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Dave Ross

People have secrets

The story seems to be: Paula Broadwell, brilliant young woman, wants to do a thesis about a brilliant general -- David Petraeus. (AP Photo/file)

The story seems to be: Paula Broadwell, a brilliant young woman, wants to do a thesis about a brilliant general David Petraeus. He likes to mentor students, he is intrigued. He asks her to join him for a run to see if she can do a six minute mile.

She talked about that first encounter last January on The Daily Show:

“I thought I’d test him, but he was going to test me. It ended up being kind of a test for both of us since we both ran pretty quickly,” said Paula Broadwell.

She passed the test, as she had passed every test: High school valedictorian, all-star basketball team, prom queen, graduated first in her class for fitness at West Point, reaches the rank of major, then goes to Harvard, raises two children, and still competes in the Ironman.

And so she meets him in Afghanistan and they start running on a regular basis:

“When I was in Kabul we would do a lot of interviews on runs. I think for him it was a good distraction from the war,” said Broadwell.

And then it develops into more than just running, more than just battlefield buddies.

Their affair might never had been known if this driven woman hadn’t apparently become jealous of another woman, Jill Kelley, who she falsely thought was muscling in, and started sending e-mails so threatening Kelley went to the FBI.

And that let to General Petraeus’s Google account.

And yet in the end there was no breach of security. Petraeus, as CIA director, was no longer subject to the military’s no adultery rule, and when confronted by the director of national intelligence, he resigned.

There will be an investigation over who should have notified whom sooner, but it sounds to me like what we have here is a story as old as the hills: People have secrets. Even heroes.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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