“The collapse of the impressive career of CIA Director David H. Petraeus,” reports the Washington Post, “was triggered when a woman with whom he was having an affair sent threatening e-mails to another woman close to him, according to three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the episode.
“The recipient of the e-mails was so frightened that she went to the FBI for protection and help tracking down the sender, according to the officials. The FBI investigation traced the threats to Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and a Petraeus biographer, and uncovered explicit e-mails between Broadwell and Petraeus, the officials said.”
“The identity of the woman who complained about the harassing messages from Ms. Broadwell has not been disclosed,” adds the New York Times. “She was not a family member or in the government, the officials said, and the nature of her relationship with Mr. Petraeus was not immediately known. But they said the two women seemed be competing for Mr. Petraeus’s loyalty, if not his affection.”
The whole affair confirms observation over decades that it is rarely the womanizers who get caught up in such fiascos. They know how to cover their tracks. Experienced as Gen. Petraeus may have been with counter-insurgency, nothing could prepare him for what can happen in the wake of a woman scorned.
Update: The Times offers details on the life of Ms. Broadwell as an extremely competitive high achiever who took $20,000 from Jon Stewart in a push-up contest while promoting her book.
She should have quit when she was ahead.