Content Section

Latest Updates


FBI Agents Search Broadwell’s Home

FBI Agents Search Broadwell’s Home Chuck Burton / AP Photo

Sources say Petraeus hoped to stay at CIA despite affair.

FBI agents on Monday searched the North Carolina home of Paula Broadwell, the woman at the center of former CIA director David Petraeus’s resignation. Agents left carrying boxes and bags of material, and they appeared to be taking photographs inside the house. They were reportedly looking for any classified or sensitive documents that may have been in Broadwell’s possession. Meanwhile, two longtime military aides to Petraeus said on Monday that the retired four-star general had not intended to resign over the extramarital affair with Broadwell, and did so only after the affair became public.

Read it at The Washington Post


Five Unsolved Petraeus Mysteries

We now know more than we ever wanted to about the general’s sex life. But there are still unanswered questions about his affair with Paula Broadwell—from what Obama knew to how the biographer got classified files.

When Gen. David Petraeus, a decorated military hero and the director of the CIA, started an illicit affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, he probably didn’t think the details would be splashed across every major news outlet in the United States, if not the world. But even as more information emerges about about their relationship, we still don’t know many things about the whole sordid story. The Daily Beast rounds up five questions that have yet to be answered.


Getty Images; Landov (2)

1. Was Jill Kelley involved with Petraeus too?

Kelley unwittingly found herself at the middle of this scandal after reportedly receiving several threatening emails from an anonymous account. The 37-year-old Tampa resident, who is married to a cancer surgeon and volunteers with the military, got to know Petraeus when he was stationed in Florida, and the Kelleys are said to be family friends with the general and his wife. There are plenty of pictures to prove the two couples spent some time together. While most news accounts include an anonymous source saying Kelley and Petraeus weren’t romantically involved, it’s still not entirely clear why Broadwell felt the need to send the harassing emails. Was it just a misunderstanding or did Broadwell know there was more going on between Petraeus and Kelley?

2. Why Did Gen. Allen and Kelley Exchange up to 30,000 pages of emails?

General John Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, is under investigation for allegedly sending 20,000 to 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” emails to Jill Kelley since 2010. What was the substance of these flagged messages? Kelley, as we know, is the object of Paula Broadwell's angry emails. Broadwell, as we know too well by now, was the object of Gen. Petraeus's wandering eyes. And just when you thought it couldn't get any stranger...


Replacing Petraeus

The outgoing CIA director is hardly the first touched by scandal. Bruce Riedel on the agency’s bumpy history—and what Obama needs now.

The position of director of central intelligence had a long history of scandal well before David Petraeus’s resignation.  The DCI position is also not nearly as powerful as it once was. But it’s still a critical job and President Obama needs to pick the right successor to the war hero who resigned.

David Petraeus

Karen Bleier, AFP / Getty Images

Many DCIs have left under a shadow. Allen Dulles, who was in command of the agency when it put the shah back in power in Iran, left after the disastrous Bay of Pigs debacle. JFK was furious at the CIA.

Bill Casey, probably the most powerful DCI ever and the only one who sat as a cabinet member, died before the investigation of his central role in the Iran-Contra affair shifted into high gear. It was fortunate timing for the ex-OSS man: he probably would have gone to jail over the scandal, which involved trading arms for hostages. Other directors have left after revelations about assassination plots, high-level foreign penetrations of the agency, terror plots missed, and missing weapons of mass destruction. The agency soldiers on; much of its veteran workforce is used to living in a controversy-prone outfit that often takes the hit for decisions made in the Oval Office.

Only one DCI really went on to bigger things: George H. W. Bush, who came to the job after the scandals discovered in the early 1970s. He didn’t stay long, but the headquarters complex now bears his name. No one who spent his career at the agency and worked as an intelligence officer for the CIA has been in charge since before Bush.

