Philip Maddocks: FBI to take leave of absence to write inappropriate book about Petraeus emails
The country’s chief domestic intelligence agency – the FBI – plans to take a leave of absence to write what it is describing as a “tell-mostly-all” centered on the probe that has already uncovered an extramarital affair involving the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus, and has now ensnared the top American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen.
“This is the book the American public is clamoring to read, and this is the book that we were born to write,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller.
“This investigation and these emails have all the makings of a bestseller, a literary masterpiece really, at once Shakespearean and Wildean,” Mueller noted as he laid out a vision for a multi-book deal, a reality television series, and a cable talk show hosted by former presidential candidate and philanderer John Edwards.
“The president thinks very highly of this agency and its judgment,” spokesman Jay Carney said at a White House news briefing. “So if the FBI thinks it is in the best interest of the country to put all of its formidable resources into getting this down in print, the president supports that, 100 percent, and is confident that it is the right thing for the country and the right thing for our national security.”
“He has faith in what they are doing and believes that if the FBI just keeps on digging, its agents will probably find that Snooky has played a role in all this,” Mr. Carney added.
The FBI has reportedly signed a lucrative deal with a clandestine and deep-pocketed overseas publisher who has a long and mysterious relationship with the U.S.’ sprawling intelligence community.
Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but a CIA informant with knowledge of the negotiations, but not authorized to publicly discuss them, said the contract was likely worth at least $2 trillion.
In a statement released to reporters on his plane en route to Australia early Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta lauded the FBI for its professionalism and opportunism in teaming up “to bring this tawdry tale to light in a way that resonates and remunerates.”
Mr. Panetta and other officials agreed that the FBI’s forthcoming work “is destined to be a bestseller,” adding that the investigation into General Allen’s emails with Jill Kelley, the woman in Tampa, Fla., who was seen by Paula Broadwell, Mr. Petraeus’ lover, as a rival for his attentions “is a real page-turner” and “may only be the tip of iceberg.”
“And now we’re hearing that both Allen and Petraeus wrote letters on behalf of Jill Kelley’s twin sister who was involved in a messy custody dispute,” said a breathless Panetta. “Can this get any better? Maybe if vampires were involved. I can hardly wait for the next FBI dispatch that I will have to turn over to the Pentagon’s inspector general to conduct an investigation.”
Mr. Mueller said he had every confidence that Mr. Panetta and the rest of the nation’s intelligence community were fully capable of covering for the FBI. The time away, Mr. Mueller said, would enable the agency to devote its full attention to writing its bestseller and to keeping up with the robust email trail left by General Allen, which totaled some 30,000 pages to Ms. Kelley alone.
An FBI official promised the agency would follow this story to wherever it leads. “When you get involved in a cybercase like this, you have to look at everything,” the official said, suggesting that the FBI’s tale may broaden well beyond the central quartet of protagonists.
The official would not describe the content of the book’s early chapters, but characterized the subject matter as “of a flirtatious nature” and “potentially inappropriate.”
There were conflicting assessments, though, regarding the emails sent by General Allen. Some of his associates insisted the emails were of an innocuous nature. And Pentagon officials cautioned against making too much of the number of documents, since some might be from email chains, or brief messages printed out on a whole page.
But senior FBI investigator/authors remained suspicious, worrying that perhaps the general was working on his own bestseller and, with his nomination to become the supreme allied commander in Europe now on hold, had the time to beat them at their own writing game.
A senior official with the FBI, though, said he is confident the agency will prevail in the bestseller competition.
“How is General Allen going to explain why there were so many pages of emails and how the emails between Ms. Kelley and Allen were related to the emails between Petraeus and Ms. Broadwell and emails between Ms. Broadwell and Ms. Kelley?” he wondered. “Only the FBI knows, and we’re not telling - yet.”
Philip Maddocks writes political satire and humor for GateHouse Media and can be reached at email@example.com.