 8
    Carnacki says:

    I’m not sure how the National Organization of Marriage will get there, but I am certain they are blaming gay marriage on the entire sordid affair.

  9. 9
    Cassidy says:

    I’m starting think being turned down as a federal agent may not be the worst thing that has happened to me. Lol

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: There’s always ASCII art…

  11. 11
    jo6pac says:

    That’s about right why in hell would Amerika fawning media want to know the truth. It hasn’t been a problem in the past. This person belongs in jail and Manning should be set free.

  12. 12
    PreservedKillick says:

    Oho. This is news to me, anyway:

    Retired Gen. Petraeus also denied to these associates that he had given Broadwell any of the sensitive military information alleged to have been found on her computer, saying anything she had must have been provided by other commanders during reporting trips to Afghanistan.

    http://www.google.com/hostedne.....c3ca220160

    This is just getting rolling, isn’t it?

  13. 13
    kc says:

    I need people to stop sending unsolicited photos of their pecs and/or dicks to other people.

    Amen. People, for the love of Jesus, don’t do this. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR DICK. Trust me.

  14. 14
    TheYankeeApologist says:

    I don’t know. Maybe we should ALL just pass around pics to everyone else, and get over it already. :)

    All jokes aside, people are still doing this? I feel like, in 5 years, the application for all government work will simply be one question: Can you do this job without baring your genitals like a Super Bowl streaker?

  15. 15
    srv says:

    Thank god Sarah is not such a prude.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @dmsilev: Oh no……

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    Okay, now I have to spend another half hour explaining this scandal to my husband. I thought I’d caught him up on all the details over dinner.

  19. 19

    @PreservedKillick:

    I will ask you again (cause you didn’t answer the last time) where does your handle come from, cause Killick is a very country specific name that does not translate to the US. Deets please?

  20. 20
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s like C-SPAN2 meets Jerry Springer. You even have Mrs Broadwell, the broad, well…

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Schlemizel says:

    Is there something wrong with me? I have never once in 60 years thought any woman wanted a picture of my pecs or my pecker. I have never had even a faint wisp of a thought of photographing these things & share them, not even when they we not unpleasant to look at.

    Is it me or are these guys just missing some portion of their brain?

  23. 23
    maya says:

    Can’t they just toss salt-peter in all the DC water-coolers to halt this gonad warming?

  24. 24
    Emma says:

    This is shaping up as a Saturday Movie for the Syfy channel..

  25. 25
    👽 Martin says:

    The individual elements of this whole thing are so statistically unlikely, its really difficult to believe. The affair itself is believable enough, but the call to Kelley accusing her of having an affair with Patraeus from the woman that Patraeus is pretty odd. To then have her contact the FBI is pretty unusual, except that apparently she knew the FBI agent. And then that same agent (not sure here) to send the photos back to Kelley? And then we wouldn’t have known about the leak about the classified information if not for the FBI seizing Broadwell’s computer? What are the odds?

    This whole thing is bonkers as being told. Something is missing that would make this all more plausible.

  26. 26
    Schlemizel says:

    @PreservedKillick:

    And this is exactly why the wingnut should have held fire before defending this shitbag. I think a lot worse is yet to be seen.

  27. 27
    Citizen_X says:

    @Carnacki: Wrong. I BLAME OBAMA.

    Somebody had to say it.

  28. 28
    dmsilev says:

    @👽 Martin: You forgot to add the contact with Eric Cantor, who for reasons unknown sat on the story for (I think) a few weeks.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    So, what exactly is the protocol when someone turns to the FBI for emails they feel are indiscreet?

  30. 30
    Valdivia says:

    now her home is being raided by the FBI.
    what a crazy story!

  31. 31
    AA+ Bonds says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Christ, it is official, the inmates are running the asylum

    Today’s alphabet boys would do worse than neurosurgeons on the Hare checklist.

    If you’re not a psychopath, how do you possibly blank out the annoying little fact that you are conducting an investigation?

    That the very point of what you’re doing is to eventually successfully reveal everything you’ve done during the investigation to a superior, a judge and/or the public?

  32. 32
    Loneoak says:

    Jeez, that Kelley woman must have really been asking for it to get harassed so often. Does she have boobs or something?

    Good thing we’re all post-feminist now or else we would have to think about the relationship between male power, state power and sexual harassment.

  33. 33
    Valdivia says:

    @👽 Martin:

    agent was lusting after Kelley. One love triangle and one wanna be love triangle.

  34. 34

    @👽 Martin:
    The world is full of stories that are bonkers. Each individual one is incredibly unlikely, but together they’re downright normal.

    @Schlemizel:
    People do stupid things, and lust makes people drunk all by itself.

  35. 35
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Corner Stone: I think she was getting anonymous, threatening/warning emails. Had no idea who they were from, it seems. Freaked her out enough so she went to a friend at the FBI.

    That’s the best grasp I have so far of this gigantic wobbling pile of jello.

    I think the interesting part is that what finally happened is that someone took it all to Cantor, who confronted the White House with it. On election eve.

  36. 36
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Loneoak:

    I admit, the first thing I thought after reading this is: Kelley must be pretty hot.

  37. 37
    Alison says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    It’s like C-SPAN2 meets Jerry Springer

    Win.

  38. 38
    PopeRatzo says:

    What the hell social set does Petraeus run with? You got buffed up, pushup-doing aerobics-instructors chasing 60 year-old military men and next door neighbors sexting with FBI men investigating the military guy.

