Thursday, November 15, 2012

Curiouser and Curiouser: The Kelleys, John Allen, David Petraeus, and Paula Broadwell

Then things became, as Alice said in another context, "curiouser and curiouser." In a USA Today story written by Donna Leinwand Leger and Tom Vanden Brook, Jill and Scott Kelley, key figures in the downfall of David Petraeus and a growing scandal involving General John Allen, appeared to everyone to be charming and fabulously well to do. However, according to their report the Kelleys are far from fabulous and not all that well to do.

The Kelleys were popular co hosts of elegant parties where they hob nobbed with senior U.S. military officers and foreign representatives of coalition forces involved in the war in Afghanistan. In fact, Jill Kelley was named an honorary consul of the South Korean government.

The authors point out that behind the swank facade things were a bit dicier for the couple and Jill Kelley's twin sister, Natalie Khawam. The report details a trail of law suits and debt. Apparently the Kelleys have been sued at least nine times over money owed to a variety of sources. They note Regions Bank sued in 2010 for $1.8 million and again for another $453,000. In addition Bank of America has gone after them for $25,000 in credit card debt as has an outfit known as FIA Credit Card Services. Also, in 2011 Central Bank sued for $2.2 million over money owed for a downtown Tampa office building, which a judge finally ordered sold.

Jill's sister Natalie moved in with them after her marriage hit the rocks and has called the police at least five different times regarding a stalker who might be connected with her divorce proceedings. It was a breakup so ugly in nature that Mrs. Kelley solicited Petraeus and Allen to send letters vouching for her sister's character to the presiding judge in a custody dispute. Both men did so, despite on record statements by the judge that pointed out things like, (Natalie) has "severe personal deficits in the areas of honesty and integrity" and (she displays) " a stunning willingness to say anything, even under oath, to advance her own interests." This all had to do with restrictions the court placed on her visitation rights to her four year old son.

Kelley and General Allen reportedly have exchanged over 20,000 messages and emails and one official has stated that a "small number of them contained language that could be considered inappropriate, or even suggestive." Other wags have said in fact those messages and emails amounted to what is called cyber sex. For those unfamiliar with the term, as a comedian once said, "cyber sex is just like phone sex, only sadder."

In the meantime a small amount of the content of Paula Broadwell's emails have been leaked. The emails came from several different anonymous accounts and said things like, "What kind of person are you?" and warned her husband, "Do you know what your wife is up to?"

Broadwell apparently didn't stop there. She allegedly sent an email to Allen under the name, "kellypatrol" that said, "Beware of Jill Kelley, she's the kind of person who could ruin you." Allen is reported to have initially thought the email was a joke sent by Kelley herself and forwarded it to her regular account. Imagine his surprise when Kelley told him she knew nothing about it.

Paula Broadwell might be many things, but shy isn't one of them. She showed up at an Office of Strategic Services Society awards dinner in a nearly backless gown and chatted with Petraeus after she had admitted to the FBI that she had an affair with him. This was only two weeks before he called it quits as head of the CIA.

Can someone say, movie of the week? This whole thing reeks of southern decadence and manly men run amok. Viagra? We don' need no stinkin' Viagra.

Obviously more unseemly details will emerge as will Broadwell's motives for cranking out the threatening emails. God only knows what she was thinking. Was she simply jealous of Kelley's relationships with various members of the Central Command including Allen? Or, was she genuinely concerned that Kelley was some sort of ruthless whore who was trying to get guys like Petraeus and Allen to bail her and her family out of civil and financial trouble, thereby possibly compromising their careers? If the latter was the case she certainly screwed the pooch, because now everyone is going down the tubes.

Petraeus is finished and all reason says his marriage of thirty-eight years probably is also. Allen is now under the dark cloud of scandal and his nomination to head the U.S. European Command and NATO are on hold and most likely headed into the crapper. Jill Kelley and her family are holed up in their Tampa home, trapped there by a battalion of hungry and aggressive members of the media. She has reportedly called the police on more than one occasion asking for protection because of her, "diplomatic status."

Yes, lust, vanity and finally delusion are rife in this ugly affair. No doubt the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world are feverishly working to somehow link it all to Barak Obama. Why not? As Francis Bacon said long ago, "Slander boldly, something always sticks." Besides they haven't anything better to do at the moment and it beats the hell out of trying to explain why their guy got whacked in the election.

sic vita est


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