November 14th, 2012
08:04 PM ET

The relevance of Paula Broadwell's security clearance

By Barbara Starr

As a commissioned officer in the military reserves, Paula Broadwell's security clearance would be "secret" or "top secret," which would allow her access to classified documents, according to military officials.

But exercising a security clearance depends on the type of job a person has, said the officials who spoke privately about the matter because Broadwell is entangled in an investigation of her ties to former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Related: Will scandal create national security risk?

She has been identified as his mistress. The affair forced the former four-star general to resign his post last week. She also co-authored a biography about him.

Related: Who might replace Petraeus at the CIA

As CNN first reported, her government security clearance was suspended pending the outcome of ongoing investigations, two U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter said. FULL POST

November 14th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Jill Kelley, honorary consul

From Jill Dougherty, CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

In a 911 call, aspiring socialite Jill Kelley demands that police in Tampa, Florida, help remove people from her property, describing herself as an “honorary consul general.”

"I am an honorary consul general,” the 911 recording says. “… I have inviolability. They should not be on my property. I don't know if you want to get diplomatic, uh, protection involved as well. It's against the law to cross my property …"

Kelley, it turns out, is an “honorary consul” for the South Korean government, according to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The official South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that Kelley had "good connections and network and a willingness to develop Korea-U.S. relations, including the free trade agreement between the two nations."

South Korean officials tell CNN that “an honorary consul can generally play a role of promoting trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.”

South Korean Presidential Decree No. 23706 describes the duties as anything from “work(ing) to protect Korean national/resident living abroad” to “promoting interacting of trade, economy, art, science and education.”

The honorary post, however, has no official responsibilities, in spite of Kelley’s attempts to invoke “inviolability.” Yonhap cites a South Korean official as saying that “she will be relieved from the symbolic post if she is found to be problematic.”
FULL POST

Analysis: Will national security scandal create national security risk?
Paula Broadwell's affair with CIA Director David Petraeus led to his resignation. She got to know him while working on a Ph.D. dissertation about him. Alleged "jealous" e-mails she wrote anonymously to another woman, Jill Kelley, brought the affair to light, a government source told CNN.
November 13th, 2012
08:44 PM ET

Analysis: Will national security scandal create national security risk?

By Mike Mount, CNN Senior National Security Producer

The fallout from the scandal involving now disgraced CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus and possible connection to top Afghan commander Gen. John Allen comes at a transition time for the Obama administration. Just a week after the election, one of Washington's favorite guessing games started as politicians, journalists and every other political wonk started to calculate who could be filling the major Cabinet positions that would be opening as some get set to step down. It raises the question of what effect all this could have on the country's national security.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton long ago announced she would be leaving and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, said this week that he does want to return to his home in California. Asked how long he plans to stick around the Pentagon, he responded to reporters, "Who the hell knows?"

In the military, regularly scheduled command changes were getting set as well, as Allen was moving to head the European Command and a new commander was preparing to take over in Afghanistan. Both have to be confirmed by the Senate and a confirmation hearing is set for Thursday with the Senate Armed Services Committee.

But in light of the scandal, is the president at risk of losing too much of his foreign policy brain trust as Petraeus departs and Allen works under the haze of an investigation?

FULL POST


Filed under: Analysis • Gen. Allen • Petraeus • White House
November 13th, 2012
06:34 PM ET

Affairs, embezzlement and scandals

An affair that caused the resignation of CIA director General Petraeus is just the latest in a list of scandals to engulf the military's highest ranking officials. CNN's Chris Lawrence reports on how some at the top have strayed from the military's code of ethics.

Panetta makes first comments on Petraeus' affair
November 12th, 2012
05:48 PM ET

Panetta makes first comments on Petraeus' affair

The network pool traveling to Australia with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta reports that Panetta commented for the first time about the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus. The comments were given during a mid-flight press conference:

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PANETTA:  “First, obviously, it was a very sad situation to have a distinguished career like that end in this manner. And my heart obviously goes out to him and his family, but I think he took the right step and I think its important when you’re director of the CIA with all the challenges that face you in that position, that personal integrity comes first and foremost.”

“With regards to the future, you know, having served there the first 2 years of this administration, I think its really important to continue to have the CIA stay on track doing the job that is absolutely essential to our national security. They have very important mission focused on intelligence and intelligence operations and I think it’s very important to get someone strong and capable and dedicated to be able to continue that effort. This is a critical time to make sure that with all the threats that we’re dealing with in the world, that we maintain a strong intelligence operation.”