Dulles, Bush, and Casey not only ran the CIA, they were in charge of the entire intelligence community. They oversaw national intelligence estimates and signed off on the president’s daily brief every night before it was delivered to the top customer.  Now the director of national intelligence does all that and is the DCI’s boss. And the real boss in the Obama administration is John Brennan, a career CIA officer, who works inside the White House as Obama’s counterterror czar. The president trusts him for good reason: he knows what he’s doing.

One-Up the General

Seven Tips for a Top-Secret Affair

David Petraeus hoped to keep his infidelity from going public, but the spy chief made some rookie mistakes. From staying offline to leaving colleagues alone, our guide to keeping a lover under wraps.

1. Don’t write anything in an email that you hope to keep private.

If you’re going to have an affair, avoid engaging with your lover over email—we don’t live in the You’ve Got Mail/AOL era anymore. You may think sending emails from anonymous accounts or saving them in a random folder may be a surefire way of keeping the liaison a secret. But as we’ve seen in the case of Gen. David Petraeus, email is never as private as you think. The now-former CIA director and his alleged mistress, Paula Broadwell, often wrote each other saucy email messages. But near the end of the affair, a third party was unwittingly involved when Broadwell, through various anonymous accounts, sent “harassing” messages to Petraeus’s friend and colleague Jill Kelley.

Watch Lizzie Crocker give some cheating dos and don'ts David Petraeus should have considered.

Kelley apparently was disturbed enough by the messages—described as “cat-fight stuff” to The Daily Beast by a source close to the matter—that she reported them to a friend in the FBI. The ensuing investigation reportedly traced the messages to Broadwell, and then the illicit relationship with the general. Petraeus and Broadwell tried to conceal their affair by composing messages to each other in the Drafts folder of a shared Gmail account, which only made matters worse, given that it’s a method often used by terrorists. But this whole email fiasco could easily have been avoided. (Note to cheaters: don’t share passwords with a lover, particularly a jealous one.)

2. Communicate furtively on the phone.

This one’s a no-brainer. You know you’re not going to be able to resist the temptation to exchange salacious voicemails and texts with your lover, but the chances of your significant other seeing them on the kitchen counter while you’re taking the trash out are too predictable. You can still communicate via phone without getting caught, however. Try using a rogue pay-as-you-go phone, i.e., not your work phone or the one that you usually use to call a spouse. If you want a backup system, get yourself an Android phone and download the Secret SMS Replicator, an invisible application that forwards all text messages to another phone (your rogue phone, if you’re smart).


General Caught in Petraeus Scandal

General Caught in Petraeus Scandal Virginia Mayo / AP Photo

John Allen investigated by FBI over emails.

It just gets worse—the sex scandal that brought down Gen. David Petraeus has widened to include Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon. The FBI is investigating between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of “potentially inappropriate” communications since 2010 between Allen and Jill Kelley, the Tampa woman whose initial call to the FBI uncovered Petraeus’s affair with biographer Paula Broadwell. In a statement, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Allen would remain in his post while the investigation proceeds but asked the Senate to move up the confirmation of Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, his likely successor. It is unclear whether Allen will be subject to criminal prosecution—adultery is classified as a crime in the U.S. military.

Read it at The Washington Post


Paula’s Emails Revealed

Broadwell’s notes to Jill Kelley were full of ‘cat-fight stuff,’ a source tells Michael Daly—but there were no overt threats, and Petraeus was barely mentioned. So why did the FBI jump in?

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. 

APTOPIX Petraeus Resigns

This July 13, 2011, photo made available on the International Security Assistance Force's Flickr website shows the former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Davis Petraeus, left, shaking hands with Paula Broadwell, co-author of "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus." (ISAF / AP Photo)

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.

The base described is MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, where Kelley serves as an unpaid “social liaison.” The source reports that the emails did make one reference to Gen. David Petraeus, but it was oblique and offered no manifest suggestion of a personal relationship or even that he was central to the sender’s spite.

Kelley herself seemed mystified as to what was behind the emails, much less who sent them.


When the Mistress Meets the Mrs.