    Wait minute…this is starting to sound like one of the Coen Brothers’ screwball comedies. What was that one with Brad Pitt and Clooney? Burn After Reading, right? This sounds like that movie crossed with fatal attraction

    Even the name of the juiced up hottie, “Ms Broadwell” is something out of the Coen Bros. The next door neighbor can be played by Francis McDormand.

    This is what Obama gets for appointing a Republican as head of the CIA. I tell you, they’re nothing but trouble.

  39. 39
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @👽 Martin:

    This whole thing is bonkers as being told. Something is missing that would make this all more plausible

    It’s plausible to me. We’ve designed intelligence agencies that reward people who are bonkers (in a particular way) with jobs, promotions and praise. Look at your average FBI “terrorism” bust (convincing sad losers that they should buy fake Semtex from the agents who invent impossible plans for them to carry out), or your average DEA knockover of a grow operation (“pot is more potent than ever before!” shriek the headlines).

    Getting yourself into trouble is a surefire way to advance in that climate.

  40. 40
    👽 Martin says:

    I need people to stop sending unsolicited photos of their pecs and/or dicks to other people.

    You know, given the frequency of ads for penîs pills on tv, a guy might be excused believing he’s among the very few that can still get a bøner and that makes him exceptionally desirable.

    Just a possibility.

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @Carnacki:

    I’m not sure how the National Organization of Marriage will get there, but I am certain they are blaming gay marriage on the entire sordid affair.

    Bonus points if they can work ending DADT into the mix.

  42. 42
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @👽 Martin:

    The individual elements of this whole thing are so statistically unlikely, its really difficult to believe.

    Except that this is DC, where you have a significantly higher statistical chance of knowing the kind of people involved if you work in the political-military-media circle, and an only slightly smaller chance of fucking one of them this very minute.

  43. 43
    askew says:

    This just keeps getting weirder and weirder. I am just thankful that these aren’t shirtless pics of Petraeous.

    How many scandals does this make involving pecker or shirtless pics? 3

  44. 44
    efgoldman says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Is it me or are these guys just missing some portion of their brain?

    Its not missing, exactly. It just slipped a bit lower…

  45. 45
    PreservedKillick says:

    now her home is being raided by the FBI.

    Who her? Kelley?

    Can we get all these people in a room and just clear the air? On national TV?

    I’d pay good money to see Jon Stewart facilitate that.

  46. 46
    Tom Levenson says:

    It will get worse before it gets better. In fact, it won’t get better.

  47. 47
    Steeplejack says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Told ya.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    @dmsilev:

    There’s always ASCII art…

    For the love of God, do not click the link.

  49. 49
    Loneoak says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Yeah, well, the first thing you should have thought is ‘dudes should stop being such assholes and treat women with some basic human decency regardless of how they look. Especially dudes endowed by the state with the power to shot other people and ruin their lives legally.’

  50. 50
    Schlemizel says:

    @efgoldman:

    Yeah, the little brain instead of the big one

  51. 51
    Valdivia says:

    @PreservedKillick:

    No the lover/biographer.
    I read too that today she hired a top criminal attorney. I think all those classified docs got her into trouble.

  52. 52
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    “Now on BookTV, from Washington’s ‘Politics and Prose’, a roundtable entitled ‘No, You’re The Skank-Ass, And I Know People’. This segment lasts 50 minutes, and ends with chairs being thrown around the room.”

  53. 53
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    What the hell social set does Petraeus run with?

    Simply: powerful men, in a culture of gender-oriented angst and perpetual infancy. Sure, you’re rich, you’re influential, you’ve got a steady marriage with a loving friend and partner, the President of the United States repeatedly praises you on national television no matter what party he’s from – but what if you never get the chance to bang one of the chicks on Jersey Shore?

    What’s the point of living if you can’t behave like a drunk Toronto drifter who just signed a VJ contract with MuchMusic?

    As you note, this sucks in plenty of women as well.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Is it me or are these guys just missing some portion of their brain?

    It’s not that they’re missing a part of their brain, it’s that they are thinking with other parts of their anatomy.

  55. 55
    Anya says:

    Apparently, you can report to the FBI if someone sends you any email you preseve to be ‘threatening’. Since Ms Broadwell was not charged, how threatening can the emails that she allegedly sent to Ms. Kelley be?

    This story gets weirder and weirder. I wonder if we’ll ever know the truth?

  56. 56
    Valdivia says:

    and now we learn the original FBI agent was a wingnut convinced there was a cover up to benefit Obama. Oy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11.....gewanted=2

  57. 57
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:

    This whole thing is bonkers as being told. Something is missing that would make this all more plausible.

    Just remember: truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to be believable.

  58. 58
    👽 Martin says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The world is full of stories that are bonkers. Each individual one is incredibly unlikely, but together they’re downright normal.

    No, I understand the law of large numbers, but the head of the CIA is not part of that law – heads of federal agencies are not representative of the whole. I can buy that they would be subject to the same general ‘caught in a sex scandal’ thing, but you’re really trying to intersect two very small circles in the venn diagram – one which is ‘elaborately implausible sex scandal’ which will happen with some regularity if you include the entirety of the nation with one which is ‘heads of federal agencies’ which is incredibly small. That makes it well outside of ‘normal’.

  59. 59
    Steeplejack says:

    @PreservedKillick:

    I think Dr. Phil can clear his schedule.

  60. 60
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Valdivia: I knew it. See my comment above, and I hadn’t even seen this article yet. Bringing it to Cantor a week before the election (even worse than what I had thought I heard, Nov 5) was the dead giveaway.

