Actions Provoke Reactions

| November 16, 2012

The two ladies involved in l’affair Petraeus seem to be finding out firsthand the truth of the above title.

Looks as if the Army has decided to suspend the security clearance of Petraeus’ alleged mistress, Paula Broadwell.  No specific reason was given for the suspension.   However, based on what’s come out I’d guess it was the combination of alleged adultery and computer harassment.

Both behaviors are kinda regarded as “no-no’s” for Army officers.  Broadwell is a member of the US Army Reserve – a MI officer holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, to be precise.  Having one’s security clearance suspended is a significant issue impacting one’s  ability to serve as a MI officer.

However, at least one source is reporting that a recent search found “substantial classified information” on a computer used by Broadwell.  That could also be the reason for the Army suspending her security clearance.  Mishandling classified info is also a rather big “no-no” for an Army officer – especially an MI officer who presumably would definitely know better.

Separately, MacDill AFB has apparently decided to suspend unrestricted base access privileges previously granted to Jill Kelley.  No specific reason was given for this action either.

It will be interesting to see how these play out over time.

Category: Military issues, Who knows

Comments (37)

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  1. JAGC says:

    If the Army is conducting what is known as a 15-6 investigation into any of the issues you mention, then the proper administrative procedure is to put a flag on her file, which means no promotions, etc. A security clearance during an investigation, particularly one involving improper possession/storage of classified info, also will be suspended during the course of the investigation.

    During a 15-6 investigation, a MI officer is as useful as an 11B who is facing a Lautenberg issue.

  2. Nik says:

    Well, Broadwell’s career was sunk the moment she chose to cheat on her husband with a married man. Wonder how long she has till retirement and if she’d be allowed to stay on till then.

  3. Doc Bailey says:

    Well shit. You KNOW that this would come back to bite everyone involved

  4. Hondo says:

    Nik: she’s a 1995 USMA grad who left active duty but stayed in the USAR after separating. Assuming no breaks in service, that gives her around 17 1/2 years service. If they’re all “good years” for Reserve retirement, she’s pretty close.

    It’s possible this could lead to a separation from the USAR for cause. However, I’m guessing she’ll end up staying in long enough to qualify for Reserve retirement (you need 20 “good” years, and one can get them in the IRR if you do enough military education courses). But I’m also guessing she can kiss any chance at O6 goodbye.

    What she’ll do between qualifying for USAR retirement and actually drawing the USAR retired pay at age 60 is anyone’s guess.

  5. Nik says:


    Book. Book tours. Public speaking engagements.

  6. Disgruntled Major says:

    LTC B is going to see the underside of lots of buses. West Point has pointed out that she was not #1 in fitness as she claimed. Hahvahd has helpfully noted that she was asked to leave the PhD program so she settled for the MA, and anon professors have the knives out. Kings College London (her next PhD try) has started an “ethical review”. Oh, the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round…

  7. PintoNag says:

    If she deliberately mishandled classified info, knowing better, she should go to jail.

  8. CI says:

    Heh…”significant impact”. Broadwell’s military career is over.

  9. USMCE8Ret12 says:

    …and I suspect a LIFETIME movie deal will be in the works any day now, followed by a book and numerous speaking engagements that will likely garner $20,000.00 each. Maybe a reality show or talk show? Your guess is as good as mine.

  10. NHSparky says:

    Broadwell is living proof of the adage, “Fuck up–move up.” She might not be getting a military retirement package now, but I’m sure the other deals rolling in will more than make up for it.

    All Jill Kelley has to look forward to is a photo shoot for Playboy.

  11. Nik says:


    Jill Kelley? Playboy? Meh. I honestly don’t think she’s very attractive. I certainly don’t think she’s hot enough for Playboy.

  12. OWB says:

    The possession of classified materials at home seems like a pretty damnable deal from here. Should be an automatic out, shouldn’t it? With or without jail time, but jail time is fine by me.

    Forget all the distractions. Nail her for mishandliing classified material. Or is that sort of thing OK in the Army these days?

