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Entries in Classified (3)

Wednesday
Nov142012

Petraeus' Alleged Mistress Suspected of Storing Classified Docs

ISAF via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- 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 the case told ABC News that Broadwell admitted to the FBI that 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 Monday night, it was a pre-arranged meeting.

Prosecutors are now determining whether to charge Broadwell with a crime.  The FBI and military will be pouring over the material Wednesday morning.  

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

The FBI found classified material on a computer voluntarily handed over by Broadwell earlier in the investigation.  Prosecutors will now have to determine how important the classified material is before making a final decision.  Authorities could decide to seek disciplinary action against her rather than pursue charges.

Senior FBI officials are expected to brief the House and Senate Intelligence Committees Wednesday on their handling of the Petraeus investigation.  The officials are expected to lay out how the case was developed and argue that there were no politics involved.

The case is so critical that FBI Director Robert Mueller may attend the briefing to defend the bureau, ABC News has learned.  Members of Congress have been angry that they were not informed about the case before the story was reported by the media, but FBI officials maintain that their guidelines forbid them from discussing ongoing criminal cases.

This summer, Florida socialite and "honorary ambassador" to the military Jill Kelley received anonymous emails accusing her of flaunting a friendly relationship with military brass in Tampa, Fla.  Kelley then called the FBI, which traced those emails back to Broadwell's computer.  Investigators are said to have then found emails in Broadwell's inbox that pointed to an intimate affair with Petraeus, who on Friday admitted to the affair and announced his resignation as CIA director.

The FBI has now uncovered "potentially inappropriate" emails between Gen. John Allen, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, and Kelley, according to a senior U.S. defense official who is traveling with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.  The department is reviewing between 20,000 and 30,000 documents connected to this matter, the official said.  The email exchanges between Kelley and Allen took place from 2010 to 2012.

The U.S. official said the emails were "innocuous" and mostly about upcoming dinner parties and seeing him on TV.  

Allen denies he was involved in an affair, a Pentagon official said.  An intermediary for Allen told ABC News that Allen and his wife are friends with Kelley and her husband and most of the emails were sent from Kelley to Allen's wife.

A U.S. official said Allen may have triggered the investigation when he got an anonymous email a few months ago that was traced to Broadwell.  The email had a "Kelley Patrol" return address or subject line and painted Kelley as a seductress, which Allen found alarming and mentioned to Kelley in a subsequent email, the official said.

Panetta cautioned that "no one should leap to any conclusions" about allegations against Allen over the investigation.  The defense secretary said he supports Allen, who has been in command in Kabul since July 2011.  He took over that summer for Petraeus, who retired from the Army to take over as the head of the CIA.

"He certainly has my continued confidence to lead our forces and to continue the fight," Panetta said at a news conference in Perth, Australia, Wednesday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who appeared with Panetta, declined to comment on the Allen case, but insured the scandal has not harmed the war effort.

"There has been a lot of conversation, as you might expect, but no concern whatsoever being expressed to us because the mission has been set forth and it's being carried out," Clinton said.

Allen had been nominated as the next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe, and despite President Obama's backing, the nomination has been put on hold.  The change of command at NATO is currently slated to not take place until March at the earliest.

Allen was supposed to appear before a Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday alongside his designated replacement, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford.  Panetta said that while the matter is being investigated by the Defense Department inspector general, Allen will remain in his post as commander of the International Security Assistance Force, based in Kabul.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan052012

Bin Laden Strike: Gov't Probes Possible Leaks of Classified Info for Movie

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Defense and CIA are looking into the possible release of classified information to filmmakers on the killing of Osama bin Laden, according to a top Republican lawmaker.

Last August, Rep. Pete King, the chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security, called for an investigation into reports that the Obama administration granted Sony Pictures high-level access for a film on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

In a letter from DoD’s Inspector General’s office dated Dec. 23 and released by the committee Thursday, King is told “after an initial review of information, the Office of the Deputy Inspector General for Intelligence and Special Program Assessments has announced a project…to investigate the concerns raised” by his August 9 inquiry.