    The whole Republosphere is salivating at the idea that this is some White House scandal about their imagined “gate” that no one else cares about, and in the end it will turn out to be their own attempt at dirty tricks driving it all, or at least why it came to the fore.

  61. 61
    Stacy says:

    Funny how almost everyone (so far) involved in this scandal is a Republican yet it is seen by many in the MSM as an “Obama scandal.”

  62. 62
    👽 Martin says:

    @Valdivia:

    and now we learn the original FBI agent was a wingnut convinced there was a cover up to benefit Obama. Oy.

    See, now things might make more sense. It explains how Cantor got hooked into this. I wonder if Kelley is also a wingnut and if the whole event got a bit embellished along the way.

    This starts to move from ‘implausible’ to ‘engineered’ – at least elements of it.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @PreservedKillick:

    I’d pay good money to see Jon Stewart facilitate that.

    Jerry Springer. I just want to see David Petraeus go after somebody with a chair.

  64. 64
    Schlemizel says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Oh, I get that OK. What I guess I am really asking is, “is there something wrong with me?” I have never ever thought this was a good idea, never wanted to do it even when I was wooing. But today it seems to be way more common then I ever imagined. I know this may sound like me trying to sound like a boy scout but really, guys. I don’t expect the guys here to raise their hands & say “ME!” but, off hand, if you all had to guess what percentage of guys do this sort of stuff?

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I don’t know the laws for entrapment, but the amount of times the FBI’s arrested people for an attempted act of terrorism that they couldn’t have carried out until the FBI gave them the means to… damn!

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anya:

    Apparently, you can report to the FBI if someone sends you any email you preseve to be ‘threatening’. Since Ms Broadwell was not charged, how threatening can the emails that she allegedly sent to Ms. Kelley be?

    That does seem odd. If someone goes to the FBI with items of dubious origin, and no charges are filed, can we then assume there isn’t an issue?

  67. 67
    KG says:

    @PreservedKillick: Put it on pay per view, charge $39.99 and we can probably balance he budget

  68. 68
    Valdivia says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    there are two versions out now: one by the FBI saying he is a wingnut and another saying he was just pissed because he had been punished and kept off the investigation (because he was hot for the Kelley woman). These two are not mutually exclusive though.

    Cantor then went to Mueller. Amazing though that he didn’t run to the media right away.

  69. 69
    dmsilev says:

    @Valdivia: From your link,

    By that time, the agent whom Ms. Kelley first told about the e-mails had become convinced — incorrectly, officials say — that the case had stalled. Because of his “worldview,” as one law enforcement official put it, he suspected a politically motivated cover-up to protect President Obama.

    Would it be inappropriate to request a purge of all right-wing bloggers from the FBI?

  70. 70
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Anya:

    Apparently, you can report to the FBI if someone sends you any email you preseve to be ‘threatening’.

    Well, no one in the alphabet-licking press will say it for fear of losing their precious, precious access to this fraternity of dangerous lunatics, but you’ll only get the FBI to pay attention to cyber-harassment if you’re as rich and connected as Jill Kelley (and I guess we now know the dubious perks of those connections).

    Everyone involved is a desperate Washington-cocktail-party type, so their communications are automatically considered important. Hell, if I were the FBI, I’d probably investigate any harassing emails from Broadwell on the assumption that someone had hijacked her account – because I’d also assume that no one that successful and that knowledgeable about security breaches could possibly act that fucking stupid.

    Then again, I’d never make it to the crack FBI cybersecurity squad nowadays, because I’m not the type of guy who’s so on the ball that he’d harass someone through email in the middle of an investigation of harassment through email.

  71. 71
    fuddmain says:

    This whole thing needs to be set to Yakety Sax from The Benny Hill Show.

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I wonder if Kelley is also a wingnut and if the whole event got a bit embellished along the way.

    They are all fucking wingnuts. God, look at their faces.

  73. 73
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @dmsilev:

    Would it be inappropriate to request a purge of all right-wing bloggers from the FBI?

    I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone left in that agency who isn’t angling, publicly or privately, to become a private “consultant” nursing at the paranoid teat of the GOP.

  74. 74
    Valdivia says:

    @👽 Martin:

    yes I totally didn’t get the Cantor thing.
    And btw, the lover is confirmed Republican. She fund-raised for them in Colorado per Houndshell twitter feed.

  75. 75
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Valdivia: Guy on CNN earlier was saying that he wasn’t actually kept off the investigation, he was never on it. Just brought it to their attention. Piers Morgan was spewing constant thirteenth-hand received wisdom and whoever this was was knocking them down like a tennis pro.

    So, who knows of course but Breitbartian in search of proof of pre-conceived scandal right before election sounds pretty plausible at this point.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    I sort of love that each new version of this story still includes Eric Cantor.

    “….Mrs. Kelley touched him provocatively under the table, something someone…..Eric Cantor”

  77. 77
    Valdivia says:

    @dmsilev:

    there are tons of wingnuts working in the Federal Govt. Cognitive dissonance how does it fucking work?

    ETA: @kay: you win the internets!

  78. 78
    Jay C says:

    @kc:

    Amen. People, for the love of Jesus, don’t do this. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR DICK. Trust me.

    Why do you hate Freedom Of The Internet??

  79. 79
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Why Dave Reichert, though? His office isn’t saying, but the closest committee assignment he has to the CIA/FBI is Oversight. He’s not especially wingnutty (for his caucus) either.

