Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The reality show continues

Ordinarily it is not worth two hoots whether someone has an affair. It personal and private, and more often than not it affects a small immediate group. A lot of hurt, maybe wounds that never heal, but it is localized. But this affair exposed to the world is something different.

It is different in that because it involves the squeaky clean, and it is different because it has become humorous. I am really getting some chuckles out of the continuing saga. Petraeus had a roll in the hay with his biographer Paula Broadwell, probably brought about by her push. That doesn't let him off the hook - but it puts her on the hook with him. And along the way all kinds of characters come into view. The shirtless FBI agent is one of many.

Both Broadwell and Patraeus have hurt their families and friends beyond estimation. Neither are young people who might be given a free pass. Both had established marriages, families and careers; and on the Patraeus side it was the prized long-term marriage and career.

Hardy any marriage is more difficult than a military one. The military doesn't concern itself with the families when they move their men and officers to different positions and locations throughout the world. A military spouse and family are left to fend for themselves. It is a hard and difficult life for many - constantly being apart while dad, or mom in today's military, serve the country.

Thus for military families there has to be an established trust between spouses. For Patraeus to betray that trust is particularly serious given that this is a person who has been in charge of the military at the highest levels and was in charge of  government agency that the public relies upon to protect the interests of the United States.  Maybe he has been overvalued.

For Patraeus to have an affair so late in his marriage and career is particularly disastrous. And this romance has taken on more sinister and suspicious aspects. It has too exposed the civilian society that the military leaders cavort in under the guise of establishing military base and city relationships. And it has demonstrated how easy it is to get close to those in power.

And there is the issue of handling classified documents. Paula Broadwell has admitted that she took classified documents from secure government buildings. Apparently the possible crime is not access, but the storing of "significant amounts of military documents, including classified material, at her home, potentially in violation of federal law." [Petraeus Scandal: Paula Broadwell in Classified Document Probe].

For the public - the fun has become an everyday item much like the comic pages, for those who read newspapers that still has comics. E.g., Jill Kelly think her home is a diplomatic consul and that she has diplomatic immunity. Why? Because she is an honorary consul - an empty title if there ever was one.

And where does her honorary consul title emanate from? She "is an "honorary consul" of South Korea."  Not surprisingly, "[t]he position of honorary consul is symbolic and has no official responsibilities."

But here is an interesting part - she received this honorarium because  of her "good connections and network." A South Korea official said that "Jill Kelley helped to get support for [the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement] and she arranged meetings between the ROK Ambassador to Washington and local businessmen when the ROK Ambassador visited the Tampa area."

And get this the New York Post. Her twin (identical?) sister "Natalie Kwaham had invoked Allen and Petraeus's names in her custody battle. It didn't seem to get her anywhere because "the court ruled against Khawam, citing “profound concerns about Ms. Khawam's poor logical thinking and her extreme distortions" and "severe psychological deficits." [Petraeus, Allen Vouched for Socialite's Sister].

Additionally, the Christian Science Monitor notes that in the custody case that "awarded Khawam's ex-husband custody last year of their son [...], " also called Khawam, a lawyer, dishonest and lacking in integrity."

Why would two generals get involved in a custody battle - not that of Jill Kelley but that of her sister? Did they believe that their names who sway the judge? Is that all they think of their names and reputations to lend it to someone on the party scene in Tampa?

Also according to the New York Post, "[s]he also invoked in legal papers the names of Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Spokesmen for Kerry and Whitehouse both said the senators had met Kwaham through Kwaham's boyfriend Gerald Harrington, a Democratic Party fundraiser."

And more on Jill Kelly and Allen connection as reported by "In investigating Broadwell and Kelley, the FBI stumbled across of a massive trove of e-mail traffic between Kelley and Allen." "Massive" sound a little more ominous than a casual connection.

Now it doesn't take much thinking - a pause at best - to grasp that there is something else going on here. Let's hope in the next days the media will have worked this out more.

Doesn't it seem strange that a Jill Kelley has in some manner connected herself with South Korea apparently without being an established lobbyists or obvious connection to South Korea. Shouldn't we (the country) be concerned that she has with apparent ease connected herself with two generals, that we know of.  And concerned too that she has connected herself to Democrats like Kerry who has been named as the possible next secretary of state. Is all that is necessary to play with the big boys is to throw parties?

While it appears she plays with the wealthy and powerful - she may be out of her league.  From the Christian Science Monitor:"Jill and Scott Kelley have been involved in at least nine legal actions since arriving in Tampa, according to court records. Most involve real estate transactions, including one foreclosure and an $11,000 judgment against the couple in a Pennsylvania case."

Arguably she is nothing more than a groupie. But is that is all there is to it? And shouldn't there be concern that leaders - military and political - can be taken in by the likes of Jill Kelley?

Maybe Paula Broadwell was on to something and may have done the country a great service, not disservice. Maybe the email warning to Jill Kelley after observing  her touching of the general under the table was intended to protect Petraeus from himself.

As between the two - Broadwell and Kelly - Broadwell is definitely head and shoulders above Kelley in brains and abilities, but Kelley is the designing woman who time and time again proves that sex (not necessarily the sex act) is access to power.