Paula pursued a military intelligence career abroad, serving in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During her service, especially after 9-11, Paulas intensity was directed toward the war against terror; her contributions and efforts to thwart terrorism have been commended by the U.S. Army and by Europes Special Operations Forces Commanding General. In this arena, she has planned counter-terrorism initiatives presented to NATO and worked on transnational counter-terrorism issues with foreign and domestic agencies, U.S. Special Forces, and the FBI.
Graduate studies at the University of Denver in Middle East studies enabled her to travel to Jordan and Israel, and make a swing through the Persian Gulf and Europe where she spoke at various conferences. This triumphal tour was capped by a Harvard fellowship for study in Syria and Iran.
While Broadwells current academic affiliation is with Harvards Kennedy School of Government, her previous post was deputy director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at Tufts Universitys Fletcher School. The Center, according to its self-description, distinguishes itself by a philosophy that maintains counter-terrorism should be predictive, preventive and preemptive, with the latter being a last resort. Founded in 2005, the Jebsen Center was made possible by the generous donation of one Jan Henrik Jebsen, heir to the Norwegian shipping fortune, who gave $1.3 million to set it up. Jebsen, a former investment banker with Lazard Freres, is the principal of Gamma Applied Visions Group, an international octopus with tentacles all over the place: part arms dealer and weapons developer, part green energy company. As one might expect from someone who has so much of his multi-billion dollar fortune invested in making and selling armaments, Jebsen is on the board of directors of the distinctly warlike Hudson Institute, where Scooter Libby, Douglas Feith, Michael Ledeen, and practically every neocon youve ever heard of have found refuge.
All this establishes a context that goes far beyond the titillating details of the alleged affair between Petraeus and Broadwell and this is no doubt what set alarm bells ringing in the intelligence community when it was revealed. Is there really any need to point out the uses of the honeypot in intelligence-gathering and other covert activities regularly engaged in by spooks of all nations? From Mata Hari to the Mossad agent who lured Israeli nuclear scientist Mordecahi Vanunu, sex is a time-honored weapon in the war of spy-vs-spy. A secret affair with the CIA Director is the equivalent of the Honeypot Olympics, and we have to ask: was the remarkably fit Ms. Broadwell a lure? If so, shes won a Gold Medal.
Broadwells actions sending emails that were bound to be traced back to her appear to make little sense on the surface. But if the goal of luring a 60-year-old geezer into an affair with a much younger woman was to expose him, and get him fired, then surely her antics succeeded in accomplishing that goal.
So who would have an interest in getting rid of Petraeus? Heres where the Cantor connection comes in. The tip by an anonymous FBI employee that wound up in Cantors office two weeks ago came through Rep. David Reichert, Republican of Washington state, who has a friend who knows the whistleblower. Cantor then spoke to the whistleblower directly, who put him in touch with FBI Director Mueller.
Cantor is a great friend of Israel, and Petraeus not so much. The General was attacked, as youll recall, by partisans of the Lobby, including Abe Foxman, when he delivered testimony before Congress citing Israel as a strategic liability in the Middle East. As the executor of the new Obamaite policy of sidling up to Islamists, not only in Libya but also in Syria and Egypt, Petraeus was no doubt seen by the Israelis as an enemy to be neutralized.
Broadwells affiliation with the Jebsen Center, and the Centers connection to the neoconservative network, sets the scene: a young, attractive woman with impeccable national security credentials throws herself at Petraeus, and he takes the bait. Whether shes been recruited by a foreign intelligence agency at this point or not is irrelevant: hes already put himself in a vulnerable position, and there are any number of actors on the international stage more than willing to press their advantage.
Will we ever know the full story? At this point, the story is so hot that it may burn the cover story its all about sex right off the wrapper. Because theres more a lot more here than meets the eye. When Cantor pledged to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he and his fellow Republicans will serve as a check on the administration in regard to the Presidents policy toward Israel, he was clearly aligning himself with a foreign leader against American interests as perceived by the White House. But would he really go this far deliberately taking down a key figure, one beloved by Republicans, in order to keep his promise to Netanyahu?
Stay tuned to this space, because this story is moving fast .