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Petraeus 'devastated' after affair is exposed

Jill Kelley named as woman who received harassing emails from biographer Paula Broadwell that led FBI to uncover the affair.

General David Petraeus shakes hands with biographer Paula Broadwell in this military photo originally posted on July 13, 2011.
General David Petraeus shakes hands with biographer Paula Broadwell in this military photo originally posted on July 13, 2011.

WASHINGTON // Retired general David Petraeus began an affair with his biographer last year, two months after he became CIA director, a friend and former top aide said yesterday.

The case has created an uproar in the United States Congress over FBI investigative tactics and the fact that Congress was not told soon enough about the investigation rocking the intelligence and law enforcement establishment.

Gen Petraeus, who resigned last week as the nation's head spy, and his family are said to be devastated over the affair, especially his wife Holly who "is not exactly pleased right now", said Steve Boylan, a friend and former spokesman who spoke with Gen Petraeus last weekend.

"Furious would be an understatement," Mr Boylan told a US news programme.

He said Gen Petraeus ended the affair four months ago.

Members of Congress said on Sunday that they wanted to know more details about the FBI investigation that revealed the affair between Gen Petraeus and Paula Broadwell. They questioned when the general popped up in the FBI inquiry, whether national security was compromised and why they were not told sooner.

"We received no advanced notice. It was like a lightning bolt," Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat senator from California, who heads the Senate intelligence committee, said.

Gen Petraeus, 60, quit on Friday after acknowledging the affair. He has been married for 38 years to Holly Petraeus, with whom he has two adult children, including a son who led an infantry platoon in Afghanistan as an army lieutenant.

Ms Broadwell, 40, a US military academy graduate and an army reserve officer, is married with two young sons.

Meanwhile, information has emerged about a Florida woman who allegedly received harassing emails from Ms Broadwell, that led federal investigators to discover Gen Petraeus' affair.

A senior US military official identified the second woman as Jill Kelley, 37, who serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, where the military's central command and special operations command are located.

Staff for Gen Petraeus said Ms Kelley and her husband were regular guests at events he held at central command headquarters. A US official said the coalition countries represented at central command gave Ms Kelley an appreciation certificate on which she was referred to as an "honorary ambassador" to the coalition, but she has no official status and is not employed by the US government.

Ms Kelley and her husband, Scott, said on Sunday: "We and our family have been friends with Gen Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children."

The military official who identified Ms Kelley said she had received harassing emails from Ms Broadwell, which led the FBI to examine her email account and eventually discover her relationship with Gen Petraeus.

The FBI contacted him and other intelligence officials. Then James Clapper, the national intelligence director, asked Gen Petraeus to resign.

A former associate of Gen Petraeus confirmed the target of the emails was Ms Kelley, but said that there was no affair between the two.

Mr Boylan said yesterday that Gen Petraeus is keenly aware he had injured his family while losing "one of the best jobs he ever had. He's devastated".

The affair with Ms Broadwell started about two months after he took the CIA post, Mr Boylan said.

Gen Petraeus became CIA director in September last year. His affair with Ms Broadwell will be the subject of meetings tomorrow involving congressional intelligence committee leaders, Sean Joyce, the FBI deputy director, and Michael Morell, the CIA deputy director.

Mr Clapper was told by the justice department of the Petraeus investigation last Tuesday, and then called Gen Petraeus and urged him to resign, according to a senior US intelligence official.

FBI officials said the congressional committees were not informed until Friday, because the matter started as a criminal investigation into the harassing emails.

Concerned that emails Gen Petraeus exchanged with Ms Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with him directly, according to the official.

Gen Petraeus decided to quit, although he was breaking no laws by having an affair, officials said.