Petraeus Affair

The ‘Adventure Junkie’ Husband

Meet Scott Broadwell, the husband of Paula Broadwell—a radiologist who worked with her on veterans’ fundraisers and helped promote her book on Gen. David Petraeus, the CIA director she reportedly had an affair with.

Scott Broadwell isn’t a war hero. He didn’t even get to write about one. The least public of all the people to be thrust forward after the very public termination of David Petraeus’s career as America’s chief spook, Broadwell remains a mostly unknown factor in the scandal that has embroiled two families, the FBI, and the CIA.

Scott Broadwell


Broadwell’s wife, Paula Broadwell, was identified as former CIA director Petraeus’s alleged mistress last week, after an FBI investigation exposed the affair. Paula Broadwell is the author of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, an authorized biography of the retired four-star general who commanded the coalition forces in Iraq.

Soon after news of the affair broke, rumors began to spread that Scott Broadwell might have been the author of an anonymous letter to The New York Times’s  “Ethicist” column. The New York Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren has since tweeted that the July 13 column, in which a man wrote that his wife was “having an affair with a government executive,” was not in reference to the Petraeus affair, based on the publication’s fact-checking.

Friends and neighbors have told reporters that Scott Broadwell built a happy home with his wife in the upscale section of Charlotte, N.C., where they live with sons Lucien, 6, and Landon, 4. An interventional radiologist—a specialty that uses minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat disease—Broadwell is on the staff of Charlotte Radiology, which employs more than 80 radiologists, according to the group’s website.

The government’s Medicare website lists Broadwell as having attended the George Washington University School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1996. The health-care provider information website lists the 43-year-old doctor as board certified in interventional radiology and vascular radiology, and says he completed his residency at the University of Colorado Health Service.


Mistressville, U.S.A.

Small world! Paula Broadwell, Gen. David Petraeus’s “other woman,” lives just a few blocks away from Rielle Hunter, who famously had an affair with John Edwards. Diane Dimond on the tony North Carolina neighborhood caught in two national scandals.

What are the odds that the mistresses of two of America’s most disgraced civil servants live in the same state, in the same city, and even in the same neighborhood?


Getty Images; AP Photo (2)

Well, it happened. The home of Paula Broadwell, alleged lover of ex-CIA Director David Petraeus, is just about 1.6 miles away from the home of Rielle Hunter, the all-too-public mistress of former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards. Both women reside in the tony Dilworth section of Charlotte, N.C.

Broadwell’s two-story brick home, on a big corner lot with an American flag proudly displayed over the front door, is located just north of East Boulevard, the main drag that cuts through this historic district of the state's largest city. Hunter’s redbrick colonial, which Senator Edwards reportedly bankrolled, is just south of East Boulevard

Could the women, who each have young children, have crossed paths? It’s possible—East Boulevard is a well-traveled strip with a multitude of establishments catering to on-the-go women. Maybe Paula and Rielle nodded to each other as they waited in line at the popular Starbucks in the 1400 block of East Boulevard. Maybe that’s where Broadwell sat as she wrote portions of her biography of Petraeus, All In. One wonders, even, if it was via Starbucks’s free wi-fi that Broadwell sent a series of allegedly harassing emails to a woman in Florida that she suspected of being Patraeus’s other “other woman”—messages that may have contained classified information. 

Or perhaps the two spotted each other at the Dilworth Gardens Shopping Center just off Scott Avenue, another convenient place for young moms to stop. There’s also Brixx’s Wood Fired Pizza, a family-friendly restaurant. Not far away are Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar and the All About You salon and spa. These two notorious women might have shared manicure/pedicure space and started up a conversation—who knows?  (Then again, Hunter, a horoscope and New Age enthusiast who often spoke about the karma she felt in a room, likely would have gravitated a bit further northwest and visited the Zen Massage Center.)


8 Famous Military Affairs


Who’s Who in the Petraeus Scandal

All In, Indeed

Did Paula Broadwell Leak U.S. Secrets?

