Here is a link to the WaPo article on the slim chances of Gen. (Ret.) Petraeus facing court-martial for his affair with his bigrapher.  The article features quotes from NIMJ’s Gene Fidell and Gary Solis.

10 Responses to “WaPo: Petraeus Unlikely to Face Court-Martial”

  1. Charlie Gittins says:

    I am still dubious of the narrative that the affair disn’t start (conveniently) until Petreaus was off active duty, given the fact that she spend a year “embedded” with him in Afghanistan.  And, since when doesn’t the military prosecute straight adultery?  Dwight and I had a case that was a one spec adultery case when we were baby JAs.  And I have done several 1 spec adultery cases since (as a defense counsel).  Now, they have pulled a bunch of classified documents out of Broadwell’s home.   If any of them have to do with stuff Petreaus was in charge of, there needs to be some substantial investigation about where they originated.  There is no waiver or excuse for classified disclosure due to sexual relationship.  I have had many clients accused and charged with improper storage, disclosure, possession of classified information.  She was having sex with the CIA director; I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the possibility he shared such information with her, and I certainly wouldn’t take his word for it.   

  2. Sgt Dad says:

    WaPo — “No Man” reads it so we don’t have to.  Many thanks.
    Question: Broadwell is a USAR officer, right?  Why is she off the hook on the adultery thing?

  3. Dwight Sullivan says:

    Charlie was too kind to mention that he was the DC in the adultery case, I was the TC, and it ended in a total acquittal.

  4. Some Army Guy says:

    I see adultery cases all the time in the Army.  And they are never prosecuted unless part of a sexual assault case.

    Article 15s and GOMORs are the way to handle those.  

  5. WWJD says:

    There are few one spec Adultery cases that are prosecuted, most are added on to the pile of greater offenses.
    Regardless, leaking of classified info is the greater evil here and there should be established time frames when this occurred.  I’m with Charlie that I do not think this affair happened to start when he was out of the military.  And I think its deplorable that we CM junior Officer and Enlisted for far less.  We have a four-star (Gen. Ward) that just got demoted for travel expense FRAUD totaling nearly $100,000.  How many Junior ranks have been CM for wonky travel card expenses under $1,000?  And even then his fellow Generals were crying how it was unfair to demote him.
    The Military does not prosecute straight anything when a General Officer is the accused.  Different spanks for different ranks.

  6. Lieber says:

    I’ve never seen a 1-spec adultery case…it’s always a GOMOR.  (I’m sure 10-20 years ago things were differnet, but I’m talking about now.)  (No, I don’t think it should be a GOMOR either.)
    Broadwell wasn’t active and isn’t subject to the UCMJ.  She does have an active clearance (until yesterday) so her having access to classified info doesn’t mean much in itself.  She could easily have taken materials home from drill weekends (she’s an MI LTC) or picked up stuff anywhere in Afghanistan or Iraq (anyone who’s deployed knows that…heck, my lunch scheduling was on SIPR).  Unless she has current CIA materials …you’re not going to show any sort of Petraeus connection…and even if it did the crime may only have been in her taking it home. 

    There is no known leak of classified info.  Broadwell had an active TS/SCI.  There are allegations of unauthorized storage of classified info.  That’s a different (and significantly lesser) offense.

  7. Lieber says:

    I’ll point out that if you’re a defense counsel you really don’t know how 99% of adultery/frat cases are dealt with cause you don’t see GOMORS…they usually get sent to legal assistance for advice (which is a horrible idea).

  8. SFC V says:

    If the biographer is a USAR officer she could be reprimanded but getting jurisdiction for any kind of UCMJ action would be tricky. I’m sure she’s on the radar at USARC, which is not a place you want to be. 

    I am currently a USAR paralegal.  I was an AGR Soldier from 2003 to 2011 and left AD to attend law school.  I handled a ton of adultery cases.  Most got reprimands.  One AGR Soldier and his girlfriend got article 15’s.  But that was due to the fact that they both gave false statements and he was her direct superior.  He gave his false statement even after the investigating officer told him that he didn’t need the statement, had ample evidence that he was lying, that it would be in his best interest not to give a false statement, and he was willing to tear up the statement and forget about it.  The response was “no, I want to give the statement.” 

    In my experience those adultery cases that result in something more than a reprimand are due to other factors like the rank of both parties, false statements, etc…        


  9. John S says:

    SFC V, your experience sounds the same as the active duty side.  GOMORs are the norm for adultery.  WWJD, you give the military too little credit.  Read previous posts about General Sinclair for an obvious counter-example.  Apart from that, most Soldiers who submit a fraudulent claim only receive Article 15 type punishment or negative administrative action, not a court-martial.  General Ward lost a star costing him somewhere around $30,000 per year for the rest of his life.  In my opinion, the administrative punishment is appropriate for the misconduct.      

  10. WWJD says:

    Good counter points.  I think it is fair to say there is no consistency, so it was not a good analogy to begin with.