  80. 80
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Anya: Daily Beast has an article about them.

    The messages were instead what the source terms “kind of cat-fight stuff.”

    “More like, ‘Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch,’” according to the source, who was until recently at the highest levels of the intelligence community and prefers not to be identified by name.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....ealed.html

    I can see her being alarmed by that, particularly since they were, to her, anonymous.

  81. 81
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @kay:

    Yeah, I now imagine Eric Cantor as a Mr. Magoo type who keeps stumbling into Washington offices where people are fucking on their desks, so he can rearrange the knick-knacks on the bookshelves and then step out the window into an open-bed truck full of pillows

  82. 82
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Valdivia: Man this is twisted stuff. It sounds like the wingnuts wanted to taint Obama, but instead they took down their war hero. Fools.

  83. 83
    Roger Moore says:

    @Schlemizel:
    I think the big point you’re missing is the ease of doing stupid stuff with a cell phone. When you were wooing, if you had the momentary bad idea of sending a beefcake shot of yourself to your paramour, it would have required enough steps that you probably would have sobered up and thought better of it before getting very far along in the plan. With a cell phone, you can have the picture underway before you’ve had a chance to have second thoughts. And because of that, it happens often enough that people don’t make as big a deal of it as you probably expect, which reduces people’s inhibitions and makes a vicious circle.

  84. 84
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    “More like, ‘Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch,’” according to the source, who was until recently at the highest levels of the intelligence community and prefers not to be identified by name.

    Ha! Davey Petraeus, is that you?

  85. 85
    ChrisNYC says:

    @AA+ Bonds: I know, right. Unbelievable.

  86. 86
    Valdivia says:

    @Anya:

    I think this gets a bit to why they got concerned

    http://openchannel.nbcnews.com.....cerns?lite

    @PsiFighter37: hubris gets them everytime.

  87. 87
    👽 Martin says:

    @Valdivia: This sounds more like a takedown then, one that was supposed to be an October surprise but nobody would break the story – not even Cantor.

  88. 88
    Valdivia says:

    @👽 Martin:

    it could be. Or it could just be one crazy jealous woman, and one horny fbi guy in a comedy of errors that brought the David King of the Army down. Amazing either way.

  89. 89
    dmsilev says:

    @kay: I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that there aren’t too many people interested in provocatively touching Eric Cantor under the table.

    Unless you count lobbyists as people.

  90. 90
    Steeplejack says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Two things:

    1. The ubiquity of cell-phone cameras. You’re probably of an age that when you went “wooing” you would have had to photograph your junk, take the roll of film to the store and then wait a week to get prints back.

    2. The Internet is a self-perpetuating system. People, especially young(er) people, think that just because something is on the Internet it is automatically widespread and “normal.” So they do it too, thus making it more normal.

    Let me conclude with the obligatory “Get off my lawn!” or “I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time.” Your choice.

  91. 91
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Wow. I think if anyone wants to really scare someone he should just send a photo of Washington DC. That is one nutty hospital.

  92. 92
    👽 Martin says:

    @Valdivia: Nah. One is a fundraiser for the GOP. They pretty much are always trying to make a name for themselves, and this is a big way to do that. It’s also the only explanation for how Cantor got roped into this. Intent fills in a lot of the statistical gaps here.

  93. 93
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Hey, I think you’re right about impulse control – but so far, all of the people identified as actually sending this damning data around? They’re the people whose job it is to know this is how people get caught – poor impulse control combined with information technology.

    They are the people in charge of knowing that and exploiting it, at the highest levels of the biggest agencies in charge of knowing that stuff and exploiting it, or who hang out with those people all the time and deliver lectures on the topic.

    Kelley, on the other hand – the Tampa fundraiser – so far appears to be the one who kept her trail clean, by never creating one in the first place.

    All we need is a dungeon picture of some NSA data-cruncher in a leash and collar and we’ll have gone all the way round the table of People Who, Of All People, Should Know Better.

  94. 94
    Chris says:

    @dmsilev:

    Would it be inappropriate to request a purge of all right-wing bloggers from the FBI?

    There are times when I seriously wish we could purge all right-wingers from government agencies. It occurs to me pretty much every time I talk or hear/read one of my undergrad acquaintances, who, to borrow from the world’s greatest detective, invariably “twists facts to suit theories rather than theories to suit facts,” and is now a DOD employee – especially when I know that the wingnut circuit encourages people like that, especially in the defense industry, to be nurtured and protected.

    No, I don’t ACTUALLY think we should do that. Calm down, people. It’s just me voicing my frustrations out loud.

  95. 95
    clayton says:

    fiscal cliff!!!!!

    oh, no one cares.

    carry on.

  96. 96
    sharl says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: I haven’t seen anything definitive on why Congressman Dave Reichert was first contacted by eventually-shirtless FBI dude, but someone here speculated that Reichert’s former life as a law enforcement guy earned him instant cred with shirtless FBI dood. Truth will presumably come out eventually, but this seems plausible to me.

  97. 97
    Valdivia says:

    @👽 Martin:

    given who these people seem to be I have to agree. Just contemplating that sometimes passion leads to strange places…

    ok people I am crashing. hope y’all update me with the insanity tomorrow.

  98. 98
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @AA+ Bonds: #facepalm

  99. 99
    clayton says:

    @Corner Stone: you mean seemingly threatening, no?

  100. 100
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:

    There are times when I seriously wish we could purge all right-wingers from government agencies.

    Wait, are you talking about a wimpy “fire these guys” purge or a full on Stalinist purge? Because there are times I can see the attraction of the Stalinist approach.