  13. Nicki says:

    To echo what OWB said, I read that she lost her clearance because she had classified information on her home computer. Dumb bitch.

  14. Nik says:


    I don’t know where in the UCMJ that sort of violation would be found.

    I do know they need a thorough damn investigation into HOW she got it from a secure system to her, very probably unsecure, home machine. The results of that may well justify the thorough beating of some IT people.

    Basic, basic, basic security says “Hey…any secure machine will NOT have a disk drive of any sort. It will not have functioning USB keys. It will not be reachable via VPN or RDP. Materials cannot be attached to emails.” This is basic stuff that government agencies don’t seem to be able to get right.

    It doesn’t excuse what she did, but it shouldn’t have been possible.

  15. Hondo says:

    No, OWB, it’s not. But until full details come out, I’m reserving judgement. News organizations often get details wrong. And they could easily be misidentifying unclassified protected info (such as FOUO) as “low level classified information”.

    Frankly, even if it’s Confidential info, I’d doubt it would lead to jail time – particularly if it’s not clearly and properly marked – unless intent to further distribute can be proven.

    Secret or above? Different story, possibly. And that would truly open the proverbial can of worms.

    In short: I’d guess LTC Broadwell can probably kiss career goodbye. But I don’t think that the USAR will decide to separate her administratively over this unless it’s a lot more serious than it seems. My guess is that she’ll be quietly told her career is toast, but will not be immediately forced out. That means she’ll be allowed to stay in the IRR for the 2 1/2 years she needs to qualify for a USAR pension. It might end up costing her a retired grade, though (you retire at the highest grade successfully held).

    I could well be wrong, though.

  16. USMCE8Ret12 says:

    I’m no expert, but if she had classified information on her personal computer, wouldn’t that warrant a thorough investigation by the Army CID. Revokation/suspension of her clearance isn’t enought. I doubt she has SIPR capability (or privledges) on the thing she bought from BEST BUY. Just sayin’.

  17. Hondo says:

    Nik: I’m pretty sure that would be Article 92: failure to obey a general order or regulation. Specific ARs and DoD policies prescribe the handling of classified info. Federal law may also come into play.

    Her standing as an author/journalist might come into play as well. As the US Code is written, it’s typically the provider of classified info to an unauthorized individual who’s in legal hot water – not the recipient – unless the recipient is acting on behalf of a foreign power or otherwise knows the information will be transferred to a foreign power or used to the detriment of the US. See 18 USC 793-798.

    However, if she did this alone she could be in deep shit. 18 USC 1924 addresses that. Removing classified materials from authorized locations and storing them elsewhere is a Federal misdemeanor. It might also trigger Article 92. I seem to recall that members of the USAR are technically subject to the UCMJ even when not serving on active duty. Maybe one of our JAGs here can clarify.

    As to how it happened? Dunno. There are controls in place that should prevent it. But controls are run by humans, who sometimes make mistakes – or are convinced to do things they know aren’t a good idea.

  18. Twist says:

    @1, I prefer the term “as usefull as a Jag Officer manuevering a Platoon”.

    Ughhh, me grunt, me go drag knuckles, me go break things. 🙂

  19. Nik says:


    Therein lies the problem. I can make a damn secure system. But if I’m ordered by my Agency Administrator to circumvent that system, that’s what I have to do…after I’ve documented they’ve been warned of the potential consequences.

    Now I don’t deal with anything nearly as problematic as TS/SCI level documents. Closest I come is HIPAA, which can be pretty damning in court. That whole “you were warned” thing goes out the window when the feces hits the circular air motivation system because classified docs are loose in the wild now.

  20. shovelDriver says:

    Interrogator: We found proprietary and classified files on your personal (home) computer.

    Suspect: Yes, and did you not also find a copy of the letter authorizing me to have them? You are aware, aren’t you, that I am not the only official, military or civilian, who routinely works on such documentation outside the office?

    Suspect: You did see the declassification stamps, right?

    Interrogator in an aside to partner: Keep looking. The more we can pile on, the more this story will dominate the news, and the less attention will be paid to other things . . .

