VINSON: CIA chief gets low-balled
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By MIKE VINSON

 A  few columns back,  I referred to the David Petreaus - Paula Broadwell  sexual affair as a "Lower 40 scandal of the highest order." That said, and feeling compelled to stay true to Lower 40 tradition, I will attempt to provide, from a personal perspective, a short treatment of this much-publicized tryst.

 By the relatively young age of 60, David Petreaus, a married man and father,  achieved the rank of four-star marine general and, also, became director of the CIA/Central Intelligence Agency.

Paula Broadwell, now 40, met Petreaus sometime around 2006.  Married, well educated, a military background, highly ambitious, and quite attractive, Broadwell, for whatever reason(s), was able to insert herself inside Petreaus's inner circle and became his biographer. (NOTE: Broadwell did co-author, with Vernon Loeb, a biography of Petreaus, titled All In: The Education of General David Petreaus.) Resultant of the time spent together, Petreaus and Broadwell developed an extramarital relationship.

High-profile people having illicit affairs is nothing new, right? It's been going on since the beginning of mankind, from King David and Bathsheba to JFK and Marilyn Monroe, to Slick Willie and Monica to, now, Petreaus and Broadwell. However, it's how this particular one became public knowledge that I find so unnervingly SPOOKY!

Hot-looking Jill Kelley, 37, married to a cancer surgeon, was a member of the high-end social crowd in Tampa, Florida. Petreaus and his wife were acquainted with Kelley and her husband, and the two couples attended some of the same Tampa-based social functions.

Somehow, and for whatever reason(s), Jill Kelley had managed to get VIP clearance (since revoked) onto MacDill Air Force Base, located in Tampa, and, reportedly, worked for "free" as some type of "liason." I've nicknamed her "Jill from MacDill, and, coincidentally enough, MacDill AFB appears to be a common denominator throughout this ordeal:

Many of the people directly involved in this mess met on, became acquainted at MacDill, or had some sort of connection to MacDill. Further, MacDill AFB is the headquarters for the U.S. military's Special Operations Command, Central/SOCCENT. The Security clearance necessary to be allowed onto MacDill AFB should be difficult to attain. I am forced to ask two questions: (1) Who, exactly, was the first person-within the relevant chain-of-command-to sign off on Jill Kelley coming and going as she pleased at MacDill AFB? (2) Why, exactly, did this individual allow Kelley onto the base?

Moving right along, the media released photos of Petraeus & wife standing next to sexy, curvaceous Jill Kelley (and her twin sister) at some Tampa-based social galas, as mentioned above.

By all accounts, then-CIA Director David Petreaus sharing the same real space with Jill from MacDill was more than paramour Paula Broadwell could handle, and, in turn, she sent threatening e-mails to Jill, telling her to back off. It appears Paula was so deep into her own ambitions that she no longer could see the realities on the surface . . . nor the fallout that awaited!

Jill went running to an FBI acquaintance with this information. The media released the information, and David Petreaus resigned as director of the CIA on November 9, 2012.

Though there are additional actors and plots in this convoluted script, we lack the space to address each & every here.

However, the principle players and who did whatever to whomever is not my primary concern. Instead, here is what troubles me the most:

Morals aside, has our society become so naively news hungry and intrusively high tech that a CIA director can't keep a lid on a mere sexual affair? If the answer is "yes," then what does all this say about the tough guys when the going gets really tough?!

CIA agents are commonly referred to as "spooks." I find it SPOOKY that the top CIA spook went down in such a low-ball manner.

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