    ETA: Though I denounce Stalin and the broccoli mandate.

  101. 101
    kay says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Someone’s father said “there is more here than meets the eye”

    I’m just going to say Eric Cantor’s father said that, because I can’t tell who the father belongs to, or really why he’s in this at all.

  102. 102
    clayton says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    This is what Obama gets for appointing a Republican as head of the CIA. I tell you, they’re nothing but trouble.

    Exactly.

  103. 103
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Though I denounce Stalin and the broccoli mandate.

    I can no more denounce broccoli than I can my own grandmother.

  104. 104
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @PreservedKillick:

    I’d pay good money to see Jon Stewart facilitate that.

    You’re kidding, right?

    Jon Stewart is good buds with Ms. Broad-Well. Probably schtupping her too.

    Anyone who thinks Stewart is some kind of Beltway outsider is kidding themselves. For god’s sake the man was schmoozing up a storm with Killer Condi Rice herself, on to flog a book or soemthing.

  105. 105
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Nude pictures deleted.

  106. 106
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I can no more denounce broccoli than I can my own grandmother.

    I wasn’t denouncing broccoli, which is rather tasty, just the broccoli mandate. And Stalin, also, too. Just in case anyone was worried.

  107. 107
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I was rooting for the wimpy approach.

    I still think it’s the best approach, but on the other hand, Stalin had a very credible mustache, so I might be convinced by appeals to his name.

  108. 108
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @kay:

    I do think it’s interesting that I’m usually the one pushing the angle of a deeper Republican strategy on here, while the people who are assuming some sort of deeper meaning to these events are usually the ones piling on.

    To me, that this is nothing but a crazed, unplanned debacle of ill behavior is completely believable. Karl Rove’s business works among the Washington set because they don’t grasp or want to grasp the world outside their petty social set and self-perceived godhood.

    Turning this into a political football was like most Republican strategies: self-absorbed and completely dependent on the press behaving like the people they supposedly investigate but not-so-secretly worship. Often enough, that’s a safe assumption for a ratfucker to make.

    There’s always someone with a surefire plan to turn themselves into the next hot commodity in political consulting. It just sometimes doesn’t work.

  109. 109
    sharl says:

    @ChrisNYC: A quote from your Daily Beast link (with appropriate enhancements)…

    Cinemax After Dark presents, Sex Groupies of the CIA

    {fade in Bow-Chicka-Bow-Wow guitar}

    Broadwell may be able to run a six-minute mile with Petraeus, but Kelley looks like a woman who lets the guys do all the running — and in her direction.

    …that’s tonight, on Cinemax.

    {fade out Bow-Chicka-Bow-Wow guitar}

  110. 110
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:
    Say what you will about the tenets of Stalinism, at least it’s an ethos!

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roger Moore: Yeah. But what about your grandma? HUH?! What about her, eh?!

  112. 112
    Anya says:

    @ChrisNYC: Thanks for the link. Still doesn’t make sense. Someone should investigate why did the FBI waist so much resources investigating something that was not a crime.

  113. 113
    piratedan says:

    @Corner Stone: #29 well first, you send them a pic of your private parts, to establish your bonafides…..

  114. 114
    Mayken says:

    @Loneoak: Yes! This!

  115. 115

    @AA+ Bonds:
    If it helps, I’m usually in the ‘The GOP aren’t smart and organized enough to have a long game anymore’ camp, and I think this is just human stupidity coming together in a particularly messy tangle.

  116. 116

    The inevitable porn parody is going to be awesome.

  117. 117
    Donald G says:

    Somewhere Matt Drudge is kicking himself that his game-changing October Surprise sex-scandal only involved New Jersey’s Bob Menendez and the word of two Dominican prostitutes.

  118. 118
    sharl says:

    Aaaaand, there is one of Bernard’s least favorite journalists, Tom Ricks, spinning-spinning-spinning on behalf of Petraeus on this evening’s local rebroadcast of Warren Olney’s To The Point, before going on to pimp his book on poorly functioning Generals.

  119. 119
    lacp says:

    You libtards didn’t say shit when all those pics of Vlad flexing his pecs came out, and now your shit is all twisted ’cause a God-fearing Merkin – a Federal agent, no less – sends an innocent photo celebrating his manliness to some slutty slut. Fie – epoxy on your houses.

  120. 120
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    I find the description here odd.

    Who is the shirtless agent? The investigator or the frien of Kelley? And which one called Cantor? Or was it all of them? If its just the friend of Kelley who is sending pics? How is that a crime unless he’s using his government cell phone….

  121. 121
    Citizen_X says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Porn parody? Try documentary.

  122. 122
    Roger Moore says:

    @Anya:
    The FBI is saying that some of the emails contained information about the travel of VIPs that wasn’t publicly available, and spreading that actually would be illegal. And it sounds as if one particular FBI agent took the mission extra seriously because he was trying to impress somebody.

  123. 123
    Citizen_X says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Porn parody? Try porn documentary.

    ETA: Oh, pooh. Sorry for the double post.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    To me, that this is nothing but a crazed, unplanned debacle of ill behavior is completely believable.

    Much as I hate agreeing with you, I think I do, especially when I remember the even more bonkers story of the murderous astronaut in the (alleged) adult diaper.

    People are strange when it comes to sex and romance. Very, very strange.

  125. 125
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anya:

    As Roger Moore said, the anonymous e-mails included specific information about the social lives of US generals, which naturally freaked out the FBI since we are technically at war and there are several countries (Iran? Syria? Israel?) that would love to take out a general or two.

