Monday, November 12, 2012


If the Daily Beast's Michael Daly is correct, the e-mails Jill Kelley received from Paula Broadwell hardly warranted the intercession of the FBI:
The emails that Jill Kelley showed an FBI friend near the start of last summer were not jealous lover warnings like "stay away from my man," a knowledgeable source tells The Daily Beast.

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.

Ah, but Kelley wasn't just a random citizen contacting law enforcement -- she had a friend at the FBI:
... Kelley contacted a friend who worked as an FBI agent in Tampa, where she lived, beginning a process that would eventually force the former four-star former general to resign last week.
Daly says the FBI didn't see much in the e-mails:
When the FBI friend showed the emails to the cyber squad in the Tampa field office, her fellow agents noted that the absence of any overt threats.

"No, 'I'll kill you' or 'I'll burn your house down,'" the source says. "It doesn't seem really that bad."

The squad was not even sure the case was worth pursuing, the source says.

"What does this mean? There's no threat there. This is against the law?" the agents asked themselves by the source’s account.

At most the messages were harassing. The cyber squad had to consult the statute books in its effort to determine whether there was adequate legal cause to open a case.

"It was a close call," the source says.

What tipped it may have been Kelley's friendship with the agent. The squad opened a case....
So when you've got a pal in the Bureau, you can get doors opened and e-mail accounts accessed, even if the level of harassment you're experiencing is this low. It would be nice to think that our top law enforcement agency would have higher principles, but I guess it would be naive to expect that.


UPDATE: The sleaze just gets sleazier:
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....

The FBI agent who started the case was a friend of Jill Kelley....

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....
And while I say above that I'm not aware of anything in the e-mails Kelley received that seems to justify going into Broadwell's e-mail account, the content seems nasty:
The accusatory emails, according to officials, were sent anonymously to an account shared by Ms. Kelley and her husband....

One asked if Ms. Kelley's husband was aware of her actions, according to officials. In another, the anonymous writer claimed to have watched Ms. Kelley touching "him" provocatively underneath a table, the officials said.
Yikes -- either the married Ms. Broadwell was telling the truth about the married Ms. Kelley and Mr. Petraeus or the married Ms. Broadwell is making shit up to destroy the marriage of the Kelleys, because she's desperate to be with the married Mr. Petraeus.

Yeah, good thing we still don't let gay people get married in the vast majority of U.S. states -- gays might do serious harm to marriage's sanctity.

Wonder if Shirtless FBI Guy is married, too.


BH said...

Hoover's ghost hovers yet.

Speaking of the vaunted FBI, a personal story: there used to be a 1-agent FBI office in the federal building where I do law business. I went in to the federal clerk's office one day a few years ago & found the personnel tickled about something. Turned out they had to help the local FBI agent out - he got stuck in the elevator.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking the FBI overstepped its mission and bounds in tapping into email accounts based on some vague harassment. It does smell like Hoover and his personal and vindictive investigations. Look at the photos of Ms. Kelley and you will note she projects a very provocative image at her social events. Could the FBI friend have been smitten by what we used to term in high school a “tease”?

Victor said...

The FBI and CIA have been mortal internal enemies ever since the CIA was formed.

Am I wrong to ask why this wasn't turned over to the National SECURITY Agency, since this was, theoretically, a matter of the potential for Petreaus to be blackmailed, and hence, impact national security?

To let one warring agency investigate another, is a questionable way to get at the truth.

marieburns said...

bmaz of emptywheel has what sounds like a plausible -- & alternate -- theory of those e-mails that the press started out describing as "threatening" & has more recently described as "harassing." Here's bmaz:

"... the handful of emails Paula Broadwell sent to Kelley reportedly did not mention Petraeus by name. This latest report at least raises the possibility Broadwell was referring to an inappropriate relationship between Kelley and Allen, and not Kelley and Petraeus. I am not saying such is the case, but it is also arguably consistent with the currently known substance of Broadwell’s emails to Kelley...."

In addition, bmaz pointed out that Broadwell's father had indicated a day or two ago that the press was missing broader aspects of the story, not yet revealed. Of course the father is not a disinterested party, but based on what little we know, I think bmaz's supposition makes sense. That general officer Broadwell accused Kelley of fondling under the table might have been Allen.

The emptywheel page is

The Constant Weader @