Feinstein on Petraeus affair: ‘Like peeling an onion’
Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:40 PM
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., tells NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that “a decision was made somewhere not to brief” the Senate Intelligence Committee about on the Petraeus affair and compares the scandal to “peeling an onion,” saying “every day another peel comes off” and “we need to get to the bottom of it.”
Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:46 PM
In a new twist to the Gen. David Petraeus sex scandal, the Pentagon said Tuesday that the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, is under investigation for alleged "inappropriate communications" with a woman who is said to have received threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom Petraeus had an extramarital affair.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a written statement issued to reporters aboard his aircraft, en route from Honolulu to Perth, Australia, that the FBI referred the matter to the Pentagon on Sunday.
Panetta said that he ordered a Pentagon investigation of Allen on Monday.
A senior defense official traveling with Panetta said Allen's communications were with Jill Kelley, who has been described as an unpaid social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., which is headquarters to the U.S. Central Command. She is not a U.S. government employee.
Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:16 PM
The F.B.I. investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A.and now threatens to tarnish the reputation of the top American commander in Afghanistan underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about: that in policing the Web for crime, espionage and sabotage, government investigators will unavoidably invade the private lives of Americans.
Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:00 PM
Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:57 PM
Unlike many stories about powerful Washington figures having secret affairs, the downfall of spy chief David Petraeus goes beyond sex.
The scandal surrounding the decorated four-star Army general who once ran the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan involves questions of national security, politics and even the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.
Petraeus, 60, resigned Friday after acknowledging he had an affair with a woman later identified as his biographer, Paula Broadwell, 40, a fellow West Point graduate who spent months studying the general's leadership of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
FBI agents were at Broadwell's Charlotte, North Carolina, home late Monday, said local FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch. She declined to say what the agents were doing there.
Video from CNN affiliate WCNC showed a handful of people getting out of vehicles, carrying boxes and bags into the house. None spoke to reporters, even when asked who they were.
Timeline of the Petraeus affair
Days after Petraeus' resignation stunned Washington, information continues to emerge. Among other things, a video has surfaced of a speech by Petraeus' paramour in which she suggested the Libya attack was targeting a secret prison at the Benghazi consulate annex, raising unverified concerns about possible security leaks.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:10 PM
All Americans who regard privacy as a fundamental right should be unnerved by the breadth and the detail of a search through personal correspondence in the scandal that brought down CIA Director David Petraeus.
For a moment, put aside the question of whether Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, showed seriously poor judgment in their dealings with two women. The evidence to date suggests they did.
Still, the seemingly unfettered ability of federal investigators to expand a search that began with socialite Jill Kelley complaining to an FBI friend about online harassment shows the extent to which our Fourth Amendment protection against "unreasonable search and seizure" has been obliterated in the post-9/11 expansion of government surveillance. Kelley's grievance might have fallen on deaf ears if it had gone to someone other than an FBI agent who was out to impress her - as suggested by the shirtless photos he sent her.
The ability of government agents to conduct intrusive domestic surveillance in the absence of evidence of a crime is something many Americans assumed was forbidden by the reforms that followed the reign of J. Edgar Hoover, who used the tools at his disposal to mine embarrassing personal details about his enemies, real and perceived.
The extent of modern government surveillance is underscored by the numbers: requests for personal information on 34,000 Google accounts; the 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other communications intercepted and stored each day by the National Security Agency.
These tools can be used for good (tracking terrorists and foiling their plots) and for ill (digging up dirt on political foes). Limits on these powers must be defined and overseen.
Congress needs to revisit the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which was passed when Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg was a toddler. It's absurd that an e-mail should not have the same protection as a letter in a file cabinet. Yes, law-enforcement investigators should be able to track and read a suspect's e-mail - but only after making their case to a judge.
This nation must respect and vigilantly maintain a balance between security and privacy, famously defined by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in 1928 as the "right to be left alone."
As the Petraeus scandal has shown, technology and the post-9/11 atmosphere have all but wiped away the boundaries that keep government power in check.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.co...p#ixzz2CIvZXZmw