Video: Say, why would the FBI be investigating a CIA director, anyway?

posted at 11:31 am on November 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Piers Morgan asked a pretty good question of former CIA agent Robert Baer on his show last night, and Baer is just as perplexed as Morgan.  David Petraeus suddenly resigned yesterday after the FBI discovered an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, but does the FBI routinely investigate the director of the CIA?  Baer tells Morgan, “There is something going on here,” apart from the sexual peccadilloes. Or could it be as simple as the old adage that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”?

Baer tells Morgan that an affair with a biographer hardly represented a security risk.  At least “four or five” DCIAs in Baer’s time had sexual affairs that never warranted an internal security investigation, let alone an outside FBI probe.  Perhaps the issue of Broadwell attempting to access Petraeus’ e-mail could have touched something off, but shouldn’t that have been handled by internal CIA security?  This was, after all, Petraeus’ G-mail account, not a secure agency account.  And even if it was a secure agency account, wouldn’t that prompt an internal investigation rather than an FBI probe?

As Allahpundit noted in the Green Room as a teaser to this post, ABC’s Martha Raddatz says that the probe started outside the CIA, thanks to … a “fatal attraction” problem?

That prompted one of Raddatz’ followers to question Broadwell’s intellect:

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true — people do some pretty dumb things, even intelligent people, when caught up in affairs — but it sounds rather odd.  However, not entirely odd, as Fox hears the same thing:

The FBI investigation that led to the discovery of CIA Director David Petraeus’ extramarital affair and his resignation Friday started when the agency began monitoring Petraeus’ email, Fox News has learned.

The agency was alerted that biographer Paula Broadwell, with whom Petraeus had the affair, may have had access to his personal email account.

The investigation began when someone reported suspicious emails allegedly from Broadwell to the FBI. The agency then determined that she allegedly had emailed a number of government employees. The FBI was at one point trying to determine whether any of the employees were being stalked, sources told Fox News. …

Source said the FBI investigation ended when the agency determined no criminal acts had been committed.

Marc Ambinder then answered the first question:

https://twitter.com/marcambinder/status/267292498513256448

https://twitter.com/marcambinder/status/267293341044068353

That does make sense.  The CIA can’t investigate domestic crimes outside of the agency; that requires the FBI.  One has to think that the FBI, which has a long rivalry with the CIA, had to find the situation somewhat amusing in the end.

On the other hand … who was stalking whom, here (emphasis mine)?

However, an FBI source says the investigation began when American intelligence mistook an email Petraeus had sent to his girlfriend as a reference to corruption. Petraeus was commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan from July 4, 2010 until July 18, 2011.

The investigation began last spring, but the FBI then pored over his emails when he was stationed in Afghanistan.

The woman who was having an affair with Petraeus is a journalist who had been writing about him.

Given his top secret clearance and the fact that Petraeus is married, the FBI continued to investigate and intercept Petraeus’ email exchanges with the woman. The emails include sexually explicit references to such items as sex under a desk.

Such a relationship is a breach of top secret security requirements and could have compromised Petraeus.

At some point after Petraeus was sworn in as CIA director on Sept. 6, 2011, the woman broke up with him. However, Petraeus continued to pursue her, sending her thousands of emails over the last several months, raising even more questions about his judgment.

Still, Paul Mirengoff has an even better point:

If so, then it seems that the affair started before Petraeus became the director of the CIA. The background check on Petraeus when he was being considered for the CIA job must have been incredibly thorough. And, since an affair with an embedded reporter would probably have been difficult to keep fully secret, even an ordinary investigation might well have uncovered word of it.

Thus, it may be that the White House knew of the General’s affair before he became the DCIA.

