Covert Oops

How Petraeus failed to cover his tracks

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Karen Bleier / AFP / Getty Images

CIA Director David Petraeus testifies before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee during a full committee hearing on "World Wide Threats" in Washington, D.C. Jan. 31, 2012

In some ways, David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell prove a point about human nature that is often made by security experts: very few of us have the discipline to protect our privacy consistently, even when intensely personal matters are concerned. We are inattentive to things we know about (cameras on elevators), disregard uncomfortable facts (employers log Web browsing) or give in to convenience (e-mailing a password).

Still, friends remain astonished that the CIA director and an Army Reserve intelligence officer did so little to conceal a transgression with such high stakes. “For a guy who’s pretty savvy, even if he was going to succumb to this temptation, it’s a surprise he’d write it down,” says Brigadier General Peter DeLuca, commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer School, who served two tours in Iraq as one of the “smart boys” around Petraeus.

CIA security director Mary Rose McCaffrey alluded in October to the steps her aides routinely took to protect Petraeus from the intense scrutiny of foreign intelligence agencies: “He’s so visible that literally every day we scan his computer, because he has both his classified computers and his unclassified computers.” She added, presciently, “He has been so educated in this new job, and he is so smart and so good at this, but even four-stars have room to learn.”

If he learned, it did not show. The chief spook and his paramour took absurdly inadequate steps to cover their tracks, as if they did not really want to bother. They used fake names to create free webmail accounts but not commercial VPNs or the more robust Tor service to mask their Internet addresses. They exchanged messages in the clear, without using freely available encryption tools.

For some exchanges, Broadwell and Petraeus used a long-outmoded terrorist technique: they shared an e-mail account, with one saving a message in the Drafts folder and the other deleting it after reading it. Though terrorists once believed this electronic dead drop sidestepped surveillance, federal prosecutors have openly acknowledged since 2003 that it does not work.

201 comments
ahandout
ahandout

Obama says that he called Benghazi terrorism on 9/12.  Why then did he lie to the American people about a video, and either lie to his UN ambassador or set her up for failure.  And, he claims that she is getting picked on?  Looks like Obama screwed her over doesn't it?

PapaFoote
PapaFoote

The Old Mountain Goat, "Yes Me" - there may be "truly straight humans", from the "past" through the "present", BUT, they must be only the "very few"!

"OF COURSE", as our Earth Planet cycles forward - "WHO KNOWS", some of the "Faults" might be "TAKEN OUT" as "CHANGES EVOLVE"! 

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

Romney shared the details of an ALLEGED conversation with Bill Clinton.ALL lies as usual!!!  Romney is not only an UNPRINCIPLED LOSER, but is also a disgrace to mankind as a whole. I am glad he lost so badly. Romney was beaten like a drum, and he deserved every last pummeling.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Isn't McCain the perfect figurehead for the moronic Benghazi political circus? Goes to media to complain about how he's not getting any information, skipping out on a meeting for said information. Old, angry - wasting time on things that are not occupying most people in this country and ignoring the stuff that is important. The symbolism is delicious.

Just as the sore losers on the rightie side that can't shake of the backhanded bitch slap this election gave them and continues to double down on stupid.

Politically GOP have decided to take their airplanes and kamikaze themselves to death. It's a pity since I'm sure most people was hoping for progress - but then most people don't know righties as we do.

And soon enough what we kind of laugh at now (like paulejb going on as if he's not completely irrelevant through all his lies and BS) will be viewed as tragic. Why would anyone throw away their common sense for shysters like Rush and Hannity? Seriously - is those morons worth destroying an entire political party over?

paulejb1
paulejb1

"On Benghazi – Of Course Obama Knew"

"The Democratic Party’s left-wing held a photo-op yesterday decrying the attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for her espousal of the Administration line that the Benghazi attacks were the result of an obscure video on YouTube in the immediate aftermath of the event.There is just a small problem with this line of defense. It is completely false. The Administration has been doing its best to obfuscate and obscure a truthful response on the Benghazi attack. For two weeks afterwards the Secretary of State, the President, and Ms. Rice knowingly lied to the American people. After these lies were exposed, the White House has been playing keepaway with the facts and the witnesses."

http://mattsmeditations.com/2012/11/16/on-benghazi-of-course-obama-knew/

The cover up is unraveling.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@ahandout 

Why do you keep asking a question that has been repeatedly answered?  Why do you keep making assertions that are wrong and dishonest?

ahandout
ahandout

@MrObvious Mr0 proving that you cannot shoot straight a bible company just won a suit against Obamacare.  Guess we will defeat tyranny in the courtroom. 

paulejb1
paulejb1

@MrObvious ,

Only hard core Obama Kool-Aid consumers would consider the death of four valiant Americans a "circus." Guess they agree with their master that the deaths were "Not Optimal."