  126. 126
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Ah, yes, the astronut. I think the key thing to understand is that people don’t like thinking about this stuff because it shows just how thin a veneer our rationality is. When a bunch of poor, lower class people air their dirty laundry on Springer, it makes us feel superior because our lives aren’t that messy. When a bunch of high functioning elites do the same kind of stuff, it’s scary because it shows that even nominally smart people who are supposed to be sharp enough to run the country can turn into the same kind of dunderheads when their hormones start acting up.

  127. 127
    Felonius Monk says:

    Romney’s a dick — and his picture was everywhere.

  128. 128
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I can’t even take a picture of my dick because my camera doesn’t do macro.

  129. 129
    Ed Drone says:

    Has it occurred to anyone that MoveOn.org was right? Remember the “Petraeus –> Betray Us” kerfuffle?

    What should be the theme song for the Cinemax mini-series?

    Ed

  130. 130
    danielx says:

    Well, it turns out that the federal agent who launched the Petraeus investigation is now under investigation himself for sending shirtless photos to the woman who received harassing emails from Petraeus’s side-boo, Paula Broadwell:

    What the fuck is the matter with these people?

  131. 131
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    After stating that she and her husband, Scott, a surgeon, “have been friends with Mr Petraeus and his family for over five years”, Mrs Kelley requested privacy and briefly fled their $1.2 million (£756,000) mansion after being besieged by media during a birthday party for one of her daughters

    .

    Who respect her request for privacy by publishing the unrelated fact of the value of her house in the papers. But then maybe she’s trying to sell the thing and they think they are doing her a favor.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this crisis of some sort.

  132. 132
    El Cid says:

    Boy, this sure has all the signs of a sophisticated, well-planned Obama conspiracy to hide all those incriminating details about “Benghazi,” because otherwise it looks totally crazy and the result of raging egos and hormones, and it surely can’t be that ordinary, because how does that help the GOP?

  133. 133
    fuckwit says:

    Is anyone not involved in this a hugely egotistical douchebag?

    Petraeus: egotistical douchebag.
    Broadwell: egotistical douchebag.
    Kelley: egotistical douchebag,claming she was an “ambassador”… she’s a volunteer.
    FBI Agent: egotistical douchebag, hitting on married woman who he’s investigating.
    Feinstein: longstanding egotistical douchebag (whining about not being “in the loop”, fuck you DiFi)
    Cantor: longstanding egotistical douchebag (and seems to have been one of the LEAST douchebaggy in this particular drama, what’s that say about everyone else?)

    It’s like a tidal wave of sleaze, flooding everyone within reach of it.

  134. 134
    Felonius Monk says:

    Isn’t the advance of technology wonderful? Only yesterday people were sitting on Xerox machines making photocopies of their bare asses to send to a few friends and acquaintances. Now, you can use your smart phone to take a picture of your dumb dick and have it instantly show up on thousands of other phones.

    Mankind marches forward in a never ending quest to prove to God that He should not have left his poker game to create Adam and Eve.

  135. 135
    El Cid says:

    @fuckwit: And all of them wrapped together times a thousand couldn’t even begin to equal the egotism contained within Newt Gingrich.

  136. 136
    Sammi says:

    I don’t understand why the mistress thinks she has standing to send “Stay away” emails to another woman. You on shaky grounds yourself.

  137. 137
    Sammi says:

    I don’t understand why the mistress thinks she has standing to send “Stay away” emails to another woman. You on shaky grounds yourself.

  138. 138
    tjmn says:

    @Corner Stone: #29 well first, you send them a pic of your private parts, to establish your bonafides…..

    What in the world ever happened to CVs?

  139. 139
    fuckwit says:

    @Roger Moore: We are just apes with very dextrous thumbs.

    Remember Shrub started a war and invaded a country because its leader tried to kill his dad. Ruminate on that for a minute.

  140. 140
    nellcote says:

    from the WSJ link:

    “Some critics pointed to Ms. Broadwell’s remarks in Denver as an indication that she may have been passing on classified information, leading to speculation that Mr. Petraeus may have been the source. Based on descriptions by U.S. officials, the romantic relationship had ended by then.

    In addition, the source of her comment may not have been intelligence information, but news reports. Earlier in her address, she cited findings of a report that day by Fox News. Immediately after, she mentioned the possibility that the CIA had held militants at the site, which the Fox report also mentioned.”

    So it wasn’t classified info, just a Fox new report. I guess that’s ok then.

  141. 141
    TooManyJens says:

    @nellcote: Passing on Fox News reports is also a pretty serious error in judgment.

  142. 142
    johnny aquitard says:

    Oh, and according to the ap story, the Kelley woman has an identical twin sister. It just figures there’d be the ol’ identical twin bit tossed in all of this, dont it?

    And what the fuck is an “unpaid social liason”?

    This is an Onion article, tell me it is…

  143. 143
    Linnaeus says:

    Fuck. How do these people get hired for government jobs, but I don’t? I really need to read Chris Hayes’ Twilight of the Elites.

  144. 144
    Jim Faith says:

    @Roger Moore:

    An old Robin Williams line – “God gave man two heads but only enough blood to work one of ’em at a time.”

  145. 145

    @dmsilev: Lobbyists are people, my friend.

  146. 146
    Yutsano says:

    @Linnaeus: Hell half the time I’m amazed they hired me. Granted I turned out to be very GOOD at it, but it still shocks me to this day.