I find it very difficult to believe that the kind of background check necessary for becoming DCIA would have failed to uncover the affair.  If the CIA didn’t learn of the affair in the first place, especially since it appears that Broadwell is hardly the model of discretion, doesn’t that call into question their ability to gather intel even in a fairly target-rich environment?  Or if they did, why would the FBI’s discovery of it require a resignation now, rather than a disqualification then?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

TarheelBen on November 10, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Ah, everywhere you look, the New York Times is involved.

clnurnberg on November 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Yeah, but he has no credibility now, whether he testifies or not, and the sick media will make sure that every single juicy detail will be out there to distract the unthinking masses, that will make him appear even more like a weak fool. He’ll go quietly i to the night, they framed him well. The sad part being that we will never get to the bottom of Benghazi, more obfuscation…and the SCOAMF is playing golf…Nero is jealous :)

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 5:02 PM

So you think Barry’s going to get away with this . . . like everything else?

TarheelBen on November 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

He’s married to Melissa MAerz of Mediaite/ Rolling stone, etc. This is lefty all the way.

clnurnberg on November 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Funny though that the NYT “ethics” column would be part of this mess. I wonder who wrote the letter? One of the Broadwells? I doubt if Dr. Broadwell is that dumb. How about someone else? Someone who wanted to leak the information in a memorable way. SOmeone who works for the NYT? I doubt if Klosterman started the charade, this is CIA not sports, but he is probably “ethical” enough to help some obot work this info into the magazine section. Probably got a good laugh, felt important.

clnurnberg on November 10, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Exactly and that’s why I was so caught in the content of the letter and trying to figure the guy’s motives (his whole argument seemed entirely absurd for a person who was really suffering) and I missed the larger picture of klosterman’s highly ‘ethical’ advice :)… there’s no way in heck that an educated person, a doctor, as emotionally tormented as he might be – would pen that sophomoric, stretch-all-imagination letter. And then let’s get serious, who the heck writes letters to those Dr Ruth kind of sections jn NYT, or other newspaper outfits, other than some silly girls with their head full of ideals from romantic novels or Hollywood bullc**p and/or some lonely, most likely desperate people without any network of friends, relatives, etc…

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Heh, Bill didn’t know about this when he wrote this crap.

Schadenfreude on November 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Ah, everywhere you look, the New York Times is involved.

clnurnberg on November 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Ah, the coincidences :)… They’re always the first to get the leaks on every single national and intl security matter, on every single scandal involving the potentates du jour (if they are R, if they are D, they are the first to bury it :) yep, I am a firm believer in coincidences lol :)…

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Video: Say, why would the FBI be investigating a CIA director, anyway?

It may not be all that strange. Anyone holding a secret or better security clearance gets a background check initially and periodically. The FBI does those background checks.

tom on November 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Official tells me sevrl people who knew Petraeus got anonymous harassing emails. So investigation started. Emails then traced to Broadwell.

— Martha Raddatz (@MarthaRaddatz) November 10, 2012

The E-mails may have been sent from her account but are we certain they were sent by her, rather than someone who wanted an excuse to ‘investigate’ Petraeus?

This is getting stranger by the day.

sharrukin on November 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM

So you think Barry’s going to get away with this . . . like everything else?

TarheelBen on November 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

What I think, heck what we all think is irrelevant…all precedents point to the fact that he always gets away with everything, he always has a manufactured scandal in stand-by to distract and obfuscate…the only such fabricated nonsense that blowed in his face so far was the Muslim video, guess his agit prop people were busy with his re-election and they had a few lapses there…but then we got Petraeus scandal to keep us busy until they put together an officially concocted lie (version of the truth)….where are the truthers, btw??

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 5:44 PM

It may not be all that strange. Anyone holding a secret or better security clearance gets a background check initially and periodically. The FBI does those background checks.

tom on November 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

It’s ironic but I don’t think Barack Obama could pass one. He couldn’t work in his own administration.

TarheelBen on November 10, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Video: Say, why would the FBI be investigating a CIA director, anyway?

It may not be all that strange. Anyone holding a secret or better security clearance gets a background check initially and periodically. The FBI does those background checks.

tom on November 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Not really so, the FBI is not invocled with fhe military background check for TS or Q or other security type of clearances, other than it’s possible their databases are used in the process, but they do not comduct the background investigations. The TS background for the military is usually done by DSS (Defence Security Service) and OPM (US Office of Personnel Management) through their federal investigative . I don’t know though if the dame had a TS clearance too, if she didn’t, the FBI could always say that they were investigating her as private citizen and it was her actions that lead them to Petraeus or something…

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Should have read: OPM through their federal investigative services (FIS)

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Official tells me sevrl people who knew Petraeus got anonymous harassing emails. So investigation started. Emails then traced to Broadwell.