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

@MrObvious You can't win with these types.  If Rice had given the classified version they'd be crying that she comprmised national security, as it is  they cry she was keeping information secret.  Well Duh....  McCain....your alzheimer's is showing.  It's not like the President and his cabinet lied to start a war, killing over 100,000 and wasting a cool trillion in the process.  Not that would be something important....something truely criminal. 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@paulejb1 

"Susan Rice’s initial report that the attack in Benghazi was the result of spontaneous violence because that was the unclassified version of the intelligence community’s understanding of events."

Paul continues to prove that he filters out the truth.

Merlin1935
Merlin1935

@DonQuixotic @ahandout 

Because they can't deal with the fact that they lost elections, so they grab at straws. They're still in second stage of grief - denial.

outsider
outsider

@ahandout @MrObvious LOL. 

Just like Romney would win. 

You're such a little pissant handy. 

Even Repub governs - now that the election is over, and the people have spoken - are accepting ACA. 

But by all means, keep lying to yourself. It's kind of amusing

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb1

Only hard core Obama Kool-Aid consumers would consider the death of four valiant Americans a "circus." Guess they agree with their master that the deaths were "Not Optimal."

Only a rightwing moron with a fallacy complex would be dumb enough to try to argue that their tragic death is the circus I'm talking about. Seriously; you're making yourself seem and sound dumber by the day. Jesus.

outsider
outsider

@paulejb1 @MrObvious  

STOP PRETENDING YOU CARE, YOU TROLL. Seriously. You couldn't give a rats ass about the 4 dead anymore than you give a damn about the people without health insurance, and the people who have to live on food stamps just to survive. 

For you, this is just a game. There are dead people here paulie =- not like a video game, but real dead people. But you don't care. You keep harping and harping because Obama whipped your side ridiculously in the election and you're playing politics with these lives. 

Do you realize they have families that survived? Do you care? 

Those families said to stop using their loved ones as political tools. 

Yet here you are, posting - lie after lie - giggling to yourself because you're such a disgusting person - completely ridiculing the fact that 4 people are dead. 

You never said how you felt about the 5000+ that bush killed. 

Because you don't really care who lives or dies - you just care about attacking Obama. 

The only way you will understand is if someone in your family dies - then how about we all banter about it here - does that sound good?

paulejb1
paulejb1

@DonQuixotic @paulejb1 ,

It was unmitigated BS and Susan Rice either lied or was duped by the White House politicos. There was no "spontaneous" protest. It was an organized terror attack planned to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@DonQuixotic

Perpetual bubble. His ability to block reality is legendary (in his own mind).

MementoMori
MementoMori

@DonQuixotic @paulejb1  

 I just think it's awesome paulie's not letting go of this. After all, it was such a winner for him during the election.

ahandout
ahandout

@BenevolentLawyer @ahandout  I seem to remember you stating that you don't come on discussion boards and yell very often.

Seems like every time I read something you post, you have CAPS all over.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb1

Who was the communist party candidate for which you voted, Ob?

I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would think you're clever. 

But it sums of the many years of your clownery here.

bobell
bobell

@outsider2011 @paulejb1 @MrObvious I think paule has jumped the shark. He's run out of things to say and is just rerunnng his greatest hits.  Which are actually his greatest misses.

outsider
outsider

@paulejb1 @MrObvious  

Can't refute the deaths on Bush's hands, so you accuse Hippo of being a communist? 

What's the matter? It's because you don't really care about 4000 deaths anymore than you do 5000+, or 4 right? 

You just want to smear Obama and his administration? 

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb1

You wouldn't care if it were 4000 dead as long as your master got away with it. You are a stooge for the worst president that the US has ever suffered.