  147. 147
    Roger Moore says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Passing on Fox News reports is also a pretty serious error in judgment.

    No, believing Fox News reports is an error of judgment. Passing them on in the hopes others will believe them is just being a giant douche.

  148. 148
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    Is it just me or is there nothing really tawdry about this story at all?

    ETA: now that Elmo thing might have legs. Especially if Linda and Gordon knew and wouldn’t tell officer Stan.

  149. 149
    Chris says:

    @Linnaeus:

    How do these people get hired for government jobs, but I don’t?

    I been asking that for a while myself!

  150. 150
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Chris: What kind of test would weed them out?

  151. 151
    CW in LA says:

    @askew:

    This just keeps getting weirder and weirder. I am just thankful that these aren’t shirtless pics of Petraeous.

    That we know of…

  152. 152
    El Cid says:

    Is this an episode of Three’s Company?

  153. 153
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @CW in LA: Maybe he goes to Paul Ryan’s gym? The one with the blue backdrop and spotlights.

  154. 154
    Anoniminous says:

    Thread is too sane.

    Needs moar <a href="http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/.....;>crazy:

    A Mesa woman was arrested Saturday after she allegedly chased her husband around a Gilbert parking lot in an SUV during an argument over the presidential election.

    According to a Gilbert police report, the argument started over her husband’s lack of voter participation in the recent election.

    Holly Solomon, 28, apparently believed her family was going to face hardship as a result of President Barack Obama’s re-election.

    ETA: sigh After trying several different ways to get the blockquote right … I give up.

    P.S. FYWP

  155. 155
    johnny aquitard says:

    I heard the investigator investigating the investigator investigating teh Petraeus scandal is now under investigation.

    Ok, I can’t back that up, but you could see it happening.

  156. 156
    El Cid says:

    This house is surrounded! I’m afraid I must not ask anyone to leave the room. No, I must ask nobody … no, I must ask everybody to… I must not ask anyone to leave the room. No one must be asked by me to leave the room. No, no one must ask the room to leave. I … I … ask the room shall by someone be left. Not. Ask nobody the room somebody leave shall I. Shall I leave the room? Everyone must leave the room… as it is… with them in it. Phew. Understand?”

  157. 157
    wetcasements says:

    This is good news for John McCain.

  158. 158
    GregB says:

    Has Mark Foley’s name popped up yet? It is Florida.

  159. 159
    Angela says:

    I just saw an AP tweet that the Pentagon is investigating the top commander in Afghanistan for emails to woman in Petraus scandal. Is Paula Broadwell a spy? This just gets weirder and weirder.

  160. 160
    sharl says:

    Josh Marshall at TPM: “Petraeus Apparently Most Mentally Balanced Individual in His Own Scandal” (link)
    Final paragraph:

    So basically this entire scandal both at the outset and in the denouement was driven by Freakshow FBI Agent X who both wanted to bed the victim of the alleged harassment and also decided that the FBI was covering up it’s investigation of the Tampa socialite to protect President Obama. And this because of his “worldview”. Please let us meet this awesome example of American law enforcement.

  161. 161

    There’s even moar. Jill Kelley and General Allen have an email correspondence that numbers in the 20-30k emails.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    Who’s going to do the infographic to keep track of all of this?

  162. 162
    Djur says:

    Is there a reason we’re assuming the shirtless pictures were unsolicited?

    Also, it is an invalid assumption that no woman wants to look at a shot of a guy’s cock. Unsolicited dick pics, sure, dumb and gross. Otherwise, you all are sounding like enormous prudes.

  163. 163
    LurkyLoo2 says:

    What a cluster f**k this has become. I keep expecting someone to yell cut and the lights fade to black.

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Djur:

    I think it came up the other day but, generally speaking, women are not as interested in visuals as men are. (Note: I am saying this as a woman, having been one my whole life.) That may be changing since we are becoming an even more visual culture than before, but right now it still seems to be the case that most women would rather read about dicks than look at pictures of them.

    (Which explains the popularity of the deeply stupid 50 Shades of Grey in more ways than one, but I digress.)

  165. 165
    Calouste says:

    @Schlemizel: I was on a dating site earlier in the year, and quite a few of the ladies I met through there commented on guys posting shirtless pictures on their online profile, always in the negative. It’s not not normal, but it happens a lot.

  166. 166
    Tim I says:

    It now looks like Broadwell might have been right to suspect Jill Kelley of hanky-panky with General Petraeus, as evidence seems to be mounting that Ms. Kelley may have had an “inappropriate” relationship with Petraeus successor as commander of ISAF.

    THe FBI agent who leaked this stuff to Eric Cantor’s office last October seems to also have fallen under the spell of Ms. Kelley, sending her toless pictures of himself to her before any of this nonsense erupted into a national morality play.

    WTF is going on down there in Tampa? My girlfriend did med school at USF, and I’m beginning to worry about what she was up to besides dissecting corpses and pulling 30 hour shifts at the hospital.

    I demand a Congressional investigation into Cantor’s relationships, if any, with members of the opposite sex.

  167. 167
    Narcissus says:

    Man, I need like a flowchart and some diagrams to figure out who did what when here.

  168. 168
    Narcissus says:

    Also I may be way late to the conversation but I have sent people of both sexes pictures of my junk and they enjoyed it. I know this because they were also sending me pictures of their junk.

    Things sort of escalated from there.

    It must be generational.

  169. 169
    fuckwit says:

    I think this will be known as the Great WTF of 2012.

