Petraeus Brought Down by Email

Petraeus Brought Down by Email
What ultimately ended the career of famed four-star general and Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus? While the obvious answer — his extramarital affair — might first come to mind, the actual answer takes a little bit more digging.

Here's a spoiler: The very thing that took down the former director of the CIA could just as easily happen to anyone reading this article. Were it not for Petraeus's problematic personal Gmail account, his career-destroying dealings might never have been found.

According to multiple reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was curious whether Petraeus's personal Gmail account had been hacked or tapped into after first investigating complaints that the subject of his affair, Paula Broadwell, had been sending "harassing emails" to an unknown third party. Other reports indicate that Broadwell herself is being investigated for improperly getting into Petraeus's email and possibly accessing potentially classified information.

Nevertheless, the FBI's probe ultimately uncovered email exchanges between Petraeus and Broadwell that tipped off investigators about the relationship. From there, given Petraeus's post as the nation's chief keeper of secrets, it was all downhill. As the Wall Street Journal explains:

"The computer-security investigation—which raised questions about a potential compromise to national security—points to one reason Mr. Petraeus and the White House decided he couldn't remain in the senior intelligence position. An extramarital affair has significant implications for an official in a highly sensitive post, because it can open an official to blackmail. Security officials are sensitive to misuse of personal email accounts—not only official accounts—because there have been multiple instances of foreign hackers targeting personal emails."

While the raw circumstances of Petraeus's affair were certainly a large factor in his resignation, the national security concerns brought up by the notion that third parties have potentially tapped into his email were first initially suspected as the reason for Petraeus' speedy departure. Or, as New York Magazine's Caroline Bankoff puts it, "As many have pointed out, the possibility that Broadwell was able to get into Petraeus' Gmail underscores its susceptibility to people even more dangerous than an angry girlfriend — like, for example, foreign spies."

However, officials have since said that there are no national security issues surrounding Petraeus's Gmail account, and they are not planning any additional investigations into the matter.

In other words, the nation is safe! Petraeus' job, however…


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Monday, November 12, 2012 ×

Fox News had a commentator on today who said that the CIA investigates everyone who enters the CIA, so they must have known about the affair. They found it interesting that the CIA insisted that the debacle at Benghazi was the result of the Youtube video, when Washington knew almost immediately that it was a terrorist attack and now Petraeus has resigned.. Does that mean that Petraeus does not have to testify since he no longer works for the CIA? And if so, isn't that convenient?

Congrats bro A.L.S you got PERTAMAX...! hehehehe...