I didn't vote for Bush - you did.

paulejb1
paulejb1

@MrObvious @paulejb1 ,

You wouldn't care if it were 4000 dead as long as your master got away with it. You are a stooge for the worst president that the US has ever suffered.

outsider
outsider

@ahandout @outsider2011 @paulejb1 @MrObvious  

Yeah - so is Tenet - you're trying to change the subject. The fact that they were told there were WMD's doesn't take away from the fact that the intelligence was faulty. 

The intelligence on Benghazi is still coming in - hence the investigation. 

So, hold Bush to the same standard, and don't try to change the subject by saying a dem believed it too. 

They all believe what they were told - but if the buck stops with Obama, then it stops with Bush - and he got 5000+ killed. 

Either you believe the stuff you type, or you don't. But don't hold one to a lower standard than the other. 

If you're condemning Obama, condemn Bush. Because by your logic, they're in the same boat - only Obama's situation is still evolving. Bush's has been proven to be utterly false. 

roknsteve
roknsteve

This is the only bone that Booby Jindal (Paulie) has left and he's gonna slobber on it until 2016.

outsider
outsider

I'm just pretty disgusted with you two parasites laughing at 4 dead, but ignoring 5000+ dead. You're rank hypocrites  

Maybe if some of your family started dying and we all started laughing aboutit, you might have some sympathy.  

But then they would have to be noteworthy - and what are the chances of anyone from your family being noteworthy, handy? 

The family said to stop playing politics with their loved ones - but you really don't care - you just want to score points.  

You're both trash

ahandout
ahandout

@outsider2011 @paulejb1 @MrObvious My my, you seem to be very upset for someone that just won. Why are you so pissy?  Could it be because you know deep down that Obama has been lying to you?  Why eles would you be so angry only a week after your hero won?  Thou doest protest too much.

bobell
bobell

@paulejb1 @outsider2011 @MrObvious You apparentlty haven't heard what Petraeus told the committee, have you, paule?  First the Repubs said he was resigning so he wouldn't have to testify -- but he testified. And then they said that he'd try to cover up -- but what he told the committee is completely consistent with everything that is known.  There's no there there.

Jack Nicholson has your measure -- YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

outsider
outsider

@paulejb1 @outsider2011 @MrObvious  

I never refuted that the CIA told Bush. You're implying that i am. I'm not. 

I'm saying the intel that Tenet provided was faulty. 

That's your big problem here with Obama - you think he covered up. But it's intelligence that is still coming in. 

There is no lie on this side. 

There is however, plenty of documented lies from your side. 

Still waiting for you to condemn Bush for 5000+ killed. 

I'm waiting for you to hold Bush to the same standards you're trying to hold Obama to. 

Condemn him for killing 5000+

outsider
outsider

@paulejb1 @outsider2011 @MrObvious  

Yes lets. Proof please. 

Even the DCI hasn't said that. 

But don't change the subject. 

Obama, much like the CIA was taking information on the attack - as they currently still are. 

I'd like to know how it's ok that 5000 died and you aren't screaming. 

It's only because it's a dem administration, right?

Talk about CIA - ok, Powell said don't do it. 

Then the President had Powell pass along lies. 

Isn't that what you just accused Obama of doing? 

The Slam dunk came from a single intelligence source who had an axe to grind, and who was hoping for war so he could caplitalize on it. 

This is an ongoing investigation. 

Cheney went around CIA telling people to get intelligence to support and invasion of Iraq http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A15019-2003Jun4?language=printer

So Bush/Cheney actively lied, covered up (let's talk Scooter Libby if you wanna talk cover up) - and got 5000+ people killed. 

I'm still waiting for you to condemn Bush. 

More links for you to educate yourself with :

 http://www.chron.com/news/article/CIA-brass-tells-of-Cheney-pressure-2104492.php

 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1337947

 The Senate Report on Iraqi WMD Intelligence (formally, the"Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on the U.S. IntelligenceCommunity's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq") was the report bythe United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the U.S. intelligence community's assessments of Iraq during the time leading up to the 2003 U.S. invasion.The report, which was released on July 9, 2004, identified numerousfailures in the intelligence-gathering and -analysis process. The reportfound that these failures led to the creation of inaccurate materialsthat misled both government policy makers and the American public.The Committee's Republican majority and Democratic minority agreed onthe report's major conclusions and unanimously endorsed its findings.They disagreed, though, on the impact that statements on Iraq by seniormembers of the Bush administration had on the intelligence process. Thesecond phase of the investigation, addressing the way seniorpolicymakers used the intelligence, was published on May 25, 2007.Portions of the phase II report not released at that time include thereview of public statements by U.S. government leaders prior to the war,and the assessment of the activities of Douglas Feith and thePentagon's Office of Special Plans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_Report_on_Pre-war_Intelligence_on_Iraqhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_Report_on_Pre-war_Intelligence_on_Iraq

