So, I know you’re all getting sick to death of this Petraeus/Allen/Broadwell/Kelley situation. But ya know, I can’t help myself.
A couple of last thoughts… at least until the next revelation:
(1) I know Doug doesn’t care about this, and I know that Imani seems to think the story is all about misogyny, but, well, they’re wrong. You just can’t have the director of the CIA setting up private email accounts and trying to hide an affair, and it is just unseemly for another general to be exchanging hundreds of emails with a woman who comes off as a slightly deranged, reality-star-wannabe.
There are lots and lots of occupations you can have in this world where having affairs and maintaining quirky personal relationships are just fine. But sorry, senior leadership positions in the national security field aren’t some of them. I know Imani sees a lot of slut-shaming in the public discussion, but personally I’m seeing more disappointment focused at Petraeus and Allen, rightly so IMHO. Both generals should have run as far away from Jill Kelley as possible, rather than, you know, getting themselves involved in her sister’s custody dispute. Sorry, but there is a lot of bad judgment going on here.
(2) Another issue is the question of electronic privacy. My twitter feed is full of right-wingers who absolutely, positively, love the PATRIOT Act, but who are just apoplectic about the supposed invasion of privacy in this case. Well, live by the wiretap, die by the wiretap. That said, I do think we could have a useful discussion about appropriate use of electronic records. My own view is that you can’t limit collection — just as a practical matter, everything leaves fingerprints and is inevitably “collected” or at least saved somewhere — but you can probably devise a more robust use regime.
That said, I am not sure it would apply in this case. Evidence of affairs or improper relationship is clearly “adverse information” in a security clearance situation, but for the rest of us (well, rest of you, since I am DoD employee) this is an important issue. But here is the point: Petraeus and Allen (and Finel) are close to the last people whose electronic privacy needs to be protected, since we all signed up voluntarily for greater scrutiny as part of our jobs.
(3) Speaking of my twitter feed, if you are interested in hearing more of my rants on this (and other) issues, I’m @bernardfinel. I’ll try not to subject the entire BJ community with my obsessive interest in this issue, but for those of you who are interested…
UPDATE: The latest on Jill Kelley. She thinks she’s a diplomat:
Kelley does drive a Mercedes sedan with license plates that say “Honorary Consul,” and sheinvoked her honorary diplomatic status in a Nov. 11 911 call when she was complaining about trespassers on her private property.
“I’m an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property,” she told the 911 operator. “I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well, because that’s against the law to cross my property because, you know, it’s inviolable.”
“Ok, no problem, I’ll let the officer know,” the 911 operator responded.