The coterie of officers and advisers surrounding General David Petraeus had become suspicious of Paula Broadwell, now known to have been his mistress, due to her playful Facebook status updates they claim disclosed sensitive details of military operations in Afghanistan.
Paula Broadwell, the woman who penned David Petraeus’s biography and ultimately began a romantic relationship with the married 60-year-old, became a cause of concern back in 2009 when those in Petraeus’ inner circle saw her lighthearted postings on the social networking website.
Though Paula Broadwell was a West Point graduate and had served in Army intelligence, officers, unaware at the time of the extramarital liaison, thought she should have used better judgement and now see her inappropriate behavior in a new light – in the wake of the former CIA Director’s fall from grace.
Though hindsight is always 20/20, former David Petraeus aides told the Washington Post that Paula Broadwell’s behavior at the time seemed odd and her closeness to the notoriously straight-laced family man was not without controversy.
Without any specific examples of her Facebook postings, aides said they were stunned that Paula Broadwell was so free to describe her daily movements in Afghanistan on the networking site, so her friends back home could chronicle her adventures.
Another social media no-no occurred when Paula Broadwell posted a picture to her Facebook page of David Petraeus with actress Angelina Jolie, that had been captured at his 7th floor office at CIA headquarters, where only the official agency photographer is allowed.
It is believed David Petraeus had given the picture to Paula Broadwell but the break with protocol was uncharacteristic for someone in his position.
Officers have also revealed their shock at her frequent trips to Afghanistan to interview David Petraeus and the access she was granted to the Chief of Central Command, the role he assumed in 2008.
Others were having said to be unimpressed with her style and lack of journalistic know-how.
“Her credentials didn’t add up,” an unnamed former staff member, who had been interviewed by Paula Broadwell for her book All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, told the Washington Post.
“I was underwhelmed. It was surprising to me that she was his official biographer.”
Peter Mansoor, a former executive officer on David Petraeus’ staff, also told the Post that he found it “strange” that David Petraeus put so much trust in Paula Broadwell’s abilities.
“My gosh, if you are going to have someone interview everyone who has ever touched you in your life, choose someone who has written a biography or at least a history book,” he said.
Additionally, in the conservative culture of Kabul, aides said Paula Broadwell wore tight shirts and pants to display her figure to the best advantage.
“She was seemingly immune to the notion of modesty in this part of the world,” a general who served under David Petraeus in Afghanistan said.
But many who worked in close quarters with David Petraeus have said that few would have given credence to rumors of a torrid affair, given Petraeus’ solid reputation.
The sex scandal has only just come to light after Paula Broadwell, who is married with two young sons, allegedly accessed the general’s email account to send threatening emails to Jill Kelley, whom she accused of getting too close to him.
Paula Broadwell allegedly told the other paramour, believed to be an unpaid social liaison officer to military headquarters – Jill Kelley – to “back off” and “stay away” from the retired general in email communication uncovered by the FBI.
It has been claimed that Paula Broadwell used David Petraeus’ own Gmail account to send the emails, and when the FBI began to investigate a possible security breach, they instead uncovered the messages between the two sent from the decorated war hero’s own account – indicating an affair.
Sources say that after an investigation, Justice Department officials were unclear on how to proceed because no crime or breach of security had actually occurred.
James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, was informed of the incident and he reportedly advised David Petraeus to resign.
David Petraeus quit his post as director of the CIA on Friday while offering an apology for the affair.