— Martha Raddatz (@MarthaRaddatz) November 10, 2012

The E-mails may have been sent from her account but are we certain they were sent by her, rather than someone who wanted an excuse to ‘investigate’ Petraeus?

This is getting stranger by the day.

sharrukin on November 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Zactly. Sounds like the screenwriter of ‘The Enemy of the State’ wrote this one too :)…back to real life, Sandy Berger material?? :)

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

So you think Barry’s going to get away with this . . . like everything else?

TarheelBen on November 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

.
Rs should have some impact with congressional investigation of Benghazi— issue the supbeona’s LET EVERYONE THINK THEY ARE SERIOUS….. And then have Boehner stop the TAX side show UNTIL DEMS SHOW A GOOD FAITH GESTURE OF BIPARTISAN COOPERATION by working with Reps. on the Benghazi “investigation”- that Maobama said he wants answers for.

Then you let the Pravda media run the obstruction story of the Rs and FORCE THE PROPAGANDISTS to shine any kind of light on the CnC failure we know as Benghazi.

FlaMurph on November 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Seems like they need a department of OPP

BoxHead1 on November 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Zactly. Sounds like the screenwriter of ‘The Enemy of the State’ wrote this one too :)…back to real life, Sandy Berger material?? :)

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

I have a feeling that none of the people involved are trying to do the right thing. It’s going to be sordid, confused and an example of how far the nation and its government have sunk.

In some ways this is a very good thing. The less people trust their government, or the Pentagon the better.

sharrukin on November 10, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Zactly. Sounds like the screenwriter of ‘The Enemy of the State’ wrote this one too :)…back to real life, Sandy Berger material?? :)

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

I have a feeling that none of the people involved are trying to do the right thing. It’s going to be sordid, confused and an example of how far the nation and its government have sunk.

In some ways this is a very good thing. The less people trust their government, or the Pentagon the better.

sharrukin on November 10, 2012 at 6:16 PM

The leftards are always going to trust the government, when the D are in power anyways…remember the DNC opening li e/ note ‘we all belong to government’,….you can’t make that shite up, and no, it’s not SF, the brainwash is working…

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

DNC opening line that is…

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM

The leftards are always going to trust the government, when the D are in power anyways…remember the DNC opening li e/ note ‘we all belong to government’,….you can’t make that shite up, and no, it’s not SF, the brainwash is working…

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Most of them will always love government. Some of them can come over to the small government, free market side if we could find someone to articulate why that is in their best interest.

sharrukin on November 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Just curious, but does anyone find it disturbing that the head of the CIA would use his offical CIA email account to correspond with the woman he was having an affair with? If we assume he didn’t want anyone to learn about the affair, shouldn’t the head government spook know better than that? I mean, if the guys running our intelligence agencies are this careless, what the heck else are they screwing up on?

xblade on November 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

If this was going on while Petraeus was on active duty it was a UCMJ offense. He could be recalled to active duty and court martialed.

WarEagle01 on November 10, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Good Daily Mail article with pictures

Yeah, but he has no credibility now, whether he testifies or not,[ ]…Nero is jealous :)
jimver on November 10, 2012 at 5:02 PM

True

Petraeus is the biggest fool. He was a convenient pawn when Obama needed one the most, after Benghazi.
Schadenfreude on November 10, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Whether a pawn,or not, it sure was convenient

Not only all that, but his taking the CIA job gave Obama bi-partisan creds…
Schadenfreude on November 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Gave them someone to dump on who was not only military, but nominally a Republican

I always carry the image of Obama and Ayers giggling as they patch together Obama’s book. The letter to the NYT ethicist has the same Alice-in-Wonderland quality