In a public talk in October, Paula Broadwell—the biographer and alleged mistress of David Petraeus—claimed that the Benghazi consulate was attacked to free CIA-held prisoners. Eli Lake reports.

The woman at the center of the alleged adultery scandal that led CIA Director David Petraeus to resign on Friday gave a speech last month asserting otherwise unreported information about the Benghazi attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Speaking on Oct. 26 at the University of Denver, Paula Broadwell—the married author of the highly favorable biography of Petraeus All In—was asked about the 9/11 anniversary attack.

“Now I don’t know if a lot of you heard this,” she replied, “but the CIA annex had actually—had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.” 

(It’s possible Broadwell was confusing details broadcast ealier that day by Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffen, who’d reported that three of the Libyan attackers were briefly held at the annex—not the consulate—before being turned over to a local militia.)

The CIA Sunday denied her claim that prisoners were held at the annex, which has not been reported elsewhere.

Watch Broadwell's speech at the University of Denver.


FBI Discovered Affair in Summer

FBI Discovered Affair in Summer ISAF / AP Photo

But didn't notify anyone else until last week.

Talk about a slow leak: apparently, high-level officials at the FBI and the Justice Department were notified late this past summer that the bureau’s agents had uncovered CIA Director David Petraeus’s extramarital affair. But the FBI did not notify anyone else until this past week because there was a lack of evidence that security had been breached. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee said she would “absolutely” demand an explanation. The case “could have had an effect on national security,” she told Fox News. “I think we should have been told.”

Read it at The New York Times


Five Facts About Jill Kelley

A new name has been dragged into the Petraeus mess: Jill Kelley, who allegedly received ‘harassing’ emails from the general’s mistress. Nina Strochlic on the new clues.

The FBI probe that uncovered Gen. David Petraeus’s affair with biographer Paula Broadwell stemmed from harassing emails she sent another woman. The woman apparently felt threatened and reported the emails, sparking an investigation that would lead to Petraeus’s resignation as director of the CIA on Friday. According to a senior U.S. military official, that woman is 37-year-old Jill Kelley, the State Department’s liaison to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command who lives in Tampa, Florida.  It’s unclear the nature of her relationship with Petraeus, but her closeness with the general was enough that Broadwell allegedly demanded Kelley “stay away from” him. Here’s what has been reported about this mystery woman.

Petraeus Intelligence

The outgoing U.S. and NATO led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus claps, as he welcomes the new NATO- led International Security Assistance Force commander in Afghanistan U.S. Gen. John Allen during a changing of command ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 18, 2011. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP Photo)

She Is Close Friends With Petraeus
According to an unnamed mutual acquaintance who spoke to the Associated Press, the two are good friends and see each other often. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Kelley has described Petraeus as being like a grandfather to her family. A society column reports that in 2010, General Petraeus and his wife, Holly, attended Tampa Bay’s annual pirate-themed festival on Jill and her husband Scott’s front lawn. They apparently arrived with a 28-cop motorcycle escort to the classy get-together, which had waiters serving up crab cakes and lamb chops.

She's a Liaison to a Mysterious Counterterrorism Unit
Kelley is a "person of influence" in the Tampa community, according to a New York Times source, active in many charities and organizations. She's also an unpaid social liaison to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), one of the most mysterious components of the U.S. military. Based in Fort Bragg, N.C., the 30-year-old JSOC officially works to study and conduct “special operations requirements and techniques, ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop joint special operations tactics.” But it’s widely known that the JSOC conducts top-secret counterterrorism missions, and encompasses such elite units as the Navy SEALs. The JSOC was integral in helping the CIA and Pentagon in the investigation on the attack of the Benghazi compound, which means Kelley and Petraeus likely crossed paths in their work.

She’s Married With Children
In 2004, Kelley had a baby girl named Natalie Grace, who according to the local magazine, was their second child. A Tampa Bay Times article in 2007 describes the couple as having three children, ages 4, 2, and 1.

