Petraeus Mistress Had Access to His Private Email

Petraeus's vaunted integrity apparently wasn't enough to stop from letting an affair compromise US security

by John Glaser, November 10, 2012

The focus on CIA Director David Petraeus’s resignation – which he declared was because of an extra-marital affair he had – has turned to the access that his mistress had to his personal email account.

The FBI investigation that eventually uncovered the affair began because associates of Petraeus had received “anonymous harassing emails” that were then traced to his mistress, Paula Broadwell, the author of a biography on Petraeus.

”It didn’t start with Petraeus, but in the course of the investigation they stumbled across him,’’ according to a congressional official.

Petraeus is almost universally thought of among the political and media establishment as a stand-up guy, an American hero. But his supposed integrity – the kind not associated with running drone programs that kill innocents abroad or heading a lawless, covert, para-military army – was apparently not deep enough to refrain from letting an affair potentially compromise US security.

“If Petraeus allowed his Gmail security to be compromised even slightly,” writes Max Fisher at the Washington Post, “by widening access, sharing passwords or logging in from multiple addresses, it would have brought foreign spy agencies that much closer to a treasure trove of information.”

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