Sunday, May 29, 2016

Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus and the Afterlife of a Scandal
WEST POINT, N.Y. — It was 6:30 a.m. at the United States Military Academy, the sun was rising over the Hudson River, and Paula Broadwell was in athletic gear. With a half-dozen women, she rotated between sprints and burpees. Sweating onto the pavement, the group was perched atop an overlook called Trophy Point, in the shadow of a 46-foot battle monument memorializing those killed in the Civil War. There is a female statue in bronze at the top, arms outstretched regally, who is said to represent “fame.”
Ms. Broadwell was here in April for a 40th anniversary celebration for the academy’s first class of women, who enrolled two decades before she would graduate at the top of her class, with multiple varsity letters. It was also the first time she had been back to campus since 2012, when she achieved her own kind of unwanted fame.
Yes, this is that Paula Broadwell, the mentee-turned-biographer of David H. Petraeus; the West Point graduate and military intelligence officer who was revealed, through a high-profile F.B.I. investigation, to have had a romantic relationship with Mr. Petraeus, a former C.I.A. director and the highest-profile general from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is also the Paula Broadwell who would be publicly portrayed as a “homewrecker,” a “stalker,” a “temptress,” the woman who “brought down the director of the C.I.A.” And, perhaps with the most frequency, as the “mistress,” a word for which there is no male equivalent.
As far as infidelity scandals go, this one had everything. He, with a Ph.D. from Princeton, was the revered “thinking man’s general”: honorable, visionary, charismatic, credited with turning around the failing war effort in Iraq and doing more one-armed push-ups than anyone his colleagues knew. “There was talk,” The Washington Post put it, “that, one day, King David would be president.” (Through his lawyer, David Kendall, Mr. Petraeus declined to comment for this article.)
She was the younger, equally ambitious overachiever: Olympic-distance triathlete; two master’s degrees; deputy director of the center on counterterrorism at Tufts University; a research associate at Harvard, where she had first met the general six years before. “She was a standout,” said Sue Fulton, a former military captain and member of the first class of women at West Point, who later became a friend.
There was hubris: the man tasked with guarding the nation’s secrets revealing them; a woman who had achieved incredible journalistic access committing the ultimate journalistic sin. Another friend of the general’s, Jill Kelley, also became tangled up in the coverage after she reported to the F.B.I. that she was getting harassing emails. Investigators later learned they were sent by Ms. Broadwell under a pseudonym. (Ms. Broadwell, now 43, declined to comment on the emails, other than to say that she regretted sending them; Ms. Kelley said the two have never spoken directly.)
The downfall was swift: Mr. Petraeus, now 63, resigned, apologized to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified material related to eight personal notebooks he’d shared with Ms. Broadwell. For two months, he remained home in isolation — reading, communicating with friends and pedaling on his exercise bike. “One foot in front of the other, one day at a time,” Peter Mansoor, a military historian who was Mr. Petraeus’s right-hand man in Iraq, recalled Mr. Petraeus as saying. He was sentenced last April to two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine. Ms. Broadwell was never charged.

Paula Broadwell to NYT: I screwed up 

Three years after Gen. David Petraeus resigned as CIA director and apologized to Congress for an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell now asks, “How long does a person pay for their mistake?”
“I’m the first to admit I screwed up. Really badly, I know that,” Broadwell told The New York Times in a profile published Saturday.
An FBI investigation in 2012 revealed that Petraeus had an affair with Broadwell, who had co-authored the four-star general’s biography, “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.” Petraeus was later sentenced to two years' probation and fined after pleading guilty to mishandling classified information, some of which he had shared with Broadwell.
The Times’ profile contrasts Broadwell's struggle to return to a life of normalcy against Petraeus' efforts to bounce back from his fall from a storied military career, including leading the so-called "surge" strategy in Iraq in 2007.

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