Holly Petraeus' Indescribable Fury

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 12 2012 4:54 PM

Slatest PM: The "Holly Petraeus' Indescribable Fury" Edition

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Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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INDESCRIBABLE FURY: Steve Boylan, a friend and former spokesman for David Petraeus, spoke to ABC News today about the mood of Petraeus' wife of 38 years, Holly. It appears neither Boylan nor his former boss have the words to describe just how angry Mrs. Petraeus was to learn that her husband was having an affair. "Well, as you can imagine, she's not exactly pleased right now," Boylan said, putting it mildly. The now-former CIA director went one step further when summing up his wife's emotional state to Boylan over the weekend, but apparently was also at a loss for the proper adjective: "Furious would be an understatement."

AS FOR THE GENERAL: Boylan said that Petraeus is "devastated," both because of the "pain this has caused his family" and because it cost him his job. "He had a huge job and he felt he was doing great work and that is all gone now," Boylan said.

TIMELINE #1: Petraeus and Broadwell are said to have met in 2006, but Boylan says that their affair didn't begin until late 2011, two months after he was named director of the CIA.

WHY THE EXACT TIMING MATTERS: If the affair began while Petraeus was still serving in the Army, the now-retired general could face charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, specifically under Article 134, which reprimands conduct "of a nature to bring discredit upon armed forces." It remains unclear—and would appear unlikely—however, whether the military would pursue those charges if the opportunity presents itself.

TIMELINE #2: NBC News: "[T]he FBI wrapped up its case after interviewing Paula Broadwell ... on Friday, Nov. 2, four days before the presidential election, a senior U.S. law enforcement official told NBC News. It was the second time that FBI agents had questioned Broadwell in the probe and during both interviews she acknowledged having had an affair with Petraeus, the official said. Petraeus himself had been questioned a few days earlier and also acknowledged the affair, the first official said.

WHY THE EXACT TIMING MATTERS: This one goes with out saying. (Hint: It involves the word election.)

MORE ON PETRAEUS: Fred Kaplan, the man who first reported that it was Broadwell with whom Petraeus was cheating with, tries to make sense of why the general would risk everything on an affair.

THE OTHER, OTHER WOMAN: The Florida woman who allegedly received the harassing emails from Broadwell that set the FBI investigation in motion was 37-year-old Jill Kelley, a Petraeus family friend from his time at Central Command in Tampa. The Associated Press: "A former associate of Petraeus confirmed the target of the emails was Kelley, but said there was no affair between the two .... The associate said Kelley and her husband were longtime friends of Petraeus and his wife."

HAPPY MONDAY and welcome to The Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host (@JoshVoorhees) on Twitter or email him at josh.voorhees@slate.com.

A TWO STORY TOWN: Petraeus' fall has been the lead story since it broke late Friday afternoon, but it hasn't completely forced what had been the story-of-the-moment off the news radar: The looming (and rather misleadingly named) "fiscal cliff." Slate's Matthew Ygelsias weighs in to explain why we should stop taking House Speaker John Boehner seriously when it comes to negotiations on the Bush tax cuts.

OIL GAME CHANGER: WSJ: "A shale-oil boom will thrust the U.S. ahead of Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer by 2020, a radical shift that could profoundly transform not just the world's energy supplies but also its geopolitics, the International Energy Agency said. In its closely watched annual World Energy Outlook, the IEA, which advises industrialized nations on their energy policies, said the global energy map 'is being redrawn by the resurgence in oil and gas production in the United States.'"

MIDEAST UPDATE: NYT: "Israel confronted fire along its border with Syria on Monday and fired toward the source, striking Syrian artillery units. Syria also pulled Turkey closer to the conflict, firing on a village near the Turkish border."

SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS IN INDY: AP: "The owner of one of the homes that exploded in Indianapolis said Monday that a problem furnace could be to blame for the blast that killed two people and damaged dozens of homes so severely officials say they must be demolished. ... Investigators said they have not determined a cause for the Saturday night blast that sparked a massive fire, blew out windows, collapsed ceilings and shook homes up to three miles away."

CLEANING UP AFTER SANDY: NYT: "Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo plans to ask the federal government for at least $30 billion in disaster aid to help New York City and other affected areas of the state recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, according to top administration officials."

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