Her Husband Is a Widely-Respected Doctor
Dr. Scott Kelley is currently a general surgeon at the Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Fla. He was formerly the head of Esophageal Oncology and Surgery at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer and Research Institute in Tampa, Fla. He left the Moffitt Center in 2008, but the year before was honored at Doctor’s Day for his accomplishments, an event the couple hosted at their house. The two share a similar interest: a few years ago Jill told a reporter that she put her medical studies on hold to have a baby. According to Dr. Kelley's bio, he did his residency and research in Philadelphia, where Jill grew up and lived until her mid-twenties, so it's possible they met during that time.

What You Missed

7 Best Moments From Sunday Talk

Sen. Dianne Feinstein calls Gen. Petraeus’s resignation a ‘heartbreak,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham says the former general must testify, Bob Woodward questions his intel into Libya, and more Sunday Talk.

Feinstein: Petraeus Resignation a ‘Heartbreak’

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) backed down from her comments that President Obama should not have accepted Gen. David Petraeus’ resignation, saying that the CIA chief did the right thing by stepping down. Still, Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called him a “great leader” and admitted that “this is very, very hard.”

Graham: Petraeus Must Testify

The election may be over, but the oh-so-politicized consulate attack in Benghazi hasn’t faded from public scrutiny. On Face the Nation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that while we don’t need to keep debating Petraeus’s moral failings, “we’ve got to get to the bottom of Benghazi.” And for Graham, that means putting the former general on the stand. With Senate hearings slated to begin this week, Mike Morell, acting director of the CIA, is down to testify in Petraeus’s place—but Graham argues it’s “absolutely essential that [Petraeus himself] testify before the Congress.”


Keeping Track

A Petraeus Affair Timeline

A Petraeus Affair Timeline

Having trouble keeping track of the saga of David Petraeus's affair with Paula Broadwell? The Daily Beast's timeline has you covered.

Slate's David Plotz: I Love the Petraeus Soap Opera!

On this week's Spin Cycle, Howard Kurtz chats with the longtime Slate editor, who compares the Petraeus story with Bill Clinton's Lewinsky scandal: it was a 'grotesque thing that went out of control, but was so much fun.'

  1. Seth Meyers’s Petraeus Winners and Losers Play

    Seth Meyers’s Petraeus Winners and Losers

  2. Meet the Kelley Sisters Play

    Meet the Kelley Sisters

  3. How to Cheat Successfully in Six Easy Steps Play

    How to Cheat Successfully in Six Easy Steps

Irony Alert

Will the Shootout Provoke Putin?

Will the Shootout Provoke Putin?

A pre-dawn firefight in Ukraine left at least one pro-Russian activist dead. Kiev fears this could be the pretext Putin has been looking for to roll his tanks across the border.

Useful Idiot

Snowden Didn’t Call Out Putin

Hold Up

Not So Fast On the “Female Penis”


The Best of the Beast


Spain’s LGBT Nursing Home

The Replacement

Meet Michael J. Morell

Meet Michael J. Morell

With David Petraeus out as head of the CIA, Michael J. Morell—a 32-year agency veteran—takes over at the top.

The Woman at the Center of the Scandal

Is She the ‘Other Woman’?

Is She the ‘Other Woman’?

Diane Dimond reports on what we know about Gen. Petraeus’s biographer.

Mystery Woman

Meet Paula Broadwell


Petraeus Quits and Questions Mount

Late-Night Comedians Take on Petraeus

Five Best Jokes About the Petraeus Scandal

Five Best Jokes About the Petraeus Scandal

It's a joke-off! Watch Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Seth Meyers and more weigh in on the general.

Best Fictional Candidates to Replace Petraeus

Jack Ryan? James Bond?

Jack Ryan? James Bond?

From suave Jack Ryan to smarmy Eugene Kittridge, potential candidates for America's next top spook.