  21. Miss Ladybug says:

    Whether she took them herself, or someone else took them and gave them to her, she would have know she shouldn’t have them, especially since she’s MI.

    Heck, Daddy was MI, retiring in August ’91. He says there are still things he knows that he can’t talk about… If she didn’t know it was wrong, she shouldn’t be an officer, nevermind an MI officer…

  22. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    I don’t care what she does professionally. But I would like to see her in Playboy!

  23. Nik says:


    Echo that. Broadwell is far hotter than Kelley.

  24. Ex-PH2 says:

    OK, who let her have that stuff to begin with?

  25. Nicki says:

    @24, I thought she was an intelligence officer. That would explain her access, but not her stupidity bringing that shit home.

  26. PintoNag says:

    @23 Kind of like comparing a hooded cobra with a spitting cobra, isn’t it?

  27. Hondo says:

    Miss Ladybird: morally, you are correct. Legally, it may make quite a difference how/from whom Broadwell received the documents.

    Nicki: it’s possible she was sent the documents vice bringing them home herself. If it was the latter, she’s in deep shit unless the documents are not properly marked – and maybe even then.

  28. geroge says:

    When will this bitch be brought up on adultery charges?

    Or do politically connected field grade officers not have to bother with such pedestrian matters>?

  29. Nik says:

    Commentary I was listening to last night said that any more, adultery charges are rarely prosecuted by themselves. They’re usually prosecuted as an add-on to some other charges.

    Things must have changed, because when I was in, a Marine I knew was busted for sleeping with someone’s wife. Even though he was single, he was busted, put on 2 months restriction, 1/2 pay for 2 months, and some other stuff. He did keep his E-4 though.

  30. Nik says:


    Nah. I think Paula’s pretty good looking. Kelley, however, is…uninspiring to my eye.

  31. PintoNag says:

    @30 I like cobras, some better than others.

    I still wouldn’t play with one.

  32. Nik says:


    Fair point.

  33. PintoNag says:

    …in all fairness to the damaged generals, however…at least a cobra acts like the snake it is.

  34. Ex-PH2 says:

    Adultery is not a crime unless you’re in a different socio-political environment than you are here at home. If you’re some place else, you might get stoned to death for even daring to think about it.

    Here, it’s just a disgusting “boys will be boys” kind of thing.

  35. Dirt Dart says:

    Hondo, this is the gambit she could run. Worst case she see’s them all.

    18 USC § 798 – DISCLOSURE OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION (The Espionage Act of 1917)

    UCMJ Article’s:
    78- Accessory after the fact
    81- Conspiracy,
    92- Failure to obey order or regulation,
    104- Aiding the enemy
    106a – Espionage
    107- False official statements
    108- Military property of United States – Loss, damage, destruction, or wrongful disposition
    120a- Stalking
    131- Perjury
    132- Frauds against the United States
    133- conduct unbecoming an officer
    And my favorite- 134 – The military catch all,adultry to end it all…

  36. DaveO says:

    She’s West Point. So was Big Johnson III, who married the daughter of his #1 Iraqi contractor while still married. The same Big Johnson who’s pulling in more $$ in retirement than most here make, even after alimony and child support.

    What puzzles me is that 99.99999999999% of the time, the Lefties are out in force to protect the dishonor of a slut. But Broadwell’s been left to fend for herself.

    However, the other person in the troika, Kelley, has been to the WH 3 times this year? As an unpaid social planner? Is that what we call courtesans these days? Wonder how her hubby’s doing, what with him only being a doctor and not wearing stars. Looks like Kelley is top cover from the press.

  37. Hondo says:

    You forgot to mention that Broadwell was there twice herself since 2009, DaveO – attending AT-related meetings held in the Eisenhower Office Building. The 3 Kelly visits seem to have been two lunches for her and her twin sister at the invitation of a “mid level White House aide” and a public tour of the White House with her family.

    I’m not exactly seeing any “smoke” in any of those.

    Regarding Broadwell: she has publicly supported Republican causes in the past. So I doubt we’ll be seeing NOW or any other left-leaning feminist groups jumping to her defense.