The CIA’s Office of Public Affairs also wrote King Nov. 8 that the CIA is “developing a written policy to create a single point of reference that will govern future interactions with the entertainment industry.”

“I am pleased that the Inspectors General at DoD and the CIA agree with me that potential leaks to filmmakers are something worth investigating and taking action to address,” King, R-New York, wrote in a statement Thursday. “The leaks that followed the successful bin Laden mission led to the arrests of Pakistanis and put in danger the mission’s heroes and their families.  Privately, individuals in the intelligence and special operations communities expressed support for my request for a probe.  I look forward to an update on the investigation and actions taken thus far.”

King wrote Aug. 9 that he was concerned, “regarding ongoing leaks of classified information regarding sensitive military operations” and he warned that close cooperation on the Hollywood action-thriller could lead to further leaks that could undermine the success of future operations.

“Further participation by JSOC and the Agency in making a film about the raid is bound to increase such leaks, and undermine these organizations’ hard-won reputations as “quiet professionals” -- reputations important for their continued operational success,” King, R-New York, wrote in a letter addressed to Defense Department Inspector General Gordon Heddell and CIA Inspector General David Buckley. “The success of these organizations is vital to our continued homeland security.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told ABC News’ Jake Tapper last summer that King’s allegations were “ridiculous” and “simply false” and he suggested the Homeland Security committee had more pressing concerns to investigate.

“We do not discuss classified information,” Carney said.  "I would hope that as we face the continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie.”

The film is to be directed by director Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Oscar for directing The Hurt Locker – which won seven total Oscars in 2010, including best picture. Mark Boal, who worked with Bigelow on the blockbuster, has also signed on to produce the as-yet-untitled Bin Laden movie, which is in pre-production and will star Rooney Mara, Tom Hardy and Idris Elba.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec212011

Bradley Manning Accuser Adrian Lamo Takes the Stand

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(FORT MEADE, Md.) -- Adrian Lamo, the former computer hacker who first identified Bradley Manning to federal authorities as the source of hundreds of thousands of classified documents leaked to Wikileaks, was challenged Tuesday by the Army private’s defense over his history as a hacker, his criminal record and his problems with drugs.

Lamo was among the prosecution’s final witnesses Tuesday at the pre-trial hearing that will determine whether Manning will face a court martial for allegedly leaking the classified documents.

Lamo told prosecutors how over a span of five days in late May 2010 he received a series of encrypted emails from Manning, providing him with information that suggested the sender was in the Army.

The contacts soon progressed to encrypted chats using AOL Instant Messenger, where Manning used the handle “bradass87.”   Lamo said he could only speculate as to why Manning was using encrypted contacts to reach out to him.

Lamo described how he made multiple attempts to verify that the person who was contacting him was actually in the Army and in Iraq.  He also verified that bradass87 was Bradley Manning after Manning sent him a “friend” request on Facebook and he saw information and photos on the site that matched.

Lamo, who acknowledged to prosecutors that he suffers from Asberger Syndrome and that he has a history of drug use, said that at the time he was communicating with Manning medication had reduced his symptoms and allowed him “to function more normally.”  He also admitted he had been a source in certain media reports.

Manning’s lead attorney David Coombs then led a blistering line of questioning, focusing on Lamo’s past drug use and his convictions for computer hacking.

“You are a convicted felon?” he began, to which Lamo replied: “That is correct.”

Coombs noted a string of 2007 hacks on large companies and a 2004 conviction for computer fraud.  Lamos then confirmed that he had been involuntarily institutionalized in April 2010, after over-medicating on prescription drugs.

Lamo told Coombs that he had not been offered immunity in return for his testimony: “I am here to ensure that the truth is presented,” he said.

What ensued was a detailed discussion of Lamo’s contacts with Manning that ultimately led him to contact federal authorities about what he had learned from Manning.

Manning’s defense attorneys are expected to call three witnesses on Wednesday when the hearing resumes.  Final arguments could come right after that.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio