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Moral of Petraeus' American Nights: Eliminate Every Sensitive E-Mail (The Daily Jang, Pakistan)


"If there is any moral to be derived from the Petraeus-Broadwell affair, it is: woe betide those who fail to delete embarrassing or sensitive e-mails, because they will come back to bite you where and when it hurts the most."




November 15, 2012


Pakistan - The Daily Jang - Original Article (English)

Jill Kelly, one of the central figures in the Petraeus Affair, is said to have exchanged thousands of e-mails - many of the suggestive - with another of America's top military commanders, General John Allen.

BBC NEWS VIDEO: Lieutenant General Sir Graeme Lamb, General Petraeus' British deputy during the Iraq War, tells BBC Newsnight that the general's actions have been 'inappropriate, unworthy and disappointing', Nov. 14, 00:04:16RealVideo

With the omnishambles that is the Petraeus affair continuing to dominate the headlines, it seems that the United States is less outraged by war than marital infidelity. Now it has overtaken the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, who is under investigation by the Defense Department. There are questions about his allegedly voluminous communications with Jill Kelly, the woman who sparked the entire affair. It was Kelly who called in the FBI after receiving anonymous threatening e-mails that were traced back to Paula Broadwell, which in turn revealed that Petraeus and Broadwell were involved in an extramarital affair. And the rest, as goes the saying, is history.


So far, General Allen - who has been nominated by President Obama to become head of U.S. forces in Europe - has not been accused of having an extra-marital relationship. But one does wonder how much time he could have been spending on his day-job, while generating 20,000-30,000 documents, including e-mails, between himself and Ms Kelly. And all this beginning in 2010 and ending with the current probe.


There may or may not be security implications to the Petraeus-Broadwell affair, and there is no clarity surrounding the Allen-Kelly documents beyond a vague reference to some being "flirtatious." General Allen is said to enjoy the continued support of President Obama but his appointment as commander in Europe has been put on ice pending the outcome of the investigation.

Posted by Worldmeets.US



The reason this all matters is that it is preventing the Obama Administration from dealing with the hiatus between winning the election and Obama's second swearing in next year. Obama was quite literally blindsided by the allegations about both men, despite the fact that the investigation into Petraeus goes back many months.


It appears that no one had thought to tell the president that the CIA director, one of his most trusted members of the Obama team, had violated military law by having an adulterous affair. Who knew what and when - and who they did or didn't tell - will be the subject of conjecture far into the future. But in the here and now, the "scandals" are complicating Obama's cabinet reshuffle.


This has particular relevance for us, as Hillary Clinton is to be replaced as secretary of state. John Kerry was earlier touted as her successor, but he may now get the defense secretary post and Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, seems likely to fill the post at the State Department.


If there is any moral to be derived from this, it is: woe betide those who fail to delete embarrassing or sensitive e-mails, because they will come back to bite you where and when it hurts the most.


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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Nov. 15, 5:32pm]