    Perhaps this is what the Mayans were warning of?

  170. 170

    @Narcissus:

    It must be generational

    Not necessarily, but pretty much.

  171. 171
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    It has not been mentioned sufficiently many times that Paula Broadwell recommends the Celestine Prophecies as part of her leadership advice.

    People have compared the saga to “Burn After Reading #2”. I would probably be more enthusiastic about the comparison if I had thought of it first, but since I didn’t, let’s say that it’s entering into “The Men Who Stare at Goatse” territory.

  172. 172
    PreservedKillick says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de:

    “The Men Who Stare at Goatse”

    This is so excellent.

    I had to catch some sleep. So now we find that the Kelley woman, an unpaid “ambassador” (really? seriously? this didn’t set off alarm bells…somewhere?) has exchanged thousands of emails with at least one other general (perfectly platonic, don’t you think?) and has an identical twin. Well, we knew this had to be. Her twin represents whistleblowers, no less. And claims to do so successfully.

    We’re still in Act I. The players are still being introduced. Paula Broadwell still hasn’t said her lines, I assume.

    There is a really fascinating sub-plot here: drastic cuts to the military are on the table right now. They are not helping their case, no they are not.

    Meanwhile, I am thinking the afghans are maybe going to request fewer generals and more unpaid social ambassadors. And some identical twins.

  173. 173
    PreservedKillick says:

    “Gen. Allen disputes that he has engaged in any wrongdoing in this matter,”

    Once you get done laughing at that, just imagine that this guy had the time to send 20-30K emails to another man’s wife.

  174. 174
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Susan K of the tech support:

    Who’s going to do the infographic to keep track of all of this?</

    @Narcissus:

    Man, I need like a flowchart and some diagrams to figure out who did what when here.

    This is a job for Randall Munroe.

  175. 175
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: @SiubhanDuinne:

    FYWP. Yes, and your little blockquote too.

  176. 176
    IowaOldLady says:

    I go to bed already stunned at the confusing stupid, and I come back this morning to find another general was also involved. This is a plot to make us all dumber.

  177. 177
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Linnaeus: I just finished Hayes’s book, and he says that the one institution that American’s still more or less trust is the military.

    So much for that.

  178. 178
    jon says:

    @kc: I’ve had requests. Not many, but I have had requests. The key word here is “unsolicited”. It’s certainly no way to start a conversation, but it can keep one going.

  179. 179
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    Courtesy Nameanagram:

    David Howell Petraeus = Sleep with dead valour = Hallowed, eruptive, sad.

  180. 180
    jon says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:

    Who respect her request for privacy by publishing the unrelated fact of the value of her house in the papers. But then maybe she’s trying to sell the thing and they think they are doing her a favor.

    The value of property is important in these sorts of stories: sex scandals with spurned wives and big money fundraisers wouldn’t be as interesting if the players weren’t all rich and operating within the same circles. Without shared wealth, there’d be a woman trying to raise her status and Joe Scarborough couldn’t call it consensual and all a big nothingburger! Mika wouldn’t have anything to frown about! But since it’s just an episode of Dynasty, everything’s fine until Falcon Crest finally comes out of hiatus.

    And the woman and her surgeon husband probably will want to sell soon. Not everyone uses zillow.com, after all, so they probably do hope the price in newspapers will go up considerably.

  181. 181
    danielx says:

    Twenty to thirty thousand emails exchanged between two people? That’s not communication, that’s obsession. And my tax dollars are paying this guy’s salary?

  182. 182
    jon says:

    @danielx: That’s the problem right there: not separating work and play. The usual excuse for government–that they are always “on the clock”–doesn’t apply here. 20,000 emails doesn’t divide into something that comes out to an acceptable number no matter how many days or work hours it’s divided by.

    A CIA head is supposed to find secrets, not make them.

  183. 183
    sherparick says:

    @👽 Martin: I send you to Atrios, who realizes that for our fellow countrymen the Petraeus affair is all the result of a deep, dark, devious plot of the Kenyan Usurper playing 10-dimensional chess with right wing loons. “Benghazi!!!! Freedom!!!! Time to start up the impeachment hearings!!!”

    “What’s It All About Then”
    Looks like we’re on a one way flight to Mena, via Dan Burton’s watermelon patch.

    “But the agent, who was not identified, continued to “nose around” about the case, and eventually his superiors “told him to stay the hell away from it, and he was not invited to briefings,” the official said. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Monday night that the agent had been barred from the case.

    Later, the agent became convinced — incorrectly, the official said — that the case had stalled. Because of his “worldview,” as the official put it, he suspected a politically motivated cover-up to protect President Obama. The agent alerted Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who called the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, on Oct. 31 to tell him of the agent’s concerns.”

    And the casualty is A Man Called Petraeus.

    The 90s were so much fun, kids. Time to relive them!

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/20.....-then.html

  184. 184
    sherparick says:

    @PreservedKillick: I would like to put up a caution about this in that there is such a thing called “friendship” and a man and a woman can be friends without the sex. Four of my best friends, other than my wife, for the last twenty are women. Of course they are also friends of my wife, which is one way to make sure the sex is not part of the package.

    I do wonder about all that time spent e-mailing.

  185. 185
    thalarctos says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    Even the name of the juiced up hottie, “Ms Broadwell” is something out of the Coen Bros.

    More like Ian Fleming, I’d say. Almost as good as “Pussy Galore”.

  186. 186
    Tone In DC says:

    @thalarctos:

    Or Plenty O’Toole.

Comments are closed.