Holly Petraeus, the now humiliated wife of former CIA chief David Petraeus, sit just feet away from his mistress Paula Broadwell in June of last year, it was revealed today.
At the time of the photograph it is thought that the affair between the 60-year-old four-star general and his 40-year-old biographer was still continuing despite both being married with children.
And in a massive irony, both women are watching David Petraeus sit before the Senate Select Committee that confirmed his position as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency – the job he resigned from yesterday as a direct result of his affair.
But despite the public shaming of David Petraeus, one senior military source who worked with the former CIA Director leaves little room for doubt where those loyal to the general stand.
Blaming David Petraeus’ biographer and reported mistress, Paula Broadwell, for his downfall, the unnamed individual said that the 40-year-old author and West Point graduate went out of her way to “get her claws in him”.
Depicting Paula Broadwell as obsessed with using David Petraeus to further her own career, the unidentified source describes the married mother of two as a “shamless self-promoting prom queen”.
According to an interview the figure gave to businessinsider.com, Paula Broadwell latched onto David Petraeus soon after they met at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2006 as she was wrapping up her Master’s degree.
Claiming that Paula Broadwell used their shared backgrounds as West Point graduates and counterinsurgency experts to become close to David Petraeus, the source known as “James Downing” says that when news of the affair broke he realized immediately who it was with.
“It’s one of those things that, as soon as the announcement was made, I knew in an instant who it was,” said James Downing.
“Everything made sense. Who had exclusive access to him? Who wrote the hagiography on his life? Who framed their entire existence around his persona?”
Unflatteringly comparing her to Paula Jones the former Arkansas state employee who sued President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment in 1994, the source claims to have known Paula Broadwell for six years.
“When she started work on the bio she called me for background on one of the general’s previous deployments,” said James Downing.
“I probably gave her four hours or so, and we stayed in touch after that by email and an occasional phone call.”
However, over the course of those years and through her unfettered access to David Petraeus, James Downing claims that she underwent a dramatic shift in her personality.
“Over that time, she went from someone very likeable to a shameless self-promoting prom queen,” he said.
“A very disturbing shift in how she carried herself.
“If she knew P4 [Petraeus] was going to make an appearance at an event, she’d crash it without an invitation (she actually did this at the wedding of some close friends of mine) and photo bomb[ed] sic everyone there.”
The senior source who claims to know both parties, even made allowances for the retired four-star general whose policies allowed the U.S. to make a measured withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.
Even despite the Washington Post reporting that current and former U.S. military officials long had suspicions of David Petraeus being involved in infidelities.
“You’re a 60 year-old man and an attractive woman almost half your age makes herself available to you – that would be a test for anyone,” said James Downing.