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A15019-2003Jun4?language=printer

NOW CONDEMN BUSH because there was PROOF of his failure. There is only speculation (yours and mccains) of Obamas. 

know why you're standing alone? Because you're wrong. As you were in the run upto the election. 

paulejb1
paulejb1

@outsider2011 @paulejb1 @MrObvious ,

GWB was assured by the Director of CIA that WMD in Iraq was a "slam dunk."

Obama's Director CIA knew immediately that it was a terrorist attack and Obama proceeded to lie about it for two weeks. 

Let's talk about that. 

outsider
outsider

@MrObvious @outsider2011  

I know you're right Hippo. I just don't want any of these drive by people who come in here from twitter, or anyone else thinking paulie is anything but what he is. 

MrObvious
MrObvious

@outsider2011

Outsider, paulejb will throw himself under the bus many times before he have an honest sober moment like that. He rather take any position for or against himself as long as the end result is some kind of petty, juvenile and pathetic anti-liberal/Obama soundbite.

outsider
outsider

@paulejb1 @outsider2011 @MrObvious  

BUSH - i want to hear you condemn bush for faulty intelligence - the same issue here - for having 5000+ killed. 

Then we'll talk about benghazi. 

Same issue - different party. 

Except there is PROOF of what Bush did. 

So you want to call out Obama or whomever in his administration? Call out bush FIRST. 

Otherwise, you're just a lying, partisan troll. 

And don't pretend to be anything else. 

paulejb1
paulejb1

@outsider2011 @paulejb1 @MrObvious ,

Obviously you and your master don't give a damn. Obama has been ducking the issue for two months and his stooges like yourself buy every lie that he sends his minions out to peddle.

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

@paulejb1 I watched Fox News today. You are spouting some of their talking points. Fox is the LIAR'S network, and those who watch it are like a cult of nut jobs! You better try CNN or MSNBC to get back into reality. Also, forget Rush, he is a crack head. 

PS: The General appeared before Congress today and supported the President's version of the matter. I hope you know.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb1 

Go ahead and try, Ty. Better men than you have tried and failed. Crank up that hive mind and give it a shot, boyo.

You wouldn't know what hit you; most of the time you're so clueless that even one of my lamest posts flies straight over your head. You're good at one thing; telling us that you're winning. But your track record looks like broken glass.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb1

You haven't even proved that you can spell or muster a coherent thought, Ob. Sparring with you is like sparring with a blind man.

Spelling nazism - the last refuge of a petty man. You're not even good at it.

paulejb1
paulejb1

@MrObvious @paulejb1 ,

You haven't even proved that you can spell or muster a coherent thought, Ob. Sparring with you is like sparring with a blind man.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb1

We have - at this point your third rate nonsense is the stuff people scrape off shoes.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb1

All it proved is that the people described by Lincoln as the ones who can be fooled all of the time are temporarily in the majority.

When you use words like 'prove' it comes with some kind of meaning that should be preceded with the 'proving' part. We know how it'll end. You'll whine bitch and cry and act like an insufferable ass and then pretend some kind of moral high ground when people get tired of you kicking sand in their ice cream.

paulejb1
paulejb1

@Sue_N @MementoMori @DonQuixotic @paulejb1 ,

A mere bagatelle. As soon as the cash runs out the Democrats will be out of the vote buying business of handing out food stamps, welfare and free condoms for all. Then America will come to it's senses.

paulejb1
paulejb1

@MementoMori @MrObvious @paulejb1 ,

I am never considered right by the hive mind here at Swampland. You people are so mind numbed on hopium that it would take a nuclear explosion to snap you pot of it.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@MementoMori @DonQuixotic @paulejb1 I think it's also awesome that he's using rightwing blogs as evidence. I mean, it's not like locking themselves inside the echo chamber has cost his side anything major recently, right?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@paulejb1

The truth will out, Mori. All Obama's stooges and all Obama's kool-aid drinkers can't put this Humpty Dumpty back together again.

And after 4 more years we'll get Hillary for 8 and you still won't have learned one single thing.