Petraeus, Broadwell Used al-Qaeda Trick to Hide Emails
But their approach didn't fool the FBI
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2012 6:46 AM CST
This July 13, 2011, photo made available on the International Security Assistance Force's Flickr website shows David Petraeus shaking hands with Paula Broadwell.   (AP Photo/ISAF)

(Newser) – David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell attempted to keep much of their communication secret by using a trick popular with both teens and terrorists, the AP reports: They shared an email account and saved unsent draft messages to one another, so both could log on and read them. The tactic, which is used by al-Qaeda, leaves a much fainter trace than actually sending messages. The Washington Post calls it a "well-worn online trick" that has "been around for quite some time"—it was even featured in a 2008 spy movie—and thus it didn't fool FBI investigators.

The AP also reports that Petraeus was "shocked" when he learned that Broadwell allegedly sent threatening emails to Jill Kelley, the woman who eventually set off the FBI investigation. Those emails were said to contain "stay away from my man" type warnings, according to the AP, but a source tells the Daily Beast that's not so. Yes, the emails included "kind of cat-fight stuff," but they were "more like, 'Who do you think you are? ... You parade around the base ... You need to take it down a notch,'" the source says, and they included just one passing reference to Petraeus. Kelley was apparently disturbed by the emails, which were sent anonymously, but the FBI found no evidence of actual threats and almost decided not to pursue the case. Click for the latest from the Petraeus scandal.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Nov 14, 2012 2:34 PM CST
You'd think being the head of CIA he would know that it wouldnt work...
Nov 13, 2012 5:31 PM CST
Oh General Pretraeus, our President and Joint Chiefs of Staff put so much confidence in you. Pussy always wins out. I am not a Billy Graham or John Paul II...Our National Security and women don't mix well. That is why people get married. When they need to be together, they make arrangements. You have broken everyone's trust. You were hired to be a leader, a 4 star general. A Commander. Not a braggadochio playboy with a mistress. look at what your biographer woman is doing. From what we read regarding her emails to other females, she was in to protect her territory. A scorned woman is the most dangerous animal of all time. She will stop at nothing until she gets her vengenance. At this point in time, the FBI should pick her up and place her under house arrest. No phone services, No computer services. She is a flight risk. She is a threat to our National Security. She knows too much and our enemies know it. And General, you did this. General Petraeus...Don't Betrayus...please clean this mess up! How I wish I was running the show.
Nov 13, 2012 1:02 PM CST
The absurdity of a mistress sending another woman "stay away from my man" type threats. Classy.