Bismarck’s Broadwell Caught with Classified Docs


Just when we though Bismarck’s own Paula Broadwell was caught with her hand “All In” the cookie jar, we find it has only gone deeper.

Paula Broadwell, the author who allegedly had an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus, is suspected of storing significant amounts of military documents, including classified material, at her home, potentially in violation of federal law.

A source familiar with case told ABC News that Broadwell admitted to the FBI she took the documents from secure government buildings. The government demanded that they all be given back, and when federal agents descended on her North Carolina home on Monday night it was a pre-arranged meeting.

If true, this saga has most likely turned from a testament in extremely poor judgement and a national embarrassment into a criminal case, potentially for both former Director of Central Intelligence and retired General David Petraeus and Broadwell. The most likely access to such classified documents came from or because of Petraeus. Broadwell, a West Point graduate like Petraeus and a trained military intelligence officer with a Top Secret clearance, also should have known better herself, despite this weak attempt at justification:

The 40-year-old author, who wrote the biography on Gen. Petraeus “All In,” is cooperating and the case, which is complicated by the fact that as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Military Reserve she had security clearance to review the documents.

She most likely has the appropriate clearance, but she must also demonstrate a “need to know” the information contained in the classified documents (which is doubtful, considering her official reason for involvement with Petraeus). More importantly, such information is rarely allowed outside a secure facility.

You just can’t make this stuff up. And you really can’t find much humor in it anymore either.


LegitSlater is a contributor who focuses on features primarily pertaining to state and local government as well as political parties, but has been known to dabble in other areas. LegitSlater has also been known to pinch hit for Rob when he is out and about in his worldly travels, or attending the occasional Yankees-Twins series. LegitSlater's numerous awards include the personal satisfaction received from informing the vast readership of SAB, spurring respectful debate, and hunting the trophy sacred cows which have been otherwise deemed off limits by the traditional media, elected officials, and the political parties.

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  • yy4u2

    I guess the title of the book is appropriate.

  • Mike Peterson

    that’s crazy she had all these documents- and perhaps I’m not very informed on this case, and I understand the national security ramifications, but what led the FBI to begin
    monitoring Mr. Petrayus’s private emails in the first place?

    • sbark

      ….it was the threatening email from Broadwell to the gal in Florida (Gen Allan), the Fl. gal called in the FBI because of the threats……….the jar was then opened…..
      ……at least that is what the media is giving to us…..

  • Matthew Hawkins

    Wow, assuming that the documents she had came from Petraeus is just irresponsible.

    Your analysis that she would have to prove that she had the “need to know” just proves your ignorance.

    I have worked in SCIF’s (look it up if you don’t know what it is) and I have never found one that I could not have walked Top Secret paperwork out of without anybody knowing. It is a severe security risk, but the US relies far more on personnel security than we do on physical security.

    When I was working at JAC Molesworth I once took a note on a piece of paper and put it in my pocket. I had forgotten about it. I walked straight passed security and nothing happened. The note was was not classified and i didn’t intend to take it from the facility. But I realized how easy it would be to just walk classified information out of the building every day. I was young and idealistic enough to report myself to my boss the next day. He laughed and told me to get back to work.

    Stealing classified information is easy if you have the clearance. She could have gotten these documents during her reserve duty. To assume that Petraeus gave them to her is irresponsible.

    • RCND

      I don’t think the issue was access and ability to take the information so much as being able to justify having the access to it in the first place…. and being able to justify removing it.

      • Matthew

        I think the question is “why are we assuming Petraeus is her source of the classified material instead of her reserve service?”