Why David Petraeus’s Gmail Account is a National Security Issue

It may not be the bad judgement of having sex off the post but what that sex leads to, including use of the General’s e-mail account.

From Max Fisher at Washington Post:

The beginning of the end came for CIA Director David Petraeus when Paula Broadwell, a younger married woman with whom he was having an affair, “or someone close to her had sought access to his email,” according to the Wall Street Journal’s description of an FBI probe. Associates of Petraeus had received “anonymous harassing emails” that were then traced to Broadwell, ABC’s Martha Raddatz reported, suggesting she may have found their names or addresses in his e-mail.

The e-mail account was apparently Petraeus’s personal Gmail, not his official CIA e-mail, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s a big deal: Some of the most powerful foreign spy agencies in the world would love to have an opening, however small, into the personal e-mail account of the man who runs the United States’ spy service. The information could have proved of enormous value to foreign hackers, who already maintain a near-constant effort to access sensitive U.S. data.

It was only in mid-August that Mat Honan at Wired magazine wrote how his life had been turned upside down by just what the investigators feared about Petraeus: one slip-up in one account can quickly daisy-chain into multiple accounts.  [Posted and my comments, here.]


As to the sex: birds do it, bees do it….I personally wish that such dalliances were less combustible in the sex-soaked minds of the public.  It will be interesting to watch, however, as Petraeus is pilloried for bad judgement and rampaging hormones while the partner, a married mother of two, will not have similar adjectives attached.

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