Just when you thought the sex and email scandal started by Petraeus’ resignation was dying down, here’s the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The sex scandal that led to CIA Director David Petraeus’ downfall widened Tuesday with word the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is under investigation for thousands of alleged “inappropriate communications” with another woman involved in the case.
Even as the FBI prepared a timeline for Congress about the investigation that brought to light Petraeus’ extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed that the Pentagon had begun an internal investigation into emails from Gen. John Allen to a Florida woman involved in the case.
Allen succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011, and his nomination to become the next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe has now been put on hold, as the scandal seemed certain to ensnare another acclaimed military figure.
In a White House statement early Tuesday, National Security spokesman Tommy Vietor said President Barack Obama has held Allen’s nomination at Panetta’s request. Obama, the statement said, “remains focused on fully supporting our extraordinary troops and coalition partners in Afghanistan, who Gen. Allen continues to lead as he has so ably done for over a year.”
The Florida woman is of course Jill Kelley, the 37-year-old Tampa socialite who claims she received threatening emails from Petraeus’ mistress (and biographer) Paula Broadwell. Broadwell had thought Kelley was a threat to her relationship with Petraeus and I had wondered if Kelley might indeed be another other-woman, but this throws an entirely new cat among the pigeons. The twist in this tale is new – but the underlying story of powerful men with mid or late-life crises is all too familiar.
Meanwhile, over at Danger Room, they’re quoting Allen’s aides, mostly anonymously, as saying the general was not having an affair with Kelley.
Bonus Read: Petraeus and the Rise of Narcissistic Leaders (Jeffrey Pfeffer/Harvard Business Review):
There is a simple power story often told about such behavior: research shows that people with more power tend to pay less attention to others. They are more action-oriented, pursue their own goals, and exhibit disinhibited behavior in part because they believe that rules don’t apply to them; they are special and invulnerable.
All of this is true, but nonetheless leaves at least a couple of questions unanswered. First, as my friend Bob Sutton noted in a conversation, these behaviors seem to be confined mostly to men. We seldom hear of powerful women who can’t control their urges. Second, it at least feels as if this sort of behavior and the career consequences that result seem to be occurring more frequently now. Maybe that is because of more public scrutiny and the operation of social media. But maybe something else is going on — namely we are choosing more narcissist leaders and the misbehavior is not just the consequence of power but also of excessive narcissism.
Wait, What??! The federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus “sent shirtless photos to Ms. Kelley well before the email investigation began”. WTF?
Double Weird: An ex Petraeus aide tells the WaPo that “unpaid social liason” Jill Kelley was a “self-appointed” go-between for Central Command officers with Lebanese and other Middle East government officials. What a way to run a country! And Kelley’s twin sister, Natalie Khawam, who has been described as unstable by some who know her, was married to Grayson Wolfe who served as Manager of the Private Sector Development Office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq and now works for a private equity fund that’s a home for retired Bushies. At this rate, Dan Senor is going to turn out to be his own granpaw and David Petraeus his illigimate son!