Petraeus outed by Gmail

As reported earlier today, CIA chief David Petraeus has resigned after an FBI probe into whether someone else was using his email led to the discovery he was having an extramarital affair.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the investigation focused on his Gmail account, and that the traffic they observed "led agents to believe the woman or someone close to her had sought access to his email." The woman in question has now been identified as West Point graduate Paula Broadwell, author of "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

While Mr. Petraeus was still a general, he had email exchanges with the woman, but there wasn't a physical relationship, the person said. The affair began after Mr. Petraeus retired from the Army in August 2011 and ended months ago, the person said.

Previously: CIA chief Petraeus steps down, having failed to keep his drone in his pants


  1. Fan-tastic… Our CIA arch-spook was using a public webmail service. Was the answer to his ‘security question’ his mother’s maiden name, by any chance?

    Well, on the plus side, I suspect that cracking his gmail is probably easier than getting an FOIA on his official email account, so maybe he’s just a transparency kind of guy!

    1. he’s the CHIEF OF THE CIA – it’s safe to assume EVERYTHING he does is monitored

      having said that, I’m not sure why having an extramarital affair should cost him the job, people are having affairs all the time with no ill effect…

      1. It’s not the affair that’s the problem, in itself.  The problem is that a CIA chief who is having an affair is (a) open to blackmail from someone, or in this case, (b) hanging around with someone who tried to get access to his email.

        I’m normally a big advocate of ‘who cares who they sleep with as long as they’re competent in their job’, but this is the specific exception – for an intel agency, having an affair can indicate a failure of competence.  You really don’t want the intel chief to be more worried about keeping secrets from his wife and co-workers than from the enemy.

        1. Yes, this is just the sort of thing that would cause someone to fail a security clearance background check. And it’s not really a good idea to start making exceptions at the top, even if they seem justified on an individual basis.

      2. I don’t care what is “safe to assume.” We are non in Soviet Russia. How did the GMail stuff get mixed into this?  Were they monitoring him?  Did they find someone who breached his e-mail?

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