In a 'ripped from The Onion'-esque headline, WSJ reports that David Petraeus - the former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency - will plead guilty to a charge of mishandling classified information. The reitred military general, whose career was cut short by a very public affair with his biographer, reached a plea deal over sharing unauthorized information with her, in order to avoid an embarrassing trial. To summarize, the man trusted with all of the America's most secret secrets just plead guilty to pillow-talk-sharing of classified information...
David H. Petraeus, the best-known military commander of his generation, has reached a plea deal with the Justice Department that will allow him to avoid an embarrassing trial over whether he provided classified information to a mistress when he was the director of the C.I.A. As NYTimes reports,
Mr. Petraeus will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. Mr. Petraeus has signed the agreement, said Marc Raimondi, a Justice Department spokesman.
F.B.I. agents discovered the affair as they investigated cyberstalking allegations that had been made by Jill Kelley, one of Mr. Petraeus’s friends. Ms. Kelley, of Tampa, Fla., told the F.B.I. that an anonymous person had been sending her threatening emails that told her to stay away from Mr. Petraeus.
The agents determined that the emails were coming from Ms. Broadwell. As they investigated Ms. Broadwell, they learned of the affair and found evidence that Mr. Petraeus had shared classified information with her.
As USA Today reports, the information was not superfluous...
In court documents filed in support of the government's case, prosecutors alleged that Petraeus, while commander in Afghanistan, maintained eight so-called ''black books'' that contained classified and unclassified notes he took during meetings, conferences and briefings. And in late August 2011, he delivered the books to the private Washington, D.C., residence where his biographer and mistress was staying during a week-long trip to the area.
"The D.C. private residence was not approved for the storage of classified information,'' the documents state.
Among the mass of sensitive information contained in the books were the "identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions … and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings, and discussions with the president of the United States.''
Despite the affair and reports that the F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors had recommended charges against him, several senators continued to support him.
In a letter to Mr. Holder in December, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said the investigation had robbed the United States of its most experienced military leader.
“At this critical moment in our nation’s security,” Mr. McCain wrote, “Congress and the American people cannot afford to have his voice silenced or curtailed by the shadow of a long-running, unresolved investigation marked by leaks from anonymous sources.”
“We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done,” Mr. Obama said, referring to his career in government. “And my main hope right now is — is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career.”
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How long until the excuses come out... she coerced him... he has an addiction... has the world gone totally nuts?