Dear Ethicist of the NYT:
Should I continue to allow my wife to Skrewwee with the General for the good of mankind, or should I follow my Heart? He is engaged in work that I am passionate about. Please advise. signed, Hurt

Answer, Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. Instead, pretend the mailman was skrewweeng your wife. It worked for me, and he wasn’t even a Republican.
[disclaimer, in the interest of the NYT ethical policies, we are asking all readers to disregard the contents of this section. We are talking about the security of the world. Pretend you never read this. In fact pretend it was simply the mailman skrewweeing your wives. Mailmen work hard and deserve some respect.

entagor on November 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM

If Obama and company knew about it pre-DCI appointment then it’s like “let’s go ahead and put him in, he’s popular and we’ve got a get-out-of-jail-free card any time we want to get rid of him.”

JEM on November 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM

FWIW:

Axelrod infiltrated Romney’s camp.

Purposely stole their data.

Fudged Benghazi.

Hung Petreaus (and the USA) out to dry.

Hillary is hiding.

Bill is finished.

Obama will step down within 18 month.

Key West Reader on November 10, 2012 at 7:40 PM

I have read some reports that the Benghazi site wasn’t a consulate, but rather a CIA station where they were coordinating the flow of arms to Syrian rebels which included some very radical Muslim groups. That would explain the lack of security and the ‘stand down’ order, as well as the FBI delay in getting to the site.

Anybody know anything about that?

sharrukin on November 10, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Just curious, but does anyone find it disturbing that the head of the CIA would use his offical CIA email account to correspond with the woman he was having an affair with? If we assume he didn’t want anyone to learn about the affair, shouldn’t the head government spook know better than that? I mean, if the guys running our intelligence agencies are this careless, what the heck else are they screwing up on?

xblade on November 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

It wasn’t his official email account, it was his gmail account.

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Fast and Furious
Benghazi
Petraeus
etc, etc

Move along, nothing to see here.
———————————-
Watergate

Nixon resignation.

Clink on November 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM

That was last century :) welcome to this century and to the new amerika :(

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 7:58 PM

FWIW:

Axelrod infiltrated Romney’s camp.

Key West Reader on November 10, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Whoa, whoa, whoa, back up the truck a second!

Is this the bad consultant angle or am I missing something else?

Mitsouko on November 10, 2012 at 8:02 PM

I find it very difficult to believe that the kind of background check necessary for becoming DCIA would have failed to uncover the affair. If the CIA didn’t learn of the affair in the first place, especially since it appears that Broadwell is hardly the model of discretion, doesn’t that call into question their ability to gather intel even in a fairly target-rich environment? Or if they did, why would the FBI’s discovery of it require a resignation now, rather than a disqualification then?

Because it would make a dandy blackmail tool enabling O to lead Petraeus around by the nose, thereby making the Emperor look tough for making Petraeus director of CIA. Not to mention then being able to control the agency from the top down. If anyone in DC has a scrap of honor left, Petraeus will be compelled to testify on Benghazi next week and if Petraeus has any honor left, he will do so. If he doesn’t get Foster-ized in the meantime.

ghostwalker1 on November 10, 2012 at 8:15 PM

A national nightmare & quagmire. It all has Adolph Axelrod’s fingerprints all over it as well. He is a 24/7 conniver of political mischief. Oh what tangled webs we weave. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Psalm 2:4. We are not a nation that is extolling righteousness currently and we are paying a dear price. The enemies of western democracy see us as a crumbling empire and they are going to strike. We have the greatest nuclear arsenal in the world but our feet are made of soft clay. A nation whose people extol Obamaphones, SSI, and food stamps will not prevail in this world’s climate. Not Jeramiah Wrights God d**n America but God have mercy on America now!

wepeople on November 10, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Could be a simple as…..

Man is this good fro book sales for this gal.

or

We the People got us a shit load of bad cheifs of all our important tribes and we are on our own.

Not mecal this time drunk on power the lot.

Makes them all fools and a danger.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 10, 2012 at 8:55 PM

mescal

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 10, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Just think of it, this Obama, he is just a know nothing half ass third string member of the Ill. Senate who could not even handle that piss ant job.

