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Petraeus Paramour Loses Security Clearance


We have new developments in the investigation into the woman at the center of the scandal that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus. FBI and military investigators are trying to determine whether Paula Broadwell had classified information she was not entitled to have. The military has now revoked her security clearance. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston is here with the latest. Dina, what can you tell us?

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: Well, we've been told that the investigation into David Petraeus, himself, has been concluded; and where authorities are concentrating now, is on Paula Broadwell. She's the 40-year-old Army reservist who wrote a biography about Petraeus, and then later became romantically involved with him. Because she's a reservist in military intelligence, she was getting clearances that she needed, to see classified material. And now we know that the Pentagon revoked that clearance yesterday, pending the results of this ongoing investigation. And that's considered a serious move. It's not just something that's done as a matter of course.

WERTHEIMER: So this is not really an inquiry into an affair. It's morphed into an investigation about classified material?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Yes, exactly. I mean, both Broadwell and Petraeus apparently admitted to the affair, when they were interviewed by the FBI. And under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, adultery's a crime, but it's rarely leveled against someone in isolation. I mean, technically, I think they could call Petraeus back into service, to press those charges; but no one's suggesting that's going to happen.

Broadwell, who's an active reservist, might be open to an adultery charge, but that's not where the focus is now. We understand that investigators are zeroing in on how classified information was handled. We know that law enforcement sources did find classified information on Broadwell's computer. And the question, now, is whether that mater - that was material she was allowed to have.

She was stationed in Afghanistan. Some of the material came from military headquarters there. So investigators are looking at who might have given it to her. Another question: Did she have any business having it on her computer, or at her house? Did she have what's called courier authority? In other words, was she allowed to move it? Was it stored property? That sort of thing - that's what they're looking into.

WERTHEIMER: And is that why, presumably, President Obama said - rather carefully - in his press conference yesterday, that as far as he knew, there was no national security breach?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Yes, exactly. The FBI and military officials spent about five hours at Broadwell's house, earlier this week; and that was to gather all this material that they think might be classified, and to secure it. And that's why we saw them toting out cartons of papers and computer towers, and that sort of thing. The thing is, now they have to go through it, and we don't know what they're going to find.

WERTHEIMER: Do you have a sense that the FBI, and the Pentagon, are getting to the end of this investigation?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Not really. You know, as you know, there was a second general that was wrapped up in all of this. That's General John Allen, the top commander for the U.S. and NATO, in Afghanistan. And in his case, it appears that the military investigators are trying to see if he might have given classified material to someone who wasn't supposed to see it. This woman - Jill Kelley, in Tampa, who's an unpaid liaison with the military down there - may have had access to classified information.

General Allen said last night, in a statement, that he would cooperate fully with the investigation; and both the Defense secretary, and the president, have both expressed confidence in him, which is a signal about where they're going with this investigation.

WERTHEIMER: So this - this - this sorting through the emails that Miss Kelley exchanged with General Allen, that is going to go on for awhile?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, what we're hearing's that investigators are worried, in a more general way, about what they see as a cavalier attitude about classified information. For example, Kelley may have received information that she wasn't cleared to see, from General Allen. And we understand, he isn't the only one. Investigators are trolling through these huge volumes of emails; and we understand they're seeing some worrying things on a larger scale, with regard to how classified information is handled. So what that means is that General Allen may not be the last high-ranking military officer to get caught up in all of this.

WERTHEIMER: Thank you very much, Dina.

TEMPLE-RASTON: You're welcome.

WERTHEIMER: NPR's Dina Temple-Raston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As NPR's senior national correspondent, Linda Wertheimer travels the country and the globe for NPR News, bringing her unique insights and wealth of experience to bear on the day's top news stories.
Dina Temple-Raston is a correspondent on NPR's Investigations team focusing on breaking news stories and national security, technology and social justice.

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