REPORTER QUESTION:  Any indications the Petraeus affair started while he was on active duty? Could he be prosecuted? Would that be your call? (NOTE:  CNN has learned that the affair started after Petraeus was already serving as CIA director)

PANETTA:  “You know, I don’t know the answer to that. I guess, I’m reading the papers like you are to determine just what the committees finds out, what the ultimate investigation determines on that issue. We obviously are going to watch this closely to determine just exactly when that took place. But I think right now my view is lets see what the investigation turns up and what the congress, these committees are able to determine just exactly what took place.”

REPORTER QUESTION:  As a former member of congress – do you think Capitol Hill should have been briefed sooner?

PANETTA:  “That’s another issue I think we ought to look at, because as a former director of the CIA and having working very closely with the intelligence committees, you know I believe there is a responsibility to make sure that the intelligence committees are informed of issues that could affect, you know the security of those intelligence operations.”


Filed under: CIA • Intelligence • Military • Petraeus
November 12th, 2012
02:26 PM ET

Assessing security implications of Petraeus' infidelity

With reporting from Suzanne Kelly and Pam Benson

While affairs may be commonplace in Washington, when they involve the director of the CIA, things can take on a different tone.

A U.S. official has said there was no breach of national security as a result of David Petraeus' affair, but that hasn't stopped discussion that Paula Broadwell could have gained access to classified information as a result of what she has routinely described as "unprecedented access" to Petraeus.

That discussion seemed to gain momentum Monday thanks to comments Broadwell made in a speech last month at the University of Denver.

"I don't know if a lot of you have heard this, but the CIA annex had actually taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to get these prisoners back," Broadwell said.

A senior intelligence official told CNN on Monday, "These detention claims are categorically not true. Nobody was ever held at the annex before, during, or after the attacks."

Broadwell's source for that previously unpublished bit of information remains unclear, and there's no evidence so far that it came from Petraeus. Administration officials have said the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: CIA • Intelligence • Libya • Middle East • Petraeus
November 9th, 2012
02:59 PM ET

BREAKING: CIA'S PETRAEUS RESIGNING

David Petraeus stepped down as the director of the CIA on Friday, citing an affair.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours," he said in a statement.

Read all of CNN's reporting on the Petraeus resignation

A retired U.S. Army general who served as the top U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, Petraeus was sworn in as the head of the CIA in September 2011.

President Barack Obama accepted his resignation.

"By any measure, he was one of the outstanding general officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges, and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end," the president said.

"As director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he has continued to serve with characteristic intellectual rigor, dedication and patriotism."
Obama expressed confidence that the CIA will move forward under the direction of Acting Director Michael Morell.

Here's Petraeus' letter to the CIA staff: FULL POST

Obama administration officials to brief intelligence committees on Benghazi
Extensive damage at U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya following September 11th attack
November 8th, 2012
05:53 PM ET

Obama administration officials to brief intelligence committees on Benghazi

By Pam Benson

Senior intelligence, State Department and FBI officials can expect to be grilled next week as congressional hearings resume on the terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans.

Lawmakers want answers to many outstanding questions surrounding the September 11 armed assault on the diplomatic facility and a CIA annex in Benghazi.

Specifically, they want to know who was responsible, whether it was planned, the intelligence reporting on the threat to Libya prior the attack, and whether security was adequate.

The Senate Intelligence Committee will conduct a closed-door hearing on November 15. Scheduled witnesses include Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director David Petraeus, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matt Olsen.

Clapper, Petraeus and Olsen will also testify behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee on the same day.

FULL POST

Ex-CIA officer pleads guilty to one charge in leak case
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou (right) with attorney John Trout outside US District Court in Alexandria, VA
October 23rd, 2012
05:29 PM ET

Ex-CIA officer pleads guilty to one charge in leak case

From Carol Cratty

A former CIA officer accused of revealing classified information to reporters has pleaded guilty to one of the allegations - that he illegally revealed the identity of a covert intelligence officer.

John Kiriakou, 48, also admitted to other allegations, including that he illegally told reporters the name of a different CIA employee involved in a 2002 operation to capture alleged al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah, and that he lied to a review board about a book he was writing, the Justice Department said.

But in a deal with prosecutors, Kiriakou pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, only to the charge that he illegally revealed the first intelligence officer's name, the Justice Department said.

Kiriakou and prosecutors agreed to a prison sentence of 30 months. Judge Leonie Brinkema said she accepted the agreement, but sentencing will take place January 25. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Al Qaeda • CIA • Gitmo • Petraeus
September 13th, 2012
06:17 PM ET

Who is on the suspect list in the Benghazi attack?

CNN Intelligence Correspondent Suzanne Kelly reports on the latest intelligence regarding the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya and takes a look at the suspects.


Filed under: Arab Spring • CIA • Intelligence • Libya • Petraeus • Security Brief • State Department • Terrorism
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