Now leader of the U.S.A. , and all he knows is class warfare and two bit pickpoket shit he picked on the fly , and not good at either.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

John Edwards 2.0

When a woman is following you around for 2-3 years, pretending she’s writing a book, or making a documentary….

faraway on November 10, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Say, why would the FBI be investigating a CIA director, anyway?

Say, why would hundreds of FBI files on American citizens that should have never left FBI HQ go missing and mysteriously turn up on a table in Billy Jeff’s and Shrillary’s WH and no one knows how they got there, anyway?

farsighted on November 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Good times, good times.

tom on November 10, 2012 at 11:05 PM

linky to above full article.

http://www.redstate.com/2012/11/09/campaign-sources-the-romney-campaign-was-a-consultant-con-job/

PappyD61 on November 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I think it was infiltrated by Urkel’s team. I will never believe otherwise.

Key West Reader on November 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Based on my experience in the corporate world, I have absolutely no trouble believing in an unusable and unreliable top-down system that made the problem it was trying to solve worse than simply using telephones and paper. That is, as long as said system was fully buzzword-compliant.

tom on November 10, 2012 at 11:08 PM

These articles are very interesting.

Obama Fires Top Admiral As Coup Plot Fears Grows

http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1621.htm

The Obama Hustle
Obama Topples Top Coup Leader General Petraeus After Washington Gunbattle ??

http://theobamahustle.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/obama-topples-top-coup-leader-general-petraeus-after-washington-gunbattle/

Zcat on November 11, 2012 at 12:09 AM

Has Ambinder deleted those tweets? Reading his other tweets he’s very dismissive of righties trying to say this has anything to do with Benghazi. By saying DCIA actually triggered the referral to FBI means the top FBI brass knew about it and likely knew the outcome before the election, yet only informed Clapper at 5pm on election night. Hard to believe. Very hard to believe.

A.C. McCloud on November 11, 2012 at 12:48 AM

The General should have heeded the fable of the puppy on the railroad track who having just crossed the tracks felt the train rushing by nip off a small piece of his tail. Quickly turning his head around to look at the tail the speeding train cut off his head. We all know the moral of that story.
Don’t lose your head over a little piece of tail.”

Herb on November 11, 2012 at 8:31 AM

I’m disappointed… not surprised.

*Aren’t all adages old?

CVMA-Dredd on November 11, 2012 at 10:20 AM

You’ve probably seen this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPaf5OJSskY

flameofjudah on November 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM

If the CIA didn’t learn of the affair in the first place, especially since it appears that Broadwell is hardly the model of discretion, doesn’t that call into question their ability to gather intel even in a fairly target-rich environment? Or if they did, why would the FBI’s discovery of it require a resignation now, rather than a disqualification then?

These are the money questions Ed, but the answers are simple. If you’re a Socialist administration, do you want to hire a four-star general as your DCIA if you don’t have any dirt on him? Heck no. The discovery of the affair during the vetting process probably guaranteed him the job, ensuring that he’d be an available patsy for the first scandal that might have interfered with re-election, like say, Benghazi. So now the man with the most damaging information about the White House’s mishandling of attacks on a U.S. consulate location has no credibility as far as the media is concerned. Of course, had he been fooling around with a White House intern it would be no big deal, time to MoveOn, etc…

Yes, a CIA Director caught in an affair must resign, because his job is important, but a President? Not so much.

Freelancer on November 12, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Just curious, but does anyone find it disturbing that the head of the CIA would use his offical CIA email account to correspond with the woman he was having an affair with? If we assume he didn’t want anyone to learn about the affair, shouldn’t the head government spook know better than that? I mean, if the guys running our intelligence agencies are this careless, what the heck else are they screwing up on?

xblade on November 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

It wasn’t his official email account, it was his gmail account.

jimver on November 10, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Shouldn’t the head of the nation’s top intelligence-gathering agency know not to use any Google products for activities he’d rather keep secret?

Freelancer on November 12, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3