A computer used by Paula Broadwell, the woman whose affair with CIA Director David Petraeus led to his resignation, contained substantial classified information that should have been stored under more secure conditions, law enforcement and national security officials said on Wednesday.
The contents and amount of the classified material - and questions about how Broadwell got it - are significant enough to warrant a continuing investigation, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment publicly.
The details about material held by Broadwell, a reserve officer in military intelligence, emerged Wednesday as the Pentagon suspended Broadwell’s security clearance.
Late Wednesday, the House intelligence committee announced Petraeus would testify on Friday behind closed doors about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed Wednesday on the Petraeus matter by leaders of the FBI and CIA.
There is growing concern among military and law enforcement officials about the potential fallout from the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell, who co-authored a biography of the retired general.
President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus.
Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with the transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
John O. Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, is a leading contender for the CIA job if he wants it, officials said. If Brennan goes ahead with his plan to leave government, Michael J. Morell, the agency’s acting director, is the prohibitive favorite to take over permanently. Officials cautioned that the White House discussions are still in the early stages and that no decisions have been made.
he Obama administration on Friday intensified pressure on Pakistan to do more to crack down on Islamist militants destabilizing Afghanistan, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a tough public message that extremists have been able to operate in and from Pakistan for too long.
For the second time in two days, Clinton pressed Pakistani authorities to step up efforts against the Haqqani militant network, which is based in the country’s rugged tribal region, and is blamed for attacks both inside Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
After leading an unusually large and powerful U.S. delegation, including CIA director David Petraeus and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, for four hours of talks with Pakistani officials late Thursday, Clinton met Friday with Pakistan’s president and foreign minister to make the case.
Testifying before a Senate committee today, the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan confirmed under oath what many had suspected:
In his speech Wednesday evening, President Obama disregarded the preferred troop drawdown choice of his top general, David Petraeus, now headed to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Obama clearly appeared to be paying attention to the anti-war left wing of his party and to war-weariness reflected in polls after a 10-year conflict that began when he was a mere state senator.
Obama was in Manhattan again tonight for a series of Democratic fundraisers, including one with TV hostess Whoopi Goldberg, with the June 30 first-quarter reporting deadline approaching.
The widely-admired four-star general was the architect of the successful Iraq troop surge that Obama also opposed as a U.S. senator but that has now enabled him to drastically reduce U.S. forces there.
The 58-year-old Petraeus couched his committee answers in the standard Washington etiquette acknowledging civilian control of an obedient military.
However, his forthright replies rapidly reverberated across the Capitol, where so many in the political business are so ready to believe that the accelerated troop withdrawals were ordered by the Democrat more to enhance his troubled reelection plans, than because they would enhance the cause of crushing terrorist forces in Afghanistan.
A NATO airstrike that Afghan officials said Wednesday killed nine children collecting firewood in eastern Afghanistan the day before became the latest irritant in the tense relationship between President Hamid Karzai and the international force in the country.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top NATO commander here, issued an apology for an error that military officials attributed to faulty communication as an air weapons team responded to an attack on a NATO base Tuesday in Konar province.
“We are deeply sorry for this tragedy and apologize to the members of the Afghan government, the people of Afghanistan and most importantly, the surviving family members of those killed by our actions,” Petraeus said in an unusually contrite written statement. “These deaths should have never happened and I will personally apologize to President Karzai.”
This is a strategy that works, however this article will now put Nawa back onto the Taliban’s task listings. The real test comes next.
June 2009: In the throes of the Taliban. A few dozen British soldiers holed up inside a small base in the center of Nawa. Nightly gun and grenade fights. Schools and markets closed. Residents terrorized.
The following 17 months: A 1,000-strong surge battalion of U.S. Marines arrives July 2009. Focuses on protecting the civilian population. American and British advisers build local government. Tens of millions of dollars are pumped in to fund reconstruction projects.
Today: One of the safest districts in southern Afghanistan. Marines who live at former British base have not fired a single bullet while on foot patrol in the past five months. Classrooms packed. Bazaar thriving.
Spring 2011: Afghan forces assume principal responsibility for security. Marines provide emergency backup.
By Frank Rich
Published: August 21, 2010
In the five months after The Times’s initial account there were no newspaper articles on the project at all. It was only in May of this year that the Rupert Murdoch axis of demagoguery revved up, jettisoning Ingraham’s benign take for a New York Post jihad. The paper’s inspiration was a rabidly anti-Islam blogger best known for claiming that Obama was Malcolm X’s illegitimate son. Soon the rest of the Murdoch empire and its political allies piled on, promoting the incendiary libel that the “radical Islamists” behind the “ground zero mosque” were tantamount either to neo-Nazis in Skokie (according to a Wall Street Journal columnist) or actual Nazis (per Newt Gingrich).
THE “ground zero mosque,” as you may well know by now, is not at ground zero. It’s not a mosque but an Islamic cultural center containing a prayer room. It’s not going to determine President Obama’s political future or the elections of 2010 or 2012. Still, the battle that has broken out over this project in Lower Manhattan — on the “hallowed ground” of a shuttered Burlington Coat Factory store one block from the New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club — will prove eventful all the same. And the consequences will be far more profound than any midterm election results or any of the grand debates now raging 24/7 over the parameters of tolerance, religious freedom, and the real estate gospel of location, location, location.
Here’s what’s been lost in all the screaming. The prime movers in the campaign against the “ground zero mosque” just happen to be among the last cheerleaders for America’s nine-year war in Afghanistan. The wrecking ball they’re wielding is not merely pounding Park51, as the project is known, but is demolishing America’s already frail support for that war, which is dedicated to nation-building in a nation whose most conspicuous asset besides opium is actual mosques.
So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right — abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?
Inside the Fog of War - Reports From the Ground in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com
Published: July 25, 2010
This article was written and reported by C.J. Chivers, Carlotta Gall, Andrew W. Lehren, Mark Mazzetti, Jane Perlez, and Eric Schmitt, with contributions from Jacob Harris and Alan McLean.
A six-year archive of classified military documents to be made public on Sunday offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal.
The secret documents, to be released on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks, are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year.
The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the voluminous records several weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday.
The documents — some 92,000 reports spanning parts of two administrations from January 2004 through December 2009 — illustrate in mosaic detail why, after the United States has spent almost $300 billion on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban are stronger than at any time since 2001.
As the new American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David H. Petraeus, tries to reverse the lagging war effort, the documents sketch a war hamstrung by an Afghan government, police force and army of questionable loyalty and competence, and by a Pakistani military that appears at best uncooperative and at worst to work from the shadows as an unspoken ally of the very insurgent forces the American-led coalition is trying to defeat.
Gen. David Petraeus collapsed in his chair under intense questioning from the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.
Petraeus, the commander of U.S. Central Command, was immediately surrounded by advisors including Michele Flournoy, the Pentagon’s deputy under secretary for policy, who was testifying with him. Petraeus is known for his superior fitness level; he was escorted out of the hearing room, pale and looking downward.
UPDATE: CBS is reporting that General Petraeus has returned to the hearings