Petraeus saga reads like a spy novel meets a three-ring circus


America woke up to the news this morning that U.S. General John Allen — the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan — is being investigated for “potentially inappropriate” email exchanges with Jill Kelley, the woman who inadvertently helped discover former CIA Director David Petraeus’ extra-marital affair with his 40-year-old biographer, Paula Broadwell.

It’s now safe to say that this already-bizarre story is becoming less like a John le Carré spy novel and more and more like a three-ring circus.

For President Obama, the latest events are, at best, a political headache; at worst, it’s a possible national security matter. Already facing the loss of his CIA director, the president has now been forced to place his nominee for NATO’s next Supreme Allied Commander on hold. Luckily for him, he’ll get to address all these matters tomorrow at his first presidential news conference since re-election.

The unfolding soap opera, or “Greek Tragedy” as House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., put it this morning, centers around the 37-year-old Kelley, who reportedly got to know both Petraeus and Allen in Tampa when she worked as an unpaid social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base, the headquarters of U.S. Central Command where both men served for a time.

And then there’s the FBI agent who allegedly sent shirtless pictures of himself to Kelley.

And what about Kelley’s twin? Both Petraeus and Allen are reportedly familiar with her too. Let the New York Post fill you in on that one…

If you’re confused by all this, don’t worry. It’s likely that plenty of people at the White House and Pentagon are too.